Summer … the dog days … there’s something in the air that gives me an interesting problem: I have so much I want to say; so many thoughts swirling around and mingling in my brain; myriad intersections of topics; soapbox rants; discussions; updates … and what happens? I don’t write a thing. Apparently I just talk a whole lot instead. My mama told me just this afternoon that I basically never stop talking, and that there is a near-constant stream of words. When I imposed a brief (and very difficult) vow of silence on her, in petty retribution, she told me I should probably start speaking again before my brain exploded (Note: paraphrase. Also: love you, mama!).
Faux-monastic vows of silence aside, our days have felt crammed with summer day camp, sticky fingers, unexpected mud baths, meals to be prepared and cleaned up after, cats who need thorough brushing, cats who think it’s funny to sneak upstairs and hide under the couch while we turn the house upside down, zucchini gone rogue … you see the picture, I am sure.
Thus, I present a random mishmash of what’s rattling around upstairs, to clear the dewy, summer cobwebs. Reader, ye be warned.
Zucchini: Let’s Start Here
Whether you call it Zucchini, Courgette, or Marrow, the humble squash is such a grand gift, and I mean that sincerely. The plants yield up so much summer goodness, providing us with one squash after another until we think we simply cannot stand it. We bake, we freeze, we make soup, casserole, and vegetable medley. Still, they lurk … in the countertop and in the garden. Overnight they double, nay, triple in size, leaving us scratching our heads and swearing ‘I just checked it yesterday!’ Oh, crazy zucchini, … I love you.
In keeping with the produce theme, I have to say that my tomatoes are really unattractive this year. It’s a good thing that I am happy to eat ugly produce because … woof. Luckily, it’s not just me. I have heard from a number of sources that tomatoes are being high-maintenance divas this year. On the flip side, my pepper plants are knocking it out of the park. Jalapeños, habaneros, Hinklehatz, Thai chiles, and sweet bell peppers are all looking mighty fine … To be fair, the tomatoes I have gotten thus far have been sizable and tasty. One picked the other day, which looked like a freak vegetable contestant, weighed in at 2.5 pounds.
I was talking to Mr. Thistle the other night, and remarked that I had reached my saturation point with the summer insect parade. “When did this happen?” he queried, remembering my former days marked by stalwart tolerance and mutual respect of insect life. No more, gentle reader. My karma has really taken a beating over the last few weeks, as I have, without too much remorse, squashed all manner of annoying insects, from whining mosquitoes to hectoring flies. I am normally a live-and-let-live kind of girl, but there is something primal released when I see, say, a mosquito, hovering in the vicinity of Little Thistle. I am no longer a zen master, nay, but rather a
stealthy flailing assassin, violently brandishing my (new! leather! German!) flyswatter. Mosquitoes suck. (Insert chortle here).
Little Thistle: Gone Mobile
Speaking of Little Thistle, following the grand tradition established by his big sister, at a mere six months, our dear Little Thistle has become fully baby-mobile and now perambulates around the house with joyful abandon, like a giddy inchworm. Yet again, Mr. Thistle and I have realized how un-baby-proof our home is. Fun times (and stairway gates) ahead! Little Thistle may also be commended for the recent acquisition of four lovely teeth!
Ice Cream Churn
I made ice cream in my six-years-ago-Costco-impulse-buy ice cream churn. (I now stay far away from the housewares aisles, in case you were wondering. They always have something I ‘need’). I had used the appliance before, but had not released its full churning potential. I would hate (and yet … love) to make a resolution to use it more often, but that seems like a slippery and oh-so-delicious slope towards there being more of me to love. We are having a party this weekend, hence my ice cream making extravaganza. I prepared two recipes: 1) Blueberry Goat Cheese and 2) Brown Sugar ice cream, both from the fabulous Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker. Both recipes can be found in her book, Homemade Decadence. Highly recommend.
The abovementioned party in question is the celebration of Miss Thistle’s fifth (!) birthday. How this has occurred is beyond all possible limits of the imagination. Dear Reader, it is simply not feasible that she has already reached five years of age. She was just born! (She wasn’t). I am still in my twenties! (I’m not). I am coping with this effrontery by doing very reasonable things, like making everything from scratch including ice cream, bagels, and quite possibly beignets. Miss Thistle requested a breakfast party (my favorite meal, bless her heart) so I figured it was a good excuse to make all manner of tasty breakfast vittles. (Hi, yes, I know it’s spelled ‘victuals.’ Don’t judge me or my folksy alter-ego).
Cats on the Loose
Our little band of felines has been unusually out-setting these past few days. Though they are usually well-behaved and politely adhere to their designated house boundaries (who am I kidding … they’re cats), the kitties have been developing a pattern of escapism that leads them on merry, roving explorations of all corners of The Thistle Field. Miss Thistle has no small role in this, seeing as she has been leaving the door open with regularity, causing me to bite back and subsequently swallow the oft-cited phrase “Were you born in a barn?” (She wasn’t).
This Has Really Gone Off the Rails
As is often the case, I have devolved into rambling, and shall thus conclude. I am sure I will have something substantive to share in the near future, so until then … keep summering on!
What’s going on where you are? Is anyone else feeling as bug-phobic as I am this year? Haaaaalp!