The Month in Moments: July + August

Well, the last two months of summer breezed right past me, so here’s a double edition of the month in moments!
July and August were full of exceptional food, lots of flowers, and a big dose of learning in the gardening department.

6 foot tall dahlias blooming like crazy in August.
July brought a visit from my mother in law, who’s family is Italian. She taught me how to make these delicious almond biscotti cookies, rolled in sesame seeds.
On the 4th of July, Chris and I made copper wire hummingbird feeders, which was fun, and have been functional in our yard ever since!
Appreciating the morning light in the kitchen.
I ran out of five spice powder, and it was time to make more! I use this recipe from Andrea Nguyen.
Collecting borage flowers from the garden. These edible flowers taste like cucumbers!
I had leftover brioche hot dog buns from July 4th, and stuffed them with egg salad. It was a revelation.
Fresh cut daisies filled the wall of vases in our bathroom.
A bunny came to say hello outside the kitchen window at sunset. I told him not to tell his friends about the vegetable patch.
July harvest of broccoli, fennel, and the last of the peas! This broccoli was unbelievable– nutty and sweet, with tender stalks.
After that July harvest, everything but the herbs got pulled out of the veggie patch. I used the seed packets to plan the layout for the next round of crops.
On July 3rd, I made a last minute July 4th craft.
The lavender wreath I made in June hanging on the door in July. I love it so much!
A melon and prosciutto salad for a hot day. The melon is an orange honeydew.
Cat in the garden!
An extra pretty homemade brunch.
Three bamboo tent trellises I made for cucumber vines to climb.
The last of the edible flowers, nasturtium and borage, frozen in ice cubes.
Appreciating golden hour.
At the end of July, I got serious about the front yard garden. I FINALLY did a soil test. The soil was acidic and completely depleted of nutrients. I had my work cut out for me.
I also did a soil drainage test to see how fast the soil was draining. Turns out, fast! So the garden was also dehydrated.
After amending the soil with compost, lime, fertilizer, microbes, and mulch, I also started watering much more deeply. All of that has made a world of difference. It’s 3 photos, but it was about 3 weeks of my life! But the plants have really improved, and I’m excited to move forward with new knowledge.
Washed raspberries for raspberry jam making with a friend!
Said raspberry jam, canned and ready to store.
Homemade Thai red curry, my favorite.
I think this is the most beautiful chicken I’ve ever roasted.
A really cool looking sky!
The veggie patch at the beginning of August, with cucumber vines, fennel, kale, dill, scallions, carrots, tomatoes, and marigolds.
The first little cucumber curl.
The first little cucumber!
An extra good dinner. Grilled New York strip steak, grilled peaches, blue cheese, watercress, and radicchio.
Out homemade water feature became completely overgrown with algae, so we treated it with a new technique. You can read about it here!
Our spoiled cat, eating dinner al fresco.
A fake wedding my friend and I set up in my yard– this was for a photo shoot of their beautiful flower arrangements!
The first of many tomato harvests.
An exceptional caprese with ricotta cheese and garden tomatoes.
Working on the first of three Kath & Kim themed chain stitch shirts I embroidered.
Thanks to the knowledge of my mother in law, I started saving seeds from our garden! These are hollyhock seeds I collected.
Part of a big mess I made shooting the Halloween collection of products for Cannastyle.
Homemade wontons in homemade wonton soup with homemade stock.
The closest thing to Kath Day-Knight’s sunglasses that Target could provide.
Luffy among the cucumber vines.
A freaky pink sun in a heavy wildfire smoke day.
Cream cheese, scrambled eggs, and garden tomatoes on a poppy seed bagel.
The first of many kale and cucumber harvests from the veggie patch!
I made arancini with leftover mushroom risotto and it was wonderful!
Cold peanut noodles!
More seed collecting from the garden: salvia, pincushions, yarrow, and catmint. Plus tomatoes.
Growing microgreenson the kitchen counter. These are radish and alfalfa sprouts.
A gorgeous matcha and gin cocktail a beautiful and talented friend made for us.
My ornamental ficus died, so I’m giving it a second life as a Halloween decoration! More to come on this one.
One of the dishes of one of the most incredible meals I’ve had at a restaurant in a long time: smashed potatoes with creme fraĆ®che, dill, and pickled mustard seeds. This was at Brimmer & Heeltap in Seattle, I highly recommend it!
Clipping off many dahlias before they spread confetti petals all over the yard (though it is pretty!)
The wontons I made for wonton soup getting a second identity as fried wontons.

What I watched, read, and listened to in July + August:

Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san (Kiyo in Kyoto)

I loved Netflix’s The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House so much that I watched the anime it was based on, Kiyo in Kyoto. While it’s really made for a younger demographic, I loved this anime. And the Netflix version is very loyal to it! The music was my favorite part.

Only Yesterday on Max

Continuing to savor watching all of the Studio Ghibli movies for the first time, I watched Only Yesterday in August. The image on the cover for this movie is a woman holding the hand of a child– I assumed, her child– but the child is actually the woman’s 10 year old self. This film reflects on the main character’s unsettled memories of her childhood as she learns what it is she really wants and how to honor it. It was quiet, subtle, and beautiful, and I loved it.

The Righteous Gemstones on Max

This show is so ridiculous and so unexpected– while it comes off strong as a drama at first, it gets sillier as the show goes on. The Righteous Gemstones somehow manages to wrap multiple styles of comedy into actual drama and suspense and I have no idea how they do it. Judy and BJ’s humor is completely absurdist, which is my absolute favorite kind of comedy, and is pretty rare because it’s so weird!
Bonus: the soundtrack for this show is exceptional.

Emma by Jane Austen

Next in the line up of my reading-classics-before-bed-saga is Emma, another Jane Austen novel. I have to say that Emma is about half as eventful and twice as long as Pride & Prejudice, so we’ll see if I get all the way through it. But, it is very relaxing. For the record, for film depictions, I’m a 1996 fan all the way.

Ghosted! With Roz Hernandez Podcast on Podurama

Like many of you (I’m assuming? I hope??), I’ve been listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast for years.
Ghosted! was recently added to the Exactly Right Network, and I couldn’t love it more. Roz (who’s drag name is Roz Drezfelez) brings comedic guests, haunted ebay dolls, EVPs, and ghost stories to every episode, for a podcast that perfectly blends two of my favorite things: comedy and spooky stuff.
So very sadly, the podcast app Stitcher is no longer with us, so I’ve been trying out the podcast app Podurama. It’s pretty good!

Songs of July + August:

My Favorite Product This Month:

(Not sponsored, I just really like it!)

Since Glossier changed the formula to their balm (I know I can’t be the only person who agonized over this), I switched to this salve from Lano and it’s been awesome.
I LOVE my Kiwi knives. My chef friend introduced me to them and I don’t think I’ll ever use a non-Kiwi knife again. These knives are from Thailand, they’re light, sharp, and very inexpensive. And despite being inexpensive, they can be sharpened! Use a little cooking oil to get the sticky sticker off the handle.

Thanks for reading! See you next time for September.

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