There was a thunderstorm in Taigu which debilitated wifi and caused a power outage making it impossible for my son to send his māmadays photos. Meanwhile, in Topeka I was picking zucchini and grating them for his favorite summer treat, zucchini bread.
When he was a little boy, zucchini bread was the closest thing to a vegetable we could get into the kid. I planted the squash in our garden this summer mostly for him. It seems a little unfair that they should be ready for harvest while he is in China
But I promise, son, we will think of you with every moist, delicious bite!
It has been a bittersweet week here. A friend got a diagnosis I wish I could change. It makes me realize how fragile our relationships are for reasons far beyond our control (and lots of choices within our control as well). With that in mind here are ten things that make me feel grateful this week:
Love–platonic, romantic, from afar, up close and personal, requited, unrequited, puppy, self, and true.
Safe travels near and far.
Real, through-thick-and-thin friendships.
Whatever it is about tears that makes a body feel relief.
A cool break from July heat.
Safety from typhoons, both literal and figurative.
#642-652 of My One Thousand Gifts
My daughter made these for the 4th of July and they were delicious. I’ve been bugging her for more ever since.
Mini Fruit Pies
1 pkg. pie crust mix (2 crusts)
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 cup cold milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Grease 24 mini muffin pan cups lightly. Press crust up and around inside of each muffin cup, pressing dough to cover bottom and side. Bake approximately 10 min. until golden; cool slightly and remove carefully from pan.
Make pudding according to instructions on box. Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream. Fold the cream into the pudding. Spoon the cream mix into the pie shells and refrigerate. After 30 min. top with berries.
(Modified from the original Kraft Jello recipe.)
The cool temperatures this afternoon lured me into the garden for some physical labor. The weeds are flourishing, but lots of good things are happening too. Tomatoes for sauce and tomatoes for slicing are finally ready. Zucchini squash are multiplying rapidly. And tonight we ate potatoes fresh from the earth.
There are so many reasons I garden. The food really does taste incredibly flavorful when it has just been picked; plus I am confident the vitamin content has got to exceed that of the stuff that is trucked in. And who isn’t always looking for a way to stretch the budget?
These are good reasons for gardening, but they aren’t my main motivation. It’s those nightly strolls through the garden with someone I love, showing off my produce with just the same note of pride that I heard in my mom and dad’s voices when I walked with them through their garden. It is growing the certain flower or vegetable that mom or dad loved the most, and the joy of seeing it thrive once more. It is serving sliced tomatoes in the same bowl that held them every summer of my childhood.
At my house gardening may look like a solitary activity. You might spot me out back pulling weeds or watering. Never worry that I am feeling isolated or alone out there. My garden is a magic portal where I can still stroll and admire the produce with my mom and dad on a summer evening. Sometimes I think the best things that grow out back are memories.
Rocking night life…
Taigu “太谷” city square
Oklahoma City, OK
My son is doing, seeing and eating so many new things in China. Unfortunately, WiFi is not easily accessible where he is. He has been recording stories in his journal, but will have to update his blog with them when he gets to a place where WiFi is not a novelty. Meanwhile, we will have to be content with 妈妈 māmadays