Food! Glorious, glorious, glorious food! I have tomatoes from the garden! They are red and juicy and absolutely fabulous! This is the first time I have ever eaten a tomato right from the garden, and it is wonderful. The cucumbers are still growing like rabbits. I think I'm going to have to make some pickles or relish or something of the like. I'm growing more than one a day. And my farm tomatoes will become salsa later on today, because I want to eat fresh ones from my bushes.
I've been in a furious baking made these past two days. With a boat load of zucchinis piling up from the farm, I shredded up five cups of it for whole wheat honey zucchini bread. Caleb and I also made an applesauce loaf as part of our "Learn Your Letters, Learn to Serve" curriculum. Last night I had burritos on the menu, but had no wraps in the house. I considered loading all three boys into the car for a trip to the grocery store, but as the past two ventures have been disastrous, I thought it the perfect time to try my hand at homemade wraps. While they were delicious, and the dough was easy enough to make, the work it took to roll them all out - not something I'll do on a regular basis.
Lastly, this morning I found myself with four slightly stale specialty buns. They were part of a massive bag of "day-olds" that I picked up on Monday. They were all differently spiced: onion, garlic, caraway. They seemed perfect for homemade croutons, another new venture for me. It's as easy as chopping the buns, tossing them in a bit of melted butter and then baking them for 20 minutes.
Or, it should have been that easy. Everything was going perfectly. Benjamin woke up with 10 minutes left in the oven, so I took advantage of the time to get the boys dressed for a walk down to the park. The sun shone, the warm air held a slight breeze, our 20 minute walk was beautiful. The boys hopped up onto the play equipment when I suddenly had a horrifying revelation: I had left the croutons in the oven, with the oven on. It was already a good 20 minutes past the time they needed to come out.
In a panic I approached the only other adult at the park and begged for a cell phone. She only had a texting plan, and so I sent my very first text to James:
urgent i left the oven on call your mom and get her to turn it off reply to 519-***-****
That was the best I could do as I fumbled with the unfamiliar device. I waited 5 minutes for a reply to verify he had received it. No reply came. (Which I couldn't believe my bad luck, since he ALWAYS has that thing on and nearby!) So I loaded the boys in to the double stroller, strapped Benjamin into the baby carrier, and hauled off at a run. Of course, the way home is completely uphill.
I shut my eyes as I turned the corner onto our street, silently praying that there would be no fire truck in front of the house, or black smoke pouring from the windows. I dashed inside, pulled out the croutons and turned off the stove, just as my mother-in-law pulled up. (James had gotten a hold of her, but I had already left the park).
I expected a tray of blackened, smouldering rocks. Instead, I was pleasantly greeted by this:
Gorgeous! And so incredibly tasty! They are crunchy and yet melt in your mouth. I will never buy a box of pre-packaged teeth-breaker croutons again! It was so easy, and you can be sure I will never leave them in the oven again!
(Huge sigh of exhaustion and satisfaction).
I have another new meal planned this evening, since I have three heads of broccoli still to use. In fact, we are bursting with yummy fresh produce from the garden and farm, so I have a feeling we'll be eating like kings over the next while. Homemade strawberry rhubarb pie is also on the menu for next week, as well as a peach cobbler and plenty of tomato/cucumber salads.
All this has really spurred on my vision of the next house we'd like to buy. It seems silly to me to spend all that money on buying fresh local fruits and vegetables when I could grow them myself. With more land, I will be able to have a large garden without sacrificing any play area for the boys. Although I still don't have a passion for gardening, I enjoy reaping the benefits, and therefore will continue on in future years to grow more and more of our own food. Eventually I would also love to get into more and more canning and preserving, but one thing at time.