I tend to organize my life around the growing seasons, both as a gardener and metaphorically. I make sure to take time to rest in the winter, to allow myself energetic renewal so that when the spring comes I’m ready to go. In the early spring I think about what I would like to grow in my life. During the summer, I do what I can to foster that growth, and in the fall, it’s (hopefully) time for harvesting the fruits of my labors, and getting ready to slow down again.
I have a small garden. I grow perennial fruits and herbs, and add in vegetables every year. My garden is not very productive. I’m often too busy to keep up with the weeds, and I think my plot doesn’t get enough sun. But I do get a nice crop of raspberries, a few tomatoes, a bit of kale every year. I also take advantage of the wild food growing around our house; garlic mustard and blackberries are two of my favorite foraged foods.
I find that this annual rhythm works well in the rest of my life too. I take time in February to take stock of my life, to set intentions for the coming year, and to begin to put into place the structures needed to accomplish my goals. Often, by October my plans are really starting to come to fruition.
One of the lessons I’ve learned as a gardener is that plans often don’t go the way I had hoped. Circumstances can be unfavorable, with too much rain, or not enough. Sometimes, I need to change the way I do things. I need to add more compost, or cut down some trees to get more light on the garden. A lot of the time more patience is needed, like the gooseberry bush that needs another couple of years of development to really bear fruit. Most often, I enjoy sharing the harvest of others, shopping at local farm markets. I find gardening to be a really good metaphor for life.
The most important lesson is that no matter how much I want things to be different or move faster, I have to take time to be in the moment and really appreciate the abundance and yumminess that I do have. Enjoy!
Skillet Caramel Apples
These are super quick and easy, SUPER yummy dessert, suitable for Tuesday night treats or guests at a dinner party. If you want to go over-the-top decadent they would be good with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but that’s really not necessary.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
- 1 large apple per person
- 4 Tbs (or ¼ cup) of butter
- 4 Tbs (or ¼ cup) honey
- Cinnamon to taste (I like a lot of it!)
- Always wash apples before eating. Apples are one of the most highly sprayed foods. Simple dish soap and warm water will do.
- Cut an apple in half, then in quarters. Cut out the core. And then slice the apple.
- Melt the butter in a skillet.
- Arrange the slices of apples in the melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Saute for about 3 minutes.
- Turn the slices over and drizzle the honey over them.
- Continue to sautee for a few more minutes. The butter and the honey will thicken and create a caramel sauce. Serve when the apples are cooked through and the caramel has started to harden.