Friday, July 30, 2010

The Triumph of Summer

July passes like an afternoon breeze and I try to recall what has happened to the days. The air is crisp with bright blue sky and cottony clouds that float away.
Here at Windsong Woods we revel in the perfect days - the hot sun and drenching thunderstorms that string the days together. It's all about the gardens now for me. How the flowers bloom and what is ripe and which birds grace the feeders. These things take up my time and fill my thoughts and dreams.
The winter winds shall blow in not so many months from now. I'll let the snow pile by the door, for I will have July in my heart and no Winter wind or frosty chill can take that thought from me. I keep the memories too tight, balled in cotton, soaked in lavender and tucked deep into my summer soul.
The chickens have grown and my last wish was requested! My son took pity on my haphazard plans for the chicken shelter and produced a magical house with nesting areas, a window and a locking front door. The whole front slides out for easy cleaning and the back opens up for egg removal.
The chickens love cherry tomatoes, so I do endulge their little cravings. The Raspberries have gone by now, but will soon be replaced with the biggest, juiciest, easiest picking Blackberries I have ever seen! The Blueberries come from the stand at the side of the road, but the pie was awesome!! Here's the reciepe:

Front Page Blueberry Pie

For the Crust - I make this first. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1t. salt
2 T. sugar
2 sticks of cold organic butter (I know! But this is the right amount!)
1/3 cup of ice water - more or less, I don't measure, but go by feel... sorry - that's how Nanny taught me
Stir first 3 ingredients together, then cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter or break with fingers into peas sized pieces. Sprinkle water, a spoon at a time into 5 sections of the bowl - more or less and stir lightly. Squeeze it together, knead a couple times, divide into 2 discs and wrap in plastic. Put in the freezer.
Then combine a quart of Blueberries, with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of flour.
Retrieve dough from the freezer - Keep in for 5 minutes - and roll out first crust with rolling pin. Fold in half and put into pie plate. Unfold. Spread evenly, pour berries in and dot with a little butter here and there. Roll out 2nd crust and place over top. Pinch edges, poke a dozen evenly spaced holes in the crust and bake for 15 min. in preheated 400 oven. Then turn down to 350 for 1/2 or until slightly golden brown.
Let cool completely before cutting - if it's hot it will be runny - just cover it with ice cream!

Enjoy!! I'm back to the garden. My your life be as blessed as mine is this day! Light and Love!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Welcome July

The poppies are blooming and the garden grows with glee. Green tomatoes hang with ripening cukes and the Elderberry flowers are opening. The lavender awaits my cutting and the Hawthorne tree blooms in ecstacy.

The cockatiels, Joey and Olivia are beginning anewin the laying cycles. Dozens of eggs and nary a fertile one. I have yet to find a bird fertility specialist, so I merely wait and trust that the Universe has a plan for unborn chicks. My birds seem happy going about the motions, and after a month of no hatching, they begin the mating and laying again. I'm content to watch and enjoy their company.

The chicken chicks are 3 + weeks old and have been outside to play in the yard a small fenced in area. Next week, they will have a more permanent enclosure for outdoor fun.... I'm still debating the final design. In other words, I don't have clue where the pen will be. I wish I had a chicken house.... Sigh.

In a an undeniable craving for camping and alone time, I found a $7 tent at the thrift store and set it up in the backyard. It is lovely and I may move in before the summer is over. I'm waiting for a warm night to test it out. Page and I have played and painted in it earlier in the week. The dogs loved it and now she declares that she wants a tent too! Her bottom tooth is really loose and we hoped it would fall out, but has clung on mightily... In time the tooth fairy will visit.

We did go to the beach this week for a brief visit in the afternoon. Baby Beach in Pemaquid was almost empty of people and the tide was high. We enjoyed the warm sun, Page ran in up to her chest, I got my legs wet, but it was just to cold for me to dive in... Page was really disappointed that I am so wimpy, though I promised next time that I would.

I'm off to the well and enjoy the summer's kindness!