Episode 26

This episode includes the following segments: A Little Bit of Learning, Ever-expanding Skill Set, The Back Porch, and Gratitude Journal.

oatmealA Little Bit of Learning

Some nutrition facts about oats, in the spotlight this month for our Bulk Bins Cook Along: one quarter cup of dry, unprocessed oats contains 150 calories, 13% of the daily recommended allowance for protein, and 16% for fiber.  Oats contain soluble fiber, which can help reduce risk of diabetes; they are high in beta-glucans, a type of starch that stimulates the immune system and reduce risk of some cancers. Oats contain more than 20 unique polyphenols called avenanthramides, which have strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching properties — that’s why many skin treatments include oatmeal as an ingredient.

Ever-expanding Skill Set

There’s a lively conversation happening in the Bulk Bins CAL thread on Ravelry.  You can also tweet or post photographs on Instagram using #bulkbinscal.  Kristy Lauricella, certified health coach and blogger, has a recipe for Warm Gingery Oatmeal on her blog, Creative Wisdom Wellness.

I’ve been interested in savory recipes for oatmeal, and this week I created my own version of oatmeal-crusted salmon.  I was inspired by this recipe from Epicurious; however, I couldn’t find pinhead (Scottish) oats. So, I approached the problem like I usually do: using whatever is on hand in my pantry.

oatmeal1Oatmeal-crusted Salmon

2 1/3 lb. strips of fresh-caught salmon               1/2 lemon, thinly sliced                                     juice of 1/2 lemon

1/3 c. rolled oats, pulsed in food processor   dill, salt, cayenne pepper to taste

Combine oats and seasonings in small bowl. Spoon lemon juice over salmon filets, then gently press each one into the topping to coat the surface.  Coat a cast-iron pan with olive oil and bring to medium heat.  Place several slices of lemon in the pan, then place the salmon filets on top.  Cover skillet and allow salmon to cook almost through: 5-7 minutes.  Then, remove cover and transfer the skillet to broiler for about 2 minutes, until the oatmeal is cooked through and crunchy in texture.  When serving, be sure to include the caramelized lemons from the bottom of the skillet.

aggregate2The Back Porch

This week, I completed the Aggregate, a shawl design from JimiKnits.  The result is colorful and reminiscent of a beach blanket, with bright and rich Yellow and Caribbean Blue yarn from Full Moon Farm’s Fabulous Fibers that look fantastic with the mirror effect of the pattern.  This garter stitch shawl is squishy and soft, and is perfect for playing with color.  Using double stitch made the short rows very easy to negotiate.  I highly recommend this pattern for some coordinating or strongly-contrasting yarn in your stash.

yogaGratitude Journal

This week, I’m feeling grateful for my mother’s influence over my housekeeping abilities. I’ve been keeping cabin fever at bay by organizing and adjusting home decor so that I feel peaceful, comfortable, and creative.  Mom impressed upon her daughters that taking care of our things and keeping our homes tidy is equivalent to taking care of ourselves. That is not to say that my childhood home was always immaculate.  Quite the opposite.  Each member of the family had a different interest or hobby, which meant that there were projects in progress everywhere.  But somehow, the mess never got out of control.

Here are a few of Mom’s aphorisms:

  • If it is clean, it stays clean.
  • Don’t put it down, put it away.
  • Cluttered surface; cluttered mind.

Some questions that may help you determine how to focus your energy:

  • What area of your home would really save you time if it were better organized?
  • Where do you like to rest and relax? / Where do you like to be messy / create?
  • What possessions can be donated / given new homes in order to eliminate clutter?

“A place for everything and everything in its place.”                                  

 —alternatively attributed to Isabella Beeton and Benjamin Franklin, though its origins are likely the 17th Century