search instagram arrow-down

Recent Posts


Top Posts & Pages

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,631 other subscribers


Thanks for Freshly Pressing me again!!

Freshly Pressed

Blog Stats

Blogs I Follow

Blog Stats

And again! Thank you to all who follow and support me!!

Though I have not worked at the Oil & Vinegar store since December, I have a good stock of product and continue to cook with  superior ingredients. My dinner last night was a duck breast marinated in Cara Cara Orange/Vanilla balsamic vinegar and Lemon infused olive oil. Cooking for one is a challenge both in proportions and in getting up the energy to eat alone.

More interesting is the cooking style I’ve developed lately, while spending three days a week with Gunther and Elise. Our routine has evolved and I often cook lunch for the three of us while she is out at appointments or running errands. They traditionally eat a hearty farm lunch, full of fresh organic vegetables, salads, grains and small potions of meat. Before Elise leaves, we lay out the ingredients. When Gunther is napping, I putter around in the kitchen, watching the birds and reveling in the preparations. There is no microwave, though I learned to use the convection oven and it seems far superior. She too uses oils from my former store and all manner of vegetables are sautéed on the stove while the tea kettle whistles.

Working in another woman’s kitchen is an adventure. Different implements, traffic patterns between stove, sink and refrigerator, pots and lids that are so well used and known by their owners are foreign to me. Over time, I’ve learned where things reside and have developed my dance between the prep stations.

Today’s lunch was leeks and cherry tomatoes sautéed then set aside; the Kasha was sautéed with an egg yolk then simmered with broth. The leeks and tomatoes went in and it sat on a warming burner. Next I cleaned and chopped sugar snap peas, green onion, red and yellow peppers; slipping them into simmering butternut squash seed oil.  Last week I made a carrot and parsnip soup when Elise  spent the morning having dental work. Their farm produces a fair amount of what they eat. Chickens, cows, goats, and sheep produce eggs milk and cheeses; she shops almost daily for other fresh organic items. The bread is always rich and dark, the tea cupboard stuffed with herbals for every mood, and the fridge overflowing with berries I parcel out slowly to Gunther like candies.

Most days when he rouses from a nap he sits with me as I cook; he watches the birds and comments on the squirrels and chipmunks who  dance under the feeder.  I finish up the cooking and set the table. Lunch dishes are the lovely blue and white set, cloth napkins and a jug of cold water adorn the table. It is sometimes a chore for him to get through the meal without help. There is no shame or embarrassment. Elise or I merely shift our chairs so one of us can give him a hand. He was 12 years old when World War II broke out in his home country. No food is ever wasted and every bite is savored.

Food binds us together. Preparing food is to give of your heart.

organic tomatoes and lettuce

16 comments on “Still Cooking, more local and healthy

  1. This lunch makes me thankful that today is our farmers’ market – I think I need to look for more varied oils!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Susan. There are lots of healthy, interesting oils out there. I learned about REAL extra virgin olive oil when I managed the store and good oils can make a huge difference!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. julieallyn says:

    What a beautiful, hearty, lovely essay!! As always, your writing is so real and from the heart.

    A few years ago I tried a new recipe, or rather made something using a new (to me) ingredient: parsnips. It tasted wonderful. I’d be interested in checking out your carrot & parsnip soup recipe if you’re inclined to share!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love parsnips, Julie! The soup is basically just cooked down carrots and parsnips (I saute the in a good oil and let them sweat) then add spices and vegetable broth, wizz it all up with a blender and it’s great hot or cold!


      1. julieallyn says:

        What spices do you use or recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I go savory with lots of corriander and basil or go sweet with cinnamon and nutmeg!


      3. julieallyn says:

        Either way – it sounds delicious!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. cheryl622014 says:

    Spicy parsnip soup, carrot and coriander soup, broccoli and Stilton cheese soup, with sundried tomato bread made with some of the oil the tomato was stored in…even in our so called “summer” lunches are special when given time to savour and chat and watch the garden…my idea of heaven

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Summer lunches are so different and wonderful, Cheryl. While I love comfort food when the wind is howling, there is nothing like summer soup from the garden!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Lady! You and I should be cooking together! If this election turns out as predicted, I may just move ‘across the pond’ and we can open a cafe.


  5. Touring NH says:

    Sitting down at a set table for lunch is something almost gone by the wayside. Today, few people take the time to properly enjoy a meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t thought about it but you are absolutely right, Laura. Perhaps that is one more reason I feel so blessed to be part of their lives.


  6. Marie Keates says:

    Just reading made me hungry! I like to use fresh ingredients too and meat from the local butcher that I know comes from nearby farms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does make a difference, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post! Thanks for your sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 9recipes says:

    Looks so great! Have a nice day


Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Pragma Synesi - interesting bits

Compendium of interesting bits I come across, with an occasional IMHO

Putnam, in the studio and beyond

Reflections and ruminations in Education, Beauty, Art and Philosophy

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

The city of adventure

From there to back again (usually on a bike)

Nolsie Notes

My stories, observations, and art.

Shellie Troy Anderson


Oh, the Places We See . . .

Never too old to travel!

The Task at Hand

A Writer's On-Going Search for Just the Right Words

Going to Seed in Zones 5b-6a

The Adventures of Southern Gardeners Starting Over in New England

I Walk Alone

The World One Step At A Time

Tootlepedal's Blog

A look at life in the borders

Susan's Musings

Whimsical Stuff from a Writer's Mind

Travels with Choppy

A dog and cat in clothing. Puns. Travel. Bacon. Not necessarily in that order. News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

A Sawyer's Daughter

The Life & Times of a Sawmill Man's Eldest Child

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

The adventures of timbertwig in the forest of Burnley and the Rossendale Valley

crafts, permaculture, forest management, self employment, cycling


Time to change, live, encourage and reflect.


Bring new life to your garden!

The Grey Enigma

Help is not coming. Neither is permisson. -

Ethereal Nature

The interface of the metaphysical, the physical, and the cultural

UP!::urban po'E.Tree(s)

by po'E.T. and the colors of pi

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything

Crazy Green Thumbs

Chronicling a delusional gardening experience.

New Hampsha' Bees

Raising bees holistically in New Hampshire

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

Therapeutic Misadventures

Daily musings on life after 60 & recreating oneself

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Writing Out Loud

A Place of Observation

cancer killing recipe

Inspiration for meeting life's challenges.

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude


Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why. Kurt Vonnegut

Once upon a time... I began to write

My journey in writing a novel

Not a Day Over 45

A View from Mid-Life

Sharon Hewitt Rawlette, PhD


Diana Tibert

~ I write -

White Shadows

Story of a white pearl that turned to ashes while waiting for a pheonix to be born inside her !

At Home in New Hampshire

Living and Writing in the North East


Two rare, life-threatening diseases that led to a bone marrow transplant and a snappy Buttkick List



International Cowgirl Blog

%d bloggers like this: