Smitten Kitchen (both the blog and the book) is one of our favorite go-to sources for recipes, and we’ve been using it a lot lately. Some of the recipes are a little time- and/or labor-intensive so it’s nice to have two pairs of hands, but others – like her dill pickles – are incredibly easy. And delicious!
Herbed summer squash pasta bake: Excellent. It’s as creamy and satisfying as mashed potatoes or chicken pot pie, but a little lighter for the summer. A great way to use up those zucchini and summer squash that are in the farmers’ market now. We made it with orecchiette pasta but like she says, any kind will work.
Thick, chewy granola bars: Immensely satisfying between-meal snack, also good for breakfast on the go. They didn’t stay together perfectly, but we left out the nut butter, which might have helped with binding. Otherwise, we used dried cranberries, dried apricots, chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and chopped candied ginger. I’d leave the ginger out next time but the hazelnuts worked really well.
Easiest fridge dill pickles: I got three pickling cucumbers at the farmers’ market, sliced them up and put them in a jar with other ingredients as directed, and…pickles!
Anything-but-clementine clafoutis: Clementines in a clafoutis seem weird to me too, plus it’s summer and all the fruits and berries are in season! Unfortunately we didn’t get plums or peaches in enough time for them to ripen (poor planning on our part), but this was very good with blueberries. I’d make it again in the future with a tarter/tangier berry or fruit, or maybe a little lemon zest; it was fairly mild with just blueberries. Similar to the equally delicious purple plum torte, also from SK.
What have you been cooking, baking, or assembling this summer?
Filed under food, recipes
Gin Blossoms in concert (on the Boston Common as part of the Outside the Box festival): check
Guster live (same festival, two days later): check
Empire Records and High Fidelity double feature on the big screen: check and check
It was a good decade.
Filed under movies, music
Vacation this summer was a trip to visit my dad in Oregon, in a town so small the post office second-guesses me when I try to send mail there. It’s lovely! (If you don’t think too hard about the subduction zone and imminent earthquake/tsunami disaster. Fortunately, we didn’t see that article until we were already there.)
It was a very relaxing trip, starting with a few hours in Powell’s in Portland before heading to the coast.
I only bought one book! Such restraint.
We also visited the tiny local library, which is open even on weekends!
We read some picture books in the children’s room.
Reading, walking, eating, and sleeping – all while escaping some particularly hot and humid days back east – makes for a pretty good summer vacation.
Filed under books, travel
The face of an innocent dog enjoying the sunshine in the recliner:
The face of a guilty, library-book-chewing dog:
“Who, me?” Yes, you.
This was hours after the crime was committed. You can’t hold a grudge against dogs because they don’t remember what they did, but she was in the metaphorical doghouse for a few hours anyway. I’m a librarian! I can’t have a dog who eats books. Now I’ll have to replace I Capture the Castle. I hope it was delicious.
Filed under animals, books
This is the same little rose I got for Ben for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago. Despite my doubts, it comes back every time I prune it, and I prune it after each time it blooms. Here are its most recent flowers.
I didn’t think the perennials I planted in the front yard last summer would come back, either, not after the winter we had, but – o me of little faith – at least one of them is proving me wrong.
Also, we had the soil around the house tested, and the amount of lead is off the charts (well, technically a chart could accommodate it, but it is 5x+ the maximum recommended levels, so it’s a good thing we’re only looking at these flowers and not eating them). It’s kind of amazing anything is growing at all.
After years of hearing from various people how cool the de Cordova Sculpture Park & Museum was, we finally visited, using a museum pass from the library. (Ask at your local library – lots of Friends of the Library groups provide museum passes to local institutions so library users can get free or discounted admission.) It was a lovely, sunny, not-too-terribly-hot day, so we spent most of it in the sculpture park.
I didn’t take photos of everything we liked. The musical fence was a neat one, appealing for all ages, and there was a piece that looked like a large branch or piece of driftwood set upright that made an interesting shape against the sky. Here are some others:
These leaf sculptures aren’t listed on the de Cordova website – maybe they’re new or temporary?
Closeup of Elegantka, Ursula von Rydingsvard, 2010
It seems like a sculpture park would be a great way to get young kids interested in art, more so than walking around a museum. However, it’s not a playground: there is absolutely no climbing on the art.
Tower, Monika Sosnowska, 2014
Dogs are welcome in the sculpture park, which is also pretty cool. We left Sudo at home for our first outing, but we may bring her if we go back, weather permitting.
“I can come too?”