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Happy New Year!

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Summer bounty!

If I had a choose word to describe my summer, it would probably be uncertainty. Between transitions in my job and missing friends and family in San Francisco, I felt a little out of control. For an ESFJ/Capricorn/Type A person like me, that is not a very comfortable place to be.

Although work and life things felt up in the air this summer, when looking back at my photos from the summer, I was struck by the predictability of the garden. Sure, there are hiccups and changes based on weather, but there is definitely a pattern.

First comes the fruit.

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We had more plums this year than I knew what to do with. Most were cooked down into a compote and went into the freezer.

After the fruit, comes squash and cucumbers.

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More squash and cherry tomatoes.

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Once the days get long, the chickens start going into egg production overdrive. We have had a ton of double yolked eggs this summer (below are two cracked into a bowl). So yum.

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And in August, the tomatoes are practically flying out of the garden. I roasted most of them and put them in the freezer for stews and sauces this winter.

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The very last of our San Marzanos were cooked down into a sauce with wine, garlic, and basil. Delicious.

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Now that summer has come to an end, we fall into our fall and winter routines – switching to flannel sheets, roasting root vegetables, baking pumpkin bread, and catching up on HBO. Although work and life still feels uncertain, I’m finding stability in the changing of the seasons and the knowledge that the world keeps on turning.

Summer garden

Here’s a few photos of our garden this summer.

Ryan added a little run for our chickens on the side of the coop. They love it!

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Early summer.

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We also added a trellis for green beans! They climbed up all the way to the top!

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Our yard

Ryan and I bought our house in 2010, and almost immediately started working on the (very) overgrown yard. We tore down a dilapidated structure, pulled out invasive trees, vines, and tons of old rose bushes (thanks to Elena), and Ryan built us an amazing chicken coop and shed out of reclaimed wood and windows.

This summer, we tackled the lawn.

A few before shots:

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And after!

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We love it so much we did a campout one night!

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I think the yard is just about finished – now to tackle the rest of the house!

Roman holiday

Here are a few food photos from our stay in Rome last month.

Wings, caprese and pizza at Bir & Fud

Aperol spritzes in Le Trastevere.

Tiny wine jug!

This pizza had a cracker crust and was stuffed with arugula.

More spritz.

Happy hour treats.

Campari!

So much amazing mozzarella.

Best bruschetta.

We ate at this place twice. So good.

Vacation eats

Ryan and I recently traveled to Switzerland and Italy. Here are some food highlights…

Breakfast salad at the Paris airport.

Fondue in Lauterbrunnen.

Amazing cheese shop in a woman’s house in Gimmelwald.

Alpine picnic.

Picnic view.

Amazing roasted veggies and mozzarella at the Obika Mozzarella Bar in Milan.

The most amazing tiny pizza with tons of arugula at MiPi Pizzeria in Milan.

Ryan’s breaded anchovy treat in Montessoro al Mare.

Chard and bitter greens tart on the beach in Montessoro al Mare.

Mussels and pasta.

Pesto pasta in Montessoro al Mare.

The most amazing soup I’ve ever eaten in Voleterra.

Wine and meats at La Vina di Vino in Voleterra.

Fondue with slices of meat instead of bread (pretty much the best idea, right?).

Amazing ricotta gnocchi with tons of truffles.

So much Campari in Pienza.

Brunello tasting in Montalcino.

Cutest buds at a little wine shop.

Best meat/cheese plate.

Local honey and sun-dried tomatoes.

Grape farmers at Altesino Winery.

Moscato grapes at Altesino.

Homemade bread, honey, and jams at Le Traverse in Pienza.

This post is getting long! I’ll post some more photos soon…

Golden Tomato Soup

Summer is just about wrapping up in Portland, and we are still getting tons of tomatoes in our garden! I’ve been roasting and freezing most of them, so we can have good garden tomatoes all winter.

This year I planted several yellow and green varieties, and wanted to use them in a special way. This soup is tangy, sweet, and absolutely delicious – perfect for the first day of Fall!

 

 

Golden cherry tomatoes, green zebras, green cherry tomatoes, and blush tomatoes.

Chop tomatoes roughly.

 

This was about 8 cups of tomatoes. You don’t have to use yellow and green ones if you don’t have any! Red tomatoes would be delicious too.

 

In a medium pot, sauté one large onion (chopped roughly) with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat.

 

Add a few cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled.

 

 

Add a few tablespoons of fresh herbs. I had oregano and rosemary on hand; but any combination of thyme, basil, or sage would be great.

 

Let everything cook down for about 15 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

 

Add the tomatoes, and a few teaspoons of kosher salt. Let everything simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes have cooked down and the liquid is bubbly.

 

Add a quart of chicken broth. If you are a vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth.

 

Once everything is simmering, turn down the heat and use an immersion blender until the soup is smooth.

 

Garnish with a little cooked and chopped bacon.

 

Enjoy!

 

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