Thursday, September 12, 2013

Of Produce and Progress

Oh my good gravy! It has been one crazy Summer! I shant bore you with slippery details. I'll just get straight to the Produce Aisle of today's post.

Welcome to the front/back-yard farmer's market! 

Oh I do think I need to come up with a fitting name for the new garden. Any thoughts? Lola's Retreat? Alex's Acres? NirvanaNova? No... it will come to me I'm sure. Oops, sidetracked there for a moment. 

That big Tom there took both hands to hold it. It was so big in fact, that when Pony Girl tried to bring it into the kitchen, it was far too bulky to handle and it leapt from her small hands and crashed with a squooshy thud on the floor. There was a moment of silence as we believed it was indeed a very sad end to a truly impressive tomato. Upon closer inspection we saw that despite a bit of bashing and bruising and breaking in half, there was still plenty of good tomato left to slice and eat with bread, basil and a drizzle of olive oil!

The Delicata squash is nearly there.

The figs are coming on gangbusters! My first attempt at drying a few in the dehydrator was a bit of a bust. Tonight's fig and sweet onion jam should have better results.

And the jelly cupboard is getting fuller by the week! I have discovered the joys of ginger cardamom pear butter!

Now that I have distracted you with the bounty of my garden, I shall move on to the Progress portion of this post.

Since last we chatted, we have acquired a dining table and chairs for the dining room. Previously loved of course. It is the very first proper dining table I have personally owned in all my life. As I am going on a few freckles past 44, this strikes me as quite a feat! Our extended family dinners are sure to be much more comfortable and sociable now that we can all eat at the same table.

A few of my knickknacks have shed their boxes and wrapping paper to make temporary camp on the shelves of the Aqua laundry room/wet bar. There is a little cocktail cart discreetly out of frame. 

This isn't pretty, but progress has definitely been made on my studio. We've been bashing down walls and exposing the brick, which incidentally is the name of my next album. Painting and lighting come next.

Progress was also made today on perfecting my Chai spice blend recipe. I am soooo close!

In that mug up there is one of my favorite things; Chocolate Chai Tea!

Well, that concludes the Produce and Progress report for today. Have a gorgeous weekend all!


Sherri B. said...

It is so nice to see you again and get a progress report.

That is one 'big', looks like a rare one where a slice can cover a hamburger bun with no problem.

What a treat to have a fig tree, until recently, I had no idea that we could grow them here in the PNW. We have two small ones now up in Anacortes (fingers crossed).

I bet you are so excited to be working on your very own studio, it will be fun for us to watch the that exposed brick!

Confession...I am coming very close to coveting your jelly is so sweet.

Looking forward to the next report.

Have a lovely weekend. xo

Tineke said...

So good to see you here. Welcome back. Love the big tomato. Happy weekend for you too.

jabbott said...

You have been busy,i love the thought of home made yam.Wow also to the fig and onion jam,i bet thats nice with a savory dishx

Flaming Nora said...

Good to see you are back my friend. Amazing pics of the garden, well all of it really.

jabbott said...

You have been busy,love the thought of homemade jam.Wow that fig and onion jam sounds nice,bet its lovely with a savory dish x

Ana Batista said...

Hi Alexandra! I've been a silent follower for a wile, but today I decided to comment! :) I will not venture on an name for your garden...English not beefing my language...I don't think I would do well! ;) But I have to say, that is a very pretty garden!!
I just would like to leave you with a tip. I'me from Portugal and we have a lonnnnnggggg tradition in drying fig (we eat them with nuts inside for Christmas) and we do it on the sun. I usually use a box and display the figs inside (leaving some space between each) and put some mesh on top to protect them from bugs. Then I just leave them on the sum for some 2/3 weeks. Give it a try. The flavour will compensate the waiting ;)

Lazy Daisy Jones said...

Big Tom... so pleased he got a special mention.
...cannot sensibly wait for "exposing the brick"

rock on Alex...!

bestest to you and yours as ever
daisy j

andrea creates said...

we've been growing tomatoes and salad mostly-it's great to be able to 'shop for groceries' in your own backyard!
i'm jealous of all those jams-i've been wanting to make my own :)
that chocolate chai looks delicious!

greenrabbitdesigns said...

How absolutely amazing to have figs growing in your own garden!
Happy weekend,
V x

Sarah said...

"Lola's Lair"

The same thing has been happening with our chicken eggs.....eager young hands want to collect and gather but so many are smashed before making it indoors :(

Every single picture on this post = beautiful!

I have a bunch of dried vanilla beans from Africa (my brother sends me random spices-let's not talk about the nutmeg that is too hard to grate?????) - I think would go nicely in Chai. One time I added too much masala spice (I think?)....yuck.

Mom L said...

I am so thrilled for you! And that is one heck of a tomato - I think I would have dropped it, too. Your garden is fantastic and your jam cupboard looks wonderful. Am I the only person who has never made jam? I did can some watermelon pickles (delish) long, long ago. My mother used to make guava jelly (in Florida) - tasted great, but the scent while cooking was really intense!

Take things one step at a time....

Nancy in Iowa

Teresita said...

Guauuuuu...que hermosas tus frutas!!!!!, que lindo lugar tienes, me encantó la casita del jardin...yo quiero una igualllll!!!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Chocolate Chai Tea! Complete with spices? Either way it sounds scrummy!

And that is a whopper tomato!

It looks like many good things are happening in Alex's Arcadia :)