Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Food - Little Leek Pies

Was asked for the recipe for these... but I never really measure anything out, so can't say exactly much of this & that ... just use your discretion, and your taste-buds, as well as your creativity, and if, like me, you have any left-overs, try to put them into something else the next day...




Recipe makes about 2 dozen Little Leek pies

*In a heavy iron pan, gently sweat 2 small sliced leeks with a knob of butter and a good slug of good extra virgin olive oil... season with freshly ground black pepper, 1 1/2 tspn powdered vegetable stock, 1 tspn powdered turmeric, 1/2 tspn mustard powder & a few drops of lemon juice to taste... cook until soft, adding a handful of currants, & a few slops of water to stop it catching, until it's pretty soft..
(use more or less of seasonings - turmeric can taste pretty bitter sometimes, so go easy!)

Mix 4 big eggs, bout a cup of light ricotta cheese, & a small handful of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt & pepper.

Cut little circles of pre-made thawed puff pastry to fit from side to side of each hollow in deep muffin pan, line pan.

Remove tray, then with a spoon, gently push the puffy pastry down enough to make room for filling.

Fill each pastry case about 1/2 - 3/4 full with some leek mixture, then top them all up with the egg & cheese mixture. Sprinkle a little extra parmesan on top,

Return to oven, & cook for about 20 minutes, or until they look lightly browned, and the pastry looks golden.

Serve hot with mixed leaves and tomato salad, dressed with balsamic vinegar & extra virgin olive oil.

And that's it! Easy light tea!

Buon appetito!




 


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Blessings of Equinox


Autumn equinox.... moving from the light half of the year, into the dark half...
.... from extroversion to introversion... from activity to stillness...

I'm reluctant to step through that gateway separating light and dark .... as fading leaves, clinging to trees, so are my own unfulfilled summer dreams, and I fear they will be lost.... yet in the darkness, things unknown are often brought to light...

I must identify the annual from the perennial, the ideas which are "good keepers", and those matters which are best composted...

Nature's seasons will turn and turn, with, or without my consent... the sun always returns, and each year wears a different veil from the last, with different needs, different people, different places...

My very best wishes to you, at the changing of the season -  in the South, may your darkness be a fertile bed for your your dream seeds, and in the North, may your dream seeds grow mightily in the light.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

E is for EVERYTHING!

Some of you may have noticed, I opened an Etsy shop last week... my focus was completely on getting it up and running, and making my living from my creative work... just as I believe I should be doing.... as an artist.... as a Druid.... as someone walking the Old Green Way...


Well, so far, it's good, but I got so caught up in learning new technologies, frustration with camera settings, and fears about pricing etc, that I forgot the whole purpose of creative work is to express myself... and convey the joy I feel, being alive.... being here... in this life... sharing it with others...

So, I lifted my head from the tunnel vision of my computer, and felt the sun on my face... smelled the sweat air... drank cool water... ate some beautiful food... listened to the birds... saw shy animals in the forest, & scarlet flowers, glowing against lush green leaves in my garden... and so... my world gently expanded... my heart lifted, finding its happy place once more...

Hmmm.... I can't split off the different aspects of my life, or compartmentalise them.. art and spirituality are no different than cooking or gardening, or walking with my dog... or even tapping on a computer...

The Arwen flows through every single task, every moment, every aspect of my life... I've heard that in Bali, everything is a prayer... and I think that is true of everywhere... if we live that way...
Everything we do holds the holy, the magical, the otherness... whatever you want to call it... every movement we make, every decision, every thought, holds the potential of connecting with a larger reality...

So this week, I am zooming out, as it were... taking a broader view... where I can hear the whisper of the breeze, and feel the resonance of Nature... it is my spiritual connection to reality... as well as my mundane life... which is precious... and fragile... and miraculous.

Everything holds the essence of possibility, of inspiration, of Arwen... every second...every day....




no matter what...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Little Dog.... how I love you.... so brave, in this confusing world.... so tender, when you give your heart.... so forgiving, toward a species who have already treated you with cruelty and disrespect...

There is no honour higher than the trust awarded me by you.... You, who are so often misunderstood, yet remain patient with a species that often thinks it is the only one with a right to live unthreatened...

Thank you for your friendship, and thank you for allowing me to learn from you... whose heart is as honest and true as I wish my human one could be... Without guile, you tell me your truth, and reveal your vulnerability....

Oh, noble little friend, I bow to you, and feel gratitude more than I can ever express.
Thank you for rescuing me.
I adore you.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

For the Birds



Sing, all you little birds!
Sing for joy,
Sing for Life,
For I have made a water bowl,
for water sweet, and water clear,
to wet your whistles, thirsty ones,
And worthy of your magic plume.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Colour Working

Colour, which is a reflection of light, has such a strong effect upon the world, that I wonder how many people actually make much conscious use of this beautiful tool for health and happiness. Making art with colour seems like such an obvious choice, but simply playing about with colour intuitively, can be very effective in helping people alter their mood, heal their body, or focus their mind.



 There are so many ways in which it may be employed to facilitate healing and restoration: engaging in chakra work, or draping the body with coloured fabric, or painting a room a certain hue... even foods influence how we feel, not just by their taste or smell, but we choose them by their colour...


Candle magic, ceremonial correspondences, symbolic use of colour... all these things are at our fingertips... if you simply focus on a particular colour with your mind, you will embody its effect... Is this "natural magic"?

Or is it "science"...  Are they really the same thing?  Does it actually matter? After all, it's just a trick of the light.....




Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sweet Memories & Mysteries


Almost first harvest time... of Lughnasadh... of the grain, and what feeds me.... and so, I turn to the garden once more for inspiration, to find that almost every square meter of garden I've made holds memories of people I have loved, and places I've lived. 


Much of my garden has travelled with me throughout my life, and without the familiar scents and textures, I feel a little lost... Cuttings and seeds, saved from my own precious crops, and plants generously given to me as gifts, or passed down through families and friends, tell the story of me to myself... So precious is my small collection, yet to someone else, they may simply be greenery...

For instance, this wild-looking Penstemon, comes from a handsome plant by my mother's front gate, that so cleverly shaded the roots of her elegant, formal hybrid tea roses... I remember her fondly, working away in her front garden, each time I walk past this delicate little treasure.


And this little rose, was originally propagated for me by my mother-in-law, a wise plantswoman, who taught me much about gardening. She loved this plant because it was a French rose her husband loved, and remembered it growing in his own mother's garden in Guernsey. When I moved to this place, my dear friend propagated a new rose from the one I'd been given. It had grown too large to be transplanted, & is rather rare. The same friend, gave me an elder tree, lovingly grown from a cutting taken from her farm, when she moved to the city... Now I have a small orchard of them, all grown from cuttings, and each one producing the frothy white flowers I love for midsummer champagne, which she says is as a Faerie's kiss... Ha! So on the story goes, my garden history merges with hers.... 
 Another friend, years ago, was given a root cutting of this excellent red rhubarb by her father... I was fortunate to be the recipient of another piece, when she was dividing her plot, and last winter, I passed on 5 more crowns from my own thriving clump to my son, who now has the delicious ruby jewels growing in his own little patch of Paradise....
So, as you can see, there is much history in my garden, and in the gardens of all gardeners who treasure plants because of their associations, as much as their usefulness.

In every garden plant, there is a story connecting it to someone's life.... it may reach back through history... it may have touched the heart of millions, or just one... Such is the mystery of gardens...