Eating

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Our STRONG rooted fennel took two hands to release from the ground!

Juniper’s tongue! She’s so stinking cute.

The beautiful fluff of seed pods waiting to be carried off to new lands.
omelet
Bee and butterfly!
butternut squash tacos
reflection from a seltzer can!
spicy Asian pork salad
Bald Eagle
Final harvest of peppers, onions, and fennel!
tiny poblano
Snow!

Hello, and happy Wednesday!

We’re a one foot in salad and one foot in soup season around here. Days still have enough warmth in them, but my mind, I think, is further along the transition because I made fennel apple soup with these last bulbs, and boy, it was wonderful!

It is full on FALL here, with trees lit up: ochre, pumpkin, scarlet. But alas, no photo! The last jeweled apples cling to trees and prettily litter the ground. It hurts my heart a bit not to gather them all, but I’ve already made butter, sauce, and jelly galore. The birds and squirrels and other critters will go gonzo soon enough, I suppose.

The bee and butterfly up yonder were noshing on our mint. After looking a little droopy, it took off right and proper, with hundreds of winged creatures feasting on the flowers. We were dazzled by the constant flurry of activity and ever-so-grateful not to have prematurely trimmed it back. I shudder to think at all the missed nutrients for the bevy of tiny friends.

Farmer Greg’s final harvest was a showstopper considering the tiny footprint of the garden, and this doesn’t even show the giant bowl of tomatoes waiting to be made into something wonderful.

And on that wonderful note, how good does the handsome hubster look after 18 pounds lost on Weight Watchers? He’s humming at a much faster clip than I, but we’re still moving forward. Foods like the pork salad and butternut squash tacos (thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for this idea) make it all the more colorful and satisfyingly delicious.

Here’s hoping you are WELL!

Farmer Greg + tomato + kohlrabi
pork shoulder steak + spiralized zucchini & carrot + veg galore + peanut dressing
Uncle Lyle + Aunt Bev, with L O V E

The front garden gives and gives

Who goes there?
Raccoon methinks
B a l l o o n s ! !

Mud! Juniper’s toes! My Maine Coone socks! Hello Paris…

blue tepary
scarlet runner beans: one and all
S I X pounds of prickly pears wild harvested and processed!

Home grown tiny canteloupe…flip fantasia
With a sincere nod to US3’s FAB song!

poblano
fennel + chicory + ground cherry + kohlrabi + tomato
tomato
big + little
harvest
Breakfast “Ramen” – zoodles + egg + bacon + jack cheese + green chile + chicken broth
pico de gallo with our own tomatoes and cayenne pepper – huzzah!

Good Tuesday to you, dear reader! What eye candy here today, and what luck to find it all in front of my lens.

From the top: the garden is going like gangbusters, with super delicious ripening tomatoes, of a variety we cannot remember, drat. The kohlrabi hollering go big or go home!

After struggling a bit with the middle age S P R E A D, Greg and I joined Weight Watchers. It’s been a few weeks, and though the pounds aren’t exactly flying off (damn slowing metabolism!), we are losing weight and feeling truly great. It is actually FUN, and we are enjoying the challenge. I am spiralizing like a mad woman: zucchini, carrots, butternut squash!

We visited Bev + Lyle’s graves weekend before last for the very first time. Her colorful personality called for a rainbow of roses. We’ve had more death in the family, and I’ve felt a little heavy about it, truth be told. I pore over pictures and replay Super-8 style memories while pondering the gossamer connections of blood kin and my chosen family, each binding me to the wider world. Like planting small seeds of comfort that will one day bear beautiful fruit.

In a super cookbook from the library, Living Within the Wild, I found the recipe for Breakfast Ramen. Theirs uses actual ramen, which is NOT worth my points on WW, so of course I zoodled! It also calls for nori rather than green chile, but come on, green chile was made for this dish! I will definitely be making it again.

This past weekend was the Balloon Festival, and we awoke early Saturday to wade through giant puddles and trudge the mud of two evening’s blessed rains: all to watch the launch from our favorite perch on high. The mist veiled hills a bonus gift for our labors. Every year we expect a crowd in our viewing spot, and every year we are gratefully spared, reveling in our own good luck AND company to watch each wonder of gravity rise and rise and rise.

It is prickly pear season, at last, at last. I cannot believe my good luck at finding the local patches of beautiful fruit, waiting to be turned into wonderful juice. The spiny jabs worth it in the end.

More glory in the garden as the harvest gets to go, go, going. We experimented with cantaloupe! While it is among the best we’ve ever tasted, it is not nearly worth the water or labor for the three adorable fruits produced. The ground cherries, peppers, beans, zucchini, and tomatoes are quite a different story. The blue tepary and scarlet runners an excellent introduction to beans for drying, so we will plant much more next year, taking out the strawberry plants that do so very little. How life presents a body with ample opportunities to learn!

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Saturday morning, we sipped coffee outside, hats and sunglasses and shorts! I wandered the garden, to watch every little bit of life foisting itself into the world, quiet and furtive, in the case of weeds, loud with a fanfare of trumpets, in the case of flowers. How I love spring!

After our coffee and requisite a.m. pup stroll, we headed south, to Canon City. Which, is pronounced like canyon, not like an explosive cannon. I have heard this incorrect pronunciation a bit lately, and as a proud native citizen of Colorado, feel obliged to rectify it.

Anyhoo, I digress! My favorite Desert Canyon Farm is open for their brief retail window, and Greg and I took advantage of a beautifully warm Saturday to enjoy it. We bought all manner of plants: scarlet runner bean vines, hyssop, mint in two varieties, hot and mild peppers, kohlrabi, foxglove, rose, and more. We are thrilled, as always, to watch them grow.

The view just south of Desert Canyon Farm, with a glimpse of winter holding steady atop the Sangre de Christos.

After our plant buying extravaganza, we headed into town, originally intending just to stroll a bit and get Juniper’s wiggles out. Much to our surprise, it was Blossom Festival, with streets blocked in anticipation of a parade, and booths with people selling their wares.

There was also a Wild Bird booth! We were delighted to meet the Red Tailed hawk and diminutive Screech Owl, who was wet from a refreshing spritz of water. Both kept very watchful eyes on Juniper, who was rather to keen to play. Our girl will make friends with just about anybody!

Greg noshes on a fry pie, which was a bit like the McDonald’s pies of our youth, but much, much better. Larger, and positively bursting with blackberries before being fried to perfection, my word!

And for the best surprise of the day, we had some pretty darn fabulous Indian food in tiny Canon City! Chicken Tikka Masala, butter naan, and Keshari Kofta. The first two were most excellent, but the kofta, rather sadly, while tasty, was not as good as Mandeep’s bit of perfection at Portland’s India Oven. I keep trying!

How wonderful it was to walk about, snap photos, sit on a patio with Greg and Juniper and watch the world stroll by, anticipate the summer garden, buy honey and wonderful tinctures, nibble on pie. Almost Normal. Almost.

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First carrot!

ground cherries – small but mighty

plums

crocosmia & eager hummingbird

liatris

orange horned poppy

evening primrose

ratbida

fernbush

Choke cherry – how wild the birds are for these!

beautifully grilled salmon

mushroom + sausage + fennel

home grown (!) roasted italian pepper + langostino + olive oil

Dizzyingly good pizza and a bumpy birthday cake for my favorite person, a few days early. My frosting didn’t look quite right, but the flavor sure was.

Flowers and mountains and homegrown food – how lucky they make us and our days. The bees and butterflies and birds, everyday joys: walking, sweating, reading, a soak in the tub.

Sunrise and steam rising, last week before the heat, before, sadly, having to turn the A.C. on before lunch or risk melting into a puddle. I partially blame the hormones, though. Slick of moisture glistening on my now alien brow. It’s why they are called flashes. But then, the garden – plants and sprouts, doubling, even quadrupling in a matter of days.

High summer is what it is. And my complaint is only minor. For the starlit walks are gleeful and quiet, shirtsleeves and sandals, the whoosh and tinkle of neighborhing sprinklers. Dogs bark and headlights rush, linden flowers scent the breeze. All good, all good.

And our Fourth of July bunless burger, topped with a green chile cream cheese conconction and dashes of chipotle Tabasco. The fries, oooh, the fries! First boiled, then broiled to get that crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside texture of perfection, at least for us.

I hope you are surviving and even thriving, in the heat, in the uncertainty, in these often dishearteing times of illness and joblessness and racial inequality, with hope, always, hope, for a better future for us ALL.

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