Blog Archives

little victories

i just got back from a 2-mile walk. i realize that may not sound terribly impressive, but to me, it’s a fairly big deal. in my life, i want to be more active. i want to be fit and healthy. i want to live a long life with my awesome spousal unit. depression gets in the way. A LOT!

in therapy yesterday, we danced around the ideas of: 1. giving myself permission { whether it’s permission to practice self-care OR permission to be as i am, in that moment, without judgement } and 2. to celebrate/revel in/ be proud of little victories { REALLY DIFFICULT CONCEPTS FOR ME}

the universe must really want me to take those lessons to heart, because not only did i share { in solidarity } this with a co-worker, but one of my “regular sites” featured this post on how “tracking positivity” can help with depression.  so here i am, celebrating my little victory with the universe.

an amazing mentor { and friend  AND founder of The Women’s Intelligence Project } shared an enlightening piece Centering Wellness: Reimagining Justice, Care and Change Making Professions. the author, jardana peacock,  is speaking specifically about fields of work when she stares:

“we must see our work as trauma work.

We often experience that trauma as overwhelm, anxiety and stress. Compound that with personal trauma(s) and we are headed toward breakdown and burnout.

Without an emphasis on wellness, folks will continue to suffer exponentially from burnout, anxiety, and spiritual malaise….

The truth is trauma never goes away. Trauma will always exist in our world and in our bodies. Self-care/Community-care, wellness and spiritual practices will, however, provide a container of healing.”

this is what i am attempting to do: practice self-care. i want to heal.

The grange watercolor female profile

adventures in culinary exploits! { pickled asparagus }

in the past, i have dabbled in preserving my own foods. { think jams, pickles, fruit butters } there are many reasons why people “put up” food, but here are mine:

1. when i was young { under 10 } my family had a lovely backyard garden. mom had her flowers: petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, etc. but what i remember most was the pure joy of grabbing veggies so-fresh-they-still-had-dirt-on-them and shoving them into my mouth. we grew carrots, beets, green beans, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, spinach…one year we even tried corn { failed experiment }. and every year, mom would pressure-can- half from the garden and half fruits from the farmer’s markets. when we moved to the suburbs, gardening went by the wayside, much to my dismay. now that i’m “grown up”, i’m inspired by what my mom used to do.

2. it’s creative/ creation. there is something immensely satisfying to  me in preparing and canning my own foods. from picking what to make, to how to best preserve it, to what spices/flavours to incorporate. past examples are things like nutmeg & clove-spiced persimmon/pear jam. or lavender earl-grey peach butter. or juniper & rice-wine pickled turnips.

3. the awesomeness of knowing that i get to eat locally brought, sustainable, seasonal fruits and veggies all year round! over the years, i have become a firm believer in eating seasonal, sustainable, locally-produced foods. this means that seasonal delights, such as asparagus { which in reality, only has about a month-long harvest in the early spring. the stuff at the grocers is being shipped from far-flung places all over the world, which i’m personally not down with. } or stone fruit, or strawberries can still be savoured well-past their “due dates” as jams, jellies, pickles, etc.

and i’m sure i have many more if i thought hard enough about it. but, let’s get to the heart of the post, today’s “putting up”: BRINE-PICKLED ASPARAGUS!!!!

IMAG0263  here we have the spousal-unit chopping the asparagus { don’t worry, i had already washed it thoroughly to get out all of the sand } we had bought at the   sunday farmer’s market. you can clearly see our very technical method of making sure the spears will fit in the jar, a.k.a. we measured one, then cut the rest to match. we are sooooooo savvy.

IMAG0264 while the chopping was a-happenin’, the pint sized mason jar and lid were on to boil. it’s super important when “putting up” food of any kind that your jars are clean and sanitized, as to prevent the possibility of bad bacteria forming { say, like botulism }. the easiest way is to completely submerge the elements in which you’ll be preserving the food into boiling water for at least 10 minutes.

IMAG0265the final product! once the jar was sterilized, the asparagus spears were packed in to the jar. the hot brine which consisted of 1/3 distilled white vinegar with the remainder of acid used { rice vinegar } for a total of 3/4 cup vinegar, 1/4  cup water, 1 1/4 tsp salt, about a 1/4 tsp green peppercorns,  1/4 tsp coriander, and 6 large burmese tea leaves, was poured over the spears, and we lidded it all.  then, to create a final seal, the packed & lidded jar goes back into boiling water for 10 more minutes to make a vacuum seal.