Sunday, August 6, 2017

Summer, this week

In our tenth week of summer break, there was rain almost every day. Amounts ranged from just a little to quite a lot - almost an inch during one afternoon storm. We've had a good monsoon this year, especially in my neck of the woods, which saw more than three inches of rain during July.

The afternoons are still hot, but the sun is starting to feel just a little less intense. The evenings draw in just a little earlier, and it's starting to feel like summer won't last forever. On the stormy evenings, I've been lighting candles in the kitchen again, just a tea light here and there.

I tried a soup recipe from the terrific CopyKat Recipes, a website devoted to recreating restaurant dishes at home. This is CopyKat's version of Olive Garden's Chicken Gnocchi Soup, which is my favorite kind of soup served there. It's a definite dietary splurge, but I really wanted to try making it at home. Copykat's recipe was easy and quick, and it tasted just like the real thing! Yum.

When it isn't raining, we try to spend time outdoors, since it's not quite so blazing hot anymore. Aside from the LB's guitar lessons, which run year-round, all the activities have ended for the summer - with more than a week still to go before school starts. We find plenty to do, though, even if it's just sitting on a blanket in the backyard.

I've been reading Prime Suspect 1973 by Lynda La Plante. I enjoyed the recent TV show on PBS (renamed Prime Suspect Tennison in the US) so much that I just had to get the book. It was weird though; the book, also published as Tennison in the US, was much less expensive to buy from the UK, even with shipping, so that's what I ordered. This is fine with me; I always love having things that come from far away. Anyway, it's a really good book. I've had the original Prime Suspect TV show recommended to me many times, and I will definitely watch it soon.

I was gazing out the kitchen window one morning this week, and a swatch of color caught my eye in the pyracantha hedge along the back wall. It was an area of berries turning orange! This is their color in ripeness. The change always happens over the month of August, but I wasn't really paying attention, I guess. As the week progressed, I saw a few more areas take on an orange tinge as well. There's still plenty of summer left, but orange pyracantha berries are one of the earliest signs of fall in my little patch.

Finally, our hens have become egg-laying machines! Holy cow. Three eggs most days, now that all the young hens are laying. The eggs are still smallish, so I usually use one extra in any recipe (these became egg salad for three). The eggs from Ginger, the Buff Orpington, are darker brown (that's hers in the middle), with a perfect deep-golden yolk. They're almost too pretty to eat. Meanwhile, old Betty has adjusted, mostly, to having whippersnappers about, which may be due in part to the fact that Ginger has grown to be intimidatingly huge. Betty, for all her cantankerousness, knows when to quit. Coop life is fascinating, like a poultry-based reality show. The Hendashians, if you will.


  1. The Hendashians, that made me chuckle. I love watching the birds in the garden and often think it's like watching a soap opera with all the squabbling that goes on. I wasn't keen on Prime Suspect 1973 but I loved the original Prime Suspect that was on many years ago.

  2. Love the idea of the Hendashians, you've made me laugh too. A blanket in the backyard sounds blissful, I'd happily do that for an afternoon or two. I hope you have a good week. CJ xx

  3. Ha! The Hendashians - you are good! That soup looks yummy!

  4. It has been fun, reading along with your Summer holidays. Love the Hendashians, they are performing so well they deserve their own TV show! Your grass is lovely and green, a good sign you are getting lots of rain. It has gone rather dry here, and the roses are wilting. I like the orange berries, the sign of Autumn coming.

  5. I am enjoying so much the story of your summer Jennifer. It reminds me a lot of the days of my children's childhood. I can't believe summer is winding down. It's still so hot here. I know I'll be wanting this heat come winter.

    That's my favorite soup too and a recipe I'll definitely be checking out. Thanks for the link.

    And finally, you made me laugh out loud at the "Hendashians." That's hilarious!

  6. It is great to have your own little sit-com in the garden - the Hendashians. Love it. I am glad you are still enjoying your break, even ten weeks in. Your soup looks really good, I might look it up and make it (leaving out the chicken pieces, which I am not keen on in soup). Enjoy your not so hot summer days. You'd love it here: cool, rain and more rain. Back at school next week, I am so glad. xx

  7. oh that soup looks great! I was thinking of you when I was researching a vintage tea towel brand (martex dry me dry towel) and saw so many bright coloured things that reminded me of the really neat Cross stitches you do and your style (

    It's hard to believe that summer is going again so quickly. Lovely to hear from you and see some of the things you are making, seeing and telling us about!

  8. Lovely summer times....the soup looks delicious. I remember watching Prime Suspect avidly! Recently we saw a newly made 'prequel' which we enjoyed too. Have a lovely week Jennifer. Xox

  9. How fun to have your own hens, you lucky girl! Your summer sounds wonderful -- thanks for sharing the link to the soup recipe -- it looks divine!

  10. The Hendashians! Too good! The original Prime Suspect series (with Helen Mirren, brilliant as Jane Tennison) is a must. Me and Mum watched it together. It was quite groundbreaking in it's day.
    Leanne xx

  11. The hens must be happy I think. Lovely summer post it does feel like autumn is in the air now though. A good time for soup. x

  12. Hendashians!! Oh, brilliant. Great egg laying though, they're clearly very happy and healthy. There's a little touch of autumn around the corner here too and I always welcome it. The hedgerows are full of blackberries. You'd love it! X


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