Friday, September 4, 2015

Just Your Average Wednesday Night

While driving home from the mountains last weekend, we stopped at a fruit stand for some fresh strawberries. We bought an entire flat, because it was only $10, and I had a small desire to bake a pie (thinking about Waitress, lately, I guess). I had a bag of frozen rhubarb left over from last summer, when a neighbor mentioned she'd picked far more than she could eat, and had sliced and bagged it already. And it was exactly the right amount for Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe (that I'd made once before). And my dear friend Sonja is into baking pie. And Will is into eating pie. So pie time it was!

Sonja rolls out the top crust
It's missing something...

Ah yes, egg wash and a healthy dose of
cinnamon and sugar!


But because I'd picked so many beautiful tomatoes, I also wanted to make tomato sauce.

This is only a small sampling -- I had about 10 San Marzanos
all in all, I think? We added one very ripe Brandywine as well.
Our lovely upstairs neighbor offered to bring over dinner, so we didn't *need* it, but the tomatoes just looked so peak-sauce-readiness that I couldn't resist. Now it's in the freezer.

So I made tomato sauce and pie. And all was well in the world. Homesteading-ish is fun.

Are you growing anything at home? Have you been cooking lately? Do you ever surprise yourself with sudden industriousness and food-based inspiration? Is it just me, or is the End of Summer Ennui giving way to the Beginging of Fall Nesting Happiness?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Backyard Gardening 2015

Our garden has been sort of out of control awesome this year. I don't even know if it's more awesome than previous years, but I feel like every time I go out there, there's a bounty. And I photograph the bounty, because that's what I do, but then I don't take the time to upload and write about it. And the longer I wait, the more overwhelming the process of documenting and sharing our garden's progress seems.

But Summer is almost gone. While tomato season seems to just be hitting its stride (California's in a drought, you know, so we haven't been watering as much as in the past - plus we had a strange cool weather streak in early Summer), the beans are starting to waver, and the sugar snap peas are completely dead and gone. The lettuce is fading, but the squash is still hanging in there, and the chard is (maybe?) coming back for another round. The peppers are doing their pepper thing and we can hardly eat them fast enough. Carrots are popping out in groups of 4-6, which is just the right amount for a large salad, and we're about ready for a second harvest of small beets. The fennel is...well, I'm not sure if it'll ever be ready. Patience!

In lieu of a weekly garden update, I've been compiling all of our photos in to this lovely little photo album. It will continue to update as I add photos, but for now, enjoy this epic slideshow of garden goodness.