Contemplating Food & Feathers

I used to hate Summer simply because of the hot weather. Now I know this probably sounds ridiculous to anyone living where it’s TRULY hot, but we do have some heat waves move through New England each summer and the past few weeks have been wicked. It’s amazing how little I’m affected by the heat anymore. I’m just much better at regulating my internal thermometer I think. I don’t live in air conditioning, in fact I hate AC, I think it makes me suffer more to walk into a terribly fake cold room and then walk back into the outdoor heat, call me crazy but when you just live with the outside temp, eat cooling foods and find happiness in small things, the joy factor exponentially increases.

In the hot weather I’ve basically cut out, any recipes that involve using the stove and so not only have we been eating more locally grown veggies (because who doesn’t love veggies from mom and dad’s garden and farmers market season!) but much more raw food too! Salads, frozen fruit smoothies, home made granola bars and nuts have been staples but recently when I got sick of eating the zucchini noodles in a salad format I realized I had some rice spring roll wrappers and so check out the recipes for my vegan veggie spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce below!

Summer is winding down at my pottery studio, kids classes are coming to a close (which have been AWESOME by the way!) and I’m looking forward to some down time after a very busy few months. This past week I was able to spend lots of time in my pottery studio and I was able to get every pot that was in need of glaze, decorated and ready for final firing despite that fact that glazing is my LEAST favorite part of making pots. I’m working towards an annual pottery sale that will take place the weekend before Thanksgiving as it has every year for more than a decade.

August is always a bit of a contemplative month for me with regards to making pots. Typically because I’m realizing that yet again, I’m just starting to make pots for a November sale with barely 3 months to prepare. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I say to myself, “I’m going to start making ‘sale’ pots in January this year…” it just never happens. Such is life and rather than guilt-tripping myself and rushing through making pots I’m not happy with just to increase the selection, IMG_3098I’m committing to making work that I’m truly inspired to create and produce and with any luck, others will love it the way that I do. Most recently I’ve been on a feather kick, painting feathers on platters, jars, vases and mugs. I’ve never felt like I was any good at drawing and so it’s especially hard for me to even attempt simple sketches such as feathers…and already people are saying they look like leaves (and so I say to myself ‘well, at least my sketch attempts look like SOMETHING people recognize).

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It WILL be leaf-picking time soon…Ginkgo leaves are my favorites to pluck and press into clay. I love the fan shape of each leaf and pressing them alleviates my need to try to draw them myself. As I get older I try to just acknowledge and embrace the things I’m good at, recognizing that some things I would ‘like’ to be good at, are better left for others who actually are. In alignment with the Four Agreements (a book everyone should read by Don Miguel Ruiz) I try not to take anything personally, not the words of others, or the voices in my own head. I’ll continue to embrace clay because it is such a vast world and I have barely scratched the surface of what there is to be learned and practiced.

Summer Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

IMG_2961 These are yummy cold but could be warmed up or even pan fried if you wish to experiment. Honestly you can use any veggies inside them and they are always delicious!

Ingredients:

Rice Spring Roll Wrappers (16 wrappers makes 8 spring rolls)

1 medium zucchini (spiralized or julienned)

2 carrots (spiralized or julienned)

3 scallions

1 yellow pepper julienned

3 Tbl Liquid Aminos or Tamari

1 Tbl sesame Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix thoroughly and spoon into softened rice paper wrappers. If you’ve never used these little devils before just grab two and submerge in a shallow dish of warm water for about 10 seconds (they will still feel slightly stiff) lay them on a cutting board and spoon your mixture into the center. Fold the two sides in and then roll tightly. They keep in the fridge for several days but do tend to get too soggy if the mixture is particularly wet and you do not eat them right away.

Sauce:

¼ cup creamy organic unsweetened peanut butter

¼ cup warm water

3 Tbl Rice Vinegar

1 Tbl limejuice

2 tsp fresh ground ginger

I use a small mason jar and put all the above ingredients in and shake it like hell until well combined! Then….dip away and enjoy!