Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Abundance

On the "Cousin Pile-Up Chair!"

People always talk about "the lazy days of summer," but that honestly has not been my experience of late. Yes, we do not do the same things we do during the rest of the year, but it feels like a whirlwind nonetheless. Grandma just returned home to Florida (taking one of the little cousins with her!) and so after a week of lots of family dinners, train rides, and thrift store shopping, we are settling back into a regular rhythm for a couple of weeks.

The garden and our CSA farm share have kept me busy in the kitchen too. I love having the fresh food and my grocery trips have diminished quite a bit. But keeping up with lots of fresh produce is a bit daunting! I don't want to waste anything and that forces me to be creative... even when I may not want to be! So far, I'm keeping up pretty well and frankly, there have been some delicious things coming out of my kitchen: pesto, sourdough breads (plain and fancy, as above with the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, and garlic), bread pudding, strawberry jam, strawberry shortcakes, strawberry pie, cucumber salad, potato salads, kale salad, sugar snap peas, smoothies and more! It definitely feels like an abundant season! We have enjoyed a remarkable growing season this year so far too, so that has contributed to the size of our single farm share. I purchased both a summer and an autumn share; I hope I can keep up once school begins next month!

I was thinking about all the time I've spent with food lately and wondered if I would do the share again next year or would just have my garden and visit the farmers markets in the area? I could say that is a viable option, but if history proves correct, I often miss the market days and just supplement the garden with grocery produce or frozen foods that are available year round. I know myself. The CSA pushes me. Maybe more than I feel like being pushed on a Thursday evening when I pick up my weekly box at the music store where one daughter takes lessons, one daughter works, and our farm delivers. But right now it kind of feels a little like exercise: I don't always want to deal with it, but it makes me feel really good, both mentally and physically.

I am feeling thankful for full days. More than my pantry feels abundant right now. My window is open as I type here upstairs and I can hear Mexican music playing from a house down from and behind us. I hear birds singing, a dog barking, and a baby was fussing a bit, but is quiet now. The regular rain has not only kept me from having to water my well-growing garden very often, but also has made the grass so soft. After a day of walks, playing, crafting, and making good things to eat in my kitchen to share with my family and my neighbors, it feels so nice to take the trip barefoot across the yard to empty the kitchen compost into the bin and turn around to see my little home settling in for the night.

I hope you are enjoying an abundant summer as well! Thanks for stopping by and I'll talk with you again soon!
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