I recently won Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold from Mymcbook’s blog giveaway. I am truly excited about this as it is 1.) aviation, 2.) gold, 3.) a female, and 4.) a red-head. WOOOhoooo!

This makes me want to learn more about how to do giveaways. Not that I could determine what was relevant to the miss-mash here … SO much fun!

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Share your moment here and look for others at SouleMama.

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So the thing about new ferments/cultures is this … most of the time they are awesome but sometimes they suck.

 

Villi yogurt – awesome. Easy. Requires little thought. Tangy. Perfect. When it’s cold.

Milk Kefir – whoa. Not sure how to strain those grains yet, but the stuff is good. Feel free to tell me how to strain the grains without having my hands all in it. Delicious when cold. Excellent quickie smoothies. Cold.

Fermented Cranberry Sauce –  A hit on the extended family Thanksgiving table. My pickier-than-usual-adult Father-In-Law liked it. Seemingly a lot. I’d say it passed. Best room temperature.

Desem Sourdough Starter – just getting going, may be able to make bread by the end of the week. It prefers to sit on the mantle, nice and cozy.

True Pickled Eggs – SUCK. Now, in all fairness, I followed the video example of how to boil eggs in the link and I think this was the issue. I should have boiled them as I always do – one minute hard boiled, cut heat, cover pan, let sit for 15 minutes. Because these eggs SUCKED. I vomited after eating them. The yolks were barely set and saturated with salt. Nasty. So I take full responsibility for the fail. My first ferment fail. It happens to everyone. Right?

 

(Please do not forget to tell me how to separate the grains from the milk kefir without digging with my fingers.)

Funny how posts that seem “fluffy” to me sometimes get some not-so-fluffy play.

 

Apparently there are folks from many walks that feel quite offended that my family enjoys Hanukkah and Christmas. And the mention of Samhain. Whoa. People of the World … relax.

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What is my faith? Mine. I believe in God and His Son, Christ Jesus. I have faith in Him as my Redeemer. Is it mysticism as assumed by one clever reader with an excellent, vocabulary. If it is mysticism, it is my mysticism.

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And if it is mysticism, I will add the faith and trust in my Husband to provide for our family into the mysticism column. And my faith and trust in my friends to hold my confidences into the mysticism column. And my faith and trust in the producers of the foods and supplies my family uses. And my faith and trust in the chair holding my tired legs into the mysticism column. Oh, wait. The last one was pure physics. The others are blind faith and unyielding trust, however.

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Whatever my faith is, it is mine. These children are here with us for this brief time. Will they be influenced by my faith? I cannot imagine how they could not be. As within any family. Am I confusing them with our learning about Nature and history and faith? No more than I am confusing them when I encourage them to eat fresh foods then serve them buttered pasta for dinner. (To my credit, the pasta was whole wheat, the pizza seasoning on it organic, and the parmesan fresh and local. Or was it? There goes my faith and trust [in the products I purchase] again.) Nor as confusing as when I expect them to hold their portion and then cave regardless of portions held. Kids are wise.

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They are kids. Why can’t they simply enjoy light? Why can they not simply enjoy light in this season of darkening days? Why can’t they simply celebrate light as the days lengthen and we begin to prepare for our outside time? Who cares if their joy is simply striking the match and watching the wick catch fire and then coating their fingertips in the warm wax? Who cares? I don’t.

 

I have faith that they are designed and made for their Nature of curiosity and learning in their own ways and in their own times.

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I have faith and trust in myself and in my Husband and in our children that this Advent we will enjoy and grow in our own faiths, in our own ways and in our own times by seeking light inside, outside, within. For me, the light is Christ. The light is God’s Nature. The light is a beautiful rhythm of life and death and light and darkness. The moment of living in the joy with light and the finding light within death and darkness. A constant circle. That is my faith.

The past few days I have been ridiculously productive. This is no good. I am confident I am setting myself up to feel like a  failure when I do nothing. Probably today. No. Wait. Today starts Hanukkah! There is surely some crafting to do. Here are some of the ideas I have gleaned. And this is my favorite take on a menorah EVER. We’ll probably use leftover glass rather than buy anything. I don’t think God cares. I think He is joyful.

 

And there went my feeling of failing … I don’t know that experimenting with floating wick prototypes qualifies as doing nothing.

 

No. We’re not Jewish. We’re not pagan, either, but the children have celebrated Samhain before. And we’ll probably enjoy Muharram towards its end. I think it is fun and we learn. All of us. And not always things we wish to know. Knowledge, no less.

 

As for the fermented cranberry sauce? I will open it for a taste this afternoon. It *looks* like it “worked.” Monday, I started a gift for my Husband: true pickled eggs. They’re still sitting in the dark. The ones I made for him last year…eh.

 

The Villi yogurt has made a full quart. Eh. Not so crazy about the taste. But perhaps as the tang develops in the starter. In the meantime, I have a batch in the crockpot right now.

I like my milk like I like my tea – cultured.

 

This week I introduced a new ferment to our collection – milk kefir. I also started a new-to-me ferment of  Villi Yogurt and a new-to-me Desem Sourdough sponge. All were purchased from Cultures for Health. I add these to my ongoing attempts at Living Foods which includes kombucha , of which I have now proclaimed myself a master.

And the day after the fresh starts… guess what I receive from a darling friend? This recipe for Fermented Cranberry Sauce. Yes! I did get cranberries for this recipe and YES I will begin the ferment today. Right after I drain my yogurt for its whey… Of course, I don’t use the canned stuff that Thug Kitchen warns against. (Read that post. It is freaking hi-larious!)

 

And, oh yeah. I also read Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation. (Be cool. Buy it from the publisher, won’t ya?) Watch out dear family. Kraut and kimchi are next on the list. And I may even start miso.

 

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Sunday is a day of rest that does not often seem restful. We could truly do nothing but rest today and we may only rest. Or we may plan and dream a bit, too.

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{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Share your moment here and look for others at SouleMama.

moving toward another trip around the Sun

Sawyer is 9. Nine. Last single digit. I am grateful to be his Mama.

In need of a brief and slow and deep breath of the woods, the younger children and I ventured to the best groomed trail – the racetrack in the woods. We brought back treasures to add to past gathered goodies and resurrected my need of a deep breath of Light. We made a usually-too-stacked-and-packed magazine table into our Nature table. I am grateful.

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National monuments/parks/things/spaces are owned by the nation. We are the nation. Go enjoy them! You do not need permission to enjoy what is yours.