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Showing posts from June, 2012

Early Summer Raspberry Tart...

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I spent the day weeding.  Spurge has crept into the corn rows and exploded into a mass green carpet of weedyness (is that a word?) overnight.  The heat helps the spurge to grow, and it's hot, dang hot!  This is our 34th day without precipitation, and you can feel the dryness creeping in.  The entire Mountain West is on fire and the news headlines are all about smoke and flames.  You can hardly find anything else to talk about, think about, dream about.  I have taken to praying, dancing, chanting, and meditating for rain.  So far, my efforts have been overlooked by that higher power that decides if I have made enough of a fool of myself to send the relief of rain.  I must be amusing to watch, that's why no rain... I am the entertainment!!!


With the heat and the smoke, I decided to whip up a cool and refreshing little tart tonight.  This is honestly as easy as it gets.  Five ingredients, a quick (and I mean quick) bake in the oven, top it with whipped cream and berries, drizzle…

A Pot of Succulents...

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It's hot, really hot, and it seems the whole West is on fire.  The smoke in the air makes me feel sticky, like a thick gray brown film has covered me.  This is what summer in the West has become, a race against the heat of fire and the cool of water.  One thing that thrives in this desert inferno is succulents.  They somehow manage to survive the heat, wind, and drought.

I have to share a few photos of my favorite pot.  I planted an old white iron pot that has rusted through with succulents.  The pot is perfect for these plants.  It is one of the most delightful things to glance at as I walk past the porch.  I love the texture of them.  Some are thin and whispy, others are fat and squat their thick round leaves hoarding the water and the sunshine.  The textures play off each other, enhancing the fineness of one and the lumpiness of another.  It's great fun.  I feel like a kid in a candy store picking them out at the nursery and placing them in their pot.  

If you need a littl…

Growing Strawberries and a Lovely Galette...

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I harvested our first batch of strawberries out of our own private little garden.  There is nothing in this world that ushers in summer quite like strawberries.  I will let you in on a little secret, I hoard homegrown strawberries.  They are absolutely, without a doubt, one of my most favorite things on the planet.  Store bought berries are just not the same.  They don't have the sweetness or the sunshine grown into them.  They lack the energy of the soil and the heat of the day.  Homegrown little red strawberries is where it is at!

You really don't need a large space to grow them, put them in as a border, or we have grown them in a 2-foot by 12-foot raised bed to contain them.  We now have a larger patch with three different berries.  We have a June bearing, a late summer bearing and a day neutral type all growing so that we have berries throughout the summer.  Plant them with a lot of good compost and pinch off any flowers you see during the first year, you want them to foc…

Father's Day Grilled Rainbow Trout...

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Father's Day is a little bittersweet for me.  I lost my dad a few years ago, and since then this day has been a bit hard.  There are so many memories that flood my mind throughout the day, things from my childhood, traveling the world, my wedding, my dad in a wheelchair looking at my children for the first time - little babies tucked in his arm.

Like everyone, there are good and not-so-good memories.  I have a few favorites.  When I was about six I remember making play dough pig noses on the back deck with my dad me dressed in pajamas on a hot summer night, all of us giggling together.  Another memory is the first night we moved to Taiwan, I was 10 years old and couldn't sleep because of the time change.  My dad stayed up with me, eating ice cream and telling me all about Taiwan and the great adventure he hoped we would have over the next few years.  When I was eleven, we went to Hong Kong.  My brother and I had our own hotel room and we raided the mini fridge... $300 later,…

One Fell Out of the Cuckoo's Nest...

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Something fell out of our tree.  In the backyard we have a 60 year old silver leafed maple, it is twice as big as the house and a number of creatures use the tree for homes, shelter, a place to perch, etc.  We love this tree, it shades us in the summer, protects us in the winter, and offers us a glance at the wildlife that is around us.  We have had hawks stop to rest and hunt, starlings raising generations of little naked screeching birds, and robins by the hundreds.  You don't realize the impact of one tree until you look up and notice what uses it.

This morning, I let the dog out.  A few minutes later I happened to glance out the kitchen window to see the dog sniffing something odd.  I am still a little hung over from my 100 mile bike ride yesterday (not to mention crippled), so my first thought was that it was the most extraordinary fuzzy mushroom.  (Okay... really hung over... don't laugh!  Ride 100 miles, you will know how I feel.)  Then, the mushroom moved.  I rushed ou…