Wednesday, June 17, 2015

PERSIAN OR ENGLISH? ..SKIN OR NO SKIN?...SEASONAL LIVING... JUNE RECIPE...CUCUMBER SALAD WITH FRESH MINT

I love cucumbers...ice cold...sliced very thin...with out the peel or skins...unless it is those wonderful little Persian cucumbers which are my FAVORITE.Their skin is so thin and sweet tasting I do not mind eating the peel on these small beauties.

English cucumbers are good too...and basically seedless...so they are wonderful to use in salads or just eat as is for a snack.

Standard cucumbers are great too...just peel the skin...as it can be bitter tasting.

Here then...is a lovely and easy cucumber salad for those hot June lunches or dinners...enjoy!


CUCUMBER SALAD WITH MINT
serves 3 to 4

1 medium English cucumber or
1 medium standard cucumber or
4 to 5 Persian cucumbers (they are small) and my favorite

1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
a handful of fresh mint...finely chopped
a pinch of sugar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel the skin off the cucumber...and halve it lengthwise. Slice into thick half-moons. Place in a glass dish with the cider vinegar...sugar...the olive oil...the mint ...and the salt and pepper.Toss together until well mixed. Allow to sit for 15 to 30 minutes...in the fridge...serve in ice cold bowls.

Victoria

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

MAKING YOUR OWN POTPOURRI JUNE 2015

How I love a sweet smelling home...especially when I can create it myself...is chemical free and ever so affordable. Below is a lovely scented homemade potpourri...that you can make in minutes...be sure to make extra for yourself...and store in a glass jar...and also give as a gift.


Potpourri gets its name from two French words...pot...which is the same in both languages and pourri...which means to rot.

You can simmer your blend on the stove...set it out in small bowls...or stuffed into pillows or sachets...either way... it is lovely.

ROSEMARY POTPOURRI

1/2 cup dried rosemary
1/2 cup dried peppermint
1/2 dried eucalyptus leaves
1/4 cup each dried thyme leaves and whole cloves
2 teaspoons dried grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon dried grated orange peel

Blend ingredients together until mixed...add to pillows or sachets...or gently simmer in a pot on the stove.


Monday, June 1, 2015

SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS JUNE 2015

JUNE musings...My happiest memories as a child...were June days spent at the beach...digging for sand crabs...tide pooling for starfish...holding seashells up to my small ears to listen to the sound of the ocean...and drawing pictures on the wet sand. Even now as I write this blog...I can feel those sweet June days at the beach... where I grew up in California... close to my heart...and forever smell the salt...that hangs in the air...on sea coasts.

Those were simple days back then...the whole world seemed to be uncomplicated...my whole future...far out and unknown to me...because small children really just do not think about things like that. Children just want to play and have fun...and never give a thought to change.

I did not have a great childhood...far from it...but those days at the beach made me feel free and unencumbered from all the chaos in my home...that never seemed to change...which is why being at the beach was my safe refuge...and my happy place. I can recall...even now...that feeling I experienced one day...coming home to yet another drama...that somehow I would change my life...and not end up living with the craziness I was having to deal with...in my unstable home life as a child.

My days at the beach ended...sadly...and so did living in California...but in it's place...my life changed...for the better...not by chance...but because I put thought into changing my life...step by step...little by little. Kind of like that little toy train going up the hill... in that child's story book "I think I can...I think I can".

I have made tons of mistakes...did stupid things...all the while forging ahead...to making my life better ... and changing myself from the inside ...out. Because that is what it takes. You...making the changes from within.

And change sometimes takes a life time. Even with the most dire or difficult situation...you can change your life for the better. And even if your life is really working well...there could be something...however small or minor that you can do to make a better you...for you...or those you care about.

This month of June...which marks the beginnings of the Summer cycle...offers you the valuable lesson of  growth and change... personally. Without growth and change your life becomes stagnant as well as dull. If you want to change... you have to "dig deep" within your very soul...to see with honest eyes...what is amiss that you are doing...that needs correcting...and work on  those amiss things each and every day. Like me...you will have set backs...still make mistakes...and feel disappointments...but your growth and change for the better is so worth it...because your life is worth it. And yes...some people will not support you or understand what the heck you are doing...but that really is none of your business...or theirs frankly. What is your business...is you...and what you want in life. And if what you want now...isn't what you experienced growing up...or even 2 years ago...then you have the golden opportunity in this moment...to take charge of your life... and reinvent yourself...from the inside... out.

Change...begins with you,
Victoria




FULL MOON...June 2nd

FLOWERS FOR JUNE... Rose...lavender

GEMS FOR JUNE...Topaz..agate

TEACHINGS FOR JUNE... This month is perfect for taking responsibility for your growth...and setting into action what change you want in your life.


FOLKLORE OF JUNE...

"A dripping June brings all things in tune"
" If  June be sunny, harvest comes early"


WORLD TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATIONS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE

June 14th...Flag Day in America...June 15th...Father's Day...June 21st...Summer Solstice...June 24th...St, Jean Baptiste Day

DID YOU KNOW...That the month of June ...is National Rose month? America's association with the Rose dates back to the voyage of Christopher Columbus. It is said that while adrift in the Sargasso  Sea...one of his crew members found a Rose branch floating in the water...signaling land...and that this sign...of seeing the Rose branch in the sea...rekindled Columbus's spirit and gave him the courage to continue his journey to the New World.


SUMMER SOLSTICE TRADITION

The Summer Solstice is the first day of Summer...and the season of high energy...change and growth.
On the eve of the Summer Solstice...write down four things you are willing to let go of or stop doing...in your life...to make positive changes in your life. When you are complete with this process say a blessing or prayer over your list...and then burn your list in a fire safe container...as a statement that it will be gone forever in your life.

Then on another list...write down what you must now do to make your changes...and then of course you must take the necessary steps to make the changes...each and every day.



SEASONAL LIVING AND TIMELESS TRADITIONS


...FOR YOUR HOME

Lavender is one of the flowers for the month of June...so I wanted to share with you some home making tips using this wonderful flower and herb.

Try sprinkling pure Lavender essential oil on cotton balls and then place in your cupboards and even your refrigerator to deodorize and remove unpleasant smells.

Put cotton balls sprinkled with pure Lavender essential oil...in your closets to repel moths.

Simmer dried Lavender flowers in a pot with water on the stove...to fill your home with Lavender's wonderful aroma.


...FOR YOUR HEARTH

June fare is lighter and easy to prepare...and of course seasonal...fresh food is always the best in your kitchen...and for you and your family. Below is a really good shrimp dish...with a bit of spicy kick.

SHRIMP WITH GARLIC...CHILE...AND PARSLEY
serves 4

1 pound small to medium shrimp peeled and veined
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
4 whole small peperoncini (peppers)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
lemon wedges for serving

In a large bowl toss the shrimp together with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil...garlic...and the peperoncini. Set aside to marinate for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature,

Heat a large saute pan over high heat until very hot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil...then cook the shrimp in batches with their marinade... seasoning them with salt and pepper...as you cook them...and also setting them aside as you go...until they are all pink and done.,

Deglaze the pan with the white wine...scraping up any cooking residue from the bottom and then stir in the parsley. Pour this pan sauce over the shrimp and serve immediately with lemon wedges.


...FOR YOUR HEART

Nurture yourself this month...by taking long soaks in essential oils...bath salts and flower petals. Below is my recipe for a Rose Healing Bath...a lovely way to sooth your body...mind...and spirit.

To make your Rose Bath...run your bath water...then add about 12 drops pure Rose essential oil...2 cups Epsom salt... and then sprinkle fresh Rose petals in the bath water. While you soak...ponder all the ways you can love and nurture yourself more...in small healthy ways...beginning with taking this wonderful bath more often.