Borage Blossom Ice Cubes
August 7, 2012, 10:01 am
Filed under: in the garden


I’m growing borage this year, decided entirely on whim after reading the back of the seed packet at the store. I didn’t know much about the plant, so there’s been a lot of reading up on how to use it. Borage flower ice cubes are a popular notion. Several sources note borage “gladdens the heart,” and why wouldn’t it? Who can look at pretty, true blue blossoms and not be gladdened.


Drying Oranges for Tea
June 30, 2012, 9:57 am
Filed under: in the kitchen


Almost all my favorite tea mixes (not to mention my very favorite beverage aid – mulling spice) contain dried orange chunks or peel in them. I’ve been contemplating crafting my own tea mixes for a while, and up until the last couple of months, I was certain I would simply be buying dried orange from Mountain Rose Herbs or a similar organic retailer. The thought of buying oranges retail and then going through the effort of drying them didn’t seem cost or labor effective. Sad to say, living where a lot of citrus is grown doesn’t seem to translate to savings at the register.

However, I’ve moved to a new neighborhood in the last year, and lucky lucky me, it seems like everyone has a citrus tree of one type or another in their yard. Even better, the neighborhood directly north of me hosts a Produce Exchange on Sunday afternoons. I’ll post more about that later, but suffice to say for now, it meant I could trade the lemons growing in my yard for oranges growing in other peoples’ yards.  In fact, the day I happened to attend, there were so many oranges up for grabs that it was more like a 6:1 trade than a 1:1 trade.

My kitchen crowded with free oranges, a gleeful me went to work figuring out how to dry them. Turns out it wasn’t hard at all. But what exactly did I want for my teas? The whole orange dried, or just the zest?  Wouldn’t the pith part of drying the whole orange make my teas bitter? An experiment was in order.

Continue reading

Masala Chai
June 29, 2012, 9:01 am
Filed under: in the kitchen

Long time no see, dear blog. I have been enjoying life very much, and have lots to share. While I work on ramping up content, here’s a fun and fabulous video I’ve been enjoying the past few days. I tested the recipe this morning, and all I would add is half a teaspoon more sugar in your mug when you pour the tea.


How To Make Masala Chai from High Beam Media on Vimeo.

Sorbet Soda
July 3, 2009, 12:46 pm
Filed under: in the kitchen

sorbet soda

I found some of those infamous Meyer lemons at the Japantown farmer’s market and immediately juiced six of them to make strawberry lemon sorbet. Which was dang good in and of itself.

But the later use of it as a concentrate, mixed with sparking water to make soda, was in-cre-di-ble.

Start with this recipe. Prior to chilling, put mixture in your blender and add a large handful of strawberies – fresh or frozen. Proceed per usual.

Deserted Island Pan
March 6, 2009, 3:44 pm
Filed under: in the kitchen, shopping


My time in this big Victorian barn of an apartment has drawn to a close and I have, with the help of some dear friends, spent the last week packing. The packing of the kitchen has been an amusing thing – I wasn’t the one who packed it, and because I am still in residence for the next week and a half, several things I’d like to still have out to cook with are in the bottom of a taped up box somewhere.

But I managed to squirrel my way into the kitchen during the pot packing, and insisted that this pot stay free of bubble wrap and cardboard. I need something to cook my remaining meals with, and this just seemed like the right choice.

Continue reading

Abaca Pillows
March 5, 2009, 11:57 am
Filed under: shopping


These abaca pillows, made from a plant fiber grown in the Philippines, are $11.25, down from $45, as part of hip & zen’s closeout clearance.

I’ve long loved the abaca goods available on Bitters Co.’s textile page, but the prices were out of reach.  So here’s a starter purchase!

Seltzer Senorita
February 19, 2009, 5:18 pm
Filed under: green, shopping


I have long wanted a working seltzer bottle. I had to order three off eBay before I realized the vintage ones didn’t actually function. Oh, I love those wire wrapped Art Deco beauties! Oh, how they are pointless paperweights! Why did no one tell me it’s impossible to get the caps off them and refill them with water? That age has fused them into metallic and glass lumps?

Continue reading