Archive for May, 2007

Chocolate and Cherries under a Chandelier of Stars

May 29th, 2007

Chocolate and Cherries under a Chandelier of Stars

If you have been reading my blog then you may have already noticed a trend, that I am a huge fan of quick and easy techniques that make “Living the Good Life,” simple and easily attainable. There are many reasons for this, but for the most part it is merely a reflection of how I live. Life is busy, it gets hectic, sometimes chaotic, and like the average person, the list of what I would like to do and what I will actually will get around to doing might as well exist in two entirely different lifetimes. Still, I don’t like the idea of life passing me by without being fully immersed in its beauty, depth, and complicity either…

For that reason, I am adding a new category to Ceres’ Secrets called “Simple Pleasures.” If you only have a moment and are searching for a way to indulge in something decadent with the most minimal amount of complication, stress, and active involvement time, then this is the place to look. The posts that reside here will offer effortless solutions for making those never ending “Every Days” seem a bit more special. It is my greatest wish that you will find something manageable among them that will help you savor the quiet unhurried moments in life that often slip by unannounced while awaiting the grand ones.

With that thought in mind, it only seems fitting that I should share one of our favorite simple pleasures first, Read more…

Simple Pleasures ,

Get Well Soup

May 25th, 2007

Get Well Soup

This soup has long ago earned a permanent place in my heart. When I am not too busy, I like to begin each season with a personal ritual of making a big batch of it to store in the freezer. We do not get sick very often, but I find it is like pure liquid gold the few times that we do. I often bring large containers of it to family and friends during cold and flu season or after a hospital stay and it has Read more…

Ceres' Recipe Box ,

Food Stamp Challenge and Hospital Food

May 24th, 2007

Hospital Food On A Food Stamp Budget

I deeply apologize for seeming to have fallen off the face of the Earth. Last Thursday, about an hour after my last post, I had to rush my husband to the Emergency Room of our local hospital where we were told that his appendix had just ruptured. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and scheduled for surgery first thing Friday morning. Tears rolled down my cheeks while I flagged down nurses that night as my husband’s hands took on a yellow hue and his fever began to rise. When his temperature soared to 105 Degrees later that night Read more…

Food Stamp Challenge

The Food Stamp Diet

May 17th, 2007

Ramen Noodles Compliments Of My Brother’s Bachelor Pad

With all of the talk about The Food Stamp Challenge, issued by The Oregon Food Bank and taken up by Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski, this past April, I just can not help but, wonder about the impact that living on $3 a day, makes on the 25 million American families that are being fed on that amount. Check out My Fitness Hub for more accessories that may help your diet.

For those who may not know, $3 is the National average received by the many families currently relying on food stamps to feed their families. According to Toledo’s news station, ABC Channel 13, Ohio’s Food Stamp usage has increased by 71% in the past 6 years, 1.1 million Ohioans are currently receiving food stamps and it is estimated that 500,000 more may be eligible for the program, but have not applied. These startling numbers may be partly due to the fact that the usage of debit cards has reduced the stigma involved in using food stamps, but it is also offers a glimpse of our local economy. “A majority of these families are working families, and I think the public really needs to hear that,” said Laura Holton, community services director of the Fairfield County JFS. “Our unemployment rate might not be that bad, but the wages just aren’t enough.”

As I consider the various circumstances that may have led a family to applying for food stamps and the many children who have no choice, but to be fed on that amount, Read more…

Food Stamp Challenge

Vichyssoise with Chive Blossoms

May 15th, 2007

Vichyssoise with Chive Blossoms

I have a great affinity for just about anything that you can eat from a bowl. During the Winter we tend to live on hearty hot soups and stews finding comfort and warmth in the bottom of our pottery bowls. As the days grow longer and Spring unfurls into Summer, soups are very much still in our repertoire, but they are aways cool, light, colorful, and refreshing. Unlike their winter counterparts that often simmer or braise for hours, these fresher soups are simple to prepare and require very little active time in a hot kitchen. I have a collection of them that I rely on during those warmer months, but this one is probably one of my favorites. Read more…

Ceres' Recipe Box ,

Homemade Lemonade and Wild Violet Ice Cubes

May 13th, 2007

Homemade Lemonade with Violet Ice Cubes

Now that it is Spring, I find that I just can not seem to get enough time outside. My first cup of coffee is sipped in the garden before the morning dew has even had the time to evaporate. Lazy afternoons are spent under a tall shady tree with an ice cold glass of homemade lemonade. If I am lucky, my evenings are spent unwinding on the patio with a glass of wine, my journal, and a book or two as my toes wiggle their way into the cool green grass. My winter’s hibernation, of long naps, heavy reading, endless internet surfing, late nights watching foreign films, occasional crafting, and attempts to master new culinary techniques have, by this time, long been forgotten…

It is during this long awaited season that I find myself gravitating towards Read more…

Ceres' Recipe Box, Simple Pleasures ,

Opening Day at Miller’s Farm Market

May 9th, 2007

Miller’s Farm Market

The grass may be emerald green and dotted with dandelions and violets, tulips may dance in the breeze under a bright blue sky full of billowy clouds, and the humming birds and bees may be buzzing in my garden, but nothing marks the true arrival of Spring for me quite like the opening day of the local farm stands and markets.

Living in Central Ohio, we are very lucky to have easy access to some of the best local and organic foods in the country. You do not have to go far off the beaten path before you will find your self driving down serene country roads scattered with both small and large farms. In front of many of them you will see hand painted signs advertising Fresh Eggs, Maple Syrup, and Honey. By Mid-Summer you may even find a small little table on the side of the road, placed under a tall shady tree, set upon it is most often a colorful bumper crop of home grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers sold entirely on the honor system. Something about putting your money in the jar, and selecting what you need while a tractor whirs in a nearby field is an experience all in it’s own and one not to be missed.

In the months ahead I will be taking my camera and exploring many of the local farm stands and markets surrounding the Metro-Columbus area. Sharing my findings in Ceres’ Secrets is already something I am very excited about and it seems fitting to start by sharing my favorite one first…

For the past three years, I have been very lucky to have had the luxury of traveling Read more…

Eating Local in Ohio , ,

Mint-Juleped Fruit Salad

May 6th, 2007

Mint-Juleped Fruit Salad

Yesterday, during The Kentucky Derby, we sipped on Mint Juleps and cheered for our horses. Today we woke up to left over Mint Julep Syrup, a few handfuls of fresh mint, a tiny bit of bourbon, and a bowl full of perfectly ripened fruit. Together they made the very best “Day After The Derby Breakfast.

The recipe is simple…
Fresh sliced fruit, a drizzle of Mint Julep Syrup, and a splash of bourbon tossed gently in a bowl.
Plate and serve with fresh mint leaves.

Of course, you may always chase this down with another Mint Julep…

Ceres' Recipe Box, Simple Pleasures ,

Tastes like Watermelon?

May 1st, 2007

Dryad’s Sadle (Polyporus squamosus)

I did not move to Ohio for the weather… So, with big dreams of finding the “Spendy” and well sought after Morchellas more widely known as Morel Mushrooms, in our local forests this past weekend, my husband and I went “Shrooming.” Under an azure sunny sky, we tromped through miles of damp and marshy woods avoiding poison ivy, and walking through spider webs all while dreaming of toasting our foraged finds with a rich full bodied red wine and a dinner of Morel Madeira Crostini under the stars later that night. When it comes to wine accessories, the wine opener is just the tip of the iceberg. Ummm… ROOKIES!!

By mid afternoon, we were VERY FRUSTRATED and beginning to wonder if Read more…

Day Trips ,