rise and root



The Flame Haired Solstice Dreamer

Cold winter brings the Everfrost and jewels every tree
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
A flame~haired dreamer wanders there and shelters from the wind
And spins her dreams around the trees to break the ties that bind
She takes her thread and spins anew and how the Greenwood smiles
As she spins a spell for freedom and for her spirit Wylde

The dreamer finds an ancient oak and shelters in his lee
In a forest new as birth and old as old can be
Tis summer now and birdsong weaves its magick through her spells
And humming bees drum drowsily in the foxglove's bells
The dreamer sits beneath the oak with yarn upon her knee
And spins and knits and weaves her dreams and sets her spirit free

"When birds fall from the sky and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people...shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. they will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow"

Hopi Prophecy


i have been waiting all night to bring you this news!

my seitan was a huge success and if i may please blow my own trumpet...just perfect!

in the end i made up my own hoisin stir fry~incorporating the sauce from one recipe and the cooking method from another.
i quickly stir fried the veg then took it out the pan.
then i sliced some seitan into smallish thin slices and cooked it over a high heat with some of the sauce so it became a sort of sticky/crispy~added the veggies and the rest of the sauce (and a wee drib more of hoisin) threw in a small handful of cashews.

it was just so perfect~the seitan was just the kind of texture i have been looking for, the kind of texture you can never get with tofu or even paneer (yes i have even experimented with that).

even better it really takes on the taste of what you cook it with (does that sound right to you or is it my hampshire speak coming out too strong? *thinks* that would make a good blog post!) which is the problem with quorn (blurgh) you can never mask the underlying quorny taste which is actually pretty nasty to me.

i am so pleased that finally, with time and the now easy availability of vital wheat gluten, i can make my own 'meat, tofu, quorn' substitute that really works well, gives me the texture i want and that i know exactly what goes into it. oh and it works out very inexpensive~i made enough for three main meals with just one cup of the vital wheat gluten which cost £2.50 for a 500g bag. this makes it so much cheaper that buying meat alternatives.
tomorrow i am going make up a seitan roll which can be sliced to make sandwiches.

so i would highly recommend you give it a go!


and now for something even more exciting!

we went fox and badger watching last night!

yes we did!

and we didn't have to go far or to a special place either~just to the other end of the village to my mums house, the house i grew up in, and sit in her living room and look out the window!

my mum has a very large garden, i think we could fit our back garden into my mums at least five times...maybe six...maybe even seven because it is wider than ours.
lets say its so big it has three fully grown silver birch, a massive willow and a huge cherry plum, about ten evergreen firs and two sheds, oh and a pond and they do not crowd the garden.
yes its big.

its also a wild garden
my mum does not have flowerbeds, all she does is mow, throw things on an ever increasing, but never used compost heap (so the hedgehogs can nest there), fallen apples from her three apple trees (two of them ancient varieties) lay where they fall for the wildlife, as do the cherry plums and the pear.
she recently had to have some work done and a load of earth was placed down the bottom, beyond the compost heap, this has flattened out so she just threw a load a native wild flower seeds down.

mum has been leaving food out for the foxes for some years now and last year 'her' fox brought her three cubs to feed.
when i saw her last week she said that something had been digging large holes in her garden, holes that looked too large to be from a fox or a hedgehog and we speculated that maybe it was a badger although she had never seen one in the garden before.

three days ago she was out just before dusk putting down the food and as she looked up saw a badger walking down the path towards her!
needless to say she hurried in and watched the badger feed and the the fox arrived.

so last night i had a text from sam about 8pm saying the food was about to go down so we rushed down, was given mugs of tea and we all sat at the window, watching and waiting.

at first the cats came, a little ginger one, two that we called 'the branstons' (as in branston pickle!) and a huge black one.
then i saw movement in front of the compost heap, black and white movement!
unfortunately bill, as mum has named the badger did not come down for the food and we did not get a really clear look at him because of the long leaves of daffodils screened him and dusk was truly upon us.
then suddenly i saw movement coming down the path and it was the fox!
she was the most beautiful ginger/red with dark ears and a white face~she had a really good feed and we were able to watch her for about twenty minutes before she went back off across the garden.

so i can see many evenings of wildlife watching coming up~and i cannot wait to see the badger properly!


well enough of my ramblings for now~in a few hours we are off to see mismi so please keep your fingers crossed flynt will be friendly!


jill said...

I have been badger watching a few times at a ladys house who has a family of them living just at the back of her house.She puts food out for them each evening and sits watching them.When I saw them they came right up to the patio window where we sat,they are fab to watch.Hope everything goes well with your ferret.Love Jill xx

Rose said...

So magical! I am sure you will get to see the lovely Badger better soon! They are amazing creatures.

Glad your seitan worked well and I admit to being curious!

Twiggy said...

Oooo lucky you, your Mums wildlife watching sounds fab.
Twiggy x

Hawthorn said...

Seitan is something I've not tried, but as a vegan I feel I ought to! You've inspired me to give it a go. Thanks for an honest account. Also really nice to hear about your fox & badger watching - even if you don't 'see' what you intended, I think going out wildlife watching can be a deeply meditative experience - we rarely get the time to sit/stand in silence and focus on single things.

laoi gaul~williams said...

hawthorn seitan is worth the experiment. the beauty of it is you can use your own combination of herbs and spices to both the dry and wet mix. i have tried 'seitan o'greatness'from the post punk kitchen and while it is great for making sandwitches i think it is too spicy itself to make other things~for stir fries i think it should be slightly more bland. that is why for mine i added mostly herbs. if you want the recipe i used please feel free to email me :)

Linda said...

You have inspired me to go back to making my own seitan as well...I did it for years when my kids were growing up...not only did it taste great but it was a money saver for me as well as better for my kid's health...

I loved hearing the fox & badger story...we have one that we feed down on our back field... when I take food down to him I thank him for not bothering our chickens....:)

Your Mom's garden sounds like heaven to me...:)
Thanks for sharing such a magical story..


All things share the same breath~the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Chief Seattle

Johney Gaul~1915

Johney Gaul~1915
1890-17 september 1918~France