Tie dye

image

Celebrations…celebrations are rituals we perform. They are important.  I think holidays are a  way of stopping and marking time, to remember, to reconnect, to reach out. I once worked for someone that didn’t want to observe holidays, it was strange to me. In the United States we are such a melting pot which is great on one hand because you can adopt all kinds of traditions from varying cultures. But on the other hand, our traditions are watered down with so many other influences, it’s hard to remember it’s not just another sales event. I like a reason to stop and do things maybe a little out of the ordinary. Almost all celebrations are centered around food, and one thing is for sure, that gives me reason to go over the top with cooking and baking!

This past weekend was no different. Jerry and Scott are back and so began a wild frenzy of shopping and prepping, cleaning and cooking. After a delicious breakfast of fresh picked blueberries and peaches, blueberry pancakes, eggs and sausages.  We started cooking at 9am we smoked ribs three ways, smoked a pork butt too. We grilled corn and made cole slaw and baked beans and fruit salad and banana cream pie.

It was a crazy strange group of friends and family, with all the regular drama and issues people bring together, I imagine it would look like a tie dyed shirt from afar. Energy and excitement, pain and despair, sickness and health, love and hate, old and new. The human condition, in a microcosm of a group all brought together to hopefully enjoy lovingly prepared food in our humble backyard! A reason to celebrate.

.image

Just Peachy

New kitchen!

New kitchen!

Right now in Florida it is blueberry and peach season, my favorites! I have some blueberry bushes that are loaded with fruit, they are just taking their sweet time ripening. I also have two peach trees and a nectarine tree that are starting to ripen, they are delicious! I am pretty sure we will eat them all straight off the tree! Luckily we have some “you pick” places right near us. Tomorrow morning I think MacKenzie, my dog, and I will go peach picking. I would love to make some peach and blueberry jam and some cobblers and pies. I love the golden sweet juiceyness of the peaches and the deep blue little berries, they are beautiful together.

Right now the farm is amazing, everything is in bloom or has fruit. It is a bit of work, but it is very rewarding to grow your own food, it just tastes so much better!  Very different from the pale tasteless stuff you buy at the grocery stores. We just did a mini kitchen make over, that is absolutly amazing!  Our kitchen has always been small and never had enough storage or lighting. We all cook, and it was a pain in the neck trying to find stuff. We were actually storing pots and pans in the bathtub and the oven. So when you wanted to cook, to preheat the oven you had to take all the pots out and stack them on the table, then you had no room to prep, ugh! So…We got a large standing cabinet with shelves and doors and we put in a large island with 3 cabinets and drawers underneath. We bought these awesome industrial lights and put two over the island and one over the sink. It feels like a new house!  The kitchen has always been the heart of our house, when people come to visit everyone sits around the kitchen table talking, laughing, cooking, and eating.  Now we have a wonderful, comfortable, and inviting place to play and work in. Right now I have a little time on my hands since Jerry is in California and Scott is in New York, sounds like a good time to organize! Before I leave for LA in a few weeks. Everything is just peachy!!!

Pickin and a Grinin!

Berry good!

Berry good!

Where we live it’s blueberry season. Everywhere you look there are you pick signs, enticing you in to get some of these delicious little jewels. Blueberry bushes are beautiful with their silvery green foliage and the varying shades of blue/purple berries. They are one of those foods that are not only delicious they are power packed full of healthiness too! They serve as a major antioxidant source because of their high vitamin C content, they are also anti-inflammatory because of the phytochemical resveratrol levels. It has also been said they could help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s, hepatitis c, uti’s , and lowering cholesterol, they’re just really good for you!

So last weekend we went to Sugarhill Farm and picked to our hearts content. They hooked us up with these little blueberry picking harnesses and buckets (really?) We had a blast! It was so beautiful and peaceful out in the field, listening to the birds and watching the butterfly’s fluttering around, not to mention the silly banter of my brother, Scott and his mother! We got lost in our picking and came away with about 3 buckets full! Of course we had to pretend we were dragging in, heavily laden with berries! I have to admit the harnesses were helpful you could use both hands to pick!  I can see why poet Robert Frost was inspired to write a poem entitled “Blueberries”

Ok now what to do with all these berries? Well we ate our share right off the bush and when we got home we washed them and dried them and we juiced some and froze some. I have made a blueberry crumb cake and blueberry turnovers. I made some delicious jam and next I want to make some muffins and maybe even some blueberry pancakes for the weekend. You would think I would be getting sick of blueberries but no…I think I might just have a glass of blueberry wine this evening!

Blueberry Jam

Blueberry Jam