Not many photos this week, since we were out of town a good portion for it, but I am so happy that Summer is right around the corner. Summer eating/cooking is my absolute favorite. Bring on the tomatoes!
1. My first time making crock-pot oatmeal. Definitely going to make again, though Lucy wasn’t a fan of the peanut butter I added to this batch.
2. Stealing chickpeas. Since I have made a more conscious decision to withhold most bread and wheat products (only because it is all that she was asking for at mealtimes), she has been eating so much better.
3. Roasting spices for channa masala. I followed this recipe for the first time, and it was the best I have ever made. It was very spicy, even for this spice lover, but the flavor was spot on. Next time I am cutting back on the peppers a bit.
Maybe it is my ever growing belly and the fact that sleep has been harder and harder to come by, but I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Before I got sucked too far down that hole, I threw together some grilled sandwiches and packed some finger foods into our lunch basket.
We ate our sandwiches (grilled mozzarella with basil and roasted red peppers), then spent the next few hours walking around, talking about chickens and where eggs come from (Lucy thought that chickens ate eggs), and sitting in the grass enjoying the breeze.
When we got home, Lucy played quietly and I enjoyed a little downtime reading this great article about How to Ditch the City and Start a Farm. It was such a nice read, as we are in exactly the same situation, though in the very early stages. The inner battle I have been feeling is the same as this family’s, leaving where all our family and friends are is very scary. I am constantly playing over scenarios on how we could fulfill our dreams here, but it just never adds up living in a city. In these coming weeks my goal is to set into motion our plans for the future, our homestead, our life, our short term and long term goals. Having a plan will surely put my anxious little heart to rest a bit.
We are back from a short vacation in Palm Springs. It was a relaxing weekend, a little cooking in the condo (owned by a family member, who is gracious enough to let us use it on occasion), some dining out, and lots of time in the pool. I took out my camera very little, but perhaps that is the true sign of a good vacation.
Lucy seems to have gotten over her fear of swimming pools, though is still quite timid to partake in the fun. She likes to feel secure in our arms in the water, only once or twice letting us put her on the inflatable raft. Chasing after the beach ball after it vacates the pool is more her style, then throwing it haphazardly into the direction of mama or daddy. It felt so nice to spend a few hours in the water under the hundred degree heat.
I am joining Beauty that Moves again this week to post some highlights from my week in the kitchen.
This week has been all about Indian food. My three year old loves it, and I am learning that it is one of the only ways I can get her to eat any sort of vegetable.
1. A weekend feast
2. Spiced summer squash soup with yogurt mint sauce from The Art of Simple Cooking
3. Leftovers for breakfast (because my favorite thing about making Indian food is eating it cold the next morning!)
4. Coriander crusted potatoes with eggs
I have for years been dreaming of having a small family or hobby farm. I don’t need a lot of space, but I do need a little more than our condo can offer. Living in such a high cost area these dreams often begin to feel very farfetched, but I know they will come to fruition with a little more patience and hard work. Until then though, we fill our days with trips to local farms and places where we can see a little flora and fauna.
This afternoon Lucy and I visited City Farmers Nursery, nestled in the heart of San Diego. It is like a tiny oasis in the middle of a busy area, surrounded by freeways and apartment buildings. I have been wanting to visit for some time, but it is not really my neck of the woods. Today we made the journey, and I was so pleased to finally see all that they had to offer. Not only is it an incredible nursery (with an incredible selection of fruit trees!), but there is a playground, tons of animals (a horse, goats, chickens, ducks, a rabbit, turtles, a tortoise, turkey, and more) and the most fantastic little shop–well stocked with all the canning supplies one could need, books on homesteading, beekeeping supplies, and anything else you could possibly need on the homestead. It is probably a good thing that Lucy had no interest in the shop, otherwise I may have brought home a stack of books from their incredible collection.
It was a fun day and we will definitely be back in the near future–if only to stock up on canning supplies for an upcoming pickling party I am hosting and maybe a few pushes on the swing.
Most weeks as the weekend nears I have these grand intentions of the things we will do out of the home. More often than not, we get wrapped up in the day and/or are having such a nice time at home that we just keep being as we are. This weekend was like that. The weather has cooled a bit (thankfully!) and I was thinking a picnic in the mountains would be a nice way to celebrate the proper spring weather.
We spent most of our time in the house, working on projects. I, on Lucy’s quilt, and lots and lots of cooking, Lucy on setting up her animals and eating chia pudding popsicles (a new favorite around here), and Russ on his trumpet playing and general house stuff. It was a nice and relaxing weekend, and now we are definitely due for a picnic in the mountains!
1. Lentils and wheat berries with a store bought bruschetta mixed in for a fast meal, served with chips.
2. I am blaming this one on being pregnant. A veggie dog with chili and cheese. I don’t usually buy fake meats, nor have I EVER liked hot dogs, but this really hit the spot (multiple times!) this week.
3. Israeli couscous with vegetables and pesto sauce.
4. & 5. Making mother’s day poppy seed muffins. She is turning out to be quite the little baker!
1. So many blueberries. We washed and filled a gallon bag full of them for the freezer.
2. Blueberry lemonade, which was perfect for our 90 + degree weather. I used this recipe.
3. Mother’s day flowers from Lucy.
4. & 5. Little pickle eater.
We spent our Sunday morning picking organic blueberries at Fairfield Farm. This is the first season they have offered U-Pick, and I was so happy to spend mother’s day stuffing myself full of delicious berries.
When were kids growing up in Washington, picking blueberries was something we did often and I have very fond memories of bringing old peanut butter buckets (because everyone bought their peanut butter by the bucket, right?) rigged up with strings for easy kid carrying, and buying blueberries by the pound. I actually hadn’t picked blueberries since I was a little girl and have been looking every year on PickYourOwn.org to see if there were any farms offering this service, and this year we finally got lucky.
It was an hour drive from our house up to the farm, but definitely worth it. We had such a great time and came home with six pints (though between Lucy and I, we probably consumed two pints at the farm!). I am considering going once more before they close at the end of the month, to fill the freezer.
I bought myself an early mother’s day gift, Ashley English’s new book, Handmade Gatherings. I had already promised Lucy that we would make a pie today, so when this came in the mail and I flipped through landing on the recipe for peach sonker (which I learned is a regional term for something similar to a pie or cobbler), I knew immediately that I would put my spin on it for a spring time version. I followed the biscuit topping recipe exactly, and only made a few changes to the filling, the most obvious being the fruit. It turned out absolutely perfect. The biscuit topping is the best I have ever made or tasted, and is definitely going to be used again and again.
I am really looking forward to getting a little deeper into this beautiful book, and using more of the recipes and ideas.
For the filling:
- 4 cups chopped strawberries and rhubarb (I used two stalks of rhubarb, and made up for the rest in strawberries)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 small sprinkling of nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the topping:
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, arrowroot powder, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a medium bowl. Stir until fully combined. Cover with a towel and set aside.
- Prepare the biscuit topping. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until crumbly and the butter is pea sized or smaller. Create a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Gently stir ingredients until all ingredients are wet.
- Butter a ten inch cast iron skillet. Pour in the strawberry/rhubarb mixture. Using a spoon, dollop biscuit mixture over the top, in about 3 tablespoon sized mounds.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º F and cook for 30 more minutes, until mix is bubbling and crust is golden. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.