Odile Gova: I am mostly self taught, although I have made attempts at Art college and various workshops over the past 25 years. I am deeply passionate and committed to my art forms. I’m a stay at home mother, how lucky am I ??!! I pour concrete garden art in the Spring and early Summer . The rest of the year is devoted to knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery and felting. My felt is made from reclaimed wool sweaters that I find at thrift stores and the like.
“Oh, Mom! What are those?”
I love it when my children get excited about things that can be grown so when my five year-old’s eyes lit up and the chatter started last week as I pulled a packet of Luffa Gourd seeds from the envelope Seven Acre Woods had lovingly tucked them in I couldn’t resist engaging her. The conversation that resulted was even more pleasing than what had spurred it because if there’s anything I love seeing my children excited about more than things that grow it’s how (and where) those things are grown. And that’s exactly where her interest turned.
“Can I grow one of those in my garden? Oh and Mom, don’t let Dad use that loud thing on mine okay? I just want a shovel and a rake.”
‘That Loud Thing’ is the rototiller and while her current interest is a bit misplaced — the decibel level of the machinery used to till land on which food is grown is of little environmental and social concern, after all — her interest in the production of food at all is encouraging; and timely.
For some the Farmer’s Markets either never ceased or have already made their grand re-opening for the 2010 growing season and even for those in colder geographies the season of local production is just around the corner — or so I keep telling myself as I stare out the window at a barren white expanse.
As we step foot back in the Farmer’s Markets this year we may know, at least for the most part, where the goods we find there were grown but do we really know how? USDA organic certification can be costly and for some small producers and those that are trying to keep consumer costs at a bare minimum in order to make healthy, local fare available to all income levels, certification can be downright out of reach — but that doesn’t mean their goods aren’t grown organically. It just means they can’t bare a USDA seal.
Without getting to know your growers; without asking how their products are grown you’ll never know if the goods you choose each Saturday and Sunday morning are meaningfully produced in the manner most important to you. As you venture back out to shop your local farmer’s market this season remember, knowing how is just as important as knowing where.
Cabbage. The red-headed stepson of the brassica family. Not nearly as good as its broccoli and cauliflower cousins when dipped in ranch dressing. The food of famines, of the poor, of your gassy great uncle. And who can forget that famous line in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Cabbage Soup is not enough!
But I’m not so sure cabbage deserves such a bad reputation. In fact, it’s the base of one of even my kids’ favorite meals. A recipe that lends itself perfectly to local eating this time of year depending only on store-able baking potatoes, garlic, a little on-the-hoof goodness, bacon, and the underrated spring green itself, cabbage. It’s a recipe that is so scrumptious I wish I could take full credit, but I must give credit for where credit is due; a recipe inspired by Rachel Ray’s Bacon Cabbage Home Fries.
Now, I must warn you. I never measure. If there were a religion against measuring I would probably join it. And I purposely make a lot of this particular dish so that there will be ample leftovers the next day; it’s one of those dishes that gets better after an overnight stay in the fridge. But if you can deal with a little experimentation and a heaping helping of leftovers you simply must give this one a try. So, without further ado, my Bacon Cabbage Home Fries:
1 lb Thick Cut Bacon, Cut into 1 inch Squares
1 medium Baking Potato per person you’re serving, cut into bite size chunks
1 medium head Cabbage, Sliced in thin strips
1 medium Onion — whatever type you have on hand, just roll with it — diced
Garlic, to taste. I use a lot!
Fresh Ground Pepper
In a deep stock pot cook bacon over medium heat until done. Remove, set aside. Add potatoes, onions and garlic to bacon grease (I never said this was a healthy recipe, just a favorite.) and cook, stirring regularly, until potatoes are tender. Add cabbage and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring, until cabbage is wilted. Salt and pepper to taste.
Of course, you could also skip the kitchen and just click over to Etsy through any one of the amazing photos in this post and choose some cabbage inspired decor for your home, too.
One room in your home that you may spend the most time in is your kitchen. Especially if you have a large family to take care of; preparing school lunches, sorting groceries after shopping trips, creating a dinner menu for the month. Keeping your kitchen organized will keep the stress minimal and allow you to actually enjoy spending this essential time in your kitchen instead of having to worry about whether or not everything is in its place.
When you enter your kitchen to prepare a meal, make sure all of your favorite recipes are neatly written and are all kept in the same place. The easier things are to find, the quicker you can get down to business and complete the meal prep and have more time to spend enjoying the meal with your friends or family. The recipe box pictured above comes complete with illustrated letterpress recipe cards for a cute, handmade look. The box that holds the cards is even handcrafted by the artist in her Dad’s woodshop. Find this item along with many other original letterpress designs over at the shop of 1canoe2.
Organize your kitchen utensils with this unique handmade concrete canister. The artist at Culinarium has created a unique concrete mixture that allows his products to have a smooth texture that is physically similar to that of ceramic or aluminum! In this shop you will find other handmade items made from eco-friendly materials such as recycled rubber, concrete, cork, and aluminum for a chic, industrial style design.
If you have been on Etsy lately, then you probably noticed the trend with these adorable magnetic spice racks. SaltCitySpice turns these functional spice racks into works of art for your kitchen. There are many styles in this shop, but my favorite is the one pictured above. A silver serving platter has been altered with a chalkboard paint for a re-writable surface to jot down your shopping list, to label your spices, or to write down meal ingredients. Magnetic tins of your favorite spices are within easy reach and can be arranged on the surface in any configuration your heart desires. Find a large variety of these magnetic spice racks at SaltCitySpice!
These paintings just plain make me happy. That is all. (Can you tell my favorite season is Spring? I got married in March, I’m jealous of my stepmother for having an April birthday… Spring is da bom.)
budanART bio: I am a Canadian artist who works primarily in acrylic. Inspired by nature, I use strong colour, discrete shapes and rhythmic patterns to create paintings which can be enjoyed for both their abstract and realistic qualities.