The snowflake in your hand
Reminds me to pay attention.
Your upcycled, linen-wrapped gift
Suggests my need to create.
The shortened days with more to do
Test my ability to surrender.
The snowflake in your hand
Reminds me to pay attention.
Your upcycled, linen-wrapped gift
Suggests my need to create.
The shortened days with more to do
Test my ability to surrender.
By Jenn Rein
It’s time to bring some solace back to your soul. Because, despite the glory that is our backyard, this time of year can deliver stress in the form of work, school breaks, and the regular daily management of life at six-thousand-some-odd feet. For those of us that keep WYDAHO rolling, time to breathe means reaping the rewards of what it means to be local.
So let’s get pampered. We’ve earned it!
THE A-LIST CELEBRITY
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Have you ever been wrapped in coffee, cinnamon, and white clay? Well, here’s your chance. During the ski season only, The Spa, located in Teton Village, offers Jackson Hole Mountain Resort season pass holders a two-for-one deal on services. Use your Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club coupon to redeem this deal and refer to the booklet for specific blackout dates.
Chill Spa at Hotel Terra (pictured above)
With a 20-percent-off, year-round locals’ special, why wouldn’t you want to chill in a rooftop hot tub in Teton Village? Or wait until the tourists leave in May to get a fifty-minute spa service for $99 (also good at the Solitude Spa in Teton Mountain Lodge).
Stillwaters Spa at Teton Springs
Spend $20 or more in services and get access to the outdoor hot tubs, eucalyptus steam room, and relaxation lounge at the base of the pass in Victor. Shoulder season takes it up a notch—luxuriate in the hands of a talented massage therapist for ninety minutes, paying only the sixty-minute rate.
THE RHINESTONE COWBOY
N8V (nā tiv) Salon
Located in Rafter J (who knew?), monthly specials at N8V provide year-round savings. Down for a seaweed wrap? How about an airbrushed tan? Everyone from your boss to your neighbor will wonder how you got that special glow (and you don’t have to disclose that you stopped at Liquor Down South post-appointment).
Bear and Doe Banya Spa
While the explanation of a banya—a compilation of saunas, steam, cold plunges, and thwacking—may alarm you, this Jackson massage outfit’s menu of services will do anything but. For $75, locals can get one hour of massage work and one round in the infrared or hot saunas. Add $15 to your tab for unlimited use of the facilities.
THE SHINY NICKEL
Diva Nails & Spa
Not just for nails, this Jackson gem takes great pride in their facials and wax treatments, too. You will leave feeling, and looking, many years younger. Always on the side of affordable, Diva doesn’t need a locals’ discount to be pocketbook-friendly. 307.734.2586
A stone’s throw from Jackson’s Town Square, these guys are killing it with their dude-centric services. The “Dome and Grille,” a haircut and a hot towel shave with a straight razor, will only cost you $50. Spruce up that skull and surprise your lady.
Enjoy a $30 pedi (ski-boot feet and all) year-round at Roots salon in Victor. Or a shoulder-season cut, color, and massage can be had for $150.
Dig this Driggs salon: lay down $50 for a mani AND pedi. Or choose the haircut-and-eyebrow-wax combo for the low price of $42. Walk away feeling smart and sparkly.
By Christina Shepherd McGuire // Photographs by Ashley Merritt
You know the scenario. In fact, you’ve probably starred in the show: Kids run amok around the restaurant while fellow diners give parents the stink eye. Or, a guest shows up to a holiday party empty-handed—and fashionably late, of course—to see a mountain of offerings on a dressed-to-the-nines table. Or even still, a mother-in-law scoffs at her daughter-in-law’s oversight of handwritten thank-yous. What gives?
The modern view on manners and etiquette varies drastically from the era that, say, our parents grew up in. Today’s progressive parents have a new set of rules that jive with a more casual lifestyle, and the “plugged in and tuned out” existence of contemporary adults just doesn’t lend the time. But while many of us were taught manners as children, it seems we sometimes struggle as adults to recall the lessons learned. So in an effort to recapture that connection, here’s the lowdown.
Manners vs. Etiquette
Manners build character. Exercising polite behavior is a form of self-discipline that makes you stop, think about the course of your actions, and behave appropriately. Manners are the “pleases” and “thank yous,” the handshakes, and learning to listen first before speaking. They are the feel-good foundation of personal connection.
Etiquette, on the other hand, gets a bad rap. These expected, and sometimes old-fashioned, practices dictate a fussy code of conduct. While requiring young children to bow or curtsy is a true practice of the past, some old ways, like covering your mouth while yawning (to avoid swallowing flies), are still routine. Today, our modern, watered-down etiquette simply aids in the flow, it assists people in their everyday lives, and it helps establish respect among peers.
Instilling Manners in Children
One of my dearest friends secretly wishes her kids would call me Mrs. McGuire. “We live in such a casual area that it’s not uncommon for children to call friends’ parents by their first names,” she explains, “But in the South [where she grew up], that just doesn’t fly.”
Another friend claims, “We don’t really do manners”—a growing practice among free-range parents.
To me, these two opposing views represent the confusion over what to teach our children. And if you run the middle ground between uber proper and genuinely lax, where do you start?
First, manners teach confidence. “Manners help children become successful humans in our world,” explains Mary Kitto, a fifth-grade teacher at Wilson Elementary. A child who is taught to sit up straight at dinner and address an adult when they’re spoken to builds a sense of self-worth. Once these habits become ingrained, the child will be more likely to speak up when he has a concern or raise his hand and answer a challenging classroom question.
“Please” and “thank you.” My daughter’s teacher once told me that it takes children something like 4,000 repetitions to make an exercise habitual (don’t quote me on this). So start teaching polite words early. Teach the basics, like “please” and “thank you,” as soon as your toddler starts talking. Lead by example and request that your child says “please” when asking for something.
Eventually she’ll realize she gets what she wants when she uses this nicety. And always conclude the interaction with a “thank you.” The earlier you start, the less chance of having whiny grade-schoolers moaning, “I want [this], I want [that] ... ”
No interrupting. Kids want their needs addressed, well, let’s just say, yesterday. And there’s nothing more annoying, especially to childfree peers, than having an adult conversation interrupted. Then, after several rounds of ignoring Johnny, he starts screaming RIGHT IN YOUR FACE! How embarrassing!
Well, I researched this one thoroughly, thumbing through varied procedures, until I read an insightful post by a homeschool blogger. She teaches patience in a loving and passive way: When your child needs to say something, instead of interrupting, have him place his hand on your wrist and wait. Then, place your hand on his wrist to acknowledge that you’ll get to him shortly. At the next pause, let him speak.
Remarkable! I’m starting this one tomorrow.
Dinner manners: the stuff that etiquette is made from. Now I’m not talking about formal table settings here—although I do think the knowledge is useful—just some basic rules for eating in, eating out, and engaging around the table.
Here’s what I’m firm on:
Shouldn’t Manners Be Taught in School?
“I think teaching manners should begin at home and then be reinforced by the ‘village,’ ” professes Kitto, who explains Wilson Elementary’s Second Step program (skills for social and academic success). It has three segments: 1. Empathy and skills for learning, 2. Emotion management, and 3. Problem solving. This program is implemented on both sides of the hill as part of a K-5 emotional and social development curriculum. “It reinforces treating others like you want to be treated,” Kitto says.
Etiquette Survival For Adults
Now the kids are in check, but what about the adults?
Looking around in a ski-bum town, it sometimes appears that manners have been thrown to the curb. Like, who really waves their girlfriend into the gondola first or leaves their cellphone at home when party-hopping?
I feel it’s due time to get back to the old traditions ...
Actions speak louder than words. Maybe it’s a company party or community event that puts you in a crowd. If so, make a good impression by listening more than you talk. Parties connect people, so show sincere interest in others, making them feel like you’re enjoying their company. And put away your phone. In fact, leave it in the car. Nothing is more annoying than a fellow partygoer shooting multiple selfies and then uploading them to Instagram.
Dinner parties. Rule number one: RSVP, and in a timely manner! Remember, it’s just plain rude to drag your feet until you’re privy to the attendee list. And speaking of feet—when you arrive at the host’s house, take off your snowy boots. If it’s a formal function, ladies, pack a pair of shoes for the après. And guys, ditch the Sorels for slip-ons.
If you’re invited to a dinner party, always bring a gift to go with the meal. Beer and wine will suffice, but before hitting the drive-thru at The Coach, check with the host to see what she’s serving and come with an accoutrement that pairs well. You’ll get extra brownie points, I swear!
In my family, we have an expression. We call ourselves “The Relations.” And it’s said with a tone that jokingly signifies our commitment to each other, regardless of our individual, quirky nuances. Family gatherings are large, involve lots of food and drink, and ultimately end with some off-the-cuff comment that causes certain members to leave feeling awkward. Then we do it all over again next year.
So if there really is a thing called “family etiquette,” here’s a crash course:
Ladies First (Gentlemanly Rules)
As a post-feminist, I have to admit I like (and even expect) having the door opened for me and having my chair pulled out at a table. And I give props to guys who routinely give up their seat in a crowded bar. So how can you, as a man, make sure you’re up to snuff? And how can we, as women, support you in this movement?
Let’s get real—some of the gentlemanly gestures are truly outdated. But if you want to set yourself apart from the pack, then try: opening the door for a woman when entering a building; pulling the chair out for your date before seating yourself; and offering to pay for the meal, even if your date is your wife. Offer compliments, without using creepy pick-up lines, and never insult your date, even if you think it’s constructive criticism. Above all else, let your girlfriend drop into the pristine powder first. After all, she earned her turns, too.
And ladies, cut a guy a break. I realize that we’re all capable of opening our own doors and even chopping our own firewood. But if we just let down our guard every once in awhile, maybe our male counterparts will feel inspired to impress us. And who knows—the gesture might just rub off on the kids as well. tf
Outdated Rules You Can Break:
Teton Science Schools hosts an Adventures in Etiquette camp for kids grades 3 to 5 in June.
Teton Family encourages 60 minutes of outdoor play each day (we know, most mountain families get more). So show us your adventure kid doing what they love outdoors! Submissions will be judged by our online community.
Submissions start Jan 22nd and end Feb 1st at 5:00 pm
How to Play:
Winner will be announced Monday Feb 9th.
By Kate Field
I remember discovering essential oils on two separate occasions: once as a teenager in a head shop in the Connecticut suburbs, and once again as a young woman in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The first oil came in a small glass vial labeled “patchouli”; the second as a crystalized resin embedded in a freshly cut round of ponderosa pine. The patchouli smelled like rotting earth, my mother complained. And the pine reminded me of the turpentine my father kept in our garage back home.
Years later, I learned that volatile oils, or “essential” oils, are made up of different chemical compounds found in plants. The combination of chemicals creates a scent profile for that particular species. It is the high concentration of sesquiterpines in decaying patchouli leaves and the terpenes in pine that largely influence their unique scents. Not only are these oils aromatic, they also provide key benefits to the plant. The oils in the ponderosa pine, which stood dead on the ground and in the snow for many years, protected it from bugs, mycelium, and other decomposing factors.
How are essential oils made?
Humans have used plants for their aromatic and healing properties for at least 9,000 years, though I imagine it’s more likely since the beginning of time. Some of the earliest methods of extraction included steeping plant material in a carrier oil of animal fat, nut, or seed to form ointments and salves. Today, you can buy essential oils in vials and use them for their antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, digestive, immune-boosting, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, diuretic, moisturizing, analgesic (pain-relieving), and sedating benefits, to name just a few.
Steam distillation is the most common form of essential oil extraction. Material is placed into a still. Pressurized steam rises and passes through the material, opening the cell walls of the plant. Then, the essential oils evaporate and rise with the steam into a cooling chamber in the still. As the vapor is cooled, the water and oil return to their liquid state and are separated into essential oil and hydrosol (aromatic water). To gain perspective on the enormity of this process, it takes between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds of rose petals to yield 1 pound of rose essential oil. Wow! Due to the highly concentrated nature of essential oils, I recommend purchasing organic or wildcrafted oils.
How do you use them?
Essential oils are absorbed into the body via the skin or airway and used to treat a plethora of different conditions. Some parents rub immune-boosting essential oils (see below) into the soles of their children’s feet to reduce the number and severity of colds and sickness. This is great practice for adults, too, as our foot soles contain large pores for absorption and reflexology points that aid our various bodily systems. You can also use a body mist as a subtle perfume that shifts energy. Lavender, one of the most well-known essential oils, relaxes the mind and helps with insomnia, anxiety, fear, or general nervousness. Use rose for deep sorrow and grief—its comforting smell gives a sense of hope (a good one to remember when the winter blues settle in).
One of the lesser-known, yet significant, benefits of using essential oils is their ability to promote vitality by increasing the vibrational frequency of the human body. Rose oil has one of the highest frequencies, measuring anywhere between 52 to 320 MHz (in comparison, processed food measures in at 0 MHz). Just a few drops a day can change the function of the immune system and the state of consciousness.
Where do I start?
Before incorporating oils into your daily routine, it is always necessary to dilute them properly. Direct application can burn and injure the skin, or cause liver damage in young children or fragile adults. As a rule of thumb, dilute six to twelve drops of essential oil in one ounce of carrier oil for skin application; dilute five to ten drops of essential oil in four ounces of water for a body mist; and use three to ten drops in your bathtub. I love using jojoba oil for a base since it resembles the sebum our skin naturally produces. Still, any cold-pressed raw oil will work. Veer toward the low end of these recommendations for children and pregnant women.
Some essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy because of their stimulating effects. Safe choices for pregnancy include chamomile, lavender, frankincense, sandalwood, spearmint (inhaling this oil helps relieve morning sickness), rose, and ylang-ylang.
What about internal use?
Many practitioners don’t recommend essential oils for internal use because they can irritate the mucous membranes. Some companies, however, do advertise and promote safe, internal use of therapeutic-grade essential oils. And they are always recommended at extremely low doses. Even still, I take a more conservative approach to using plants medicinally and prefer teas, herbal extracts, and flower essences. Or, I just eat them!
Whether it is patchouli or pine, lemon or lavender, rosemary or rose, there’s an oil out there that has just what you’re hoping for. Breathe deep!
Cold and Flu Go-Tos:
Breathe in Something Local:
Wind River Herbs
Curtis and Karen Haderlie, of Thayne, Wyoming, grow organic and wild-harvested herbs. Stop into Jackson Whole Grocer to sample their essential oils.
American Wilderness Botanicals
Ben Clark, of Jackson, specializes in locally and ethically wildcrafted essential oils and hydrosols.
Love and Light Massage Bars
(An ounce of tenderness for the long winter)
I use my favorite uplifters for this recipe. My bars help reduce fatigue, anxiety, and depression, while keeping the skin elastic. Try them on stretch marks, wrinkles, and scars, too.
4 ounces coconut oil
4 ounces cocoa butter or shea butter (or a combo
of the two)
3 ounces beeswax
25 drops geranium essential oil
25 drops coriander essential oil
15 drops bergamot essential oil
15 drops blood orange essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops rose absolute essential oil (or rosewood)
No need for spendy wrinkle creams, ladies! Instead, invest in ingredients to whip up batches of your own. This lotion helps repair damaged skin cells and reduces the signs of aging with vitamins C and E and essential fatty acids.
*Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s Perfect Cream
4 ounces jojoba oil (infused with horsetail, arnica, or calendula, if desired)
2 ounces rosehip seed oil
2 ounces coconut oil
1 ounce beeswax
1 ounce cocoa butter
1/2 ounce mango butter or shea butter
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
1/4 teaspoon lanolin (optional)
4 ounces aloe vera juice
5 1/2 ounces hydrosol of your choice: rose, lavender, or sagebrush
(available locally at Jackson Whole Grocer or American Wilderness Botanicals)
30 drops emu oil (available at Jackson Whole Grocer)
5-30 drops essential oil (like carrot seed, neroli, or rose)
Other Essential Oil Resources:
By Kari Erdman // Illustration by Birgitta Sif
During the winter, most people head indoors and come out only when spring sheds its light. But not if you live in the Tetons (as this Iowa transplant is learning!). Just like the summers, the winters here are equally buzzing with activity. And despite the shorter days, there’s still a cultural pull to play hard, even amidst the busyness of work, family, and the holidays.
But this intensity doesn’t always jive with the natural rhythm of winter’s solace. So this year, why not step into the pulse of the season by preparing your home, body, and mind for optimal health and vibrancy.
A Humble Abode
Your home is your sanctuary. When you walk in the door you should immediately feel a sense of relief and relaxation. Yet in the winter, this place of warmth and comfort can create a feeling of claustrophobia or cabin fever. The key to thwarting these sometimes-inevitable moods starts with some creativity.
So I sought out design expert Jeffery Larson of Harker Design in Wilson to tell us how it’s done. “Color is so important in affecting mood,” Larson shares right away. “The warmer the tone the better—sage green, sienna, brown and yellow tones, and warm white, similar to the trunk of an aspen tree.” When choosing fabrics and textures, “think warm and fuzzy—wool and silk being the best [fabric choices] for throws, rugs, pillows, chairs, and couches.” Create warming sounds and smells with a crackling fireplace or wood stove. And add oils like citrus and cinnamon to a diffuser, or pot of simmering water, to nurture you on a cold day.
“It’s all about balancing the energy in your home and understanding how energy travels,” says Lora Davis, a Driggs real estate agent and certified feng shui consultant. She suggests using full-spectrum light bulbs to add more light in your home, alleviating seasonal depression. And on sunny days, leave the curtains wide open to cleanse the space. Keep energy moving in your home with ceiling fans, pendulum clocks, and fountains. And don’t forget the greenery! An abundance of healthy plants keeps you breathing fresh, oxygenated air.
But it’s not just plants that clean our indoor air space. Take extra care to prevent allergies and illness with a few home maintenance tips. Kurt Mitchell, owner of With The Grain Construction, recommends sealing joints, cracks, and any exposed insulation in your basement to help prevent mold, mildew, and dust from entering your living space. Seal concrete floors with a vapor barrier paint to keep moisture from settling in. And for those gnarly crawl spaces, seal the foundation vents from the outside with rigid insulation board, making sure to remove them in the spring for ample airflow.
An Uncluttered Mind
Imagine a winter season filled with ease and optimal health instead of stress and sickness. Yes, it is possible!
Clutter invites chaos. So when you declutter, you create a physical space that you can truly relax in. The byproduct of this purge also allows your mind to release its overburden, too. Jill Oja-Johnson, a professional organizer in Wilson, suggests throwing a family organizing party.
Choose an afternoon, pick a closet, turn on some music and offer up snacks, then have each person find some selections to donate to a charity or gift to the thrift store.
Being a yoga student and teacher, I’ve experienced the immense benefits that yoga and meditation have on the mind. So I sat down with my dear friend Sundari Lucey, owner of Yoga on Little in Driggs and instructor at Akasha Yoga in Jackson, to get her take on cultivating a practice for the winter season. She suggests slowing down your regular practice to allow for longer holds in postures, and adding a few restorative poses to reflect the gradual inward energy of the season. Choose Child’s Pose and a seated forward bend when you feel frazzled and need to calm down.
“A small practice of meditation can keep you healthy, too; even just ten to twenty minutes a day has great benefits,” she offers. Sundari also recommends a daily yogic breathing practice, like Alternate Nostril Breathing, to keep the chest and lungs open and to clear the lymph system of excess mucus that forms when breathing in cold, dry air. To do this, first make a gentle fist closure with your right hand. Use your ring finger to close off the left nostril and inhale through the right nostril. Next, use your thumb to close off the right nostril, releasing the left, and exhale out the left nostril. Then inhale through the left, close the left nostril, and exhale right. Inhale through the right and continue alternating for one to two minutes to calm and center the mind.
A Steadfast Temple
As a holistic nutrition and wellness coach, I teach about seasonal foods that best support a healthy body. According to Ayurveda philosophy (and quite contrary to popular belief), winter is the best time to strengthen immunity, as your digestion is the strongest.
In the winter, eat warming foods that are cooked slowly to fight off viruses and illness. Enjoy fall-harvested vegetables like potatoes, yams, onions, squashes, apples, and carrots. These foods strengthen your immune system, and their heartiness helps curb holiday binging. Aid your digestion with warming spices like chili powder, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, or coriander. Add ginger or garlic to stir-fries, eggs, or soup for antibacterial and antifungal support.
Your immune system lives in your gut, making it important to increase the amount of good bacteria that resides there. Eating fermented foods that are high in beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics helps you achieve a proper balance. Sauerkraut and kimchi fuel the digestive fire with their inherent probiotics. Or choose other foods like kefir, yogurt, strong aged cheeses, and kombucha. As a weekend project, make your own fermented creations or look for them at Jackson Whole Grocer or Barrels & Bins.
Due to our dry, high-altitude climate, most of us experience dry skin in the winter. Prevent or remedy this issue by engaging in self-massage with sesame oil. Apply a small amount of oil onto your hands before you bathe. Gently massage the oil into your feet and slowly work up your legs. Then apply it to your stomach, chest, arms, and neck. This deeply soothing massage combats dry skin and also familiarizes you with your body, making it easier to recognize anomalies.
Winter is a time to tune into the natural rhythm of the season. So this year, in addition to your daily dose of outdoor activities, incorporate some inward practices, too. Cozy up your space, clear the clutter, eat warming foods, and engage in yoga and meditation to shift your experience from sickness and stress to one of rest, ease, and optimal health. tf
By Kristen Pope // Photographs by Paulette Phlipot
With cold temperatures outside, it’s easy for cabin fever to set in, especially if you’re a parent (or homeschooler) searching for alternatives to winter-break idle time. And while the role of teacher may come naturally to some, others may struggle with explaining concepts or supplementing curriculum. But by stepping outside the traditional classroom, we can use the wintry weather as a science learning opportunity.
The experiments that follow offer at-home learning tools to explain winter science concepts to children of all ages. These activities provide educational enrichment opportunities for parents who want to add a little “wow” to the world of science.
A Whale of a Blubber Mitten:
Whales, seals, walruses, sea lions, polar bears, and other marine mammals use a special adaptation called “blubber” to stay warm in bitterly cold seas. These warm-blooded mammals, different from fish, crabs, and sharks, rely on their blubber layer of fat to help their bodies maintain temperature.
This experiment demonstrates the insulating properties of blubber. And while your mitten will only have a thin layer of fake blubber, whales and other marine mammals have a thick blubber coat. Right whales, which live near the North Pole and Antarctica, can have blubber up to a foot thick!
2 zipping plastic bags
2 to 3 cups of Crisco (or other shortening)
Large bowl of snow or ice water
Frozen Bubble Fun
Soap bubbles are created when a thin sheet of water is trapped between two layers of soap molecules, creating a spherical shape. A sphere has a minimal amount of surface area, making it the most efficient shape for a bubble. Even bubbles blown from odd-shaped wands end up spherical.
Have you ever played with bubbles in the wintertime? This activity works best when the outside temperature is 10°F or colder. But feel free to experiment with different bubble mixes at different temperatures—it’s all science!
Store-bought bubble mix or bubble mix recipe
Bubble Mix Recipe:
1/2 cup Dawn or Joy dish soap
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups water
Wilson Bentley devoted his life to snow science and discovered that no two snowflakes are alike. He practiced photomicrography (a fancy way of saying he photographed snowflakes underneath a microscope), taking the first-ever photo of a single snowflake in 1885.
Be a modern-day snowflake scientist by making observations about the variations in snowflakes. While no two are exactly alike, they do share characteristics and features. Print out the chart listed below to help you identify different snowflakes features.
Printed copy of snow crystal chart
A snowy day
Dark construction paper
An outdoor table
Microscope or hand lens
Markers or crayons in 3 different colors
Older kids can expand their study by becoming snowpack scientists. Contact the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center for information on local classes and events. tf
By Andrea Swedberg // Photographs by Paulette Phlipot
On any given Sunday—especially during the holidays—our house claims scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and vanilla. It’s not unusual for the Mister to come home, stomp the snow off his boots and exclaim, “Do I smell cookies?!” I love to bake, and the holidays offer even more reason to fulfill my baking obsession. So this year, I spent a fair amount of time recipe testing with alternative ingredients. I discovered that while traditional recipes are still king, I’m leaning away from traditional sweeteners.
Sweets—is there a better way, my fellow patissiers, to spread love during the holidays?
These days, my favorite sweeteners are coconut palm sugar (not to be confused with regular palm sugar, which is from a different palm tree) and Medjool dates. The coconut sugar has a deep caramel undertone and imparts a beautiful golden color to cakes and cookies. And the dates, once pitted, chopped, soaked, and pureed, become a wonderful sweetener and moistener in baked goods recipes.
Now, before we head into the kitchen, I need to say that it doesn’t happen often that someone speaks my mind almost better than if I said it myself. But just the other day, Irvin Lin, a fellow lover of baking, professed in his blog, eatthelove.com, just why he adores it. He was comparing the art of baking to the science of it. As I read, Lin conveyed my beliefs exactly: While the food world is fueled by two concepts (art and science), one thing remains constant—if you prepare food with love, those partaking will feel loved! So, it may be science, it may be art, but however it bakes up (alternative sweeteners or not), it’s baking season! Happy holidays and, as always, bon appétit.
Spiced Christmas Cake
Makes one 8-inch cake or 8 cupcakes
This little gem is quickly making its way onto my personal “holiday favorites” list! The coconut palm sugar’s caramel undertone pairs happily with a warm sipper of Glögg and a well-lit Christmas tree.
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons coconut oil, room temperature
3 tablespoons almond milk* (or sub 2 tablespoons chai and 1 tablespoon
3 egg whites AND 2 whole eggs, room temp, gently whipped together
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
Pinch of nutmeg
5 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
*Note: Baking with a combination of coconut flour and almond meal can lend a grainy, even crumbly, texture. But using arrowroot powder as a tenderizing agent results in a perfectly soft and moist crumb.
Piia’s Happy Bars
Makes approximately 20 bars
(depends on how you cut ’em)
Cakey, moist, chocolatey, and SWEET—with dates, that is—these bars are easy to make and can be used as the bottom layer to an even more exquisite creation.
20 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked*
1/4 cup organic raisins, soaked*
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup gluten-free oat bran (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup almond meal (you can make your own by
pulsing raw almonds until fine)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
8 ounces mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life)
1 tablespoon coconut oil for prepping pan
*Note: Soak together with just enough water to cover for about an hour, or longer if time allows. The softer, the better.
Fruit and Nut Dark Chocolate Clusters
Makes approximately 11 clusters
Quick, easy, and beautiful! Share these festive little bundles on small squares of parchment, as they melt easily. Or stack them three high, tie with kitchen twine, and place them in a box with tissue for a scrumptious gift.
3 Coconut Secret Peruvian dark chocolate bars* (or sub your favorite
alternatively sweetened variety, approx. 6 ounces)
20 whole, raw cashews
20 macadamia halves, roasted and salted
20 pecan pieces
20 dried cranberries
1 tablespoon cacao nibs (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
By Christina Shepherd McGuire // Photographs by Jeffrey Kaphan
To most men, mountain fashion is more about practicality than looks: Does it keep me warm? Does it pack down small? Is it rugged enough to withstand seasonal beatings?
So at Teton Family, we thought we’d sneak a few local wares into the closets of our nearest and dearest (without overpolicing the effort). A jacket from Stio, pants from Mountain Khakis, or a trucker from Aion all add the right amount of steeze for a night on the town, and enough usefulness for an outing with the boys.
Deck out the little guys, too! No matter what dad’s sporting, we’re sure they’ll want to follow.
1. Stio Hometown Down Jacket. Stio delivers a styly update to winter’s uniform. And the water-repellent down in this number absorbs 30 percent less water and dries 60 percent faster than untreated down. $295
2. Stio Junction Flannel. The Junction Flannel melds men’s dresswear specs with a laid-back, cozy design. Made of brushed, garment-washed flannel, with felled seams, and laser-etched logo buttons. $98
3. Stio Rivet Jean. Stio didn’t miss a stitch with their “moderately relaxed” Rivet Jean. Just roll up the cuffs to unveil vintage felled seams for added flair. $125
4. Stio Marsten Down Vest. If down jackets make you sweat (we get it—thick blood), Stio’s Marsten Vest should suit your fancy. The abrasion-resistant upper yoke and mini-ripstop torso give it the integrity of your favorite work vessel. $165
5. Stio Buckhorn Bonded Flannel Shirt. Don’t leave Stio’s “shop shirt” behind at your favorite après spot; it’s bound to get stolen! This flannel backed with cozy microfleece—a favorite of the Stio crew—will soon become your grab-and-go staple. Just make sure to keep it on lockdown. $155
6. Stio Louis Slouch Beanie. The retro styling on the Louis Slouch Beanie reeks of mountain pride (says Stio). And just try combing the thrift store for an imitation with the Tetons on it. Not happening. $30
7. Stio Kids’ Hometown Down Jacket. The Kids’ Hometown Down Jacket boasts many of the men’s features, plus an added ID label and interior pine cone embossment. No skimping on this best-seller, folks! $159
8. Stio Kids’ Rambler Reversible Jacket. After listening to the groms, Stio designers added some hood “attitude” to the mini version of the Rambler Jacket. The twill plaid on one side reverses to a weather-shedding shell, guaranteeing complete playground protection. $98
9. Stio Kids’ Southwest Jackalope Tee. Does the jackalope really exist? Local artist Tim Tomkinson thinks so ... $25 (not shown)
10. Stio Kids’ Jackalope Beanie. Not just for boys, this fleeced-lined beanie comes in three colors with a “no-itch” bonus! $25
11. Mountain Khakis Camber 107 Pant. Mountain Khakis blows doors on Carhartt (and rightfully so)! New this season, the men’s Camber 107 Pant supplies the stretch of a yoga pant with the features of a full workhorse. $69.95
12. Mountain Khakis Yak Shirt. Yep—this sustainable shirt contains yak hair, woven with hemp and organic cotton for creamy softness. Plus, it’s a good conversation piece. $109.95
13. Mountain Khakis Bronze Aspen-Leaf Belt Buckle. This lost-wax-casted belt is almost too pretty to wear. $79.95 (see sidebar)
14. Mountain Khakis Log Carrier. The Mountain Khakis Log Carrier won’t leave you empty-handed. Burly enough to carry a big load with its reinforced climbing rope handles. $97.95
15. Mountain Khakis Kids’ Original Pant. Perfect for the kid who stacks wood alongside dad. The chap-style knee patches, action gusset, and reinforced heel cuffs fit the ruff-and-tumble wearer. The internal elastic waistband lends room to grow, too. $54.95
Mountain Man Toy Shop
16. Mountain Man Trucker Hat. The Mountain Man Toy Shop claims this lid as the “modern-day cowboy hat.” Pop into their shop just off Town Square to purchase this fashion icon. $19.99
17. Mountain Man Peace Pipe Tomahawk. It’s a hatchet. No, it’s a pipe. Well actually, it’s both! Handmade locally in Idaho Falls, this tool is an excellent thrower and a perfect essential for hunting or camping. Any man on your list will covet this showcase gift. $299
18. Aion Woodsy Camo Trucker. Aion takes pride in making sweatshop-free wears. So you can feel good rocking the Woodsy Camo Trucker, complete with a low-profile bill. #dontsweatit, $32
19. Aion Zippered Hoodie. Take it down a notch with Aion’s Zippered Hoodie. Sport it on the couch over your favorite jammies or rock it on the hill as the perfect après piece. $59
“If I can’t provide jobs in my own community, then I’m going down with the ship,” says sculptor and artisan Bill Royall, a Teton Valley, Idaho, resident. In between ski runs, Bill crafts bronze belt buckles (like the aspen-leaf buckle featured in this article) for Mountain Khakis. He uses an ancient technique called “lost-wax casting,” where a duplicate metal carving is cast from its original. Bill enhances our community by working with local companies like Mountain Khakis and Rocky Mountain Hardware, the foundry in Blackfoot where his designs are reproduced. Check out his bear claw and trout buckles, too, or catch up with him at williamroyallsculpture.com/gallery.html. tf
By Annie Fenn M.D. // Photographs by Paulette Phlipot
Nowadays, going gluten-free is all the rage. Most people know someone who has banished wheat protein from their lives. In fact, one-third of Americans have either cut back on gluten or given it up entirely.
Gluten—specifically the duo of proteins gliadin and glutenin—gives bread dough its elasticity and the baguette its tender crumb. Primarily found in wheat, barley, and rye, gluten is also used as an additive in numerous processed foods.
For many, adopting a gluten-free diet is not a choice but a medical necessity. One percent of the population is born with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which even small amounts of gluten will trigger an inflammatory attack on the intestinal wall. Yet many who test negative for celiac disease still suffer some of the same symptoms, such as gastrointestinal distress, joint pain, headaches, dizziness, and a state of mental fog, classifying them as non-celiac gluten sensitive (NCGS).
But what about the majority of gluten-free Americans—now numbering in the millions—who give up gluten despite having no adverse reaction?
More than just a diet, the gluten-free lifestyle suits those wanting to lose weight and eat healthy. You could say “going gluten-free” is a euphemism for modern American dieting. And while a diet containing wheat is blamed for the nation’s rising rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia, I’ve been a physician long enough to see dozens of trends come and go. I wonder: Is the enthusiasm for the gluten-free diet just another fad destined to fade like all the other low-carb crazes?
Popular books, written by physicians, pose more questions than answers. The national bestseller Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by Wisconsin cardiologist Dr. William Davis positions wheat as the enemy of the American diet. All grains are off-limits on Davis’ diet—even quinoa, a superfood—whose theory is based, in part, on the glycemic index of foods. According to Davis, gliadin is addictive and binds to the brain’s opioid receptors like a drug, compelling us to overeat. And while wheat is not genetically modified, like 90 percent of the soybean and corn crops in the United States, he blames modern hybridization practices for producing a wheat unnaturally high in gliadin. Davis advises everyone to give up gluten, cold turkey—or cold noodle, as he calls it—to avoid chronic disease and improve quality of life.
For Americans who eat wheat in its nutrient-depleted form, there is a grain of truth to Davis’ theory. Our bodies metabolize refined carbohydrates like they do sugar. So if you eat a junk-food version of wheat—industrially produced white bread, for example—your blood sugar will spike, causing insulin to rise and depositing the calories as fat.
However, wheat scientists beg to differ on the gliadin content of modern wheat and have the science to back it up. If anything, gliadin in the 9,000-year-old wheat grain has actually decreased. It has evolved from its primitive forms like einkorn, emmer, and spelt to the modern bread wheat, Triticum aestivum. And while research has shown that mice react to certain gluten metabolites, studies in humans have not yet been done.
Another physician/author warns that gluten is toxic to the brain, leading to dementia, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, epilepsy, depression, migraines, MS, and more. Neurologist David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, claims he cures patients of their neurological ailments by removing gluten from their diets. “Gluten is the tobacco of our generation,” he writes in his book, “[and] dementia is diabetes type III.”
In an attempt to understand if this talk of toxic wheat is just a scheme to sell books or a reflection of mounting scientific evidence, I went to see Therese Metherell of Peak Nutrition in Jackson, a registered nutritionist and longtime source of sane dietary advice. Like me, Metherell has weathered dozens of diet fads in her career and agreed that gluten-free mania is approaching its peak popularity. Still, with so many Americans ingesting wheat primarily as processed food, Metherell says the trend “will help some get rid of the junk food in their diets.” But, she adds, “Wheat itself is not the enemy.”
Next, I visited with Dr. Martha Stearn, an internal medicine physician specializing in memory disorders at the St. John’s Institute for Cognitive Health in Jackson. As a clinical assistant professor of neurology at the University of Utah, I was curious to learn if she subscribes to the “all grains are bad for the brain” theory. While Stearn agrees that some forms of dementia could be considered a type of diabetes, she also states, “We don’t understand how it affects the brain. ... Research consistently shows that whole grains are part of a healthy diet that can reduce heart disease, stabilize blood sugar in diabetics, and help with weight management.”
Perlmutter’s anecdotes about curing patients of their neurological symptoms by taking them off grains are intriguing, and Dr. Mark Menolascino of the Center for Advanced Medicine in Jackson has visited Perlmutter’s clinic and seen his results firsthand. “But there’s a catch: not everyone responds,” he says.
America’s epidemic of sensitivity (or perceived sensitivity) to gluten has no shortage of hypotheses. The most popular theory concerns the billions of essential bacteria that live in our intestines and are necessary for proper digestion. Decades of subsisting on processed foods, slathering on anti-bacterial soaps, and overusing antibiotics may have selected a population of gut bacteria that can no longer metabolize wheat proteins. This hygiene hypothesis may explain why Europeans are less likely to have difficulty digesting gluten. “We use so many more antibiotics here that Americans have a very compromised gut ecosystem,” says Menolascino, who sees complicated patients with multiple medical problems, many of whom cannot tolerate gluten.
Finally, I visited a couple of local gluten experts, the artisanal bakers at 460° Bread in Driggs and Persephone Bakery in Jackson.
Self-professed “bread geeks” Ty Mack and Jerod Pfeffer of 460° Bread are well versed in crafting a divinely airy, crusty baguette, and also in the science of wheat. They explained how wheat in America got the bad rap: The replacement of stone-ground mills with modern roller mills allowed millers to produce finer, whiter, and cheaper flour—the first American breakthrough in processed food. These roller mills efficiently clipped the wheat germ—which contains all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy oils—from its coat of bran. The vital germ that makes wheat so nutritious also makes it unstable and prone to oxidation. But this new wheat, although shelf-stable, was robbed of all of its nutritional value.
“Would you consider making a gluten-free loaf?” I asked Mack and Pfeffer. To which Mack responded, “For us, bread is pure simplicity, the alchemy of using four ingredients—yeast, flour, water, salt—with a long fermentation. If we made gluten-free bread, we’d have to complicate it by adding chemicals and additives like xanthan gum to make the bread rise.” Pfeffer adds, “Who wants ground-up tree bark in their food? To us, that just wouldn’t be bread.”
Persephone baker Kevin Cohane agrees that today’s anti-gluten mentality stems from misunderstanding the science of wheat. “You can’t oversimplify wheat,” he says, “which contains not just gluten but dozens of proteins.” And you can’t compare industrially produced bread—with its refined flours, additives, and lack of time spent fermenting—with an old-fashioned handmade loaf.
Indeed, some who are gluten-sensitive claim they can eat bread from Persephone or 460° Bread without adverse reaction, whereas a conventionally produced loaf sets their insides churning.
Nothing I learned convinced me it was a good idea to stop eating wheat purely for health reasons, unless I was diagnosed with celiac disease, developed NCGS, or a true allergy. But I will pay close attention to the explosion of research regarding sugar intake in processed foods. And I will continue to dabble in sprouted grain dishes and grinding wheat at home to produce flour packed with omega-3 fats, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, even if I was trying to shed a few pounds, studies have shown that gluten-free diets, like all diets, are not effective for most people.
And what about that nutritionally wimpy white flour that’s in so many baked goods? Should I give up that occasional Persephone croissant or my beloved 460° Bread baguette? I can’t help but agree with Mack when he says: “There’s nothing more beautiful than a well-made baguette—its creamy yellow crumb, its aroma, its crust. Some foods should be enjoyed despite their true nutritional value.” tf
Wheat Berry Salad*
with Cherries, Arugula, and Pomegranate Dressing
*Recipe adopted from The Sprouted Kitchen
1 cup wheat berries (sprouted or not)
3 cups arugula
2 cups Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 handful fresh fennel fronds or dill
3/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1. Combine the dressing ingredients and set aside at room temperature, allowing flavors to develop.
2. Boil the wheat berries in 6 cups of water until firm, but chewy, about 40 minutes (if using sprouted wheat berries, cook for 20 minutes or use raw).
3. Drain under cold water.
4. Whisk or shake the dressing and add to wheat berries, stirring to coat. If you have time, set aside and let them soak up the flavor of the dressing.
5. Before serving, toss with Bing cherries, arugula, salt, and lemon zest.
To Sprout or Not To Sprout
Transform whole grains into nutritional powerhouses by soaking them in water until they sprout tails. Sprouting activates enzymes that neutralize phytic acid (known to prevent full absorption of nutrients). The result: more niacin, vitamin B6, folate, protein, and a grain with a lower glycemic index than nonsprouted grains.
How To Sprout:
1. Start with whole wheat berries (found in the bulk aisle or from Bob’s Red Mill), cleaned and rinsed.
2. Place 1/2 cup wheat berries in a quart-size Mason jar; fill with warm water. Soak overnight.
In the morning, pour the grains into a fine mesh sieve and rinse well. Set aside in a cool, dry place.
3. Rinse the grains a few times throughout the day, taking care to stir them so all the grains are evenly rinsed.
4. Continue to rinse the grains for 2-3 days until they sprout tails that are one and a half times as long as the seed.
5. Drain well and refrigerate until ready to use.
By Laura Santomauro, LMFT
The mystery of love has plagued us for eons, a system of trial and error seeking to find the perfect concoctions for lasting love. Until recently, we have leaned on several ideas that have sadly fallen short: Lasting love is all about communication; couples must strengthen their skills. Lasting love is about keeping your sexual relationship free of boredom; couples should learn new, saucy styles. And the list goes on. These strategies do have their place; however, the shortcoming is illuminated when things get messy, as they do in relationships. When we are feeling hurt, angry, and confused, these strategies don’t address the feelings and, therefore, cannot withstand the test of time—and kids, and stresses.
Finally, new research has unlocked the mystery of lasting love! It demonstrates the dynamics of attachment style and how it affects our connections to our partner. A secure attachment to our partner provides us with a sense of safety, the ability to be vulnerable, and the security in knowing that the answer to the question, “Are you there for me?” is a resounding, “Yes!” The tricky part is that sometimes our bond with our partner is not secure. In this instance, we may believe that it’s better to be alone because being alone is less painful and provides greater independence. And while there is truth to that argument, too, it doesn’t illustrate the full picture.
With a secure bond, we actually become more independent by the developed sense of trust and security the relationship provides. Having this secure attachment allows us to depend on our partner and fosters autonomy. “Survival of the fittest” no longer holds true. We are more productive, creative, engaged, and emotionally and physically healthy with a secure attachment. Thus, science brings us into this new age: the Age of Interdependence.
Lasting love is all about communication; couples must strengthen their skills.
Years ago, British psychologist John Bowlby noted the idea of attachment when he studied mothers and children. The most anxious and avoidant children were those who did not have a secure bond with their mothers. The most independent, curious, and engaged children were those who had a secure attachment to their caregiver. They were more relaxed when exploring their environment, fostering the sense that the world was a safe place, they were valued, and that when in need, their mother was there to provide comfort, care, and contact. This same concept applies to our intimate relationships. Bowlby noted our need for security does not fade with age. In fact, connection fosters security from birth to grave.
Dr. Sue Johnson, a leading researcher and couples therapist, highlights the impact of this idea in her groundbreaking book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. “When we feel generally secure, that is, we are comfortable with closeness and confident about depending on a loved one, we are better at seeking support and better at giving it,” she writes. “When we feel safely linked to our partners, we more easily roll with the hurts they inevitably inflict, and we are less likely to be aggressive and hostile when we get mad at them. Secure connection to a loved one is empowering. Securely bonded adults are more curious and more open to new information.”
To back up this theory, a recent 2013 study conducted by Johnson and Dr. James Cohan revealed that our experience of pain is uniquely tied to our relationship. In one experiment, subjects had their pain measured while receiving an electrical shock. The response to pain was high, as imagined, when the participant was alone. When the participant was allowed to hold the hand of a stranger, there was a slight decrease in the recording of the pain experienced. And the pain was close to eliminated when the participants held the hand of their securely attached partner. Conversely, and to further support this theory, researchers tested a group of couples with an insecure attachment. These couples experienced more pain while holding the hand of their partner than when they were alone.
“When we feel safely linked to our partners, we more easily roll with the hurts they inevitably inflict.”
– Dr. Sue Johnson
It is perhaps most easily demonstrated when you observe a mother and child with a secure bond. The child falls, scrapes their elbow, and runs to the parent crying. Once the parent responds with comfort, care, and contact, the child quickly returns to playing. The safety of the relationship and the security of the bond decrease the physical experience of pain. On the flip side, children with an insecure bond will experience more pain, react by avoidance or anxiety, and not seek comfort from the parent. This parallels our romantic relationships.
Interestingly enough, emotional pain is processed in the same part of the brain as physical pain. Therefore, it stands to reason that secure attachment allows us to calibrate each other’s experiences. When life throws us a curveball, we can turn to our partner to lessen our distress through our bond. However, much like a child, an insecure partnership will cause us to turn away, become overwhelmed, and not reach out for comfort. This creates distance, more distress, and stages a terrible pattern where we continually turn away in the moments when we need each other most, leading to a spiral of disconnection.
Luckily, we now know how to exit this spiral, how to build secure bonds, and create lasting love. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples provides a road map for partners seeking to strengthen, rebuild, or perhaps create for the first time this secure attachment in their coupleship.
EFT is the only form of couples therapy that provides empirical data supporting its efficacy. While couples embark on this journey to security, they begin to understand the spiral, or negative pattern, that has taken over their relationship, leaving them stuck in conflict, pain, and isolation. Through the creation of new interactional patterns, they begin to find a greater sense of security, allowing for emotional vulnerability, support, comfort, and care. In essence, once this security becomes the norm, they can then answer “Yes” to the question that, at times, raises fear in us all: “Are you there for me?” tf
Laura Santomauro, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Through her private practice, JH Family Solutions located in Jackson Hole, WY, she counsels individuals, couples, and families.
By Deb Barracato // Photographs by Marlene Wusinich
The do-it-yourself (DIY) spirit flourished in the Tetons long before self-sufficiency became an upscale urban trend. Geographic isolation and a challenging environment required the region’s earliest settlers to make do with materials on hand and a healthy dose of chutzpah. Today, modern residents maintain the tradition with hand-hewn log houses, backyard chicken coops, hardy vegetable gardens, and hunted game for dinner.
For Teton Valley, Idaho, local Dan Heine, that can-do attitude extends to beer brewing. He started about five years ago with a basic setup and beginner’s brewing book. But with his many years of cheffing, he quickly moved beyond kit brewing, investing hundreds of dollars in sophisticated equipment, and built a custom kegerator from an old chest freezer. In addition to his standby pale ale, he typically keeps two or three other kegs tapped at all times, making his house a popular après-ski destination among friends.
Heine enjoys commercial craft beers and appreciates the award-winning products coming out of the region’s several small breweries, but brewing at home allows him to produce exactly what he wants, while keeping the alcohol content lower than the traditional craft beers on the market. “I like to be able to enjoy it while I’m doing other things,” he explains.
According to Heine, anyone with basic cooking skills and a clean kitchen can brew beer. It’s a straightforward process, he says, but it does require careful attention to detail, especially sanitation. Brewers also need patience. While some beers are ready for drinking within weeks, others must be aged or conditioned for six months or longer to achieve the desired result. Heine produces about twenty five-gallon kegs each year, keeping him in constant supply.
A brewer begins by steeping malted grains in a process called mashing. The resulting sugary liquid, called the wort, gets boiled with hops to add flavor and a bitter balance. Fermentation happens when yeast added to the cooled wort consumes the sugars, producing alcohol as a byproduct. (“Yeast,” Heine says, “must have the best job in the world.”)
Novice brewers can skip the mashing by using grain extracts, notes the website of the American Homebrewers Association. The extracts contribute pre-portioned flavor and style according to a pre-determined recipe. Online retailers sell brewing kits that contain ingredients and instructions for specific beer styles, such as double IPAs, imperial stouts, Bavarian hefeweizens, and red ales. Starter equipment packages, containing all of the specialized equipment, range in price from sixty to two hundred dollars.
“It’s a good way to start,” Victor resident Johnny Ziem says, “to figure out how to do it and if you enjoy it.” He started brewing about four years ago with a kit his wife, Katie, gave him as a present. But like Heine, he found the possibilities irresistible and soon invested in more sophisticated equipment, including a three-tap kegerator he keeps by the washing machine. “It can be dangerous to have that in your house,” he cautions, joking that he does his best to ignore its presence during the week. He embarked on a self-study program of brewing science, following podcasts, talking to other brewers, reading books, and perusing brewing sites for information. He also started researching old-world recipes online, such as a 1,000-year-old German recipe with roasted coriander.
For inspiration, Heine, too, looks to historical styles not widely available in this country. He’s done a chocolate stout and a variation with chocolate mint, using real cacao nibs for flavoring, and a Belgian-style ginger saison, which he describes as a refreshing, flavorful summer beer.
While a kit brew can come together in just a couple of hours, a brew day with mashing involved can last from three to eight hours, depending on the complexity of the recipe. Ziem’s six-year-old daughter, Sorayah, likes to get in on the action, helping her dad with everything from measuring ingredients to mixing in the grains to adding the hops. With his increasing knowledge and experience, Ziem experiments with grain combinations, yeast strains, and flavor enhancements. Right now, he’s testing a recipe that could end up on the menu at Jackson’s award-winning Melvin Brewing Company.
Most commercial craft brewers start off at home, like Melvin brewer Kirk McHale. He made the leap from home brewing twenty years ago, before craft beers hit the mainstream psyche. While he doesn’t generally recommend it as a career track—“It’s a really fun job, but it’s really hard work, and you have to be dedicated”—he does think aspiring home brewers should skip the extracts and get straight into working with grains. “Pick a recipe or style you like, and do it over and over and over until you get it right,” he suggests.
Though economics drives many DIY endeavors, neither Heine nor Ziem brew for any perceived or actual cost savings. Home brewers can start small, but brewing on the scale of Heine or Ziem requires a significant outlay of cash. The equipment investment, mail-ordered malted grains, hops and yeast, and the inevitable (though fortunately rare) “oops” can add up to an expensive hobby.
“I like brewing the beer almost as much as I like to drink it,” Ziem says—emphasizing the word “almost.” tf
Get Started on Your Own Brew
“Home brewing is such a nerdy hobby,” says home-brewer-turned-professional Max Shafer of Grand Teton Brewing Company. “Everyone is so geeked out on it, there’s tons of information available online.”
His go-to sites include homebrewtalk.com, a forum he visits whenever he wants to pick another brewer’s brain; and Northern Brewer, a supply site with archived episodes of the now-defunct online channel Brewing TV. He also recommends the free podcasts from The Brewing Network.
Get online, Shafer recommends. Then, once you get a feel for the process, start to brew. He enthusiastically recommends the Caribou Slobber extract kit from Northern Brewer for your first try. “It’s a great brown ale,” he says.
If you’re hesitant to dive right in, look into home brewing clubs or “beer school” gatherings. Butch and Laura Harbaugh, owners of Rocky Mountain Homebrew Supply in Rigby, Idaho, organize comfortably informal, but highly informational, beer schools in Rigby and, occasionally, at Grand Teton Brewing Company in Victor.
Pointers from the Pros
1. “Start with a pale ale recipe, and brew it twenty, thirty, forty times and get it exactly the way you want it.” – Kirk McHale, brewer, Melvin Brewing Company
2. “Remember that it’s just beer—it’s supposed to be fun.” – Adam H. Chenault, owner and brewer, Roadhouse Brewing Co. in Wilson
3. “Start with any of the traditional American-style ales. You can load them up with hops and cover up subtle flaws.” – Max Shafer, brewer and cellar manager at Grand Teton Brewing Company
4. And, as with any homemade drink or food, “use fresh ingredients,” says Butch Harbaugh of Rocky Mountain Homebrew Supply.
By Brigid Sinram
Once the long days of summer start to dwindle and we feel a chill to the air, the color palette of our outdoor environment also starts to shift. Greens give way to warm autumn reds, dusky purples, and fading yellows, making late September and early October a great time for meandering our region’s back roads and trails.
The Rocky Mountain’s most easily recognized foliage comes from the aspen tree (Populus tremuloides). Aspens are well known for their bright golden fall hues and delicate leaves. While out floating and fishing our local waterways, enjoy the golden yellow colors of the cottonwood trees and colorful willows (Salix sp.). Several native shrubs also participate in the color explosion. Look for Western mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina), with its large clusters of deep orange fruits. The mountain ash’s long leaflets turn red and golden in the fall, and the fruit clusters attract birds.
While it’s easy to admire the large trees and colorful vistas, don’t forget to observe the smaller color changes happening at your feet. Wildflowers like fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) and sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum) show impressive fall colors of purple, deep red, and bright yellow.
Local Spots for Fall Foliage Adventures
How to Make a Leaf Wreath
Spruce up your fall decor with a leaf wreath. This creative way to remember your foliage adventure just may last you through winter. And when the wreath gets dry and the colors fade, revive it with a can of metallic spray paint.
Colorful autumn leaves, stems intact
Wreath form or metal wreath frame (available at craft stores or upcycle an old one)
Spool of thick florist wire
Glue gun (optional)
By Andrea Swedberg // Photography by Paulette Phlipot
The world of parenthood has us scrambling with a calendar of functions, a task that goes hand-in-hand with having school-aged children. And while I wouldn’t trade the chaos for anything, time constraints certainly damper my ability to pull it off flawlessly. We all have the occasional epiphany, “There just has to be a better way!” Only to follow that thought with, “LUNCH! I [still] have to pack lunch!”
As a child, I was a list maker, a bed maker, and a rock collector. I couldn’t tell you why, but I was the only one in the house who didn’t mind folding the laundry, helping mom with dinner, and even diminishing our supply of silverware while clearing the dishes (sorry, mom!). I give huge props to my mother for accomplishing what she did every day with two children and a full-time job.
Now that I’m older, and a mother myself, I am also a clock racer. When the alarm goes off in the morning, it’s a sprint to get Piia (my daughter) to the bus stop ON TIME with the accoutrements for a successful day. My morning checklist includes: clean clothes, brushed teeth, hair—mmm—decent, change of shoes, homework folder, and the pièce de résistance—LUNCH, packed and in the backpack!
Isn’t this the clincher for moms and dads everywhere?
With young palates and hard-to-trick minds, we are plagued with empty lunch box questions. We’re facing the cupboards like a goalie waiting for the puck to come down the ice, deflecting anything that we know will not fly as a supposed “meal.” I ponder the box-packing puzzle: What containers will she be excited to open? Cold or hot? Gluten-or dairy-free? How much time does she actually have to eat? Wouldn’t she just rather eat school lunch?
Lunch building is not about reinventing the wheel. Just add fun! Replace the boring ol’ carrot sticks with flower-shaped, cookie-cutter ones, and then add hummus or ranch for dipping. Make a heart-shaped sandwich to guarantee the lunch won’t come back home. Have your child or teen take ownership by packing her own lunch, ultimately reducing food waste. Write a fun note on a cute card—she’ll just giggle her way through the meal!
Right about now, you might be thinking, “How does one accomplish this madness five days a week?” While it might sound crazy, I make 90 percent of the lunch the night before. I spend ten extra minutes in the kitchen, after cleaning up from dinner, which then gives me ten more in the morning to make breakfast, listen to Piia read, answer math questions, or, even better, hang by the fire and just plain cuddle. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll pack MY OWN lunch.
I am a one-pan chef when it comes to time-constraint meal prep. One of my favorite ways to bring lunch to work is a layered salad in a jar. It’s easy, fast, and marinated to perfection by the time I am ready to eat.
And my better half, Troy—well, he does a great job packing his own lunch. As a builder in Teton Valley, he doesn’t always have a way to reheat homemade food, so leftovers are not generally his go-to. Soups are the exception, however, due to a keen little invention called the “thermos.” And while I would love to be his private, on-site chef, his lunches generally consist of: a sandwich, fruit, rice cakes, almonds and raisins, sometimes a small can of ginger ale, and, of course, a little chocolate.
For those of us blessed with a company kitchen, consider these options:
Life is for loving and learning. Not for wasting time pining over lunches. Make your food with love and it will be the best meal of the day!
Mama's Red Sauce
Makes 1 1/2 cups
This recipe suits a young foodie’s palate—simple and uncomplicated. And it assures me she’s eating a fresh, homemade sauce.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb
1 cup home-canned organic stewed tomatoes (sub
Bionaturae aluminum-free organic canned tomatoes,
available at Whole Grocer or Barrels & Bins)
1 tablespoon organic tomato paste, or more, depending on
your desired thickness
sea salt & pepper
This is a great recipe for bread scraps. It also works as a Sunday prep recipe, to have for grown-up lunches or Monday night dinner.
12 slices worth of bread scraps
3/4 lb. grated cheese (whatever cheeses you like)
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups cooked bacon, chopped
12 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sauteed onion
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt & pepper
Salad in a Jar
Makes 2 cups (fills one 16-ounce jar)
The beauty of this recipe is its versatility. Use your favorite salad ingredients to create and re-create different variations.
2 tablespoons lemon vinaigrette
(fresh lemon juice, olive oil, touch of honey, salt and
pepper to taste)
1/2 cup Lacinato kale, washed, ribs removed, chopped to
3 tablespoons garbanzo beans
3 tablespoons diced cucumbers
3 dried Medjool dates, seeds removed, chopped
1 tablespoon almond pieces
By Poa Jacobsen // Photographs by Paulette Phlipot
While enjoying summer’s bounty, often the idea of, “How can I make this last?” comes to mind. And while canning offers a great way to preserve goods for use throughout the fall and winter, it can also be intimidating. Luckily, there are a variety of traditional preservation methods that ease storage, maintain food flavor, and protect the health properties of the preserved food. Today, modern conveniences make the process both fun and easy, allowing you to savor food far past its expiration.
The Deep Freeze
Freezing is the easiest and most common method of food preservation. True—it’s both convenient and safe to throw leftover soup in the freezer. But it’s also important not to overlook the quality of the outcome. Freezer air is dry and wicks the moisture from food, leaving that infamous freezer-burned flavor. Make sure food is properly wrapped or stored in freezer-quality paper, BPA-free plastic, or glass to ensure long-term storage and a quality product.
To freeze garden vegetables, first blanch, submerging them in boiling water for a few minutes. Next, quickly cool them in ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching inhibits the food’s enzymes from breaking them down during the freezing process.
Parched, but Perfect
In dry climates, dehydrating food is a great option. It’s also a space saver and doesn’t require energy use for storage. Electric food dehydrators boast quality and consistency, though solar dryers and open-air drying work well too. Most fruits and vegetables can be dried and transformed into snacks, used in soups, or blended to a powder for flavoring rice or pasta. Like freezing, most vegetables benefit from a quick blanching first. And, to prevent fruit from browning, soak peaches, apples, and bananas in ascorbic acid.
A Little Culture, Please
Fermenting is the oldest method of food preservation and has recently resurged as a health fad. You don’t need electricity to prepare and store fermented vegetables, and the health benefits are amazing! To some, allowing food to sit out at room temperature may be perceived as unsafe. But to the contrary, the process creates a safe lactic acid environment for beneficial bacteria to form. Fermented vegetables, or “kraut,” keep for months in a cool dark space, or up to six months or more in a jar in the refrigerator.
If you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar, basement, or garage that doesn’t freeze in the winter, maintain your fall veggies in dry storage. A root cellar’s temperature should remain at approximately fifty degrees, but a swing by ten degrees in either direction won’t hurt. Store winter squash, garlic, onions, and potatoes in containers that allow for ample airflow. Root vegetables such as carrots and beets do better buried in sand or enclosed in a dirt-laden plastic bag with breathing room. Remove the green tops first, and don’t wash the dirt!
Open-Air Herb Drying:
For flavorful and cost-saving additions to your meals throughout the year, dry your summer herbs. First, bundle herbs by tying them with string at the base. Then, hang them upside down in a cool, dark place for a few days. Once dry, crumble the leaves off the stalk and store in airtight jars.
Spread loose berries, individually, onto a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. When the berries are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Loose berries can be used, as needed, versus thawing out an entire container.
Homemade Kraut with Fall Veggies
Join the hipster craze by making a kraut with fall garden veggies like cabbage, root vegetables, and alliums (garlic, onions). Add spices and seeds for flair (think fennel, cumin, crushed red pepper, or dill). Use your imagination, and toss in any excess finds from your pantry.
Here’s my take:
1 head of cabbage (green or purple), finely chopped
3 carrots, shredded
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger root, minced (optional)
1/2-1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
Quart-size, wide-mouthed Mason jars
Blanched and Frozen Greens:
Store excess greens like spinach, collards, kale, and chard in your freezer. Add to omelets or soups throughout the winter.
1 bunch kale, spinach, collards, etc.
Want to Learn More About Fermentation?
Don’t miss Fermentation Friday on October 10 at the SHIFT Festival in Jackson. Visit the Fermentation Station to learn techniques for making kombucha, tonics, fermented foods, and even gravlax from local trout. For a full schedule, visit shiftjh.org.
Full Circle Education also offers fermentation and food preservation classes throughout the year as part of their sustainability workshop series. For more information, visit their site at tetonfullcircle.org.
By Kristen Pope
For a mountain community that relies on winter sports for both its economy and lifestyle, the impact of climate change can be profound. So, as a family embarking on a summer holiday, how can we reconcile our desire to explore with our passion to protect the planet from climate change?
Work these tips into your mindful vacation planning:
1. Research. Ask about a hotel’s energy and environmental policies and see if they are Energy Star certified. If you’re heading to the beach, choose a Blue Flag beach, which meets strict criteria for water quality, environmental education, management, and other environmental practices.
2. Unplug. Before heading out on your trip, make sure all appliances are off and unplugged, including chargers, microwaves, televisions, kitchen appliances, and other gadgets. Leaving them plugged in drains energy.
3. Pack Light. One study found that for every ten pounds a U.S. airline passenger brings aboard, an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel is required per year.
4. Reuse. Bring a reusable water bottle (and filter, if traveling somewhere with nonpotable water). Reusable shopping bags or totes will ward off the ubiquitous plastic bag. And pack small reusable containers, instead of purchasing travel-size containers or portions, for toiletries and snacks.
5. Conserve. It’s easy to forget to turn off hotel lights and conserve water while on vacation, but to offset your impact, you need to be even more vigilant than usual. Reuse hotel linens and towels and, if the weather is cool, open the curtains on sunny days to heat the room.
6. Transportation. Enjoy the local culture and go carless. Use public transportation, bike, or walk. Take advantage of bike-sharing and rental programs, available in a growing number of destination communities.
7. Get Creative. Before leaving, purchase carbon offsets. Offered by many organizations, offsets make up for unavoidable energy use by investing in projects that reduce or capture pollution. TerraPass.com and Carbonfund.org both allow users to choose the project they want to support and feature calculators for determining the amount of greenhouses gases used. For example, a flight from Jackson Hole to New York City, with one stop, would equal 1,926 pounds of carbon dioxide, requiring an offset costing approximately twelve dollars—a small price to pay for doing the right thing.
Protect Our Winters
Organizations like Protect Our Winters (POW), founded by pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones in 2007, help the winter sports community focus on the impacts of climate change. POW’s efforts include educational initiatives, advocacy, and supporting community-based projects. POW also helps educate kids on climate change, providing them with everyday steps they can take to help. Additionally, the group lobbies government officials to take action.
Jones, frequently featured in films by Teton Gravity Research (a local film company founded by his brothers), created the organization in response to the changes he’s witnessed while traveling. “Through a lifetime in the mountains, I saw a definitive change,” he says. “I realized that—as a snowboarder who is out there every day—skiers, snowboarders, and winter enthusiasts needed to come together to protect our winters.”
When Jones travels, he minimizes his airplane trips, while maximizing his time at a destination. “I definitely travel to snowboard,” he says. “[But] I try to do fewer trips and make them longer. When I’m getting on a plane, I want to get more out of it.”
Check out POW’s efforts, or become a member, at ProtectOurWinters.org. -KP
By Leslie-Ann Sheppard
Photography by Paulette Phlipot
We’ve all attended great parties that live on in our memories. But there are also those where we’ve Houdini-ed out the back door. So what makes a party memorable, and how can you pull it off?
While it can be complicated navigating the party-hosting options, it needn’t stress you out. With some simple tools and guidelines, you’ll be on top of the social scene in no time.
Children often count the months, weeks, and days until their next birthday—sometimes sending you in a tailspin over the “perfect party” details. But take a breath and focus on the essentials. It doesn’t take much for kids to have a good time.
Why not host a home party? Young children feel comfortable in their own digs and are proud to show off their world to peers. Choose a theme that’s centered on your child’s interests. Websites like spoonful.com, realsimple.com, and PBS.org offer creative party solutions from cute DIY crafts, to decorations and recipes. Get ideas, and then source the goods locally.
Kids thrive on structure, so planned activities are the way to go. Projects also assure uncorralled kids won’t run rampant through your house. Plan a simple craft like scratch-art, where children make art by scratching designs into black crayon-covered pages. Several companies manufacture scratch-art items, including the ubiquitous Melissa and Doug. Another low-cost, low-mess activity is making mosaics. Choose a sticker mosaic kit that complements the party theme. Piñatas are also a big hit, and you control the bounty. Fill them with candy, art supplies, costume jewelry, or other little trinkets. And as a mindful alternative to traditional gift giving, hosts can request that guests bring a previously loved item for a party-wide exchange. This way, the birthday child isn’t the only one leaving with something “new.”
If the idea of a dozen energetic youngsters roaming your house doesn’t excite you, consider one of our local venues. The Local Galleria in Driggs is available for parties at a very reasonable rate. Owner and local artist Teri McLaren, once a daycare provider, formulates events for budding young artists. She organizes activities like fashion and clothing design, jewelry making, and, of course, painting and drawing. The Jackson Hole Children’s Museum is a good go-to for Wyoming parents. With plenty of hands-on stations and intriguing installations, there is nary a bored child. Axis Gymnastics in Jackson and TISA (Teton Indoor Sports Academy) in Driggs are great alternatives for active bodies. Visit their websites for details, including pricing and party size limits.
Golden Milestones Party
A special “round number” anniversary or retirement provides yet another great reason to celebrate. Commemorate your, or a loved one’s, golden milestone with an unforgettable party. Choosing a Jackson Hole venue like the Calico, Local, or Sweetwater allows everyone to relax and mingle—even the host. The friendly management teams make the party go off with ease and can work with different budgets. On the Idaho side, treat your guests to the magical ambience of the Linn Canyon Ranch, the Teton Teepee, or the Wildwood Room.
Invitations are a big deal for a golden milestone party—especially if it’s a surprise—as they set the tone for the entire event. Be clear about the occasion (is it a 40th anniversary, a 50th birthday, or a retirement party?). And keep in mind, the more formal the event, the more formal the invitation. While the old-school way of sending a fancy creation by mail still reigns, you can also opt for sending invitations via email. It’s inexpensive, creative, and green.
For a special presentation, ask attendees to bring a photo of the guest(s) of honor, or draft a story illuminating them. Organize the photos ahead of time and arrange them around the party room. Guests can mill about, checking out old photos and reminiscing. Or invite guests to share a toast. With a little pre-planning, photos and stories can be compiled into a slide show, or a photo album can be presented as a gift. Technology makes this fairly simple; generally, a laptop and a projector are all that’s needed, and many venues will accommodate.
Girls' or Boys Night Out
Time and time again, friends intend to gather, but fail to make it happen. Family and work responsibilities vie for attention, and social opportunities often don’t make the cut. So use the arrival of spring a good excuse for a portable party.
For the ladies, nothing beats a spa day! Round up your girlfriends and enjoy catching up while indulging in a massage, facial, mani, or pedi. Stillwaters Spa at Teton Springs in Victor caters to groups. Soak in their outdoor hot tub, inhale the eucalyptus steam bath, and sip wine in their relaxation room. In Teton Village, Hotel Terra’s Chill Spa provides an equally suitable venue with their rooftop, slopeside tub!
If spas aren’t your thing (if that’s even possible), how about a wine-tasting event at Bin22 in Jackson? Or consider a visit to Vom Fass, if you prefer spirits to grapes. You can explore and taste any of their wonderful products, including specialty oil concoctions and other gourmet food items.
For the “bro” spa day, visit The Whiskey Barber in Jackson. Guys can meet at this throwback spot, get their domes trimmed, and grab a nearly extinct straight shave while throwing darts and sipping whiskey. It’s BYOB, so come prepared.
Tastings can also be done man-style at Grand Teton Distillery in Driggs, Grand Teton Brewery in Victor, or Snake River Brewery in Jackson. Afterwards, catch a live show at the Pink Garter Theatre, offering an impressive lineup of national acts.
And since Teton men tend to be active, don’t limit yourself to a nighttime affair. Disc golf at Grand Targhee Resort, or regulation golf for that matter, are good options before the trails dry out. A camping weekend or group float down the Snake or the Teton rivers always assures good camaraderie. Pack a portable barbecue and fly rod, and put away the phone for the day. (Just make sure to answer if your wife calls.) -LS
A Children’s Perspective ...
By Mollie Flaherty
People from all over the world flock to our majestic snow-capped mountains every year to ski, hike, explore, and take part in the Teton lifestyle. While most of us are “implants,” as my Jackson-native boyfriend likes to say, we were drawn inland from the coasts—often chasing snow. Soon after, our ski bum existence segued into a summer river guide position, which then amounted to “staying put forever.” Days turned into months, months into years, until eventually we had a family of our own.
So what about our kids? Do we ever pause to ask them why they like the mountain life? This past summer, Teton Family Magazine reached out to local children. We recruited kids at festivals, family events, and the playground, asking them what they love about life in our small mountain towns. This beautiful artwork depicts their responses ranging from “the wildflowers,” to “skiing at Jackson Hole,” to “dancing at Music on Main in Victor.”
Every once in a while it’s important for us to reflect—through a child’s eyes—on the beautiful place we call home. After all, it was our inner child who originally led us here to play. -MF
by Kristen Pope
photography by Paulette Phlipot
From early cave paintings to ancient Egyptian art, humans have long embraced the use of colorful paints. In some cultures, certain colors were believed to have magical healing properties. Ancient painters sourced an amazing array of colors from plants and minerals. Today, modern artists can experiment with color by creating their own paint using common kitchen and backyard items.
Creating Nature Paint
Step 1: Gather the materials.
Have a natural materials scavenger hunt! Decide on colors and search for natural items in those shades. Be careful to gather only non-toxic plants and materials that won’t irritate the skin (use a field guide if you are unsure).
Step 2: Make the paint.
There are several ways to extract color from natural materials. But creativity and patience are key, as the process of extracting color can be unpredictable. For instance, berries collected from the same bush may produce very different colors—from a deep purple to a light pink or even a sky blue. Two common methods of extracting color from materials include applying heat and pulverizing.
Heating materials helps bring the color out. To do this, combine approximately a half of cup non-toxic natural material with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately half an hour. Be sure to keep a close watch, adding more as needed and stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain out the solids and use the colored water as a watercolor paint. Or, paint with the softened solids (try it out!).
Some materials can be crushed, ground, or pushed through a sieve to extract color. Experiment with crushing and grinding hard materials, such as whole spices, with a mortar and pestle. Run softer materials through a sieve. Some materials, berries included, can be crushed between your fingers. Drier materials must first be pulverized and then combined with a binding agent (see below) to create paint.
Adding a binding agent:
Binding agents help transform powdery source materials (dry soil, chalk, soot, or ground spices) into a spreadable paint. Historically, egg yolks were used. For this method, slowly mix a small quantity of well-beaten egg yolk with the powdery source material, stirring until it reaches the desired consistency. You can also use milk by applying a few drops to the powder in the same fashion.
Adjusting the shades:
Natural materials can provide an amazing array of colors. It is fun to experiment and see how many different colors can come from one material, whether it is a berry, a spice, or even a handful of dirt. Here are a few ideas that produce different shades of color.
Step 3: Create!
Brushes and applicators:
Experiment with different types of applicators, including fingers, paintbrushes, straw, grass, leaves, and flowers. Make patterns with cotton balls and swabs.
Try painting on different types of canvases, including paper, finely grained sandpaper, and muslin or other fabrics. Try painting on rocks, sticks, and other items. Notice the color differences between the mediums.
Accent your painting with other natural objects, including leaves, straw, grass, pine cones, pine needles, bark, flowers, feathers, seeds, nuts, and berries. Use tacky glue to attach.
Natural materials (see below)
Small bowls or containers for mixing
Mortar and pestle (optional)
Canvas materials: paper, muslin, light fabric, etc.
Applicators: paintbrushes, cotton swabs, cotton balls, sticks, etc.
Egg yolk or milk
Old towels or paper towels
Newspaper or table covering
Additional Nature Art Project:
Instructions: Arrange natural materials on canvas to create an image or pattern and affix with tacky glue. For more art projects, visit tetonfamilymagazine.com.