Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

I don’t keep a lot garden statuary at my farm, but a few of my faves are musts… St Francis, Saint Fiacre, a couple of garden fairies, and a few frogs I’ve collected over the years or have been gifted. They say frogs and toads are an awesome addition to any garden. Sharing your garden with a resident toad or two is a great way to bring down the pest population of buggies, slugs and snails and in all likelihood if you’re lucky enough to have them, a great indication of a pretty clean environment.

At my old farm, I had a gazillion toads as we were plagued with slugs there.. but it’s not the case at this new location, as it’s very dry and located in full sun from dawn to dusk. And some days I kind of miss seeing them… the toads, not the slugs! 🙂

But then last night I was pleasantly surprised as I went along the rows of squash I was picking for dinner. I’m not sure if our monsoon rain washed him in or not, but boy, was I happy to find him! And though it’s nearing the end of another season, I secretly hopes he plans to set up housekeeping.

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…. of the season. Major cheat, but just couldn’t resist. 🙂 Yumma!

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Yesterday was another glorious beach day here. Our off season can be real treasures. Spotted this UFO flying over main beach.

… and this little cutie pie dipping her toes in the ocean probably for the last time this year. she was just so happy with herself!

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I just love pickled veggies. Crunchy, with a great garlic bite…with a hint of dill flavor, plus they are easy peasy to make, and make a great healthy snack or side dish. So, as it’s a cool and drizzly Labor Day here.. it was just perfect for spending the morning tackling some pickling.

Summer is winding down, and if I have to spend time in the kitchen canning, September’s clearly the month for me. Cooler, dryer days vs. August’s sweltering humid days… and I think I enjoy processing this time of year the most too, because now.. everything being made in my kitchen, is for my family or me! Farmers market will close in just a couple of more weeks and then the buttoning up of the farm begins, to close out yet another albeit odd and challenging growing season, but still a most productive one.

Our many tourists have packed it up, and heading back down south, ( * whispering, hooray! LOL) the kiddies back to school… apples, cider, pumpkins and comfort food meal menus will begin… and then there’s also football season! This is another of my fave seasons.. quieter (clearly), less hectic (for certain), solitude.. (my time) with long lazy daily walks on the beach (what’s not to love?) LOL

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Shark bait! ❤ 🙂 LOL!

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There is something about fresh eggplant that is so appealing to me. I’m not sure if it’s all the colorful varieties and various shapes that draws me … but the deep shiny plum hooks me every time! It’s just a gorgeous vegetable.  

The family arrives tonight for vacation. I cannot wait! 🙂 Plenty of laughter, plenty of catching up.. and plenty of big appetites. So last night, as expected, my phone rings…

“Hey Ma, can you make a tray of eggplant parm for dinner tomorrow night”? Ayup, I knew they’d all be tired and hungry after the long trip north. Kids! ❤

So early this morn I headed to the farm for some fresh eggplant, zucchini, herbs and of course.. tomatoes to prepare the eggplant parm for them. But at the last minute once I got back to my kitchen decided instead on making a tray of ratatouille manicotti with meatballs and sausage instead. An easy dish to prepare, fewer carbs and just plain delicious! Two trays are now made.. one traditional manicotti filled with ricotta and spinach.. the second, filled with only eggplant ratatouille. And for my fussy eater.. one small eggplant parm casserole.. or I’ll never hear the end of it! LOL
There’s no question in my mind, they’ll polish off every last bit of dinner, so it’ll be an easy clean up. Best of all for me though, will be looking right into their eyes and to see their smiling faces again while knowing I grew everything that will be bringing those smiles to their faces. 🙂 The dessert will be a surprise!

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