Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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Welcome to the coffee party. I am glad you have the time to drop in for a cup of coffee, tea, or good cheer. If we were having coffee today I would invite you to stay for a while to tell me what is up in your life. We have a very festive table set for your visit today. I just whipped up some cranberry rhubarb sauce, and am sipping on my new favorite tea, roiboos lemon cloud. In the back yard I am grilling up eggplants and a very large batch of green chiles I picked up at the produce bonanza this morning. The selection this week ( We get 60 pounds of produce for $10) was small, but the quality very high. Nothing says Christmas in Tucson like perfect green chile, so I filled the box to the brim. We brought home watermelons, green peppers and eggplant too. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to use/ and or give away all the fresh vegetables before they rot. There will be sour cream enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and some chilaquiles later today. Stick around if you like Mexican food. I made great tomatillo/jalapeño salsa last week that is outstanding. We like it spicy around here.
If you are not fond of Mexican food we have great leftovers from an impromptu party we threw this week. I made an English Christmas Pudding, which created discussion, which in turn lead to a weeknight party with great old friends. One of our guests lives close enough to walk over, and has vast experience with pudding like this. His family has a traditional holiday pudding called a puzzle pudding, which they inherited from their ancestors in Wales. I made one with apples and rum raisins, and served it with great quantities of whipped cream. We partied on homemade spinach artichoke dip, crudités, olives, and cheese fondue while sipping hot spiced cider. It was perfect for our low key style. We had a great time catching up with our friends, and the effort was minimal.
As we head into the darkest days of the year I am going extra dark next week. I have an appointment to receive a light treatment at my dermatologist’s office that is kind of tedious. It requires that I stay at the office for about 2 hours, which is not so severe. After the treatment I must avoid light of all kinds for about 3 days to ensure proper healing. It is even contraindicated to sit by a window inside the house. I have rolling shutters downstairs, so I can effectively create a black out inside. While the rest of the world rolls by I will spend three days 18-21 December in total darkness binging on television and hopefully doing some writing and art. I may do some cooking, but am feeling kind of finished with holiday meal preparation. I am accentuating the winter solstice for full effect. I have candles, essential oils, and fancy red robe to dress up like Mrs. Santa Claus. I will be going into deep cover. I hope to emerge refreshed and ready for a brand new year. I wish you all a happy Saturnalia.
I appreciate the chance to share coffee and more with this group of talented writers. Stop by Diana’s blog to read, comment, or post your own coffee stories. The group is welcoming and intelligent. We welcome your point of view.
In September Arizona agriculture is peaking with abundance. There are crops that grow well in serious heat, like melons and okra, that are finishing the season. Many more crops enjoy the long slow slide into winter that we have and will be ready soon. The grapes for wine are soon to be harvested, the apples in Wilcox are being picked, and some date varieties are now starting to be ripe and ready to eat. There are a large variety of squash being grown around Arizona that are never seen in regular grocery stores, and you can even get fresh squash blossoms to prepare. More vendors come out in the cooler weather as more customers show up to shop and dine at the food trucks. We like to go for unusual gourmet finds as well as for entertainment. We see people we know and sometimes take the dog. It makes a good outing and supports the local farmers in the process. Today we came home with some very special smoked salsa homemade by smoking all the vegetables on mesquite wood before combining them. We bought a baby blue Hubbard squash..a mini version of the giant winter squash with the rich flavor. I got some cayenne, garlic and some extra hot jalapeño chiles because our own chiles in the garden are ripe and ready to go to become salsa at home. I will use the little green tomatoes, the garlic and the chiles to round out the flavor and make different levels of picante for different tastes. We are drinking fresh apple cider today from Wilcox. The little lemon cucumbers will make a sparkle in salads and the light colored pickling cucumbers are good straight up why themselves as a snack. We did not get dates because I have a few I need to use from last season before I start on this year’s. I don’t mind paying extra in order to put the mooney right into the hand of the person who grew or made it.
How is the farmers’ market scene where you live? Are you able to get to one on a regular basis? I like both the specialty prepared foods and the fresh produce. They both serve the local farming community and let us have some extra special meals enhanced by products and produce not to be found at standard grocery shopping outlets. When I travel I make it a point to attend a local market if at all possible. I think they are growing in popularity and in variety of available products. Some have musical entertainment. It is fun to meet the farmer and know your food is as fresh as it can be.