Yesterday morning, Connor pitched in to help me make a simple Father’s Day breakfast for his dad.
I was already working on an early afternoon dinner for 8, so I didn’t want it to be some big elaborate morning meal. These pancakes are about as light and fluffy as it gets.
Plus, with the two of us working together, it was a breeze to get on the table in less than 20 minutes.
June 17, 2013 3 Comments
Ten years ago, in 2003, we had a huge peach tree. I’d have to say it was too huge!
Somehow, it had grown completely out of control and sadly, this was what happened to it. It was so top-heavy and so full of heavy ripe peaches, that most of the branches broke from the weight.
I did what any resourceful woman would do – I had an impromptu “Pick Your Own Peaches” Dinner Party. To attend, you had to pick as many peaches as humanly possible and take them home with you! You were rewarded with dinner and profuse amounts of gratitude.
The tree was never quite the same. We had another couple of years of good harvest, but it was an ugly tree after all those branches broke off in such an inhuman way.
Then, in December of 2007, we took our back yard down to the dirt, literally. We took out and filled in the old plaster diving pool. We tore down the south and west sides of our block wall fence and the entire narrow covered patio, plus the dated columns that held it up.
And we said goodbye to the peach tree – and just about every other living thing in the back yard. The peach tree used to stand where that orange trash dumpster sits, in the photo above. And that’s my gorgeous Tanqueray in the center of the photo. How I miss my sweet boy!
All that was left were the citrus trees … the branches of the lemon tree are seen on the right, while the orange and grapefruit trees are out of view along that same side of the yard. Plus the orchid tree, which is on the far left of the photo, but can be seen more clearly in the photo above this, directly behind Tanqueray. Also saved was the large fig tree, which is out of view, but is on the back side of that orange dumpster. The two queen palms were later transplanted, but in the end, didn’t survive. The tall eucalyptus trees in the background, used to be on the side of our front yard, but we pushed out the fence and they now line the western edge of the back yard.
After living in a pile of dirt, dust, and far too often, mud, that wet winter – we were hugely rewarded in May 2008 with a beautiful backyard oasis.
I will soon be showing you more photos of the yard, because we are about to embark on phase two of the backyard remodel. Anyhow, a new tiny peach tree replaced the previous monster. It’s hard to make out, because it’s so small and barely in the picture, but if you look closely, you’ll see it on the far left center edge of the photo. That spot of green against the white of the house, that’s it!
Here is what it looks like now. It’s a dwarf peach tree, so it is still small today. This photo was taken exactly one month ago. It may be little but I generally get a nice size basket or two of fruit from it each year. More than enough for just Dave and I.
Along with plenty of peaches to make the dessert in yesterday’s post and enough “just eating” peaches, I was able to make a main course peach dish with what I harvested this year.
June 15, 2013 4 Comments
When we left for Hawaii on May 22, the peaches on my tree looked as if they would be ripe any day.
Connor would be coming home on the weekends while we were away and Marissa was home one short weekend for the wedding shower of her college roommate, Paige.
The wedding is in August and Marissa is a bridesmaid.
I told both the kids and my dad to keep and eye on the peaches and to please please please pick and eat them. I hated the thought of the luscious fruit going to waste.
If not picked, they’d either fall off the tree and rot, or more likely, the bugs would get to them as soon as they ripened. The idea of it made my stomach actually ache.
When we arrived home on June 3rd, surprisingly there were still peaches on the tree! My dad said that they were always hard as rocks when he checked and I never did remember to ask the kids if they had any.
The little fruit flies, gnats, or whatever those nasty little bugs are, had already been to work on more than 2 dozen of the peaches, but I was able to pick a decent boxful! Joy!
I made a delicious Peachy-Chicken entree one night (coming soon to a post near you) and today I am using the last of the peaches for this dessert.
It’s a partially-make-ahead dish. I’m starting it today and we will be enjoying it on Sunday for Father’s Day.
Of course, I had to make one serving from start to finish so I could photograph and post it for you today.
The things I do and the sacrifices I make for you people!
June 14, 2013 3 Comments
I was using up cooked wheat berries that I had left in my freezer from THIS recipe. You could use cooked quinoa, Israeli (pearl) couscous, farro, bulgur, or barley for this delicious and refreshing summer salad.
May 28, 2013 2 Comments
As I mentioned a few days ago, I make it my mission to clean out the fresh food in my refrigerator before we go out of town. The easiest way to do that in the winter is to make a soup and the easiest way the rest of the year is to make pasta. I call this “garbage” pasta, because I’ll put any and everything in it.
This particular time, I had a partial box of cherry tomatoes plus fresh heirloom tomatoes from my garden. In addition there were partial bags of green beans and sugar snap peas. I always have garlic and onion on hand, so those always start the dish.
The first step is to get a big pot of water boiling. Add salt and blanch vegetables such as the green beans, sugar snap peas, asparagus, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower for a couple minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove them and have a big bowl of ice water ready to drop them into – to stop the cooking.
Once they’ve cooled down, drain and set aside.
May 27, 2013 1 Comment
Connor requested two things for his birthday dinner – Grilled Pizza and Baby Back Ribs.
I can easily do that and was more than happy to fulfill his modest request!
May 26, 2013 1 Comment
I made Connor a special breakfast to celebrate his birthday. As I’ve mentioned before, Connor loves lobster!
This lobster dinner, 13 years ago in Maine, was to celebrate his birthday too.
May 25, 2013 5 Comments
Happy 22nd Birthday to my fabulous son, Connor!
Please know that even though I’m not with you today, you are in my heart and on my mind. I love you from here to the moon and back! xoxo
Here is the classic and easy to make chocolate sheet cake I made for my boy. With lots of pictures showing each step. I was camera happy this day!
May 24, 2013 4 Comments
This potato salad was the second side to my patriot menu. The entrée and full menu will follow, tomorrow.
Creamy Dijon & Dill Potato Salad
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and left whole
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 small red onion, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup tightly packed chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
May 18, 2013 3 Comments
This is the dessert I made for the last class of my 3-week cooking series at Les Gourmettes Cooking School. The semester ended last night – it is officially summer for me. No more classes until September.
Since I made this during class, I don’t have any step-by-step photos for you, but the recipe is straight forward.
This is the perfect dessert for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, or honestly for any day of the week this summer. Enjoy!
May 16, 2013 5 Comments