"Living Sustainable Earth Stewardship"

VTGW began as a small, mom owned & operated venture, with many ideas of how to offer consumers what they are seeking. With many changes necessary for growth, natural ingredients bath & body products continue to be the main focus of VTGW. A recent addition of featuring farmer's market vendors, emphasizing the support of the Local Movement, will be highlighted weekly. Striving to provide all Earth patrons with what YOU are seeking, VTGW is your destination. Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Retracing Our Steps Through Our Creative Project

Wow...I don't think I've ever seen my pictures get posted in reverse order but hey, let's run with it; this could be fun!
Tristan and I set aside each Wednesday as a day to get creative and work on a project or two. To me, baking is like chemistry; you have math through the measurement of ingredients, and then the science component comes into play with the change from a raw form of combined ingredients to the final product-edible and yummy-through the baking process. Today was about baking "Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Bars" and we had a good time, even if the majority of mixing was my role and my assistant was a great foreman. I will include the recipe in my next post, along with a picture of the final product. By the way, they do taste good, especially with a glass of milk.

"Pre-bake status"

"Yes, this is good!"

"And you stir like so...."

"Do we have time for this today?"
So, as you see, my assistant had to check his schedule, see how much time he had in his day, gave a stir or two, tasted the pre-poured ingredients, gave a thumbs up, and let me finish the rest. A fun day, as we added another project; another posting. ~Momma G

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Story Blanket

This is our new "home" project; I found the book at our local library, saw it as a good read, and it wasn't until after I got home and went through the bag of books we picked from the library what it really entailed. How sweet! A Russian based tale about the kindness of the heart when it comes to giving. What starts out as a blanket for local children to sit on to hear stories being told, becomes gifts of warmth and love for those in need. I won't give away the details of the book, as I feel anyone should really read it, even if its a kid's book that you could easily flip through in a matter of minutes. I feel its the time invested in the telling of the contents of the pages that mean the most. Telling Tristan this story really helped me connect to it, love it, and then look at Tristan and ask, "What if we made our own story blanket?"
I brought up a tote of yarn that I keep in the basement, and opened it to let my little one pick through the colors and various textures of yarns within the box. I found a cardboard box, unused, and as we picked colors together, I told Tristan to put the yarn he picked in the other box. Some yarn went in the box, and some went flying all over the room; no big deal as its yarn and he's a toddler testing the waters. I think I laughed as hard as he did with trying to put the yarn in the box, got tackled, put in a headlock, and my retaliation was to wait and tickle him into a frenzy when he least expected it. What a clown but what a moment!
So, there's our new project. A story blanket of our own. These are the perfect months to work on this project, snow and cold blanketing the outside world. ~Momma G
"Knitting is cosmic thinking."-Rudolf Steiner

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pretzel Making and Brainstorming

Be careful leaving the bathroom door opening while working in the kitchen....

Aunt Annie's Soft Pretzels Recipe
1 1/2 cup of warm water
1 1/8 tsp. active dry yeast
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup bread flour
3 cups regular flour
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. baking soda
coarse salt, to taste
4 Tbsp. melted butter
Sprinkle yeast lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt, and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda bath with 2 cups water and 2 Tbsp. baking soda. Be certain to stir often. After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope* (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Bake in 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter and enjoy!

This is my "Home" creative project; I make Wednesdays our days to work on creative stuff, things that Tristan can have hands on with, and most importantly, make it fun. He was great with helping, trying to roll out the pretzel sticks before shaping them into the classic bow style you see at fairs and in malls; after attempting to use the soda bath as a hand soak, he felt his time was done and he needed to get down and go play. I'm fine with that; I don't force my child to go any further than he's comfortable with at this stage in his life-after all, he's not quite three years old yet. He can sit in on policy making when he's older....
My brainstorming has been about my business; focusing on new methods of processing soap, making lotions and adding on things like lip balms, shampoos, etc...I want to keep my expanding list short this year, as with the arrival of another child, I have enough on my plate to keep me busy. So, when you need to brainstorm new ideas, get creative-I do. I find it helps my thought process with new ideas, new projects, etc...I also use my creative outlet as a form of meditation; I'm not one to sit and try to empty my mind-I really don't have that much time on my hands with a little one running around, a house to manage and maintain, and a business to run....besides, I really don't want to miss those priceless moments....would I have found the dog in the bathroom if I were focused on something else? Who knows.
~Momma G

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New Month, New Creative Theme

The Foreman Checking The Job-
So, here we are in the first couple of days in Feb. Nothing new to report on the business end, except a Winter Farmer's Market date set for Saturday, the 13th in Shelburne, VT. Time is the same: 10 AM-2 PM at the Town Hall Gym.
I am continuing with the Creative Every Day project, and we are focusing on HOME for this month's theme. Home, and what it means. Home, and what you would like, where you've lived in the past, etc....the creation of a sacred space was the first thing on the list, and carving out a space just to sit and focus without the distractions of house chores, tv, etc....that's very important to me. Now, if I can just get my man to stop throwing his work clothes on my chair, we'll be ok.
Home is an important place to me. Yes, our house is where we live, I create products to sell at Farmer's Markets, we eat, rest, play, etc....but the essence of HOME....Home has always been where I can find time to unwind, relax and set aside "those things that just have to be done today." As a mother, home is where my children grow up, aside from being out in the world, guided by my hand and voice to instill in them what is good and what we have to question if instinct doesn't kick in right away. And home is where I can take a box of chocolates from a cute little downtown Burlington business, savor the taste, pose for the camera, and wonder who keeps putting Cheerios in my shoes.
~Momma G