Shared Summer Harvest

Come January we’ll be longing for these tomatoes. The taste of summer.

My friend R stopped by the other evening and shared these fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes.  Just picked!

Olive oil, chunky chopped onions and a couple of garlic cloves. Threw in the remaining cherry tomatoes (we’d been popping them in our mouths, unadorned)

Black beans and rice.  Mmmmmmmm.

Garden at Dusk

When my brother and sister visited, they worked hard in the garden, Really hard.

My friend J gave me perennials a couple of years ago.

With the thistles and weeds and volunteer trees eliminated, the plants are coming into their own.

Tonight I captured some of the blossoms.

IMG_1332if you want to see some gorgeous blooms, check out Cee’s blog

Butterflies at Franklin Park Conservatory

A couple of weeks ago in Columbus Ohio-

IMG_6911You have to check your clothing in the mirror between the double doors as you enter and exit  the butterfly garden. Sometimes a butterfly will land on you! Such delicate and beautiful creatures.

Fairy Gardens at Franklin Park Conservatory

IMG_6598IMG_6599IMG_6606IMG_6607IMG_6608IMG_6609IMG_6610IMG_6612IMG_6616IMG_6618Fairy Gardens at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus OH.

Miniature gardens on display when I visited with Laura and Charlie and the Columbus Baby Wearing mothers and their kids.

Maria Bakes Peach Cookies

Maybe you’ve been to a celebration and seen the fancy cookies that look exactly like a peach?

Meet Maria Costa.  If you live in Pittsburgh and need alterations on just about any fabric or piece clothing,upholstery or some throw pillows to match your couch, Maria is a seamstress.

But on Thursday she was baking peach cookies for her grandson’s First Holy Communion.

The first step.  Another day she’ll be cooking a vanilla pudding and filling the two halves of a ” peach”,  “gluing” them together with a finger of the filling spread on the bottoms and rolling the joined cookies in Peach Schnapps and then granulated sugar. She might add a leaf or two but no pretend stem as someone once choked on one. (Survived)

I was picking up my friend Barb to go to the art store and she asked if I could pick her up at Maria’s home instead of her house. I thought I was just picking her up.  Turns out Barb and Maria been baking all morning and Barb was taking good notes.  I was thrilled to smell the tempting baking aroma and see part of the process of the baking of the peach cookies.

They’d spent the morning baking. The dough used fifteen eggs as she thought they were on the small side but the recipe calls for a dozen!

I saw the giant wooden spoon she used to make the stiff dough. Mixers have been broken previously.

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Another day Maria will cook the filling and put the two hard halves of the peach together.  Roll them in Peach Schnappes( a hint of rosy food coloring added) and then confectioner’s sugar.  Each “peach” will rest in a pretty pleated cupcake paper on a platter.

Maria showed us the seedlings starting in her backyard garden.  Her fig tree.

Maria pointed out the province where she’s from- Calabria- Vibo Valentia   Italy

I hope I get invited with my friend to see the rest of the process in making the fancy peach cookies.  It was really nice to be welcomed into her kitchen.  The heart of her home.

Atop the Stump at the Farm etc.

And a few other pics for the second ATOP gallery.

  I was talking with my friend today and said I don’t think I use the word atop in my everyday vocabulary.  But I seem to have a few photos from the archives that illustrate it.

At Chuck and Sharon’s farm in Crestline, OH

grandkids atop roofGrandkids atop the playhouse in the backyard, a few years ago.

phantom

People ready to scream atop Phantom’s Revenge at Kennywood

apple atop student

A former student posting for the nutritional food postersduquesne incline

Duquesne Incline atop Mt. Washington Pittsburgh PA

IMG_9134Lawn ball atop stand in Joan’s Garden

wonder bread

Wonder Bread sign in Columbus OH

xmas tree atop fenceChristmas Tree atop fence post on Arlington Avenue

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St. Mary of the Mount atop Mt. Washington Pittsburgh