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Oodles of Noodles, simply homemade

My mom would tell me stories of her grandma, a natural born fermenter and maker. Sour milk, sourdough, and homemade noodles drying homemade egg noodleson the bed.

Making noodles always seemed like a difficult experiment to me, and I am not sure why. Pasta is literally my favorite thing to eat.

Given that I had mounds of excess tomatoes and fresh eggs in my kitchen, I decided to tackle making homemade egg noodles! Plus, I like know what is in my food, and where the ingredients come from (I am not not allergic to gluten, but sensitive, so knowing what flour I am ingesting is important. Not all wheat is the same. ).

Honestly, super simple.  You will need somewhere to dry your noodles. Laying them on a towel on the bed will not work in my house, due to the big black dog that is virtually everywhere. I took a tension curtain rod and hung it between tow cabinets (see photo) and covered it with plastic wrap. You can roll and cut noodles, but make sure you roll them out thin!

Here is the recipe:

2 cups of flour

1 tsp salt

3 egg yolks, 1 egg

1-4/ to 1/2 cup of water

Mix it all to form a ball, not too wet and not too dry. Roll out thin, then cut in strips or use your pasta machine. If you flour the dough well, you can gently fold it into thirds and cut the strips. Let dry about 1 hour. Cook in boiling water for 5-7 min.

Voila!!!

Here is what really happened: My pasta was too thick, because I hand rolled it and cut it. I have no idea where the pasta machine is hiding I have hoarded for years, but will find it for next time. Noodles were yummy, but had the consistancy of dumplings. Other than that, YUMMY.

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A Radish to the Rescue!

Every time I buy Daikon radishes at the market, someone asks me how to prepare them. Unless you are at an Asian market, Californians still see this long white radish as “exotic”. But you will not get that question from a European. I grew up in eating “Retichsalat” in Germany, and it was a Summer staple.

As simple as they are, and fairly cheap (2 for $1!!), they are a giant powerhouse of nutrition. These radishes are known to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, improve digestion, detoxify the body, strengthen bones, aid respiratory health, and are even said to prevent certain types of cancer. You can read more details on the wonders of the Daikon radish in this great article by Organicfacts.net. 

Here is my favorite & fast Summer recipe! Perfect as a side to meat, or as a fresh appetizer to cold cuts. It is great if you have time to prepare this and let is sit overnight in the fridge, but you can prepare it right before a meal too!

2 Daikon Radishes

salt/pepper

Fresh or dried dill

Sour cream or milk

Grate radishes into thin slices. If you have time, salt them generously and let them sit for at least 1 hour. Drain the water. If you don’t have time, salt them and move on :). (you will have to add more salt later).

Add salt & pepper and dill. Add enough sour cream, about 3-4 large spoonfuls, to make a thick sauce. This works if you still have water from the salting. It will make a very creamy sauce :). If you only have milk, add sparingly, you don’t want it to be runny.

voila! You are done!

Like I said, it tastes better the longer it soakes, and it is very refreshing when coming straight from the fridge.

Enjoy!

Much love,

Heike

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Dry it before you buy it

glass screw top jar c/o infinity jars

The rain has saturated California so much that the water restrictions in my county have been lifted! With all the recent rain, and the saving grace of a few days of warm sunshine in between, the wild weeds in my garden and by the river have EXPLODED!

Right now, all the green herbs are plump and luscious. I am drying them bit by bit, and keeping them for the gray days of fall & winter. I know, it is weird to think of that when we have barely crawled out of the cold. But the abundance now calls for harvesting, and as the days get longer and hotter, the herbs begin to draw in to keep cool.

So, my house is filled with hanging bundles! You can’t escape them, and if you are taller than me, it is very likely that you will run into some! Even though I am very aware of drying my herbs away from too much light and any moisture, you will see that they turn brown. Especially the leafy green herbs. That is ok, as long as you store them AS SOON as they are completely dry.  Just a few days longer than necessary in the air can take away from their scent and freshness.

As for storage, I put my dry leaves in plastic bags that I suck the air out of, label them, then put them in boxes in my pantry (which are also labeled). This way they are airtight, space convenient, and in the dark for storage. I have the herbs I use on a daily basis in glass jars on  a kitchen shelf. Unfortunately, my  1950’s kitchen has very little cupboard space, so there is a lot of open storage. Though my vintage mason jars and flip tops are cute, they are not the greatest for storing herbs, since the light gets to them. So, when Infinity Jars asked me to review their jars,  I was happy to.

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Infinity jars have an airtight seal, ultra-violet filtering, and are scent proof. The jars are a deep violet glass, almost black. This pigmented glass blocks light, which deteriorates herbs.  This makes them perfect for kitchen storage of your daily herbs! You can read more about them here, make sure to check out their specials.

The 1-liter screw top jar I have featured here is perfect for my needs. I like the wide mouth, since I do not have a dishwasher and being able to clean jars well is important. It is also much easier to fill! Space is a premium in my little kitchen, this jar is light weight, slender, and tall, so it is easy to fit a few next to each other on the shelf. They even come with labels!

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Here are the herbs drying now, and some uses. Send me your suggestions!

Mugwort: dream pillows, smudge sticks

Peppermint/Spearmint: tea, sprinkle for dog bed, herb for salads & fruits.

Lemonbalm: tea, infusions

Oregano: spice for almost everything I cook! I have so much oregano, I give it away :). Also great for putting in your husbands shoe closet….

Thyme: tea, cooking herb

Marjoran: cooking herb

Happy foraging!

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Slo’ Mo

Usually, I write about how “chaotic” my life is. I seem to attract chaos, and when it gets too quiet, something happens to rattle our lives.
On SuperBowl Sunday, my husband and I embarked on a 4 hour drive to Yosemite. Even though I live in California, I have never been. Yosemite was on my bucket list (still is, you will see why), and so for Christmas my husband gave us a one romantic night stay at a beautiful resort in the heart of the park. Our first reservation was cancelled because a mammoth storm rolled in and they closed the park. We rebooked, and headed out early a few weeks later.

About an hour from our destination, on a remote road somewhere in the pastures of California with no phone signal, our car started acting up. We have had trouble with it over the last year, but kept getting it fixed. I was pissed, but we pushed on until we made it to a town and an auto store (because our oil warning light came on). We opened the hood, poured in oil, and it came right back out under the car.
To make a long story short, we were 20 miles from the hotel. We found a mobile mechanic, finally made it to the hotel, he patched up our car. We spent the day in the hotel lobby, venturing out on walks, etc. At 7pm on Monday, and $500 later, we got our car back and were on the freeway home, praying to the Universe all the way.
At home, our car got the death verdict.
Now it is sitting in our driveway with all its’ new and fancy parts, dead. I live in suburbia, I might as well be dead too without a car.
It is AMAZING how much rely on our car!
On the other hand, we are adjusting. I am beneftting the most, as I do not have to chauffeur anyone. Everyone has to become more self sufficient. Yesterday, I did not leave the house. I stayed home, took care of paperwork & animals, planted beans in the rain, cooked, trained with my dog. Today, I took my dog & my daughter for a walk in the rain, then I walked to the store in the rain, and now I am sitting here FINALLY writing a blog post after how many months???j
I was outside sitting on the patio doing absolultely nothing but watching the rain, when I realized that my Volvo breaking down once again gave me a freedom pass.
A pass to slow down and stay put, instead of driving someone somewhere. A pass to say “no” to at least three things that I never like to do, but feel obligated to do anyways (“sorry, I don’t have a car right now…..”). A pass to save money, because the only store that is really in walking distance is the .99 cent store, and the only thing I buy there is sponges & plastic gloves…how many of those does a girl need? I have finally started reading the mystery I have had for months, and can hardly put it down. I have been puttering around, collecting things to donate, filing paperwork, throwing things out that have been neglected way to long.
All in all, I am in a happy, slo’ mo state.
My favorite quote, adjusted with my own words:
Turn every shitty situation into a learning opportunity.
Much love,
Heike

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Put it in a box and send it to the Universe / Spellboxes

Magic
Blessing the items for my Spellbox

Spellboxes are fantastic! They can take on any size, shape, color, etc. They are open to your imagination.

I see a Spellbox as a vessel to send my wishes to the Universe.

I like to use jars.

You can fill a Spellbox with all kinds of magic. Notes with wishes (written as if they already are: “Money comes to me easily”, “My body is strong”), herbs, rocks, glitter, treasures. For money spells, I add coins & bills, or shiny things. I always add herbs that support what I am asking for. I like to add rocks or other things I find on my river walks. As I am adding the items, I speak to them and let them know what their role is.

If I want to ban something from our lives (this can include health issues, bad bills, etc), I make a separate Spellbox and line it with aluminum foil. I write the things I want to ban on little slips of paper, and again, read them out loud as I add them to the jar.

There are no rules. Spellboxes are intuitive. You add what feels right.

Once you are done, you want to give it one more blessing or instruction, and a thank you, before you seal the lid. I just put glue around the rim of the jar before I glue on the lid.

I put mine out during Full Moon to enhance the magic, and bury them the next day. Sometimes on my property (if they are prosperity boxes), sometimes in the woods (if I am banning), or by the river (because the river is magic :)…).

This is also a wonderful thing to do with children!

Happy Full Moon, Beautifuls!

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Goddesses with Magic in their belly

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Custom Goddess I recently finished.

The first Goddess I made was for myself.

She literally came to me to keep me from going insane.

My daughter was five, and my son was just a few weeks old, and I thought I was going to loose it. Now, I think I may have had a bought of Postpartum Depression, then I just thought I was overwhelmed. One night, the Goddess just popped in my head, a beautiful round form, with the message to go to the craft store buy some clay and make it happen. She was big and purple, and a little crude, but I put her on a silk string and wore her ALL THE TIME. Her weight on my chest, and the fact that I could grab her when in need, gave me a certain confidence.

Strangely enough, I cannot find a picture of her anywhere today. She was the beginning of my Goddess journey. People began commenting on her, asking me if she was a fertility Goddess (she had similar forms as the Goddess of Willendorf). Inside: “Hell no, I made her because these two beautiful humans I have are driving me insane!” On the outside, I smiled and said “No, she is the Goddess for whatever you need her to be”.

Friends began asking me to make them Goddesses for different reasons. Then I made one for a friend who was trying to get pregnant for a long time, and she made the announcement a few months later. With that, I became the Goddess Maker.

I would make Goddesses with trinkets, herbs, stones, even hair, all kinds of things in their belly, including lots of intention specific to the person I was making her for, and Moon Magic.

I also began making “everyday” Goddesses, knowing that the right person would find their Goddess, but continued making custom Goddesses over the years.

Now, I take on a limited amount of custom Goddesses. They are beautiful and draining at the same time. The take my energy, and my patience. When I take on a custom Goddess project, I always explain the ritual, because that is exactly what it is: a ritual. I also let the potential wearer know that in the end, I may not be able to make them a custom Goddess at all. It is rare, but has happened.

Once I have been told the “mission” of the Goddess, I can usually see her within a few minutes of talking. I get an idea of favorite colors, but honestly, the Goddess goes where she pleases. I have had Goddesses change color completely 3+ times! Once I see her and pass that on, the making process begins! I incorporate the belly magic, paint, paint, paint. That is when the Tango begins. The Goddess and I dance back and forth, until we finally agree and I can finish. I have made them for recently graduated women firefighters, much wanted pregnancies, Menarche boxes, gifts for little goddesses, sister Witches, etc. The missions are endless & wonderful! Then I just have to wait for a Full Moon to bless her, and she can be off to to her magic!

Much Love,
Heike

P.S. You can find YOUR Goddess here. Or contact me at heike (at) goddessinthegroove.com for custom Goddess availability. xoxo

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Dolce far Niente – or – the art of doing NOTHING. Replay.

img_4049I am sure I have used this title in the past. But you know how the saying goes: Do something for at least 10,000 hours and you will be an expert.

Only a few thousand hours in, I have mastered the art of doing nothing. Me: mother of two, wife of one, keeper of chickens & a dog, community leader, 4-H parent, chauffeur, family referee, business women crafter, housecleaner, cook……

All you need is a like-minded friend and place to go. Off grid is preferred, but not necessary.

I am writing you while sitting on the porch, overlooking the majestic Lake Tahoe. This is the third time my friend, and partner in crime, Marie (you will recognize her as the other half of TwoWitchesinSuburbia) and I have rented a car and made our way up here.

We pack clothes, paint stuff, witch stuff, books, computers, practical shoes…..

I pick her up, and our first stop is to buy food. We both love to eat, so our basket is filled with bread, cheese, prosciutto, fruit, COFFEE, wine, snacks, etc.  Some would call it indulgent, we call it getting back to our European roots.

The ride up the mountain is leisurely, with lots of stops for coffee, random historic site adventuring, etc.

When we arrive, we unpack the food, open a bottle of wine, and exhale.

That last sentence about describes our weekend: Dolce far Niente.

We have figured out why we are such good friends for 16 years. We can both just be. We do not need to be entertained, we do not talk all the time, we do not need to “do” things. We talk short walks to make space for more food, plus the high elevation just about takes our breathe away when we just venture to the beach. We decided “going hiking” was overrated the first time we came here.

We can sit up here, stare at the lake, and be completely content. As long as there is food, and wine.

Our everyday lives are CRAZY. We are both artist’s and life entrepreneurs. We live in suburbia, and between us, we have 5 children, 2 husbands, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and lots of chickens. The families revolve around us all the time, and we manage just about every aspect of them. We both sell art, we both manage businesses. When we are here, we are just Heike & Marie, basta.

With that said, my message to you today is short & sweet:

Take some time away for yourself and just enjoy LIFE. Sit quietly and realize all the things that are good in your world. Breathe.

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Last five images courtesy of Marie Delange-Carlson :).

You can follow our every day adventures at Goddess in the Groove and Marie Delage-Carlson

 

 

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Even good Shit can get overwhelming

It is 3am, and I am contemplating the purpose of life.

I was asleep, but was awakened by my frantic dog, barking at the door and intermittently coming to get me to tell me something is wrong. A houseparty up the the street from me must have exploded, there are hundreds of loud, slightly stupid sounding kids on my street. God, I hope my kids never sound or act like that. I can hear the police approaching, the crowd outside is getting antsy.

Anyways, I digress. 25 minutes later the street was back to its’ normal, quiet, sleepy suburbian boring self. My dog is now sleeping soundly under my bed, and I am fully awake.

After several rounds of guided meditations, a sleepy tea, an audiobook that did not grab me, some exercise….I decided to go the library and play book roulette. “A Love Story” popped up, I put it on my iPad, and was pleasantly surprised. An collection of short stories!

The first story is about Mavis, who locks herself in a bathroom for a week to think.

I have not finished the story, but am in love with Mavis. And I am jealous that I only have one bathroom. The thought of locking myself into a bathroom for a week, with food that I love (not nourishing, that I love), books, magazines, something to write, and maybe my wi-fi, is fantastic. I would also buy myself a one cup coffee machine for this adventure.

Lately, I have been restless and sleepless, and all around annoyed. I am not sure what is triggering this insolence, but I can feel little tentacles of bitchiness coming out. In one way, it is helping, as I am ruthlessly purging things that don’t make me happy, and that is a big feat right now. On the other hand, I took a pause in reading with Mavis to ask myself “What is wrong?”.

7733821_origI have a great family. I am not kidding, my husband, though truly nerve wracking, is a good and hardworking man. And obviously gifted with a inhumane amount of patience, as we will be married 20 years next week. I am not easy. My kids are both fantastic, spoiled, but fantastic. I have a house in suburbia, lots of stuff in it to keep my creative spirit busy, a dog, chickens, a back yard, wi-fi…..I don’t have a 9-5, so my crazy sleep/ no sleep schedule is doable. I really don’t know how I would function in the real world, I would have to take drugs.

Back to Mavis living in her bathroom. I am drawn to her because we are both yearning for the simple life. I am almost feel as if my life, and the stuff in it, are taking my breathe away. I am tempted to pimp out my van and go live in it. But then where would everyone else sleep?? How would the kids get to school and function? Who would cook heavy, meat based dinners for my hardworking husband, and where would all this damn laundry go??

Sitting here in the quiet, yet chaotic dining room sipping my warm milk with turmeric, I think I have hit the nail on the head.

Too much shit. Even good shit can get overwhelming.

Too many little responsibilities and needs of others suck away energy from the true purpose of what I am here for. Don’t get me wrong, being the mother of these gorgeous humans, and the wife/friend to my husband, the daughter to my mama, and the friend to my few, but true friends is fulfilling. Yet, I also want to find the energy to work with young women, find my witchy circle of women for ritual and growth, go camping by myself in the redwoods, publish my ebook, make KitchenWitches for fun and give them away (I had this dream that I traveled around and delivered custom KitchenWitches to women in different situations, and just made their day. I was like Ellen, only with Witches. It was fabulous, and now is on my “to do” list), things that make my spirit grow and bring in money to support it all comfortably. On that note, I also want another shepherd puppy.

It is time make things clear and simple again, and I need to do it before I am 79 and locked in a bathroom.

How are you finding your life’s purpose, Beautiful??

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Hot Stuff had my back while I finally got my DREAM TATTOO

I finally got my tattoo.

This journey began when I was about 18. I really wanted a tattoo. At that time, tattoos were still a sign that you were either a biker chick, a hooker, a jailbird, and only if you looked very exotic could it MAYBE be a tribal thing. It was a tabu, and my family would have been aghast.

Even tScreen Shot 2016-08-11 at 11.19.22 PMhough, I wanted to get the Hot Stuff the Red Devil from Caspar the Friendly Ghost tattooed on my stomach. Don’t ask.

Alas, the taboo and the fact that the only place to get one was the redlight district, it did not happen. It’s a good thing, he would have been sliced in half two years later when I had my car accident.

Fast forward about a lifetime. In the last 10 years or so, tattoos have become such a mainstream thing, you see them everywhere. Every day I would awe or cringe away from someone’s body art. I would make drawings, get ideas….but never found the person to do it.

I view a tattoo as a sacred, intimate  thing. You are literally letting a person etch a permanent picture into your skin. I am amazed at how lackadaisical people can be, deciding in the moment to get a tattoo. Friends getting matching flowers (what if you don’t like the flower, or break up with the friend?), names of lovers, drunk group tattoos from a poster in the tattoo parlor, you get the picture.

I literally sat on this for YEARS!! Yes, YEARS. And I consider myself a pretty spontaneous person.

One day I walked into a tattoo parlor with my 18 year old daughter, because she wanted to get a nose ring (also a tabu in my time, but she would have passed, as she exotically gorgeous. My nose does not need any more attention, so it was not an issue) . In the sea of classic tattoo posters on the wall, and head to toe tatted people, for the first time I did not feel threatened. I was in a beautiful restored Victorian, buzzing with tattoo machines and happy people murmering.

While I was waiting, I began a conversation with Grimace, a tattoo artist. Me: White, suburban, middle aged witch who FINALLY wants to get her first tattoo. I felt like a 45 year old virgin.

When I told him what I wanted, he just let me finish, then said: “That is a lot of things for one area.”

Yes, well I have been collecting things to add to MY tattoo for about 30 years, Sir.

He convinced me to pick what was most important. I already moved my spot from my back (yes, that is where my life karma plays out, but then I can’t see it) to my shoulder. I made an appointment, and sent him about 1000 pictures of tattoos I collected over the years. Trees, wolves, moons, flowers, more flowers, herbs, witches, etc.

The day was finally here, and I almost chickened out. What if I don’t like it? What if it hurts? What if I don’t like it??????

I went. My picture as not done. I almost ran, but he showed me the wolf. It was perfect, I knew everything around it would just be too.

I sat and breathed, felt the pain, and almost cried happy tears because this was what I wanted for so long. I felt like the wolf, my guardian from the day I almost killed myself with my car on the Autobahn, was being brought out so I can have him by my side all the time. I thought about the morning I woke up a few years ago during tumultuous time, with a paw print red on my neck ( I took pictures of it before it vanished). The pain become almost rhythmic, and though present, I would call it meditative.

My daughter came with me as my anchor. Her face showed awe. I could not wait to see it.

Finally, after a few hours, it was finished.

Meet my wolf. We are one.

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How the heat awoke my “Spirit”.

IMG_3817My family always makes fun of me when I say “The heat is taking my breathe away”. They say I am like a sensitive flower :). I think there could be worse things to be called.

But in all reality, the heat makes me stop. I can’t imagine how workers outside, or our firefighters, survive in this hell. After a week of 105 and up, it finally hit me yesterday.

My body went on strike. It scared me a little, as my heart rate went up, and I physically felt BAD. Bad enough that I cancelled all appointments, cranked up the A/C, and went to sleep. I could hear my heart beat in my ears. Unfortunately, sleep did not heal, and I woke up still feeling sick. To make a long story short, I ended up going to measure my blood pressure, and it is high. I went back to sleep, and after 6 hours of day sleep and lots of extremely weird dreams, I have come to a revelation.

I need to move somewhere cooler. The summers here are getting worse, and we are surrounded by concrete.

I think my body is giving me a warning. I have been neglecting it. I have been working nights on a project, and not sleeping in the day to replenish. Only 2-3 hours of sleep per day are just not enough.

In regards to #2, I have to learn to put “health & well-being” back on priority spot #1. I find myself, and many of my friends, just straggling from one thing to another, and not embracing the center, Spirit, first. That is detrimental.

Stress is a bitch. We may not realize it, but stress is killer, and we are exposed to it all the time. I had the weirdest, visual stress dream. Stress comes in many forms, and it can slowly eat away at you. A perfectly easy remedy: Nature. I just went outside to water my heat battered garden and mist the chickens, and just being out there barefoot made me feel better. Whatever your life situation is, take at least 15-30 minutes to take a walk, swim, or run in nature. Go by yourself, if possible. This way you can turn your thoughts to your spirit and replenish. I am making it a point to implement this again daily.

We are bombarded daily with “stuff”. Commitments, bills, schedules, internet, news, etc. I just spoke to my friend, whose parents live completely off grid. Sustaining themselves with nature, living off the land, no TV. She said they rose and went to sleep with the sun, and she did not know what day it was a few days in. Imagine that bliss! Even though this way of life may not be for everyone, it certainly is a vast contrast to what most of us living.

What does this all have to with the terrible heat? Who knows! At first I thought the heat was beating me down, but maybe it is just a catalyst.

Take a few moments and contemplate your quality of life. If there is only one thing you can change to replenish your spirit, DO IT!! (Before your heart beats into ears!).

Much love!
Heike

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