June 11, and the last day of school. Which means, Maria is a senior! This is something too big, too emotional to delve into just yet. Right now, we are in the middle of a summer adventure, traveling up and down the coast to see my Mom and Dad, to visit the City of Roses, and walk among the redwoods. William, Maria, and I are on an adventure, which I hope is going well... actually, I imagine it is going very well. We have so much beauty and wonder in store for us. I wrote a few posts before leaving, just to keep the blog "interesting," while we are traveling, and this post will happily remind me of home, and a bit of what I am looking forward to when we get back home... family, friends, pets, next plans.
After all our time at home, travel seemed like a good dream, an excellent goal, and I am glad I will be seeing my Mom, again, at last. And those redwoods. But writing this post now, on the eve of our departure, I am already feeling like staying home is good. I am feeling anxious about leaving behind a bottle baby goat, and the trees still full of apples, and my sweetheart, and Max, and Alex, and Bambi, and friends. Funny thing to get wanderlust, and to know that it will be nicely sated, and then I will be even more eager to get back home. I love to plan trips, and I love to take trips, and I really love to come home from trips. I'll take lots of pictures... that's a goal that comes to mind as I am looking at my dear friend, Janece. I never regret taking pictures, especially of people I love.
If you knew the detailed notes I've made, and the countless ways I have planned planned planned for everything, here, there, enroute... you would think I was making a world trip by airship, or paddling to Hawaii, something wildly elaborate, or remote. I have everything I could need, and more, and I have Geoff, who will call and text, and feed Grace Hopper, and reassure me, again and again. And then I will come home with new stories, and new energy, ready for the next plans.
Did you know? I saw a post, on Ari Shapiro's Instagram, about baking with Nigella seeds, sometimes known as black cumin. Well, I've never grown Nigella, so I guess it's no surprise that I didn't know about eating the seeds. The flowers were certainly beautiful, and I hope to plant even more seeds next year, so I am glad I figured out about collecting them. I tasted one tiny black seed, hesitantly. And then. Nothing. I was really shocked at how tasteless it was! As though I didn't bite into anything but air. Not bitter, not sweet, not tangy, or anything. Maybe toasting them brings up flavor? Have you ever tried them?
The fact that we have blackberries and apricots, both, growing in our garden, and that they have been plentiful and ripening at the same time... these sort of events just boggle my mind, and fill me up with thanks and a feeling of bountiful fortune. Very good fortune. We have been snacking on blackberries daily. And some of the apricots are preserved and in the freezer. We made a few galettes... the world's easiest dessert!
This galette is from garden peaches, which I added some apricot jam to. So the "recipe" is this... get a pie crust. I thawed ours from Trader Joes. When I don't have fresh fruit or homemade jam, I simply grab a favorite jar of jam, and mix it in a bowl with a few tablespoons of flour for thickening... this keeps the jam from being too juicy and running all over the pan. I spread the jam on the rolled out pie dough, fold up the sides to hold in jam. Then I brush the dough with some egg yolk that has a splash of water in it. And I sprinkled the crust with a little sugar. I baked this at 375 F, until it smelled good, and everything looked deep golden, and crisp. Easy! I think it would take more effort to mess this up than it does to get it right.
Maria invited friends over for tea and a movie! She baked tiny vanilla cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting, and everyone tried two or more different teas. Then they watched Kiki's Delivery Service, with the campfire roaring... which inspired marshmallow roasting. Amira came, Skylar, Easton, and Makayla, too. And maybe next time more friends can come.
Bambi has been brewing tea for us every day. She made a large order of many varieties (varieteas!) We've been tasting them, enjoying their fragrances, and ranking them, too. The ones she chose are from Adagio Teas, and customers select unique blends and create mixes that they name, with themes. The ones Bambi ordered are all based on a D & D adventure, and the characters in the game... Curse of Strahd, I believe. It's been lovely, anticipating each new flavor and describing what we like or don't like about the different teas, flowers, flavors, and enjoying the pretty cups she serves us in, the conversations that come up, the time together.