Monday, June 20, 2011

How I'll Spend My Day

Blue sky's greet me and leaves rustle in a gentle warm breeze. I'm sipping my coffee with a scoop of chocolate coconut milk ice cream floating at the top, delicious. After tasting my Aunt Denise's cherry pastry yesterday and seeing her bag of pitted fruits in the freezer, I'm craving preservation. After my morning walk I'll glean the trees and bushes to make jams and freeze sweet little fruits but first I'll bake a cobbler or tart to savor after dinner tonight. Such a bounty here in the Shire!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Harvesting Potatoes and Fairy Slippers

What a busy time it's been! I've just finished up a week of cooking camp for the children in the Shire and oh, all the yummy things we made! On Friday we picked cherries, mulberries and blackberries to bake with a sweet, crumbly topping and shook ice cream in individual bags with their choice of extract to flavor. It was such a fun day. I also had them harvest garlic from the big garden that is now drying on the kitchen counter. This morning I went to the garden with Denise to harvest our potatoes. We dug our hands deep into the mud feeling around for the buried treasures. We filled our bucket with purple, yukon and little red potatoes for breakfast and dinner. They were delicious with our onions and garlic! Michael is washing the remainder of our swiss chard that we just pulled out to give more room to the tomatoes and we'll put it in our breakfast eggs tomorrow. The sunflowers are beginning to tower, the eggplant is blossoming and tiny tomatoes are forming. The evening felt cool and damp from the freshly watered soil as we pulled little weeds and rearranged vines. Molly came home from her aunties house with tiny felt slippers she had sewn with beautiful little beads stitched to them to leave in the garden. She says the fairy's can wear them to dance in the evening if they're left on a leaf. There they sit under a pepper plant next to a ripening strawberry. Our garden is full of magic tonight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Balmy Walk in the Evening

We took our new little dog for a walk last night. The air was warm and full of moisture. Cherry branches, heavy with red fruit, hung so low over the path that we had to duck down to pass. Softly glowing light passed through the grapes trellised over the outdoor patio of the Italian restaurant next to the main garden. People laughing, eating and enjoying a beautiful evening. Molly grabbed my hand as the sun gently disappeared and we walked up the darkening path to our little home.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cooking Camp

Next week starts off the summer with a week long cooking camp in my "Magic Kitchen" for the kids in the Shire. I'm very excited to pickle some grape leaves from the yard and make dolmas later in the week. I'm going to make the whey myself using the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. This way, we also have the yogurt cheese to play with and make something yummy! There are still a ton of cherries in the orchards that we'll make a crumble with and of course some ice cream!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Emy Lou

Spelled differently but named after the beautiful singer, our little chihuahua Emy Lou has joined the Nichols/Peach familia. We picked her up from the pound yesterday, what an awful place. I've never been to the pound and I nearly cried walking past the cages of sad dogs that may never be taken home and have to be put down. The kids are so enjoying her spunky personality. It is nice to have a pet that can love back. The fish idea was very short lived. I took her on walk when we got home and she stopped to stick her snout into each flower along the path. No more doggie jail for her! We should have named her Dorothy! After going from black and white to technicolor, you're not in Kansas anymore little doggie!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ice Cream Cake!

Molly's birthday was so wonderful. All the neighborhood friends and a few from school gobbled up fruit, cheese and crackers and ran around the Shire. My neighbor brought over a huge tray of logan berries fresh from her yard, so tart and delicious. I made a chocolate cake filled with mint chocolate chip ice cream and topped it with ganache! This was quite the hit. It really wasn't very difficult and tasted so much better than store bought, not to mention cheaper. Just bake one chocolate cake in a 13x9 pan, let cool, use unflavored floss to divide the top and bottom of the cake, spread softened ice cream on wax paper in the cake pan and freeze, put ice cream between layers and press together, wrap and refreeze, top with ganache. Yay!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Still Storming

The weather seems to reflect my internal struggles. Hail, funnel clouds, foreboding black sky's and torrential down pours have continued through out the day but now things are strangely calm. The sky is blue and the wind is blowing gently. I feel much more peaceful but found it amusing, that during my most stressful part of the day, the weather was out of control. Now we've both calmed down. The kids are playing charades, Michael is sleeping and the ice cream cake for Molly's birthday is in the freezer. Maybe I'm just too tired to care right now. I'll sleep on it again, hoping for resolutions in the morning.