hump day nuggets: preserve

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week


Margot's first day of school was awesome. She loved it so much and recounted details with such enthusiasm I had to restrain myself from grabbing her animated self and biting her cheek. Of course the biting wouldn't allow me to hang onto that information any longer, which is what I sought. But man, sometimes I want to bite my kids. Love bite. But hard. And loving.

Things of note:

1. She remembers every single kid's name.
2. She has two new songs memorized. Um, and now so do I.
3. When I asked her to tell me one thing she remembered hearing she said, "It's time to clean up."
4. She ate her whole lunch except for two beet chunks she saved for the ride home and she never said anything about the drawing I hid in her lunchbox.

I want to age gracefully. I want to be graceful in my life, as a parent. And, yet I find myself ugly-grabbing the slick, round, un-grippable edges of time. Like Margot on that damn steep red slide in our neighborhood, she repeatedly tries to slow herself down or stop. But the pitch and smoothness won't allow it. It's not like I am outwardly expressing my desire to slow time but, inside, I am learning some real, new, awesome lessons about grace.

You get on the slide, you move.


:: It was 57 degrees this morning, late morning. And we had a good storm last night, (unfortunately with laundry on the line). Just like that. Hi, September.


:: Still plenty of bare foot time though. Right?


:: I tossed some lettuce seed in the ground about three weeks ago in a shady spot. I never know if it'll bolt of hold in the August heat but it is totally worth a try. This year, it is holding strong, that lettuce.


:: My daughters and I get to curate the most beautiful masterpieces every day.


:: Ruby's favorite garden chore is to find and peel ripe tomatillos. Sweet thing tries a bite every time. She still doesn't like them.


:: Margot favorite chore is to lure Ruby off somewhere fun.


:: My favorite chore is prowling through our urban jungle, staring at plants from different angles until a fistful of vegetables pops into focus. Like one of those mall art carts with the blurry dots that suddenly snap into three-dimensional dolphins.

That center sunflower burst is the bottom of one volunteer! It is about 12 feet tall.

:: Things that suck in the garden this year: beets, parsnips, pumpkins. Things that rock in the garden this year: everything else.


:: Simple Harvest Fried Rice

This can be made with many combinations of vegetables. I think the secret is adding shredded carrot and garlic at the end so the summery flavors are bright and fresh. We have also added tofu or pork. I keep some aside and add less soy sauce for the kids.

sesame oil
giant zucchini, chopped small
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
bunch of broccoli, chopped small
2 carrots, shredded
2 eggs, scrambled
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, cooked
soy sauce

Cook rice. Saut矇 onion in one tablespoon of sesame oil for a few minutes. Add zucchini (and a bit more oil) and cook over high heat for several minutes, stirring occassionally, allowing zucchini and onion to brown a bit. Add broccoli and a bit of water if is seems dry. Scramble egg and cook in a separate pan. Add egg to veggies and mix well, still over high heat. Add a bit more oil. Add shredded carrots and garlic (add garlic with onion for milder flavor) and toss. Stir in cooked rice, add soy sauce, cook over high heat for a few and serve.


:: I have been hunting for the perfect egg carton. I collect and cook a lot of eggs. I am tired of our plastic camp egg carton. Plus our hens lay gargantuan eggs that don't fit in standard egg cartons. I have actually become a bit obsessed with stalking vintage egg holders and was about to finally pull the trigger on a turquoise number. I was talking myself into this silly purchase with my assistant and she said, I'll make you one. So, amazing ceramicist Sarahjess made me one! And I LOVE IT.


So smart, she split into two so they can stack when we have fewer than 12 eggs. She is willing to make more! So, if you are interested in purchasing, email her.


:: We are a bit behind on the preserving but getting there. Our first big push was apricot butter. A friend and I picked an unkept tree and the fruit was amazing. Man, I am a total free fruit hooker.


This year, more than ever before, my kids were all up in hot jars, hot lids, boiling water and simmering apricots. We had big, repetitive talks about stool placement and distance. I may have even rolled my eyes at myself what with the repetitive This Will BURN You. And, as I was yammering on about hot water, I accidentally dunked part of my hand right in said water. Best lesson ever, actually. Hurt like a bitch and my kids took note.

I did a canning tutorial when I was very pregnant with Ruby! 

We sat and listened to the pinging jars promise a summery winter. And then labeled and stored. Easy, mostly free, delicious. Favorite.


Preserve. Time boils, eventually evaporates. I am off to draw another little something for tomorrow's lunchbox. Happy hump day out there.

:: :: ::

*Nugget it up and share. If you'd like, link to your nuggets in the comments.*

ps Winner! Of the lunchbox from Walking Stick Toys:

Ingrid said...can you send me a tomato if I win the lunch box stuff? :-)

Ingrid, I am totally sending you a tomato. Email me to claim your prize! Congrats!
Everyone else: Use coupon code 'DIGCHICK' for 20% off!

:: :: ::

all photos taken with a Canon Digital SLR from Vanns.com


Katie said...

As always, I adore these updates.

clove's corner said...

Sweet nuggets. Love the "ugly-grabbing the slick, round, un-grippable edges of time" so true. And here we are, both up late, trying to paste our un-grippable edges of time into a blog. Preserve it, eat it, take a hard bite. Love it.

Kate said...

I think one of my favorite sounds is the sound of the jar lids popping as they cool. They are little pops celebrate all the hard work of putting in a garden, weeding and preserving. Oh, how I miss that sound.

Carla Wesley said...

First days are always so heartwrenching, I send my youngest to nursery school next year and I'm dreading it, no more babies...As you slide into fall I am sending you a Happy Spring Day from South Africa! We have had one of our coldest winters in memory and spring has never been more welcome.

Tara said...

I love that egg "carton". We were having the same problem until tragedy struck most of our chickens. Now, we are left with three newbies. We are headed to the apple orchard. I just hope my freezer will hold all the apple pies I want to freeze. Pop over for a giveaway on my blog www.myjadiecakes.blogspot.com

Erin @ NurtureNature said...

happy as always for nuggets!

Happiness is... said...

Take a hard bite. Got it. I tried to express it yesterday on my blog about tucking this feeling, the present away - just like my daughter does with other little bits of shells, stones, etc. Something to savor later once I decide to unfold it from my pocket.

I think your word of NOW brings such a validity of what we want to cherish. Because it is about the now.

Loved hearing about Margot's adventures.

-Jennifer from Annapolis

The Salty Dogs said...

Preschool gave my goddaughter free expression for her inner neat freak. There was lots of "put the lid under the paint," "time to clean up," etc. I think her mom learned a few things :)

This week, watching a dad with his toddler son (strangers at a highway rest stop) I had the most acute sens of "preserve the now." My sweet little man, still little, slept in the back seat. But the thought of one day not having that little hand in mine, dragging me every which way to take it all in, made me ache.

September on Chesapeake Bay still has lots of barefoot moments. Hope your month does, too!


Marjorie said...

That butter looks so yummy! I wish I knew how to cook and preserve things.

TRB Holt said...

I checked for HDN late last nite....before I went to bed; knew you would be here when I got up!....Back later! xoxo

Boo's Mom said...

I loved this post. I love blogging. We are, in a way, preserving time when we do it.

dig this chick said...

salty dog: That is hilarious! And I can relate. I was a total neat freak kid. Margot, I do not believe she has an inner neat freak.

marjorie: I did I tutorial last year (or the year before?)! I will add to the post but here it is as well:

boo: yes! a big reason I keep it all up.

Peggy said...

Loving your life as the steep red slide analogy. As I'm on day 2 of the couch-to-5K program, I noticed an unfortunate worm on the track this morning that was being devoured by ants (mmmmm...breakfast!!!), and the thought "get moving or be eaten" came to mind. Go!!! Children and all...but we have no choice, so we might as well run with it! I must admit though, your analogy was much more lovely than mine with the unfortunate worm.
Is that a pumpkin under Margot's glitter shoes? It's gorgeous.

pulverschwein said...

So. Yeah. My girls are 27 & 28 now. I did lunch box notes, then early on they started making their own lunches so that they ate what they packed....then I started working outside the home and would leave them a morning note. THen they went to college and came home for the summers to work and I would leave a note or doodle or whatever. I NEVER heard a peep from them about the love notes unless I DIDN'T leave one!!! THen they were all bummed and grouchy and in my face with "WHY" when I got home! hee hee! THey still love to have a note when they come home (or I go to their house) if I have to depart before they are awake.
It's the little things.....

Annie said...

Yay! Glad Margot's first day went so well. I've just made a note to include a picture for my kindergartener's first day - I thought of it last week and then forgot! So now it's on my list : )

Jean said...

Great post. Loved hearing about Margot's first day. Wish I could have been there to hear it in person.

I used to put little notes in Nathan's lunch when he started first grade, but he told me to stop because they made him cry and miss me. :) Gosh, I miss those days of yore. So you are right on about time.

Angie Kroeker said...

As I hold my little girls tight, their smiles make my heart stand still as time screams past. The Ugly-grabbing is something I can totaly relate to. And time just flashes intence, with sudden changes. One day my two year old pronounces her L's as y's and then, Flash, she says L just like a pro.
Indeed blogging is a small way to take hold of the moments.


Indiana in B'more said...

your blog is my favorite - sweet stories, inspiring parenting, delicious food. i make the seedy bread frequently. question -- how do you find trees like that apricot tree!?

Louise said...

You are Supermommy! I wish I had your energy, its inspiring! Our little (very little) garden is flourishing this summer, inspired by your little space here on the web!

rebecca is... said...

,,,i had a suspicion margot would remember all her classmates names and play off the first day of school as though she was not new to it and was in her 12th year,,,i had a suspicion your garden was growing out of control with yummy vegetables and such,,,i had a suspicion you were beginning the canning process, that you found a tree wishing for your picking,,,i had a suspicion this weeks nuggets were going to leave me hungry and...they have!,,,

Melina said...

So funny, because I feel right now that I'm on that red plastic time slide and I'm trying to scoot myself down as fast as possible. I'm tying to zoom myself into the future.

Damn, girl, your harvest basket? Smoking hot! You deserve to be so proud and to eat summer all winter.

Do you know the Greg Brown song Canned Goods?



Amber said...

I admit it - I do bite. I just can't help myself. I want to eat that boy and carry him with me, and so play-biting has always been a part of our wrestling play. Never once has he bitten me back. I think he gets it.

mama marchand said...

I love Amber's comment so much! Oh, the love bite. Unfortunately for me, my little N goes from sweetly puckering up to a little love chomp in .5 seconds.

Just love the photos of the girls - they are beyond precious!

Sarah said...

Margot may be the next president of the united states...that is an amazing talent to know everyone in the class's name!! she knows what is important in life and it is because you show her! I love the analogies and the pictures! That picture of you in the garden is beautiful!!! Thanks so much for your comments about Anna Cate's first day of kindergarten. It made my day!! And brilliant idea with the drawings...I'm going to try it but I don't have the artist hand!

Melanie Gardner said...

Your garden looks amazing. Mine got eaten up by deer this year. Not a tomato or flower, not a zucchini on the vine. SO putting up a fence next year!

Amber said...

I love jar pings too, and oh, am I jealous of your free fruit. We just started canning for the fall, with 88 lbs of tomatoes http://www.amber-hinds.com/2011/08/4059/ They weren't free ore grown by me, but at $1 per lb for pick your own, it was a pretty good deal.

Clanton Clan said...

I always love your nuggets!! They're always such a great reminder of the beauty in the everyday things. I actually piggy-backed on this idea for my own blog this week. Check out our "everyday things."

Keep blogging girl! Your family makes me smile :)

Christa said...

I love the garden/ harvest photos. So beautiful and I'm sure it's all headed to delicious dishes. I'm so far from having a garden. . . someday!
Here's our week:


jen said...

oh come now. must you tease me with that apricot butter again this year?
i wouldn't even know where to find an apricot tree here in minnesota.
no. fair.

jenny of all trades said...

love these nuggets - what a time to preserve.

my mom used to add a sticker and a few words to my napkin in my school lunch. so sweet! trust me, M remembers!

have you seen this site where a dad puts in 1/2 a picture on a note in his son's lunch, and his son finishes it? http://wandermonster.com/

happy fall!

tea with lucy said...

hello. nice to meet you. this post is so full of good and interesting things, i'm hanging to read and learn more. my big girl is off to kindergarten next year. my heart is already breaking, just thinking about it!

TRB Holt said...

Burb ~ Great photos, as usual, I especially love seeing your girls learning the beauty & art of canning! I remember when you were little I tried to teach you this craft as well as sewing….you thought it was cool but not your thing….judging by your sewing ability now AND the ease that you grow, preserve & cook your food I see you were indeed & listening…love this and YOU!

Margot Bea ~ You have turned into a wonderful big sister! I love how you lure Ruby off somewhere fun. Hopefully you have fulfilled hair cutting tempt. When we Skyped yesterday, it melted my heart to see you casually kiss Ruby on the top of her head…she is watching you and learning how to love.
I Love You A Bushel & A Peck!

Ruby Jane ~ OH THOSE EYES…pure beauty! With each new time we talk I hear your vocabulary improve, soon you will be jabbering and telling all about your day…sometimes I wish I could freeze time.
You Are My Sunshine!

Love to all….
xoxo, Mom/Gram

ps…..NICE tanned feet BTW!

FinnyKnits said...

Well done on the flip-flop tan, sister! September is indeed here, and I'm letting my adoration for fall eclipse my heartbreak over the passing of summer.

Soon we'll get to run with the falling of yellow leaves, put on sleeves to walk in the early mornings and flip on headlights to ride for ice cream in the evenings. All things I love.

And then we'll eat from the incredible bounty of canned goods put up during the sweaty days of summer.

Good work sneaking in some orphaned apricots for jam. Stirred into yogurt in the middle of a cold winter, you can almost taste summertime.

xo to all you guys :)

Kelly Cach said...

"My name is Kelly.....and I am a biter." Love that someone else admits to it. I've been biting for 10 years now, spreading the love amongst 3 kiddos....they are equally chewed on :)

Loved this post, and looking forward to hearing more about Margot's school adventures!!!

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