BagelsinAugust

radishes in the garden and on the table

May
02

french breakfast radishes

I planted the first seeds in garden on Valentine’s Day. The radishes were the first to emerge, and little by little, they have continued to grow and excite me. Finally, I could not take it any longer, and I had to pick them.

just picked french breakfast radishes

I love feeling the soil in my hands, the smell of the flowers and seeds growing, and the produce from my garden. It is hard work, and some days I forget how much it takes. I have come home from work only to see that I forgot to water, and the oregano is on the verge of drying up, and right alongside it, I am an emotional mess because I think of how small it was when the first leaves appeared. I grow emotionally attached to my plants, inspecting them each day, and often carrying on conversations with them. I am convinced they hear me, so please don’t tell me otherwise.

radishes with salt

My favorite way to eat the French breakfast radishes is sprinkled with truffle salt and a *pinch* of extra virgin olive oil or a tiny dollop of butter. A light lunch of radishes with salt, a tartine, and a glass of juice sounds wonderful. Salads with thinly shaved strips of radishes, boiled new potatoes, and anchovy vinaigrette are wonderful. As is a salad with thinly sliced radishes, celery, and butter lettuce, with blue cheese and walnuts. But I get ahead of myself, as I only have a handful left.

tomatoes

Jun
15

I waited, watered, cleaned up, and protected for three months. Now I have these small, orange tomatoes to show for my work. Cannot wait to harvest the produce this summer!

garden produce & a new friend

May
05

The first harvest of our container garden was of the green onions/scallions. The were delicious in a scramble, and also on top of chicken tortilla soup. Very excited about everything growing.

And also very happy to have made a new friend. This lovely ladybug (are male ladybugs offended by their name?) is sitting on our cucumber leaf, but has been seen for a few weeks now, travelling between the tomato plants, cucumber plant, and even the marigolds. I like the fact that I am able to provide it with good nourishment - a rich diet of white flies and aphids.

 

birthday, updates on summer

Aug
08

I signed up to do more than I could handle. I know, I know – I am so bad. As if studying and work and home were not enough, I also took on tasks of reading a rather large list of books, and crafting, and letter writing, and cooking from a professional book. I just piled it on, like I always do. And this left me somewhat unsatisfied in the long run. Sure, I would achieve momentary satisfaction from a snazzy letter, or the compliments of a well baked cookie, but I was (am?) tired and grumpy and felt like an old maid who wanted to interaction with neither sleep or people (did anyone watch the movie with Bette Davis?). I blame TV for most of my slouching, and the hot weather. I blame everything else except me.

Despite all of this, I have managed to actually do some work. My tomato plants have grown from flower to plant now, and I could not be more excited to see them grow each day. I know it is horrible to compare this process to a living animal or worse, baby, but this is the closest I have. I watched them flower, and then slowly drop a tiny tomato, which is now on its way to a full beauty. I feel proud, kind of like a parent, watching them grow. And the rest of the container garden is going well, with herbs sometimes growing out of control. I think I have definetly learned some lessons about bugs and plants and soil. I am ready for my big girl garden now.

I think this may be the best looking orchid I have ever seen.

 

And…surprise! I got another orchid to add to my two. This one has lots of blooms and great (read, even) stature, which means I do not have to wrestle trying to water it. Itcsits on the fireplace next to Aristotle, who was rather lonely, I think. Have I mentioned that I dress up our statues of Aristotle and Homer, for the seasons, of course. I think it’s only proper to keep them looking good.

 

 

And I have been cooking. I shall keep the disasters (albeit, they are few) for another time, but am proud to be making  pizzas and quiches now. I even made a lemon jam stuffed braided bread, which turned out pretty great. Although I do enjoy cooking and baking, it was a pain to get the mixing done by hand…until I got this nifty gadget for my birthday! Mike bought me the Vitamix that I have always wanted/needed/dreamed of/couldn’t afford. It sits next to the KitchenAid, and over the weekend, quenched a large number of thirty, nay parched, throats with pina coladas and daquaris at a party. And today I made a decent gazpacho with some fresh Sun Gold cherry tomatoes from the store. I found them on sale and it was like a lightbulb went off, kind of like in the movies. I knew then and there I was making the Keller gazpacho soup. Now I just hope it tastes good. If only I could have the same epiphany about the okra from the farmers market, and the duck that has been occupying the freezer for quite some time now. Hmmm…

 So these are the adventures of late. No, don’t make me tell you about my dirty spending habit. I have none, I shall not succumb to the pressure….argh! Since Borders is closing (all jokes aside, I was very sad when I heard about it and remember even maybe shedding a tear or two – mostly for the downtown Ann Arbor store), I felt it was only right to go and save the books. Yes, I am a patron saint of books, a title no one can deny. And let me back up and note that it was not as if I did not go to Borders to begin with, just now I have more of a reason. So I went on the first day and bought a rather large, heavy, and very expensive cookbook (no naming). Then went again with Michael, and we came home with some cards and a few books (really! only one or two!). We were doing well, our habit aside, we had housed some great titles. And then last night, we got the kick. I will not say how much, but a rather large amount was spent on books of philosophy, some history, and a lot of Russian literature. I literally printed out my Amazon wish list and went shopping. Now, not all books were present (who reads Berberova anymore, right?) in store, and some were still way more than Amazon (hey! I have to save for school!), but I did my duty and we came home with an arm full. I think I will wait to go again, but I do hope that no one else wants to read quality books and that I will have my pickings when the final days come along. In reality, I wish I could buy all of the books and create my own library. I know that as a child, many people thought of escaping the world and entering the one of their books, but I still dream of that. More on this later, as I could go on.

And most of all, in great news lately, I had my birthday. I was rather sad the week or two beforehand, as I was truly convinced in a Dorian Gray way that I was old, and youth was escaping me, and all the silly things that the book makes you paranoid about. Perhaps not a great idea to read it before your birthday and then have someone note that you are now a part of a century old. Nonetheless, these thoughts about my futile future were soon gone as my family came to town. I was very happy to see them, and realized just how much I miss them. It is rather strange what one gets used to, and how quickly the feeling of nostalgia and homesickness comes back rushing. I rather teary eyed all day when they left. Oh yes, I was saying about my birthday now (very egotistical today, notice?)…I had a great time. The finale was a wonderful surprise party, that Mike had pulled off with my mom. I was surprised, honored, excited, and just in awe the whole evening. In my little girl world, I love surprise parties and flowers, but to see it in real life…let’s say I felt as sick as a small puppy with excitement.
And everyone was so nice, family and friends gave me some great gifts. Each more thoughtful than the next, like these books (love Paris! and cooking!) and the great little black purse. It goes with all of my evening dresses. Love it! Love you! Thank you!!!

 

I must return to work now. I hope to update more often (haven’t you heard this before?). What an odd note to end on.