Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dreaming of Tuscany

Having completely thrown over my plans to spend the day with the apples, I've instead been pouring through A Thousand Days in Tuscany, a book my Mom brought over last night. I've taken a brief break from reading to start a loaf of Schiacciata Toscana, or Tuscan Flat Bread. I love books with related recipes written in them. I'm guessing it will be like a fochacia bread with fresh rosemary, sea salt, and olive oil as focal ingredients. It contains a fair amount of cornmeal so that will add a bit of a different texture, I think.

I dashed out back and picked some rosemary and basil. I have a bowl full of fresh tomatoes and am trying to figure out what all I want to make. Maybe some pasta with grilled chicken? Shall I pick some beans to add to the mix? A bit of zucchini is always good with the abundance we have right now. Decisions, decisions. How blessed we are to have all that we do!

The bread is on its second rising and I've just minced the rosemary so my hands are fragrant with that delicious piney scent.

We've just tucked the boys in for naps and I need to spend more time outside cleaning up the garden spaces. I pulled the sunflowers out over several days this week and discovered all sorts of things still growing, hiding and seeking out a bit of sunshine. We'll see how they do know that the crazy canopy of sunflowers is gone. I've been collecting seeds from the various flower heads for planting next year.

I am planning on not having the sunflowers in that garden area next year. I also think the mallows and cosmos were a bit much. They simply all engulfed the smaller plants and groundcovers I put in. Right now there are purple mums blooming away, a purple delphinium, and one purple anenome. The gladiolus came in purple as did a mystery bulb. There are a lot of different greens from the rosemary and basil plants to the lemon balm and baby tears.

Besides all the glorious shades of purple, there are bright spots from the nasturtiums and a few forget-me-nots. The forget-me-not seeds are easy to save as they are little burrs and I am forever picking them off of whatever I've worn into the garden. They also love to attach themselves to my hair where I seem to find them hours later.

As the days cool we're spending as much time out back as we can. The boys played out back as I pulled and cut and tended the gardens yesterday. They love their sandbox and running through the grass. Pumpkin loves to see all that's still growing and is happily counting watermelons and cantaloupes. I'm amazed by the tomatoes and beans! Some of the tomatoes are enormous and I hope they ripen up this week.

This is so wonderful to be enjoying the bounty. Worth all the endless hours of work this spring and summer to make it all happen. I will be even happier next year when all I have to do is plant and not do all the work we did to get this all going. We still have the old garden area to whip into shape and I am planning on doing more weed pulling as soon as I can put the bread in the oven.


PS- Here's the link to the Spice Pumpkin Waffles. The chutney recipe requires me typing more, so it'll be up another day.


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Let me know what you think of the book, it sounds really interesting.

We had a very successful garden except for tomatoes. The unusual weather this summer caused problems with many veggies.

It is true that there is a shortage of canned pumpkin right now due to the unusually cool summer.

Speaking of which, I don't know if you heard there may be a sugar shortage? There is a discussion as to whether it will happen or not. I do know the cost of sugar has gone up a great deal.

BaileyZimmerman said...

Tuscany is worth the dreaming....we had a wonderful time together....maybe someday all the girls in the family can go and wonder the Tuscan hills!!

A Simple Country Girl said...

What a beautiful blog! You share God's gift of nature and love so wonderfully.


Raquel said...

Kimberly: Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog. I have really enjoyed reading yours a lot. I would like the recipe for that apple chutney, that sounds great. I picked 6 ripe tomatoes last night, and I think I am going to take the rest and make some end-of-the-garden relish. Much love - Raquel XO

Anonymous said...

Kimberly, I haven't been on your blog for a while. Found you again through your current comment on Rhonda's. I too know no others who live like Rhonda and Brenda etc except in the blog world. It has always been our way of life but I have learned so many new things through the blogs. It feels so good to know others out there live and enjoy life like this too. Isen't it wonderful if we no longer can visit over the fence we have the internet! Your blog design is so very beautiful!! :) I will not loose your address again and will be returning regularly. Thankyou for posting. Jody


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