Tuesday, August 07, 2018

August Break 2-6

August 2: ground

I don't drink coffee, but my husband does occasionally, mostly when there's company. Our children all drink it, so there's always some Fair Trade coffee here. Ground, not beans. 

August 3: skin

This took some thought until I realized that almost everything has skin, from people and animals to vegetables and fruit. I've been admiring the butternut squash in my garden, pale green with white stripes. They are growing larger almost visibly in the heat we're experiencing. 

Apple skin can be red, green, yellow and many shades between. One of our apple trees is loaded this year and the apples have begun falling. So...

I made the first batch of applesauce. Our grandchildren love it with oatmeal for their breakfast, and our son and his wife make batches of it to last the winter. They ran out this year and bought some from the store. The children hated it, saying it didn't taste like "real" applesauce. Nana came to the rescue and handed over some from her pantry shelf. You'll notice there's no skin in the applesauce - that went into the compost. 

August 4: bookshelf

There's a bookshelf in every room in our home, except for the bathrooms and laundry room. I try to keep the books weeded out, but it's hard. There are a number of books I've not yet read and sometimes feel guilty about that. Recently I read this article that speaks about the value of unread books in reminding us how we always have more to learn.

I've recently read two books I've enjoyed very much. One is The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, a wonderful tale spanning the years of change and development in China, told through the story of a young girl growing up in a remote village. It's a multi-layered story of grit and resilience, and of openness to change, as well as valuing tradition. And, it's about tea! 

The other book is Missing, Presumed, by Susie Steiner, a mystery featuring Manon, a lonely and desperate police detective. It's grittier (but not gruesome) than the book above, and if you enjoy mysteries, this might be one for your list.  

August 5: crush

I took the easy way out for this one - crushed garlic, a vital ingredient in so many dishes. I read recently that the Queen hates garlic and has banished it from the royal kitchens. 

August 6: spacious

Looking at the sky gives me a feeling of spaciousness. That infinite blue of summer. Here the pole beans are climbing upwards and have completely covered the 6 foot trellis. 

I picked the first handful of green beans yesterday, simmered them in salted water until barely tender, drained them and dumped them over a selection of grape and cherry tomatoes, halved, from the garden. Then, a scatter of sliced basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a grating of Parmesan cheese. The perfect lunch.

What's happening in your world? Read any good books lately? What are you eating on these hot summer days? 


  1. I can relate to the guilt about having so many unread books so I like the idea that they're a reminder that we always have more to learn. I also enjoyed The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane--it made me want to drink pu-erh more!

    I continue my ice cream diet during these hot summer days. I purchased a pint of (small-batch) ice cream with the flavour called "Old-Fashioned Donut". I was skeptical at first, but it really did taste like a donut!

  2. Lovely post, thank you for the book tips
    Summer reading list this year needs titles
    Summer is summer hot and humid here in Vermont this year

  3. What a lovely post. Loved the peek at one of your bookshelves. We have similar tastes, I see.
    I'm almost ready for bed here, so I'm coming back for proper read in the morning. This is too good for a quick browse. Night-night! xox

  4. The book by Lisa See is a favorite of mine. Happy you enjoyed it too. Your garden produce all looks so lovely. Aren't the colors during this season so beautiful? Yes, bookshelves. now that I think about it it we have many book shelves too. It is hard to keep them sorted out for sure. Hope special to be able to pass some of your applesauce to your grandchildren. Homemade is the best.

  5. Applesauce made fresh is wonderful! We have 2 apple trees and in the past I used to dry them and my kids loved them. Apple butter was another treat. I love your veggies! :) Kit

  6. Oh goodness, I see the spammers are back... I might comfort myself in the thought you shared about unread books except that I have been boxing them and giving them away so that I can place the books I have read and loved on the shelves instead. I recently gave away a bookcase, too. Unsettling. Your lunch looks so healthful and pretty.

  7. I love your photos and challenges like this. And I think it's great to have unread books and projects going. It makes me wake up and know there's plenty of interesting things to do even when I'm at home! Enjoy your day! Hugs!

  8. Your lunch looked wonderful, I am missing not having an established vegetable garden. The applesauce was a delight too and made me think of previous summers that I would be getting it ready for the Winter. Sadly no apple trees here either...

  9. The first part of August was devoted to the granddaughters' participation in the 4-H fair and country fair. After visiting the garden last night, a good share of the month will be spent preserving tomatoes by turning them into salsa. Not very exciting is it?

  10. You did great with the challenge. No garlic...!! I suppose she doesn't eat Asian food or Italian food or...
    Thanks for the mystery recommendation. Your fresh veggie plate looks delicious! Happy August to you!

  11. Lorrie, your posts are delightful! Who doesn't like garlic? (besides the Queen) Homemade applesauce is definitely better than the store stuff. I'd love to have producing apple trees. We did plant some a few years ago but they are still babies. And I am definitely going to look for that first book you mentioned. I love all things Pearl Buck. Have you read any of her books? I believe her parents were Chinese missionaries. or her husband was or something. Great books anyway.

  12. Lovely photos and interpretations of the August Break words and prompts. Two books I 've read recently 'Dear Mrs Bird' and 'Meet me at the Museum' - I enjoyed both:)

  13. Very good photo choices for your themes! Your salad is so beautiful and I do see some familiar books on your shelves that are on mine, including all of Louise Penny's.

  14. I'm always teasing my husband about all the unread books in his huge library. Granted he has probably read or researched in most of them. But that's a good outlook--look at them as a reminder of how much more there is to learn. Your applesauce reminds me of my grandmother's applesauce. She would serve it each morning in little bowls with our breakfast. She would freeze it, not can it, and it still had some ice crystals in it as we would eat it. Delicious! I've heard about the garlic ban at the palace--but I think a bit of garlic enhances the taste of just about everything savory.

  15. Lorrie, your green bean lunch looks fabulous! I always enjoy your photography. Bookshelves in every room "except the bathrooms and laundry room"--one of those things that make a house a home!

  16. It’s lovely how everyone interprets the word prompts in different ways. Glad that your applesauce is so appreciated:) Like the sound of both those books, I’ll add them to my list and yes there are always books in this house that need reading. I’d be worried if there weren’t. B x

  17. Your blog is great. I read a lot of interesting things from it. Thank you very much for sharing. Hope you will update more news in the future.
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  18. What's happening in my world? I am catching up with my blogging buddies since we are finally back from our European holiday. Wow - a lot happens with folks in three weeks … I love the shot of the squash - the light and shadow is special. My last book was Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes - it was ok but I was expecting more from the creator of Downton Abbey. And to beat the heat, salads and fresh fruit are the name of the game in our house!

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  20. Very nice post.
    Those green beans do look good, and I love your recipe … 'simmered them in salted water until barely tender, drained them and dumped them over a selection of grape and cherry tomatoes, halved, from the garden. Then, a scatter of sliced basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and a grating of Parmesan cheese. The perfect lunch.'

    Yes, indeed, a wonderful lunch.

    All the best Jan

  21. I love your posts, Lorrie! I think I need to read the Lisa See book that you mentioned...sounds like one that I'd love. I used to always make my own applesauce, and your grands are so right! I haven't made any in quite awhile, and you've inspired me.

  22. I love reading your posts, Lorrie! I think that I need to read the Lisa See book that you mentioned. One of my all-time favorite books was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See.
    Your grands are so right about the flavor of homemade applesauce, and I haven't made any in quite awhile. You've inspired me!


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