the stretch

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We did. It was family and food fun time, all around.

As has become somewhat common these days, some of our clan has adopted some non-traditional-Thanksgiving-friendly eating methodologies. It’s for the sake of their health, so it’s all for the best, but gluten-free vegan Thanksgiving dinners are just a little different. The cornbread stuffing is excellent. Salads are always great alongside brussel sprouts.  The pie is where I had to stretch.stretch vegan

Being a yoga instructor, I believe in stretching.  I’m willing.

However, I find some of the vegan and gluten-free recipes in the world to be weird. There are too many ingredients that aren’t real ingredients for this radical in the kitchen. I can deal with a little gluten-free baking mix for the sake of the cranberry pear pie crust (which is a family favorite) but I was struggling with pumpkin and sweet potato pies. No milk? No eggs? Not even the really good ones? Really?

stretch forks over knives

coree’s version of forks over knives.

Cashews to the rescue. Not local. But neither was the vanilla from our friend Henry in Costa Rica. After all, this is America. And even though the purple sweet potatoes were grown right here, who knows where to trace their origins? I sometimes wonder if all food originated on this planet.

It was a successful stretch. Maybe even a new tradition.stretch pie

And speaking of stretches, I’ve let one go by here lately. It was Lulah’s birthday. She turned ten years old. The stretch of birthing her brought me into motherhood, which has been a vigorous decade-long stretching regime.  stretch lulah 2

Even as a young girl, when I played family games I thought I would have a daughter. But I could never have guessed what that would really mean. The spectrum of my emotional palette has been extended beyond my imagination. Through tenderness, and tiredness, to incredible frustration I have been tugged and pulled and pushed and stretched these ten years. It has aged me, and more importantly, it has matured me. It has increased my understanding of humanity. And it is all about love. Even in the most heated moments of frustration, my love for this daughter of mine is complete and unfaltering.stretch mothering

The process of her growth amazes me at every turn. She is so much the same, but so much more of herself. I guess that is how incarnation works. So we are all like that. It is just the position of the parent to witness that growth from right up close.stretch little lulah

stretch demi lovato

the demi lovato look.

As usual, a good stretch is healthy and increases our over all strength and vitality.

I’m honored. I’m thankful. I’m the mother of Lulah.

Here’s the Vegan Purple Sweet Potato Cheesecake recipe, adapted with gratitude from here:


1 ½ cups almonds, or almonds cut with other nuts

¾ cup pitted dates

Chop in a food processor until mashable.

Mash into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.


4 cups baked sweet potato, pureed – preferably purple

3 cups cashews, soaked overnight

¼ cup dates, soaked overnight

¾ cup maple syrup

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup lemon juice

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp ginger

Blend all the ingredients except the sweet potatoes in the food processor until well pureed. Pour into a bowl and mix in the sweet potatoes by hand. It’s satisfying to watch the colors blend. Spread onto the nut crust and freeze for a few hours so it will slice clean. Enjoy. (I’m pretty sure you will.)

for the love of a pie, well, two pies

this is not a cooking blog, but you already know that. it is in this space that we muse on farming and parenting, homesteading and knitting. we ponder life as we roll with the seasons, we speak of things near and dear to us and we share the highs and lows of life as we engage to the fullest. on occasion, we have invited you into our kitchens , offering you glimpses into how we dine and feed our families.what follows is the tale of how a lovely pair of pies came together on a sunny spring day.


i have been wanting to make either a key lime pie or a lemon meringue pie since we first began harvesting those delightful citrus fruits here on our farm (in a greenhouse, of course!) i have baked countless confections with our abundance, but the meringue intimidated me. perhaps my fear of that recurring shoulder pain coming back to haunt me while hand whipping egg whites for all those minutes, or a lack of high volume fresh eggs, but something held me back, until Friday.


we had a love filled farmwives meeting that day . so much was gained from our get together: much needed friend time for adults and children, heart felt inspiration as we plunge into the season ahead, sharing news face to face, ahhh, the list goes on. two culinary episodes occurred as well:  the first in the form of a pavlova created by coree and devoured by all, the second, dozen upon dozen of eggs from cher. yep, with the sweet taste of my friend’s meringue on the tongue and a load of fresh eggs, i went for it. both of them. key lime pie and lemon meringue pie and one long night of baking with my most able assistant. spring never tasted so sweet.



the farmwives kitchen

Follow the blue text for a link to a really good Cranberry Pear Pie – perfect for the holidays.

We follow the recipe from Sally Fallon Morell’s excellent cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, using arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.  I didn’t use a gluten free crust, but the same principle applies as to the cookie cutter shapes on top.

Have fun, and enjoy this delicious holiday treat.