Summer’s Wane

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Summer has us firmly in its grip, but still one can’t help but to notice it is on the wane. We are a good ways past the summer solstice and you can see the difference in the evening sky. The days are hot but the morning has a bit of autumnal chill to it. My summer has mostly been about being with my almost seven-year-old son–we don’t do camp, so he’s my full time job. It also happens to be the start of busy season for jam-making and preserving, so my lazy days are punctuated by bits of frenzy, in the small windows where I can do my work.

We have done our fair share of swimming, in the mountains, rivers and streams, a bit in the ocean. Some major milestones were reached: actual swimming! head under the water! riding a bike! It’s all very exciting but it doesn’t leave much for my own projects or creativity. My weekly writing has fallen steeply. This is all fine, because as everyone says, this sweet time will be over in a quick blink of the eye. There will be plenty of time for more canning or learning or career advancement (ha!). I’m not saying I’m always so aware of this wisdom. Sometimes I can be quite the child myself! Writing it down seems to help. One day I’ll long for these days spent reading children’s books over and over, playing Legos, and pretending to be a shark in the water.

In the meantime, as my creativity wanes along with the summer, I am finding inspiration from other places. Here’s some of them:

I had a great time with Eve, who writes the very delicious and detailed blog Garden of Eating, when I had her over for lunch. Check out this post she wrote about a tip I gave her – thanks, Eve! I’m always impressed by her photography, and I always want to eat what she’s eating!

Shae, from Hitchhiking to Heaven, is writing beautiful missives from her travels in Alaska at Fairfax to Fairbanks. I am lost in this in the very best way. I know I’m not the only one!

This had me at the first line of the recipe: “10 cups of gin-soaked black currants.” It’s a recipe for Black Currant Chutney from Marie at 66 Square Feet (Plus), after using the berries for black currant gin. My kind of recipe!

This beautiful photo-heavy post on wild mushrooms from Laura at Glutton For Life had me wishing for rain, as most of our fungi has dried up and disappeared, to return when the time is right. (Did you know Beatrix Potter was a mycologist? I didn’t. Thanks to Brain Pickings this book is now on my to-read list.)

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Just have to note these three best desserts I made this summer:

All-in-One Chocolate Cake from Nigella Lawson. So darn easy and straightforward. See it above. And this tip about putting parchment paper under your cakes in strips so when you are done frosting the plate will be clean was priceless for me, as I am not the best cake maker.

Almond Flour Berry Cobbler from King Arthur. Wow. So good! I made this with peaches and blueberries.

Cherry Bars from The Recipe. Tip o’the hat to Mrs. Wheelbarrow for clueing me in to this one.

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It’s also high pickling season–it’s been cucumberville over here. I’ve been relying a lot on a great book I got in the fall, Fermented Vegetables. The thing I love best about it is how each vegetable is listed in alphabetical order and gives thoughts and recipes on each one, if they are recommended!

I’ve been making lots of that smashed/smacked cucumber salad with the tinier cucumbers in my garden. It’s addictive. I’ve been taking a little from these three recipes and making my own. I hope I get around to writing it down! Here, here and here. If you have a preferred recipe for this, let me know!

Okay, over and out. I’m going deeper still into summer. I hope to see you when I pull myself out!

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3 thoughts on “Summer’s Wane”

  1. you’re so sweet! Love this post (and not just because you said nice things about me, either). I am going to make that cake when I get back from vacation – have been looking for one like it FOREVER. and now have to read all three cucumber salad recipes, too…

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