Natural Gardening… Pretty Please

Butterflies and Bees? Yeah, I’ll go to bat for them. This year, I’ve noticed we have Bumble Bees but few Honeybees and almost no Butterflies. 50,000 Bumble Bees were poisoned in June in Oregon after an insecticide was sprayed on trees to control aphids, because of stickiness they cause to parked cars. The pesticide was “Safari” (dinotefuran) and belongs to a new group of chemicals called neonicotinoids, “implicated” in killing Honey Bees and possibly butterflies. I guess there are no warnings on the bottles or at the hardware store. Go natural and continue to enjoy the birds, the bees and the butterflies. 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

Poor Jonny's Cover

Leave Recipes Laying Around To See Long After You’re Gone

Never do I feel closer to my mother than when I run across her notes to me regarding cooking. In these notes she praises me for my skill, gives me confidence and guidance, her mothering giving me energy that makes me feel she’s still here. My mother died in 2010 but lately I’ve been running across her notes every day. Her pretty handwriting and the loving thoughts she put into her notes and letters are a gift I did not expect. Thanks Mom.

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

 

Sit Down, Relax and Read a Cookbook

I’ve found that the act of merely reading a cookbook will make you a better cook. It’s a lot like looking at a fashion magazine. You get ideas. Trust your mind to store enough elements of that spicy Spanish rice recipe and trust it to remember the way the Italians threw an egg in the middle of some dough to make egg noodles. I have a whole shelf full of cookbooks and you may too. There is no way that I have the time to make all the tantalizing recipes in those books but I do have the time to now and again put my feet up and read about how others spend their time in the kitchen. What spices do they use? How high do they turn up the oven up for desserts? What fruits do they throw into salads and what type of greens do they use? When you’re cruising through the produce isles, a red light will go off and you’ll grab that green pepper for stew, the mango for salad and the sweet potatoes for a different piecrust.

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

We Need To Lower Our Standards of Housekeeping

We need to lower our standards of housekeeping so we can all relax. I don’t mean to the extent that cockroaches are dancing across the countertops, not filth, just a stylishly Bohemian mix of dust yesterday’s winds blew in and a pile of unwashed dishes from last night’s delicious Pasta Primavera. Muddy boots in the corner also look nice as well as gardening hats complete with muddy fingerprint stains from sticking beet seeds into the ground. And windows? Oh geez, somehow we have got to make dirty windows fashionable. Cobwebs too – keep up with them? No can do. Still working on that one.

We must start the movement or revive it, modeled somewhere between Nirvana Grunge and the 60’s “F*** Housework” poster that jolted me as a teenager. Our children and grandchildren need us to read books to them and have time to walk in the park. I’m going back to relax with a hot cup of cocoa and read. I wouldn’t want someone to come by and find my house clean and tidy. That’s no longer fashionable. Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River. Available here:

Gold River: http://www.amazon.com/Gold-River-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484094042

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

Hold out for your shade of crazy.

Let Your Soup Sit

When I cook for a group, I always leave plenty of time for my dish to sit in the refrigerator so that the flavors merge. Usually I make it in the evening the day before, then put it in the fridge. Whether it’s a pasta dish, tamales or baked tofu, I would never think of offering it without letting the flavors merge. The exceptions are green salad and fruit salad, although I do like to let fruit salad sit for a little while, it tastes better when the fruit juices ooze all over one another.  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

Attitude Is Everything? What About Food?

I met someone last Saturday who was firing questions at me regarding survival food. She knew of my book, Acorns And Eat’em and was hoping to supplement her diet with them. Two problems with that. One, it’s a bad year for acorns in her neck of the woods, they are nowhere to be found. Two, acorns are not great for eating large quantities of unless you are starving, which is what this woman and her boyfriend are worried about. “I have no money,” she said. She held a government job but retired early hoping to find a new life’s calling, then they lost their home and headed for the hills. She has a great attitude and is accomplished at networking. I told he she could eat a lot of potatoes. But I went to bed Saturday night, tossed and turned all night long with her words ringing in my head. “I get to go to the food bank once a month. I only have the nerve to take about eight little red potatoes.” I told her where to look for acorns.

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

The Problem With People is They’re Hungry All the Time, lol …

I can say proudly that I am the cook at my house. Years ago I took control from my husband and declared, “I’m the food manager”. That was my blunt way of informing him that I was going to control the show in the kitchen. He did not mind. Thirty years later he still doesn’t mind. The more I cook the more he loves it. He tells people what a great cook I am and enjoys most everything I make. The problem is, like the rest of us, he’s hungry all the time. I once saw a video that was taken at Thanksgiving. The mother of the videographer worked all day long in the kitchen which many people do on our favorite food holiday but when they fast-forwarded the video, we watched her in high speed, for a long time cooking, bending, baking, etc. When it came time for everyone to eat, the fast-forward video showed everyone scoot their seats up then scoot them back and leave the table. If you blinked you missed it. It was hilarious. Those of us who put our heart and soul into cooking can relate to the video and it’s a good thing there are lots of left overs at Thanksgiving. But I’ll tell you, I just wish we weren’t so prone to having to eat, all day long, everyday. Why, some of us even wake up in the middle of the night to eat. Whoa, what’s up with that? Ice cream? Think about it, we are eating machines.  And if I don’t  eat and eat well, I have no energy. Like I said, we are eating machines. We are just like a car. No gas no go.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon, B&N and Ocean-Hose.

http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/

Recession Grocery Shopping – You Can’t Win!

You absolutely can not win if you go grocery shopping, especially if you have a partner. If you spend too much, which you will, especially with prices so high (bread is four dollars in California) or if you don’t come home with anything interesting to eat. My husband went last night and of course spent more than we had agreed on. But he said, “I figure I’ll be in less trouble if I bring you something good to eat”. Smart man. I can remember years ago a very stressful shopping experience. We had this little tiny Subaru hatchback and I had the delightful experience of having only seventeen dollars. My list included a bale of hay, groceries and gas. Whew. But I did it. I shoved that hay into the hatchback, bought the least amount of gas I could and found groceries really cheap at the gas station mini-mart. I always thought those days were behind us but this recession has brought them back again. I am grateful I have all the frugal skills I acquired during lean times. These days… I need them.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.

Dangerous Garden Warnings

The garden can be a dangerous place. No kidding! On Sunday I encountered a HUGE snake, slithering amongst the end of summer overgrowth but that said, the mice were beginning to ruin all my tomatoes and cantaloupe. Now I walk gingerly and keep my hands out of those overgrown corners. Earlier in the year the hornets were everywhere but I let them swarm around me while I worked, they never once bothered me and if it hadn’t been for them pollinating, I wouldn’t have had fruit. Now they are gone and the bees have moved in for the second round of flowers but I did get stung and it gives me the chills thinking of it now. Those hornets built a nest under my front porch. In the garden we got along fine but when my hat brushed against their nest, several of them came after me, ouch! As I walk out into the garden now, after having seen that snake, which I’m not sure if it is a rattler or not, I will remember the warning the hornets gave me.  I won’t wait for a warning from the snake as it just might be the “Don’t tread on me” variety.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Gold River one of her books for a buck available at Amazon.