Prairie Sagebrush Award 2011: Chromo schoolroom, Spring garlic

Here are two posts I award the Prairie Sagebrush Award 2011 for fine writing, photography and art in the blogosphere.  I select the most excellent post, photograph or art piece from 2010-2011, most of which come from my blogroll.   For each comment that is entered on these posts I will donate a buck ($1.00) to La Jicarita News, a community advocate newspaper of northern New Mexico OR a wildlife corridor in Texas or New Mexico.  I set a limit of $100.00.  I will be “awarding” the Prairie Sagebrush Award 2011 in piecemeal fashion — a couple or three at a time.  The total awards will be about a dozen.  I hope you agree with me that there is fine writin’ in the blogosphere!

You may also be interested in last year’s Prairie Sagebrush Award 2010 — see the awards by clicking on Prairie Sagebrush Awards 2010.

TERESAEVANGLELINE*TERESAEVANGELINE*TERESAEVANGELINE

Teresa Evangeline Blog link.   At play in the field of infinite possibilities. These are my field notes.  — From, “Homepage,” Teresa Evangeline.

At Home in My One Room Schoolhouse

[Posted January 20, 2011.]

Yesterday, I decorated my room. No, that’s not it. Not exactly. I’ll get to that.

This past Sunday night, I stayed with my friends, Anne and Paxton, at their home west of Taos. En route, while crossing the Great Divide, I gave some thought to the notion that we would have a good visit, then I would pack up the stuff I had stored there when I left Santa Fe, and head back to Minnesota.

Just before passing through a tiny little town called Chromo, I stopped to take some photographs of an abandoned, one-room schoolhouse at the edge of town. I love these little bits of history, what they represent.

After arriving in the late afternoon, while Anne and I visited, we packed my car. Then we ate some pizza and stayed up talking late into the night.

In the middle of the night I woke up and was lying there waiting for I knew not what. Until I did. The almost-full moon was now over the house and was shining in the window. I was not going home to Minnesota yet. I was leaving Anne’s house and that’s all I knew. And not because she wanted me out, although I suppose that is a possibility, but I knew I should leave and listen for guidance.

In the morning, while driving the Rim Road, I felt I was supposed to go into Taos and look for a room. I pulled over at the first intersection before heading into town, briefly disagreed, and played with the notion of heading down to Sedona. I even called Anne, who makes regular visits, to ask how long it took to get there. Maybe I was supposed to be there, an idea that didn’t feel altogether disagreeable. I wavered. And then I sat and listened. Whether I liked it or not, for now at least, I was going into Taos. Not an altogether disagreeable option, either.

When I drove by a certain motel, I knew that was where I should be. Not the spiffiest joint in town, but it offers those things I need right now – off the road, with a certain sense of privacy and quiet, a courtyard with pinon trees, as well as trees outside almost every room, coyote fencing, and ristras hanging from the vigas – lots of southwestern ambiance, something I’ve been missing, and it’s cozy to boot (I think that’s a fairly decent pun, but I might be prejudiced). It also just so happens to be the first motel I ever checked into in New Mexico many years ago.

The cool thing is, I have two of my favorite paintings and a favorite framed print in my car. Well, I did have. They are now gracing my humble abode. Had I waited to pack up my stuff, I would not have them now for my room.

I think one of the things I may be learning is that, yes, it’s good to have a permanent home to always return to, and I’m very grateful for Lonewolf, for all it offers me, and I will be equally grateful to return there, but it’s also good to feel at home wherever I happen to be.

Having spent most of my life, since a teenager really, in one relationship or another, I became used to navigating through life with someone there to share the ups and downs, the day to day exigencies that can complicate or relieve our human experience, sort of a built-in support system that creates a sense of security. And even though I’ve spent the better part of the last five years sans a relationship, I find I am still learning to appreciate and honor a solo life. Learning to feel at home wherever I am means learning to feel at home with myself. And that, as they say, is big.

Teresa Evangeline with Buddy

So, I did a little decorating, leaning my artwork against the walls, bought some groceries at the store down the road, asked for and received a small refrigerator, and took a walk around the courtyard in the evening light. It’s feeling kinda homey.

I almost forgot to tell you: when I crossed over into New Mexico from Utah on Sunday, in less than a quarter of a mile there were two crows and a coyote. The crows were standing over their dinner in the ditch, whoever the poor critter had been, and the coyote was trotting away from them, down in a hollow, across a snow-covered field. He had decided it wasn’t worth it, or they had shared before I came over the hill. That second scenario isn’t likely, but one never knows what goes on when we’re not there to insert our conditioned human thinking. Either way, they made a fine welcoming committee.

Then, the morning after I arrived here, a lone crow cawed right outside my door, announcing my arrival. This is where I Am. Another day of learning in my own little one-room schoolhouse. And I don’t intend to abandon it. I will be carrying it with me.

Teresa Evangeline Blog link.

ANNIEPICKNS*ANNIEPICKNS*ANNIEPICKNS*ANNIEPICKNS*ANNIEPICKNS

Anniepickns’s Blog is given a Prairie Sagebrush Award 2011 for her post on garlic.  Annie features farmers’ markets throughout the west, including Santa Fe.  Link: Anniepickns’s Blog.  As the eldest of eight children, I have fond memories of our family raising or growing our own food in a variety of ways. Sometimes we just had a vegetable garden, some places we lived had fruit and/or nut trees. Sometimes we raised livestock: chickens for their eggs , rabbits goats and/or sheep for meat.  — From, “About,” Anniepickns’s Blog.

Spring Garlic

April 4, 2011 by anniespickns

Sunday I got to the Farmers’ Market later than usual, it was already packed with people but choices were still good. The first thing I wanted to do was find the egg guy and trade in my used cartons. It seems like the only time I remember that I’m going to take them back is when I am at the market buying more eggs. Very happy with myself for finally remembering. Egg cartons returned and a fresh dozen in my basket I was off to see what looked good as far as vegetables go. I bought a nice bunch of chard, a green that I much prefer to kale or mustard greens, some beautiful, thin asparagus, some very nice baby spinach, more Fuji apples, tangerines and the subject of this weeks post, green or Spring garlic.

Garlic is a species in the onion family and green garlic is simply immature garlic, which has been pulled to thin the crop. Garlic, onions, shallots, leeks and chives are close relatives. Since I love all garlic’s cousins I guess it isn’t any surprise I love garlic. I love it in its mature form and delight every spring when I can get it in its immature form.

Anniepickns

Green garlic is much milder than mature garlic. To use it trim off the root ends and any tough part of the green leaves. Chop or slice the white, light green and the first few inches of the dark green leaves (using only the leaves that are tender).

I read that the sticky juice within the cloves of mature garlic is used as an adhesive in mending glass and porcelain in China and that garlic has been around for about 6,000 years and is native to Central Asia. I also read that it was highly prized in early Egypt where it was even used as currency.

Here’s a little dish I prepared tonight using some of my fresh Spring garlic, left over baked Japanese sweet potatoes (Satsumaimo), a little butter and baby spinach.

First I thinly sliced the garlic, then placed it in a fly pan with a little butter and let the garlic gently cook until it had browned and was a little crispy. This isn’t something you would want to do with clove garlic as the taste of the garlic would be bitter. That doesn’t happen with the young version.  I then added the cooked garlic and butter to the Japanese sweet potatoes that had been peeled and mashed with a fork. Once this was done I made some little patties from the mixture then added them back into the frypan with just a touch of butter and gently fried the patties until they were crispy and browned, then turned them and did the same to the other side. When they were browned on both sides I removed them added the spinach and a splash of chicken stock (you can use water) added a lid and cooked the spinach until it had just wilted. That’s it, another one-pan yummy treat. Perfect for a spring evening.

You can find a recipe for green garlic and baby Bok Choy from one of my March 2010 posts here if you’d like another idea on how I’ve used it. It’s also excellent in any egg dish, think cheese and bacon omelet with spring garlic. If you can find Spring or green garlic at your Farmers’ Market or market, give it a try. I think you’ll like it.

Link: Annie Pickns’s Blog.

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10 Comments

Filed under Prairie Sagebrush Awards 2011

10 responses to “Prairie Sagebrush Award 2011: Chromo schoolroom, Spring garlic

  1. Anonymous

    Sounds like my daughter. Life to her is living learning for herself or to give to others.

  2. Talented and courageous women they are.

  3. Excellent choices, Jack! I really enjoy Teresa’s and Annie’s blogs too !

  4. I have also enjoyed Teresa’s blog and now you have introduced me to Annie’s blog that now I also will be following. Thank you for bringing not only these talented women but other writers, photographers, and informative information on every aspect of nature, history and much more.

  5. Thank you Jack. I am very honored to have been awarded the Prairie Sagebrush Award. Actually, I feel kind of guilty that you have chosen me at a time when I have not taken the time to write for so long now. It’s not that I haven’t been out there learning about new foods and experiencing new things it’s just that I haven’t been sharing. I ‘ll take this as a wake up call. If I’m going to be considered a person who can “produce fine writing, photography and art in the bogosphere” It’s time to get a move on.

    Congratulations also to Teresa, who’s blog I follow and enjoy immensely.

  6. Thank you, Jack, for this honor. We’ve been down some cyber roads in the past couple of years. I’m so glad to have shared them with you. Annie’s recipe sounds delicious. I think I’m going to have to try it.

    Congrats to you, as well, Annie.

  7. Beautiful, eloquent writing in both these two fine pieces and other posts on these two blogs. I read both faithfully and fully enjoy the writing and the learning that these two wonderful writers offer all of us.

  8. It is such a good choice, Jack. It is so deserved that Teresa gets this award. Her blog is brilliant and always a joy to visit. She’s the first I look after in the morning.
    Congratulations to Teresa!
    Best wishes
    Grethe ´)

  9. For one reason and another I’ve been putting off reading the best of the blogs I follow until I had time to savor them – and both of these are worth savoring.

    The sense of being “at home in the world” is one I found late, but I remember so well experiences like Teresa’s. As for Annie’s – well. I wish it was suppertime so I could start to cook!

    Thanks for highlighting these wonderful posts!

  10. Pingback: The 2011 Prairie Sagebrush Awards for blogging | Sage to Meadow

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