the woodland realm

Walking into the sunlit woods felt magical in the hush of fresh white that was still even clinging to the bark of trees after our first real snow Friday. I shared a moment from my time there on Facebook.

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I loved a friend’s comment of just three simple words, “The Woodland Realm”.  Yes, exactly.

There’s not a whole lot to say here. Walking in the woods the past three days has continued to evoke a strong sense of being not just in the woods, but in the ‘Woodland Realm’. The character of this otherwise familiar place has been transformed by the brilliant white of sun brightened snow in contrast to the shadows of tree trunks and the edges of dark stones peeking out from the caps of snow on top. I always thought my love of skiing came from the thrill of being on a mountain, the vastness of cold air and sky surrounding me. But now I know it is this, this feeling of how snow transforms and distills the essence of a place so keenly that you can get drunk on it. Each day I snap pictures, desperately trying to capture the primal essence of these woods that has become alive yet again after such a dull dormant period of brown death.

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My appetite has been voracious in these past three mornings of bright sun and anticipation of getting back down to the woodland realm. Favorite breakfast so far has been the tacos made with a layer of garlicky white beans (a la Marcella Hazan, from fresh soaked organically grown white beans) heated up in a small skillet, two (local) eggs cracked on top and all steamed together in the pan on medium heat with a lid. I put two fresh locally made organic corn tortillas in the toaster to warm and crisp. Fetched the bag of sprouts just grown here on my own table, some organic greens (ok, bought these at the coop), and the last bit of homemade zucchini salsa canned this fall with vegetables from my local farm share. Divided everything evenly between the two tortillas, rolled them up and ate with relish.

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Crunchy and savory, the spicy sprouts and mustardy salsa balanced the soft kick of the beans and garlic. Somehow even the taste of egg and corn came through too. A true breakfast symphony. Complete with Mmmmmm’s and Ahhhhhh’s.

This meal falls into the ‘culinary realm’ of great taste and satisfaction. It’s not just a mixture of what are otherwise typical ingredients found in a grocery store, packaged and preserved in an unknown location. It’s the magical combination of sustainably grown ingredients that deliver source energy in a direct and primal way.

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