plants/procrastination.

On Sunday, Boh and I went back to the creek. (It is an especially good weekend walk because it is sort of hidden. Only locals.) But first we made pancakes for our houseguest!

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First porch pancakes of the season.

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Then it was back to the tree the beavers have been working on.

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And over the same mossy log.

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But once we made it down to the creek, we met this adorable creature. PUPPY. Boh and I were both very excited. 10 weeks old, and so excited about playing in the creek.

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This guy was pretty happy to lounge while I read.

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And appreciated the view. I am going to miss this spot.

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More reading, while Boh snored.

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And then we walked down to a friend’s dock for beer, brie, and sunset.

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On Monday, Boh and I took a walk through one of the neighborhoods downtown. So many lovely flowers blooming!

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I was inspired. So after making not very much progress on my conference paper for later this week, I went to get herbs, a geranium, and a little more potting soil to pretty up my front steps.

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I know I’ll only be here until late July, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to take these with me, but it seems silly to just not have my own supply of basil, Thai basil, mint, thyme, cilantro…and geraniums this summer, right? RIGHT.

 

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tending to.

If I had to sum up the last week or so, I’d say it was filled with “tending to.” Tending to what? All sorts of things — small but lingering stuff on the to-do list, filing, travel planning, long-overdue emailing, etc. Also, a bit of tending to myself — an end-of-the-semester bug forced me to slow down. Boh and I even managed a few afternoons of reading on the couch.

Pure sweetness is what that is. On Saturday, still feeling lousy, but needing to get out of the house, I decided to tackle my extremely forlorn potted plants. (Forlorn is the nice way of saying absolutely dead, I think.) I’m actually pretty proud of my first ever herb collection — I managed to keep my rosemary, thyme, and sage alive well through a mild winter on the porch, though eventually they succumbed to neglect during the busiest part of my semester.

I snapped these right after potting them: sage, rosemary, basil, cilantro, thyme, mint, and some marigolds I picked up on a whim. (M., if you’re reading: I tried to take good care of those bulbs, but nothing happened, and then after I moved them outside, the pot that doesn’t drain developed a green sludge on the surface. So I gave up and planted marigolds.)

I haven’t done any tending of my yard, unless you count Boh’s “fertilizing,” but this year the wildflowers are amazing!

Also amazing? Asparagus. This has been my go-to meal of late: broiled asparagus witha little bit of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Plain for lunch, and with a fried egg on top for dinner.

Boh and I are headed out of town for the weekend: he’s going to frolic with my parents, and I’m off to a dear friend’s wedding. Getting ready to leave has been extra hectic because I’ve been feeling icky this week, and because the lake house won’t be empty while I’m gone. It’s graduation weekend, so a friend who is defending and her family will be enjoying my home in my absence. I sure hope it’s clean enough for them…

green and partly dilly.

First up: dilly beans. Now I’ve got at least 10 pints on the shelf, which should be enough to both enjoy at home and share. (I actually ran out of pint jars yesterday, and had to pick up another tray on my way home from the farm!) Dilly beans are always more time intensive than I think — mostly because I never trim my beans to exactly the right length, and I always have to re-trim as I’m packing the jars. These are totally worth the hassle, though, and I’m psyched to taste these after they spend a few weeks mellowing and pickling.

I also made Kaela’s Chile Verde Base — this stuff is delicious, and so simple: tomatillos, garlic, hot peppers, and cilantro. Basically, you partially roast the first two, and throw all the ingredients in a food processor. I’m going to make another batch of this later. Storing this in the freezer to use as a base for soups and sauces prompted me to clean out the freezer. (Stock from 2008? Green chiles from the Southwest that I did too good of a job hoarding? I’m looking at you.) Now there’s room for lots more chile verde base! Oh, and berries. I might have frozen what we picked on Saturday as incentive to do a good job picking yesterday…

I had plenty of dill remaining from the beans, so I tied the longer stems into a bunch and hung them near the window to dry. I absolutely love the idea of home-dried herbs, and I am excited to use these in my cooking this fall and winter.

Just when I finally had the week’s produce under control, farm day came around again. The boy and I spent the afternoon picking blackberries, raspberries, more cherry tomatoes, more paste tomatoes, flowers, hot peppers, tomatillos, and a whole tote bag full of chard. I’m planning to blanch and freeze this later today. And make more salsa or chile verde base with all the tomatillos.

Also, I might have accidentally visited the orchard yesterday. (Hey, it was on the way home from taking friend K. to have her stitches out!) We might both have accidentally walked away with 8 quarts of peaches. (For 8 bucks.) Oh, and a few apples. Despite being the last peaches of the season (and labeled as “culls”), these are gorgeous. I’m going to cut one up and tuck it into my bowl of granola in a moment…and then I’m going to dedicate another fifteen minutes or so to daydreaming about what these should become. Jam? Butter? Peaches in some kind of (boozey) syrup? More on that soon.

For those of you who come hear for the fiber (and not the food), never fear. I’ll have knitterly things back in the rotation soon. I’ve got another week (or so?) of farmy abundance to process, but once the first frost arrives, I’ll be able to happily gaze at my shelves of winter preparation and get back to my knitting and spinning!