Monday, August 24, 2015

I see the makings of gazpacho...

I see the makings of gazpacho

...and a rustic tomato & goat cheese tart, some stuffed baked peppers, melon and Parma prosciutto, and lots of focaccine! Intermittent seasonal rains may be causing some grief in parts of Italy but so far we've been spared the heavy downpours. On those gloomy days I've been super busy in the kitchen.

Tomato and goat cheese tart

Cherokee Purple tomatoes are always good on their own, sliced up fresh with buffalo milk mozz. But use them in baking and they turn just bad-ass tomato goodness in a rustic tart. Wholewheat flour, herbes de provence and olive oil crust, plus goat cheese and halved datterini added to the tomato mix.

Focaccine

Terra-cotta flan dishes are the perfect size for making focaccine. Datterini tomatoes and grapes for a savory or sweet snack. Excellent picnic food.

Nijisseiki pear

Probably because the tree is still young (we've only had it in the ground for 2 years) and also because I didn't do any thinning in the spring, the nashi (Nijisseiki) pears are the size of tennis balls. So far the tree seems to be resistant to pests and disease.

Gerbera daisy salmon pink
Gerbera daisy in salmon pink

Today's high: 70°F

Friday, August 14, 2015

Finally, a little bit of rain

Just enough to cool things down and freshen the air a bit. After weeks of 90+ degrees, cloudless days and zero rain, the current "tizzle" feels like heaven. I'm up to the gills in summer harvests. When you pretty much pick the same thing 3-4 days out of the week, it's crazy how it all adds up because no matter how good you are at using up produce, a happy, well-tended garden will always give back more than what you put into it.

Summer harvest 2015

I'm always looking for "rescues" in the garden section at the supermarket. When plants are at the stage of being half-dead, they're discounted and I am obliged to save them. A little TLC went a long way with this gerbera daisy that I picked up for 50 cents!

Gerbera daisy

Mister B gets dibs on all garden rejects, like this deformed purple carrot.

I likes me ugly carrots too I likes me some purple carrots

Never thought I'd be able to grow lemongrass/tanglad in Italy, but there's always a first!

Tanglad/lemongrass

Today's high: 73°F