Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Just Peachy


I love it when virtues collide and something good also happens to be good for me. Writing, for example, is one of those good things. When I don’t write, I feel anxious, depressed, often frustrated. Things bottle up with nowhere to go. But when I do write, my planets align in happy harmony. My life seems easier, my outlook more sunny. Over the years, I’ve discovered that even when the writing goes badly, it’s better than not writing at all.

Besides the writing, I’ve been investing time in improving our diets. Just like with writing, I’m amazed at how much general benevolence comes from this act of eating good, wholesome foods. After a painless transition, we’ve officially converted to a diet of lean meats, whole grains and fresh produce. Just the act of cooking virtuously seems to please my palate.

One of my favorites creations has been fresh peach oatmeal. I’ll share the recipe today. It’s microwavable and comes together in minutes. Best yet, it tastes heavenly, like a big bowl of summer sunshine.

Fresh Peach Oatmeal

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1-1/4 cups water
pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (I use Vietnamese)
1 ripe peach, cut into 1/2” cubes*
1 tsp. peach or apricot spreadable fruit preserves
Drizzle maple syrup

Place oatmeal in a 4 cup microwavable bowl or measuring cup. Add water and salt. Microwave, uncovered, until oatmeal reaches desired consistency. (It takes 3 minutes in my microwave.)

Stir in cinnamon, peach, and preserves. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Makes 1 very generous serving.

* This is also excellent with diced strawberries and strawberry spreadable fruit.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Season to Grow

It's been a wonderful spring here, fecund and fruitful. Jamieson's Folly commences, slowly but surely. Preschool is done; I now have a mini-me to help dig in the garden. Our little corner of the world blooms with late spring splendor. The rhubarb begs to be picked. Seedlings have emerged from the sleeping soil in Andy's vegetable garden. Our raspberry bushes are crusted with tiny green berries.

Even the flower beds look particularly lush. Thanks to a gentle winter, all my perennials have returned. This is my purple and yellow season in the beds. It's been a long haul, getting these beds to this point. We started eight years ago with no real clue what we were doing. We've killed a lot of innocent plants on the way. But things have settled in and sent out roots and showers of seeds. Even my woodland bed looks happy for the very first time.

The process encourages me. What started out tentative has become something wonderful, a place to reflect, to be quiet, to be together. Our daughter has come to love gardening. Our happiest weekends are spent digging in our gardens, ferreting out weeds, pruning back shrubs, removing spent flowers. I'm hopeful the results here will be mirrored in my results with Jamieson's Folly, that what is worthwhile will thrive, that I'll know what to plant where and what to snip off.