in the ground, the waters, the plants, the
heavens, and how to come at these
enchantments, is the rich and royal man."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Saturday, August 30
Thursday, August 28
Juicy surprises await just inside this news wrapped box......
While Aleli, Kai, Eden and Julian slept, James and Keoni ventured across college campuses to pluck the first golden fruits of the morning. This sumptuous birthday breakfast spread was lovingly baked, grated, browned, hand squeezed and cooked by James while the birthday girl slept. We awoke to oatmeal covered in baked sweetened peaches & milk, homemade hash browns with a pepper from our backyard, a lovely omelet and the freshest hand squeezed orange juice. What a great way to start a birthday!
After a tasty breakfast and some afternoon gift giving, we made plans to visit the gorgeous, fruit tree rich home of some old friends of the family. Rick and Kristie Smith live just north of us by less than a mile and enjoy a life that is heavy with fruits. Their half acre historical property has well over a dozen fruit trees and other edibles. This includes a variety of lemons, tangelos, grapefruits, oranges, persimmons (so pretty they have inspired art!), avocado, grapes, raspberries, tomatoes, herbs, etc. This is absolutely beautiful land. Anyway, they had invited us to pick as many lemons as we wanted. In the 11 years they've lived there, they have NEVER been able to consume all the fruit that their yard produces. And they told us in all that time they've never bought any citrus, avocado or persimmon either ................ they just didn't need to.......ever! We could take a truck load and they wouldn't feel the loss! So it was off to the Smith's.........
We were greeted at the gate by Kristie who immediately welcomed us into her kitchen and offered us some fresh baked cookies. One of the first things we noticed was her collection of vintage glass citrus juicers hanging in two of her kitchen windows. They looked like jewels glistening in the sun. Very cool.
Kristie gave us a quick tour of her charming and well appointed home and then it was off to the gardens. We walked the grounds as she shared some of the history of the place and, more importantly, the history of the trees. She knew these trees. Watched their growth and changes. She ate from these trees. Kristie explained about the different seasonal changes she observed in the fruits and the leaves. She sounded like a poet at times. Her favorite tree is the persimmon tree you can see from her great big windows. There was a vibrant oil pastel still life she had created of these persimmons hanging in her breakfast room. She makes a favorite steamed pudding every year from these fruits that people rave about.
Keoni gives Baby Juju a leg up to pick the low hanging fruits that are just inches from his finger tips. Julian hasn't picked much tree fruit until today. Most of it was too far out of reach. He was mesmerized.
Just across from the kitchen window Keoni spots a bounty of heavy, ripe grapefruits. An audible "oooooo" escapes his lips.
These grapefruits would later be devoured whole and juiced into a wonderful disappearing beverage within hours of bringing them home. Sooo good.... I can not tell you!!!!
More "oooooo"s and "aaaaaaah"s as our young adventurer discovers there really are avocados WAY up there. They are looking good, but it will be a couple more months before they are truly ready for the eating. Then there will be a few months of an avocado glut and the cycle will continue. For now, he waits and wonders.
James gathers some of the lemons he picked into our bags. There were so many different varieties.... some very sweet, some slightly pear shaped, some with smooth skin, some with rumply skin and then some very classic looking lemons. The smell of both the lemons and the branches was intoxicating. James actually ate a whole lemon standing right under the tree.... it was that sweet!
Julian and Eden inspect the fruits under the shade of a tree. Each of them picked their fair share. We really must stop picking fruit at high noon..... it's sooo hot!
Even with the bags and bags and baskets of fruit we picked, we barely put a dent in the tree's supply. It really boggles the mind how much fruit can come from just one tree!
No joke......... we couldn't fit all the fruit in the sink for washing....... when life gives you this many lemons, you fill the bath tub THEN make lemonade!
Wednesday, August 27
These organic carrots were a $1 a bag.
It only takes a few minites to create carrot sticks that could run up to $3 a bag.
Monday, August 25
A coworker offers up some home picked peaches