Screen Door Evenings and Small Holidays
Chocolate Box Cottage Diary, Volume 2
Week 32: August 13, 2022
The screen door is open most evenings, a small holiday in itself. The yellow Adirondack chairs are pressed into service, the front porch is abloom with pink and red geraniums. It is too warm for supper there, but the garden teepee is becoming a favorite comfortable spot again as greenery wends its way up.
Could anything be more fitting than zucchini, in some form, for dinner in the teepee? That’s how Sam and I celebrated our First Date Anniversary, with grilled burgers served on zucchini slice “buns.”
Sam and I met through mutual friends, TJ and Charity Weber, who thought we were perfect for each other and decided to play matchmaker! I worked with Charity at the local Grange Co-op, Sam and TJ worked 2 jobs together at the time.
Sam came to meet me for the first time at work and asked me out to dinner. Our first date was to take place Sunday July 13, 2003. Tragically, my Dad died unexpectedly the night before our first date.
We didn’t go out until more than a year later, August 14, 2004, after a chance meeting at the Post Office. Coincidence is God’s signature and we quickly fell in love.
We celebrate all the special days: First Date Anniversary, Proposal Day, and our Wedding Anniversary. And we celebrate many other small things!
We have invented a basketful of small holidays and sprinkled them through the calendar:
First Day of Summer – with homemade ice cream
First Zucchini – with fried Zucchini Moons
First Tomato – we share it
Wisteria in Bloom – with pictures
Locust Tree Flower Flurry – grilled supper under the falling petals
Final Load of Firewood – a nap and a movie
This is just a sampling of small holidays of summer. We also celebrate clean floors, internet outages, and new baby animals of all kinds.
We are ready to mark any occasion, especially the small ones, with a special dessert, a picture, a picnic, a walk, or whatever suits.
How about you? Do you celebrate any private or “made-up” holidays? Do tell!
First sunflower… another small holiday? Chocolate Cherry Sunflower is a show-stopper.
Thornless blackberries mingle with wild ones along our garden fence. First ripe berries means blackberry cobbler or pie!
Gorgeously flavored Amarylla tomatillos are best when fully ripe, so sweet! This Polish variety was bred to thrive in the cooler summer conditions of inland eastern Europe. I didn’t used to consider tomatillos desirable as an out-of-hand snack, but these have changed my mind.
Our little dog, Squirrel loves to spend time in the garden with me, nose in the dirt. On this day, she uncovered a treasure: skin shed by a snake!
Small Chamomile harvest to be dried for tea. The variety is called Zloty Lan and I appreciate the extra-large size flowers. Larger flowers equal more tea. They have a fruity floral scent that is calming to the tummy and the disposition. I left plenty of flowers to self-sow.
Another variety of chamomile, Kelway Golden, used for dyeing, is just coming into flower against a backdrop of Persian basil.
Goldenrod – a gift from a friend, Michael Villareal. In search of a cup of red wigglers (worms) for a new worm bin.
🌤A garden tool basket is almost like having an extra set of 👐🏻 hands in the garden! No more lost time hunting for missing pruners or🧤 gloves; you will know right where they are. 💡😊All those small items, too, like a tape measure for measuring off planting spaces, pencil for making notes in your garden journal, and more. You can bring your water bottle along, effortlessly, so you stay hydrated in the heat!
Zucchini Slice is a dish that Australian friend Amanda Roberts has been prodding me to make for a while. I finally made it and it was an instant hit. Sam makes waffles for breakfast.
Mix up a big batch of bread dough once a month with my Whole Wheat Freezer Bread Dough recipe, either by hand or using an Ankarsrum mixer. You can thaw and bake a loaf each week to keep fresh bread in the house and if a piece of dough hangs around too long in the freezer, it’s still great for pizza night!
Recipe for pizza sauce made from a can of tomato sauce or from tomatoes you’ve dried from your garden (pictured) is included in the pizza recipe! Make pizza just the way you like it.
A delicious summer meal of tabouli salad made with spelt grain, spiralized curly fries cooked in a cast iron skillet, and grilled steaks. Feeling blessed.
We said goodbye to our beloved Pastor Dennis Mortimore and his wife Joy as they retired to Grants Pass. Tom and Sheryl O’Neal, Pastors of a neighboring church, gave a beautiful tribute to Dennis.
We make Tea and lunch at Mom and Rolly’s a small holiday. This week included a bunch of grandkids, so fun! Sisters Savannah Hulce, and Gigi and Alyssa Hill, Miriam and Mom’s BFF Joy Longiotti joined in the fun. Joy brought a newly finished quilt top to show and lunch was open-face egg salad sandwiches, fruit salad, sliced garden cucumbers, and iced tea.
Thanks for stopping by, see you next week!