My neighbor, who has one of the most beautiful vegetable gardens, caught me outside on more than one recent morning, while either hanging clothes on the line or trying to convince Buddy to stop chewing on Mama, and offered her surplus of green beans, cucumbers and zucchini. Nobody in their right mind would say no to organic veggies, and despite what someone might say about the state of my mind, I gladly said yes.
Those cucumbers are the definition of delicious. Better than candy. I've sauteed some of the zucchini, but a few found their way into zucchini bread. The recipe called for two loaf pans and I only had one. It offered as a second option a bundt cake pan. I've never been part of the bundt cake pan crowd, but I remembered that the lady who owned this place before me had inexplicably left one behind (I love that the Universe handles the details). I didn't have walnuts, either, but I did have pecans and so they went in as a replacement. I actually prefer them to walnuts and they worked out more than fine. I ate some, I froze some, and I'm giving some away. I didn't offer any to the neighbor, as she had already concluded at the outset that she had enough zucchini bread of her own making. Thus the surplus.
I hadn't snapped beans for awhile, but I dove in with the precision of a factory worker, snapping away, boiling water for blanching, followed by a cold water bath before freezing. I found a little curly bean amongst them and it made me laugh out loud. Just finding joy in the simple things in life, and getting pretty good at it (let's not go back to that right mind thing). A friend had sent me a late night link to some great rockabilly music and so I snapped and danced in the kitchen, while Buddy slept under the table. He never gets too far from the action. He opened one eye, realized it was only Mama going a little bit crazy, nothing too much to worry about, and went back to sleep.
Now, on to the apples, the ones the bears didn't get. Yeah, they're here, back again for another summer of pickin' and poopin'. With Buddy here, I'm glad they're working that tree either late at night or very early in the morning. There aren't as many apples as last year, it tends to go that way, so I'm thinking apple pies.
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and Fred Rogers just crossed my mind. Wasn't he a kind, good soul? I read an article about him in Esquire magazine many years ago, around the time he passed on, and I was so taken with his goodness, his clear vision of life. Mr. Rogers and his red sweater, zucchini and green beans, cucumbers and apple eating bears, all on a Saturday morning in late August. I love my life.
This was my breakfast:
I went a little hog wild.
I felt my face go twisty and confused thinking about the apples' summer of pickin' and poopin' (I wonder did she mean pippin'?), but then my face caught up to my brain who had already figured it all out, most likerly.ReplyDelete
Duck! Good God, I love to laugh. Thanks for adding to the storehouse. Nuclear waste sites should have No Swimming signs, don't you think?ReplyDelete
What a wonderful breakfast! I picked three renegade zucchinis from my garden yesterday. Maybe I'll make some zucchini bread. It has been a LONG time since I've spent any time in the kitchen other than doing dishes after Art cooks, but it's a beautiful day and there's no sense letting perfectly good zucchinis go to waste.ReplyDelete
You have to watch out for those renegade zucchini. They have a tendency to reproduce. But, yes, bread. Yummy. Way too yummy. I could apply them directly to my hips, but that's not as much fun and it doesn't look good. Thanks, Linda!ReplyDelete
It's great when neighbors have garden surpluses! I need to rethink some of my flower space to make room for a few veggies. Your breakfast looks fabulous! And I'm glad you love your life!ReplyDelete
Hi Nancy, I was thinking the same thing this morning, perhaps I should take some of the flower beds and have some veggie space closer to the house. The established garden, which I didn't do this year, is a ways from the house and not very convenient, but there's a fence around it to keep out the deer, so....ReplyDelete
Yeah, I overdid it on the breakfast. I consider it brunch.
Happy Girl, blissed out on zucchini (aka courgettes over here) and Mr. Rogers, whoever he might be (or have been).ReplyDelete
Being of a miserable sort of attitude half the time I love jolly posts like this, that quite burst with the joys of life Send some of the joy my way, please?
I read a story about a summertime newcomer to a quiet town in England, who asked a local whether it was necessary to lock his car in such a friendly little place. "Oh yes," said the local, "otherwise you'll come back to find it full of marrows" (that's British for zucchini).ReplyDelete
Unfortunately all the gardens around here (KS) seem to have tanked this year. Nobody's offering zucchini. There's a bread recipe I want to try with chocolate chips in it, but I'm not getting the chance to succumb to the temptation.
Zucchini bread and Mr. Rogers - two of my favorite things. I watched Mr. Rogers long after the girls left home. He was the only one who liked me just as I am. The Christmas after he passed on, Tom gave me a little book of Fred Rogers sayings. My Tom's a sweet man.ReplyDelete
Did someone say zucchini bread with chocolate chips? Yum.
Zucchini in these parts haven't been good this year. Oh well.
Hi Friko, "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" was a show on our public television station that was around for most of forever, it seems. He had this very gentle nature that was sweet, but often the topic of parodies and comedic skits. I liked him and encouraged my sons to watch.ReplyDelete
Big fun on the way!
Jeanne, Thanks for reading and commenting. It's a common concern in various parts of our country, too. Zucchini seems to self propagate. Anything with chocolate chips is definitely edible. I'm not sure what Riverrock is, but I assume it's music. Have fun!
Penny, That Tom. He is sweet. Your very own Mr. Rogers. :) Zucchini is an odd veggie, can be made into so many things. My former mother in-law made mock apple pie with zucchini, gave it to her hubby, who scorned zucchini even while he was eating it in a pie and declaring it yummy. It takes on the flavor through cinnamon and sugar, I suppose, the texture when cut up being similar. That's my report on mock apple pie.ReplyDelete
My neighbors grow pot and don't share. I think they're on a state funded vacation this summer. I love zucchini and cavalacita (I think that's how you spell it.) with garlic and butter on the grill. Here comes the magic trolly and the wicked ol' witch cooked liver and onions. Oh well.ReplyDelete
Curmudgeon, welcome! Is it a cash crop? Or are they just stingy?ReplyDelete
Calabacita ring a bell? Never tried it. Now, you've got me curious.
Toot! toot! Magic Trolley coming through. Crazy thing is, I love liver and onions. Start with bacon and onions, fried, of course, then roll the liver in seasoned flour, fry in the bacon grease 'til done. And only occasionally. Invite the neighbors.
Thanks for stopping.
What a great morning! That breakfast looks REALLY good. Veggies, apple pickin' bears and Mr. Rogers...now that is a good start. Can't imagine how it could get any better. Not having kids, I missed a good many years of seeing Mr. Rogers regularly. But, he sure could make a sick day better. If I had to miss work with a cold or flu, he was right on the list of must haves; kleenex, tea and Mr. Rogers. Good for kids and adults. I agree, he was kind, good soul. Happy day Dear One.ReplyDelete
Nothing better than home grown organic anything. Once I camped in Yosemite and everyone had their car scratched or broken into by bears, but I slept in my car with my dog and the bears stayed away, I was thinking it was due the scent of my dog, so I hope Buddy stays safe from them.ReplyDelete
Chris, Your days with Mr. Rogers... I love that. and a Happy Day to you, as well.ReplyDelete
Linda S, I'm sure the dog's scent made all the difference. I keep a close eye on Buddy and he's a pretty good Something's Amiss Detector. Thank you!
I'm very hungry just now!ReplyDelete
Wow, what a great breakfast! May I have a bite? lol. And what a nice neighbor you have! Life can't get any better than this. Way to go, Teresa!ReplyDelete
Hi Gigi, Help yourself! :) I do have very good neighbors. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Hej there, it's lovely to go dancing in the kitchen! Do you say bears ? Oh, take care of Buddy. And of yourself ! Or maybe it's better to take care of the bear. Now I'm confused about the words take care!!!! There is also a man called a caretaker. Stop.ReplyDelete
I love the taste of pecan. I only know it from the pecan-cakes I buy each Saturday. I have looked in vain for pecan-nuts in the shops. The first time I heard the name pecan was in "When Harry met Sally" where he wants her to say P E C A N P I E.
Have a nice Sunday!
That's funny - pickin' and poopin' -- if it's good for the bears, it's good for the humans? Most of the bear sightings around here are in the late evenings, just after twilight. Isn't it funny how when you live in the woods and you sit outside after dark, how it becomes a whole other world, what with the deer and the bears and God only knows what else ventures out in the dark of night.ReplyDelete
I live close to Honobia, Ok, home of Big Foot, so anything goes.
Snapping beans. What next Teresa? Seriously, I recognize the type of good simple time you're talking about and it is indeed so very much about the simple things!!!
Grethe, Thanks for the good laughs. Taking care, as seen from that perspective, can appear confusing. I will take good care of Buddy. And leave the bear alone to her apple picking.ReplyDelete
I Love pecan pie. Unfortunately. Absolutely delicious. When Harry Met Sally," was a fun movie. Thanks again for the fun comments. I enjoyed them very much.
Linda, Big Foot? Many people have reported seeing them here, as well, even people who never would have believed in them before their own experiences. It's an interesting phenomena.ReplyDelete
The bear comes around, and I believe she has a cub, but I never see them, just their scat under the trees, as I did last year. I saw a doe and her two fawns in the back yard this morning. That was fun.
It is the simplicity of life that speaks to me now. What next? I'm thinking sweet corn, a bushel to freeze. Right after I make these pies and cobbler. Good thing my older son, Trevor, is here to help with the eating.
Teresa, I broke beans with my sister and wife today on the front porch. Mom would have done three times as many in half the time but we did our best to get all the strings. We will cook them tomorrow along with corn off the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and cornbread. "Summer time and the livin..."ReplyDelete
Cletis, What a fine way to spend a Sunday, or any day. That meal you have planned for tomorrow sounds downright delicious. Enjoy! Yeah, summer at its best.ReplyDelete
I had a little dog dig up the zucchinni so haven't had any. I like to grill it also. I canned a dozen pints of pickles yesterday and would have enjoyed a few handfuls of beans to have pickled.The pie, sounds heaven on earth. I wonder if the bear bells we wore backpacking would scare them away,I doubt it for very long.ReplyDelete
Hi Steve, Grilled sounds good, too, and I love pickled green beans. Yummy. I just heard from the neighbor that she saw two cubs down the road so it looks like Bear Summer.ReplyDelete
Good neighbors and bears, Mr. Rogers and Buddy... you are in some very good company!ReplyDelete
Montucky, Very good company, indeed. Thank you.ReplyDelete