Country Cooking Summer Style

 Markets are loaded with the best of summer fruit and 
veggies right now

Usually I decide what to cook for dinner 
 based on what I haul in from the garden...
it really has changed how I cook 
(weird but true)
 herbs and lots of them
and usually an odd assortment of 
squash, onion and eggplant 
 beets or some other root or big green thing
(note to more specific)

 while a squash and pickle don't seem to work 
just pick 'em
and get on with it...
no need to argue about it right now

  I love the shapes and colors 

food photography is pretty darn fun
(note to are not a food photographer...bummer)

 but lets cook some dessert...or better yet 
lets have dessert for dinner

  no need to worry about a centerpiece...
summer flowers are everywhere

 enjoy a little slice of summer heaven this weekend like this 
with peaches and blueberries
 this is Ina Gartens basic crostata recipe 
found here

 the peaches are from our trees 
and the blueberries came from my local market
(AKA Vons) yes I love and hate my Vons

 we had some guests over 
so I thought I should pretty it up 
(ice cream is good)

 geranium blossoms, raspberries and blueberries
and I tucked a bit of lemon slices in there...
can't any one ever leave here with out a lemon under their pillow!!!

guess not!

 sending lots of 
lemony  love 

eat well 


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The Polished Pebble Garden Gazette: August Issue


Summer is finally taking a bit of a nap...things slow down and it gives us more time to 
enjoy the long days 
and the beauty of all of our hard work in the garden 

For me, 
it means lots of vegetables and fruit 
the excitement of beginning to plan for fall

We have had a very mild summer,with below normal temperatures, 
which has made the lettuce crop amazing...the tomato plants however,
 are not so happy
I  direct sow my lettuce either in large 2 ft x 4 ft sections 
or long rows 
It's nice to mix up the plantings to create patterns 
and fun color variety in every bed

This summer I planted little micro greens which are meant to be harvested when they are very tiny...well not quite this tiny, but wow are they tasty in a salad

Salad greens are picked in the morning and washed a few times in the salad spinner.  I only pick what we will be eating in a day or so because the taste of fresh lettuce is unlike anything you can purchased in a supermarket.  It tastes like lettuce...!
  little spaces in between the lettuce beds are the perfect spot
to sneek in a few radish,
which take up a very small amount garden real estate
and grow really quickly 
My favorite radish right now is a beauty called 
de Avignon
easy to grow, tasty 
and very pretty
These sort of look like a potato because they got a bit big
 but the flavor is mild, sweet and tangy

All of the apples are harvested and we had a bumper crop...
the squirrels and raccoons really enjoyed the apples too
I recently purchased a juicer and have been juicing apples every delicious

and finally after waiting  three long years 
we have our first really nice crop of grapes 

In addition to being wonderful to eat 
they are just beautiful in these long cascading bunches 
This variety is called Niagra and has seeds 
but is wonderful for juicing
When I walk to the grape arbors you can smell the grapes...heavenly

One of the raised beds is full of herbs and edible flowers like nasturtium,
 which you can add to your salad greens for color.  
Nasturtium blossoms are really spicy!
They look pretty trailing over the sides of the stone beds and 
are very easy to grow from seed

Remember the crazy new tomatoes I ordered called "Super Sauce"  
well this is what they look like...they are huge!
I have only picked about 4 tomatoes off the plants this summer, so I'm not so sure about these guys
but the tomatoes are so big that the plants can barely support the weight of the fruit

We also have chives popping up and some really scary hot peppers...
I'm not sure what to do with the peppers yet?  
any ideas?

In preparation for fall I have two old wine barrels, which have been planted 
with butternut squash and Yukon gold potatoes 

These are young spanish onion and I started some garlic too 
which will be ready to harvest next spring

And if you need  a sweet little taste of summer try this recipe 
for strawberry ice cream

you can make this ice cream with fresh peaches too and it is so seriously good!

Hope you enjoyed this issue 
the polished pebble 
garden gazette

in case you missed the first issue you can read it 
happy harvesting

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