organic heirloom tomatoes in basket, photo copyright 2017 cynthe brush

September 2017 ~ Tomatoes overrun Arizona gardens in late summer. We were warned! Oven dried tomatoes are an easy way to preserve the luscious bounty.

Mud-and-Water Woman (aka. Cynthe) grew an organic vegetable garden this summer. Over a decade since our last one, Bill (sweet hubby) assembled the raised beds, after MMW and her garden angels – Kaitlin and Janet had done all the prep. We leveled the garden area, weeded, lay down metal hardware cloth (as a gopher deterrent) covered with a woven weed barrier to keep  running grasses from taking over. Once the beds were assembled, Kaitlin and Janet mixed river bottom soil from Prescott Dirt and Wilby’s compost 50/50 shoveling it over a 8-12in deep layer of hardwood prunings (mainly oak from the property) to promote mycorrhizal fungi, which support plant health and vitality. (Learn more about HugelKultur science and applications here.)

Being experimentally inclined, Mud-and-Water Woman planted 9 types of unusual tomatoes: Berkeley Pink Tie-Dye, Black Vernissage [read more…]


Lavender Lemonade

by Cynthe on May 11, 2016

Essential oils are DELIGHTFUL in your cooling summer drinks! Here’s a refreshing lavender lemonade recipe to try when temperatures rise to sweltering.

lavender lemonoade in chilled glassLAVENDER LEMONADE Recipe

•    7 Organic Lemons, peeled and juiced
•    2 Organic Limes, peeled and juiced
•    1 drop pure 100% Lavender Essential Oil* (no more!!)
•    14 cups filtered Water
•    1-1/2 cups Organic Agave Syrup

Mix all ingredients together, heat gently if needed to blend in agave syrup. Taste. Add more water or Agave syrup to the Lavender Lemonade, depending on the size and tartness of the citrus fruits.
Chill before serving. Garnish with whole lemon slices and a sprig or sprinkle of culinary lavender.

*NOTE: Be careful not to add more than a single drop of Lavender essential oil or it will overpower your lemonade.

If you would like the slightly pink hue shown in the photograph, infuse culinary lavender into the water by boiling it for several minutes, bring to room temperature before adding the rest of the lemonade ingredients.


Savory Cauliflower Butternut Squash Soup (Vegan recipe)

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Ummm, ummm GOOD! Made another one of my toss-ingredients-together soups the other night and it turned out especially yummy. This cauliflower butternut squash soup seasoned with coconut milk and Balti spices, had subtly-curry like flavor, but wasn’t ‘hot.’ When I read the ingredients’ description at Penzy’s, it was obvious why the flavors resonated with me:

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Winter Holiday Ginger Pumpkin Cheesecake

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The winter holiday season has arrived! Just past Thanksgiving in the USA, now families are planning menus for Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa…including favorite seasonal desserts, of course. My hubby’s family has traditionally celebrated his late November birthday along with their annual Thanksgiving get together. Rather than making a birthday cake, we serve pumpkin pie or […]

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Thanksgving Roots ~ Roasted Vegetables

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Thanksgiving, our annual harvest holiday here in the United States, is just around the corner. Cooks planning Thanksgiving celebration feasts select favorite family recipes and traditional holiday offerings for these festive meals. Some folks make the same recipes year after year. Others of us, who no longer eat turkey or canned cranberry sauce, experiment by […]

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October’s End Brings Poignant Memories and Halloween Fun

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Halloween Approaches! October glows orange everywhere I look. Liquid amber and pistashio trees flaunt russet-hued autumn leaves. At the farmers markets, Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons pile high beside brilliant orange peppers or dangle temptingly conspicuous on neighbors’ trees. Fat pumpkins lie ripe for the picking in fields edging Sonoma county’s highways…slowing traffic to a crawl…as […]

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A Hidden Rose Apple Pie for My Valentine

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Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day traditionally with chocolates, red roses, and/or a romantic candlelight dinner? Bill and I aren’t much for rituals, but we do enjoy treats and desserts on special occasions. My sister, Victoria, had given us some lovely ‘Hidden Rose’ apples for Christmas. I had saved the last 5 for a baking project. […]

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‘Food Is Love’ 2014 Recipe Calendars: Great Holiday, Housewarming & Wedding Gifts!

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GOOD NEWS! Our 2014 ‘Food Is Love’ Recipe Calendars will be ready for the presses at the end of this week. Every month features a SEASONAL RECIPE with mouth-watering photography of the finished dish and serving suggestions. 2014 ‘Food Is Love’ Recipe Calendars Several recipes on last year’s 2013 calendar were too long to fit […]

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