End-of-summer treats



Caprese Salad

I am really ready for fall, but I will sure miss the tomatoes. Farewell, caprese* salads. Until next year!

* Yes, I realize that real caprese salad doesn’t include balsamic vinegar, or even the extra delicious fig balsamic vinegar from Lucero in Northern California. But it’s extra delicious, and you should try it.


Pretty photo in lieu of actual post

San Simeon 1
Purple flowers, San Simeon, California. June 2014.

I just spent two full days with a high-energy 6-year-old (is there any other kind?) and I need a nap. I was going to post something here today, but I did not anticipate my niece’s go-go-go nature would start at 6:45 a.m. Like I said, naptime.

So here’s a placeholder photo instead of actual thoughts. I’d like to know the name of this coastal plant, even though it won’t grow where I live. Anyone know?


It’s supposed to look that way

Don’t adjust your screen, those tomatoes really are black. They’ll turn into lovely heirloom tomatoes that are black and red, when they’re finally ripe. I also have a bunch of really boring green tomatoes on the other plants. Growing tomatoes here is the best ego boost you could possibly give yourself. The things practically grow wild on the side of the road. Yet, I’m always so proud when the first fruits start to show.

blacktomatoesAre you growing anything in your garden this year? If so, what did you plant?

Lilac blooms

March 2014 2

Every year this lilac bush blooms and I go through the same routine. I run over and sniff the lovely blossoms, sneeze, and then call my mom to tell her that the plant is still alive.

When I moved into this house, she brought me a plastic tub, filled with sticks in clumps of dirt, and assured me that if I planted them right here and watered them on occasion, they would grow into the same beautiful lilacs that line one side of her yard.

I doubted that, since I had no experience with gardening. But they’re resilient plants.

March 2014 4


Spring fling

It’s almost time to start planting. If I start now, I’ll probably regret it. But the gardening catalogs are so tempting. Halifax2 88Instead, I’ll post a few pictures of the Halifax Public Garden from last fall. What a beautiful and peaceful public space. I have a lot of ideas for my own space thanks to my visit there in September.

Halifax2 100

Halifax2 98
Detail of the gate.

California Winter Blues

Valentines 2

Valentines 12Woke up to a dusting of the white stuff on the ground. Oh, not what the East Coast and the South are dealing with. I’m in California, where the white stuff on the ground is the almond blossoms. I sure hope this doesn’t mean winter is over. It hasn’t even started yet.Valentines 6

Late Summer harvest

Peaches Aug 2013 025
They smell so sweet.

It is the end of peach season, my cousin tells me. This is why he only has one lug of peaches for me. Then he puts two in my car. The second one, he says, can’t be sold because the fruit is just past its prime. I can’t see any difference and I suspect he is pulling a fast one on me. It wouldn’t be the first time. He won’t accept any money for the peaches.

Somehow, a half dozen tomatoes ended up traveling home with me, too. And a large bag of unshelled almonds that I picked in the orchard just as the sun was starting to set.

I love my family. They’re generous and fun and talented. And I’m terribly lucky that they’re also farmers.

From Garden to Menu

I’m still editing like crazy and am probably about 3/4 of the way through the manuscript. Of course, this morning I realized I’m probably going to have to kill someone. Not a real person, of course. So now I’m trying to figure out who gets the ax. Probably not a real ax. Although…

In the meantime, I’m thinking about what to cook tonight with the following ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes  4326

Lots of cherry tomatoes. Lots and lots of these.

Basil  4325

A bushel of basil. (And some mint peeking out from behind. I have enough mint to open my own mojito stand. Note to self: Mojito stand is an awesome business idea.)

Peppers  4324

Peppers. Many, many peppers.

They will probably get minced and tossed with pasta, but I’m exploring other options. Perhaps a pizza, cooked on the grill. With mojitos on the side.

Too many good choices

Now that the weather has cooled off to just unpleasantly warm, it seems like a good time to spruce up the patio. I’ve been looking at pots, but still can’t choose just one. So many beautiful colors and shapes.

May 2013 19I’m leaning toward the blues. Maybe.

May 2013 16Of course, I do love the color red. And it would look nice with the green mint spilling over the top.

Pottery ShoppingOr maybe one of each?

Pottery Shopping (2)