Thursday, August 12, 2010

Every Day is Iron Chef Day

"And today's ingredient is... ZUCCHINI!"
Again. And again. And again.

Summer squash and peaches.

I feel like the hapless challenger on Iron Chef, having to create meal after meal with these two ingredients.

It's challenging, frustrating, exasperating, and still fulfilling, trying to live off what you grow. When you have a glut of peaches and plums, the only way to really use them up is to can them (to use later, of course) but I take the challenge daily and see what else I can do with them.

Fried, baked, stuffed, spiced, pickled, pureed. Bread, pies, creams, jellies, candy, gelatos, sorbets... did I mention pies? I sneak summer squash into nearly everything. Tacos, pastas, tofu patties, soups, salads... Come to think of it, I sneak peaches and plums into nearly everything, too.

"Can we have some broccoli?" asks Big Dog.
"No. You'll get more than enough broccoli in the winter."

But even as I haul in another tub of peaches from the garden, I know that peach season will soon be over and I will miss it dearly... as I come face to face with a deluge of apples.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

One Fine Day

Ranch residents J & R got married in a charming little beach ceremony last Saturday, Cayucos waves framing their vows.

I love American weddings! Each one so reflects the individuality of the couple tying the knot, unlike most cookie-cutter Japanese weddings. J & R's was no exception: it was as charming and homespun and as earthy as the two newlyweds (who are now off on a ten-day camping honeymoon!)

R grew almost all of the flowers for the event and J made a huge batch of his own beer, using hops grown on our very ranch. (The hops also featured in the male attendants' corsages!) R's dad welded together a cute cake server and her mom made the wedding cakes, all decorated with home-grown Johnny-jump-ups.

Kids ran wild, a gypsy jazz band played on and guests had a boot-stomping, flip-flop shuffling good time at the barn reception.

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