My favorite smartphone photo apps for travel

Florida Everglades by bike -- fat tire!

Bike riding, fat tire style, in the Florida Everglades.

Every winter, Marty and I exit Alaska in search of new hiking trails and a Vitamin D fix. This year was different. First, we traveled by land-yacht (RV), and second, I vowed to play with my iPhone’s photo apps. How did it go? Well, I perfected the art of grilling a PB&J sandwich in a one-fanny kitchen. And I dove into photography with Crayon-like enthusiasm–all helpful stuff for when you hit the road with a frying pan and a smartphone. I’ll show you what I mean…

An evening with giant cauliflowers

On a late afternoon in February, we drove into Joshua Tree National Park, a natural and geological stunner of a desert landscape. Heaps of boulders and cliffs rose from the high desert floor, parched from a 4-year drought. A dusting of snow, a ranger told us at the entrance gate, brought some relief in December. “But we could use more. You gotta love those Joshua trees, though. They just keep hanging on.”

Sunset was 30 minutes away, so while Marty managed the winding, 2-lane road, I searched the landscape for curvy horizons and shapely Joshua trees. “Let’s pull over by this grove,” I said. “Wow, they look like giant cauliflowers.”

I perched my tripod near a tree that felt grandfather-ish. (Joshua trees don’t have normal tree rings, so I guessed 100 years). It was the “blue hour”, a special time of day when the colors of sunrise and sunset share the sky with the blue dome of midday. I took a series of photos with my Big Camera and then pulled out my iPhone.

Here are the before and after shots, followed by the two basic steps to get there:

Before and after image using snapseed and Perfect Image app. photo tips, photography tips, photo apps, Instagram, Joshua Tree National Park, Arizona, National Parks

The left photo is the original image. Great potential here. After working with it in Snapseed, I looked at the dark base and thought, “What a fun place to put some text.”

Step 1: The Snapseed app

I began by processing the original photo (left) in Snapseed to saturate color and adjust contrast. Let me pause for a moment to say something about contrast: Even a little adjustment goes a long way.

Increasing the contrast of your photos is one of the most important steps before posting your images online.

There are an astounding 2.5 million apps but Snapseed (free) is one of the most popular photo editing apps available for iPhone and Android, offers a variety of powerful photo-correction tools and filters. To learn how to use the different features of this app, Google has an excellent Snapseed Help Center.

Below is the opening page of Snapseed as it appears on your iPhone or Android screen. The left side shows some of the photo editing options, the right side, a sample image before replacing it with your own.

Snapseed, app, photo editing, Nik, Google, android, iphone, photo app

The Snapseed home page showing some of the processing filter options.

After making adjustments in Snapseed, I saved the photo in my iPhone’s Photo Library. I could have stopped there, but I thought a mini-poster (with text) would  be fun to share on my Marion_Owen_Photography Instagram page.

Step 2: The Perfect Image app

Perfect Image, photo app, iTunes, photo processing, iPhone, Marion OwenTo create my mini-poster, I wanted to add text on top of, and below, the image.  So I re-opened the picture in another powerful app called Perfect Image, a free app available through iTunes. With it, you can add a gzillion special effects with ease.

One of the best things about these two apps is that they are non-destructive, which means when you save your picture after applying the effects you like, a new copy is made, leaving your original untouched. Another thing: you can share your masterpiece photo instantly on Facebook, Instagram, via e-mail, or messaging.

Black and white photos rock!

There’s no art more exquisite than a well-done black and white image. They sing with texture and tone in ways that color images can only dream of. As a former darkroom junkie, what can I say?

So take a look at these two examples. Both were processed in Snapseed in another 2-step process: First, I enhanced the clouds a bit to make them pop as if I used a polarizing filter. You can see the results in the left photo. Then I selected the Black and White filter, lightened the shadows a little and created the photo you see at right. Which one do you like best?

snapseed, polarizer, polarizing filter, photo tips, photography tips, photo apps, Instagram, Joshua Tree National Park, Arizona

See how changing the color image to black and white makes the clouds and textures in the rocks really pop?

Camels on Route 66?

RV-ing the right way means being flexible and open to surprises. Take Kingman, Arizona, for example. Straddling Route 66 (off Highway 40) in the western part of the state, Kingman is part tourist trap and part legit stopover. Back in 1859 though, Kingman was the twinkle in Lt. Edward Beale’s eye. While in the service of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, he was charged with two tasks: Survey for a wagon trail and test the feasibility of using camels as pack animals in the desert. Beale’s wagon trail eventually became a road and part of Route 66…

We arrived in Kingman on a sunny weekday, pulled into a local park and piled out of the RV to stretch our legs. Marty was craving Italian, so he took off in search of restaurant while I roamed around looking for potential sunrise shots. The next morning, I got up at 5 AM and drove to Mr. D’s Route 66 Diner. Some of the staff had just arrived and turned on the lights. Perfect.

Here’s another example of using Snapseed and Perfect Image together:

IMG_5542-route66-poster

I created a border and saturated the color using the HDR (High Dynamic Range) filter in Snapseed and then added the retro, “Get Your Kicks” in Perfect Image and placed it at the bottom. I really like the playfulness of the final photo.

In conclusion: Sharing what I learned

Firstly, cooking in a compact space was an easy adjustment for me, since every summer I prepare gourmet dinners for small groups aboard our 40-foot yacht in Kodiak, Alaska.

As for taking pictures, I said at the beginning that I dove into photography during this trip with Crayon-like enthusiasm. You see, I’ve faithfully used 35mm Canon gear for my professional work since the mid-1970s. But lately I sensed a subtle lack of fizz toward my photography, an art form  I’ve enjoyed since my parents gave me a Kodiak Brownie camera when I was eight. But hey, I don’t blame it on the lack of inspiring subjects though. I love to just get out and look (I can find cool stuff in a spruce forest or a junk yard).

Using the iPhone and experimenting with Snapseed and Perfect Image taught me something. No, more than that…it helped me out. I started using my Canon gear with a lighter step, a refreshed attitude. Isn’t that one of the reasons to hit the road?

Thanks for visiting. I’d love to hear about your adventures on the road.

IMG_4633-Florida-orange

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A New Year’s message from Helen Keller and friends

It’s 10:30 PM on December 31 in Kodiak, Alaska. Dogs are barking outside, thanks to fireworks. Yes, I’ve received invitations to parties, but I’m not going out tonight. Rather, I’m packing my camera gear for a road trip tomorrow. But first, I want to give you an invitation: To “keep on keeping on,” as a friend said the other day.

smily face, fence

I found this smiley face on a chainlink fence hear the boat harbor in Kodiak, Alaska. I must admit, it made me smile.

Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.

Helen Keller

 

It’s not that “today is the first day of the rest of my life,” but that now is all there is of my life.

Hugh Prather, author of Notes to Myself

 

For the New Year my greatest wish and prayer for you is that you cast aside wrong habits of thinking and doing. Don’t drag your bad habits into the New Year. You don’t have to carry them with you. Any minute you may have to drop your mortal package, and those habits will vanish. They don’t belong to you now. Don’t admit them! Leave behind all useless thoughts and past sorrows and bad habits. Start life anew!

Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi and founder of Self-Realization Fellowship

 

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

God speaks to all individuals through what happens to them moment by moment.

J. P. DeCaussade

 

In your silence, God’s silence ceases.

Paramahansa Yogananda

 

Thanks for being there, and thanks for visiting.

New Year, sand, writing, surf, ocean

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Photo essay from Kodiak Island: Captain Santa and a Christmas tree made from bird deterrent tape

Thirty years ago, in December 1984, I moved from Seattle to Kodiak, Alaska. My Mom fretted. “When are you coming home?”

To describe island life, I wrote letters to family and friends, and slipped a photograph or two in the envelopes. Soon my summers were sprinkled with visitors, traveling North to see for themselves. “But what about the winters?” They asked.

To continue the tradition, may I share with you a visual smorgasbord from the past couple weeks. Mind you, we’ve had a snow-free winter so far, but my motto as a photographer (and cook, gardener, whatever) has always been: Do the best with what you’ve got. So, short and sweet, I hope you enjoy the images:

Let’s start with a dazzling Christmas tree that’s 30 feet tall. It’s made from a flagpole, lines, bird deterrent tape and flood lights…

Christmas, tree, Kodiak, Alaska, sunset, outdoors, light, sun

 

Didn’t you know? Captain Santa guides his reindeer from the pilothouse. If it gets foggy, he resorts to radar…

santa, claus, boat, costume

 

While on a late afternoon hike on Pillar Mountain, above the City of Kodiak, we were treated to this golden view of the airport and surrounding mountains…

kodiak, alaska, airport, mountains, winter

 

A sign of the times, or should I say, a reminder for all of us…

celebrate, sign, physical, therapy

At a Christmas potluck, we were greeted by beet crabs and broccoli coral. Yes, I live in a fishing community…
table, decorations, food, beets, broccoli, crab

During a visit to St. Innocent’s Academy, a local school for troubled youth, I noticed a collection of vacuum cleaners huddled in the corner. “Do you have any Santa hats?” I asked one of the students. Soon we had a chorus of vacuum cleaners signing, “Oreck Come All Ye Faithful!”…
Oreck, vacuum, Christmas, elves, tree

 

I found this chunk of kelp while walking along the beach on a frosty morning. (I came back later with buckets and loaded them up with shredded kelp for the compost)…

kelp, beach, ocean, frost, fertilizer

Our winter has been so mild, we still have carrots growing in the hoophouse. We mulch with spruce branches and kelp to keep the soil from freezing…

carrots, harvest, Alaska, organic, gardening

Kodiak Island is home to an amazing variety of birds and during the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count, we’re often rated Number 1 or 2 in Alaska for number of species. Here is a long-tailed duck, spotted during this year’s count. A beautiful bird, isn’t it? The sun lighting up the mountains in the background casts this golden reflection on the water…

Oldsquaw, long-tailed duck, Kodiak, Alaska, Marion Owen, birds, waterfowl

If you’re still with me, I’d like to finish with a blessing, by Robert Louis Stevenson:

“Lord, we thank you for this place in which we dwell, for the love that unites us, for the peace accorded us this day; for the hope with which we expect on the morrow; for the health, the work, the food, and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth.”

Amen.

See you in 2015!

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Snowflakes, Karma and God: When things don’t go as planned

Excited at the prospect of photographing snowflakes (one of my favorite winter activities), Marty and I booked flights to Anchorage, Alaska. Though it’s only a 60-minute flight north of Kodiak Island, it’s usually enough change in latitude–as Jimmy Buffet might say–to produce nice snow crystals. But this year was different.

When we arrived in Alaska’s biggest city, temps hovered around 30 degrees. Too warm. For good, single snowflakes, I needed a range between 0 and 15 degrees F. The forecast didn’t look good. I felt like a Prisoner of Weather. Fortunately, we had friends to visit, a Costco run to do, and Christmas gifts to buy. I put my snowflake gear away and picked up my regular camera. Here are some images from a couple photo-walks, plus a little serendipity I think you’ll enjoy…

My friend Kate is always up for a hike. She knew I craved snow, so we drove to Eagle River Nature Center where we found snow and ice-encrusted trails. Since the day was overcast and gray, I “thought” in black and white.

Cottonwood, trees, alaska, winter, landscape, snow

What seems like a tangle of branches is actually a beautiful cottonwood tree, enhanced by snow.

 

snow, bird house, alaska, landscape

I discovered this bird house, abandoned by the trail. It looked like a smiling Old Fisherman.

The next day, we drove out to Portage Glacier to see what we could find. That’s my motto. I love to go outdoors without an agenda. To be receptive to Nature’s gifts.

Ice bubbles, alaska, winter, photography, snow, ice, sculpture

Ice bubbles formed along a stream near Portage Glacier outside Anchorage, Alaska.

stream, ice, bubbles, snow, river

I could spend hours playing with ice formations along rivers, streams and ponds.

For years I’d heard about a fishing boat that once belonged to Joe Redington Sr., the father of the Iditarod sled dog race. It sits, abandoned in tide flats of Knik Arm. I thought, with a little snow on it, the old boat would make a good photo subject. I was not disappointed, and Kate and I were glad the ice was thick enough to hold our weight.

fishing, boat, Anchorage, Alaska, Knik

Abandoned fishing boat in the tidal mudflats near Knik Arm, Alaska.

Funny, the twists and turns of life. Here I was in Anchorage, hoping to photograph snowflakes. No such luck, but for those few days, I knew better than to whine and to take advantage of the hand that Nature dealt me.

I had to smile though, when I spotted this snowflake pendant around Kate’s neck. It was sort of a karmic joke, as if God was saying, “Do you think for a moment that I don’t know of your wants and needs? Behold, I created a snowflake for you.”

snowflake, silver, jewelry, necklace, photography

While talking with my friend Kate, I noticed this snowflake pendant around her neck. “It’s made from silver recovered from film processing.” How perfect was that?

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The language of wreaths: They’ll save you from lightning, but not love

If you’re off to a party, consider placing a wreath made of violets, roses, myrtle, parsley and ivy on top of your head. According to Pliny the Elder, a corona convivial was thought to counter the effects of intoxication.

The wreath has been utilized symbolically for many centuries, dating back to ancient Greece. Olympic champions hung their prize-winning wreaths inside their houses, and during thunder storms, Emperor Tiberius wore a laurel wreath on his head to protect him from lightning strikes. Today, wreaths can mean many things, from peace and victory, to faith and unrequited love.

wreath, Christmas, evergreens, circle, Alaska, cones, children, crafts

Shaun Skonberg, age 5, and his mom Kathy of Kodiak, Alaska, made this wreath together.

The language of wreaths

Until last week, I never really thought about the language of wreaths, beyond the one we hang on our door after Thanksgiving. Here’s my story…

In November, our little garden club in Kodiak, Alaska sponsors a Wreath Making Workshop. Nothing fancy mind you, for the dozen or so people that usually show up. Most years I’m out of town, but there I was, in St. Mary’s Church, preparing to wrestle with cedar twigs and wire.

I arrived early and set my pliers on a corner table to claim my spot. Within 15 minutes, 50 more people came though the door. Soon the tables were surrounded by people and covered with branches, spools of wire, pliers and Christmas decorations. The air was scented with cedar and pine, and charged with high expectations to create a showpiece worthy of the holidays.

Wreath making 101

Kate, one of the coordinators, helped put us at ease, “Making wreaths is a very forgiving skill.” Reaching into a box of evergreens, she pinched off a few twigs and held them up.

“You want to build your wreath with clumps of greens about the size of your hand. Pinch them together and then attach them to your wreath form using this spooled, green wire. Then make another clump and keep adding. “And don’t worry about making it perfect,” she added. “You’ll be amazed at how it all comes together beautifully.”

We bowed our heads and got to work. Soon my table-mates were sharing tools and swapping pine cones and ribbon.

New friends

“Are you Marion?” asked the lady across the table from me.

“Yes,” I said. “Can I help you?” As a garden writer and photography instructor, I’m used to being asked all kinds of questions.

“I’m Tasha. I just moved here from California. My husband’s in the Coast Guard. My friend Pamela said I should look you up. And I’ve been following your blog even before we moved.”

Wreath, making, Christmas, swag

Meet Tasha, my new friend, making a 6-foot swag.

Wow, what were the chances that I’d not only meet Tasha at a function I had never attended before, but I’d be standing right across the table from her?

What’s more, I knew Pamela from our Google+ connections. A twist of faith? Maybe, but then the word “wreath” is from an Old English term meaning “to twist.”

Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them: then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.
~ George Herbert (1593–1633), British poet

As the afternoon wore on, the room hummed like a beehive. The Christmas music, audible at first, was all but snuffed out as moms, friends, teachers, kids, Coast Guard spouses and long-time residents shared stories and glue guns. An impromptu bow-tying lesson took place in the corner by the kitchen.

cedar, branch, wreathThe inventory of evergreen boughs began to dwindle and it became obvious that cedar was the most popular green. “It smells good and it lasts a long time,” said garden club treasurer, Esther Waddell. “And if you keep your wreath outside, it can last until spring.

Esther admitted that the garden club doesn’t make much money hosting the workshop. “But that’s not the point. It’s just nice to see so many people from the community get together to make these amazing works of art. And it starts the Christmas season off in good spirits.”

Wreaths can mean many things

The good spirits continued later while I chatted with Esther over a cup of coffee. “We always seem to have a little extra greenery left over,” she said. “A few years ago, some kids gave their wreaths away to an elderly neighbor. It was all their idea.

“And last year, two young boys made a wreath for their grandmother who had cancer.”

“You know,” she added, “it just goes around like a circle.”

To learn more about wreaths, here is a great research paper called Wreath: Its Use and Meaning in Ancient Visual Culture.

Merry Christmas, and THANK YOU for stopping by…

You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as my Marion Owen Photography website.

cedar, branch, wreath

 

A few more bits about wreaths you might find interesting:

While wreaths in the U.S. are pretty much associated with Christmas, hung on front doors as a sign of welcome, in English-speaking countries wreaths are also used during the rest of the year as household ornaments. One example I particularly appreciate is the harvest wreath, a custom with ancient roots in Europe. In Ancient Greece, the harvest wreath was a sacred amulet, using wheat or other plants, woven together with red and white wool thread and then hung by the door year-round.

Today, we see wreaths, made from leaves and flowers, worn as crowns and used in memorials, weddings and funerals. In many Scandinavian countries, harvest wreaths are made of woven straw. In Poland, fruits and nuts are added to the wreath and then brought to a church for a blessing by a priest.

The use of evergreens has its own significance. For many, having greenery around during the winter months is a promissory symbol of the approaching light of spring, something we can all relate to. Green, the most predominant color in nature, is considered an emotionally positive color. It’s regarded as the color of balance and harmony, of growth, renewal and rebirth. Green is also said to renew and restore depleted energy. Who can argue with such an uplifting influence in the darkness of winter?

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The laundry can always wait

This story is about a photograph taken in Homer, Alaska, shared by a friend of mine, LA Holmes…

On a clear winter day, Cy and I loaded the “toter” Toyota pickup truck with our laundry for the weekly cleaning event. It was 2008 and we were living in a 8×12-foot cabin while building a 48-foot boat right next door to the building. For me, having a scheduled laundry day, a structured routine, was important.

After locking up the cabin, I looked across the drainage ditch that bordered the boat yard and noticed a lot of activity around my homemade bird feeder. Dozens of small birds, Pine Siskins and Red Poles, were scurrying around the feeder.

“Cy, get the camera,” I said. “I want to try feeding the birds. If you go up in the boat, I’ll cross the ditch and head over to the birds.” The camera was a Nikon D200, the one we used for killer whale research. It was set up with a 300mm lens that brought things in pretty close.

A fine and agreeable fellow, Cy climbed up onto the boat. As I headed toward the bird feeder I stopped by our stash of bird seed that we kept in a garbage can near the door to fill a small bag with sunflower seeds and millet.

When I approached the feeder, the birds fluttered away. I wasn’t worried, though. It doesn’t take creatures of the cold very long to come to food, especially if their eating perch is heated.

I sat down in the snow, grabbed some seeds with each hand and opened my palms to the sky.

LA Holmes feeding Pine Siskins out of her hand in Homer, Alaska.

LA Holmes feeding Pine Siskins out of her hand in Homer, Alaska. Photo by Cy St-Amand.

After a minute or so, the birds returned. They landed on my sleeves, my fingers, my head, my legs and my boots, waiting for their turn to feed. After about two hours, we called it quits.

Cy took about 200 pictures that afternoon. It wasn’t hard to find the best of the group, and we promptly emailed it out to friends and family. My dad, sick with cancer, loved the photo and had an 8×10-inch copy printed and posted on the wall by his bed. Whenever we talked on the phone, he often described the birds’ flared wings, landing gear and postures with amazement and delight.

“See the one by your sleeve? He’s landing,” he’d say. “His wings…you can tell he’s already committed.”

Two months later, Dad passed away, right there, under the birds.

You know, the laundry can always wait.

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Building a better waffle: Healthy, cheap and gluten free

I love waffles, but I don’t like the heavy feeling they leave in my gut.  Then I ate a waffle that changed my attitude, for good…

IMG_3416-waffles

On a gray Sunday morning in Kodiak, Alaska, I sauntered into the kitchen in search of a cup of coffee. I hadn’t slept well the night before, thanks to 50-knot winds that drove rain and salt spray against the windows. Ocean swells, a lentil soup green in the morning light, rolled through the channel like giant folds of fabric. I hugged my coffee cup. This was going to be a slow breakfast morning. A waffle morning.

But not just any waffles. I reached for a cookbook, the one with a yellow spine, long faded to a vanilla white. I thought about the time I first learned about this gem of recipes…

Meanwhile, in Hawai’i

While visiting friends on the Big Island, our hosts treated Marty and I to a breakfast of homemade Belgian-style waffles. Since they lived in a modest, owner-built home with rustic furniture, I figured the waffles would not be made from a box.

waffles, gluten free, oats, peas, beans, whole grainThe warm plates arrived and, trying not to be rude, I poked at the waffle with my fork for a quick look. It was light brown and dotted with darker bits. I took a bite. There was a whole grain goodness to them, yet they were light, fluffy (not heavy and doughy) and quite tasty.

I looked up from my plate. “They’re made from soybean and rolled oats,” my friend Carrie explained.

Carrie smiled and handed me a stained and withered copy of, The Oats, Peas, Beans & Barley Cookbook. As I flipped through the pages, I remembered when I started cooking with lentils, rice, soy products and beans in the early 70s. “That’s hippie food!” my Mom used to say.

Back in Alaska, I logged onto Amazon and bought a used copy for $2.00.

The waffle recipes call for blessedly simple ingredients like pinto beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, rolled oats, lentils, millet, rice, cashews and buckwheat. No eggs, milk, flour or baking powder—great news for people with lactose and gluten issues.

For pennies you get a million dollars worth of nutrition and health

“One 9-inch soy-oat waffle contains approximately the same amount of protein as a 3-ounce serving of T-bone steak, or six slices of bacon and two medium eggs,” says author Edyth Young Cottrel, a research nutritionist from Loma Linda University. “But the cost for ingredients for the waffle is only about one-eighth that of the steak or bacon and eggs.”

Since my first experiment with the original recipe, I’ve found it to be quite forgiving. You can mix and match ingredients, creating a meal base for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here’s the basic recipe:

waring pro waffle iron

The Waring Pro Waffle Iron, available on Amazon, sometimes with free shipping.

OAT-BEAN WAFFLES

  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup soaked beans (approximately 1/2 cup dry)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak beans for several hours or overnight (preferred). Drain. Combine and blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until light and foamy, about 20 to 30 seconds.

Let batter stand to thicken up a little while the waffle iron is heating. (We like the Waring Pro). Grease the waffle iron with a vegetable cooking spray or high-quality solid shortening. Bake in hot waffle iron for a full 8 minutes. This is important in order to cook the beans. One recipe makes three to four waffles. Tip: Soak extra beans, measure and freeze them for later. The cooked waffles can be frozen for later use–so handy for snacks and quick meals! Just pop them in the oven, microwave, or toaster oven.

waffles, cooking, recipes, waffle iron.

These bean-based waffles need to be fully cooked for 7 to 8 minutes. They’ll be golden brown, with a perfect crunch like a fine cookie!

Toppings for a breakfast meal include berries, yogurt, bananas and peanut butter, jam, stewed apples, or rhubarb sauce. I’m sure you can think of other goodies.

Waffles aren’t just for breakfast anymore (pizza waffles?)

For lunch or dinner, try creamed variations using one or more of the following: broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs, cooked halibut, smoked salmon, turkey or chicken. Sprinkle with cheese if you like. You could probably make a waffle pizza by initially topping it with a thick base of tomato paste.

As for what you can add to the waffle batter before cooking, the list of ingredients (and combinations) is extensive: Lentil-oat, pecan-oat, rice-oat, almond-oat, sunflower seed-oat. And here’s a way to include more of your garden’s harvest: Add herbs, dried or fresh spinach or kale. Tip: For grated zucchini, mashed potatoes or squash reduce the amount of water.

The last word

I really hope you include The Oats, Peas, Beans & Barley Cookbook in your collection. It’s filled with delicious recipes for desserts, vegetables, entrees and breads with natural, unprocessed foods. Even though the publish date was 1974, I’ve noticed that Amazon editors have selected it as one of the best books of 2014.

Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know that the oat bean waffles are not only gluten-free, they are gas-free!

-=-=-=-=-=-

galley gourmet dinner cruises, Kodiak, Alaska, wildlife tours

I spend much of my summers on our boat, cooking for dinner cruise guests and running wildlife viewing trips in Kodiak, Alaska.

About Marion: Writer, photographer, and teacher Marion Owen of Kodiak, Alaska is co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul. In the summers, Marion is the chef on their Galley Gourmet dinner cruises and wildlife tours.

Follow Marion on Google+ and Facebook.

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