March 25th, 2020

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Cuddle Party

Everyone needs contact comfort sometimes. Not everyone has ample opportunities for this in facetime. So here is a chance for a cuddle party in cyberspace. Virtual cuddling can help people feel better.

We have a cuddle room that comes with fort cushions, fort frames, sheets for draping, and a weighted blanket. A nest full of colorful egg pillows sits in one corner. There is a basket of grooming brushes, hairbrushes, and styling combs. A bin holds textured pillows. There is a big basket of craft supplies along with art markers, coloring pages, and blank paper. The kitchen has a popcorn machine. Labels are available to mark dietary needs, recipe ingredients, and level of spiciness. Here is the bathroom, open to everyone. There is a lawn tent and an outdoor hot tub. Bathers should post a sign for nude or clothed activity. Come snuggle up!
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Healthy Food

Some of these are good smoothie ingredients.

We did not like the texture of oats at all.  Small seeds like hemp, chia, or flax can be gritty or otherwise irritating, so we haven't tried those.  I noticed a similar problem with blackberries -- the seeds were downright peppery -- but reducing the quantity and combining them with other fruit helped.
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Pantry Staples

 ... for Greek cuisine.

Note that most lists of pantry staples are either generic (rice, canned vegetables) or American.  But every cuisine has things that make it what it is, from uncommon base ingredients to particular spices.  So if you want to cook ethnic food, you need a list for their pantry staples; and if you want to explore fusion cuisine, you need several such sets, preferably from far-flung places.

Here at Fieldhaven we have a good range of European/American things, East Indian, Native American, African, Middle Eastern, and also a generous selection of spice blends from around the world because we'll pick up darn near anything that sounds interesting -- including blends we've never heard of if we like most of the ingredients.  We are especially fond of riffing a base concept (meatloaf, quiche, bread pudding, etc.) across multiple cuisines.  Hence my project Around the World in 80 Meatloaves.
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Birdfeeding

Today is sunny and warmer.  My flowers are finally open!  :D  I posted pictures of them here.

I fed the birds.  Cardinals are singing.

I trimmed brush around the Japanese maple in the savanna.

Round 2: I trimmed more brush around the Japanese maple.

Cornelian cherry and forsythia are blooming.

I saw a starling hanging on the upside-down suet feeder, which is now nearly horizontal.  Well, at least it won't hold more than one of them at a time.
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Tahini Recipes

These recipes include how to make tahini and what to do with it after you make it.  

Note that, like hummus, tahini can be considered a base for algorithmic combinations: 

* When making tahini, throw in any flavorful blendable vegetable, such as sun-dried tomatoes or roasted green peppers.  In addition to changing the flavors, many of these will make a bright-colored dip or spread.

* Put plain tahini in a dip bowl, then pour on a layer of flavorful fat and a layer of spice blend.  

* Put tahini in the bottom of a lunch bowl and then add bowl toppings.  Stir and eat.

* For a portable snack, put tahini in the bottom of a cup and stick things in it -- meat sticks, cheese sticks, long crackers, vegetable straws, whatever.


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Free Pagan Coloring Book

 ... for you to download.

One of the few areas where modern production truly exceeds the past is that printable coloring pages/books outshine bound coloring books because you can reprint them as often as you want.  As long as your printer, ink, and paper last you can keep going!  It's much better than paying several dollars each for a coloring book, and there are many topics available free online.  An advantage of patreon, as shown here, is that you can give money directly to the artist if you wish.
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Fruit and Vegetable Leathers

Fruit leathers are everywhere, but it's harder to find vegetable leathers. I did find this collection with recipes for tomato leather and onion leather. Here are some for winter squash leather -- which sounds like a nicer version of the dried squash strips traditional in Turtle Island -- berry spinach, apple spinach, apple sweet potato, apple pumpkin, apple berry zucchini, zucchini celery any fruit (no such thing as too much zucchini!), beet, and carrot.

While it is easier to make leather with a dehydrator, you can do it in the oven.  Use the lowest setting, leave the door open, and check it every half hour or so.

Since we got the Vitamix, which blends everything beautifully, I might try this come summer.  If I like the sample results, I would consider buying a dehydrator to speed up the process.