Saturday, August 26, 2023

end of Summer is approaching

As we approach the last weeks of Summer, evidence of the upcoming transition are upon us.  Maple leaves are turning, the neighbor's cherry tree leaves are dropping, mornings are cooler with the hint of dew in the air, and my little world is rejoicing. There is still wildfire smoke in the air, but hopefully not for too much longer. 

I love the changing seasons, and here in the pacific northwest, man do they swing!  It's supposed to be upper 90's here today, the last weekend of my pool, the last weekend of August.

As I look back and reminisce of the past month or so, I gotta say I feel pretty accomplished.   My garden is in one of those in-between phases.  Tomatoes are still mostly green, but turning pinkish (gotta stop watering them now).  My greens are looking heat stressed, but swiss chard is a trooper.  It's been pretty tolerant so far of the high temps. The broccoli is looking like I'm going to get a good fall crop, so long as I keep the cabbage moth larvae from eating it all (gotta spray again). All my flowers are showing off their beauty, and we have 4 pumpkins (or are they pumpkins??).  We have so much cross polination here on our half-acre that sometimes second year varieties are their own breed.

We had a great Gumbo night here a week ago.   My back was in pain and I almost wanted to call it off - but like my swiss chard, I'm a trooper.   We offered both Regular and  Gluten-Free Gumbo this year, and I don't mind saying it, the GF version was so good, and it holds up better in the fridge the next day. One of these years I'm going to get a photographer, or designate someone, so we can make a mini cookbook of our event. I am here to say, that Manny's GF flour can make a great roux, it just takes time, patience and a little bit of bacon grease too!
Menu always consists of Gumbo, rice, fried green tomatoes  ( which a friend who doesn't like raw tomatoes really liked), potato salad, green beans, green salad, bread, and sweet tea.  We provide plenty of fixings, ask folks bring a dessert (so fun to sample them all) and BYOB.  There is no admission fee, just the gift of your presence.  
Looking forward, this weekend is pickling time, with fabulous field run cucumbers from Schuh's Farm in Mount Vernon, WA (thanks Jen & Farmer Steve!), crossed with some pool time, and maybe some baking (maybe, if the temps don't get too hot) as I want to use my new bread recipe to toss up a fresh pesto / mozzellea sour-french braided bread (bake now, freeze for later).   But if it's too hot, I also have no problem grabbing a book, a glass of iced tea, and sitting and enjoying the last weekend in August.

So whatever you do this weekend, make it something to remember.

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