Weekend Coffee Share – Back To Work, Gratitude And Harvest Joy

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! There is regular hot coffee in the French press (very strong,) ice tea and ice coffee. What would you like?

I’m going to have some ice tea, I’ve already had my share of coffee for the day. It’s early Saturday evening in Sweden, we are nine hours ahead of Pacific time. How is your week? I went back to work this week, after a seven week long staycation. It has been a great first week at work. I got everything done that I intended to get done before the kids are back. That feels really good.

It’s been a warm week with highs in the low 80’s, and cool nights in the upper 30’s-low 40’s. Everything is growing. I harvest things in the garden every week, and fill up my freezer, and then I re-organise my freezer to fit some more goodies in 🙂 That also feels really good. Every little step towards self sufficiency counts. To me that is empowering. 

This morning I was thinning out my Chinese radishes. A Chinese radish is a giant green radish that is bright pink on the inside. I usually plant a lot of them and thin them out as they grow. By late fall/early winter there is one or two GIANTS left. They still taste delicious after the first frost. I use the leaves that I take away when I thin them out, their deliciousness is a big reason why I plant so many. Did you know that the leaves contains more nutrients than the radishes themselves? They do, and they grow fast! I wash the greens in water, cut them in the size I prefer, and parboil the leaves I am not going to use right away, with a little bit of salt 1-2 minutes. After they cooled down I freeze them in flat little packages. I freeze them in the perfect size I would use to add extra flavour and goodness to one big soup, or stew. (Exactly the way I did with the Swiss chard a couple weeks ago.)

Health Benefits Of Radish Leaves

  • 1. More Essential Vitamins And Minerals
  • 2. High In Dietary Fibers
  • 3. Increases Immunity And Reduces Fatigue
  • 4. Diuretic
  • 5. Antiscorbutic
  • 6. Treats Piles
  • 7. Treat Jaundice
  • 8. Rheumatism
  • 9. Helps Prevent Diabetes
  • 10. Detoxifying Agent          – stylecraze.com

I harvest celery greens weekly, and freeze them in a similar fashion, but without parboiling them.  Among other nutrients celery leaves contains; Calcium, Vitamin E, and Iodine.

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I’ve harvested zucchini for several weeks now, they keep coming, and show no signs of stopping for a long time (unless it gets really cold of course.) I cook and bake with them in many different ways, but my favourite way of preserving them at the moment is to sauté 1-2 zucchinis in olive oil, with 1 garlic, not one garlic clove, but one whole garlic! I add a little bit of a homemade salt with herbs in, that a young student and his mom made for me. There are many little packages of zucchini in my freezer. These are perfect to put in an omelette, a soup, stew, or pasta salad.

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I have not harvested any bell-pepper yet, I’m waiting for them to get bigger. We are expecting a warm week, so maybe soon 🙂

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For several weeks now I’ve been enjoying a mix of red currants, chia seed, and oats with cinnamon for breakfast. I’ve also baked bread with red currants in, yum yum. I picked the red currants at a neighbours place a few weeks ago. They are still in season. Yesterday when my daughter, and I were walking on our street, on our way home another neighbour was outside working. I always smile and say “Hej!” when I see this older gentleman and his wife. Yesterday he stopped me and asked if I was interested in some red currants. I said that I was, and he told me that they had one red currant bush that no-one was interested in picking, and that I could help myself to it if I wanted. There is a lot of berries on one bush! The weather is going to be a little cooler tomorrow 75F, and I am planning on picking the red currants then. I am so grateful! I feel like I am surrounded by kindness everywhere. I have never talked to this neighbour before, other than saying “Hej!” Now I am likely going to be able to enjoy my super breakfast all winter.

Red currants are packed with nutrients that are particularly beneficial for skin. Red currants in particular are rich in B vitamins and Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that fights and even reverses free radical damage in skin cells. pamperbynature.com.au

I have a long list of perennials I am going to plant once I purchase my own property (I am renting now,) both red and black currants are on that list….and once again, I’ve been talking so much! How are things in your corner of the world? Are you back from vacation? Staycation? Enjoying summer? Grab a refill on your coffee, or tea, and tell me in a comment! If you have a coffee share I’ll try to visit sometime tomorrow (my time.)

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share – Staycation Week 7

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! There is regular hot coffee in the French press (very strong,) ice tea and ice coffee. What would you like?

I can not believe we are already in August! This is my last week at home. On Monday I’m going back to work. I’ve had a wonderful relaxing summer, and I have a plan for the fall semester. My plan for the new semester have slowly developed in my head over the summer. I have tried my very best to not think of work during my vacation, but in the back of my head new ideas were born. I’m going to spend the first week getting them down on paper (or rather into the school’s software system,) something I stop myself from doing during my vacation. So enough about work. I’m ready! 

I have spent a little time the past two weeks going through my daughter’s and my own clothes. Not very time-consuming since we are minimalists. I did pack one bag of clothes that we have not used lately and gave it to someone who would have use for them. I also ordered some new items we would need going back to school and work. This wasn’t a very hard task but it feels good to be organised. After all the big changes in my daughter’s life (read:moving to a new country) I’ve noticed that she has a need to be prepared mentally for everything we do. It makes life a lot easier for her. Seeing her closet organised, knowing what she is going to wear on school days, and having her room arranged in an inviting way affects her mood tremendously. 

After her being ill earlier this summer I’ve put an extra effort into getting both of us in better shape by taking long walks in the forest, snatching some blueberries and raspberries from the bushes as we go, nature is overflowing with goodness right now.

We also walk to the lake every day. On top of that my daughter got a mountainbike from her bonus grandma for her birthday, but she does not show any interest in riding it, yet.. She’ve had several bikes in her life, but never showed much interest in riding them, I have used every trick up my sleeve to make her interested, without success. I’m not giving up! I hope it turns around eventually, since I know she would enjoy the freedom she would get, once she understands it. We live in a safe place where she could ride with her friends to many fun places without me, and of course we could go riding together as often as she wants as well. 

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Speaking of her birthday last weekend, she had a great time playing with her best friend, just like she imagined (she only wanted to invite one girl.) We made the house festive before her friend arrived, and we all had partyhats.

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My daughter decided that she wanted to make the cake herself, and I did not get to help, other than verbally answer some questions she had. I think it turned out great! 

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Garden wise I’ve harvested peas, zucchini, celery, basil, oregano, strawberries, raspberries, red currants, black currants and tons of Swiss chard this week. Tomatoes, bell pepper, and Lima beans are well on their way, but still have a little ways to go. I harvested the currants and chard on a neighbours property. They’ve always had a big garden, but now when they are older they cannot take care of it themselves. Their daughter helps them, and they are generous to let us join the harvest party. It’s the same place where we picked rhubarbs earlier this summer. I am so grateful. I spent a lot of time taking care of the chard I harvested this week. 

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Ripe white strawberries smells incredibly sweet, and the berries are so sweet and juicy.

I also read a very interesting book this week, about how to eat from your garden by the season, year round. It’s written by a Swedish gardener and is full of traditional, and new recipes, ideas, little anecdotes from her life, and fantastic images from her year round garden. Very inspiring! Can I get you a refill on that coffee?

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Kombucha fermenting in a dark corner of my kitchen.

Do you like kombucha? I love kombucha. The drink have been around for thousands of years, is rich in probiotics, contains antioxidants, it’s also said to kill harmful bacteria and help fight a number of diseases – like if the delicious taste alone wasn’t enough. I haven’t made kombucha in a very long time, and decided to start some this week. If you don’t know what kombucha is, it’s a fermented tea, a sparkling drink that you enjoy cold. It can be alcoholic, but doesn’t have to be. It is not sugary, the sugar you add is eaten up during the fermentation. You can flavour your drink with your favourite flavour, it can be fruity, savoury, salty, sweet, or have an herbal taste. Different types of fruit, berries, and honey are common flavours, so are ginger and cinnamon. You add the flavour a couple weeks into the process, and I have yet to decide what flavour I’m going to make this time. If there is an interest I can make a post about how to make kombucha, let me know 🙂

Your turn! How is your week? I’d love to hear all about it, please tell me in a comment!

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share – Birthdays & Single Parenting

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)! Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! There is regular hot coffee in the French press (very strong,) ice tea and ice coffee. What would you like?

I’m feeling a little emotional, it’s my daughter’s birthday today. The best day of the year! I can’t believe she’s already eight years old. She’s sleeping right now (it’s only 7am,) and everything is prepared for a fabulous day, so I have a moment to catch up with you. 

I’ve spent a few minutes this morning thinking about her life, and all the places we’ve experienced together. We spent her first birthday in Reno by the Truckee River, after almost completing a cross-country trip (we started, and ended the trip in northern California, and Reno is just on the border.)

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1st Birthday by Truckee River, Reno (NV.)

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Her second birthday was spent at a ranch we leased in Cottonwood (CA.)

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When she turned three I worked at a ranch in Yerington (NV,) and we spent her birthday there.

When she turned four and five, we lived in California again.

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4th Birthday, Cottonwood (CA)

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5th Birthday, Carmel-by-the-Sea (CA.)

She spent her 6th birthday with her dad in Las Vegas, the only one she wasn’t with me.

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7th Birthday, Las Vegas (NV)

I moved to Las Vegas a couple weeks after her 6th birthday, and we celebrated her last birthday, her 7th birthday in the house my daughter and I lived in there. ..and now we are in Sweden. I believe she’s had a good, rich life. I also know that she have more stability, and security now. I’d like to think that our adventures aren’t over, they have just changed, like life itself is constantly changing. I have lived by my belief that time and experiences together is more valuable than money, and material things. Being a parent is the greatest blessing, and also the greatest challenge. I feel that I am doing my best all the time, but I still never know if it’s good enough, but I do know its all I can do. I guess that is what parenting is. Sorry for talking so much today, I am feeling emotional 🙂 How is your week? Can I give you a refill on your coffee while you tell me about it? 

Love,

Maria 

PS. In case you missed it, we visited a wonderful nature preserve area earlier this week foraging for cloudberries.