double the dogs, and I roasted a chicken!

june8 - 3

First up, some bananas that had sat for too long on the counter demanded to become banana bread.

june8 - 4

YUM. Why haven’t I baked banana bread lately? (Oh, right. The dissertation.)

june8 - 20

The long winter means that the start date for my CSA has been pushed back, but the farmer emailed last week to say that we should all come out and pick some peonies anyway. When I got there, she said to have at them, and pick as many as I could carry. So I did!

june8 - 5

And then I put them all over the house.

june8 - 6

And on the porch.

june8 - 7

Here’s the blossom I put in the kitchen next to the sink. (I promise not to post pictures of each vase, but you get the idea.)

june8 - 8

On our way to the creek.

june8 - 9

It was a little muddy, so we turned onto a side path. I love woodpecker trees.

june8 - 10

Boh loved the grass on the edge of this ledge overlooking the creek.

june8 - 11

And then he napped hard.

june8 - 2

A new dress that will be (with a blazer, at least) one of my professor costumes.

june8 - 1

A serious brushing for Boh.

june8 - 13

Double the dogs! (Tango joined us for a sleepover.)

june8 - 12

Double the fun!

june8 - 14

Double the napping. (Friends in town for their college reunions came by yesterday with sparkling wine to lounge on the porch and catch up. It was lovely.)

june8 - 15

These expressions indicate concern about the smoke detector and interest in the chicken I was roasting. (My kitchen doesn’t have the best ventilation, and the recipe called for very high heat…which meant some loud beeping noises at a few points in the process.)

june8 - 16

I roasted a chicken! I know this is pretty basic, but somehow I managed to make it to 33 without ever doing this. Whenever I buy whole chickens (which, admittedly, isn’t that often), I tend to turn them into soup. I followed a recipe from The Ktchn’s cookbook, and stuffed the bird with two halves of a whole lemon. (This is not the recipe I followed — though I’m flagging this one for future reference because the temperature is lower, and that might work better with my current kitchen.)

june8 - 17

Victory! I carved my chicken and sliced some of it to go on top of a salad, and made a quick sauce/dressing from the crispy bits in the pan and a little bit of white wine.

june8 - 18

Someone stood watch for any food that might fall from my fork. (It didn’t happen.)

june8 - 19

And this guy fell asleep in the shoe pile. Tango’s human will be back tonight, so we’ve got almost the whole day to play. Happy Monday!

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pie.

Strawberry-rhubarb-basil. It could have used a little bit of sugar, as the rhubarb was very tart, but it was bright and fresh-tasting, and the basil even seemed to sweeten it a little!

Oatmeal-pecan. Pie you can eat for breakfast. You know, because of the oatmeal. (I’m baking pies for a friend’s wedding next month, so I’ve been baking and eating more pie in order to help her make some important decisions about fillings and crusts. Tough life, I know.)

Also, here’s some stuff that isn’t pie:

Dogs and books. And me. All in a big pile.

Tango, in a rare contemplative moment.

Remember what I was saying about kitchen mojo? This has been a go-to for me this summer, in part because mojo is not required. Also, the gratification is immediate. Which I like. I have been eating this on Tuesdays. And other days, too, but especially Tuesdays. I get home from the farm, slice into my weekly bread share loaf, cut up a tomato, a hot pepper, and find some cheese in the fridge. I turn on the broiler. I sliver some basil. I pile all that stuff on the toast (this week it is a rye with caraway seeds encrusted on the outside), slide it under the broiler, and wait less than five minutes, until the toast is dark around the edges and the cheese is bubbling and starting to brown. Then I take it out and make myself go in the other room, or take out the compost, or do something to not eat this right away, because I will burn my mouth. And then I take my broiled tomato toast to the porch to enjoy. Summer food, at its finest.

It is rainy this morning, and I have a hankering for knitting with handspun. Boh and I are headed to a family wedding this weekend, and amidst the packing (so much harder to throw stuff in a bag and go when you have to look pretty where you’re going) I’m hoping to find time to wind up some squishy comfort yarn. The grey, rainy morning might have something to do with that. Happy weekend!

flour to scale.

So, sometime-blogger, always-friend K. hopped a plane to a place where the words are very long. And she left me a big box of treats from her pantry, including this enormous bag of flour.

I’ll be honest. I’ve been struggling to reclaim my cooking mojo. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the traveling, maybe it’s that I don’t really have anyone to cook for right now; I don’t know. But I haven’t been playing in the kitchen anywhere near as much as I’d like to want to, if that makes sense.

Enter that big bag of flour. I just had to bake something. So out came the measuring cups and spoons, and out came the loaf pan and an enormous farm zucchini.

And after an hour in the oven, voila: zucchini bread. This is the basic recipe in Mark Bittman’s big yellow book — nothing fancy, but it sure is delicious. (And this loaf had a touch of freshly grated nutmeg, courtesy of K.’s bag o’ treats.)

That was Friday.

I’m glad I enjoyed most of the zucchini bread Friday and Saturday, because today, I left the last sixth of it on the counter. Which, by the way, is where I leave most of my food. But this weekend, Boh and I have a house guest in the form of Tango, my neighbor’s loveable 3-year old ball of energy. Tango has taught Boh a thing or two about mischief…including, apparently, how to get the rest of a loaf of zucchini bread off the counter. Here’s hoping Boh was simply a witness, rather than a full-on accomplice.  All I know is that trouble has never looked so cute.

Oh, and here’s a bit of knitting! Like the zucchini bread, it’s nothing fancy, but I sure do like it. This is Ishbel, take 2, in what I’m pretty sure is still Yarn Pirate yarn from when I belonged to the Booty Club in a deep variegated purple. So lovely. Also, a little biased, because when I ripped out last time I wound it right back into a ball. Hoping I’ll be happy with it once I re-block. (Note to self: don’t be lazy about rewashing yarn…)

More soon.