The original plan was to title this post "Bye, Bye, July," but, you know, it's now 10 days into August, so even that was belated.
I didn't mean to vanish so thoroughly, but apparently, I needed a bit of a blogging vacation. (Perhaps a delayed effect from all that blogging in May.)
There have been some good distractions, like visitors, necessitating some nice summer cooking, which included this lovely summer vegetable pie (in its pre- and post-baked states):
We ate it with grapenut ice cream, a long time favorite but hard to find. (I used David Lebovitz's vanilla ice ream recipe and added a cup of grapenuts. There was some dissent about this, as Abby and Jon liked the ice cream when it was just finished, while Alex and I preferred it a day later, when the grapenuts had time to soften.)
There have been multiple hikes on Mt. Tom and ice cream at Mt. Tom's. In some kind of ice cream irony, the day after we made the grapenut ice cream, Abby and Jon and I hiked across the Mt. Tom ridge and then went to Mt. Tom's, where, on the specials list was none other than grapenut ice cream, the first time I've seen it available outside of New Hampshire (where it's kind of a local specialty).
Unfortunately, there was also a lingering flu that sucked up a couple of weeks of my break and required obsessive reading of the novels of Noel Streatfeild as well as a re-read of the entire Harry Potter series to get through.
There is also the terrible news that most, if not all, of my tomatoes at the community garden have come down with late blight. They were looking so happy and healthy, even with all the June rain, but the leaves started dying, and then as the tomatoes started to ripen, it was clear that something was wrong. I've already gotten rid of a couple of plants and think I'll have to do the rest. The three plants I planted at home seem okay, but that's little consolation, as there are 17 plants at the community garden. It looks like I'll be buying tomatoes for this year's sauce extravaganza. I should note, though, that I bought all my tomato starts from a local garden center and from an organic stand at the farmers' market, so even avoiding big box garden centers didn't help in my case.
At least it's been a good year for potatoes . . .
If those had been at the community garden, they'd be toast too (metaphorically speaking, of course), but I was told early on that the potato bug was there, so I didn't even try. They seem to like my garden here, though, not that potatoes are known for being fussy. I'm thinking I might try Molly from Orangette's salsa verde for my next batch.
Anyway, I'm off in a bit to Lake Winnepesaukee for a few days, then back briefly, then off to the Cape for a few more days. I hope to have my blogging energy back when I'm back home again. It will still be blueberry season then, and there is a blueberry treat I definitely want to write about. (Suffice it to say, for the moment, that, with only three of us present and after a large and delicious dinner, the 9" x 13" pan was half empty by the time I covered it up.)
Until then, happy August!