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Farm Girl

Aug 28

2012

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Ojai Farmers Market

Sunday found us back at the Ojai Farmers Market, which is always a favorite of mine with its laid back atmosphere that gives me endless time to browse and linger.  There is always a really good selection of produce, soaps, cheese, breads, a great tamil stand and an old time blue grass band.

Aug 20

2012

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Summer Delights

Arkansas Black Apple

These apples are harvested in late September through October. It is known for its dark colouration and its pleasantly sweet taste.

Fresh berries before the last crops disappear are perfect for a traditional English summer pudding.

 

Summer Pudding

– Ingredients –

1-1/4 cups sugar

Juice and peel of 1 lemon

1 lb. strawberries cut in half lengthwise

1/2 lb. blackberries

1/2 lb. blueberries

3/4 lb. rasberries

15 -20 very thin slices of white bread, crusts trimmed

2 cups freshly whipped cream

– Directions –

1. Cook sugar, lemon juice, peel, and 2 1/4 cups water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium, add strawberries, and poach for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer strawberries to a bowl. Poach blackberries in the same syrup for 30 seconds, then add to strawberries. Repeat with blueberries, then with half the raspberries. Add remaining raspberries to syrup and cook, mashing with spoon, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Discard peel. Cool syrup.

3. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat a deep 1-quart bowl with syrup. Cut 1 slice of bread to fit the bottom, dip it into syrup, and place in bowl. Dip additional bread slices into syrup and line sides of bowl, overlapping slightly.

 4. Spoon about a third of mixed berries into bowl. Cut several more bread slices to make an even layer of bread over berries, then dip into syrup, arrange, and press down lightly. Repeat process twice, ending with a double layer of bread. Refrigerate remaining syrup.

5. Cover pudding with plastic wrap, place a plate on top, and weigh it down with two large cans. Place bowl on a plate (juice may seep out) and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Invert pudding onto a platter (if pudding sticks, slide a knife around the edge) and serve cold with reserved syrup and whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Aug 15

2012

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The Last of the Summer Wine

Over the past few weeks we have had no internet or computer service at home.

 

A ‘human error’ on the part of the phone company had caused them to disconnect our lives completely. With the flick of a corporate switch, like a struck match that flares and dies, never to be re-used … Our lives shut down, sending us into a tailspin.
There were no apologies, nor have ever been, and no effort to re establish our service quickly. We were just put into the queue, despite our cries of the injustice.
But come Monday morning our lives will be re connected to the outside world once more. We will be back tapping at the key boards from dawn till dusk, apart, with the communication between us at home sent via email, even though we sit only 30 yards apart.

 

My husband and I will loose the early mornings sitting outside, with coffee and a book, and the small talk about the day ahead. Evening walks and gardening together.

 

Planning new home projects, long overdue, and having to resource our minds instead of utilizing the internet to problem solve.

 

It’s put a whole new spin on our lives, pleasurable moments we didn’t even know we missed. All will soon be a distant memory, as the screens reboot and the last of the summer wine is poured.

 

I walk the dirt lane, glass in one hand and iPad in the other, to the end of our lane, to a favorite spot, where like a warm patch you find when swimming in the ocean, you might stop and savor.

 

I hit the send key, pick up my internet connection and broadcast my thoughts.
Perhaps we should disconnect again soon.

Dec 01

2011

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In Loving Memory

 

GRETA JOY
11.23 2003 – 11.19.2011

 

A wise man once said ‘ any man who has never loved an animal, has a part of his soul unawakened’

 

How true.

 

Greta was the golden thread that wove our lives together, as we so often communicated through her to each other. A conduit for life if you will, that enriched our world in ways I could never have imagined.
She embraced the day, each day, and was the most exemplary example of what ‘Living the Moment’ was about.
Its been incredibly painful to loose our companion, especially when it was so unexpected and witnessed in such a tragic and abrupt end. It was such an immense physical blow that caved in our hearts so deeply, the emptiness is a place that we cannot ever begin to fill, a void few can share.
She filled our lives daily, in the most wonderful ways, her antics and pranks constant amusement. She loved her life here with us at home, plenty of acreage to run endlessly, follow the tractor tirelessly, bury bones and chase chickens, she did everything we did and went everywhere we went, literally. She was never left home alone, she loved to travel and explore as we did.