i’ve shared a lot about the wealth of our garden in the past few weeks, but now that school is back is session, i realize i am missing one of summer’s additional riches—the happy noises of children playing outside on those long sunny days of summer.
we are lucky to live in a home that doesn’t have air conditioning; we have to throw our windows open wide to capture the breeze (if any) when it gets hot, but because of that we can enjoy the music of kids having fun.
just before they went back to school this past week, our neighborhood held its annual block party, which is where i snapped this great photo of two brothers showing off a colorful stack of prizes. i really admire their forethought in concentrating all of their winnings on one particular item for maximum effect—more IS more, after all. i believe we could be looking at a renowned design duo of the future!
what i love even more??
that upon seeing some friends who arrived late, they immediately shared some of their own winnings to help them get started on the fun. adorable, no?
in fact, the day was filled with smiles—i work the welcome booth where everyone checks in to receive tickets for games door prizes, so i get to see everyone.
good thing it was all so much fun, because later on, back at the ranch, it was all work and no play for yours truly—there was plenty of garden produce to get squared away.
we are not getting loads of any one thing on a daily basis except green beans; they just keep coming, haha. that said, there is still plenty to take care of by the time saturday and sunday roll around because most days, i just throw it all in the fridge to deal with later.
yep, that’s right—we are digging up a few new potatoes when we want those to eat; the fingerlings are ready and boy oh boy, are they deLISH.
and so good eaten with green beans (we are finding out that many foods go well with green beans, now that we are consuming them daily).
i send them home with friends as well and when i gifted a pound to mark and bil, mark texted me a photo of a yummy ligurian pasta dish—trofie— made with green beans, potatoes, and pesto.
while that sounded like the ultimate comfort dish for a cold winter evening, for summer i thought it would be less heavy as a salad or side dish with just potatoes and green beans and no pasta (and i’m not the first; there are many recipes out there for such a salad).
so i tried that and it was good.
and of course there was one chilly evening when a pan of roasted potatoes was in order, i so i did that too and threw in those baby carrots i blogged about a couple weeks back.
which we ate with green beans cooked in tomato sauce—O.M.G., so good
that second basket of tomatoes, eggplant, squash, peppers and onions? i made into david’s favorite stew—ratatouille
YUM! especially with fresh-picked vegetables; you just can’t go wrong. meanwhile, i’ve been putting up green beans in the freezer—about a half dozen bags each week. i probably have all i need in there right now, but what else am i going to do with them all? i figure i can always share the frozen ones in the depth of winter when we are all just starving for fresh garden flavor.
and here’s a good one—we had a full day of rain last week that dumped torrents of rain on our parched garden. a few days later i was out picking beans and what did i see on the pea vines that i thought were “over”?? a fresh crop of peas!
i didn’t even know pea vines could continue producing after their one crop was in. we ate those last night with some salmon, yum, yum.
now i know you are dying to see what i made with all those peaches i showed you last week. but first i must say that these peaches are some of the best i’ve EVER eaten. and such good keepers; after putting up fifteen bags in the freezer, i still had about two dozen left over, which we’ve been keeping on the counter and not one of them has gotten spotty or rotten.
on monday, i cut up eight or ten of them, mixed with sugar and spices, and put them into a pie shell i was keeping in the freezer.
i figured out a solution i like for a gluten free streusel topping that is not too crunchy, yay.
the results were wonderful. i shared them with my monday knitting class and we groaned over how delicious those peaches are, mmm-mm. the pie crust was not my favorite gluten free option so far—the flavor is good, but pieces of the rim kept falling off as it baked. i think that dough is just too tender.
because i still had peaches and because my weekend baking is usually gone by the time the wednesday class meets, i thought i’d bake a second treat on wednesday
from the america’s test kitchen gluten free cookbook, cobbler made with a cornmeal biscuit topping. it was a huge hit with everyone; erica and emily especially liked it. it was delicious . . .
it’s really got more of a shortcake character because biscuits are dense. i still prefer a softer cobbler cake, more like the one from my traditional recipe. i’m going to keep working on it.
i love making and tasting all those baked goods, but i think my favorite way of eating summer fruit is raw—so refreshing. this has been my breakfast nearly every day this week.
i have a pile of finished knits that need blocking as well as several projects on the needles.
i’ve got two finished bocce caps knit with sport weight yarn—one in brown organic cotton and one in the special mauve fifo. the bocce cap pattern will be released in about a week or so; we have a new blanket pattern to be released first (check back monday for that!)
i have a third bocce on the needles now in our kent DK yarn, which knits to the correct gauge. sarah picked out the driftwood shade for me to work with this time.
i just barely started it, and had to set it aside while i got other items caught up but it will be great for knitting on here and there, since it’s so portable. lately, i get a lot done by keeping such a project in the kitchen where i can pick it up to knit a round or two while a pot boils or when i need to take a load off.
that’s what i did with my empreinte shawlette—i’ve been working away at it pretty diligently, here and there, making a big difference in my progress.
and now it’s sitting in the finished pile, waiting to be stretched and blocked (hopefully tomorrow)
speaking of finished items, sarah showed up for work last week wearing her billow cloud cowl, knit in the worsted weight organic cotton, in the cool, refreshing sage color. she’s got it paired with her deep green wheaten cap, knit in the sport weight of the same cotton. she’s so proud of it and rightly so—it’s beautifully knit. you can see more of this project and other cotton favorites in our cotton KAL on ravelry—come join us!
speaking of the wheaten cap, sarah’s mom, anne C. whipped up a sample for us (thank you anne!) in one of our new shades of stone soup fingering yarn—river rock. is it not stunning? wow, i thought i loved all the shades equally, but this one is something else . . . you’ll be seeing lots more of it as we get better photos (we know they they don’t do it justice and we’re working on that).
and finally, what girl doesn’t need one of these??
i came downstairs last sunday morning to be greeted by our new sign, which david framed out to match the fencing on our property. i had to giggle that it was placed to point into the open washroom door.
he put it in the ground that day and now we have signage that is very visible on 15th street. yay.
i’m working on a bunch of secret projects as well as swatches and designs for classroom projects we’ll be tackling at our rhinebeck after party retreat and at yarn in the barn in michigan.
oh wow, look at the time; i haven’t even been to the office today and i need to see emily and erica before they go—time for me to boogie. i’m hoping to get some blocking done tonight or tomorrow so you can see how pretty that lace blocks out in the cotton. and i know i’ll be doing some bike riding with david this evening, too.
hope you’ve got some fun things planned as well—summer won’t last forever; have a wonderful sunday!