I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Late Summer, Stormy Night

Hello! We are having the most gorgeous storm right now! I just got to the end of the boardwalk right before dinner, and a flash of lightning sent me scurrying home.

Took its time but wow!
Clouds dark enough, sky green enough that I reviewed tornado procedure with my kids. Because ya never know....Yes, they bear it with scoffing looks and just barely-there tolerance, but if, heaven forbid, someday, something goes wrong, we'll know what to do and how to find each other.

For those of you who like recipes, I made farmers market artisan ravioli ...

(classic cheese and whole wheat portobello mushroom filled) with sauteed fresh summer veggies [yellow squash, green onions, garlic cherry tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli], a dash of white wine, a dash of fat free half & half cream, the juice of one lemon, herbs and pepper, and the rest of the feta.
Not qute as colorful as I'd hoped but it tasted great....

Salad of dark green baby greens with lemon-tarragon dressing. And I made some simple sauteed herbed chicken strips for those who don't eat carbs.(Best sliced thin and tossed onto individual portions of the veggies-ravioli thing.

Earlier I photographed the late summer hydrangeas. What a flower!

The oncoming storm made the air so steamy, my camera lens kept fogging up. I kinda like the effect?

I love watching the big flower heads form and change all summer...

Every color appears as they morph through their summer lives...

Same shrub as above, 2 months later:

Look at this pink! I'd say it needs some blueing to return it to its original sky blue, but how can I deny such a happy, enthusiastic ---neon!---pink?!

And, sigh, sky blue...

violet blue .... 

old rose....

my favorite late summer colorway....so softly subtle.
Id love a room decorated in these shades, all velvet and silks...
some brushed khaki twill, some burlap?


 Easter egg mix:

 baby blue...

such perfect "lace-cap" specimens!
they were once delft blue and cream stripes...?

Enjoy the last days of July....Have a great weekend!



gone to the beach

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Farmers Market - late July

Hi, everyone!

 Late July and August are busy times at the beach: flowers to water, decks to sweep, beach towels to endlessly launder, summer meals to prepare, meals that must fit our random schedules and will seem appealing when it's so darn hot. 

Lots of errands on my list on Wednesday so I got to the farmers market very late. The sellers had dog days doldrums by 4 PM...and the lettuce looked as wilted as the farmers. No flowers left of course, but I did snag some fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh bread, warm ripe beefsteak tomatoes and tiny red grape tomatoes, and a cuke.

Back home at the beach I snipped lots of herbs out for my herb container garden.

When other family cooks asked me to grow an herb garden on the deck I thought it would be a waste of time and space. Boy, was I wrong! The scent of the fresh herbs is amazing and the taste is so different from dried, adds  a wonderful dimension and punch to the simplest foods.

I snip off some fragrant tips and lkeep them in a little Mason jar, right by the stove...

I made a pretty platter of the mozzarella and tomatoes, drizzled with  olive oil and chopped basil , both kinds, on top with fresh ground black pepper. I love this glass plate, a Swedish pressed glass scallop shell, part of a set found at the Cape Cod Dump swap shop. (Free!)

Yummy with the classic white demi baguette.

Best served at room temp, even on a hot day. (Just be sure to refrigerate the leftovers, because the fresh cheese can sour if left out too long; use on sandwiches tomorrow.)...

And I made a Greek Chicken Salad:

Slivered chicken,  quartered artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, capers [or pitted black olives], lots of feta cheese, diced cucumber (discard the center seeds).

Tossed with more herbs, including my Greek oregano, and a tarragon-lemon vinaigrette.

Nice with warm whole wheat pitas if you have them...we were out, oh well.

Perfect dinner to leave for the ravenous hordes while I escaped for my evening swim and long sunset beachcombing hour or two. Have you noticed that darkness falls just a little earlier now. Oh too bad...I love the endless summer evenings, don't you?

Summer won't last forever, even if the beach will....enjoy!



~~~~~~gone to the beach

linked to a beach cottage's Good Life Wednesday

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seaside Daylilies

July and daylilies...a part of my Midwestern childhood.

Daylilies grow (or grew, back then) in wild abundance in the ditches along the fields in Illinois.
Usually paired with wondrously sky blue chicory, they just epitomized the spacious endless summers of the prairie.

It seems daylilies love the beach as much as I do !

They grow here by the ocean, with at least as much exuberance as they grew "back home".

I know just how they feel! Ooooh the salt air, that briny breeze....the crashing of the distant surf.
 Everyone, everything blooms with joy.

My kids inherited my dad's love of daylilies and we've been experimenting. Besides the giant stands of species or naturalized daylilies near the front of my house...

...we've been choosing special bulbs and potting them up un our deck. We are very happy with the first and second years' results!
Second year of pink Stargazers:

Second year of Lemon minis:

And first  year....New Cinnamon-dusted lime green Asiatic lilies:

Turk's head lilies and Stargazers with a rainbow:

The last few true tigerlilies that I rescued just before yesterday's downpour!

Here at the beach, seaside garden or deck, the daylilies may bloom a lot later...but they still signal high summer, they say, Enjoy, enjoy---it's still July!


gone to the beach.....

Note: Our lilies came from either local quality nurseies or were ordered from
B&D Llies. [B&D Lilies, ooops]All performed beautifully as you can see. However (I had read in a fav blog, the writer had good success?) I also bought a large box of a three variety assortment of lilies at the big box store, BJs. They were quite expensive, at least as much per bulb as B&D....They said, Guaranteed to GROW. I saved the box, I looked again. Yes, grow. Not bloom. And grow they did, a little. Like shoots of crabgrass. I'll baby them along, who knows?...in three or four years they may do more thanjust grow? Perhaps they'll bloom? Lesson to be learned: that bulb catalog and pro grower are your best friends. Buy from him, not at BJs or Costco. love, l.