Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Garlic Queen Harvest
Every July I put on a different hat and become "The Garlic Queen." It started just a few years ago with my desire to create my own garlic farm. I never expected to get rich from it but I had hoped to have enough garlic to last all year for my own needs and to give and sell some. So far each year I have improved the size of the garlic and quantity. I buy seeds from all around the world in hopes of achieving the tastiest garlic around. Little did I know back then that the process is very involved.
First Comes the Scapes
Last October, when I planted my cloves, I gave each and every one a hearty breakfast of pulverized egg shells, coffee grounds and bone meal. For their lunch, I added some fish emulsion and dinner consisted of cow manure and compost. It's important to me to keep the garlic organic. I also have opened a new plot of land on my grounds for the garlic each fall. For the 2016 planting I have enough of my own very large garlic curing in my wine cellar (yes, sadly it has turned into my garlic cellar!) to use for my planting. This is a first since the last few years did not reap any really large bulbs worthy of replanting.
Freshly Harvested Scapes
The garlic farm is special to me because my dear son, Charlie, helped me to get it started. He moved on to another realm a few years ago and I think of him as each clove goes into the ground. It is as though his spirit is with me as we talk to the miniature life forms together, bidding them a hearty farewell into their winter sorjourn. I also feel Charlie is with me as I harvest each beautiful bulb. He is smiling and saying “ Good job mom, keep on growing your garlic and growing your life.”
Then the Garlic Straight From the Ground
Curing for 2-3 Weeks is the Next Step
The Garic is Clean and Ready to be Braided
The season is over and it definitely feels anticlimactic but October planting is just around the corner. The braids are almost all sold now but I have enough garlic (small) left to continue to make my garlic sprinkles and Dracula’s Demise all year. Come see me at the Roanoke Farmer’s Market every Saturday. We are open all year. I will also be sending my brother-the Queen’s courier- to Greenbriar Nursery Garden on Starkey Road. If you happen to be in Roanoke, please stop by and say hello. I am at booth 18.
Finally, Here I am as the Garlic Queen Giving Advice and Selling my Garlic on the Market
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
HIGHLY ELEVATED SOUL
Highly Elevated Soul
I wrote the story of Highly Elevated Soul after reading the book “Sidhartha” I loved the philosophy of the book and the gentle flow of words that led me to a peaceful state. My mixed media Highly Elevated Soul has a..well..soulful look in her eyes. Her expression conveys emotion..as though she has endured much, even though there are no visible lines on her face. As we go through life, we find there are so many sorrows we must face but we listen to our higher selves and move forward with dignity and grace.
I created my mixed media Highly Elevated Soul by using the Renaissance technique of oil painting by adding 6 layers of oil paint. She is highly textured and I used beads as embellishment and placed upon her crown. She is 10" wide by 12" high and I have priced her at $125. Hope you like her. To purchase, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I take personal checks or Paypal which uses all the major credit cards.
Close-Up of Beadwork
Another Picture with Different Lighting
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Black Garlic Sesame Dressing Over Seared Tuna
John, from the co-op across the sidewalk from me on the Farmer's Market, came over to my booth last Saturday and told me that a family member from China served the most luscious dish made with black garlic. Of course, since I have been hearing a lot about it lately, I was anxious to know more. John told me exactly the way it is made in China these days. You won't believe it but it is steamed in a rice cooker for, get this, 9 DAYS! I had my doubts about trying it because I was afraid the rice cooker would quit after a day or so, given that appliances these days have very short life spans. But, I was curious so decided to give it a whirl. I placed as many large garlic bulbs into the cooker as it would allow. I did not peel them but plopped them in whole, as I was instructed to do. Today, the 9 days are up and it is time to open the rice cooker. (it is supposed to stay on warm cycle but mine kept reverting to cook and then back to warm the entire time.
Rice Cooker Filled With Garlic Heads
I was a bit nervous about opening the lid and then slicing the garlic. Would it really be black and would I like the taste? I figured I would since it seems to be all the rage on the food channels and you-tube.
There They Are All Ready to Peel Open
Sure enough, after opening the pot I find that it is dark brown, lighter than I've seen pictures of but still very good. I know I want to add it to a sauce. I am wondering if I need to ferment longer as some sites have claimed that it takes a month. I don't think I could wait that long. Also, the entire house has a curious odor while it is fermenting..John says he puts his in the garage for the 9 days.
Not Jet Black But Dark Brown
Something else that is important for me to mention. Black Garlic has been touted as a powerful anti- cancer preventative. If you want to read more about that added incentive to make your own black garlic, just google 'black garlic and cancer' Different sites claim that it is a powerful antioxident and can heal psoriasis, Increase energy level, fight cancer, can be used as an anti-aging product, and help with sleep.
I am experimenting with many recipes but the one I like the best so far is made by smashing a whole head of the black garlic and adding it to a sesame dressing-then pouring over seared tuna or salmon served cold or warm. I used raddiccio lettuce as a base. It is delicious! I used the dressing I sell at the Farmer's Market here in Roanoke and at the Roanoke market and Greenbriar Farm Market. You can probably use any sesame dressing though. I'm not sure If I will be selling the black garlic because I will have to experiment with storage and longivity first. But, it is simple enough to make yourself and you might just want to drag out the rice cooker in the back of your pantry or purchase a new one. They are very inexpensive. I used a small 12 cup rice cooker but if you get serious about it, you can find the larger ones as well. Have fun!
PS: I heard that the Trader Joe's food store (my favorite) is carrying them but I was not able to find it at the ones in D.C.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
ODE TO A MIRROR
Kebechet-Goddess of Purification
Sold. Thank you Shirley!
I've never learned the trick to taking a good picture of a mirror. Either I am shown in the picture or whatever is reflected in the mirror appears big and bold. As I was taking the picture of my Egyptian Goddess Kebechet, I thought of how this applies to life in general. I wrote a story years ago called “Mistflower” “She walked to the edge of the water and saw her reflection. Her people had taught her that we are all the great mirror-simply the reflection of one another.” It still seems true to me today. To look at another is really to view oneself. We don't always like what we see but we are hesitant to do anything to change what it is we don't like. We may not like the world in which we live, with all of the many flaws, but what are we doing to make a change? I guess I'm posting about this today because I just finished reading Barbara Kingsolvers book “ Flight Behavior.” The book addresses global warming and in particular the Monarch butterfly. Not only did I learn a lot about this wondrous winged beauty but I got a lesson in environmental crisis. Of course the book is much more. The wit and humor that Kingsolver uses in her writing makes the story come to life in a way no other author I know of accomplishes.
Goddess Kebechet, the Goddess of purification, is approx 7" wide by 13" high. I sculpted her with stoneware clay, which is kiln fired. The embellishments reflect the golds and blacks that were used on Egyptian sculpture. I have priced her at $78. If you are interested in having her reflect your surroundings, please let me know. You can e-mail me. I take checks or Paypal. Thank you!
Posted by Healing Woman at 6:57 AM
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
REBEL- “NO REGRETS”
"No Regrets" Front View
A new series has been rumbling around in my mind for quite some time. Finally, I finished the first in the 'rebel' series. Urbandictionary gives this meaning for the word rebel. “rebel is a person who stands up for their own personal opinions despite what anyone else says. A true rebel stands up for what they believe is right, not against what's right. It's not about smoking crack, drinking till you're rendered unconsious, or beating the crap out of anyone that crosses your path. It's all about being an individual and refusing to follow a crowd that forces you to think the same way they do even if it means becoming an outcast to society. True rebels know who they are and do not compromise their individuality or personal opinion for anyone. They're straightforward and honest and they will sure as hell tell it like it is.” I like this straightforward definition that basically says exactly what it means to be a rebel in todays society.
The names I came up with to describe each female sculpture in my series are, to name a few, “No Compromise” “Who Says” “Why” etc. I'm sure you can think of many more. I named my first in the series, “No Regrets.” It says it in her face. She has no regrets to the path she took or is taking in life. She made decisions along the way, after careful analyzing, and knowing that 'the moment of absolute certaintly never arrives', she decided and then stood by her decision.
“No Regrets” is 7" wide x 9" deep and 11" high. I sculpted her in stoneware clay and draped her with a contemporary upbeat fabric. No adornment was needed to convey her countenance. Hope you like her. She is available for $245. I take personal checks or Paypal. Please e-mail me and we can go from there.
Posted by Healing Woman at 7:15 AM
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
ANTIBIOTIC GARLIC SOUP
Garlic Keeper-Luscious Glaze
Did you know that a research done by the Washington University found that garlic proved to be up to 100 times more effective than most antibiotics? My friend, Kyle, came across this recipe and she knew I would want to try it. It is loaded with garlic and tastes devine. I think I like it even better than my Decadent Garlic Soup recipe and it is a lot easier to prepare. I've included the recipe at the end of this post.
View of Garlic
I've struggled (but had fun too) for the last 3 years to get my garlic to look the way it does this spring. The green tops almost look as high as corn by the 4th of July..knee high! Of course, the proof will be in the pudding when I pluck them out of the ground around mid July. ( It is only early May and my garlic looks like it is ready to harvest-but-harvest time is in mid July! How large will these garlic grow to be. Exciting.
French Garlic-Here is the area where my French Garlic Grows. My Friends, Doug and Mary Gave Me Some Choice Bulbs From Their Garden
My garlic had to be fed an entire breakfast last fall when I planted them..egg shells, coffee grounds. Then there was the moist dark soil that my brother, Jim, I tilled to just the right texture. Now that spring is here, I have had to weed, feed with fish emulsion and remove all the mulch I gave them last fall. Next comes the soil rich in nitrogen and the final wait time. Watering of course, but not too much and hopefully the beautiful scapes will emerge about 3 weeks before harvest. It sounds like a lot of care and actually it is but I hope to reap the rewards in creating braids and more of my garlic sprinkles and other garlic delicacies. Stay tuned for later posts on the harvesting.
Here is the Siberian Garlic. I Have Garlic From All Over The World
Here is Inchilean Red Garlic from the State of Washington and an Indian Reservation
As Far As the Eye Can See-Italian Garlic
Here is a recipe for garlic along with one of my garlic keepers which is for sale. It is the perfect way to keep your garlic and makes a wonderful gift. It is 3"wide x 3" deep and 4"high. The glaze turned out luscious. It has brown and beige tones. The lid features one of my original bas -relief faces. It is just $34. If you are interested, just e-mail me and we can go from there. I take personal checks and paypal.
ANTIBIOTIC GARLIC SOUP
50 peeled garlic cloves
2 T. Butter
2 T. olive oil
2 large diced onions
Thyme, parsley, and a bay leaf
3. C. diced stale bread-crusts removed
1-32 ounce container of chicken broth
1 C. sour cream
Preheat oven to 180. Cut off the top of garlic bulbs, place in aluminum foil and sprinkle olive oil over. Bake for 90 minutes. Cool.
Heat 2 T. of olive oil and some butter in soup pot on medium. Cook onions for 10 minutes, stirring often. Place garlic in food processor and process till smooth. Add to soup pot. Stir well and add herbs, and chicken broth. Place temp on low and add the bread and cook for 5 minutes til bread cubes soften.
Remove herbs from soup pot and blend mixture well until you get a nice and creamy texture. Use a hand held immercer and blend with sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste. The original recipe called for only 1 cup of broth but mine was too thick so I added more. You can adjust to suit. Mine made about 4 large bowls of soup. It's good to know something that tastes this good is so very good for you. Enjoy.
Posted by Healing Woman at 7:19 AM
Monday, April 11, 2016
ALL THINGS FRENCH~MACARONS
My own French Macarons
There is something about France that keeps calling me back to her. It might be the glorious old stone buildings, cathedrals and castles or it might be the couture-the clothing there is devine or it might just be the food. 'Mais oui bien sure'- French for “But of course.” It's the food.
I dined on glorious desserts, breads and many of the over 600 types of cheese available throughout France and, did I mention the wine? The wine was plentiful at such good prices I just had to take advantage of it and have my daily dose.
This time, I went to France, primarily, to take a cooking class. My granddaughter went with me and we stayed with my friends Betsy and Chris, who live in Nantes. Believe me, with all the amazing castle jaunts in the Loire Valley (known as the valley of castles) I was lucky to fit the class in! I learned to make the 'oh so French Macarons.' These cookies are sold absolutely everywhere there are patisseries or weekend markets. You see them used to dress shop windows because they are so colorful and whimsical. I must tell you though, they are not that easy to prepare, as we found out. Chris acted as our interpreter for the class since our chef spoke very little English.
Our French Chef
My Granddaughter, Marcy
Piping the Macarons
Betsy and our Interpreter, Chris
After An Afternoon Immersed In Almonds, Sugar, Pistachios, and Gnash, The Cookies Were Ready To Fill.
I made several attempts to recreate the macarons once I got home and finally, with the aid of a silicone baking mat that is marked with circles for the cookies, I was able to achieve the look and taste of French Macarons. Below the recipe, I have added links to 3 of the items I used while making the macarons. I tend to use Amazon because I have little time to shop but I'm sure you can find subsitutes at other local stores.
Here is the translation of recipe for Macarons. Since our ovens are different here, I modified the ingredients and method a bit from the French version I learned in class but the taste and look is the same.
3 egg whites that have been placed in refrigerator for 2 days (covered with wrap)
2/3 cup of almond flour
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
5 T. granulated sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
l.Preheat oven to 325 degrees and position rack in the center of oven. Most recipes say to line a baking sheet with parchment paper but I found after many trials and error that a silicone baking sheet is best. I found one at Amazon that has circles drawn on them so that you can position batter perfectly. I'm sure others will work as well. You can also use the parchment paper if you prefer and place the silicone mat under the parchment since it is transparant and use the pattern.
2. Sift almond meal and powdered sugar using a hand held colendar with small holes or flour sifter. At this point we used a powdered colorant to keep down the amount of liquid entering mixture. A gel is also recommended for this but not the liquid baking coloring.
3. Place egg whites in a bowl and beat until frothy. Then add 5 T. granulated sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in the vanilla. I found the best vanilla ever while in France at an outdoor market. It was called bourbon vanilla. It actually has an abundance of very finely ground vanilla right in the extract.
4. Add the sifted mixture slowly (three separate portions) to the meringue mixture and mix with a spatula, pulling up the mixture along sides of bowl and punching down again and turning bowl until mixture resembles a kind of lava look. You want to get the air out of mixture.
5. Place mixture into a pastry bag or large gallon size zip lock bag. Pipe out 1 1/2” mounds onto silicone sheet and then place on a thin cutting board or sheet and lift in the air and let drop on the counter. This ensures the air is removed and the bottoms achieve the frilly look strived for in macarons, which are called “feet.” You can drop the cutting board 2 or3 times. Let sit out for about 15 minutes or until only a small indentation forms in them when you touch.
6. Now turn down oven temp to 300 and preheat. Then, place macarons on baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Open oven and turn rack around and bake another 5 minutes. Do not overbake. You don't want tops to be brown and do not underbake because they will be too mushy. All ovens are different. Experience will tell you when they are done but I have found that about 10 minutes altogether is perfect. The top should be crunchy and the inside chewy.
7. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Assemble with fillings after they cool. They should be placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then taken out and allowed to sit on counter for 20 minutes. I have found that they freeze very well and even taste better, if that's possible. The fillings are an important part of the cookie. I make pistachio filling, almond filling, cashew and chocolate gnash filling. You can find hundreds of good ones on line since Macarons are very trendy right now.
I hope this post helps all of you who have struggled with macarons. Remember, I went all the way to France to learn and still had to tweak for my own oven and local ingredients. Have fun and have patience.
I'm selling them on our Farmer's Market now so if you are local, come on down and try them. I think you will be glad you did. Thanks so much for visiting today. Also, please let me know if you have success with this recipe. Don't give up.
Posted by Healing Woman at 7:20 AM
Thursday, March 31, 2016
SORCHA, DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST
I named my latest burning bowl "Daughter of the Forest," after the heroine in a book I am reading of the same title and written by Juliet Marillier. It is from her Sevenwaters trilogy. I normally don't read anything that involves fantasy or myths but since my friend Karen, better known as my book guru, recommended it, I knew I needed to give it a chance. I'm so glad I did. I found that the book is steeped in herbal lore. I have always loved and appreciated all the cures rendered from precious medicinal herbs such as Agrimony, used for sore throats, St, John's Wart for depression, Vetiver for skin care and I was thrilled to learn of many herbs I never heard of. A lot of research went into this book.
The theme of the burning bowl fits right into the story as well. Unity Church has a special ceremony each New Year’s Eve. A large bowl is placed at the altar and each member of the church is asked to write down problems or vices they wish to annihilate from their lives. It could be a wish to quit smoking or drinking. It might be a desire to lose weight or to quit any of a number of addictions. Each person places their list into the bowl and at midnight, the bowl is lit. Everyone watches as the fire burns away all the troubles. I can imagine Sorcha, the heroine of the story, using the bowl as she conjures her remedies and sends evil away from the people of her forest.
Sorcha features an amazing headdress that I finally had a chance to use. It is made of small beads and safety pins. It's hard to imagine anyone sitting for as many hours as it must have taken to complete let alone the number of times the pins would jab fingers. I had been patiently waiting in my studio for just the right application. The headdress can be positioned in several different ways as shown in the pictures. She is 4" wide x 4 1/2" deep x 8 1/2" high and is an original. I priced her at $68. If you would like to purchase, e-mail me and we can go from there. I take personal checks or Paypal.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
ALCHEMIST WALL SCULPTURES
Goddess Odelia-Means " Little, Wealthy One" 3"x11"
A friend of mine recommended I change my switch plate covers to wall sculptures. I thought about it and decided to give it a whirl. I may not discontinue the switch plate covers though. I have just finished 3 of the wall sculptures. You will see they are of the same design as the covers but I have taken away the spaces for the switch and added hangers to the back. I rather like them. Here are the first 3 all ready to go. 3 Special Goddesses. I am asking $65. each. I created them with stoneware clay which has been fired in my kiln. I've added embellishments that look as if they have been dredged from antiguity. Each one is an original. Hope you like. If you'd like to purchase, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I accept personal checks and Paypal.
Goddess Rashida-Egyptian-Means Righteous 3"x 9"
Goddess Balere-Basque- Means "Strong" 3"x16"
Sold. Thank you Katharine!
Posted by Healing Woman at 9:19 AM
Sunday, March 13, 2016
HEALING WOMAN PLANTER
Front View~ I Tried To Capture The Light Coming Through Beads But Could Not Do Justice
Sold. Thanks Yavia!
This may be the most unusual planter I have ever created but when spirit speaks, we artists must listen. The inspiration for Healing Woman came from my friend Wanda K, who gave me a most unusual pair of antique earrings. They looked like devination crystal balls for gazing.
I couldn't wait to incorporate them into my work. Thank you Wanda! I wasn't sure where they would end up but I am pleased that they are now dangling from my healer's hands. I left the backing intact because I think they add to the mystique. The embellishment above her head seemed to fit the theme of the wild and wonderful healer.
Close-Up of Clear Earrings
She is 4" wide by 4" deep and approx. 13" high. I have priced her at $100. She is fairly light so should ship well. I think she would be lovely potted with a trailing herb such as thyme. I hope she finds a really good home with someone who appreciates the work involved in this piece.
Another Front View
Thanks so much for viewing. If you are interested in purchasing, please e-mail me and we can go from there. I accept Paypal and personal checks.
My story of Healing Woman seemed appropriate for her.
Dredged from antiquity..daughter of fire emerges with the healing power of the ages..Voices lost in time whisper to her of healing on many levels. Energy rises from her very soul as she remembers the responsibility bestowed upon her. She is the Studda Bubba, the witch, the magician and the shaman..the very essence of the healer. She calls upon the great mother to share with her the wisdom of her yield. Knowing she is merely the vehicle of a force far greater than she, and with great integrity, the healing woman delivers her cures as the power moves through her hands of light.
Posted by Healing Woman at 3:23 PM
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
ALCHEMIST BURNING BOWL
Sold. Thank you Holly!
The Alchemist is the first burning bowl of the season and fits in well with my Alchemist series. I looked up the definition of alchemy and found it to mean that it can be either a medieval chemical science whereby metals were turned into gold, or a discovery of a universal cure for disease and elixir for prolonging life. So an alchemist would be a person who studies to achieve this goal.
My burning bowls were created to allow the owner a chance to have a burning bowl ceremony which can be personal, or shared with others. Can believing that by burning a paper where ones flaws and bad habits are written really work? This custom appears in many forms. An example would be that the Chinese are known for taking problems into a boat and sending out to sea, thus releasing them to the waters. I have used stained glass in the bowl that has been fired at a high temperature on my kiln, allowing your 'problems' to burn properly. You can use it for incense or a candle when not in ceremony. You may not be able to turn metal into gold but you might be able to clear the slate for a more worry free existence in this life.
I'm proud that I have kept my price the same for my burning bowls since the first one (all different of course) many years ago. Just $68. She is 4" wide x 5" deep and 9" high including the crystal. I used sparkling crystals and a wing embellishment. I hand sculpted her out of stoneware clay. You can e-mail me if you'd like to purchase. I take Paypal and personal checks. Thank you so much for taking the time to view and read.
Stained Glass Basin
Posted by Healing Woman at 8:03 AM