Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Favorites... (so far)

One week into the official start of summer, (aka everyone is out of school), and here are some observations thus far...

*  I was crazy to think my family could or would give up on all electronics cold turkey.  But there have been some pretty extreme (by typical American standards) limits put into place with very little push back and I am beyond happy and delighted with that!  The two biggies being no electronics in bedrooms (at all, period or yes I will just shut off the wifi...) and no screens until your "list" is complete for the day.  Lists are a combo of chores and boredom buster activities, see below...

*  Cooking early in the morning as to avoid the afternoon heat is totally where it is at.  This has us eating many cold style meals but no one is complaining.  Some of our favorites so far have been; this Quinoa Salad, homemade Tzatziki Dip with pita and veggies, our favorite Bok Choy Slaw, curried chicken salad sided with green salad and sourdough bread, and a basic antipasto style meal with cheese, cold cuts, fresh veggies and corn on the cob.

*  If I add 30 minutes each of reading, physical activity, creative pursuits and sunshine to the daily chore list I will be amazed what my girls come up with (reading both Steven King and Shakespeare, sewing, pompom making, baking, tons of biking, volleyball and basketball, and loads of general happiness).

*  We may well eat our weight in popsicles (for breakfast, why not???), corn on the cob and watermelon by summer's end.  More on our favorite popsicle recipes soon.

*  Visits to the library has renewed interest around these parts, (free books, cd's and movies -- what's not to love).

*  I will happily make exceptions to my "no cooking in a hot kitchen" rule for corn on the cob and canning.

I hope everyone out there is finding their own fun this summer, I'd love to hear what all you have going on as well.  Take care and enjoy this lovely sunshine we are basking in these days.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

My Favorite Time Of Year...

Yes, it has begun... I bought my first box of fruit this season and I am deep in dreams of Boozy Cherries, Sweet Cherry Butter and Cherry Chutney.  This time of year the Food in Jars Books and website are like my Bible.  The books are dog eared, laying on my coffee table or bed side table when not in use on the kitchen counter.  They are stained and marked with evidence of my past efforts.  If I can figure out a way to can it, freeze it, or other wise preserve it, I will.  It has become a bit of an obsession for me.  I think about one of our favorite book series from when my children were little, George and Martha.  Martha can't stop making split pea soup, and I can't stop canning.  The fruits of summer are such a treat and the thought of finding ways to enjoy them year round is absolute inspiration for me.  A recent Face Book post on Northwest Edible Life was my kick start.  That, and the fact that one of my favorite summer fruit sources started offering cherries.  So yesterday, I found myself watching the clock for that little 1/2 hour window of time where I could pick up my first box of the summer from Valicoff Farms.  Oh why did I only get one box?  I have so many things I'd like to try with these lovely cherries, including this amazing sounding salad.  Well, the saner side of myself forced restraint as to not overwhelm myself or my family.  I will surely be picking up another box or two next week as I am sure by the end of the weekend we will have blown through this first and lonely box.  For now, I'm off in search of gluten free bourbon to make a batch of boozy cherries.