Wednesday, August 5, 2009
photo by Ashley
Today I felt like I was visiting with an old friend. Last summer I had a breakfast just like this nearly every day. Heirloom tomatoes, lightly salted and sourdough toast heavily buttered. Mmm... It's just so good. Our tomatoes got off to a slow start this year so these are from the Farmer's Market. Except that little white cherry tomato, that's straight from the garden. It's a Snow White. And the others are Aunt Ruby's German Green (one of the prettiest tomatoes I have ever seen. It has pink marbling in the heart of it!) and Hillbilly. That one is so good. Thankfully, we finally have some coming off our bushes. Sungold, which is one of the sweetest and best tasting of the cherry tomatoes and Black Princes which are especially good with sourdough toast. I love tomatoes (and sourdough toast), can you tell? I am finding I must take pleasure in the little things in the midst of all that is going on around here. A little remodeling, moving the laundry room, two plumbers, painting the living room, teaching the two year old that cutting your own hair is a BIG no-no, and all the normal stuff of life like laundry and meal planning and marriage and child-raising feel like a bit much at times. And I tend to not be a relaxed person by nature. So I am focusing on growing in that area. It's a stretching time, I tell you. My husband recently put a challenge before me: just relax for two weeks. Not the R & R, vacation, lay-in-a-hammock type of relaxation (although I wouldn't turn that down right now!), but relaxing in the moment, no matter the circumstances. So, if the two year old gives himself a haircut, someone forgets to take out the trash, the two year old helps himself to a few swigs of chocolate syrup while I'm painting and the chicken eggs get left outside for the cats to play with, I am just to relax. I can do anything for two weeks, right?
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In my effort to use up what I have in my fridge and cupboards, I was was trying to figure out what to make with one chicken breast that needed to be cooked. Well, the children used last night's leftovers to make tacos so I decided to whip up a chicken and pasta dish for me. I cooked the chicken and a handful of sungold cherry tomatoes in olive oil. When the chicken was nearly done I added a splash of balsamic vinegar, pressed two cloves of garlic into it, tossed in the cooked penne, removed it from the heat, added a small handful of shredded basil, thin slices of tomato, a few shakes of red pepper flakes and a generous grating of Romano cheese. Delicious!
photo by Ashley
An early morning trip to Farmer's Market yielded a lug of apricots and a lug of Red Haven peaches...for half price! We'll eat the firmest fruit and use the rest for jam making. That may not happen until tomorrow since I forgot to pick up more sugar while I was in town. Red Havens are supposed to make delicious jam. They have red streaks in the flesh that aren't that obvious when eaten fresh, but are supposed to make cooked jam a beautiful color. Leaving the skin on also adds to the color. Today, the lady I bought these from also said jam made from Red Havens doesn't darken as quickly as other peach jam. The last couple of years I have made mostly freezer jam, but this year I'll be doing more cooked jams to save freezer space.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I made too much oatmeal this morning. Thanks to Google I found some recipes to use it up. The first experiment, um, I mean, recipe was Leftover Oatmeal Muffins. They were a hit. In fact, several went missing before the photos were taken!
it's hard to make leftover oatmeal look good, but the girl did it
48 perfect mini muffins
cooking for an audience is always more fun
all photos by Ashley
all photos by Ashley
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Chocolaty two year old eyes peaking through the window of his new barn. Photo by Ashley, the big sis.
It finally seems like summer around here. Of course, that has nothing to do with the heat. It's been hot for a while. I was so eager for summer, but when the thermometer inches up past one hundred degrees, I lose my enthusiasm. With the morning sickness finally subsiding I am ready to focus on enjoying this summer with my husband and children. I just want to soak up every moment with them. Last year was a blur. My dad died in May and we all just got by the best we could. It is still hard. Some days it's actually harder than when it first happened. I frequently hear, "I miss Grandpa" from teary-eyed little ones. One of the blessings is that it affords us many opportunities to tell stories and remember. Some days are better than others.
We are in the midst of birthday season around here. And, yes, it is a season. All five of our children were born in June and July. Our oldest just turned sixteen, the baby just turned two, and by mid-July we'll have a fourteen year old and two nine year-olds. This new baby will be our first autumn baby. We are all so excited. The children are clamoring to know what it is. They can't wait. There's a certain girl who keeps telling me that she has things to sew, so she needs to know.
So, we are finding many things to celebrate and enjoy this summer. Expecting a new baby, warm weather birthdays, home grown tomatoes (not yet, but soon!), fresh goat milk, a kind and beautiful girl with a growing interest in photography, a son who barbecues at least as well as his daddy and grandpas (and loves it!), almost nine year olds who are full of wonder and who keep bringing me rocks and bugs in jars, and a lovey little two year old who asks for his daddy, his sissy, and each one of his brothers every day when he wakes up. And we all especially enjoy that when you tell him daddy is at work, he insists daddy is, "mow lawn!" Life is good.
Every good giving and every perfect gift is from above , and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
James 1:17 the Geneva Bible