Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Soup

Although I’m not vegan, this recipe is. This is a one pot wonder chock full of vitamin C and super good for you!

serves 4-6

1 butternut squash

1 large sweet potato

3 medium (or 2 large) carrots

1 large red onion

2 celery ribs

1 red pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pint vegetable stock

salt and pepper

1 large fresh parsley sprig

1. Peel and dice the squash, sweet potato, carrots and onion (always easier if your squash is slightly cooked before hand.)

2. Dice the red pepper and onion.

3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and soften all of the above ingredients for a few minutes.

4. Pour pint of stock over softened vegetables.

5. Add the salt and pepper (to taste) and add water if needed.

6. Put lid on pan, and simmer until all vegetables are completely cooked.

7. Take off heat, let cool a bit, and liquify.

8. Serve with crusty bread.

Fresh Pick…

It was due to happen. I’ve temporarily put my pencils down (actually, I’ve packed them, as we’re moving in 9 DAYS!), and set my seasonal obsession (see post “Arto McCrafty”) toward creating some felt fruits and veggies (and anything else I can find a pattern for). The kids love ’em, they’re super easy to create, and they make my husband laugh. That’s bliss in my book.

I Eat Change For Breakfast…

Is change such a bad thing? You hear people say “ugh, I hate change”, but I’m not sure I’m in their boat. I talked to my sister today, after our parents put their farm up for sale, and we discussed change. As sad as we are that our family farm is on the market, we’re both excited for my parents. It’s the end of an era, but the beginning of a new.

Derek and I have been uprooted several times in the last few years, each time to different communities. We’ve found ourselves complaining about the chaos of moving, and the inconvenience of starting anew each time. I think we just got caught up in how society thinks we should feel about change. Both of us enjoy the excitement of starting fresh, meeting new people, and just a plain ol’ change of scenery. The many moves have ironically mellowed us. We don’t get all worked up about things anymore.

The young one (Conner), looks at change like an adventure, and finds it exciting. He never complains about how he’ll miss his room, or the crawl space under the stairs. We all know that home is where you are all together, and not the house you live in. Sure, we miss the friends we make, but we live in a time of social networking and we make time for those who are important to us. As a kid, I moved around a few times. I don’t remember being sad about leaving the neighbourhood, or missing the tree I planted in the backyard. I was content knowing my family would still be there in the morning, no matter where we lived.

Derek and I have been through devastating careers changes.  Today, after a couple of years of career hell, he is happier than ever in a job he loves (have I mentioned how insanely proud of him I am?).  He leapt at a change he knew would better our lives, and worked hard to achieve his goal.

I feared how our oldest would react when our youngest was born. I feared the change from him having all the attention, to having to share me. Today he is a fabulous big brother, and loves the youngest one immensely. It was a hard change, but a good one. He is more independent now, has a great sense of family, and understands that we all need to work together to raise our family. 

When things seem to get “settled” around here, I find myself thinking “now what?”. Even a new coat of paint, or rearranging the furniture, I feel like things are fresh and different. We don’t get “stuck in a rut” because, when we feel it coming on, we change something.

Although I will be sad to see the family farm go, I know that the changes will be good for many people. A new family will move onto our farm, and make their own memories. My parents will have fresh, new land to tinker with. Our boys will have a new area to roam and discover.

So, although it’s been hectic at times, I’m glad we’ve made the changes we have. It wont be the things, homes, etc. we acquire in life, but the moments we’ve shared with our favorite people.

“Change is surrendering what you are, to what you could become”

The Survivors

We have tomatoes! And Lettuce! And Peas! Woohoo! We didn’t plant much of a garden this year, as we didn’t know how long we would be in this house, and we were kind of limited to what we could do, as we’re renting. Sure enough, we’re moving mid-summer, so it’s a good thing we’re not leaving a massive garden behind. Well, good for us, bad for new tenants – Haha!  I had started a few veggies indoors, but put them out too soon. Next year, they’re going right in the ground! From seed! Never will I start indoors again – too risky. Even though we’ll have a later crop, I would rather it then risk losing the whole lot. Anyway, we had some survivors, which I transferred into containers so they could make the move with us. A few peas, some lettuce, and a single hearty tomato plant. Not exactly the homesteading I long for, but I know our time is coming. I keep reminding myself that after the 30th, I’ll have my hands in some rich beautiful soil, and I can start plotting for next spring. I’m anxious to see whats looming in the new backyard – I know there is rhubarb and grapes. A good start in my books. For now, I will loving tend to my containers, and dream of my garden to be.

Big & Little at the beach. Coolest people I’ve ever met. For realsies.

Arty McCrafto

Lately I’ve been getting into an artsy vibe. The TV gets turned off, the pencils come out. I discovered Artist Trading Cards and had a “where have you been all my life” moment…but, like the seasons, my passions change (almost every 3 months – fancy that). My 3′ by 4′ (I kid you not) “corner of our bedroom affectionately referred to as my studio” studio, is by far one of my

fave places to hang out. I’m looking forward to its tranformation at the new house to the “looking over the garden” studio. However, that is a full month away. I may be converting the garage and repairing bikes by then..;)

Storm On The Horizon

While walking downtown today, the youngest one and I witnessed Mother Nature at her finest. While at the market, everyone noticed a storm brewing over the lake. I heard locals say we had about an hour before we were hit (being the newbie at the lake, I have yet to figure out how to time this kind of thing). Cade and I ducked down to the beach, and watched the storm over the water. There is really nothing like sitting on the beach in the warm sunshine, snuggling close with your babes, and watching from afar as a blackened sky erupts into a madness of thunder and lightning over the water. When the wind picked up, we headed home, and got in the doors about 15 minutes before it hit us. I’m amazed everyday how living near the water can offer so many more experiences than the obvious frolicking on the beach. What a great afternoon!

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