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Best Spring Recipes

Chefs on the Farm, Shannon Borg, Lora Lea Misterly, Karen Jurgenson, Phots by Harley Soltes

A friend invited me to an email recipe exchange, and I realized – I don’t cook as much as I used to. I eat very simply these days.

Stuck at home, the comfort of comfort food is all the more comforting.

But I was looking for a recipe to share, and thought – now we all have a little more time on our hands (although is life as busy for you as it is for me … still?), I am choosing to slow down and enjoy the solitary life by cooking a little more. And cooking with fresh food from the garden, or from a local farm stand feels healthiest. Most farm stands around here are on the honor system – you can take your food and leave a check or cash.

I came across some favorite recipes from my book, Chefs on the Farm, one of which is such a great springtime brunch dish, I thought I’d share it – I hope you like it!

Chefs on the Farm, Shannon Borg, Lora Lea Misterly, Karen Jurgenson, Phots by Harley Soltes
Photo by Harley Soltes

Chef Karen Jurgensen can poach eggs perfectly – and in this delicious spring brunch recipe it is all about the colorful hash of luscious pork belly, deep red baby beets (or sunny yellow beets, or both!) and whatever other springtime veggies & herbs you have access to – bright green chives & snap peas, fresh thyme.

Baby Beet Hash, Pork Belly & Poached Eggs

(Yum!) This recipe is from:

Chefs on the Farm: Recipes & Inspiration from the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts

(Click on the image below to order my book on Amazon!)

Happy Springtime Cooking!

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The Today Candle

Today Candle Shannon Borg


At one of the many turning points in my life, a generous friend gave me a beautiful candle.

Girls love candles.

It was a stout, cream-colored, 4-inch tower in a pretty smoky-gold crackled-glass holder. The kind I would never, at the time,  spend money on for myself.

And it changed my life.

Today Candle Shannon Borg

Let me revise that … I changed my life. The candle was just – I was just – we were just – in the right place at the right time together.

With all I was going through – a lost marriage, a breakup, struggles with finances and habits, a new job, and the prospect of building a house through a low-income program that would mean working 7-days-a-week for a full year between job and construction, I knew the concept of living in the moment was what I needed to survive. Literally.  

I don’t know what happened, but the candle sparked something in me. (No pun intended!)

Inspirational Objects, oysters
Do you have an Inspirational Object
in your life?

Up to that point, I had been trying (pretty darned unsuccessfully) to meditate, to even BREATHE, to walk the beaches to calm myself, to find some inner peace I’ve heard so much about from the numerous books, websites, people and ideas I was trying to surround myself with.

It wasn’t really working.

Then I received the gift of a candle.

I wanted to look at it every day. My friend had such a calmness about her, that I felt it was infused with her friendship and love.

So I decided to make it a part of my daily ritual. To actually try to create a daily ritual.

Tentatively at first. I lit the candle and sat in front of it for a few minutes in the morning with my coffee, silent and breathing.

But one day led to three and seven, and even with stops and starts, I found that a daily ritual of lighting a candle, of breathing, of taking a few minutes to calm my mind, began to change my internal world.

“A schedule defends against chaos and whim.
It is a net for catching days.”
–Annie Dillard

That one candle was substantially larger than all the tea lights I had grouped around it on the little shrine I began to build. Pebble by shell by Buddha figurine. So I made a circle around it.

Buddha Shrine, Shannon Borg

Three small candles for “yesterdays”. I’d light them and say: Thank you, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. I survived you.

Three small candles for “tomorrows” – Thank you, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Get me through this thing.

“What used to be a hunch gradually becomes
a working part of the mind.”

And then I’d light the BIG candle, the one I knew I needed to focus on, right here, right now, standing at the head of the circle. The chairman of the board, as it were.

The “Today” candle. This ritual seems so simple, but for me, this simple act led to a cascading effect – of helping me focus daily on a process of finding peace – and eventually focus and productivity in my life. And art.

South Beach, San Juan Island, Charcoal 7x10, Shannon Borg
South Beach, San Juan Island, charcoal on paper

The Today Candle led me to my art – which literally would never have happened if I hadn’t started setting some time aside to sit quietly and listen to myself and slowly figure out what I really wanted.

Do you have something in your life like the Today Candle? Something, that when you look back, you realize it was a turning point?


Thank you,

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Chefs on the Farm

Chefs on the Farm



Recipes And Inspiration From The Quillisascut Farm School Of The Domestic Arts

Authors: Shannon BorgLora Lea Misterly,Karen Jurgensen
Photographers: Harley SoltesHarley Soltes
224 Pages, 978-1-59485-080-6
Mountaineers Books 08/25/2008

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o The perfect “treat” for foodies, organic gardeners, cookbook addicts, and sustainable practitioners alike
o Sustainability is an accelerating trend in the food world

With the rising interest in organic and locally grown food, there is also an increasing interest in connecting the farm to the table. Chefs on the Farm describes the seasonal workings of Quillisascut Goat Cheese Farm, a small, family-run business in northeastern Washington state. There, owners Lora Lea and Rick Misterly started a “Farm School for the Domestic Arts” where every summer, professional chefs, culinary students, food writers, and others live and work on the farm. Cooking only with ingredients they find on the farm, students learn to be connected to the food they work with.

Learn more about the Quillisascut Goat Cheese Farm at