Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Home-made kefir with chia seeds and garden peaches

After the last hooray of summer this weekend with temperatures in the upper 80s fall has arrived. It is much colder, overcast, drizzling and makes me yearn steaming tea and snuggly cats.

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The trees still have most of their leaves, in green, orange and red when I look out of my kitchen window into the garden, but by the end of the month there will be barren trees, naked villages and Halloween howling through town.

This year my peach tree only had 4 peaches. They hung high up in the tree, but fortunately they fall down when they are ripe. 2 of them became a wonderful breakfast last week.

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I am also making kefir at home with store-bought cultures, which is less expensive around here than to buy kefir directly. It simple enough to do: boil milk, cool it to room temperature, mix a cup of the cooled milk with the cultures, mix with the rest of the milk and let sit for 24h in room temperature. Next day it has a yogurt like consistency. I pour it in a milk bottle and keep in the fridge for about a week.

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Kefir is rather tart so I mix it with some honey, add chia seeds and the home-grown peach sliced. A wonderful light, most-home made and guaranteed unknown substance free breakfast.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ocean Viewpoint Hike

It is an exceptionally beautiful Indian summer weekend here in Maine, with temperatures in the summer temperature ranges (upper 80s). We got a small hiking group together and explored the Camden Hills State park. We hiked up to the Maiden Cliff outlook, then veered over to the Ridge trail, which was quite steep in some parts. After another break in the lunch time heat on one of the outlooks, we decided to take the shady Jack Williams trail over to the connection to Ocean View lookout, which has spectacular views over the ocean and the Camden Harbor. Five hours after we started, we arrived at the start of the Mt Battie toll road, ready for cold water and beer and a huge sandwich and ice cream.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Komorebi

We are lucky with a beautiful fall this far – September has been mostly sunny and no frost yet but it does get colder at night and the days get shorter. This morning I found this article with excerpts of a book of words that cannot be directly translated into the English language, Lost in translation.  I can appreciate that because there are so many wonderful German words that can never be translated like wunderkind (literally ‘wonder child’, describing a surprising little genius) or biergarten (literally, a garden with beer, but it is a restaurant that looks like a garden and you have garden tables and come together in the summer with friends to drink beer and eat sandwiches or snacks). These words exist in other languages, too. Like komorebi…..

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A good word to mumble these days of the year….. Or Wabi-sabi, finding beauty in the imperfections, an acceptance of the cycle of life and death.

 

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Another komorebi moment was a fall BBQ over the weekend at a beautiful house on the lake, including smores on the lake. These were my first smores ever, and it took three attempts until I got it right. The first marshmallow I stuck directly into the fire, which made it tar-like looking on the outside. The second one I held so far from the fire it melted and had no caramelization at all. The third one finally had the right distance and was caramel brown. However, it did not as excepted melt the hershey bar. Next time? I will bring nutella for a chocolate dripping perfect smore. Oh well, wabi-sabi.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Apple picking and news!

The weather is warm, mild and sunny. This week many of my colleagues are traveling so there are very few meetings and I am in charge of my time again, well, at least for a week. On the weekend we did the typical New England thing this time of the year (hello Fall!) and went apple picking. There are no apples to speak of in southern India, and so for my friend S, it was the first time ever she actually picked an apple (she is not a good friend of the other thing she never experienced in India before – snow).

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Cortland apples were ready for picking. The trees were full and only maybe 15 overall drawing their carts through the rows of trees in the orchard. A very relaxing pastime.

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H. and I stocked up to bake apple pies; S. relinquished her share in lieu of a piece of pie eventually appearing. The whole bushel full of apples was only $12, which is a great deal because tiny bags, pre-picked, already are $7-11. This was 5 times as much.

So, now we just need to make pie.

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On other news: If you have not been to the blog for a while, check it out. I added a new feature – searching for recipes using the ReciPage application (thank you, Daily Garnish!). I’ve only added the soups so far, but over time will there will be more of seasonal recipes.

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