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Thursday morning the rain fell. It fell gently and well, and only for a short amount of time. In fact, as it was early in the morning before the neighborhood had woken up, I thought it was the sound of the sprinklers, but no, it was a lusciously, yummy rain. Oh, I thought to myself, my plants must be exceedingly happy in this moment – receiving both warmth and moisture.
I spent a couple of late afternoons in my garden this week, adding new annuals, removing one or two plants that just decided to give up the ghost and talking to a few new rose shrubs that are so close to becoming part of Le Papillon’s garden but need some encouragement (I discovered I wasn’t alone in talking to my plants when I went to the local nursery this week, and one of the workers shared her conversation with her plants about promising that the sun is actually coming – we have had a few cold days this past weekend). This is indeed playful behavior, and my plants can no more communicate or understand English than I can be short, but there is a nurturing and celebration component to gardening that I am loving.
June is a wonderful month for so many things including being in the garden, and while I didn’t have a “Saturday Ponderings” post in May due to TSLL’s Annual British Week, I am continuing with this monthly posting as I will be sharing fewer IG Stories moving forward (read more in this post as to why and other changes coming to TSLL’s posting schedule). Instead I will be sharing many of those images you would have seen on IG here and in other posts shared on TSLL as well.
This week has felt like a week of renewal in many ways as it appears as though summer has arrived, especially in Bend. The weekly farmers market was far busier than last week, and many, many more tourists were present. While I am not entirely comfortable with the quick return to tourist-destination Bend normal, I am extremely thankful for the arrival of summer’s warmth and lovely long days. On a personal front, a small gathering (outdoors) is something I am greatly looking forward to at my home this weekend, and with extra precautions and attention, simply seeing people I know and enjoy being with face-to-face will be a true delight.
After much patience regarding a couple of long-anticipated projects and dreams (one you will see a glimpse of in the final item of today’s post), the doors are beginning to open up and silent hopes are being realized. I do hope you are beginning to see glimmers of good news in your life as well.
Below I have shared eight moments and delights that reveal a glimpse into the past couple of weeks as I have gone about my days.
1.Visiting the nursery to pick up the summer annuals
A new shipment had just arrived at my favorite, trusted and reasonably priced Bend nursery (actually, just outside of Bend which is probably why the prices are more fairly priced – thank you!), and I swooped in and picked up much needed basil (the basil I planted from seed just isn’t doing as well as I had hoped – but the chevril is!), small 6-pack flats of annuals to offer color where my spring perennials were once sharing their beauty and a few other plants.
More than anything I just love walking into the greenhouses, especially the herb greenhouse as it smells magnificent. The chickens as well at this particular nursery always make me smile (second slide), and there is just something about being amongst greenery. Such a peace and comfort.
2. An early morning paddle before the work day begins.
There is something about the water, being literally on top of it that keeps me present, but also focused. Yes, largely due to the fact that if I don’t I will be in the drink but just the sheer awesomeness of the opportunity to be so close and so reverent of the gifts of Mother Nature.
3. Coming across wild irises in bloom while walking
4. The first rose in full bloom in the garden
The roses are just about ready to burst into their first bloom of the season, and it is a treat wandering around the garden each morning to see their progress.
5. Finally welcoming a baking scale into my kitchen
I know. I know . . . believe me, I know. WHY did it take me this long? Well, no more. The Simply Luxurious Kitchen finally has its own baking scale, and this one is sturdy and simple to use, and I am eager to begin using it more regularly.
6. Discovering a delicious go-to pizza dough recipe – Butter Crust!
Anthony Falco’s Butter Crust Pizza recipe is no joke, hands-down delicious. It takes about two days to make (I made mine over the span of three days), and the making it is not that hard, it is just about the time needed for the flavors to come to fruition. You will have enough dough for three pizzas, and you can absolutely freeze the dough as I did not need more than one pizza in the house.
What does it taste like? Like a savory croissant – I kid you not. Crispy and buttery (use top quality butter – a must!) and melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious. Even after it has cooled or is officially cold pizza, the crust remains absolutely amazing. Falco likens his creation to the pizza crust he came to love as a young boy from Pizza Hut, specifically their pan pizzas, and as he is considered the czar of pizza, he certainly has demonstrated he knows how to create the most-watering, delectable dough and thus crust.
I chose to make a margherita pizza, partly because margherita pizza is my favorite, but also because I wanted to really focus on the flavors of the crust. And while the picture of the pizza below is not the most attractive, rest-assured, that pizza was gone in one day (I shared some with my contractor), but yep, every bite was enjoyed in one day.
7. Classic Bach has filled the home frequently, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major is one of my favorites.
I so enjoyed Yo-Yo Ma’s live concert , Songs of Comfort a couple of weeks ago which streamed on his YouTube channel as well as other classical music stations. I know many of you had the opportunity to listen to it as well. Such a comfort and what a gift he gave us all.
8. Spending time on a porch swing with Norman (Oscar checked in regularly) during a thunder and lightning storm.
A lovely way to spend an afternoon . . . (the book is a real leisurely treat)
. . . whilst nibbling on this . . . (a formal version of this recipe of an Apple Tart), simply using a tart ring instead of laying it flat.
Wishing everyone a lovely weekend, and a savoring of the final week of spring/fall. Look for a brand new episode of the podcast this coming Monday. Bonne journée.