If you can't stand the heat, stay out of Phoenix. Or the kitchen.
During a little roustabout chat, Another Steve S made a sly reference that I was not familiar with. He referred to another member of the chat as a "prairie muffin" and this led to my unfortunate use of Google Search. I did not grow up in the midwest or plains, and my limited knowledge of cow shit vernacular did not include prairie muffin.
Instead, in my search, I stumbled upon The Prairie Muffin Manifesto. Do your best to get through reading this with an open mind, and leave your critical thinking skills cap off. It is a little long, and a lot defensive. It turns out that I can't call someone a Prairie Muffin without praising or insulting them.
Macadamia Coconut Raspberry Creme Pie, date/nut crust, raw, vegan
A few years ago, I read a really fun book called The Wilder Life. I used to totally love the Little House on the Prairie books as a girl. I was and still am an avid reader, and the stories were inspiring to me. I loved watching the show too, as I was more of a Laura than a Mary, and Almanzo was pretty hunky. When I lived in Denmark, Swedish TV had the show on every day with subtitles, and I think I rewatched the entire series in my time over there. A bit of home, a bit of nostalgia, and the idea of wide open prairies to run through (it helped that almost all outdoor scenes were sunny). Actually, it is not too different from Southern Sweden, which explains in part why so many Nords ended up in Minnesota and the Dakotas. I now have extended family there, as my sweetie was born in Fargo, and his brother lives in Sioux Falls. Me? I was born in Manhattan, and grew up in its suburbs. I have driven across the plains a few times, and even did go to college in Ohio which seemed very rural to me at the time. I am a mountain girl, the plains make me nervous. Even now, in Phoenix, I live in view of both Camelback and Squaw Peak, finding comfort in a peek of a mountain every time I look out the window.
Sauerkraut on left, Pickled Veg on the right
Anyhow, I apparently have a homesteading gene in me that either came down through my colonial ancestry or my mother's scandinavianess. She did all those things when I was growing up- gardening, sewing, cooking, canning, baking- and I do them to the best of my ability today. This sense of homecrafting was refined in the many summers spent in the Green Mountains of small town Vermont. I find comfort in having the skills to make bread and pasta by hand (though I no longer do) and churn my own butter. Instead of spending hours with a bucket and a wooden dowel, though, I spend about 1 minute with my mini food processor. It is the tastiest butter there is (outside of danish butter). This summer I have learned much in the arts of home fermentation- having made my own sauerkraut (mostly yum, learned some of the flavors that don't work) and pickles. Many of my recipes have come from beautifully crafted websites that are probably written and photographed by... Prairie Muffins.
Fresh butter, organic
There is the part of me that is totally modern. Like that each week I brew new batches of home fermented kombucha, and then flavor and rebottle for a second fermentation. My flavors are made with organic herbal tea, with an eye on healing properties as well as taste. I bake my own crackers but use almond flour and chia seeds. I have gotten into making (mostly) raw vegan desserts with all fruits and nuts and seeds. My forays into vegan nut cheese were not as satisfying as I hoped for, but I do find that homemade almond milk is so much tastier and probably worth the effort.
Kombucha growing and Kombucha Infusing
I am not married, I have no children, and I don't submit to god or my partner. He is an atheist and not interested in running my life. We lean a little libertarian, a lot socialist, and green. My buddhism keeps me busy focusing on reality, in the moment, no longer creating imaginary kingdoms. We will dress up for Halloween and go out to a party, MIDWEEK. And in the morning, I will pour myself a cup of something herbal and eat something I made from simple ingredients. I may put on a sweater I knitted myself, and don jewelry crafted by my own hand. I will then photograph it with my iPhone and post it on my Macbook Air. Oh, what would my colonial ancestresses think of me now?