Monday, October 26, 2009

Fall hikes

Yesterday we went to the Botanical Garden here in Athens, it's one of our favorite places to hike here. It was a lovely cool fall day. The breeze was blowing and the trees were swaying. We decided to hit the white trail. The white trail is long and beautiful and winding and goes through many differnet types of forested areas crossing close to creekbeds, along the river and into the woods.

We enjoyed a role playing adventure for the whole family escaping an oncoming attack of soldiers who were hot on our trail and barely ducking into the woods with just enough time to escape the clutches of a vile red dragon flying at our heels and blowing it's fire behind us.
Along the way we talked about the plants around us, admired the trees growing tall, and shared praise for the beauty surrounding us.

At one point far in the woods we found a lot of patches of wild ginger growing. Always looking for teaching opportunities in our daily lives, J took the chance to show I about this amazing herbal. They gently dug one up to get a look at the root. we were able to see the places where flower buds had formed and we all got the chance to taste this very special member of the plant kingdom.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sausage Risotto

After a wonderful dinner with some good friends a few years ago, I realized that I didn't have much experience with arborio rice. For those of you not in the know, this is the kind of rice used to make risotto. My friends being full blooded Italians and lovers of Italian cuisine had fixed risotto for me over the years (including at their wedding) and every time I really enjoyed it. This one particular time however, I left their home thinking it was time for me to learn how to make this delicious dish.

I gave a call to them one evening and after a few pointers and with some suggestions about how to proceed came up with this recipe. It has since become a family favorite for a cold winter evening, since it is pretty hearty. I guess the colder weather that is now setting in has me thinking about the kinds of meals I like to eat that contribute to my insides feeling warm and fuzzy.

So here it is for you try if you should feel so inclined. Keep in mind this is not a low fat or heart healthy meal, it's simply delicious.

Sausage Risotto

Created Dec 2007

8oz fresh pork sausage (preferably local)
2 cloves garlic minced
½ -1c diced bell pepper (any color you want)
½ c diced onion
¼ c diced green onion
2T butter
1 ½ c arborio rice
4c stock (approximate, any kind you want veg, chicken, beef)
¾ c cream
½ c pecorino romano grated

variations: 2c sliced mushrooms added with the onions and peppers, omit the sausage and add another veggie or chopped pecans.

*Melt butter in a large skillet
*Add onions & green peppers and sautee until translucent. Add garlic and sautee a few more minutes.
*Add sausage and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Add rice and stir until it is well coated.*Add stock 1c at a time allowing the rice to absorb each cup before adding the next. Cook until the rice is al dente (cooked through but still firm). Add cream and cheese, stir and serve

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Apple Festival

2nd Annual Fall Apple Festival!

Host:FOLK (Furthering Our Local Knowledge)

Date:Saturday, October 17, 2009
Time:1:00pm - 8:00pm

Agrarian Connections Farm;
City/Town:Crawford, GA

FOLK is putting on our second annual Fall Apple Festival on Saturday, October 17th! It will be held at Agrarian Connections Farm (just outside Athens) from 1 til 8pm. There will be live music (lots of local musicians - our lineup will be made available soon), an art show/sale by local artists, an apple pie baking contest, local farmers and gardeners selling and swapping their wares, kids' arts and crafts, and dinner!here's our schedule:1-2pm: open jam session (bring an instrument!), introduction/dedication2-2:45pm: High Strung3-4pm: Marion H. Montgomery III4-5pm: Colporteur presentation: Kevin Welch, Apple pie competition, then begin serving dinner5-6pm: Hope For Agoldensummer6:15-8pm: conglomerations of local folk and bluegrass musiciansFor more information and directions, please visit our website ( you have any questions or if you're a local artist/farmer who would like to set up a table, (it's free, you just need to reserve a space with us), please email us at you would like to volunteer, please email Abby at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall is here

Back in Georgia, the fall is settling in. I've noticed the leaves starting to change and the cooler air has invaded. The family and I spent Sunday at Whippoorwhill Hollow Farms participating in the Atlanta Slow Food Field of Greens event. It was a great event to raise money for the farmers who were affected by the recent flooding. My boy had a blast playing with the sons of another vendor. They made themselves at home and spent the day between chasing chickens, bouncing on the bounce house, and just running around having a good ole time.

I was so thankful my good friend A- was persistent in encouraging me to go to the event and set up. She is always so supportive of my craft and willing to offer her help in whatever ways she can.

Driving home I could see the pink sky behind me.
My boy barely able to keep his eyes open.
The exhaustion of fitful sleep and an all day event creeping in.
Onward I drive, keeping a steady speed, drinking my fresh brewed herbal tea.
As I pull into the drive, night descending, rain drops gently splash on my face.
Relief washes over me with the thought of vegetable bean soup in the fridge.
I covet a warm shower, soft pajamas, a cozy bed.
A lazy smile breaks free, I know it's coming soon.