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They say these things are like riding a bike. You never forget the onion's slow transformation to translucence in the pan, waiting for the right consistency for tomato sauce, or how thin to julienne a carrot for that pickle. All these things are little nodes of experience I am coming back to after two years of teaching high school. Even though I loved the kids and my work I was so stressed-out, I was not even interested in cooking! That says a lot for someone who uses eating and preparing food to relieve the increasing pressures of modern living. But now, after deciding not to go back to teaching, I feel like my little skills of how long to toast almonds versus walnuts under the broiler, or what to substitue in pesto for expensive pine nuts... all these little bits of information are creeping back into my consciousness. I have been cooking for many years on my own, but what has rekindled my imagination has been working with a few cooks at OAEC (The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center). They are gathering recipes and pictures to put out a cook book soon, and I am super excited! More on cooking sure to come soon... 

 
 
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Pine cones for the LA chefs to make soup, rose petals, and summer squash.
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It seems like I am more free to blog when I am at the farm... We are again in San Diego County, visiting family. I have decided to enhance this musical blog with my other passion: food. Yesterday, as it is every Friday, is preparation for the four Saturday markets. People pack the vans with oranges, avocados, lemons, limes, chard, garlic, beets, radishes, squash, and onions. But the real attraction is the extras--the flowers, herbs and juice. Uncle John let me help him mix up the rose petal lemonade yesterday. The Schaner recipe is below.

1 gallon filtered water
20 large, fully open roses
2 cups sugar
2 cups lemon juice

Boil water and shut off the heat. Steep roses in the hot water for about 20 minutes. While the roses make the "tea", squeeze the lemon juice and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. The water will turn pink when you add the lemon!

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Dahlias from Kayne's garden
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Rosemary, purple sage, marjoram, lavender, and thyme for the Little Italy market in San Diego.