Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Day in the Kitchen

I've just finished baking some delicious oatmeal molasses bread and the house smells heavenly! I spent the morning pickling all the peppers from the yard and slow roasting juicy tomatoes to keep in olive oil for later in the week. It feels so wonderful to be able to just spend the day in the kitchen being creative. Molly rode her bike over to the arboretum and then into town for pizza and frozen yogurt with our neighbors. Later, she came in crying hysterically with a tick biting her leg, which was quickly removed and the drama supsided. Michael spent the morning working in our garden with Denise and it looks beautiful! Perhaps we'll take another evening walk when the temperatures cool to gaze at the full moon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

On the Menu

Michael and Oliver are off to the co-op on their bikes and Molly is sitting under the trees eating apples with her friends. On the menu tonight, we have cornmeal crust pizzas topped with our tomatoes, eggplant, basil and a neighbors zucchini. Summer is sublime. We're going to work on getting one of the community garden spots to expand our selection in the coming year. Between our garden and Denise's we already have quite a lot but it would be great to not have to shop as much. Denise is an avid gardener and we would work it together. I've always wanted to go to Italy, especially after reading Frances Mayes, and I believe this is very close to what I imagined there. There's something growing for each season so buying fruit is not always a must. I think there are 3 vineyards in this 75 acre development and every kind of fruit and nut you could grow in this climate. Once an orchard is ripe, the ladders come out and children are sitting amongst the leaves covered in juice. In my yard alone, there are 2 cherries and grapes. Fruits to be found are: cherries, plums, apricots, apples, oranges, kumquats, lowquats, figs of every variety, pomegranates, peaches, nectarines, grapes, tangerines, both types of persimmon, mulberries, and of course whatever your neighbors grow and share. Walking down the windy bike paths, under the shady trees, I take a moment to smell the flowers.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Introduction to the Shire

Just getting this up and running! It's a beautiful day here in the Shire and the kids are soaking it up with their friends. I went for a good walk this morning around the large green and community garden area. All the sunflowers and corn are towering! Yesterday, Michael and I went to the plum orchard with my aunt Denise's pickers and plucked some of the juiciest plums I've ever had! Jam? Denise lives across the street but all our homes face greenbelts so you rarely encounter anything but bikes while walking from house to house. I'm looking forward to using the bike paths this fall when Oliver and Molly go back to school. They both attend a waldorf school a little ways from here. For now we will continue to enjoy the bounty of our gardens and maybe exchange some tomatoes for zucchini!