Carrots for Michaelmas: Musings of a Catholic Wife, Mother, and Occasional Redhead


The Solemnity of the Annunciation and Back Porch Dining
March 27, 2012, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Annunciation, Feasting, Husband | Tags: , ,

Just a quick post of instagrams today. We’ve been fighting colds at our house and life is busy, busy.

For the Solemnity of the Annunciation, I made Sweet Potato and Carrot Lentil Curry Soup and Spelt-Flour, Dairy-free biscuits (hello, bacon grease!) for Benjamin and my gluten intolerance and his dairy allergies.

It’s been so beautiful outside that last night I set up a table on our back porch for dinner. Benjamin thought it was mighty fine to eat outside and when Lucy and I woke up this morning, the boys had breakfast prepared on the back porch for round two of eating outside.

Days when you wake up next to your sweet baby, stumble bleary-eyed out of your bedroom, are immediately handed a cup of miraculously delicious coffee by your handsome husband and are treated to German apple pancakes, fruit, and granola on the back porch are…well…splendid.

Gluten-free, Dairy-free success! And North Florida this time of year is simply gorgeous.

Oh, glorious Spanish Moss! I’m feeling very grateful despite all the runny noses in our household…

How is your family enjoying springtime?




I’ve Got Greens and the Terrible Threes Growing in My Garden

Here’s what’s been going on outdoors in our neck of the woods:

Lots of park dates and outside play for this little guy. Baby girl is content to just sleep in the baby wrap with Mama while Little Bear gets his wiggles out. Although the terrible threes subsided a little bit in the past couple of weeks (perhaps due to extra time with Daddy during our trip), they were back in full force yesterday. You know the mother you see at the park that is carrying an infant and attempting to wrangle a misbehaving toddler? A toddler that is screaming, I WON’T! I DON’T WANT TO! when she asks him to throw away his trash, then succumbs to sobs when a kind park user cleans it up in his stead and he screams, “BUT I WANTED TO THROW IT AWAY! GET IT OUT OF THE TRASH SO I CAN DO IT! *SOB*”? That mother? The one that makes you say to your friend, “she has HER hands full. A little discipline? I would be mortified if MY child ever behaved like that!” Well, I am that mother. Nice to meet you. I now sympathize with all mothers of children who misbehave in public.

After a full-fledged meltdown in the car and an early nap, Benjamin surprised me by saying, “Hey, Mama. You know what? I love you.” He doesn’t usually say that out of the blue. Made the difficult morning worth it. Thankfully, he’s been good as gold today.

Our vegetable garden is exploding with wonderful things!

Bright Light Swiss Chard has to be one of the prettiest things ever!

Tomato flowers already! I can’t wait to eat tomatoes with every meal. Daniel has grown so many seedlings of different varieties.

We’ve been eating all the lettuce we can handle. Picking lettuce for salad 10 minutes before dinner time is so fun.

Cabbages are looking lovely!

My farmer.

This was our St. Patrick’s Day feast. Guinness Beef Stew made by Daniel, Spring Salads from the garden with Strawberries, and amazing Sweet Potato Fries by our friend Kaitlin.

What are you growing in your garden these days?



The Feast of St. Patrick
March 17, 2012, 12:54 pm
Filed under: Feasting, Saints, St. Patrick | Tags: , ,

I hope you all have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day today! It is spring in North Florida and the outdoors are green in honor of one of my favorite saints. The dogwoods, azaleas, and wisteria are in bloom and the scent of flowers is downright intoxicating.

And here’s a little something from the archives about St. Patrick, why I love him so much, and a St. Patrick’s Feast we made with links to a couple of recipes for Irish Soda Bread and Nigella’s Guinness Chocolate Cake. Mmmmmm.

From St. Patrick’s Breastplate (an ancient prayer attributed to him)

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ in my headway, Christ in my wake,

Christ alow and Christ aloft,

Christ at my right hand, Christ on my left,

Christ with me waking, waking and sleeping.

 

Christ in every heart thinks of me,

Christ in every tongue speaks to me,

Christ in every eye beholding,

Christ in every listening ear.

What’re your St. Patrick’s Day plans? We’re getting together with some friends to grill out and celebrate!



The Bounty of the Earth
March 1, 2012, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Farm Life, Feasting, Green Living, Husband, Seasons

My husband is a farmer without a farm. So, he has transformed our front yard into vegetable-growing-egg-laying-awesomeness. I don’t remember the last time we had to get store-bought eggs. The ones our chickens Feven, Daughter, and Gas Can lay (chicken names compliments of 3-year-old Benjamin) are amazing.

Right now we’ve growing more delicious lettuce than we could ever eat, peas, green onions, and wonderful herbs: dill, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, thyme.

I made seriously good chicken salad last night and it made the last day of February feel like summer. Oh wait, we live in Florida. The last day of February DOES feel like summer.

And strawberries are super in season so now’s the time to eat some up!

Here’s one more shot of our owl friend who likes to hang around to give the chickens a little excitement for the day.

And for sticking around until the end of the post, a sweet baby picture to tide you over until next time.



Mardi Gras and Lent
February 26, 2012, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Fasting, Feasting, Lent, Mardi Gras

We had some of our new friends over on Fat Tuesday for a New Orleans Feast made by this guy:

On the menu was Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Shrimp Dip and Homemade Bread, King Cake, and old timey New Orleans cocktails.

I’ll post the recipes on Feast! when Daniel has a minute to write them down.

Then Ash Wednesday came and we transitioned into Lent. Last year I was battling some serious morning sickness during Lent so I don’t feel like I fully engaged and I didn’t have the energy to figure out how to help Benjamin participate. So, trying to do better this year!

I bought a grapevine wreath to have on the dining room table to remind us of the Crown of Thorns and put our purple tablecloth on the table. Yes, my tablecloth is super wrinkly. Ironing is just one of those tasks that I try to avoid at all costs. I tell myself that it’s so humid in Florida that whatever item is wrinkly will unwrinkle soon enough on it’s own. This is not true, but it makes me feel better.

I borrowed (stole?) some deep purple fabric from my mom to use to cover the crosses and icons in the house. I let Benjamin walk through the house to find all the crosses over the doorways and help me wrap them in purple.

I’ve seen so many ideas for helping little ones observe Lent that I feel pretty overwhelmed. What do you do at your house? What’s your very favorite Lenten activity for littles?

p.s. Mandy are you out there? Send me an email about winning the Pride and Prejudice Giveaway before next Wednesday or I’ll have to choose another winner! (my email is haley.s.stewart(at)gmail(dot)com)



Red Curry Squash Curry
December 31, 2011, 3:20 pm
Filed under: Feasting, Husband

Benjamin had a sleepover at Daniel’s folks house last night so Daniel and I had a date night in and he cooked delicious Indian food and we drank some ice riesling, the kind of wine we had when he proposed. Liz and Sara requested the recipe for the curry and for poori so here ’tis.

Daniel’s Red Curry Squash Curry

1 red curry squash

2 cloves garlic

1 can coconut milk

2 carrots

green onion

cilantro

½ lime

1 tbsp red curry paste

salt and pepper to taste

 

Chop red churry squash after seeding.  Chop carrots.

Fry diced garlic in oil with TBSP red curry paste. Mix together. Add coconut milk and mix. Add chopped vegetables, cook until veggies are done. Add lime juice, some cilantro, and green onion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for one minute. Serve over rice or couscous or eat with poori.

 

 Poori

1 and ½ cup whole wheat flour

1 and ½ cup all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 TBSP shortening or butter

1 cup milk

Mix flour and salt. Mix in or cut in shortening or butter. Add milk and mix together.  Knead together on floured surface. Separate into 20 pieces and roll each into a thin 4 inch circle. Heat oil in sauce pan on high. Drop each rolled circle into the oil. Turn it over when it begins to puff up. Remove from oil to paper towel to drain, add salt on top.

The red curry squash curry was fantastic and we added mussels to make it extra yummy. The poori recipe was super easy but they didn’t puff up very well so I wasn’t crazy about it. Anyhow, Sara, it’ll do in a pinch.

 



Soul Cakes for All Souls!
November 2, 2011, 11:57 am
Filed under: All Saints, All Souls, Children, Feasting

Yesterday on All Saints Day we started out the day at Mass to celebrate and then went out for a special family breakfast at our favorite Midtown cafe. After Daddy had to go to work, Benjamin and I made Soul Cakes during one of Lucy’s naps.

We used a recipe from Catholic Cuisine. Unfortunately, the recipe wasn’t as good as the one Daniel used last year but, oh well, they were still tasty!

I can’t believe how big Benjamin is after looking at pictures from last year. Here’s a picture from last November:

And here’s a sweet one of him meeting his sister in the hospital:

Baby Lucy is doing great! When I get a minute to myself (hmm, yeah right!) I’ll do a post all about our little lady. She  is such a love.