Sometimes they come to you, Sometimes you go to them

13 Jun

Ain’t that the way the world goes round!  Hey, isn’t that a John Prine song?  Just when I was at the height of my winter loneliness of being a spice Mistress who hadn’t been anywhere in awhile and facing a full spring of focussed attention needed here on the farm, our good friend Katie came back from Peru with some of the most delicious and enchanting SALT I’ve ever had.  This stuff feels like magic.  When it touches your tongue, you are transported back into time where the simplest foods were salted with these grains.   She also brought us this interesting sweet stuff that comes in a ball and wrapped in a reed.  I think it is some kind of raw sugar cane gum…I must find out more about this…….i have failed to do any research on that before posting here…….there was also amazing cinnamon and chocolate in the care package.  Go Peru!!sweetnessCinnamon

A few days later, another friend, Stormy,  showed up with a beautiful Ristra from the Southwest.  Now, I am no stranger to the Ristra!  Having made them by the thousand’s for most of the ’90’s in British Columbia, Canada of all places!  But it warmed my sentimental heart to be thought of and gifted one, as I am not surrounded by them anymore, like I once was, and I love THEM.   Sign to resurrect the Ristra at the Pepper Forrest?  Hmmmmm!Ristra!!

Now, the Going To part, which is actually mixed with Coming To as well, if you think about it.  I have come to the knowing that I cannot grow the Habanero in any kind of quantity here on the Mtn. Or grow all that we need to keep the inventory up, up, up either.    While pondering this and hovering over my little starts here in our snow covered greenhouse early in the spring, our greenhouse..two Angels from down river, in the ‘banana belt’ called Orleans, gave me a call and offered to help!  Hallelujah!   Not only are they into growing for our needs, but they are ‘chile heads’ too, and so often have lots of extra chiles and whatnot growing around waiting for someone to get creative with.  Very exciting!  These  women farmers are  Sarah Post with daughter Olivia and new baby, and Erin Cadwell.  Thank you very much!!  I have a feeling we have a future together in spice love!  Here’s some Pics of them and the new home of the Habaneros and some of the Anaheims.       Sarah, busy woman, Farmer and Mom

Erinjoining in with the gang...mustard in OrleansErinfuture Chile Heads Unitegarlic  The Habanero is a key ingredient in our Caribbean Blend, an original favorite.  The Anaheims we dry and smoke, when ripe, for the Spicy Garlic Blend  and the Smoky Mountain Sprinkle, two of our best sellers.  They got in touch recently to let us know they are in the ground now.  Hurray!  Here’s to a great season for all!

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Life and times Drying Ginger with Nadine

19 Mar

Nadine and I, decided to get started on drying this big box of ginger we procured for the Ginger-Garlic-Nori Blend, before spring start up gets too crazy around here. This ginger comes from an Organic Farm in Hawaii. In the past, I’ve had friends in Hawaii do it and send or bring it to us, but this year, we are on our own with it. So, this is what happened last night at our place! Then, this morning, we were amazed to see how quickly it had dehydrated. I haven’t weighed the wet to dry ratio yet….but i think its about 3 or 4 to one….
I am also practicing with these posts, so….forgive my non-bloggness!
Enjoy these pics.

9 Mar

Sorry if this a repeat for some of you, working out some glitches…….

Adventures on the Spice Trail

The Pepper Forrest Spice Company sure wants to be able to continue to send out packages to everyone in a timely, safe and efficient manner.  If you do too, please consider signing this petition!  Thank You!

Online petition – Don’t close the Forks of Salmon Post Office!.

Our rural Post Office is proposed to close in the coming months.  This will pose an extreme and costly inconvenience on the citizens and businesses of this area.  The closest Post Office where our packages would be delivered, is not only 40 miles away, it is over a very steep Mt. Pass.  This drive is 1/1/2 hours ONE WAY on a good day.  Forget it if its snowing.

The USPS is proposing a plan that the regular mail carrier would perform many of the current Post Masters duties.  They are proposing this without offering any training, or wage raise or time allowance…

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Aside

Save the Forks of Salmon Post Office

7 Mar

The Pepper Forrest Spice Company sure wants to be able to continue to send out packages to everyone in a timely, safe and efficient manner.  If you do too, please consider signing this petition!  Thank You!

Online petition – Don’t close the Forks of Salmon Post Office!.

Our rural Post Office is proposed to close in the coming months.  This will pose an extreme and costly inconvenience on the citizens and businesses of this area.  The closest Post Office where our packages would be delivered, is not only 40 miles away, it is over a very steep Mt. Pass.  This drive is 1/1/2 hours ONE WAY on a good day.  Forget it if its snowing.

The USPS is proposing a plan that the regular mail carrier would perform many of the current Post Masters duties.  They are proposing this without offering any training, or wage raise or time allowance to get the job done.  Their route is 100 miles a day, just imagine how long it will take them if they have to do business at each box?

We are seeding NOW this years crops of Paprika, Chipotle, Cayenne and other Chiles and Herbs used in our Special Blends and looking forward to a great year!  Let’s keep in touch!   Thank You!   Meui

Happy Chinese New Year, and a good read.

5 Feb

Happy New Year!   In the Chinese tradition, we have just entered into the year of the Water – Dragon.  We will be in water for 12 more years.  I was just handed a book named, 1421, The Year China Discovered America, by Gavin Menzies.  I am pretty excited to learn how he has connected the dots here.  Taking a leap by posting this now, having not read enough of the book to comment yet, but doing it anyway.

I am particularly interested to read how some foods and spices got around due to the Chinese.  There are so many traditional foods that it would seem would have taken a long time for them to have become so engrained in many customs and regular eating fare.

Meui

Taking breaks

1 Nov

Just when I start to feel a little guilty about taking a break (just a little), my daughter comes in and starts asking me questions. “What are you doing”, “What are you eating”, “Can I have some”?
I am eating an apple with peanut butter. A just picked apple too. Ok, I say. “I want it Walking Salad Style, please”. Ok, i say. I proceed to core the apple and fill it with peanut butter. This is a traditional family snack started by my mother.
“hey, there’s a dead bug. what should we do with it?” oh, put it in the compost i suppose, I say.
“First we thank it for its life. Then it goes back to the earth, then it might come back as something. Or part of a lot of things!” Thats right, i say, keeping it simple. This is a thread that we’ve been coming around too fairly frequently for about the last 6 months.
“Boy, there are a lot of Women in the world. And Mans. And Babies!” Yes, there are, I say. “And all the animals! And all the plants!”
She giggles. I smile. We both laugh.
“More peanut butter please!”. She has licked it all out of the apple.

What did i come in here for? Oh, yes, a break! Ha ha! What good timing! So often the most valuable moments are when you are not looking for them, thats for sure.

Temperature extremes

11 Aug

Talking about the weather has always been a good ice breaker, especially for us farmers and wilderness dwellers.   Living 3000 feet up provides for extreme temperature changes, even in summer.  Its like a climatic mood swing.  We went from 95 in the day to 60 last night.  This keeps you on your toes and ready for anything.  This is good for the gardens in the day and fruit orchards at night.  We’ll see what the fall harvest brings.  Time to start gathering firewood.  Get the canner ready for peaches, tomatoes, applesauce.

I am looking forward to seeing what comes of this page.  I am new to the blog world.  My inspiration will come from working with herbs and plants in the garden and in the wild among other things,  that keep me off-line.  But, i am also highly inspired by what people share about their experiences with food as well.  I hope to begin to maintain a regular check-in here.   Talk to you again soon!

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