Traditional Persian Breakfast or Appetizer

By Meg Price

This Traditional Persian breakfast is delicious and unique!

With the hustle of morning routines, it’s difficult to find a breakfast idea that is fast and healthy. This recipe dish can be prepared easily the day before for the next few mornings.

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“To share a Persian meal with Iranian friends is to experience pleasure that goes well beyond the mere titillation of the palate.” Dileep Padgaonkar

Ingredients:

. 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves/whole ( good idea to grow mint in the spring)

. 1/4 cup of leaf lettuce

. 2 radishes

. Sliced butter

. Feta cheese

. Triangle cut squares of Pita bread or Naan

. Sauteed eggplant with thin slices of 1/4 onion

. Lemon or lime slices

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Recipe:

  • Peel Eggplant
  • Saute Eggplant & Onion slices in a pan till cooked.
  • Cut Feta into small slab slices
  • Start arranging with a triangle of naan and add butter then Feta
  • Then layer with radish slice, mint and lettuce
  • Top with eggplant
  • Sprinkle with fresh citrus juice
  • Enjoy!!

This easy dish is a perfectly unique Persian breakfast or appetizer.

Let me know what you think! Meg

meg@springsoffthegrid.com or comment

meg & Liklly

 

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January Gardening Activities

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“It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in early spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn”. B.C. Forbes

Written by Meg Price

Most gardeners are chewing at the bit waiting for springtime to arrive: but even in the winter months there is much to do to prepare for a great gardening season.

Roses
Roses: January is a perfect time to trim back your rose bushes of long dead stems. Some people even trim it down to leave only a few inches of each branch. The rosebush then grows back with vigor in the springtime. You can also put a 1/4 cup of Epsom salt around the base and water generously during this time of trimming.

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Winter Yard Art

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During this week of below freezing temperatures here’s a fun project of Yard Art!

Take water and food coloring and add to either a balloon or latex medical glove: tie off at end. Leave outside to freeze then remove the latex covering for a great ice sculpture of either a hand or colorful ice ball.

I added these great Blue Hands Yard Art in my flower boxes and a blue ice ball in the front entry way for cool Yard Art for these winter months. Since it’s only 3 degrees today this project is done in no time at all.

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“Gardens and chocolate both have mystical qualities.”
~Edward Flaherty~

Smiles and Friendly Chat – Pay it Forward

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Written by Meg Price
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in others than you can in two years trying to get others interested in you.
Dale Carnegie 

Dale Carnegie’s theories have taught me exquisitely on the importance of showing attention to others and interpersonal skills to enhance communication and outcome.

In the Cities and small communities there is much hustle during the holidays, but things aren’t always as they seem.  In small communities families tend to stick together and have many opportunities for social interaction, but not so much in the larger areas.  I have found that many professionals have moved to more urban areas for their careers but left behind their support systems and points of social interactions.   At first impression many others seem to have it all with great jobs, great cars, and respect of their peers but what is not noted is that they are often lonely. Their demanding work comes first with little or no time to socialize or make strong bonds with others around.   This situation does not only affect those who are busy with their work life but others who are left feeling lonely for various other life circumstances such as divorce, poverty, illness, health or age.

About 5 years ago I started working from home to be with my homebound daughter: as she was suffering from heart issues unable to physically go to school. It was an emotional challenge for me to make this transition as I tended to rely on the social connection of my peers, but have learned a lot from this experience. She is doing better now, with her conditions, but I’ve grown my consulting business to where I actually love working from home: just need to always keep tabs on social interactions so I don’t get too removed from others myself.  With every trip to the store I would talk to people behind me and in front of me including the cashier, and in restaurants I  would engage the staff in friendly conversations.  Sounds simple or possibly annoying to some but the effects were amazing on not only my life but theirs: as with each person I engaged their vibrational demeanor was instantly raised as they shared a bit of themselves.   The topics, these random meetings revealed, have been thought provoking at minimum. The imperative situations they spontaneously talked about seemed to be on their shoulders needing someone to just ask.

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Falcon Bowse – True Artisan of the Times

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“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Wherever Brian is you’ll find the sights & sounds of an old industrial oil sewing machine humming away melodically,  among piles of natural fabrics: alongside a rainbow of colorful tubes of paints & multi- sized canvases. In Brian’s home office the room boasts many different types of sewing machines from old industrial to embroidery versions of a few kinds, depending on the job: his office space also includes his guitars as he strums his elaborate  hand written songs at break time.  Brian Downey is a true modern day artisan with such creativity and artistic talent, continually traveling from coast to coast grabbing opportunities to work his craft.. Last summer Brian opened up a pop up store in Brooklyn for a few months with much enthusiasm a buzz! His talents include the title of skateboard pro (and  has numerous magazine covers & interviews in the last decade), a painter who has shown his work in many major cities around the country, took on the complete interior design of a unique store in San Francisco –  incorporating elements of his sculptured items and installations, and owner of clothing business, Falcon Bowse LLC  based in North Carolina.

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Looking to the past, Brian probably gained some of his talent from his relative Giacomo Raggi from Italy. Giacomo was also an Italian artisan who created stone sculptures on many buildings, including the University of Virginia in 1824. It was work commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in which he traveled from Italy to the US for this opportunity. Like Giacomo, Brian works in the artistic field doing what he does best: Creating with uniqueness and unsurpassed quality.

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( note : above image is a self portrait, that Brian painted on a pizza box, while standing in front of a mirror with the shower curtain behind him).

While watching Brain at work, One can sense a feeling of  calmness and complete dedication to the quality of his handmade products. Whether he is working on a wall mural, a long run of quality fabric 6 panel hats or a large surrealistic painting but range from realism to impressionistic cubism, he puts all his energy into making the product that he is proud to sell. Last year he used kickstarter.com to launch a creative unique idea of turning old/new T-shirts into your very own 5 panel hat. It was a success and on his website boasts a few of the hundreds of hats created. This option is still available on his website falconbowse.com

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His 6 panel hats are of such amazing quality that exceeds anything made in a manufacturing setting. Brian uses both reclaimed fabrics as well as new ones found around the country including the garment district for unique ones such as alpaca fur. He sews on an older model industrial sewing machine to be able to sew through many of the dense fabrics used. The eyelets and top buttons are all hand sewn to perfection. These items can be found in skate stores around the country as he does sell wholesale but items can also be found for retail on his website along with other items. One item that will be going up on the site is an amazing sturdy all leather/suede hat with alpaca lining for the ears. (Shown below).

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As an artist, the works are so plentiful ranging from 2 story murals to small intimate pieces of genius. He very rarely sells his artwork but does show in galleries from time to time. If a piece is commissioned to paint, then the decision is made ahead of time for the sale. This young man is actually my all time favorite artist and you can know from the 3 original paintings displayed in my home. Whether a series of realistic pen and ink drawings to large scale paintings,they exude emotion. As with many other artists, he has integrity and passion. I once asked him what he was doing in San Francisco that night, and he said, ” in the city there are so many homeless people freezing so I’m walking around & passing out Falcon Bowse beanies to all of them,”. :-)

On a side note: The Brian Downey Skateboards and wheels are available in the US major cities & internationally. The photo above includes a few of his new boards which sold out in stores just after a few days. The original artwork on them is designed by Brian himself.

Congrat’s to Brian for his recently attained Pro Skateboard Status. Whoo Hoo to a great guy~~

To reach this amazing artist please email him at falconbowse@me.com

 

 

 

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Walk Among the Details of Nature.

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It’s almost the weekend ; what a superb time to take a walk!  Get away from the electronics of today’s lifestyles and breathe in the delightful air while grounding yourself with “Mother Nature”. While reading Letters of an American Farmer by Crevecouer, I found a perfect quote; “Men are like plants; the goodness and flavor of the fruit proceeds from the particular soil and exposition in which they grow. We are nothing but the air we breathe and the climate we inhabit..”.

Many of the old books, by the famous authors, revel in the exploration of nature as a centering tool for daily life. Walden is a great example, of the author, living remotely by Walden Lake while authenticating his experiences to utmost detail. Henry David Thoreau’s book of Walden is developed into passages of the four seasons symbolizing human development intertwined with concepts of nature. In the Age of Romanticism there was a great desire to escape from busy society life, still existing today, & return to nature with all its distinctive grandeur. This became a constant expression of American writers in the 19th century.

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Soothing Sounds of The Countryside

 

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Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lao Tzu

As with many my age, I would spend a few weeks each summer in the remote countryside with grandparents. The vibrations with interpretations of  feel, smell, sound and sight are ingrained in my inner being.  The soft warm breezes upon my face along with the smells of the grasses and wildflowers woke up my senses. The tranquilizing music of different species of birds playing out their morning symphony of sound, and the sights of calmness in the softening views of nature; with the daisies swaying back and forth alongside the tall grasses; Encompassed all my senses. The experiences of this serene environment was peacefulness to my centered core.

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In today’s world many travel to busy vacation spots to take in the excitement and thrills in many popular crowded destinations. That is all fine but can leave you with needing a vacation from your vacation, due to lack of relaxation and necessary quiet time to regroup your mind and body. Traveling to the countryside is not a desired destination for the younger generation as it may not hold the memories of remedying and rejuvenation; plus there are not readily available hotels or rentals in that type of environment. While searching, you can find houses for rent in many rental sites online but the question would be, ” What will we do there to avoid boredom”? The answer might be to wake up to roosters crowing, drinking coffee on the dirt path along the wildflowers and swaying tree branches. Watch the butterflies flit back and forth, notice the birds of many colors hosting their unique sounds, converse with the roaming dogs, cows and horses, inhale the freshest air while having wonderful conversations with each other, swim in the river, or simply meditate in the experience of nature. Read more

Edible Flowers: Roses Petals

 

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Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

All types and colors of roses are edible: who knew! If you travel to areas such as India, Pakistan or Nepal you will find roses in many of the regional foods. They add rose petals to many entrees but also in jams, cake frosting, salads and milk shakes. Now when it comes to ice cream, they make all different color rose ice creams that are just as popular as our vanilla or chocolate. {Orange is my favorite color so my next project is to make some orange rose ice cream!}

An interesting fact is that roses and apples are fruit cousins; that’s why the rose hips look like small crab apples. Rose hips grow on the same branch in the place of the dead rose, as long as the bloom has not been cut off. Besides the nutritional value of rose hips, they also taste wonderful in many meals, teas or jams.

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* Do not eat roses from a florist as chemicals are frequently added.

* Do not eat roses that have been sprayed with pesticides.

* Discard the insides and only eat the petals (or the rose hips).

 

” Facts to know when eating roses:”

* Different color rose petals taste differently.

* The stronger the smell, the stronger the taste.

* Use the petals as soon as possible after picking.

* The best flavored roses are yellow & pink.

* Shrub roses have great flavor yet tea roses have hardly any as they also don’t have much fragrance.

* Roses are perfect to add to lettuce or fruit salads.

* A great touch to add to ice cubes for beverage flair.

* Try in homemade ice cream or milk shakes.

* Make Rose Tea by drying the petals first ~ then adding 50/50 mix with your favorite loose tea.

* Imagine all different color rose petals for frosting on your next cake or cupcakes then top with rose petals!

Send me photos of your creations and I will put them up on a follow up post!

Meg@springsoffthegrid.com

 

Institute a Fragrance Free Home from Synthetic Chemicals

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“The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing in the mists that float over waters; the scent of peony is the scent of the absence of negativity: a lack of confusion, doubt, and darkness; to smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip; a nut and a wood together is a walk over fallen Autumn leaves; the touch of jasmine is a night’s dream under the nomad’s moon.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

After my once a year trip to the mall, I was assaulted by the scent of artificial fragrances in the air everywhere; which actually gave me an awful headache and nausea. (Not to mention the women I passed by whose perfume followed me about 20 steps in the other direction like a bad odorous vapor.) From the ever popular artificially scented candle stores to the assorted artificially scented soap sections, the strong scents lingered and I felt sorry for the employees. I made the mistake of smelling one of the bars of soap labeled fresh nature scent, that was an offensive scent that came from a factory not nature in any way, shape or form.

Fragrances before the 70’s were mainly comprised of natural ingredients and a base of natural oils and/or alcohol; utilizing the natural fragrances from nature.

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Hobbies for the Mind, Body & Soul

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 My personal hobby/ interest list runs wild like pumpkin vines in fertile soil; at times needing to be pruned down.

Meg Price

 

Someone said something to me last week that I found interesting, she said “I’m afraid I will have nothing to do once I’m retired”. There are many of us who are experiencing a change in life style patterns; not only retirement but staying at home with children too. These are times when our  job related self identity is removed, leaving a gap of valuable time to fill. Hobbies are a wonderful way to achieve pleasurable quality time, alone or with others; and will furnish a new enthusiasm & purposeful accomplishment during these times.  Many Americans are now working from a home office & lack the daily social interactions of peers; but a group activity hobby fills that gap of non-physical connection with an activity of choice!

The process of participating in a hobby is gratifying in itself , with means of creation, relaxation, motivation, contentedness & fulfillment. Even though I work full time, most of my kids are in their own homes now, creating the free time I once didn’t have. My personal hobby/ interest list runs wild like pumpkin vines in fertile soil; at times needing to be pruned down. My love for reading has me involved with three books at a time, yet writing is my passion. Read more