Jamming. Literally.

The canning time of year has commenced, and so I find myself with dozens of jars of newly preserved treats.

Ataulfo mangoes make a wonderful fruit butter while strawberries every way are ever-delicious (strawberry-cardamom, and strawberry-rhubarb-lemon below, as well as strawberry-lavender muffins in the oven). Rhubarb is always a beloved friend too. These will make  terrific gifts for my boys' teachers and also bring our breakfasts to greater heights.

mangoes cooking with orange, lime and lemon juices and cardamom pods

mangoes cooking with orange, lime and lemon juices and cardamom pods

strawberries and rhubarb headed for an overnight maceration

strawberries and rhubarb headed for an overnight maceration

Aren't those gorgeous? I set them to macerate on Monday, just a day after picking them up at the farmers market. On Tuesday, I canned them. Love the farm-to-pantry in 48 hours thing!

from left: strawberry-cardamom; strawberry-rhubarb-lemon; citrusy mango butter

from left: strawberry-cardamom; strawberry-rhubarb-lemon; citrusy mango butter

Last night, I attended the first get-together of a supper club I was asked to join. The theme was Spring. I decided to make a shaved asparagus salad with hazelnuts, mint and pecorino, with some of the asparagus I bought on Sunday morning at the farmers market. 

One dish was prettier than the next, and I found it absolutely lovely to take a break from this hectic time to simply sit back, meet some new people, drink great wine, eat great food and relax. Food does bring people together in such wonderful ways, doesn't it?!

beets, crab salad and avocado with arugula

beets, crab salad and avocado with arugula

a trio of soups: green; minty pea; beet-carrot with lime-parsley creme

a trio of soups: green; minty pea; beet-carrot with lime-parsley creme

End-of-year insanity

Are your children melting down and/or acting out in weird ways? Are they whining on continuous loop like Donald Trump? Mine too.

Do you suddenly find yourself with regular urges to go hermit and hide in your bed, far from all remaining requests to attend school functions, check homework and pack lunches for last field trips? Me too.

Are you exhausted and in utter disbelief that soon you face 14 weeks of summer "vacation"? Of course. We all are, even if we're excited for it.

It is that time of year. School is ending. No one gives a ball about spelling or fractions anymore. Your children have no pants left with both knees intact. Half their socks are missing. Their shoes have holes in the toes, but then again, maybe those help them fit better because really, when was the last time you bought the kids shoes? You let them eat in ways you never will in any given September, simply because you have lost the will to manage anything.

Case in point: Yesterday, at a Memorial Day pool party, Jack ate four hot dogs in buns slathered with an obscene amount of ketchup before inhaling two brownies and a s'more. I "tried" to tell him this wasn't a great combo, much less a wise amount, but did he hear me? No.

Did I step in? Not aggressively.

Did he feel like complete ass afterwards? Yes. 

Meanwhile, I want to sue Percy for emotional distress. Doesn't that damn dog know I have 900 teacher gifts to make? I don't feel like walking him in 85 degree weather. Not because I don't enjoy heat but because I know him, and in said heat, he gets just beyond our gate, rolls on to his back, pants maniacally and refuses to go. 

If we go back inside, the insane bark-fest resumes, and I want to kill him. So, I make him walk but what that really looks like is me dragging a pug on his back around the neighborhood while muttering curse words under my breath. It's ridiculous.

days left, people. For us at least. And the next day Ol gets four more cavities filled which is obviously a superb way to celebrate the end of school. 

May the force be with us all!

Farmers market and a hike

What a great day! The boys and I took one of my favorite friends, G, to the Dupont farmers market as she'd never been. We ate Red Zebra pizzas for breakfast, the boys got cookies and cream popsicles from Pleasant Pops for dessert, and I came home with a flat of strawberries and a million stalks of rhubarb. Plus sorrel, squash blossoms, a buttload of spring chickens and so on.

We cleared out five pints of strawberries alone and with freshly whipped cream tonight after a terrific hike through Battery Kemble.

the boys crossing a fallen log (do y'all love how Jack chose to wear a belt for this hike? bless his heart.

the boys crossing a fallen log (do y'all love how Jack chose to wear a belt for this hike? bless his heart.

I can do it too!

I can do it too!

scaling a downed tree's root ball

scaling a downed tree's root ball

Compost salad with farmers market greens for dinner, American Sniper (Bradley Cooper was really good), the paper and now to bed.

Hope y'all are well.