Sunday, July 27, 2008

Loving it!

So, the 'loving where we live' list just continues to grow. I think one of Folsom's best kept secrets is wild blackberries growing everywhere this time of year. I've found my own secret berry picking spot that I like to go to (no it's not near the Parkway trails, although that's a good one) and the other day had quite a harvest.
Last year Nate's mom made an amazing blackberry pie after she picked some that are near their house. I decided to keep things cool in this hot weather and made some truly scrumptious blackberry sherbet.
Delicious. Oh, the fun I get to have when work isn't taking up too much of my time and sapping my energy. It was worth every pesky thorn that managed to leave me a bit scratched and wounded. I love summer!

You could pretty much make this recipe with any kind of fruit: peaches, berries, maybe even pineapple. If you've got an ice cream maker, I say put it to work! It was made for this time of year!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How does YOUR garden grow?

I love, love summer vegetables: corn, tomatoes, even endless amounts of zucchini. Unfortunately, in the blessed chaos of moving, a garden just didn't get put in for this year. I think I've got a coveting issue to resolve when it comes to friends' gardens.
We were pleasantly surprised, however, to see grape vines in the backyard the first time we looked at our house. And we were even more surprised when we returned just a few weeks later to see that they had grown like crazy from woody stubs to full, out of control vines. So, even though we're lacking in some of my favorites, I can report that we 'harvested' our first bunch of grapes yesterday. Don't they look delicious?

Our yard just continues to amaze us. Oh sure, we've got crab grass and weeds. In fact, the whole place was suffering a bit when we first moved in. But after some adjustments with the sprinklers and drip system, I think we got most things back among the living. Since then it's been so fun to watch what the middle of a hot, smoky, California summer.

A few days ago I just couldn't help but take the camera and capture just a few shots of what's growing. If this is what it's like in the middle of summer, I can't wait to see what blooms in the spring!

p.s. To any of our 'local' friends who are looking for a good home for some of your garden produce, I'm willing to swap cookies, brownies, even a cake for some home grown goodies!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Kirkwood Fun

We just got back from a long weekend in Kirkwood. All I can say is GOOD times. Well, that's not exactly, relaxing, adventurous and delicious will work too. Thirty of us Pebleys (that would be Nate's mom's side of the family) spent the Fourth of July in Kirkwood eating, hiking and just hanging out. Thanks to Uncle Neil we had a little adventure with the 'Ranger,' a six-person ATV that he really can and does take anywhere. We were in Hope Valley when his fast run through a stream gave us our own log ride-like experience (totally drenched), and I couldn't believe the steep rock face he took us up on. Think roller coaster but much, MUCH better, especially considering the scenery.We spent part of another day taking the ski lifts up to the top of Kirkwood where we walked along the top ridge and then hiked down the mountain. The wildflowers were amazing and EVERYwhere. We also hiked along Caples Lake, visited the Tragedy Springs memorial, and had a great family competition of charades. I loved being with all of the aunts, uncles and cousins that I'm now apart of. The Pebley sisters all have such a great laugh, especially when that ATV takes off. :-) And their husbands, the uncles, each have a strength and individually unique love about them that I truly admire. The cousins, well, they're just fun to be around, and I wish we saw each other more often. I think one of my favorite things was hearing all of the little ones each morning as they woke up, giggled a lot and started playing. There's just a lot of love and a lot of Pebleys. It's so great!
So even though it was only a few days, I feel like my need for a summer vacation has been fulfilled. It was the perfect break from my current summer school-filled days. Arriving home to a smoke filled valley (where is the nearest fire anyway?) wasn't the best greeting, but it's good to be back in our cute house and relax a little before the work week begins. Maybe I need a vacation from our vacation!