NOURISH … with nature’s twizzler + a raw beet salad recipe

Life is amazing and full lately! School has begun and I’m beginning to sift through all of the fantastic images of our time together growing food, cooking, creating, and traveling as a family over the summer break. One constant in our garden is this chinese red noodle bean that I have posted about before. It’s one that I should really start carefully seed saving from since you never know when the seed will become unavailable. We grow it in a pot on our terrace for easy access and the kids like to just eat it raw from the vine. This year I also added it to our larger garden and we have named it “nature’s twizzler”, our unprocessed version of a twizzler. It tastes nothing like a twizzler, but you would think that it was actually candy the way my kids tear off the bean and eat the entire pod, seeds and all. My favorite way to make it is with sriracha sauce or a sweet chili sauce that I posted last year here. Here are a couple of other recipes from our local New Roots for Refugees farmers (who I actually bought my first chinese red noodle bean from several years ago). I haven’t tried these recipes yet, but they look very tasty.

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One other vegetable that we always have in the garden are beets and as a matter of fact I just popped more seeds in the ground today to get a fall crop of them. The kids all love beets and a favorite way to make them this summer has been this raw beet salad.

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RAW BEET SALAD

2 large beets, peeled and shredded (you can wear rubber gloves when peeling if you are concerned with purple hands)

2 carrots, peeled and shredded

1 apple shredded or thinly sliced into match sticks (green apples work nicely, but any apple will do)

1 t. grated ginger

DRESSING

1-1/2 T. raw honey

1 t. balsamic vinegar

1/4 t. salt

1/2 juice of a lime

DIRECTIONS

Set aside the shredded beets, carrots, apple, and ginger. Mix together the dressing and pour over the beet mixture. This can be eaten right away but the taste gets better after the flavors marinate.

Enjoy!

Julie

CREATE … sycamore bark art | a natural art canvas

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Who needs paper when mounds of sycamore bark covers the backyard? If you’ve followed the blog for awhile you have probably seen this bark used in a variety of ways. It’s a FAVORITE natural medium of ours that falls from the branches of our sycamore trees and during our last storm it was covering the backyard. I have stashes of it waiting for new ways to incorporate it into projects and some extra special pieces I have displayed as their own objects of art. Something I find so endearing is that I will spot a little collection of it and then I’m told ” I was saving this for you mommy, do you want to keep it? “. They know it’s a favorite treasure of mine and they take it very seriously! I have made a sculpture with it here, and tucked valentine love notes in it here.

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With this last collection we experimented by adding color to the bark and using stencils. Oil pastels seemed to work the best with the rough texture of the bark and next I think we’ll experiment with opaque watercolors and paint.

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Enjoy this last bit of summer and if you spot any interesting bark near your house try using it as a canvas for art.

Julie

NEST + NOURISH … camp cobbler at wilson lake in kansas

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Our summer is going by way, way too fast as they always do but we’re trying to savor our time together and fill it with some great memories. We just came back from a roadtrip west that I will really try to tell you about soon, but in the meantime I will share this camp cobbler that we made on a camping trip we took a few months ago (actually when the kids were on spring break at Easter). In blogland that seems like ages ago, right? When summer hits, the blogging subsides to make way for all of the gardening and landscape work. It was such a memorable 2 night camping trip and this cobbler was definitely a highlight. We camped at Wilson Lake after spending Easter with our family in Wichita and the terrain was not typical for Kansas, it was filled with some great rock formations and trails for the kids to explore.
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Now for the camp cobbler. We used this cast iron pot and made a couple of meals while we were there.

We didn’t have a grill rack to keep the pot off of the flames so my husband rigged up a fallen log braced by a picnic table for the pot to hang from.

I brought 4 c. of washed strawberries and sliced them at the campsite, added 1/2 c. sugar and cooked them in the pot over the flames. While the sliced strawberries were cooking in the covered pot (about 25 min.) I added the chilled butter and the water  to the pre -made mix for the topping and we played waiting for the strawberries to cook.

4 c. strawberries ( you can certainly bring a mixture of other fruits to create your cobbler)

1/2 c. sugar

PRE-MADE MIX (to make at home)

2 cups Pamela’s baking mix

3/4 c. sugar

2 t. cinnamon

BRING  THE FOLLOWING ALONG and ADD to the PRE-MADE MIX

6 T. butter (chilled in a cooler of ice)

2 cups water (or milk or a non-dairy milk)

It works well to bring the pre made mix in a container large enough to add in the butter and the water or milk at the campsite.

Start by adding the 6 tablespoons butter. Chop butter into small chunks and mix into the pre made mix to combine. You may have to use your fingers to completely combine the mixture.

NEXT add

2 cups water or milk to the pre made mix, combine well. Remove lid (be sure to pack an oven glove for this) and drop spoonfuls of the cobbler topping mixture on the berries, cover, and continue to play and let cook for another 30 minutes. Check to be sure the topping is cooked (you may have to play for another 10 minutes).

Let the cobbler cool on a nearby picnic table on a pot holder while you continue playing.

Then Enjoy!!

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 Until next time Wilson Lake and the next campfire cobbler!