The Veil is Lifted

I adore Halloween time and celebrations. I do not love dressing up in costumes, but I like seeing others and I like the actually creepy decorations as I walk around the neighborhood. Where I live now, rosemary grows prolifically. Traditionally, rosemary is a symbol of remembrance and can be used to cook or bake something and honor those who have lived and have passed on.

In particular, I choose to remember my grandmother Eula. She was the first person in my life from whom I felt unconditional love.

I baked this Rosemary Olive Oil Cake and remembered her presence and quiet beauty and acceptance of myself and my sisters.

It has a beautiful crunchy top and copious amounts of dark chocolate.

The generous and genius Heidi Swanson shared the recipe many moons ago. I give it top marks and it is one of the simplest cakes to make.

Happy Samhain, Hallow’s Eve, and Halloween!

Peace and love,

Kristan

Grocery Shopping…. in TEXAS

There have been many significant changes in my life and I am learning how to navigate in a completely new city in a new state. This latest trip I walked down to HEB. I used a basket my boyfriend saved from an alleyway trash can ♥️.

I did my best to locate a grocery store that is found all over Texas. I cannot say for sure if all HEB stores have a small bulk section, but the one nearest me does and I am thankful for that, but I also wrote them a nice comment about please including more grains and legumes and fewer sugary snacks. It never hurts to express one’s opinion in a kind manner.

This load cost me just under $36, which is quite good.

A closer look into the bulk bags reveals granola, chile almonds, and walnuts. The green Tupperware contains fresh ground peanut butter. They do not tare jars there, but I know it’s a better price with the weight of the container than the Whole Foods as well as the Central Market (which is owned by HEB).

I could not find loose carrots anywhere in the store, but overall most of their produce is package free and well priced.

I have been shifting away from being extremely hardcore about not making trash only because it has not been sustainable for myself. I am not about to make a second trip just for carrots. Could I do without carrots? Most likely, but I was hoping to use them in meals and I like having them on hand.

It has also been silly to think that the stickers and ties could deter people away from buying fresh, healthy produce. My main concern has been feeding myself in a healthy, practical, sustainable way for myself.

Living in a bigger city and having only a bike to use during the day has given me insights as to how many people live and how we do not all have the privilege of shopping at the big bulk bins stores. In Idaho, the best bulk bins also happened to be the best priced, but that is not the case here. The weather is tricky, as I have to be back inside before 11 in order to not melt into a puddle and avoid heat stroke.

I am open to any thoughts or insights you may have about what is truly important on a sustainable, creative journey.

Peace and love,

Kristan

Simple Fruit Clafoutis

Have you ever had a clafoutis? I hadn’t until about 2 years ago, I think I was following one of my favorite garden bloggers and discovered a delicious way to make a dessert that didn’t require a specific fruit. Potentially any fruit will taste scrumptious this way.

It sounds fancy, but it couldn’t be simpler and uses very country-like ingredients. I haven’t found a vegan version, but let me know if you find anything.

Start with about 3 cups of sliced or cut up fruit or whole berries.

To make the batter combine these ingredients into a blender:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 cup cream

3 eggs

A pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup all purpose flour

Blend and scrape down sides if needed.

Heat oven to 350°F and then dust your baking dish of choice with a tablespoon of sugar. I just used my Pyrex cake pan, but I think it works in a pie dish, brownie pan, whatever you have on hand, really.

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Pour half the batter into the baking dish.

Place fruit into pan and arrange prettily if you like.

Pour the remaining batter into dish.

Bake for 50 – 65 minutes. Mine needed the full time in there. You’ll see it rise quite high and be bubbly, and when it cools it will collapse. Look for a hint of golden brown.

The clafoutis is custardy, tart, slightly sweet, and creamy smooth. I LOVE clafoutis. When peaches are fully coming in, I’ll be making another and hopefully sharing.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and all the blessings that come with it. (I’m thinking food, of course.)

Peace and love,

Kristan