We are having a lovely summer, in every way. Hot sunny days with afternoons spent in wading pools. Long hikes with snowballs and streams. Backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream. As many berries as one can possibly eat. So when the clouds roll in and stay for good, I can think back to these long bright days and remember how we savored summer this year.
What I hope to forget is the constant noise and dust from the major construction project going on behind our house. The city is re-designing a stream confluence and the crash of rocks dumped from large trucks starts almost every morning at 7 am. Sharp. Soon, even our own yard will be involved in the remodel and our shed will be re-located. Currently, the shed lies mostly on city property and must be moved to accomodate the new property-line fence being installed. The shed is not in a convenient location for us to access anyway, so we decided to embrace the change and get going on plans to expand our garden area in the upper yard. By next summer we hope to have a whole new look, more edibles and a lot more quietude.
Our garden this year was plentiful and gave us several pounds of snap peas, green beans, and shelling beans. We also had a good crop of radishes, lovely oak leaf lettuce that has yet to bolt and a few small carrots for nibbling (my favorite seed source for PNW people). Two potatoes from our weekly produce delivery had sprouted over the winter, so we cut them up and planted them as well. From those two we harvested about 5 pounds of new potatoes including this guy, who we named potato bear. Grrrr!
I've also been devoting some time to making levain bread at home, following the method from Tartine bakery. My friend Deb gave me their bread book shortly before Jonas was born and it took me about 3 years to actually try making the bread. The loaves are made from 100% natural yeast starter and I have had some issues trying to culture my own bread starters in the past. This time around, things went better and I patiently waited for a nice mature starter to form. The first loaf I baked was a dud, but I read up on the method and subsequently had some tasty success. The book itself is lovely and has a few variations on the classic loaf, plus a brioche recipe and other savory and sweet dishes that can be made from leftover bread. Here is a loaf (50% whole wheat) that I baked last week.
It smelled amazing too.