JULY 2014, ISSUE #158

A verdant and tranquil month with a few small surprises and a celebration to jazz things up.




We were surprised to find ourselves at the twenty year mark. It would seem that we have passed The Test of Time. We celebrated the milestone with dinner out.


JULY 31, 1994


The wedding party – Molly, Mahlon, Shirley, Camille, Emily, Bob and Amy. For more wedding photos, please see Our Wedding in the Family section of Trouts Farm.



20140726FoggyMorning  20140701PreyingMantis

We spend a fair amount of time at our desks, on the inside looking outside. Sometimes birds and other critters perch on the window and look in, astonished to find us still sitting in our cage.



20140718VultureChicks  20140713VultureChick

Jason and Haruka shared unexpected news of young black vultures in the deer stand across the creek. So we all went and watched them, their baby feathers wafting gently, like white feather boas around their black necks.



 20140714FigMuscadine  20140714Garden

We marveled at the fig’s return from the dead after a brutal winter. Figs were not designed to survive single digit temperatures. Scuppernongs, a large round grape native to the South are growing fat on the vine next to the fig – they were unscathed by the cold. The swimming pool garden is flourishing with potatoes, peppers and much more.



20140714GardenPeppers  20140714Pasillas

Bob planted all kinds of pepper this year. From the Japanese shishitos to Italian sigarettas and Jimmy Nardellos to Mexican pasillas.



20140714PotatoDigging  20140714GardenHarvest

It was an extraordinarily big potato year. Our Irish blood guarantees that we will love any kind of potato, but we do have our favorites and one of those is the delicious Red Thumb.



 20140723PepperHarvest  20140714PeppersPotatoesBeets

We make beautiful food together. Bob grows it and brings it in all washed and ready for Camille to add to the menu. On the left, sigarettas looking somewhat like rumpled stockings, banana peppers, purple eggplant and shishitos. We pan fry the shishitos and sigarettas in sesame oil until they are browned, turn off the heat, splash in tamari (soy sauce) and eat as an appetizer. On the right, more peppers, potatoes and beets, which we pickle as fast as they are picked in a half and half mix of sugar and cider vinegar. The potatoes find their way into potato salad, the roasting pan or boiled with ‘sour cream’ and chives.



 20140720JasonsParty  20140720JasonsBirthdayParty

We celebrated Jason’s birthday at Rock Ridge park which was recently built a ten minute drive from our house and sports a shining new pavillion, playground and disc golf course. The public hasn’t quite discovered this park and so it is was unexpectedly empty. The name Rock Ridge makes us laugh because it was the name of the town in the movie Blazing Saddles.




While in Italy we developed a taste for limoncello so Bob decided to make some. We bought a dozen organic lemons which he peeled, being careful not to harvest any of the bitter white pith. These he soaked in everclear for several weeks.

20140715Lemoncello  20140723Lemoncello

By the second week the everclear has taken on a golden glow and after three weeks he added a mixture of organic sugar and water. We will end up with a delicious organic product for half the price of store bought limoncello.



“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

“Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” – Oscar Wilde

“We’re nothing if we’re not loved. When you meet somebody who is more important to you than yourself, that has to be the most important thing in life, really.” Maeve Binchy


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[Troutsfarm] * [July, 2014]