Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mid-Summer Update

Oh, hello.  Everyone keeping cool out there?  Staying hydrated?  We're not even in high summer, folks, though it feels like it every time I have to slide out of my car.  Thank you to those to wished me well during the tree-induced migration.  I was able to stay with my friend, Leslie, who generously gave me a key and a place to call home last week.  As of Saturday, I am back in my place, but life is shifting yet again and I will be on the move next Monday.  I've loved living where I am now, but maybe the tree falling on the house confirmed what I already knew---it's time to move on.

Pictures of the aftermath:

Sad... the backyard was one of the things I loved most about this place.  Two huge sweetgum trees are gone now, and while I suppose there's no more dealing with gumballs, there's also no more shade...

On the upside, there was this delicious dinner chez Leslie, which we dubbed, simply, "Summer":

Grilled chicken marinated with olive oil and smoked paprika, Italian-seasoned grilled zephyr squash from the Gracious Gardener, brown rice.

Salad of red-tipped Vulcan lettuce from Delta Sol Farms, grilled peach from Jones Orchard, feta, good olive oil+white wine vinegar+mustard+S&P vinaigrette.  Peaches in salads are a great sweet counterpoint to vinaigrette!  And grilling really roughs up the sugar, in a good way.
In the meantime:  guys.  tomatoes.  it's tomato season.  I have serious tomato envy, as I am still learning the ropes of growing them.  My neighbors, the people down the street, the community gardeners---they all have beautiful tomatoes.  And the market?  Well, pretty soon you won't have to get there before 8:30 to get some of the Whitton Farms' SunGolds.  Ripleys are in, too.  I'll be out of town (kayaking in Arkansas!) this weekend, so I went to the Botanic Gardens market after work today and picked up these cherry Ripley toms from Tim's Family Farm:

Slice in half, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried basil.  Bake for 5 1/2 hours -- or however long it takes -- in a 200 degree oven (that part is non-negotiable... you want them to be flexible and leathery, not crispy).

And ta-da, dried tomatoes without the high prices.  Mmm, hello winter antipasti platter.  Or onion and dried tomato tarts.  Or winter pizzas.  Or stews...

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