Happiest of Happy Mondays!
For my U.S. friends, I hope your Fourth of July celebrations were wonderful! What a lovely change from last year, right? With both of our kids and my mom out of town, ours was on the quiet side, but that was actually just perfect. We just returned from a perfect couple of days in Charleston, SC, and are getting ready to head back out of town in a couple of days, so low key was just what we needed.
Speaking of Charleston, I do believe we traipsed through every single art gallery downtown! In fact, our daily agenda went pretty much like this: wake up, relax for a bit, walk through art galleries, eat a wonderful lunch, walk through art galleries, eat a wonderful dinner, sleep. In other words, sheer bliss! And, as if it couldn’t get any better, we were lucky enough to catch up with some wonderful friends for a truly fun evening of food and laughter.
We returned home to a garden bursting with tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and eggplant! I’ve already put up two jars of dill pickles with this easy jar-by-jar pickle recipe. In fact, we enjoyed some of these ‘Clausen-like’ crisp pickles on our burgers last night.
This time of the year, our meals revolve around what we harvest from our garden. We eat a lot of Caprese, green beans, and cucumber salad! I am going to make a tomato tart for dinner tonight, served with roasted eggplant and green beans! YUM!
I’ve told you about our mystery cucurbits that were volunteers from our compost bin. Well, seems the mystery is partially solved. We also returned to discover that the large plant that will likely take over our front yard by summer’s end is…drumroll…a white pumpkin! I know I bought white pumpkins last fall, but what I don’t know is if this is a mini white pumpkin or a large white pumpkin. I guess time will tell.
In the meantime, this sprawling vine has overtaken the carefully planned and planted flower garden bed that faces the street. But, there is no part of me that wants to pull it out, so there it is.
I baked this Strawberry Jam Cake last weekend and sent half of it home with Kate when she returned to Philadelphia. It is buttery and moist with ribbons of strawberries and strawberry jam and just really yummy. I used this Strawberry Rhubarb Jam as the jam base, but you could use any strawberry jam. In fact, you could easily substitute any fruit and fruit jam. I’m considering making it again with blueberries and blueberry jam or plums and this plum jam.
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How are you keeping cool during these hot summer months?
Here are some ideas to keep you busy in the cooler indoors.
Knit some blankets! Here are 8 free blanket patterns for your perusal.
Join the 6-weeks declutter challenge which targets each area of your home with tips and checklists.
Bake the cookies in the morning before the heat of the day and then enjoy these ice cream cookie sandwiches during the afternoon.
Make these lavender-scented sachets for yourself and to give as gifts.
Put together a House Paint touch-up kit and then take a walk around your home and touch up your walls.
Stay cool, my friends. I will be staying with friends at a lake in Virginia next Monday and not sure of my internet connection. So, if we don’t chat next week, I’ll catch you the week after.