It's no secret that the season known to most as Summer begins incredibly late here in the Pacific Northwest. May, June, and sometimes July are still months for scarves & jackets. Flowers bloom later, fruits pop out later, temperatures seem to wait as long as possible to hop above the 70 degree mark. It's one big waiting game. But when Summer does arrive, it is just so gosh darn wonderful. Here's what's been happening so far, in Insta-form! (If you don't already follow me, I'm VictoryGardenYarn on Instagram! I'd love to follow you, too, so leave your Insta-name in the comments if you'd like to play!)
Mumsy came for a lengthy visit. Lucky (or not?) for her, she timed her stay to coincide with prime strawberry picking season. Did you know that three people can pick no less than twenty-four pounds of strawberries in just under an hour? It's true!
Picking twenty-four pounds of strawberries was certainly a spontaneous event, so the last day of Mumsy's visit was spent with the two of us washing & stemming all of those sweet little berries. A word to the wise when picking strawberries at your local farm: you may be tempted by huge, perfectly shaped strawberries, but while those may seem like the perfect berries, the smaller berries are so sweet! We overheard fellow pickers walking by our baskets & commenting about the fact that we grabbed every tiny berry we could get our hands on--well guess what? When you have tiny berries, you don't have to hull them! Just slice off the stem and away you go. No hulling is a good thing when you have twenty-four pounds to deal with. Strawberry lemonade concentrate, preserves, and herb-spiked jam were all canned & put away for a rainy Winter day.
Summer is my off season business-wise and that's okay by me! I actually have the time to breathe, clear my head, focus on (rather boring) but important details in growing my business, and work on household projects. Like paint & hang a beautiful thrifted mirror in our bedroom, reacquaint myself with unfinished personal knitting & crochet projects, and spend some time futzing away in our little kitchen. I finally finally finally sucked it up & dealt with all the pesky ends hanging off the back of my nearly finished log cabin blanket. It took me six straight hours of re-knotting, tugging, sewing, pulling, and snipping but it is FINALLY finished! I'm usually pretty humble about my creations but I am so proud of myself on this one. I spent five years working on this blanket--off & on of course--but still, I've been waiting for five years to be able to use it and now I can! My next Summer goal is to finish the scrappy cotton zig-zag blanket I started a few years back, with the intention of using up a random stash of cotton yarn I had on hand. Finishing something sure does feel good.
Summer means bright, fresh, dishes whipped up in the kitchen. Sweet berries, ripe tomatoes, fresh flowers on the table (who knew I'd become obsessed with miniature, gulp, carnations?), and our new obsession with homemade pizza--it's all been happening lately. I told myself I'd try yet again to make a homemade pie crust & it turned out...well...passable. Sure, it ended up with a giant crack right down the middle, but that gets covered up, so we won't tell anyone. Sssh. Summer if also the official season for Tomato Pie, and I couldn't be happier.
Ultimately, Summer means sitting outside, BBQs with friends, swing-sets after dinner, picnics in our parking lot, wandering out after dark & baring my shoulders without icicles forming, sitting by a river while boyfriend fly-fishes, and watching the sun set dramatically behind the Olympic Mountains.
I know there are a lot of places getting too much heat and not enough rain right now and I do hope you are all hanging in there! And if you aren't, come to Seattle & I'll bake you a tomato pie.