Let me explain + lots of recipe links

February 12, 2015 · 4 comments


Oh, man. I’ve never been away from the blog for so long, and it feels pretty strange. I’m not making any long-term promises, but rest assured that this blog isn’t going away any time soon. And, hey, I’ve even added a handy new blog feature in the form of an ever-evolving list of podcasts that I partake in. It’s over there in the sidebar. FYI there’s some potentially offensive stuff in several of them, so listen at your own risk.

Though I haven’t been writing here lately, I have been writing. You see, this year I’ve committed to taking on the sales, shipping, and marketing duties at Old Blue Raw Honey, and though I don’t plan on using this space to push our products all the time, I will be posting (hopefully) frequently about what’s going on in our apiaries and our business ventures. I’ve also been spending a lot of time pitching all sorts of ideas around to other blogs and publications. To be honest, I’ve thought about launching a part-time freelance writing career of sorts for a couple years now, but with the exception of a few fruitless pitches, I’ve never really had the motivation or the nerve to really go for it. Now, however, promoting our honey is my job, and I’ve found it’s a whole lot easier to ask for things of influential people when I’m doing it in service of a entity that’s not just me myself. I really believe in Henry and Old Blue, and so far, that passion has resulted in a few enthusiastic responses. I’m pretty stoked about that, and I’ll be sure to let you know if/when my work is featured somewhere off this site. (For starters, Henry has a pretty good interview up on the Portland Apothecary blog that I didn’t write, but I did edit and influence quite a bit.)

I should also note that though I’m not here much, you can always keep up with me on Instagram @waywardspark, and Henry’s there, too, @oldbluerawhoney.

Wayward Spark Oswald West State Park // Wayward Spark

Instead of a real blog post today, I’m just going to offer you a long list of recipes that I turn to again and again for tried and true deliciousness. These are favorites in our house that are particularly well suited to the dark days of winter. The photos included here are from our trip with Henry’s extended family to Manzanita on the Oregon Coast.

The Best Granola” from David Lebovitz–This is my go-to granola recipe. I always use chopped hazelnuts instead of almonds and all honey instead of a honey-rice syrup blend for sweetener.

Yeasted Buckwheat Pancakes from Not Without Salt–You gotta plan ahead a little, but these pancakes are worth it.

Dark Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (homemade Nutella) from Megan Gordon‘s cookbook Whole Grain Mornings–We have a ton of hazelnuts kicking around our house, and this is a good way to use them up. It doesn’t contain any dairy products, so it lasts for quite a while.

Turmeric Tea from 101 Cookbooks–I’ve gotten really into turmeric + honey + lemon. In the beginning, I found it a little overwhelming, but now I can’t get enough.

Fire Cider from cider and rye–I chopped and grated everything up for this fire cider a while back, but it’s not quite ready, so I won’t get to taste it for another couple weeks. I don’t have any experience brewing or even consuming fire cider, but I’m super excited to try it out.

Smothered Cabbage from Orangette–This method often leads to my eating a vast amount of greenery in one sitting. I usually just make the smothered cabbage and don’t do the whole soup thing that the post suggests. Sometimes I eat it over rice with a bunch of parmesan cheese. I would imagine that one could also substitute in brussels sprouts for some or all of the cabbage, and I may well do that soon.

Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad from 101 Cookbooks–I made a giant (and I mean truly giant) bowl of this salad and ate the whole thing myself in the course of an afternoon. I just couldn’t stop. I used garlic and homemade hazelnut butter in the dressing in place of shallot and tahini, and I subbed in a regular onion, toasted hazelnuts, and some other kind of hard cheese in place of green onion, pecans, and pecorino. Honestly, I think you could do this salad a hundred ways with good results. So good!

Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk from Coffee in the Woodshed (or this variation from Orangette)–if you still have squash kicking around your pantry.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book–This is from an old standard, but it makes a great basic loaf bread.

South Indian Dal that my friend Leela of Tea Cup Tea posted on Cup of Jo–This is a great dinner-is-in-half-an-hour-and-I-don’t-have-a-clue-what-to-make recipe. It’s easy, healthy, and totally satisfying. The options for garnishes and condiments with this dish are pretty endless: plain yogurt, cilantro, hot sauce, toasted nuts…

Bloody Marys from Anne Parker–I don’t normally drink cocktails. (To be honest, I swore off hard alcohol twice, once after my 20th birthday party and a second time after my 21st birthday, and since then, I’ve mostly stayed away.) But when we were planning for our trip to Manzanita, Henry’s cousin’s boyfriend and I started scheming about bloody marys, and the first person I thought of was my friend Anne Parker who is something of a bloody mary aficionado. Anne’s recipe is great, and I definitely partook in the bloody mary bar to it’s fullest extent. We used dill aquavit (Broder Nord-style), but this horseradish vodka sounds like it would be a good addition.

Dill Pickled Carrots from Marisa McClellan’s Preserving by the Pint–I’ve talked about Preserving by the Pint and Marisa’s outstanding blog Food in Jars before (here and here), but even I am surprised by how often I’m reaching toward the book for inspiration. It seems like once or twice per season, I’ll be in dire need of a condiment or a pickle or a preserve to shake things up a bit, and Preserving by the Pint never fails to provide just what I desire but never would have been able to come up with on my own. These dill pickled carrots are great in bloody marys or on their own. I didn’t can mine because they didn’t last long in the fridge before we had eaten them up.

Celery Salt from 101 Cookbooks–Great for bloody marys, eggs, egg salad, or really on anything.

Za’atar from 101 Cookbooks–Gotta use up all that homemade sumac spice, and this is awfully tasty.

Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies from Apt. 2B Baking Co. via Tartine No. 3 (which I really should buy sooner rather than later)–I’ve made these a few times, and they’re always a huge huge hit.

Biscotti from Alice Medrich’s cookbook Chewey Gooey Crispy Crunchy–Buy this book ASAP. There are a bunch of wonderful recipes, but being a big fan of biscotti, I’ve made several different biscotti variations, and I can rationalize excessive cookie baking because biscotti is kinda supposed to be stale, so they can hang around my kitchen for weeks.

Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies from Apt. 2b Baking Co.–If you’re into buckwheat like I am, these are right up your alley.

Buckwheat Cocoa Cake from Smoke Signals Bakery–I’ve been meaning to bake this since the second Tara posted the recipe. Tara’s also a lot of fun to follow on Instagram @bakerhands.

…and a couple of my recipes:

Homemade Naan

Pickled Beets with Honey on Food in Jars

Honey-Vanilla Bean Quince Preserves on Food in Jars

Oregon Coast // Wayward Spark Oregon Coast // Wayward Spark


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa February 15, 2015 at 9:29 am

Sooooooup! 🙂

I know what you mean about the passion and momentum around a project that you’re involved in but that is bigger than you, and the drive you can feel to produce and create for a project like that. I felt it for our farm, and for my work in NYC as well, which in most regards was completely different from farm life. This is not to say my blog isn’t beloved to me. I’ve been thinking a lot (with zero decisions made) about the ways the space might evolve for me and maybe become a place where it’s more than just me. I had ideas for how the farm blog might’ve become much more than it was, about something bigger, but of course that’s all now put to rest. We’ll see.

Thanks especially for the dal recipe! We were just reflecting yesterday on the dal bhat that a Nepali friend and coworker my first year farming made EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. And it was delicious. Partly because it used an entire stick of butter. But the spices were amazing too, and also his technique was perfected and second nature from decades of making it. Making the recipe you linked to right now, for lunch!


Melissa February 15, 2015 at 9:40 am

So nice to catch up 🙂 Wishing you gobs of luck in your new endeavors! I happily keep up with you on Instagram!


Laura February 16, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Glad to see you back! I had just found your blog, shortly before your “sabbatical” and have had a lot of fun reading your older posts. I’m all caught up now, so blog on!! I live in the Willamette Valley too. Guess who made her first attempt at Maple tree tapping on the WORST possible year? 😉


LaurieY February 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm

The South Indian Dahl is wonderful. Fragrant. Beautiful. Easy to make. We enjoyed this meal so much. That afternoon, I texted my ‘ol man: “Mustard seeds, limes, cilantro. Thanks, Darlin.” So colorful on the table – roasted cashews, green onions, limes. A bowl of quinoa. Loved it!

The Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad – so so good, too. Lemons and tahini – always a good start. Just parmesan in the freezer, but next time Pecorino. So pretty. Crisp Goodness.

Certain recipes are worth printing with page-protectors to keep in a notebook (an idea I swiped from PosieGetsCozy) . . and these 2 are darn good recipes.

Next, Winter Squash Soup.


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