I would like to introduce a new quarterly magazine focused entirely on celebrating that which is Tennessee: the people, the history, the land. There is a beauty in celebrating and appreciating our state and the people who make it up. For lovers of Tennessee, for Tennesseans, and for transplants: may you enjoy, may you learn, and may you be thankful for Tennessee.
I never really cared for waffles or pancakes growing up. I would eat them when my mother made them, but never really liked them. I was a French toast kind of girl. And just so you know, it was not my mother’s cooking. It was totally me. The turning point for me with pancakes was around five years ago when I had the Four Seasons’ Lemon-Ricotta Poppyseed Pancakes from The New American Cooking by Joan Nathan. I was already starting to come around, but this recipe got me there fast. With waffles, it took a bit longer.
It all happened a couple of years ago when I went to Le Pain Quotidien. My sister ordered their sugar pearl waffles. One bite was all it took. Oh my gosh! They were the most delicious thing ever! (Maybe not the most delicious thing ever, but at that moment, it felt as if that were true.) They served the waffles with fresh berries and that is all they needed. No powdered sugar and butter (my go to for waffles growing up), honey, syrup, molasses, or agave nectar…they were perfect just as they were. That shows you that something is made well – if it does not need anything else to make it delicious.
Started in Brussels, Le Pain Quotidien is committed to slow food, organic ingredients, and communal eating. In their own words, “Good food tastes even better in good company.” Oh so true. For a chain restaurant, they want to encourage you to linger, to enjoy conversation, to connect over good food. So refreshing. The founder of Le Pain Quotidien focuses on the artistry behind food in a very comforting and authentic way. I feel as if I am eating at a farmer’s table (a really impressive farmer’s table). The portions are light to be sure (unless you get the lentil salad), but good, and are focused on the integrity of the ingredients used. It is an inspiring, comforting, and delicious place to eat. Born as a bakery with a communal table, Le Pain Quotidien translates as “the daily bread”. Starting with tartines, a couple of salads, and a few pastries, they have grown incredibly. And the newest addition, their own cookbook, so that you may share “simple, wholesome, and sustainable food” with friends and family around your own table.
Tempted to try sugar pearl waffles? Well, you can either make a visit to a Le Pain Quotidien location or you can make your own using Lars Sugar Pearls (there is a recipe on back for making waffles). I would recommend both!
I have had two hopes/dreams for my life. One being to own land. To have property. To be able to look outside my window, to walk out the door and know that the grass under my feet, the flowers, the rolling hills are mine. We moved to Tennessee when I was in fifth grade. It was the first time that we had a decent bit of land, not just a yard. I loved it. There is a sense of hope with land. Hope for the future, for the possibilities of what can be. There is also a peace, a contentment. I don’t know if I can put it into words, but I think you will know what I am referring to. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.” Sitting here now, looking out my window, it makes me wonder why I am not outside enjoying the soft, yet warm rays of the sun. Allowing the humid air to wrap me in its blanket. To enjoy the gentle songs of the birds, the not so gentle talking of the hens, the wet grass between my toes. For years I would ask my parents for a bit of their land. I always remembered to include it on my birthday and Christmas list. I don’t know if my parents ever really realized how much I wanted it. Just a bit of their land. 5′ x 5′ would have suited me just fine. I still know the exact spot I dreamt of owning. I don’t know why I picked that spot. There was nothing there. It was just in the middle of the yard. Now there is a tree planted. Not by me, but a tree growing all the same. As I grew older, I stopped asking for land, but I never stopped dreaming. Always of 100 acres of land to call my own. How that land looked changed through the years. In high school, after a trip to Italy, I wanted a vineyard. In college, a ranch. After college, a farm. Now, I want to live a life that is as self-sufficient as possible. I want to live off of my land, grow my own food, make what I need. To live a quiet and simple life. For now, I am trying to learn how to do so on the land where I am.
First phase: learn to grow a garden and produce as much food as I can for myself and source the rest as locally as possible.
The first couple of years were a failure…totally. Thank goodness for our CSA share. I traveled so much with my family that it was impossible to maintain a garden. Plus, I never built a fence around my raised beds and lost the majority of my produce to rabbits and our dogs who loved to dig in the dirt. The only bed that survived was the asparagus, plus a couple of lone eggplant, radish, and beet plants.
This year was different. I was determined to have a garden and make it work. We built new beds to expand the garden and had a fence put around the majority of the space. I had a dump truck full of dirt delivered to fill all the raised beds. My sisters came home for my birthday and that is how we spent the day. Digging out spaces for the beds, filling wheel barrows with dirt, and dumping them in the beds. What a blessing to have extra hands. And then the planting began. My poor father. As soon as I have one bed planted, I am ready for him to build me a new one.
Over the past couple of months, I have fallen in love. I love starting and ending my day in the garden. Spending hours watering, weeding, and working on projects. I have been surprised by how relaxing and delightful it has been. I am absolutely in love with it all. The philosophy of Addiah is to promote a life of quality, beauty, simplicity, authenticity. That is why I sell and am in love with Baker Creek Heirloom seeds. With every purchase made online, I include a packet of seeds as a thank you and to encourage heirloom seeds and a natural farming method; good food, grown by yourself or those near you. I know that not everyone wants to grow their own garden, but my hope is that they will spread the seeds to someone who will. We can get food from anywhere in the world. We are so blessed. But sometimes, it is not having anything we want that matters. It is having something good, something real, something by our own hands, grown by hard work, sweat and pain (and even sometimes tears). It is incredible to witness the growth of a seed into a plant, to see it bloom and produce as God designed it to.
May you enjoy the open, however, wherever that is….Virginia
“There is delight in the hardy life of the open.”…Theodore Roosevelt
Okay…so I mentioned own of my favorite raw treats – Sacred Chocolate – but I thought I would list some of the others I enjoy for when I don’t want to cook. They are all delicious! I know I can make my own treats, but it is so nice to have a flavorful, healthy snack that I can pick up whenever I am too tired to cook or when I am on the go. Plus, right after I started experimenting with eating raw I realized that our dehydrator does not have a temperature gauge. So that means I cannot use it to make any homemade treats (like kale chips) until I invest in a new one.
Medjool Dates – They are the best dessert as they are quite sweet and completely natural.
Sacred Chocolate – Their white with lemon & coconut, as well as the coconut & nibs – both are delicious but my favorite is definitely the coconut & nibs. They are really creamy and smooth and the best raw chocolate I have found. I have not tried all their flavors as the only store I have found them in is Mom’s Organic Market in Maryland (which by the way is my favorite grocery store hands down right now – I just have to drive 9 hours to shop or give my sisters a grocery list when they come to visit). However, you can order them online!
go raw – Super Lemon Cookie. Go Raw is a common brand in most grocery stores that carry organic/health food. I love these cookies. They feel rich and delicious. I was surprised at how good they tasted.
Two Moms in the Raw – Their Granola bars are wonderful. They are 100% organic, wheat free, dairy free, soy free, and vegan. The thing I love most is that every ingredient is something I have in my kitchen right now. These bars are great for when I know I will be out all day and need something to bring with me. I have never been the type of person just to bring a handful of nuts. They feel hearty and filling and give me the energy boost I need, especially while hiking! I have not been able to try any of their other products yet, but trust that if they are anything like the granola bars, they will be delicious.
Kale chips – I love homemade kale chips and actually have been disappointed by the selection I have found in stores. However, I have come across a couple of brands that I really enjoy. My favorite brand right now is Alive & Radiant. I have had the Southwest Ranch, the Quite Cheezy, and the Cheezy Chipotle. All of which fit that desire to have something salty, crunchy, and comforting.
The first time I was introduced to orange blossom I fell instantly in love. Love at first sight is not quite an accurate statement…maybe more like love at first taste. It all started when my sister went to Indian Wells to watch a tennis tournament. She came home in love with the latest California trend… orange blossom yogurt. For breakfast each morning while at her hotel, she would have fresh berries with orange blossom honey yogurt. She replicated the delightful breakfast by adding orange blossom water and honey to yogurt. Immediately my other two sisters and I fell in love. Now anything orange blossom reminds me of this amazing love of ours and is just oh so tempting.
I was so excited to see when Noon Design introduced their Orange Blossom Scent, and even more excited when they expanded their line to the Lil’ Lotion Tin. The delightful scent truly is reminiscent of orange blossom, with a little honeysuckle, and pure California living.