Play in the Dirt.

IMG_6620 (2)Spring is in the air.

Dirt is under our fingernails.

We’ve been having dinner picnics nearly every night.  Then we play and dig, and breathe in the fresh blossom scented air until it’s time to jump in the bath and relax for the night.

Life is good.

 

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Life is Peachy.

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Summer is only complete when I’ve had sufficient quantities of corn on the cob, watermelon, berry crumble, and peaches. (This is only my edible list…and really, it has a few more items than listed, like endless amounts of blackberries freshly picked and directly consumed.)  Last summer went by and I realized I had missed farm-stand peaches.  Sure I could still purchase peaches at the local co-op, but the peaches you buy direct from the farmer at the side of the road, those are true summer peaches.  They include more than just peachy-flavor, they include experience and connection. Continue reading

My Garden. My Soul.

photo(6) As a little girl in Southern California, my parents each year would help me plant my own patch of cherry tomatoes and strawberries.   My biggest childhood memories, though, are from exploring magical lands (aka grandparents’ gardens).

In England, Granddad had two gardens.  A smaller garden, tucked behind the shed, overflowed with cabbages, greens, and beautiful flowers.  His bigger garden,”the plot”, he would bike to.  He’d return before meal time smelling like a musty garden gnome and Nana would prepare an overflowing plate of vegetables with a side of meat for dinner (the midday meal).  Granddad never invited me to garden with him.  I simply explored by myself and enjoyed the harvest through Nana’s simple cooking. Continue reading

Zucchini. Zucchini. Zucchini.

This summer we had our first big garden in a long time.  And perhaps I got carried away planting certain things…one of which was zucchini.  I couldn’t help it.  I have such fantastic memories of walking around my grandparent’s garden.  Their zucchini plants towering around me as I walked the rows.  I had to recreate the magic within our garden.  And so, this summer our family has enjoyed zucchini everyday, everyway.

  • Zucchini Pancakes
  • Zucchini Bread
  • Quiche with Zucchini
  • Torte de Courge
  • Stuffed Zucchini
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Zucchini Frittata
  • Zucchini Relish
  • Cous Cous Salad with Roasted Zucchini

… the list goes on.

Play in the Dirt

  While at an outdoor wedding this weekend, Ella found her “happy spot” in the dirt!  This reminded me of how much I loved playing outside as a child…and how few children I see these days out in their front yards.

Five great reasons for kids to go outside and get dirty! – brought to us by http://www.simplemom.net

1. There are types of bacteria that are naturally found in soil which activate the neurons that produce serotonin – a key chemical in many bodily functions, as well as a natural anti-depressant. In other words, dirt can actually help make you feel happy.

2. Dirt is also great for the immune system, especially in children. Research has shown that early exposure to the naturally occurring microbes in soil will help build stronger, more disease-resistant kiddos.

3. In our technologically savvy generation, kids just aren’t getting enough time to play outside, and that has now been linked to attention disorders, depression (yes, in children), and obesity.

4. Children who play outside laugh more, which means they’re happy!  It also means their blood pressure and stress levels are lower.

5. Kids who play outside grow in their character development: they become more adventurous, more self-motivated, and they are better able to understand and assess risk.

Berry Season

blueberrymuffin Two of my favorite things:

1. The Farmer’s Market;  the beautiful bounty that our farmers bring us.

2. Getting creative in the kitchen with the treasures I find at the market.

This week’s inspiration came with the gorgeous blueberries from Pennington Farms.   The craving for muffins set in the minute I saw these gorgeous little jewels.  With my sister in town offering Auntie-time for Ella, I had just the right amount of time to let my creativity loose in the kitchen…Blueberry Pecan Muffins! {wheatfree and oooh sooo delicious}