Friday, August 27, 2010

What Grew

Happy Weekend lovely people. I just enjoyed the phejezus out of two days at home with the kiddo. Work today and then a family day tomorrow, yay. As I write this Osh is most certainly being snuggled up by B's mom. Completely and totally fun to watch this guy charm a gal who has thus far just seen him in the sleepy newborn phase.

The kid is still a great napper, so days at home are a pretty delightful balance of playing or reading or walking with him and then kicking into Get Shit Done mode once his lids meet. I've been pickling red onions from the garden:

We've been baking with buckwheat:

So far we absolutely love this baking book. These are a slightly sandy (in a good way) buckwheat sugar cookie, rolled in poppyseeds. Perfect for tea time. The figgy buckwheat scones from the same book have been made multiple times and are so stinkin' good, I know they'll get made again and I will take a photo if they don't all jump immediately into my mouth. People who know how I feel about baked goods already know that I consider the fig to be one of the most underutilized yummy things in the world, ever, and buckwheat is just darn good.

We've been roasting squash:

And poblanos:

The garden saw some spectacular successes and a few failures this summer. We managed to really rock the storage crops; we grew well over a bushel of onions, an enormous bag of garlic, and about 150 pounds of winter squash. We also grew the first slicer tomato that really met our expectations (Paul Robeson, if you're curious) and finally met a paste tomato that kicked down the storm of tasty tomatoes we were longing for last year (Orange Banana Paste). In our misses, the beans needed a taller trellis, more diligent pest removal, and we needed at least two more rounds of plantings - no dilly beans this year. The sweet peppers had a hard go of it all around - late seeding and an outbreak of bacterial wilt left us with lots of red peppers but not the onslaught that we like. And then a few things just got away from us - the basil, for one, leaving our pesto stores slimmer than last year, and the cukes; many pounds of perfect pickling cukes eventually rotted in the fridge while we gazed at the baby. We also could have harvested our cabbages and carrots many weeks earlier but at least we ate those. All in all, considering the extreme heat, the dry spell, and the baby (who rocked his doc appointment last Thursday at 15 pounds, 25.5 inches thankyouverymuch), we are pretty happy. At this point we're pretty much down to eggplants and peppers for summer veggies; most of the beds are sown with peas and brassicas and carrots and beets. Welcome, fall, we're ready for you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

There and Back

Holy shit people, time has wings over here. Since we last talked, work ate my head, we traveled to West Virginia for the family reunion, and then work ate my head again. Can you guess which part was my favorite? Right. I actually have to go try to get some of my head back, so I leave you with just a small selections of the many faces of Osh. This kid's face is so expressive, we can (and do) watch him for hours at a time. Face TV.

Be well out there...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Good grief the days are flying by. Work gets crazier, Osh gets bigger, the garden spills baskets of tomatoes and peppers and squash into our kitchen. It's still hot as hell but in the dead of night I can feel fall lurking in the shadows. In the wee dark morning hours I stand in the kitchen, drinking water and soaking up the sound of the katydids, my favorite hallmark of summer. Not long for them now.

My mum has been to visit, and I cannot say here how completely awesome it is to see your mom fall in love with your kid. They snuggled and rolled on the floor and he shined his gazillion watt smile her way and she was a goner.

We do not dress this guy very often, it's so friggin' hot that he's either naked or just barely, but one afternoon a chilly breeze rolled through and we played dress up...

That swirl. Effing. Kills me.

Who wouldn't be? The guy is so cool. Yesterday when I came home from work I flopped on the floor and read my book to him and he talked and smiled and wiggled himself to sleep and my heart nearly burst just watching his little (big) hands clutch and unclutch a piece of my shirt. We spend pretty much zero time trying to get him to sleep, he just has a loose routine and conks out regularly throughout the day. Nights have fallen into a steady pattern - snacks at 1 and 4 please, some crib time in the early early morning so that he can snort and snuffle as he pleases and we can sleep. Yesterday during the wiggling and smiling I found myself, really for the first time, thinking, "Oh god, he won't do this forever" and I had to try not to squeeze him too hard in my moment of panic and crazy desire to freeze time. That toothless baby smile will live in my brain forever as a piece in my collection of things that mean love.

Ya know, usual caveat about my camera making everything look like poo...

I have been baking like a freak. Fresh fig and honey cream galette, from my go-to fruit book. Brown butter peach bars (fucking labor intensive and dial back the sugar, but yum). Breastfeeding will do that to you I guess.

Speaking of breasts, can I just take a moment here to lament that my boobs are preventing me from wearing about 95% of my clothing? I feel that I was very patient with the sartorial sacrifices of pregnancy. I bought and wore two pair of pants for the entirety of the my-old-clothes-don't-fit stages (and they were identical). Two! For something like six months! You all know that I am a complete clothes whore, so let's hear it for my spartan success in this department. So, you know, I was mildly excited to open up the closet and don something from my life-as-a-skinny-girl. Forget it! Waists zip up with little protest, but good luck stuffing these gals into anything tailored. Even t-shirts feel a little shocking, after years of having boobs that were pretty much an afterthought. I look in the mirror and find myself thinking "Mmm, chesty." (Yes, I am a dirty old man about even my own rack.) ANYWAY. It will be cardigan weather soon enough, surely those will still fit?

May your favorite clothes fit today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


This was Osh's face when I told him that I had to go to work this morning. Yup, you heard me: work. I am not going to lie and say that I skipped out the door, but as I pulled out of the driveway I was swamped by a deep appreciation for the fact that I wasn't leaving my baby with a stranger. Or a stranger with twelve other kids to care for. I realize that lots and lots of amazing people provide childcare to folks who need it and that those people quickly cease to be strangers. But on this cloudy Monday morning I am so glad that he is at home with his Papa. Who I have already emailed and talked to on the phone about eleven times and I've not even had lunch yet. So far we are all peachy. I wouldn't say that I missed my job, but it feels good to be back. I saw one of my favorite people right when I got out of my car, and I took it to be a good omen. Plus, it sure is lovely out here and these few remaining weeks without the insanity of students is time that flies quickly.

This is a leek-tomato-gruyere galette. Someday I will own the camera that makes my food look as good as it tastes, but until then just take my word for it: this thing rocked. Just roll out your favorite savory crust, cook some leeks in some butter with salt and pepper, grate some gruyere, and slice some heirlooms. Bake it, hang on to that hat.

B and I had another weekend of Busy with Busy. We picked another six gallons of blueberries, made peach sauce, made strawberry sauce, made a huge batch of amazing tomato sauce from all the mountains of tomatoes in our garden. Goodies for colder months. Osh hangs in his new little seat, either taking in every little detail or fast asleep. We got such an awesome baby, I mean it. During the day this is pretty much how we go: eat, hang out for a while smiling and laughing and wiggling and cooing, get a little fussy for a second, take a nap. Repeat. Repeat. Sometimes repeat again. Go to bed. Eat a few times, maybe, make it until five in the morning, turn into a gremlin for two hours. Begin again. Gremlin? Yup. Gremlin time is when he's kind of asleep, but kind of awake. He's noisy. Like snorty kind of noisy. It's hilarious, but really, really hard to sleep with. And he is awake enough to need some comforting. We take turns, it's not so bad. The hard part is remembering to take a nap when he naps. There's so much at our house to do! It will be easier when fall comes. I am looking forward to snuggly snoozing in cooler weather, yes I am.