Summer Fennel Refresher

I don’t really drink soda. So when summer comes, I’m always looking for new beverages to peak my interest. I don’t have anything particularly against┬ásoda. It’s just that it’s so very…well, not real. So this summer, I had some extra fennel and opted to try something a little more real. The idea came to me when I cut off the stalk and realized there was a hole down the middle of it. “A straw!” I said. And a wonderful straw it was, indeed.

Also, if you are unfamiliar with fennel, it is the flavor of black licorice. Some call it anise, but it is not exactly anise, just very similarly flavored. This drink is reminiscent of root beer and ginger beer. The vanilla will add an element of cream soda. Since I love those flavors, it may come out a little strong or not sweet enough for you. Use more carbonated water and/or sugar, no harm done.

Summer Fennel Refresher

2 Medium-Large Stalks Fennel (just the green part)

1 T. Sugar

1 t. Molasses

1/4 t. Ground Ginger

12 oz. Chilled Carbonated Water

Optional:

1 t. Vanilla (I would use Vanilla Bean Paste)

1. Slice the smaller stalk of fennel very thin. Leave the larger stalk whole, cutting off each end until you can see the hole through the middle.

2. Muddle together fennel slices, sugar, molasses, ginger, and vanilla (if choosing to use) in a sturdy glass.

3. Pour carbonated water over the mixture and garnish with fennel straw. Use an extra fennel stalk with the fronds still on for more garnish, if you choose.

Happy refreshing!

Market Love

(Click title for photos to display properly)

I love a market. You know this already. I am an avid fan of supporting any and all local markets, whether a neighborhood Farmer’s Market or a local farm’s vegetable stand/garden store. This week was wonderful because it was full of markets of all sorts. I’ll keep this post simple. It is a blatant advertisement for you to go to your local markets. Here are a few photos to stimulate your senses.

Happy shopping!

Listen

Something about this song gets way down into my bones, like an anthem. I’m trying to keep my eyes fixed on the sun these days. Maybe you are, too. If you are, this song is dedicated to you.

 

Cage The Elephant – Shake Me Down

Shake me down,
Not a lot of people left around,
Who knows now,
Softly laying on the ground, ooooh
Not a lot people left around, ooooh. ooooh

In my life, I have seen,
People walk into the sea,
Just to find memories,
Plagued by constant misery,
Their eyes cast down,
Fixed upon the ground,
Their eyes cast down

I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the sun

Shake me down,
Cut my hair on a silver cloud,
Broken sound,
Softly laying on the ground, ooooh
Not a lot people left around, ooooh, ooooh

In my past, bittersweet,
There’s no love between the sheets,
Taste the blood, broken dreams,
Lonely times indeed,
With eyes cast down,
Fixed upon the ground,
Eyes cast down

I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the sun

Turn back now its time for me to let go,
Way down had to find a place to lay low,
Lampshade turned around into a light post

Walk around the corner,
Never saw it coming still,
I try to make a move,
It almost stopped me from belief,
I don’t wanna know the future,
But I’m like rolling thunder,

Even on a cloudy day,
Even on a cloudy day,
Even on a cloudy day,
Even on a cloudy day,
Even on a cloudy day,
Even on a cloudy day,
Even on a cloudy day,

I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the-
I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the-
I’ll keep my eyes fixed on the sun

Shake me down,
Not a lot of people left around, ooooh, ooooh

Happy listening!

The Herb Garden

Okay, so it’s not a garden. It’s a window box with options.

3 days ago I watched a documentary that I cannot stop talking about. No. I mean, really. My friends and family are probably ready for me to shut up about it. But, tough luck.

The film Ingredients inspired me to a level that I haven’t been inspired in a while. There are things I have been interested in and have even been a natural part of my growing up process, but I have never considered them to be a “life path”. These things I would be speaking of are in the general “gardening, eating local, farmer’s market” genre. If you can’t tell that I’m that sort by the way this blog is shaping up, well…I don’t know what to tell you.

ANYWAY, Ingredients was all about farming and the local community. It was about teaching kids to garden and eat the vegetables they’ve grown. It was about our health and well-being as individuals and as a society. It was about a new way of living that is, in fact, a very old way of living. It was about the way things SHOULD be done and what some very fantastic (albeit few and far between) people are doing about it.

There are so many things I could say about the particulars of how it inspired me, but I think the post would go on far too long to keep your attention. Let’s say the inspiration went from a very large, hopeful, thought-provoked pile of long-term ideas all the way down to right now, today, this minute. And what I could do with today.

What I did with “today” was plant an herb garden. I have grown a few herbs in the past, but I didn’t really know what I should be growing and what I would actually use. I didn’t know the best way to take care of them. Then I moved. I started over with Basil and Cilantro but my Cilantro didn’t do so well. Now that my Basil has turned into a lovely and hearty plant, I thought it an appropriate time to start afresh.

Here’s my picture book:

After a little hesitation, I decided to add my Basil in with the bunch. I was afraid of crowding them. However, it worked out well because I had barely enough soil, even with the Basil. I will also be moving again soon, so having them all in one container makes for easier transportation.

Herbs are so inexpensive and great for adding a little bit of organic flavor to anything you are whipping up in the kitchen. Go buy some and let that green thumb of yours have a little fun!

Happy planting!

Listen

No matter where and what you choose to create with your energy, I notice there are two kinds of people. There are Music Listeners and Music Forgetters. Music Listeners don’t do anything without a steady stream of tunes within earshot. Music Forgetters, however, get moving in a direction and then suddenly it dawns on them that they are without any kind of listening stimulation. This is where I fall. I would guess that you would be hard pressed to find anyone who does not at least remotely like music. So, it is not that we, the Music Forgetters of the world, dislike music. It is usually much more complicated. Usually we have so much information or so many thoughts going on that, truthfully, we don’t notice the lack of music until we have slowed down a bit. This is not a bad thing.

No matter where you find yourself, I would encourage you to switch it up while you are creating. If you listen to music instinctively, take time to be quiet and let whatever comes to the surface guide you. And if you tend to forget the music, turn it up intentionally. Maybe you’ll find it frees your mind a little bit to get lost in the music instead of your thoughts.

I just stumbled upon this song today thanks to She Blogs About Music:

Happy listening!