Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

 

from the Declaration of Independence, United States of America

 

As I celebrate this Independence Day, I have never been more grateful for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Happy Fourth of July!

Bridge (Phoneography and Non-SLR Devices Photo Challenge)

 

I love how the filter makes the green so lush in this photo that I took on one of my many walks.  This one was taken at a local greenway.

Taken with my iPhone 5S.  Processed on Instagram using the Lo-Fi Filter.  Phoneography and Non-SLR Devices Photo Challenge, Week 5: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.

Fresh From My Garden

The broccoli in this dish is from my garden.  It is cooked with organic free-range chicken, sliced baby bella mushrooms, and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  It was quite delicious!

The broccoli in this dish is from my garden. It was cooked with organic free-range chicken, sliced baby bella mushrooms,Vidalia onion, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. It was quite delicious!

I wish I could say the veggies were from my garden, but alas, only the Italian flat leaf parsley was.  The Gazpacho (South Beach Diet recipe) was one of my dad's favorites.

I wish I could say the veggies were from my garden, but alas, only the Italian flat leaf parsley was. The Gazpacho was one of my dad’s favorites.  I use the recipe from the South Beach Diet.

This is currently my favorite summer dish.  It is simply chunked fresh pineapple, sliced English cucumber, fresh mint (from my garden), and fresh lime juice.  Chilled for several hours the flavors mingle together for a refreshing summer side dish.

This is currently my favorite summer dish. It is simply chunked fresh pineapple, sliced English cucumber, fresh mint (from my garden), and fresh lime juice. Chilled for several hours the flavors mingle together for a refreshing summer side dish.

Just as a blade of grass…

Just as a blade of grass will push through a crack in the cement, growing toward the light, we too are being pulled toward a fuller expression of ourselves.
~Mary Morrissey

When I am discontent, I know I am being urged to expand myself.  If I seek light, the Universe pulls me toward my ideal self.  I am more than I ever dreamed I could be, and so are you.

Mirror, Mirror

I often see a reflection of myself in the people I encounter.  Although we are different in many ways, the members of the human race are also very similar.  As I watch how others behave, I have realizations about myself.  It is very difficult to see them on my own.  But when I am watching others, I see behaviors and attitudes that I possess.  It’s as though we are mirrors for each other.

Broccoli Greens and Being a Good Steward

My son planted a garden for me this spring.  So far, we have enjoyed red leaf lettuce and butter crisp lettuce from it.  I have also used the spearmint we’ve grown in a cucumber and pineapple dish that I love, and in iced tea.  Because my broccoli began flowering, I researched whether I should toss it or whether it was still edible.  I was fascinated to learn everything that could be done with broccoli.

As it turns out, broccoli can be eaten after flowering.  In fact, the flowers alone can be purchased in some places for consumption.  The stalk can be grated and used to make cole slaw (which  I have seen but never tried).  What I found most surprising was that the leaves could be cooked and eaten like any other form of greens.  Tonight I cooked the broccoli spears and I also cooked the leaves, adding some bacon bits to them as they wilted.  I was surprised at how good they were.  They had the texture of kale, with a milder flavor.

I share all of this to say that I have always strived to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to me.  In this case,  food is the currency.  I often use leftovers to make soups, stews, or casseroles.   I just can’t stand to throw things away.  Incidentally, growing my own broccoli and studying it has allowed me to use all of the vegetable.  (I actually think I like the greens better than the florets.)

If you have any recipes that use other than traditional parts of plants,  or recipes that utilize leftovers, I’d love to hear them.

Ten Terrific Things This Tuesday

As I was looking through my WordPress reader, I noticed Tuesday was full of lists… tens, twenties, and twenty-fives of things.  In light of this, I have decided to post ten terrific things about this Tuesday.

1.  Spending the day with my granddaughter.

2.  Finishing a book I was reading.

3.  The support of friends.

4.  Going for a walk.

5.  Helping a friend set some meaningful goals.

6.  Homemade gluten-free pizza.

7.  Cabernet Sauvignon.

8.  Watching movies with my son.

9.  Coldplay on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

10.  Being married to a good man.

Kitchen Garden

My son set up a raised bed for me the other day. Since we have once again switched seasons (from spring back to winter), he is waiting to set out the plants until the chance of freezing temperatures is gone. It seems we have had crazier than usual weather this year… 79 degrees one day and snow the next. Yesterday I went out in short sleeves during the day and a sweatshirt in the evening. Today I pulled out my winter coat again. (My garden may remain in my kitchen a bit longer.)

Kitchen Garden

Spearmint, Heirloom Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Buttercrisp Lettuce, Red Lettuce, Flat Italian Parsley, and Broccoli… all awaiting their place in the sun.