Sparks, Sprouts, and Golden Sauerkraut

Sparks, Sprouts, and Golden Sauerkraut

Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 3
Week 5: February 4, 2023

A colorful week of spark, sprouts, and Golden Sauerkraut. To start: sparks. Our daughter, Miriam, who lives next door was awakened at 6 AM by an explosion and the unmistakable smell of something electrical burning.

She said she had been hearing an odd humming sound that seemed to build pressure and then relent, then rebuild. Immediately after the explosion she saw light seeming to come from our pasture and it appeared to be a fire. We feared it was our barn. We both ran outside, but not up close, and it actually was past our fence on someone else’s property.

I don’t think I can quite describe the feeling of electricity in the air. A high voltage wire had snapped and was touching the ground, creating an eerie-looking display of sparks. It burned and burned and did not spread, though it did set off a small secondary fireworks display for a while. From what I understand this was not a residential wire, but one that carries power from the local substation to the city in the valley, so it was releasing incredible electricity. We could feel it in our hair, skin, and clothes all day. Our ears rang for a week.

Firefighters came expecting a structure fire, but ended up staying to monitor the electrical fire until Pacific Power sent someone to assess the situation. They were not in a hurry to shut off the electricity to that fire, for some reason. We were all without power in our homes, but the sparks kept burning for hours in the pasture. Additionally, another neighbor had a residential wire fall across their driveway that appeared to be unrelated to the incident. Thank God it was winter and everything was frozen. Power was restored at about 2:00 PM the same day, January 30.

Meanwhile, Miriam and I enjoyed hot cups of Zloty Lan chamomile and strawberry mint tea and scrambled eggs, cooked on the wood stove. It is possible to cook on a modern wood stove with an insulated top.

Indoor salad garden sprouts

I hope you aren’t getting tired of me talking about my indoor salad garden. It is an integral part of our meals from early winter to spring. How do we eat the greens I grow? I love a big, luscious salad, but often I simply add them to whatever we having.

Harvesting your greens at the table; it doesn’t get any fresher!

Beef and Barley Soup with root vegetables is down home delicious in its own right. Adding a generous bunch of daikon (radish) and broccoli sprouts grown in the window make it even better.

Tea and lunch at Mom’s

Mom always answers the door with a big smile! This week’s tea and lunch included Bigelow Salted Caramel Black Tea with a touch – just a touch! – of honey. It was delicious!

Mom’s best friend Joy brought an orange Jell-o salad with carrots and oranges, I brought a pot of rice and rockfish, which I turned into Coconut Battered Fish.

Golden sauerkraut

🧡✨GOLDEN SAUERKRAUT – GREAT TASTING SAUERKRAUT ✨🧡✨ Not a fan of sauerkraut? You’ll love Golden Sauerkraut! It’s chock-full of colorful veggies – you won’t even taste the cabbage! With a sunny yellow-orange color, Golden Sauerkraut not only looks cheerful, it sparkles with flavor and offers the proven health benefits of turmeric and probiotics.

My first video

Just for fun, I invite you to watch my very first video!

Yes, it’s rough! I was nervous, even though I have taught tons of in-person classes. (What is it about a camera that inspires nervousness???)

Hopefully I have improved in my presentation, I think I have. I am offering this comparison to encourage you to do hard things, to try new things, and to give yourself permission to not be good at everything.

Samuel’s projects

More sparks! Samuel made good use of a recent burn day.

The push to oust a pair of bears living in our henyard last fall meant Sam cut down a mountain of wild Himalayan blackberry brambles, cattails, and other brush. He had a chance to burn them at last. If left alone, the blackberry brambles would root themselves and regrow.

Thrift shop find

Vasta vegetable sheet slicer
Fun to kitchen toy to try out!

I absolutely LOVE my countertop vegetable spiralizer, so I am looking forward to trying out this Vasta vegetable sheet slicer, which is advertised to transform vegetables and fruit like zucchini and apples into thin sheets similar to lasagna noodles. It is a cheap plastic gadget I was unwilling to pay full price for, but at $3.29 it is worth a shot!


Not a fan of sauerkraut? You’ll love Golden Sauerkraut! It’s chock-full of colorful veggies – you won’t even taste the cabbage! With a sunny yellow-orange color, Golden Sauerkraut not only looks cheerful, it sparkles with flavor and offers the proven health benefits of turmeric and probiotics.

Looking for an easy way to get started preserving food? Look no further than your freezer.

❄️Freeze Fresh is your 🤲🏻📗guide to utilizing this miraculous and unappreciated appliance to its full potential! Crystal Schmidt of Whole-Fed Homestead shares the best ways to preserve specific fruits and veggies so that they retain their color and flavor. 🍐🫐🌈🥦🥔

All you need are Freeze Fresh book + a few simple tools: blender, stock pot, colander, cookie sheets, ice cube trays, straight-sided canning jars, freezer containers and bags, cookie scoop. You already have everything you need right in your kitchen! The only tool you might add are silicone molds for freezing purees.

Learn how to prevent freezer burn, which foods need to be blanched (and how), and how to package foods to make them recipe-friendly.

With Freeze Fresh in hand you’ll see your freezer as a pantry rather than a black hole, a pantry stocked with recognizable foods that are easy to eat:

  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Honey lemonade concentrate
  • Broccoli cheese soup
  • Sweet freezer pickles
  • Vanilla pear sauce

And ingredients:

  • Roasted garlic paste
  • Pie fillings
  • Purees for soups
  • Individually frozen fruits and veggies
  • So much more…


One Comment

  • I enjoyed reading everything. You are lucky about the fire. I watched your video on making apple butter. You have me wanting to make a batch. My father loved apple butter. I think my mother cooked some on the stove top. She made strawberry jam or preserves. What’s the difference? I know I could google. The camera needed to be adjusted to show you slicing and cutting up the apples. Not so much what was above your head. You probably realized that afterwards. Your other videos have turned out well. I need to try my hand at using zoom. Deborah S Prather in Fredericksburg, Virginia originally from Louisville, Kentucky my hometown. I am homesick.


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