Making chappy

Just made a great new salve. The philosophy for this one is very waxy to seal and protect for winter. i collected the pinion pine sap. A friend made some comfrey extract olive oil for me.

I like to try something new each time. No recipe, just figure out a good ratio between the basic oil vs wax mix. Then I just test it. By the end I’m really moisturized and shiny!

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Grating the beeswax is the worst!

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I save containers all year. Friends donate them or return them from last year for a refill.

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Here’s this years ingredient list.

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Put it in a pot and melt on low heat.

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Then test it and adjust the oil or wax.

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Pour into clean containers.

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This is my favorite chappy yet. Strong pinion, with notes of orange and cedar!

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First big snow of the season

Yesterday on the urban trail we had we nicest cross country ski with the snow still falling. Gathered up some mountain winter magic!

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Tonight a friend had a winter gathering and made this flaming punch. Supposedly it’s a Charles Dickens recipe by way of esquire magazine. I know there’s everclear and rum and lemon juice and i imagine sugar but I didn’t get the recipe. I stuck to the apple cider, but it sure was pretty.

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First big snow of the season

Yesterday on the urban trail we had we nicest cross country ski with the snow still falling. Gathered up some mountain winter magic!

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Tonight a friend had a winter gathering and made this flaming punch. Supposedly it’s a Charles Dickens recipe by way of esquire magazine. I know there’s everclear and rum and lemon juice and i imagine sugar but I didn’t get the recipe. I stuck to the apple cider, but it sure was pretty.

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Shandies

We made these shandies for a summer dinner party with friends. Learn more than you care to know about shandies here

These shandies have blonde wheat beer, orange soda and vodka.

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¡Papas!

This year we grew various potatoes. The pink and the purple were the most beautiful. The color equals more nutrients. Thank goodness that people in the seed saving world are keeping the incredible diversity of potatoes alive and accessible to gardeners!

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Superstition wilderness thanksgiving honeymoon

Here are some photos of our trip to the superstition mountains east of Phoenix. The saguaro were out of this world!! And the cholla! This is my second trip in the western lower elevation part of this wilderness area and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the amount of water. I didn’t get any photos of a pretty gigantic-bouldery box canyon because I got a little activated with some technical spots and the light getting low. We were able to get really remote pretty quickly even though the peralta trailhead that we took to link to our loop is very busy with day hikers. Seems we saw bear poo and fur. I kept hoping that it was a coatimundi or an ocelot, but that’s smaller poo.

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Aphrodisiac herb and spice liquor

I have the best friends! Just broke out this beautiful gift from a blossom buddy. This sweet spiced and herbed brandy is the perfect partner to a dark winter new moon walk. Lets all make some for ourselves!! I wish a little of this came out of the spring in oak creek!

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Chocolate banana panini

This type of dessert sandwich is ‘all the rage’ on the internets. It must be because its a pretty good idea. The panini first draft is nine grain sourdough bread, ripe bananas, a few drops of lemon juice for brightness, mini chocolate chips and walnuts with earth balance buttery spread on the outside. Then cook it in the George Foreman grill. Pretty yummy. I’ll have to keep experimenting with this formula!

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Nightshade romance

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I got married this summer which was super fun. We had a potluck and played kickball. Feelin’ pretty sappy about it today!

10 years ago my sweetheart made me an unanticipated breakfast. There was hardly a thing in the house so we each had a microwaved potato with cumin and tomato paste.

For this inspired dish pictured above I popped the whole cumin seed in oil. Then I added cubed red potatoes that I previously soaked in some salt water so they would be less gummy. Cooked them until they browned some and were tender. Then I added cherry tomatoes we grew in the garden and some baby chard and spinach. A little garlic powder and salt, and the ‘first meal’ is reinvented.

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Planting in the hoop house

Today we finished cleaning up the hoop house from a summer and fall as a tomato bed. We planted peas, dinosaur and red winter kale, bok choy, tat soi, purple orach, chard, radicchio, cilantro and purslane.

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We have tiny volunteer tomato plants all over! Some of them made it through the clean up today. We’ll see how far they get…

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