Monday, July 25, 2011

Food Hazards

I love the summer days when dinner involves looking at heaps of produce and figuring out how to make a dinner that uses the maximum number of garden ingredients....and doesn't taste exactly the same day after day.

Zucchini and cucumbers. Cucumbers and zucchini.

Fray alternates between helping me, playing, and whining. The whining often occurs when she wants to listen to Raffi and I know that I literally can't stand another round of Baby Beluga or Mama Thinks I'm Growing. (see photograph where Frasier is dying of Raffi deprivation.)

Me: Are you playing with the Ipod? That is not your toy. That's Daddy's toy.
Frasier: But I don't want to listen to Michael Jacks.
Me: One day you will.
Frasier: I want Raffi.
Me: See? This song is called Smooth Criminal. Annie are you okay?
Me: Will you tell us that you're okay...
Me: I don't know...hoo...hoo
Frasier: NOOOOOO

I'm also constantly reminded that I need to clean and reclean the produce. Here's why:

1. Yesterday a tree frog jumped out of the lettuce and clung to the vitamin rack.

2. Last week I saw Monsieur Scootie Beags peeing on the oregano.

3. Cats. Cats being suspiciously still in the garden, as if they are concentrating.

4. Hens. The ladies nibble on the lettuce.

Anyway, not to discourage you from eating with us...


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fruits of Sporadic Labor

Time is so precious these days that I do my phone calls while gardening. So if we're talking and you hear me breathing hard, I'm probably tugging a root vegetable out of the soil, fussing over a weed, or flicking beetles off my plants.

And now I reveal to you the first homemade pizza of the garden season (zucchini + mozzerella + homemade honey whole wheat crust.)

Dessert came right out of the raspberry patch.

And I've got two giant bags of collards in the fridge. Need some? Get in touch. I will share the love. (no mailing, though, unless wilted collards are your thing. I hope they aren't.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Artisanal Nests

...this one made of horse hair, found by the Dogtor and Fray underneath an apple tree.

The VT Life Acquatic

A video in which Fray launches herself repeatedly from the edge of our pool. Highlights include sturdy toddler goat-legs, squeals, and a great laugh from the Dogtor.

I'm still recovering from the World Cup loss (but happy for Japan - who wouldn't be?). The animals are anxious this morning -storm coming? Zucchinis and squash are numerous and headed to club-like lengths.

It is the height of summer, and already I feel anxious about the eventual slide into cooler weather. But it will come, and there are many more nights of salads on the porch, glasses of white wine with ice cubes. Time to maximize.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Camping With the Boys

Frasier has already camped 3 times in her short life, but just put a fourth notch on her outdoorswoman's belt with a night on Lake George with the Dogtor and OPA.

The Dogtor explains her experience best:

"Fray had a blast, but didn't fall asleep until it was dark out and then woke up whenever the loons talked. The crows got her up a good hour early. But beyond the lack of sleep and teetering on the edge of tantrums, she had fun with the boys. She kayaked, played in the tube, drove the boat, jumped off the back of the boat, roasted marshmallows, played with sparklers, sang by the campfire, looked at the moon..."

She didn't drown, split her head on the rocks, or launch face-first into the fire. A success in Mama's eyes.

AND SHE DROVE THE BOAT? Oh, okay. Makes sense. Exhausted two-year olds hopped up on ice-cream sandwiches make for rational, cool-under-pressure drivers...

When she got home, the only coherent sentence I picked up on (other than the imperative NO. NO. NO.) was "I heard loons." I'm sure that sound was eerie for a toddler in a tent....

The underslept, pony-tailed beast that was returned to me yesterday evening woke up refreshed. Or almost.

This morning she said, "Mama loves loons, too?" I do. Very much.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One-Eyed Saint

Pi watching over Zephyr - what's not to love?

Friday, July 8, 2011


Just because I love them, and they are young and beautiful and ready to be simmered with some hot sauce and brown sugar!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Blue Period

Frasier's favorite color is blue, and we have been informed that at "school" she has become possessive over the blue ball, the "blue baby" (plastic doll in a blue onesie), and blue construction paper during art time.

Though we are encouraging her to branch out (at least it's not pink!), we're also heartened by the fact that Picasso and Miles Davis went through something similar, and had good things to show for it.

Given her affinity for blue, it did not come as a surprise that she enjoyed the sport of blueberry picking.

With Zephyr in the stroller and Fray running wild with a carton, we managed to pick 4 pounds, which we promptly brought home and froze.

The day ended with a pool party, where Frasier dazzled all with her fearlessness (I jump now!).

After the bebes landed in bed, the Dogtor and I climbed out onto our roof and watched fireworks in the distance.

The first booms sent the coyotes into a frenzy - for a minute they were not predators whose racket sent a chill down my spine, but a pack of scared dogs wooping it up on the mountain.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ode to Salad Spinner

Dear Salad Spinner,

You, quite simply, rock. You are an atrocious, look-at-me Velveeta yellow and made in the 80s - but you stand the test of time.

Without you, there would be aphids on the lettuce, manure on the spinach, cat pee on the kale.

Once, you even diverted a tantrum. (See this Frasier? It spins. Fast. You try. Good, good.)

I feel like a fool when I spin at maximum speed, but your whirring sound is, at the same time, gratifying.

You and I will clock major quality time together in the next three months.

In thanks, and in praise of your contribution to our sanitation efforts,