Grow + Share

Holy guacamole! How is my garden still producing so many peppers and cherry tomatoes! There has been so much rain this summer that I’ve hardly watered and fully expected my garden to shrivel up by now. What’s a girl to do with such an embarrassment of riches? Well, it’s Tuesday, so I know one of our community food banks is open so I picked what I could, washed my bounty, bagged it, and dropped it off with volunteers at the Elgin Community Cupboard.

Did you know that most local food pantries can accept home-grown produce? Contact them first, but many of your local organizations will gladly accept washed, home-grown produce to offer their clients. Ample Harvest  has a Find a Pantry link in the Gardeners Donate Food header in the main menu to help you find a local food bank or soup kitchen that would love to accept your produce and backyard eggs.

Links:
Ample Harvest
Elgin Community Cupboard

Homegrown Tomatoes, How do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

Caprese Salad with homegrown heirloom tomatoes and Fredericksburg peaches.

1 In a Caprese Salad. This is my favorite lunch (and dinner) all Summer, every Summer. What tastes like Summer more than sun-warmed homegrown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil drizzled with sweet balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil? Nothing. IMHO. Summer in every bite.

Pro tip: Peaches, or any stone fruit, are the perfect addition to this salad. I’ve tried peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots. A – m – a – z – i – n – g.

With Apologies to William Styron & Guy Clark

Would you sacrifice your summer squash to allow heirloom tomatoes to live long and ripen? I encountered this ‘Sophie’s Choice’ dilemma this weekend. Tomatoes won. For obvious reasons.

It’s simply much easier to find a nice zucchini or yellow squash than an heirloom tomato at the HEB.

I am leaving this post here mostly as a note to myself for next year when I want to plant squash. While I love butternut, spaghetti, and acorn, I feel kinda ‘meh’ about summer squash. I mean I like it, just not as much as it thinks I like it.

I know these are fighting words in the Lone Star state, but I don’t love this song, but can get behind it’s ode to one of life’s simple plaeasures.

In the legendary words of Guy Clark;

“Wha’d life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things money can’t buy
That’s true love and homegrown tomatoes”

A Box of Rain, Please & Thank You

Not only is my garden happy for the rain this weekend, but the damp earth and newly blooming honeysuckle made for the best start to my day ever. What is it about the smell of a downpour before, during, and after that makes us all just want to breathe it all in?

There are few smells as lovely as the scent of that moment just before it rains. Though my cat’s tummy and tomato leaves are way high on my list. While petrichor may not sound lovely, this lush and earthy olfactory pleasure makes life worth living, and evidently is as pleasing to animals as it is to humans.

Read this interesting article about the science behind this shared experience…

https://qz.com/1344089/the-science-of-bottling-the-scent-of-rain/

Friday Favorites: Pie, Pie & More Pie

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This year our Pi(e) Day Social was a great success. Lovely pies and reasonably good people. Image courtesy of @dchav_

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And speaking of pie…I found myself needing a super quick piecrust because my frozen pie disk had taken a bad turn during a power outage. Though conventional wisdom tells me it’s unwise to try something new when entertaining, I decided to give this quick pie crust a try. I scoffed at the claim that this piecrust is revolutionary… but am now a convert. The crust is kind of shortbready, buttery, flaky, and so easy. Perfect for single crust pies. You can buy The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook here.

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I find it hard to find sprouts in the small amount I need, so felt it economical to try sprouting my own. I found these on Amazon. I believe these are radish, lentil and some other guys.

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I am just about to bind off this lovely poncho in Rowan Felted Tweed and am itching to start something with Euroflax Linen, maybe this tunic or another wrap.

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Sharing your bounty. While planning your spring garden, plan to plant just a little bit more to share with your local community food bank. Contact them first, but many of your local organizations will gladly accept washed, home grown produce to offer their clients. Ample Harvest has a Find a Pantry button on the top of their site to help you find a local food bank or soup kitchen that would love to accept your produce and eggs. If you live in Elgin you can donate food here.

Five Fab for Friday—Fist City, Granny Squares and More

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1. This morning, while eating a Jethro Bodine size bowl of cereal, I had the pleasure of hearing this interview on NPR. This poster available here.

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2. Granny squares just might be the reason I learned to crochet. What’s not to love?

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3. My friend Martha knows how much I love Wes Anderson movies, and sent me a link to this Tumblr. I can’t decide what I love most about this blog… the lovely palette combinations or that it even exists!

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4. One of my recipes was included in this book by my very talented friend Jessica Dupuy.
Yup, Detroit born girl gets a recipe in a Texas cookbook. Still trying to replicate the peach pecan crisp my grandmother used to make.

5. This weekend, which promises to be quiet, sunny and warm.

Spoonful of Dirt

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My sister Kelly gifted me a copy of this book. It has beautiful images of usual and unusual home objects used for planting succulents. Inspired, I managed to find a couple vintage planters that weren’t already holding crochet hooks or glitter pens, to plant me some tiny succulents.

All this made me think of the poor leggy succulent that has recently been put out to pasture in the kitchen instead of enjoying it’s usual place in the sun of the living room. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at propagating succulents and went online looking for helpful hints. I came across a tutorial on this blog by two sisters-in-law,  Needles + Leaves. Check out that the DIY Succulent Crown… so very sweet. I dissected my sad succulent and ended up with a pile of jadeite-hued limbs that I need to let sit and dry out for a few days, not hours. Damn.

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I’m hoping to have a  few teeny tiny plants to stick in some soil in a few short days. Wish me patience and luck.