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Archive for September, 2009

We’ve made it all the way to Thursday and are still happily eating food that we got last Saturday at the Farmer’s Market.  As we get closer to the end of the week I am thinking about how to use what we have to make room for whatever will be waiting for us when we go next Saturday.

tomatoes

One of the exciting things about this time of year is that uncommon varieties of everyday vegetables are appearing, like this Romanesco, an incredibly beautiful green fractal cauliflower (or is it a cabbage?),

romescu

and the striking radicchio di Treviso.

trevisso

It’s also a good time of year to hoard garlic,

shadygarlic

and stock up on cabbage.

cabbage

Now, what to make for dinner?

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Cheese plate

Every family probably has those stories that, when told in the right company, only require a word or two to make everyone break into laughter.  The two words that evoke that reaction in my family are “cheese plate.”  It’s actually funny that this is the case, since one of S’s favorite parts about eating out is the chance to order a selection of cheeses instead of a more traditional, sweet, dessert.

Despite S’s love of cheese, we rarely go to the trouble of assembling a cheese plate at home; last night was an exception.

biggercheeseplate

This past week at the farmer’s market we discovered a new cheese producer, Monteillet Fromagerie, located in Dayton, WA.  After tasting a few of the cheeses they had for sale we settled on two:  The sheep and goat’s milk aged, semi-hard, Causse Noir, and the soft, 100% goat’s milk Larzac.  For our cheese plate last night, we paired the Causse Noir with Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue.

smokeyblue

Fresh figs,

figs

roasted Oregon hazelnuts,

hazelnutbag

Viridian Farms grapes

grapesand some local blackberry honey

honeyjar

completed the spread.   This was one cheese plate that didn’t make us laugh!

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More knitted gifts

When I was in Maine in July one of my most enjoyable evenings was spent having dinner with a close friend and her family.  When I arrived at my friend’s house, I was greeted by her two young children who were both eager to show me around.  The house tour was even more fun than most (I am one of those people who loves to see other people’s houses) because of the kids’ enthusiasm and because it was so much fun to see them so grown up and excited to show me their new home.

At the end of the tour my friend’s daughter brought out the hat I had made for her when she was born, and with a little prompting from her mom, remembered that she wanted to ask me if I could make her a new, bigger, pink and purple one.  Of course, it was impossible for me to resist her request.

evashat4 evashat2

Also of course, making one for her required making an even bigger, mostly green one for her brother.

williamshatwilliamshat4

I’ll stop at the Post Office on my way home from work tomorrow.

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cabbage

Finally, after about a month of life interfering with what should be our weekly trip to the Portland Farmer’s Market, we made it back today.  And what a day it was.  The market was overflowing with late summer and early fall colors and flavors.

There were peaches

peaches

and grapes.

purplegrapes

Pumpkins

pumpkins

and beans.

beans

Beets

beets

and brussels sprouts.

brusselssprout

There are always flowers at the market, but this week they seemed particularly riotous.

flowerflower2

flowers2

flowers3flowers

floweryellow

And the artichokes put on a particularly good show as well.

artichokeflower

artichokes

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Beautiful things

mexicanglasses4

I feel lucky to live in a house surrounded by beautiful things.  Especially beautiful things that remind me of places I have been and people I love.

mexicanglass

I remember these golden glasses from when I was a little girl growing up in St. Louis and listening to my parents talk about the year they spent in Mexico right after they were married.

mexicanglasses

This story, as I remember it, began in Iowa City where my parents were living at the time.  They boarded the train there, stopped in St. Louis to get married (never imagining that they would end up moving there only a few years later), and ended up, after 7 months in Mexico City, in what was at the time the small, off-the-beaten-path, mountain town, budding artists’ colony, of San Miguel de Allende.   I don’t know where my parents got these glasses, whether they bought them for themselves or received them as a gift, but they came home with them.

mexicanglasses5

In 1973 my parents returned to San Miguel, this time in a VW bus loaded with three children, two manual typewriters, and everything our family needed for a year in Mexico.  During that year (I was in the 8th grade) I stopped sulking about leaving my friends in St. Louis and learned how to bargain with vegetable sellers in the open air market, how to make tortillas in front of the fireplace, and to love Mexico as much as my mother and father did.

mexicanglasses2

I brought many things home from my year in Mexico; somehow these glasses from my parents’ first shared trip there hold the memories that matter.

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Knitted gifts

foldedblanket2

One of my dearest friends is having a baby and I have been working on and off all summer on a gift for her (and the baby).  Now that fall is here, the baby is almost here as well.  Fortunately, I finished the blanket

foldedblanket

and the matching hat

hat

today.

hatandblanket Blanketandhat

I’ll mail them tomorrow.

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Harvest

This weekend it has started to feel like fall around here; there have been a series of rainy days and the air is cool, even when the sun shines.

pepperandflower

The changing season and the start of a new school year remind me of my own good fortune as I get ready to return to work in times that are so difficult for so many.

In the garden the end of summer is apparent as well.  Peppers are ripening,

greenpepper

redpepper

and so are the tomatillos.

tomatillo

The herbs continue to grow as well, with sage,

sageleaves2

thyme,

thyme

and sorrel still green and fresh.

sorrelleaves

Some of the plants are still flowering, including peppers,

pepperflower

cucumbers,

cukeflower

chives,

chiveflowers

and eggplants.

eggplantflower

We’ll have to see how far they get before the first frost.

reflections

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