Archive for the ‘Locavore’ Category


Good morning fellow farmgirls!

Happy Wednesday!  Is it really November 5th already?

I’ve been thrown for a loop the past couple of weeks.  As many of you know, my husband works in a land far, far away.  Exotic and warm 365 days a year.  With beautiful scenery and unusual foods. And now he is in the process of moving even further away for work – or is it now closer since he was already half way around the world.  Now he’s headed to another beautiful exotic land of 56 separate ethnic groups and of those people currently has 5 major different language families and 129 different languages excluding dialects and sub-dialects. His rig is moving off the cost of a beautiful island with gorgeous beaches and 5-star hotels.  Oh never mind.  I was trying to make it sound romantic. The truth is, his rig will be off the coast of Sanya, Hainan Island, China. Yep. That far. It looks absolutely amazing. But I venture to say I will see it only in pictures. When he gets off work the very last thing he wants to do is stay where ever his rig is. He wants to come home and sleep in his own bed and eat food we cook and see his family as much as possible. We talk about me meeting him in some of these exotic locations but truth is, I don’t want to travel that far by myself and he wants to come home. And frankly, I am happy to see most things from a distance. I told him once how thrilling it would be for me to travel over to Malaysia and us go into the jungles and actually see a tiger in the wild. He quickly pointed out that when I finally saw the tiger, it had been watching me for quite some time. Valid point.

I said all that to say, he will be later coming home than we expected.  Not sure when and neither of us are terribly happy about that fact.  But it what it is and we will celebrate his homecoming when he arrives.  And treasure the time we have as we always do.

So that might never get crossed off my bucket list. HOWEVER, one thing I did get to cross of my list was absolutely thrilling and brought me to tears several times in a short period of time. And if you stay with me for this little story, you will find a recipe from Milk Cow Kitchen by MaryJane Butters at the end of this post. :)

I want to preface my report from the night of 30 October 2014 by telling you all how very much I respect President Jimmy Carter, farmer from Georgia. I know all the things people criticize him for. Well aware of them. But here’s the thing about that: he is a fine, benevolent, charitable, honorable man. That is so much more important to me than 4 years of his life (and ours) trying to run a government like he ran his life. Trying to bring the environmental issues we were facing into the light. Brokering a peace treaty between two people who no one ever thought would sit down together much less discuss peace. Plain and simple he was too good a man for the filth that is Washington. There should be no shame in that. None. So if you have a criticism, keep it to yourself. It will fall on deaf ears here.

President Carter is why am a card carrying Democrat. Not that I have never voted for a Republican because I have. More than once. But he and people like him are the reason I have not lost hope for the human race. No one used their post-term life to more of an advantage for the good of those who need the most which is in turn for the good of all.

He is the kind of person we should all want to be.

From his Wikipedia page: a concise list of his post-presidential accomplishments and works:

Carter has been involved in a variety of national and international public policy, conflict resolution, human rights and charitable causes. In 1982, he established The Carter Center in Atlanta to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. The non-profit, nongovernmental Center promotes democracy, mediates and prevents conflicts, and monitors the electoral process in support of free and fair elections. It also works to improve global health through the control and eradication of diseases such as Guinea worm disease, river blindness, malaria, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis. It also works to diminish the stigma of mental illnesses and improve nutrition through increased crop production in Africa.

A major accomplishment of The Carter Center has been the elimination of more than 99 percent of cases of Guinea worm disease, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 148 reported cases in 2013. The Carter Center has monitored 96 elections in 38 countries since 1989. It has worked to resolve conflicts in Haiti, Bosnia, Ethiopia, North Korea, Sudan and other countries. Carter and the Center support human rights defenders around the world and have intervened with heads of state on their behalf.

In 2002, President Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development” through The Carter Center. Three sitting presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Barack Obama, have received the prize; Carter is unique in receiving the award for his actions after leaving the presidency. He is, along with Martin Luther King, Jr., one of only two native Georgians to receive the Nobel.

The night of 30 October 2014 was surreal for me. It was a pleasure to be able to take Ben with me and have him hear the inspirational, generous nature of this man who even in his 90th (90????) year still works and teaches and gives not only his money but his time. Public service is a noble thing to pursue.


As he stood on the stage of the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, President Carter talked about all the things he has helped implement in his home state of Georgia. How he promised a huge change in the lives of Atlanta poorest residents before he realized that those residents numbered 500,000. Instead of backing out and not following through, he put things no one else had tried into motion. Divide and conquer. He divided the 500,000 who lived mostly in South Atlanta into 20 sections and went out and got corporations and educational institutions to join him in making the needed changes. Mrs. Carter was leading one group and when she went out into that community she found that these people, the poorest of the city, were actually paying more for necessary products than those that could better afford things. Shame on the corporations who do such things.

He brought to light so many things that I had never considered. It is so easy to look away. So much easier. He could have retired to his ranch, hosted bar-b-qs and rode horses. But that’s not the person his mama raised. His mama Miss Lillian, who joined the Peace Corps at age 68. Yeah. I know right?

President Carter toured projects in Shreveport-Bossier City and spoke about the things he saw and the changes he’d been made aware of. He gave us all a lot to think about. There is so much work to be done and much of it isn’t the kind of thing you can just throw money at. That’s the easy part oddly enough. Many of the needs require people with time and patience and talents and a willingness to share.

President Carter and people like him are why American is still the great place it is and why people are still dying trying to get here.
So I didn’t cry the WHOLE night. But yeah it was a very emotional night for me. One I will never forget. I feel so privileged to have seen him speak in person.
There’s no doubt that usually a president’s public image is enhanced by going to war. That never did appeal to me. ~ Jimmy Carter


As promised for your patience here is a great recipe from Milk Cow Kitchen by MaryJane Butter.  I will make this recipe for supper tonight and give you a follow up tomorrow.  Best part – GLUTEN FREE!!!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2 1/2 cups mozzarella. shredded
  • 1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
  1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water. Cut cauliflower into florets and add to pan. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain.
  2. Using a cheese grater or potato ricer, finely grate cauliflower. Place cauliflower in a thin dishtowel and wring out any extra moisture.  After removing excess water there should be about 2 1/4 cups grated cauliflower.
  3. Preheat oven to 450. Line a pizza pan with parchment paper.
  4. Combine cauliflower, mozzerella, eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Spoon mixture onto pizza pan and spread out evenly, forming a raised crust at the edges.
  5. Bake pizza crust for 20 minutes
  6. Spread pesto over the crust; top with mozzarella and tomato
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbling.

WOOT! Sounds so good.  And it is a rainy dreary day so this will be filling yet light at the same time.  I’ll give you the low-down tomorrow.

Here are the links to the previous recipes and posts for the  Milk Cow Kitchen Give-Away:

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Sweet Corn Casserole

Scalloped Potatoes

Four-Cheese Macaroni

If you haven’t read the interview with MaryJane here’s your link to that: Meet MaryJane Butters


You can find out more about MaryJane Butters by visiting:

Peace out peeps.


Farm Fresh From Vermont

Update: The goal was met and Swan&Stone are headed to NYC!!! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!!

If you have ever visited my blog you know my love of all things Vermont. Vermont is my happy place. Anytime I get the opportunity to share it, I take that opportunity. And I take it seriously. I have something really special to share today.


It’s not often you see the word millinery. I found Swan&Stone a couple of years back when they were Little Hill Woolworks and bought a hat right then and there!

Collaborators Samantha Stone and Nora Swan, both former New Yorkers, are the brains, hearts and hands behind Swan&Stone. Both have contributed fascinating halves that make the whole of all that is now a thriving millinery housed in The Granary in quintessential, bucolic Brandon, Vermont.

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Robbin, my oldest and dearest friend, and I were treated to a personal tour of Swan&Stone when we were in Brandon last October. Yes, Vermont in October. Heaven on Earth! Our tour guide was Kelly, whom I met through the wonderful world wide web when we were both in business – she owned a handcrafted lollipop business and I owned Dahlem’s Soapworks. I don’t remember exactly how we met, but it was meant to be. Kelly is an amazing mom and friend AND an extraordinary photographer. I have given her credit on the photos that belong to her – though you could probably tell already – they are amazing.


Stepping into Swan&Stone is a feast for the eyes for anyone – but for a couple of women who love Vermont, LOVE handcrafted, LOVE sustainable products, LOVE locavore culture, LOVE farms and sheep and hats…well our breaths were taken away! We tried on hats, admired and admonished our choices, and had an amazing and educational visit with Samantha. I am kicking myself for not purchasing my favorite of the day – a felt beauty that was a little steampunk, a little country with lot of attitude – you know, like me! LOL! The trim on it was bits & bobs of metal found after Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on beautiful Brandon back in August of 2011.

There are numerous articles written about Swan&Stone online and I will give you links at the end of this post. But the words that are their own are the best. What interesting women, business owners, and artisans. I have to admit, I will never look at hats the same. I say all the time: I wish people still wore hats. WELL, people do! Bold people. Confident people. People who don’t bend and give to the latest fashion trend. That’s what I love about Sam & Nora’s creations – they are timeless. Beautiful, extraordinary, handmade hats for now and forever.


wooden hat blocks


one of a kind hats for men

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hats waiting for embellishments

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LOVE the blue!!

1238936_10202224198471397_6562650_n(from STRUT 2013) photo credit: Kelly McCullough


photo credit: Kelly McCullough

there’s something for everyone!

felt hats, straw hats, fascinators, kids’ hats, hats for brides

These are literally farm to head hats!


photo credit: Kelly McCullough


photo credit: Kelly McCullough


photo credit: Kelly McCullough (I need this one framed)

Now Samantha and Nora have a once in a lifetime chance to show their hats to the world! After a rigorous jury process they have been invited to show and sell their hats at the 2014 Grand Central Holiday Fair! Yes! THAT Grand Central – in New York City! There is a little bump in the road, a catch if you will – the $16K entrance fee. But you know what? This is very doable – and you, me, we can help them meet that challenge head on (no pun intended) and become the famous milliners they are destined to be. I believe in what Swan& Stone is doing. Grass to market isn’t just about food anymore. Every product that is made from sustainable goods should be readily available to consumers who care about that very important factor in producing goods & services. Fine hats should be no exception. So please visit their KickStarter page and contribute.

Every little bit will help them realize their dream.  AND you too can own an original Swan&Stone creation with your contribution.


Please do you and me both a favor and follow the link, visit Swan&Stone’s Kickstarter Page and help this woman owned and operated business show in NYC! You know what they say: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And Samantha and Nora deserve this opportunity – they have worked so hard and offer beautiful handcrafted hats that anyone would love.

Be sure and watch the video on your visit to their kickstarter page. There is also an easy “go to” link in the right column – check it out!

You can read more about Swan&Stone here:

You can also follow them on twitter @ and find them on Face book @


With warmest regards,