Sometimes it’s about the little things in life. A good book. A recipe. A walk through the woods. A pleasing photograph. A fun or challenging craft. Fresh veggies from my garden. A snuggle with my dog. I’ve decided to celebrate the little things in my life and share them with you all by starting a monthly feature called ‘The Little Things’. I’ll talk about what I listened to, read, made, watched, or generally just enjoyed each month.
January absolutely flew by and many things happened that will shape the rest of this year. Plans for my garden are already in motion, lots of creative projects are on the go and some potential big things are on the horizon for the farm. I also have a few camping trips already in the works, and I’m planning a trip to both to Penticton and Ontario for two of my best friend’s weddings. This year is going to be busy.
To update you on last week’s musings, I ended up fixing my car! I am very pleased about that. It wasn’t an easy fix, thanks to some real questionable decisions from one of the previous owners, but she’s back on the road and running just fine. It’s times like those that I’m thankful for the internet.
In terms of what I’ve been listening to, music wise, I recently went on a listening/watching spree with a YouTube series called NPR’s Tiny Desk. It sounds best if you can watch it on your TV and/or play it through your sound system. I bet there’s an artist you know and love that’s been featured on this series.
Everyone from Lizzo and Taylor Swift to The Cranberries and Dave Matthews are on there. One of the episodes that I was seriously impressed with, a band I had never heard of before, is St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Anderson Paak is also a favourite of mine. I recommend you check the series out. When I had it playing in the living room while I was cooking dinner it was like a mini, private concert with some of my favourite artists.
A podcast that I also recently listened to and found very interesting was ‘Missing Richard Simmons’. Such an interesting story and I’m still wondering what really happened to him.
I’ve been reading a book called ‘The Woman in Cabin 10’ by Ruth Ware and I have not been able to put it down. It’s got amazing reviews online and is a New York Times best seller. This book was recommended to me over a year ago but I’m finally getting around to reading it. I love Ware’s writing style. It’s engaging and fast-paced and I was hooked within the first three pages.
I also recently read an article online about how it doesn’t matter if you eat meat or not, it’s how the meat was farmed. It touches on how large-scale ‘destructive’ agriculture is the real issue when it comes to saving the planet.
Here’s a quote from the article, “It’s not so much about what we farm. It’s about how and where. That holds true for the maize supplying the abominable livestock feedlots and the seed oils grown for the abominable “plant-based” burgers…”
The article really resonated with me. It’s a short read but it absolutely makes sense that small-scale, regenerative farming can be extremely beneficial and create a myriad of ecosystems.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘The Biggest Little Farm’. It’s about a couple that moves from a tiny apartment in L.A. to a 200 acre farm. They focus on regenerative farming and they run into all kinds of issues, but also have a lot of amazing experiences. I found it to be very inspiring.
Since I received an Instant Pot for Christmas I’ve been doing a little experimenting. Using the pressure cooker feature of the Instant Pot takes some getting used to, and a little more planning ahead, but it is super easy to clean up and cuts cooking time by more than half. I’ve made pulled pork, chicken, soup and brisket and all of them have been amazing. With things like pulled pork and brisket, I also throw it in the oven at the end to get that nice, caramelized outer crust.
If you’ve not tried making Zuppa Toscana, which is apparently an Olive Garden classic, I highly recommend. I’ve made this soup three times already this winter and it’s fantastic. Check out the recipe from Half Baked Harvest. Note: I use regular Italian sausage, and less pesto.
Last but not least, I’ll leave you with this quote:
“With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?” – Oscar Wilde