August’s Garden

It’s already the middle of August, jeepers – where does the time go?

This is the longest streak I’ve maintained the garden in a few years. It’s truly been an exercise in establishing reasonable expectations of myself and my time—and pushing myself just the right enough to get outside and tend to it.

We’re still harvesting herbs, carrots, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes.

Made space for the marigolds and peppers.

The green beans were a little disappointing, really skinny. I might harvest it all, see if they produce again. The bok choi is starting to come in again nicely, as well as the summer lettuce mix that took a month to grow.

Just tossed in some more chard, arugula and orach seeds.
Fresh greens for the fall!

A lot of the work has been cutting back, cutting out, making space. It’s nice. Weeds are minimal and as I make space, new things grow and thrive.

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In the kitchen…

I started this spring with the intention to bake a pie a week.

I wanted to make good use of my time to myself this summer, get back to the kinds of projects I spent my time on: gardening, canning, creating. In 2017 I’d bought Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book and when thinking of what I wanted to create this season, pie sounded like a good idea.

Baking has been no great strength or passion of mine, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t wish it were. Broken down by season, working my way through the cookbook sounded like an ideal way to become a pie crust pro and celebrate produce at it’s finest (my favorite part of summer).

To date I’ve baked:

  • Rhubarb
  • Rhubarb Custard
  • Lizzie’s Lemon Sour Cream
  • Sweet Cherry Streusel
  • Strawberry Balsamic
  • Strawberry Wild Ginger

Clearly not a pie a week. I basically took most of July off even.
Biggest problem? Finding people to eat them! (Can you believe that?!)

I missed apricots and raspberries, but peaches are going gangbusters right now.
So in the next few weeks I’m going to try my hand at:

  • Paprika Peach
  • Peach Custard
  • Nectarine Blueberry
  • Black Currant Lemon Chiffon (if I can find black currants)

So I have toyed with ordering some 6″ pie pans, but until I do that I might switch to rustic tarts using my pie crust – just make them smaller.

It’s been fun! And tasty. And I am getting better at making crust.

After college I worked in a bakery, which is where my love of eating seasonally really blossomed. The owner’s recipes were often inspired by The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, and while I’ve owned it for over a decade now, I’ve never cracked it! Might do that tonight, see what tips she may have for me.

Strawberry Balsalmic #Pie.

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