To the Sun and back…

I see the eagle – my heart is soaring
Escaping the bonds of my earthly self
The eagle spins – my mind is reeling
Perched upon this rocky shelf
The water glistens – the eagle dives
My spirit listens to the lives
that pass before me, that slowly fade
Like distant memories or dreams floating away
This mountain cliff is etched with life
Millions of years unseen by eyes
Jagged, sharpened, like the talon
and echoes back the eagle’s cries
I hear her cry, I hear her song
We’re both alone, and we belong to
Fire of sunlight, stretch of sky
Becoming one, like heat on the horizon
Singing & screaming – harmonies mesh
Dying & dreaming – spirit and flesh
I ride upon her feathers, look out through her eyes
Ride the wind that swallows, follow where she flies…
I rise upon the heat that spirals
Embrace the day and night with wings
Ascending high, my sister soars
and touches deep rememberings
She leads me nowhere, she takes me home
I now return to where the stone
has turned to sand, and I can rest my body on the land
A thousand years – with feathers in my hand
A thousand tears – the eagle takes my hand
Doreen Shababy

From Green to Golden

Onions, gotta love ’em. Really. I didn’t really like them as a kid, but I do now, I use them every day in cooking. The onions in this picture were obviously photographed during the summer, but now that they’re cured and ready to eat, I want to share an easy recipe with you for flat bread that has onions as an ingredient. It’s from The Wild & Weedy Apothecary, and it’s good on it’s own, as trail bread, or with salads and raw veggies.

Sumerian Flat Bread
1 cup barley flour, plus a little for kneading
1/2 cup sesame seed meal (just coarsely grind some in the blender,
but don’t make a paste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup finely minced onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup cold water
Whole sesame seeds and coarse salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir the barley flour, sesame meal and salt with the onions, then work in the oil. With a fork, stir in water a little at a time, mixing until dough leaves sides of bowl and holds together. Knead the dough, adding a bit of flour if necessary, until soft and pliable, about 7 or 8 minutes. Cut dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a ball, then rolling each ball into a small disc about 1/4-inch thick or so. It helps to roll out the dough between floury sheets of waxed paper. Sprinkle a few whole sesame seeds and a bit of the coarse salt onto each flatbread, pressing in with the palm of your hand. Place the discs on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until they turn golden. Let cool on rack.
The Sumerians are considered one of the first settled societies in the world, developing in the very cradle of western civilization, the fertile crescent of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. They devised the 60-minute hour and were well-known astronomers as well. It’s hard to imagine, with our calculators, computers, wireless phones and so on, that the ancients of ancients could follow the stars and count time better than us, with all our gadgets.
All this, and the love of onions, too!

Whoopie Ti-Yi-Yo

No, they aren’t little doggies

…they’re called Jacob’s Cattle Beans, and I plucked and shelled them on a warm fall afternoon. I wish they’d have been more mature in their pods, but this has been a most unusual year for weather, freezes, thaws, rains, sun, and all of the above… And then some!

Here is a recipe from The Wild & Weedy Apothecary to use for seasoning beans of all kinds. (We also talked about it at the September class at Sandpoint Library.) Of course, you can use this blend to season other soups and stews if the moment strikes.

Greens for Beans Seasoning Blend
1/2 cup chopped, crushed or snipped kelp (also known as kombu or konbu)
1/2 cup dried, crushed nettle leaf
2 tablespoons each dried marjoram, oregano, sage and summer savory leaf and/or flower
1 teaspoon each dried garlic and ginger root powder
Put all ingredients into a bowl, blend and crush with your fingers, and spoon into a jar for keeping.
Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Use this seasoning to flavor your dry beans – which have been soaked overnight in plenty of water and rinsed a few times, and then brought to a boil in fresh water for 10 minutes… turned down to a simmer, then you add a healthy pinch of seasoning blend –
well, then, after the beans are about half done (approx. 1 – 2 hours), add some salt – about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, to the beans. Simmer until done, another hour or so. Be careful with the salt… I like to use tamari or good soy sauce as an additional deep flavoring. You could also use broth instead of water, as long as it’s unsalted. Too much salt at the beginning makes the beans tough, That’s what the kelp/kombu is for, to tenderize the beans. Plus it’s full of trace minerals. And even though it’s seaweed, it doesn’t taste like low tide once the beans are cooked to savory tenderness along with the spices and garlic.

Make a lemony cole slaw and foccacia to go along with the beans. 
A simple supper is always nice for the New Year –