midsummer garden

July 13, 2016

Midsummer at Casa de Knitionary means the garden is in full throttle and we are in the water-weed-harvest-repeat mode.  July is the prettiest time in our garden, and while the work never ends, we enjoy it all.  The weather has been so nice; it's pretty much always nice but we never forget to be grateful for it.  We recently attended a party to honor twelve newly retired servicemen, none of whom live in California but were here taking a Stanford University course designed to integrate service men and women back into the changing work force.  The one thing they all marveled over was our beautiful weather. We are proud of our mild, sunny days, and of course immensely proud of our men and women who serve our country in the armed forces.  It was an honor to meet these terrific young men.

Garden Details

the giant tomato I'm holding is a Black Krim, beyond delicious

the sunflowers are pollenless Moulin Rouge
the cherry tomatoes are Sun Gold

the vegetable casserole is a summer standard around here and is my variation

I profess an undying love for pesto and make a traditional one with
the basics: basil, garlic, salt, pine nuts, parmesan, and olive oil
but I'll share my two tips for making a great pesto even better:
lightly toast the pine nuts and at the end add the juice of half a lemon;
toasting the pine nuts gives a fuller flavor, and the hint of lemon gives a fresh finish--
or for a variation add a few mint leaves for a hint of mint,
or some nasturtium leaves for a peppery kick
here's my recipe

I've never been crazy about melon so I wrap prosciutto
around fresh summer stone fruit--this summer try a plum or a peach!

most requested quickie summer dinner
is tuna salad on tomato slices

summery stuffed bell peppers 

for the best crunchy/salty summer snack
shake a tablespoon of soy sauce into a cup,
add small cucumbers quartered lengthwise
~you're welcome~

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"If I ever go looking for my heart's
desire again, I won't look any
further than my own back yard..."
--Dorothy, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"


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  1. You have a beautiful garden. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Beautiful & YUM !

  3. Thanks for all the links. The vegetable tian really caught my eye.

    As usual, the garden photos are breathtaking.

    1. You will love making and serving the tian. I always use tomato and potato, but the squash is whatever I happen to have. It's a very forgiving recipe.

  4. Love, love, love, this story on your blog..great pictures!!!!

  5. GORGEOUS!!!!!
    Looks like a lot grew while you were on your trip!!!!!
    How large is your back yard?
    It looks huge!
    Love it!!!!!

    1. Thank you Maxine. I don't think it's as big as it looks, we have a little over a half acre and it's mostly grass bordered by a vegetable garden on one side, a perennial garden at the back and a rose walk on the left side. The garden was laid out when the house was built 75 years ago and modeled after the trial Sunset Gardens in Menlo Park. Sunset did a made a nice picture story on my house soon after it was built, and we were give the magazine when we moved in here 31 years ago, but I have misplaced it! I know it's here somewhere and I WILL find it. When I do, I'll share it on this blog as it tells how this house was built, ind of interesting!

  6. Beautiful photos of a beautiful garden, tian, stuffed peppers and tuna salad. Yum.


  7. So Beautiful! I'm especially loving those gorgeous Sunflowers!!!


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