I remember every year during the first week of school one of the assignments was to write about what we did during the summer. Now that my hiatus is officially over, here is my assignment.
Not much has changed with the kitties. They spent their summer, sleeping, sunbathing, and eating. They were able to have a couple of supervised outdoor adventures. Since we live near a very busy highway the outdoor activities consist of hanging on the deck.
The husband and I decide to make the garden bigger this year, two times bigger! And yes, twice the work. Even though the work was doubled I was glad we did, it was a big success. This was the third year we've had a vegetable garden and it is still a learning process. So I spent a lot of time reading as much I could on gardening. My biggest issue has been starting my plants from seed. With all my new knowledge I'm hoping next spring I'll have a better attempt.
Tomato blight was a huge problem on the east coast this summer and many people's tomatoes were hit hard. This also included Martha, which she blogged about in August. I however was fortunate enough not to be effected by the disease. I really had tomatoes coming out my eyes!
I added another job title to my belt this summer, "nanny". I know, what! If everyone remembers my BFF is a photographer and has been very very busy.(click on "BFF" and check out her blog) She needed a sitter for a couple days a week and I had some free time. My "nanny" days were spent outside playing, going to petting zoos, taking the kids to farmers markets and being able to be a kid a couple times a week during the summer.
This is "the first day of school" picture Jen took of the crew. I spent most of the summer trying to get them to call me nanny Bridgette, but no luck!
Since I had such a productive garden I was in the kitchen a lot. Here are a few things I made that I really liked.
This is a corn salad I decided to make while I was freezing corn. I used green peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley and black beans. The dressing included lime juice, vegetable oil, cumin(a lot of cumin), salt and pepper. It was very refreshing.
With all of those tomatoes of course I canned. These are the plum tomatoes. I like these the best since the plum or Roma tomato is not as watery as others. They will make great pizza and pasta sauce.
A favorite during the summer was simple sliced tomatoes with salt, pepper, and a really good EVOO(ugh... I can't believe I just ripped off Rachel Ray).
Zucchini was a real bumper crop as well. There was a lot of muffins and breads made. But just slicing it lengthwise, brush it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, plus use some garlic powder. Then trough it on the grill. I used a few squirts of lemon juice to finish it off.
Another great recipe I used for zucchini is one the BFF found on Allrecipes for zucchini patties. I did change up the recipe a little. It calls for 1/2 cup of flour, I used bread crumbs instead and still included only 2T of flour. Plus I cooked them in olive oil rather than vegetable oil. I think the olive oil gave it a better flavor. I served it with sauteed cremini mushrooms and marinara sauce. So good!!
Trying to figure out what to do with all the vegetables in the garden was a challenge all summer. I did discover a frittata was a great thing to make and fill it with a ton of veggies and herbs! This was a good "go to" dinner when time was not my friend.
Ever since I was little someone in my family has always made Blueberry Buckle during the summer. One day mid-July I went and picked blueberries at Ontelaunee Orchards which is only 10 minutes from the house. Ontelaunee is a Native American word for "little maiden".
It was a hot day, not sunny but hot. Which was a change since our area was unseasonably cool and wet this year. I started picking around 9 am. I don't even remember what time it was when I was through, but I ended up with 15lbs. I was so hot I'm surprised I did have a heat stroke. And if I know I wouldn't have been arrested I would have picked blueberries in my bra and underwear!
The biggest thing this summer which I wrote about in an earlier post was my ditsy OMG moment of leaving the sink in the guest bath filling for 2 1/2 hours, thanks to Michael Jackson's funeral. It was the worst thing ever. The water went from my second floor ALL the way down to the basement. This happened in beginning of July and the cleanup and repair just ended last week.
We had to replace the entire ceiling, tray ceiling, and two sections of the walls in the dining room. The entire downstairs was painted since our floor plan is open. All the carpet was replace in the entire house. That was a pain. I felt like we moved out and then moved back in. The funny thing is, I can say that now, we were going to paint the downstairs this summer and we just talked about replacing the carpet before we put the house up for sale. I may have done it subconsciously.
The finished product is great. They installed the carpet better then the contractors that built our house. I would have loved to put in hardwood floors but I couldn't see spending the money when we plan to sell in a couple of years.
The last couple weeks of the summer were great. We spent it in Cape May, NJ for our annual vacation with family. Cape May is the oldest resort town in the US. And while we were there the town celebrated it's 400Th anniversary. Days are spent at the beach. The evenings we stroll down to Sunset Beach(click here to read about the neat attractions which includes a concrete ship, Cape May Diamonds, and the Flags Ceremony) or going to Washington Square Mall.
Everyone in my family loves to cook so we make very elaborate meals all week. The restaurants and shopping are great. It's one of my favorite places to go.
I hope everyone enjoyed my summer recap. I've decided to spend more time taking pictures and blogging. So come back again! Always leave a comment. I love to hear what on your mind!