Whole Lemon Mousse

It was a revelation for me when I first made this tart. One uses the entire lemon!  I loved that idea, not only does it save time, it tastes great and using the whole lemon gives you the highest amount of nutrition from the fruit so there is added smugness as a bonus.  :) The only modifications I make to Deb's recipe is replacing the sugar with honey [and less of it], thickening with tapioca instead of corn starch and using a grain free crust.

However what if you do not want to turn on the oven? It is high summer and simply too hot for ovens.

This led me to scouring the internet for a whole lemon mousse or curd. Which I could not find. So I created my own using the above recipe as inspiration. 

Some notes:

Buy an organic lemon if you can, remember you are eating the entire thing. Those with thinner skins [less white pith] will work best.  A food processor or high speed blender is needed to grind up the lemon. When I make my tapioca slurry for thickening I shake it in a jar.

This makes a tart lemon mousse, serve it with berries for extra sweetness if you desire.


1 organic lemon
I cup of honey
4 large eggs
2 T tapioca flour
pinch of salt

1 cup of heavy cream


Slice off and discard the two pointed ends of the lemon.
Slice the lemon into thin rounds and remove the seeds.
Process lemon rounds and honey until lemon is pureed.
Add eggs and process until smooth.
Pour this mixture into saucepan except 
Combine 1/4 cup of mixture with the tapioca flour to make a slurry.
Add tapioca slurry back to mixture in saucepan and stir.
Heat over medium heat. Watch carefully - it thickens quickly and scorches easily.
When thick remove mixture from heat, stir then chill through.

You now have a whole lemon version of lemon curd. To make mousse continue on...

Whip the heavy cream until peaks form.
Stir a large spoonful of heavy cream into chilled curd.
Then fold the rest of the heavy cream gently into curd.
Chill [again] until firm.
Serve with strawberries or other fruit as you desire and enjoy.

Sweets without using your oven.

Tuna Salad with Cherries?

We have a abundance of pie cherries again this year and it has been heavenly.  Not only have I given pounds away to family and friends but I am always finding new ways to use them.

This year I perfected a cherry tart with an almond crust which I love. This took quite a bit of work and a lot of tart eating. [poor us!]

Sometimes though the ideas come easily.  Today I put together a tuna salad with -- tuna, mayo, capers, chopped celery and fennel. It tasted good but it tasted fantastic when I threw in a huge handful of pitted pie cherries and ate it with sweet potato chips. The sour salty salad was fabulous with the sweet-ish chips. I meant to take a photo but it is already gone.

Oh well - I must remember for next year.

All Fifty

I can now travel anywhere in my country and stay married. My marriage will no longer blink in and out like cell phone service.

The burden I have been pulling around in my cart since I realized I was gay can now finally be left on the side of the road or perhaps they will simply float away.  I can't wait to see what new places I can go with this newly lightened load. 

It is a glorious day. A deep bow to everyone with the most heartfelt gratitude.

Cake Curse

I try to be upbeat when I host a party. If my tables are dusty or something else is off I don't bring attention to it and worry my guests. This usually works well and contributes to joy I think. Yesterday tried me though even with the perfect summer weather. Dinner well received and we ate on the terrace. However dessert was not what it could have been.

I made a birthday cake for a dear friend. I used a known recipe that I have made several times successfully.

The cake didn't rise. I don't know why. It was so frustrating. Why is it that cakes fail when it is an occasion? How do 'they' know?! I know this happens to others - heck Anne in Anne of Green Gables mentions it over 100 years ago. But it is still frustrating.

Luckily it still tasted quite good especially smothered with homemade cherry sauce and whipped cream. The plates were a pretty distraction as well.

secret shoes

I started this blog in 2007 and many things have changed since then. One thing has not, I still don't like shopping for shoes.

Another thing that hasn't changed; I must own and wear shoes. 

At times I have been given shoes. That was nice. I got shoes and yet there was no shopping, decision making or paying. I have found retail high end comfortable shoes that I like, but they wear out and have to be replaced like any other shoe. Some [Naot I am looking at you] wear out too fast for the price in my opinion.

So what saves me time and money and aggravation? I buy shoes second-hand. This appalls many people but it works great for me for the reasons below. Feel free to ignore my reasons, especially if we wear the same size shoe!

-Many people won't buy shoes secondhand so there is a good selection.
-Shoes in consignment stores are almost always high quality.
-Many people love to buy shoe then don't wear them then give them away/sell them.
-It is very clear from looking at the shoe how much it has been worn. Flip them over and look at the sole for wear patterns. They shouldn't smell, they should be clean. Usually they look 'new' or at least unworn. 
-Buy leather, it lasts. If you are vegan or don't like leather for some other reason I suggest not buying shoes secondhand. [also "vegan leather" is plastic, do not buy plastic shoes second-hand]
-I can take a chance on shoes without sinking hundreds of dollars into them. If they 'work out' they are a fabulous value, if they are a fail then I haven't lost much.

My most recent shoe find: Dansko wedge sandals in olive for $9.50. Perfect in colour, fit and price. Currently 50% of my footwear was previously used, I am hoping to up the percentage going forward.

Here ends my shoe secret. peace xo

In the Garden Now - June '15

When it comes to eating out of the garden June is a slow month although the flowers are showy, frequent and fragrant. Early roses, peonies, phlox, iris, delphinium and nameless ones

For food there is chives, green onions, shallots and leeks [from last year]. Some tender spears of asparagus.

There is sorrel for sauce and fish soup. This is been wonderful. I love making a light, creamy fish soup with daikon and stirring hand fulls of sorrel in at the very end.

The queen of June may be strawberries, which I have been showing on instagram. Along with other delights of the season. We have full and happy strawberry beds, the drought is over and we are eating them with joy. While standing in the garden, with cream and almond biscuit/shortcake. Next there will be a tart.

Wishing everyone sweetness today...

serendipity while thrifting

The season is turning toward Summer. Memorial day is behind us and I have purchased new corduroy trousers. In time for Autumn .... which is 4 months away.

It's weird but that is how thrifting goes. When you find something you have been looking for, regardless of the season, you purchase it. Especially when it is less than $3. 

Then you tuck it away for the next 4 months [or 6].

It is possible to shop like this and maintain a minimal wardrobe but it takes some preparation.

You have to know what you are looking for...in this case I have had "corduroys in a warm favorite color" on my list since September 2014. I looked for them in the nine months since with no luck. I even tried retail. I reached for patience as I was not finding what I wanted.

Last Friday I was scanning a rack [for skirts] and a bronze-y olive color leaped out at me. I looked more closely and saw corduroys, in my size with no wear. They fit well and didn't need hemming [a small miracle]. They had been marked down three times and were priced at $2.75 because what sort of crazy person buys cords at the beginning of June?

I am that person. I am also the person who had thought about the holes in her wardrobe and what I wanted. The result; I can buy off season without worry that it will go to waste.  I save resources and cash and I also have clothing that I love. Which is the whole point of thrifting for me.

I am guessing this will not work if you have a closet so crammed full you cannot see everything or if you don't know your preferred colours. Perhaps though it is helpful to see some of the results of bringing mindfulness to something that you deal most days - what you wear.

I wish warm breezes and sunshine for you if it is turning toward summer where you are as well. xo

Thrifting in Color

When I did my full wardrobe inventory last month I thought a lot about why and how thrifting [=thrift store shopping] works for me and what I love about it.

My first realization is that my color palette facilitates thrifting for me. Knowing what colors you will and won’t buy streamlines everything. Afterwards you will be able to mix and match your wardrobe pieces with little effort. Note there will still be some effort for most due to proportion balancing and climate variables. I love things that save me time and effort.

Several things led me to the colors I buy currently.

Some years ago I thought about the color black, which I had a lot of because it is so easy to buy. Did it made me look tired I wondered? [Maybe] Is my skin is becoming more olive as I get older [I think so] and do I like how I look in black? [Hmm, kinda] The result: I stopped shopping for black.

Then I thought about what colors I liked and which ones would go together nicely. I realized I loved deep warmer autumn colors and felt good in them So my new neutrals became browns [espresso to chestnut], olive and burgundy. When I can find them I will use aubergine and rust.  This is my base.

In smaller amounts I might buy charcoal, lime, corals, plums, slate, dark teal, cream or prints with combinations of the above. My goal is to have options along with coherence because you never know what you will find second-hand. The colors I do not buy: black, pastels, cool whites, blues, pinks, cold bright greens, neons, most greys. I avoid colors with a cool undertone.

It is amazing how quickly I can go through the racks at a thrift store, there is so much I can ignore. Sometimes the ‘right’ colors practically leap out at me since that is where my attention is focused.

Then I have to question the style, cut and fabric, but those are other posts.

Of course this works when shopping retail but for some reason it went hand in hand with thrifting for me. I think there are more colors second-hand than during one season retail.

Happy Thrifting!

Wardrobe totals and other numbers

Last year on January 24, I said that someday I would total my entire wardrobe, all seasons.  Living in a 4 season climate means I never 'see' the whole thing. since I only use a part of it at any given time.

 I didn't realize it yesterday but it was a year later [exactly] and I did that very thing. Here are some numbers/totals sliced up a few different ways.

Clothing and footwear - 91
This number does not include winter coats or accessories or handbags . It does not include lingerie, tights, socks or sleepwear. It does not include my ballgown capsule which includes my wedding gown. What happens if I include it all?  

Entire Wardrobe -- 207

Wardrobe is a funny word which actually means' a collection of clothing' [items worn to cover the body] so I probably shouldn't have my handbags in there. Gloves count but belts don't?  Footwear is clothing?  I wasn't finding the semantics helpful so I stopped.

I did count up my jewelry -- 85 pieces with and additional 12+ pieces that need mending or are sentimental inheritances I ignore. It's easy for me to not pay too much attention to it as long as it all fits in its container.

I love numbers but I don't find these numbers all that interesting. What did interest me is that I did find stuff that needed to go to a new home. Sometimes that home was the trash can. I found a pair of shoes I forgot I possessed which I moved along.  I got rid of a pair of black pumps that never felt right but I am sure will be perfect for someone else. I am amazed at the slush that can creep in to a tight wardrobe.

Then I crunched some numbers I found very interesting:

57% of clothing, accessories, footwear, outerwear, handbags, sleepwear was bought secondhand.
23% of the same was gifted to me, both secondhand and new stuff in here.
34% of the same was bought new by me
5%  of the same is 'other'. Inherited, so old I can't remember, you know, 'other'.

[math alert] There is overlap between the first two categories.

I am very interested in increasing the percentage of thrift buys going forward but I am not sure how to do this. I also noticed that if I use the undergarment inclusive total the percentage of 'new' climbs to 46%. This represents the one area where I do not thrift shop.

All in all I am glad I finally looked at some 4 season totals. I have found a lot to ponder going forward about what is important to me as regards my purchasing, shopping habits and needs.