What are weeds, anyway? I was helping a friend garden when she asked that question. She didn’t want to weed her flower/shrub beds and didn’t really mind the look of the weeds.
Weeds are the opportunists in the plant world. Spreading their seeds far and wide with the hope that something grows. And if there’s a bare patch of dirt getting some water and some sun, it’s likely that something will grow. In terms of ecological succession, most weeds are often considered a “pioneer species”; the first to arrive on a bare patch of dirt.
Success! Says the weed.
Those opportunists know that they have to act fast. Reach for the sun! Spread out those leaves! Grow just enough roots to get the water you need, because life can be short. Quick, make some seeds and let them fly!
To the gardener this can be a problem because the weeds are taking the sunlight, space, and water that should be helping your slower-growing showy plants. The ones that are putting much of their energy into beautiful flowers and the roots below ground that will allow them to come back year after year. With enough time, weeds can choke out a previously well-manicured flower bed.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. -A.A. Milne
But, I have a secret, in my garden there are always some weeds worth keeping. This bunch of Queen Anne’s Lace didn’t exist when we moved it. Isn’t it beautiful? I saw them growing and turned my back. As other plants started to suffer, I transplanted them to a safer place and left the weeds alone. And now, look, this is the most prolific flowering patch in my garden.
The weeds know what they’re doing, and if left to stay, they’ll put down some hardy roots and pay you in beautiful, bountiful blooms. Success!
Each month we share our Seasoned View. Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.
Katie here. Just as we’re about to head off to the beach, I’m popping in to share a view of the mountains!
You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers. Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image. xo
Apparently, I was indulging in the bounty of the season around the same time last year and put together this Midsummer Magic post full of other berry delicious treats. I’m seasonally predictable like that. And if you like mojitos, we also have watermelon and rhubarb variations!
There comes a certain point every summer when the mint makes itself known in our garden. It grows like crazy, and we’re treated to its sweet and refreshing smell every time we walk among it.
This is the point when I make the switch from my nightly G&T to mojitos! There’s no better sensory experience than picking the mint, smashing it with some brown sugar, squeezing the lime juice, giving it all a stir, and then taking a big sip.
Last week while I was picking mint, the boys were picking raspberries. We brought our bounty (or what was left, in the case of the berries) into the kitchen, and I was making my drink while unpacking our farm share. Inside the box was a fresh cucumber.
Check it out – my absolute favorite summer cookbooks! These books have been in heavy rotations in my kitchen for the past few years, and they have the smears, oil marks, and sticky spots to prove it. You’ll probably recognize some from past posts.
Jerusalem & Plenty – these are two books by Yotam Ottolenghi (and Sami Tamimi for Jerusalem). I love these books for the intense flavors and fresh ingredients listed in the recipes. From a design perspective, the books are filled with beautiful photography of both the dishes and life in the Middle East. Plenty is a vegetarian cookbook, and I lean on it heavily when my fridge is overflowing with farm share veggies.
Previous posts with recipes & photos of dishes cooked from both books:
I made today’s dish using zucchini and tomatoes from our farm share. If you’d like to learn more about our farm share, see some examples of what we receive every week, and get a plethora of meal ideas, check out all of our farm share posts from last season. That series is so much fun to put together and will be starting again soon!
This is a recipe that we’ve been
eating devouring since we were kids. I rarely make it myself because I always think of it as being fussy. In reality, it’s not that bad and you’ll be deliciously rewarded!
To me this dish is everything that is mid-summer. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you grew up on the East Coast with a garden that’s bursting with zucchini and tomatoes. It’s a super simple casserole with fried zucchini on the bottom, fresh tomatoes in the middle, and a generous dollop of sour cream and Parmesan on top. Is your mouth watering yet?
I was always put off by having to fry the zucchini, but over the years it’s become second nature. You may have to experiment with your own stovetop, but I know that on mine I can confidently set my temp to medium high, use a cast iron pan, and about two inches of oil, and I’m good to go.
Aside from the recipe’s instructions below, the only tip that I have is to fry a few extra slices of zucchini. Everyone can’t help but snag a slice as they’re passing by, and it’s extra good with a little bit of fresh sour cream.
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 large tomato (or 2 medium)
- seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbsp water
- sour cream
- Oil for frying
- Make an egg wash by whisking together the eggs and water.
- Slice the zucchini into about 1/2 inch rounds and coat each slice with flour, then the egg wash, and then the bread crumbs.
- Place about one to two inches of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
- When the oil is ready, begin frying the zucchini in batches. You only want one layer of zucchini in the pan at a time. Flip the slices periodically as they fry. Once lightly browned on the outside, remove the zucchini from the pan and allow them to dry on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
- Place the zucchini in one or two layers in the bottom of a 9x13 backing dish. Place a layer of sliced tomato on top of the zucchini. Spread a few dollops of sour cream over the tomatoes, and then sprinkle with grated parmesan.
- Place the dish in a 350F oven for about 25 minutes.
So good. I hope you enjoy it too!
Teachable Moments is a relatively new series on the blog, you can find the archive here. And you can learn more about Saxis in this selection of posts. And if you’d like to see our favorite sun gear for toddlers, click here.
We just bought the tickets for our big annual trip to the East Coast. We’re so lucky to be able to take this big chunk of time and spend it visiting family both in PA and VA. In addition to that quality time, what I really love is being able to expose the boys to activities and ideas that they may not have at home in Colorado. Isn’t that what traveling’s all about?
Many of our days are spent at the beach, but that’s just a snippet of how the boys spend their time on the island.
Whenever Poppop’s in town, they spend many quality hours on the boat. There are one to two trips a day to check the crab pots in the bay. Sometimes they stay out longer doing a bit of fishing or line-crabbing, but our primary prey is the blue crab. Their scientific name is Callinectes sapidus, and it has the most perfect meaning : calli = beautiful, nectes = swimmer, and sapidus = savory!
Cooking with Kids is an ongoing series where we share recipes that are easy enough to make with a little kid. If you’re new to the series, here’s our first post that provides our detailed tips for cooking with little ones; subsequent posts are less detailed, but each contains recipe-specific ideas for working with your little ones in the kitchen.
Ugg, our first Cooking with Kids post was exactly two years ago this month! Look at that wee little two-year-old Alex! I can hardly handle it. I’m also realizing that there have not been nearly enough of these posts, and we really have to get Luc in on the action.
Putting my nostalgia aside, this post is definitely a hack in the whole Cooking with Kids series. We aren’t making anything from scratch and you may say that we’re barely cooking, BUT I think this simple cooking exercise has some serious independence value for impressionable kids.