A number of things

1. I love my bowls. I have lots of them, a whole stack of metal ones, and some plastic and glass ones as well.

I use them every day, but they get extra heavy usage in the summer. I grab two or three before heading out to the garden and fill them up with whatever it was I was going out to the garden for: asparagus, strawberries, lettuce, spinach, peas, chard, red raspberries, you name it.

I don’t have any real point to my tale except to say that the value of a good stack of bowls can not be underestimated.

2. What do you see when you look at this picture?

Peas, you say?

Ha! If only! You want to know what I see? I see long rows and little yield. I see marital strife (Grrrr). I see a burned back and sore leg muscles. I see an insane amount of weeding.

Peas, my foot.

(They do taste delicious, though.)

3. Recently, Yo-Yo read Holes to Miss Beccaboo.

Every chance they got, they’d disappear for loooong stretches of time. I didn’t blame them; it’s such a fabulous read aloud. If you haven’t read it yet, do so. Please.

4. Miss Beccaboo still isn’t reading. I have lots of things to say about this state of affairs, but I’m not sure what they are or how to say them so you’ll have to wait.

5. Our new book-club read is Interpreter of Maladies. I’ve heard such good things about it that I bypassed the library entirely and ordered it straight from Amazon. The group just finished reading The Lacuna, except that I didn’t finish reading it because I didn’t like it. But then I listened to the women discuss the book, realized that I had already (back in my MCC days, perhaps?) read a book about Frida, and decided that I’ll finish it after all, maybe even starting over from the very beginning.

See? Book clubs are good things! They push you to finish what you started (at least this time around).

6. Lemon Ice Cream with Red Raspberries, oh yes.

I got this recipe from a friend from church. She recommends serving it with gingerbread and red raspberries, but I just went with the berries and it was superb.

The lemon stands out in a big way, and since it’s made with half-and-half instead of cream, it’s lighter, like how lemon feels.

Because of the lemon zest, pulverized though it is, the ice cream is not creamy smooth. This bothers me when I eat the ice cream plain (and could be solved by straining the mix after letting the cream steep with the zest for a day in the fridge), but when mixed with red raspberries, the problem disappears completely, thanks to the berry seedy (ha!) distraction.

Lemon Ice Cream with Red Raspberries
Adapted from my friend Jodi’s recipe, and before her (according to her) from the China Moon cookbook, whatever that is.

½ cup, slightly overflowing (in other words, 9 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice (2-3 large lemons)
the zest from those lemons
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 cups red raspberries

Wash the lemons, pat dry, and zest them.

Put the zest and sugar into a food processor and process for several minutes (set the timer for three minutes and go from there) till the juice starts to liquify. Add the lemon juice and pulse to blend.

Pour the mix into a glass bowl and add the half-and-half and the salt. Stir to combine. Let the mix rest at room temperature for about twenty minutes. It will thicken and curdle a little. Don’t worry about it—it’s all good.

At this point you can refrigerate (or even freeze) the mix until you’re ready to churn it. (If you choose to strain it to remove the zest, first refrigerate it for 6-24 hours in order to obtain optimal lemony-ness.)

Pour the mixture into your ice cream freezer and churn for 25-30 minutes.

This is good right off the bat, but it freezes well (cover the ice cream with a piece of plastic wrap) and scoops great even when frozen solid.

Scoop into dainty glasses and top with fresh red raspberries.

Yield: about a quart

About one year ago: Nothing, so go read this post: Groundhog Quiche. It pretty much sums up my little brother.


  • Cookie baker Lynn

    I am amazed at the bounty of your garden! I'm sure a whole lot of hard work backs up every one of those bowls full of goodness.

    Write to me and I'll tell you about my late reader and what helped.

  • Anonymous

    Next year I'm going to shell out the cash and buy pea wire. Yep, I just made that decision! Peas on the ground are back breaking to pick and the yield isn't nearly as good as peas up on wire. I just got finished picking, shelling, and blanching. Put 6 qt in the freezer. My reward will be fresh peas and new potatoes for supper.

    Aunt V.

    Aunt V.

  • Margo

    I love the book Holes! How sweet to see siblings reading together. Can't wait til my kids do that.

    Lemon ice cream sounds gooooood. I'm hot.

  • Jennifer Jo

    Hi Katie, I, too, grew Green Arrow. I like them as good as any pea I've grown (and better than others), but they didn't yield as well as yours did. Perhaps it's a bad year…

  • katie

    On the peas: what kind do you grow? We tried Green Arrow for shelling peas this year and I have been impressed by their yield. They don't grow very tall, so trellising is easy, they have as many as 10 peas/pod (frequently!) and they are easy to shell. We got a gallon of peas from a half bushel of podded peas. I am thinking about giving up on snap peas for all green arrows next year…

  • Anonymous

    I can relate totally to the peas creating marital strife. We have scaled down from 10-12 rows to just 3. I pick them myself if I feel led. If I don't they just go back into the ground. This year we have a perfectly weed free, straw mulched patch. I still dread picking although not as bad.

    Don't worry about the not reading thing. It will come. I love your relaxed approach. Just the other night Jim was saying about our almost 3 yr old grand daughter, 'It's such a shame to put such innocent little people into the school system and force teach them things they will learn easily enough when they are good and ready'. Some are ready at 5 and others at 10.

    Aunt V.

  • Jennifer Jo

    Thanks, Julie and Kris.

    Zoe (and Mavis), I do not own a bikini, though I do own bras and panties so that is in essence the same thing. But, I got my sunburn(s) because:

    1. my t-shirts tend to ride up in the back when I'm bent over, and then I get a bright red swatch in the shape of an elongated crescent moon.

    2. Once I wore a tank that was scooped low in the back…

  • It's me ...Mavis

    @Zoe… That's what I was thinking… But JJ doesn't strike me as the bikini wearing type… but I could be wrong… she does paint her toes red after all.

  • Julie

    I am with Kris… how fortunate she is to have a mother who trusts in the process and has faith in how it will unfold… Keep up the faith and trust your instincts. You will know if additional measures are called for… and you will know when to stay the course.

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    I'm totally with you on the bowls and the peas. And I can't wait until Sam and Sadie disappear to read books together.

  • Kris

    Two things:

    The ice cream sounds absolutely fabulous, except that I'm avoiding dairy and sugar. But I can dream, can't I?

    Don't worry about #4. It will come when it comes, and I'm guessing she's just that much more well-adjusted for not being forced to do it if she's not ready.

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