It was a nice, cool late summer evening, although I got too hot (and completely saturated) on the long drive through the city's rush hour traffic. Yuck. I wore this vintage pink dress, which I got for last summer (as always, it was bought with the intention of being worn for years, not just one season) and got loads of wear out of, but then the zip broke. I finally fixed up the zip (tedious task, oh YAWN) just in time for the final few sunny weeks we've got left.
And I am so glad I did. To look at, I find the hot pink and white swirly print quite bright, but it's actually really easy – and nice – to wear. I'm chuffed to have it back in rotation. You can never have too many cotton sundresses! I would love to grow just some vegetables at home, and might be able to get a couple of small-ish pots going out the front this Autumn. Nothing like this, though. Look at these zucchinis! We are lucky as a lot of them get sent our way, maybe even too many... just how many things can you cook with zucchini? I love the flowers, too, and must remember to get some if we can. I popped my head over the fence to say hello to the ladies. And I always check to see if there is an egg waiting to be collected. Of course there never is, as John's mum picks them up in the daytime, but I am forever hopeful to find a fresh one, warm in the straw and ready to join the little mountain of them in the kitchen, or the cardboard boxes we use to take home two dozen at a time. (I am getting lots of practice at cooking the perfect creamy omelette.) Home grown salad is amazing, and anything from the supermarket is incomparable. The rocket is so peppery and kind of green, as in fresh, tasting. Yum. Every year, piles of wood are dried out, a fire is lit under the 44 gallon drum, and tomato salsa is made: fresh tomato cooked with salt and a basil leaf, and put into cleaned beer bottles collected in the months beforehand and then boiled overnight to preserve it all. It lasts about a year in a cool dark place. We are so lucky to get to take armloads of these home afterwards. We've helped make it a few times, too, but not this year. In fact, here is the grand total of my assistance with it, sitting on the wall by the fireplace and looking ethereal. Phew. It's a shame, in a way, as it's really fun to make, and I love the smokey fire smell – but it does mean getting going at 5am or so. Sleep-ins on the weekend are stiff competition, really! After admiring the garden it was time for dinner. We're spoiled with home made pasta, chicken schnitzel, and tomatoes and salad from the garden. No fancy food styling for the camera here, this is just as it was, with clingwrapped sliced cheese from the fridge (we all have our quirks), olives served in the little plastic tub they live in, and pre grated parmesan from the freezer. There's also always lots of fresh slices of bread to turn everything into a massive sandwich. Delicious. We finished with cups of tea (coffee would keep us up all night, although I don't think that's so very bad) and home made biscottini, chopped very thin and with just the right amount of squish. I love these, and like to pretend that I am eating something really quite healthful and virtuous, before greedily reaching for a second one. Still, I am taking no responsibility for the almost empty tin, it was like that when I got there! They do go down so easily.