JULY 2018, ISSUE #206

Pickles, peach picking, pillow shopping, pan pepper frying, and a perfect 24th wedding anniversary. This month was all about the simple pleasures of home grown, home cooked food.




Not just trendy, beyond cool, getting your food from the back yard or next door is one way we can assert our independence from global corporatism. Cucumbers, kale, and kohlrabi from Sparkroot Farm. Potatoes from Bob’s Sunken Garden.




We started a 12-pound batch of pickles on the 7th, and began pairing the finished product with sandwiches on the 30th. School Girl Pickles, named for their reputation as an irresistible after-school snack, are crispy sweet and well worth the wait. We got the recipe from our next door neighbor, Reda, and have posted the step-by-step photo essay here: School Girl Pickle Recipe







Before and after. Pull the weeds, pile on the mulch, stand back and smile.




Helen put a u-pick peach orchard on our radar, so Camille made a date with Helen’s mother, Judy.




Judy and Camille glory in their take. Two bags each, a total of 37 pounds of low-spray local fruit.



Camille baked two pies, one as a surprise thank you to Reda and Fred for sharing their pickle recipe and mowing our lawn when we travel. We only have one pie plate, so Camille scratched her head over this until deciding to borrow one from Reda. “This is my favorite,” Reda said, pulling out a time-worn aluminum plate. “It crisps up the crust real nice on a fruit pie. I’ve had it forever, so guard it with your life.” Four hours later Camille rang Reda to say she was ready to return her heirloom. “You ate that pie already?!” she asked. “You’ll see.” When Reda saw Camille at the door with a peach pie in her hands, she laughed and said, “You knew you were gonna bake us a pie all along!”




Our first shishitos of the year were a gift from Kristin and Joel of Copeland Springs Farm. Our second pan came from our backyard, pairing nicely with home grown hash brown potatoes. We fry the peppers in a little sesame oil, then turn off the heat, splash a generous amount of soy sauce into the pan and cover quickly to minimize the splatter. Pan peppers are great on sandwiches, on salads, with a beer, or aside any meal. Thank you, Jason and Haruka for introducing us to these sweet, tender-skinned peppers, and flavorful cooking method.



We’ve been talking about buying new pillows for years and decided pillow shopping was an ideal way to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. So we went to the mall, ate a couple of giant veggie burgers at Red Robin, watched the matinee showing of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which made Camille cry her eyes red, and bought ourselves some new pillows. Life doesn’t get any better than this!



Brother Jim took this picture of Camille’s mother in Pennsylvania.



Bob’s daughter, Emily, took this picture of grandson Nolan in Colorado looking grown up beyond his three and a half years.



“Talking about hunger and the homeless, of people living in poverty, many with no water or electricity, a vast number without jobs, I was put in mind of what I had seen in Africa and Asia – the talk of funding and the hopes of development, that mood of remoteness and neglect when the world seems distant.” – Paul Theroux from Deep South

“We must dissent from a nation that buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away.” – Thurgood Marshall

“Seven billion of us – and counting – are all “activists,” because we’re actively shaping our world. The only questions is, “Are we conscious activists, or unconscious activists?” – Julia Butterfly Hill



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[Troutsfarm] * [July, 2018] * [School Girl Pickles]