Well, first a garden update. I have a small portion of my front yard dedicated to my veggie patch... nothing too fancy. I have a butternut squash, a giant pumpkin, an eggplant, some basils, some lettuce, some chards, and 5 varieties of tomatoes. Let me just edit that to say that I HAD a giant pumpkin plant. It was THRIVING! Taking over the whole yard! Full of blossoms! Sneaking its fancy little tendrils onto every other plant! Climbing up the apricot tree, for goodness sake!
So, what happened? Gophers happened! I have noticed that many of us out here in bloggy land struggle with garden pests - potato bugs, deer,more deer, squirrels... well - we've got gophers. Oh boy, do we have gophers. Just yesterday I removed 4 plants that had been eaten by gophers. It is a bit irritating because those sneaky little gophers only eat the roots... and leave all the rest of the plant to slowly wither and die. It is also irritating because they are furry and cute and I am not able to kill them. Musty says I should just think of it as my "small mammal garden" - in which case I have achieved great success.
So, the gophers ate out the root of my amazing and glorious giant pumpkin plant. I had 2 large - and growing - pumpkins and one small one. When I saw that the plant was no more, my aunt L suggested that I keep them on the vine for a while so that they could continue to suck the last bits of life out them. It seemed like a good idea. I decided yesterday to finally pick them off the dead vines and put them in our cold garage in hopes that they'll last til Halloween. But, what happened!? Look at this:
That sneaky gopher! Dug up through the ground INTO MY PUMPKIN! ate out the middle... and all made it look like my lovely pumpkin was still intact. Well, at least SOMEONE got a little beta carotene. :) This is the hole in the ground that I found when I picked that pumpkin up off its spot.
Here's what I did harvest yesterday... and there's more to come. The tomatoes are just starting, since I was late in planting them. Yesterday I picked some eggplants, some cherry tomatoes (Yum!), and some basil blossoms for my veggie broth. Aren't those eggplants pretty?
When we were up at the guitar conference last weekend, I noticed a giant blackberry patch in the parking lot... FULL of berries! You know I couldn't resist! So, after we were all packed up on Sunday evening, I spent about 20 minutes picking out in the parking lot, and quickly got about 7 cups of delcious, sweet, ripe blackberries. Of course I made a pie... ahhhhh it was delicious!
It's good that I made this lovely dessert too, because our unpredictably weird oven appears to be on its very last legs now. That is a problem, because a new oven will mean a kitchen remodel, because of the old, funky nature of our kitchen... which means the whole thing is complicated and pricey. Ugh!
Here are two delightful summery dishes - last night's "Summer Risotto with Corn, Leeks, and Tomatoes" (from "Modern Vegetarian Kitchen") & tonight's "Roasted Corn Soup" (from "Voluptuous Vegan"). Amazing how similar they look - although actually the flavors were quite different. I especially loved this soup - it's got fresh pureed corn, roasted corn, scallions, red pepper, poblano chile, tomatoes... very tasty!
By the way, I am waiting for my friend Sara to get back from her vacation, and then I will get you all that recipe for the roasted banana ice cream! I haven't forgotten you. :)
And thanks everyone for oohing and ahhing over cute little Snoopy - we think he's cute too! :)