Spending Time at Home (and a Recipe)

I love where I live. We’re in a small rural Maine town. Some of our neighbors include those who keep horses, sheep, and a very cool donkey who announces the arrival of morning. We live next door to my aunt, where my grandparents lived when I was growing up. It’s so peaceful here, and we can see the stars, take walks through the woods out back, and even skate on the pond down the road.

woodswalk

In the winter we spend more time at home, and I wanted to give you an update on our homesteading, something I haven’t done for a while.

The cats, as usual, are hanging out with us in the “cave.” They sleep a lot, and prowl around to see what we’re doing, and the brothers wrestle now and again. We gave them catnip treats and boxes to play in for their birthday last week, which was a big hit.

catsinboxes My Christmas present from Quester was tile in the kitchen, and it looks really great!

kitchen1

kitchen2

We’re making plans to paint the whole downstairs area in the spring. It really needs to be done. While the color, a sort of light mint green, is nice, it’s time for a change.

Even before painting, thanks to our de-cluttering and re-organizing, the house looks pretty. I’m so thankful to have such a wonderful place to live!

knickknacks

cuteshelfpic

We keep faerie lights up throughout the winter, and I love the warmth it brings to the great room.

faerielights

We also burn more candles. Our art supplies are kept close at hand.

artsupplies

Cooking is fun in the winter, and we’re focused on eating healthy meals. Soups are a regular part of our fare (except for Dryst, who takes after his uncle and doesn’t like them). I made a delicious lentil stew last weekend. Tonight’s meal was created because I had a package of tofu and some wild rice, and it came out quite well. Without realizing it, I made what tastes like garlic broccoli from a good Chinese restaurant, without a recipe.

Here’s the recipe ElvenTiger and I created, though sadly it was consumed before I thought of getting a picture.

Before leaving to visit some friends, ElvenTiger prepared the tofu. She cut it into chunks, then heated some soy sauce in a cast iron skillet. She cooked the tofu for several minutes, adding herbs (rosemary, black pepper, sage, and thyme) and turning the tofu carefully until done on all sides.

I started the rice. I had 1 cup of wild rice blend and half a cup of brown rice, which I cooked in 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of liquid smoke for 45 minutes.

Then I heated a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. I added chopped broccoli and 3 cloves of garlic, crushed. Once the broccoli began to get green, I added a cup of water and 1/4 cup of Bragg’s Amino Acids. This is the part that tasted just like garlic broccoli from a restaurant! Once the broccoli was done and the liquid was simmering, I shut off the pan and stirred in the tofu.

When the rice was done, I stirred all of it in with the broccoli. We served it with a delicious tossed salad made by BlackLion, with a choice of homemade goddess dressing or homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It was so yummy!

While the kids were out, the rest of us watched The Grand Budapest Hotel. What a fun and crazy movie!

I’m so thankful for being in a good mind space this winter, and that, other than some colds and viruses, my extended family is all healthy. I hope you are as blessed in lovely spaces and loved ones to share them with!


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