It's been beautiful lately. Just perfect; sunny and in the eightees. Good weather for working outside, and we've done plenty of that. In fact, we've been spending a whole lot of time in the backyard. During the day, we've been having our famous work parties. Which basically means a great lunch (most likely with wine or beer) and then work. Everybody gets to work on something and I love that.
Here is part of our crew; my father in law has taken it upon himself to sand, caulk and paint the back of our house. Last summer he did the front, this summer he's doing the back. Very handy relatives to have around, wouldn't you say!
French drain work continues. More on this later.
I don't think you can eat much better than the way we do. Lately this has been on the menu:
Smoked salmon salad with barley and vegetables, sparkling wine to drink.
Perfectly ripe melon.
Awesome champagne, pita bread and hummous. And Swedish pierogies for the main dish.
(As can be seen we're getting plenty of use out of the tablecloth. I think the blue pattern just makes any kind of food look a little better!)
Lovely blueberry cobbler which really deserves a more thorough introduction. This one had ground almonds in the cobbler topping and we enjoyed it for dessert and then for breakfast for a couple of days with yogurt in the morning. I want to make more of it just for the breakfast reason alone.
I can't say we don't eat well. I know, we're spoiled.
And then after eating and drinking and working, we might take a break for a little while. Just to go out back a few hours later. To make a fire, talk about the latest topic of interest, and cook some more food. It's been pretty awesome. When we first made that little fire pit, I thought we would use it a lot. But I really didn't imagine we would use it this much. Luckily we build stuff with wood and have a lot of scraps to burn up!
(Grilled hot dogs on charred pita breads with mashed potatoes wrapped up - might sound weird, but it's great summer food!)
So the summer is progressing nicely. The drainage situation is moving forward, the house is getting a fresh coat of paint, I've done a lot of fun cooking and baking, another interesting piece of furniture has been made (!) and we get to make fires every night. Lovely.
Oh and on a separate note, did you know that you can cook broccoli leaves? I did not. But you can. Isn't that great? Doesn't that just blow your mind? I'm not sure if I'm getting accross how exciting that is. Have you ever seen broccoli leaves at the grocery store, at the Farmer's market? I haven't, so what do people do with the leaves? You can cook them! Why aren't people cooking with them?
If your broccoli plant is still producing, you don't want to take all the leaves, but I took one or two from each plant. Then I washed them, chopped them up and sauteed. They taste very similar to kale or chard cooked the same way. This was a new one for me. Exciting stuff around here....
I talked to my dad the other day. He asked if we're getting away on a real vacation this summer. A real vacation? Why would we need that? When we can dig trenches, make backyard fires and eat like kings and queens! Plus, if we don't get around to doing this stuff now, then when would we? We've got the summer all laid out for us here and more projects are in the works. Fun projects! Good summer so far!