My youngest daughter Mollie, even the mere mention of her name, makes me break out in a big grin.
She's a funny, funny girl. Her antics, her cheerful chatter and her kindness make her a wonderful girl and wonderful company.
This week she decided to make the roof of Joey's little barn her new hangout. She slipped a long piece of rope over the nearby walnut tree with a 3 quart basket tied to the end and from the roof pulls the basket up and down, expecting me to deposit the required items in the basket. You never know what you'll need on the roof of a barn. Last night I offered to put her dinner in the basket, but she declined, ambling down the ladder to join me in the kitchen.
This Thursday and for two weeks after, we'll have a new person joining us at the kitchen table for supper.
It is pretty exciting actually. We are playing host family for a young girl from Brooklyn, New York through the Fresh Air Fund. She'll get a little taste of life in rural Canada and we'll have the privilege of showing her around Niagara. Mollie is nervous...but thrilled too.
In the garden things are looking much better. My back is feeling much better too, so the weeds are getting pulled, slowly but surely, and the rain has definitely held off so things are much happier. I guess I am too. I'm feeling much more optimistic about this season and as I pick and pluck I'm thinking about the upcoming fall and winter season.
Perhaps it is the cool nights too this week. It seems so strange, but it has nearly been feeling like September mornings when I walk my dogs after breakfast. There is a chill in the air, the geese are flying and for some reason some of my trees are losing their leaves. All that is missing are the school buses.
I have been preparing garden areas over the last week for new plantings, and I plan on getting some of that planting done tomorrow. I'll get more beets in, lettuces, watermelon radishes, turnips and kohlrabi too. There is actually time to get a number of things in still. Kale, collards, carrots, winter radishes and you could even take a chance on a few summer crops like beans and summer squash. If you have seeds for these, check the days to maturity on the package and count ahead to see if you can squeeze it in before your usual frost date. Cool weather crops, as mentioned above are fine...they want the cool weather and do better because of it. The summer crops are iffy, but if you succeed aren't you just so clever!
Today's CSA baskets were pretty heavy. In the spring, with greens dominating I can carry 4 baskets at a time. Sometimes even 6.
Today it was definitely only 2 at a time. Baskets contained the following goodies: Potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, zucchini, peppers, kale, basil, eggplants, mouse melons and beets. The beets have delicious tops and can double for chard in any recipe at all.
Last night for supper I thinly sliced some onions and garlic, potatoes too and put them in a saute pan with olive oil. When they were nearly ready, I popped the torn kale on top, and cooked it down for about 5 minutes. Topped with sea salt, it was just yummy.
One of my favourite things to do with the beets is to roast them.
This recipe is one I cut from a local paper years ago.
3 or 4 beets
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp butter or veg alternative
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Scrub the beets and cut the tops to within 1 ". Wrap in foil and bake until easily pierced with a skewer. Remove from foil and let them cool until you can remove skin easily. Slice beets in a casserole dish. Heat sugar, butter and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle over sliced beets and season to taste with salt and pepper.