A House, a Hound, a Horse and a Husband… Not Necessarily in That Order

Anyone who has owned a horse knows that they are a lot of work. Ditto with the hound and the house. Anyone who has ever had a significant other knows that relationships take a lot of time and caring. The more time and care you put into it, the better the relationship usually is.  This post has no intention other than to acknowledge those who sweep, shovel, sew, iron, rake, mow, boil or bake. Which is most everybody. We all have chores. Whoever you are, guy or gal, today I acknowledge you. I just spent a good hour raking horse manure in 92 degrees. Yes, in the hot sun. I don’t like doing it but I like it that I can. Even the worst of chores have something for which we can be thankful.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

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There Was a Feeling in the Air… Hard Times Were Sure to Come

After I wrote “Acorns and Eat’em,” a how-to cookbook for gathering and preparing acorns, I wanted to share what else I had learned while living in the mountains, far from the grocery store, with a limited budget. Y2K was fast approaching and survivalists were sending me checks for my acorn book. Obviously there was a feeling in the air that hard times were sure to come. I care about people and nutrition so I continued creating unusual recipes from simple, natural, unprocessed ingredients. For example, in “Poor Jonny’s Cookbook”, my recipes teach you the art of making biscuits from scratch with minimal ingredients. Our great-grandparents knew how to survive, we need to follow their example and return to the basics. There’s a little bit of everything in this cookbook, my hope is that when you use this book, you’ll get into the flow of cooking with what you

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

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In the Garden… Time to Glamorize Cabbage

Cabbage may turn up a few noses but I wouldn’t be surprised if somewhere in history there was a cult that worshipped the big sphere. Cabbage is so versatile it can be used raw in coleslaw and my favorite use is chopped and used in place of lettuce in a salad. With the addition of avocado and tomato and any other favorite salad additions, it’s tasty and filling. And of course, there’s always stuffed cabbage. The leaves are so large they lend themselves nicely to stuffing. If you want a stuffed pasta dish but you’re on a diet, using cabbage leaves instead of pasta works well. Stuffed cabbage can also take on an Asian flair if filled with fried rice. An Italian dish could be made if you stuffed cabbage leaves with tomato puree, vegetables, tofu, onions, Italian spices and cheese on top, then baked. I’ve had chopped cabbage in many a Mexican restaurant, it mixes well with hot peppers. And then there’s the fermented food called sauerkraut, some people swear by if for their health. Whatever you dream up for your cabbage, you’ll take pleasure in knowing that eating cabbage is reputed to help prevent cancer. Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

Paperback:

https://www.createspace.com/4282927

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGO2EA/ref=nrn_si_text

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

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Killer Bees… an Experiment Gone Haywire?

Being that it’s summer and I’ve a variety of bees swarming around my flowering herbs, I decided to google “killer bees” to see what they looked like. To my surprise they looked similar to honeybees. There are quite a few websites, I looked at about four of them. Here’s what I garnered. One website said they believe killer bees got their start in Brazil after someone thought they could improve their bee genetics by importing queen bees from Africa. Unfortunately, the hybrid offspring tend to have an attitude and are easily offended. If killer bees feel threatened, they go get their buddies and come after you.  Their venom has more punch too. I live in Northern California and they’re not here, but the map shows them in Southern California as well as several other states. The fact that they’re hybrids is making it difficult to develop an extermination plan.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

Paperback:

https://www.createspace.com/4282927

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004PGO2EA/ref=nrn_si_text

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

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Lavender Wash Water… The Romans Did It

During Roman times, lavender was used to perfume bathing water. The Latin word, Lavandula means, “to wash.” The Romans also started the art of topiary, the creative pruning of plants, which they used lavender for, as well as rosemary and juniper. After Rome fell, the art of cultivating gardens fell to Christian monks. In the monasteries, they grew medicinal plants and flowers for religious services, and they studied the genetic characteristics of the plants they bred. Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:

Paperback:

https://www.createspace.com/4240694

eBooks at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Suellen+Ocean&x=3&y=12

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

The Celtic Prince

First Butterflies & Bees, Now Ladybugs… Yes!

Last year, when I planted fava beans I had a lot of butterflies and bees enjoying the flowers. This year, the fava have grown taller than myself and they’re loaded with bright red ladybugs. As most gardeners know, ladybugs are a friend in the garden. They eat unwanted insects and I believe they collected on the favas to eat aphids. Fava beans fix nitrogen into the soil through little nodules in their roots. You can’t go wrong with using favas as a “cover crop.” Of course you can eat the fava beans as well.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

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Gardening Survival Food: Pumpkin Zucchini Cross

I’ve heard that when squash cross-pollinates it makes a “gourd” and that eating them can kill you. No kidding. Or make you really sick. So I was afraid when my zuchinni had obviously crossed with my sugar pumpkin. Uh oh. But what a pleasant surprise that turned out to be. Not only am I not dead, my “pumpkinni” were ten times more prolific than the zucchini and were delicious when eaten small and green. I allowed about five of them to grow large and turn into winter squash. Now here it is in the middle of January and I made pie from the winter squash it turned into. Delicious! The winter squash it turned into has a thick protective skin so is great for storing. They were mostly green when I brought them in last fall but have slowly turned orange. I’m saving the seed and will plant it in my summer garden. What will the seed from the pumpcinni turn out like? I’ll let you know.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Acorns-Eatem-How–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

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Gardening: My Cup Runneth Over But it’s A Lot of Work

Summer is over but the garden work has not stopped. Lettuce needs to be washed, beets scrubbed, tomatoes are still hangin’ round, pumpkins need to be made into pies and herbs need to be dried and stored. Never a dull moment in a Gardener’s kitchen. Here’s are some tips. For herbs, stick them in a large paper bag to dry. For tomatoes, pick them green and let them ripen in baskets. Don’t worry if they get wrinkled or a little soft. Don’t leave picked pumpkins lying in the sun and keep an eye on them; they go bad sometimes sooner than one might think. And as for the lettuce, if you’re lucky enough to live in a temperate climate, it will get a little muddy and tattered but will stick around making you feel as if your garden is an extension of your refrigerator.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

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Natural Weight Loss? Drink Your Basil Seed Tea?

I had a bumper crop of sweet basil this summer and have been staring at a bowl of the dried herb for over a month. The reason I left it sitting there was because I thought the seeds might be bitter and didn’t know if I should separate them from the leaf before I stored it for my spice cabinet. Today I finally got around to doing a bit of research about the seeds and I see more than one source recommends basil seeds for weight loss. Are you kidding me? And I was going to throw them out? Could it be that simple? I doubt it but you can be sure I’ll save them and see if I enjoy the Thai style of basil seed tea that’s so popular within that culture.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the vegetarian cookbook, Poor Jonny’s Cookbook. Available here:

http://www.amazon.com/Poor-Jonnys-Cookbook-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114031

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/260122

eBook through Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/poor-jonnys-cookbook-suellen-ocean/1102338251?ean=2940016618609

Poor Jonny's Cover