In the Garden

I have this little piece of paradise. It happens to be in my very own backyard. It is so peaceful and calm- in the middle of the Suburban west. Slug destruction aside, this is a quiet little delicious sanctuary that I take pride in every time I clip a leaf of kale for salad or pull a carrot fresh from the soil.

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My Back Yard

When the sun comes out after a gloomy winter, we go immediately to the back yard.  We have worked for a few years to make it just the spot to enjoy when that bright light makes its way to the great Northwest.

I have been feeling sapped of all of my creativity in the last few weeks since we’ve had what can only be described as a weird April around here, and I am looking forward to a better month of May.  Here are a few snaps from my afternoon prepping the garden and spending time with my sweet girls.

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Home Frost

I love coming home. Not only to the home I’ve built with The Handsome, but the home I remember more than any- My Grandma’s house.  It was always comfortable, full of love, and so warm. So many memories that have been made, and still to come.

The best time there is early in the morning, on a very cold day, where you can leave the comforts of the wood stove in the back room and venture out into the orchard to roam.  It was an unusual and green Christmas gathering, but it was not without frosting.

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Let the Sun In

Before the last big push to Autumn (and the glory that is leggings and wool socks), let’s take a minute to remember how lovely this summer was in the Pacific Northwest. The sun was out, the air was warm, and we had some incredible summer storms.

These little lovelies were taken at Ritter Farms in Cle Elum, Washington.  A place that feels like home, was the scene of the first day of our marriage, and a constant reminder of love mixed with hard work.

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Suburban Homesteading

Although I’ve grown fond of my current home, I don’t quite belong in the suburban area of Olympia. I am naturally drawn to the extremes of a big city or small town.  Lately, it’s definitely been on the smaller side of things. This is best demonstrated when I use my spare time to do a little homesteading. This can be anywhere from using local flora for decor, or making preserves from local bounties.

After a trip to my Gram’s orchard, I found myself with two large crates of our family pears amongst apples and Italian prunes.  In hopes of avoiding waste (and fruit flies), I took to the kitchen with mason jars and some patience. Pears were 1st.

The method is so simple:

Wash & Rinse

Cut pears in half

Remove the core

Peel and chunk

Add a squeeze of local honey and lemon juice in the bottom of each jar

Add the pears with some hot water

And finish in a water bath to seal

No unnatural additives, just pure, sweet home pears.

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Garden Pesto Pasta

Our garden is overflowing this year, but of only with a few things at a time.  Each week has brought a new bounty from the containers.  I had a lot of basil this week. Basil=Pesto in my mind (that is, when I don’t have fresh mozzarella cheese).

Our tomatoes aren’t quite ready, so I opted for the local baby heirlooms around.

With these ingredients, my stomach was begging for pasta. Recipe is included below:
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Here is what you’ll need:

2 handfuls of basil

About a 1/4 olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

veggies of any kind, I chose tomatoes and zucchini

a little of the “shaky parmesan cheese”

 

Here is the Garden Pesto Pasta Recipe- it is super scientific:

Add basil, garlic, cheese, and olive oil to the food processor, or blender in my case, and blend until only small flecks of basil are floating around in there.

Next, cut your veggies, I used about 12 baby tomatoes and a few large slices of zucchini. Place on a cooking sheet, drizzle a little olive oil and salt, roast in the oven for a few minutes.  In that time, cook about two cups of pasta. I like firm pasta, so I chose bowtie.

First layer pasta, then veggies, then pesto, and a little more cheese.

This is a perfect meal or a great side dish in the summer if you have an incredible amount of basil, tomatoes, and zucchini.

 

 

Cliff Garden

There has always been a point of curiosity for me on the end of a high, steep cliff in Central Washington. On my way anywhere near Wenatchee, I would drive by and wonder why is that part of the cliff covered in beautiful green against the rugged brown stone elsewhere. The answer is Ohme Gardens.  This place is spectacular and well worth the $7 admission. My only regret was that my work day had run longer than scheduled, and I only had a few moments to wind my way through. This is a pack a picnic, sit and enjoy kind of place. Started in 1929, by Mr. & Mrs. Ohme, the little lush space was mastered. It is loop of twisted (and steep) stone paths overlooking the Columbia River and the town of Wenatchee.

Here are a few shots from my quick trip through the garden in what can only be described as a poor shoe choice for the adventure.

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