Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sunflower Pesto

sunflower pestoHaving our first guests of the season last week meant making lots of fun food!

Dagmar made the menus for the time.

And since she was still recovering from oral surgery and dry sockets and was living on tapioca pudding and mashed potatoes – they were quite creative!

Our evening meal included grilled chicken pesto pizza.

Oh yeah!

The only problem was that one of our guests, my soon-to-be-niece-in-law, has a deadly nut allergy.  Pesto has nuts.

Enter – the lovely sunflower seed! Not a nut, but with enough nut-like qualities to be a great substitute.

Three stripped basil plants and a few buzzes later – we had us some delicious nut-free pesto!

Sunflower Pesto

2 cups fresh basil, packed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
3 medium garlic cloves
salt and black pepper

Put the sunflower seeds, garlic cloves, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor and process until chopped. Add the basil and process.

While the food processor is running, slowly dribble in the olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.

Salt and pepper to taste.


Just spread that lusciousness on a pizza crust, top it with some grilled chicken and mozzarella cheese and bake it for a fabulous treat!

Or spread it on crackers, pita chips, or your fingers!






After a wet cold spring , we were all kinda wondering if summer would ever get here.

It did. This week.

And not just the weather! (Which is really hot and humid…)

We had our first guests of the season – 2 of my sisters, one soon-to-be-niece-in-law, one niece and her bff. (best friend forever)DSC_0218

Can you say shopping?! At a thrift store of course!

Pedro wasn’t here – he spent the week house sitting for a friend, leaving Buddy as the lone male in a house full of girls while Jan was at work.

So of course the the electric fence charger got knocked down in the mud, the entire fence was down, all the cows got out, and the water tank sprang a leak.

Oh – and we had a baby calf!

belted galloway calf

We miss you Pedro. Come home. Now.

We planted two more rows of sweet corn, two more rows of green beans, and lots of herbs. Still no weeding though. Maybe next week…

And we enlarged my flower bed!


Okay – so it may not be the flower garden of my dreams – it is twice as big as last year!

Baby steps are still progress. 🙂

Don’t you think the wire fence adds to the charm and beauty of the scene?! Not. But it is a necessary evil to keep the silly chickens and cats out until the flowers get established.

Speaking of cats – we also had our first litter of kitties for the season. Still haven’t found them though.

And to top it all off – we’re packing for our annual family camping trip.

There’s just something about sleeping bags and Hershey bars and bug spray that says “Hello – it’s summer!”

Oh – and did I mention that it’s hot and humid?



Angel Girl turned 15 yesterday. (Not quite sure how that happened so fast!)

To celebrate she asked to hang out with her home school friends.

Why not a potluck picnic at the park?


We had lots of friends join us.

And lots of silliness.

And food. There’s always plenty of that!

(Glad to see that Buddy was eating so well – chips, Oreo cookies and a Popsicle?!)

Angel Girl got to do all her favorite things – hang with friends, take lots of cute pictures,
DSC_0210and chase adorable littles up and down the play equipment.

She was in her element!

1011766_489476501122456_822853665_nHappy birthday Angel Girl!

A Garden in June

It’s wonderful to be home!

Quiet June mornings with the birds singing outside the window.

Sunny afternoons with blue skies and light breezes.

Laundry on the clothes line.

And weeds taking over the garden. 🙂


But the plants are doing well! Look at that cauliflower! Isn’t that exciting! Now if I only knew when to harvest it. How big should it get before I eat it?

Thankfully my plants have caught up with the ones from the Amish store. They are loving this cooler weather and all the rain!

The squash, pumpkins, watermelons and cantaloupes are just popping through. We planted them so quickly that we didn’t get them labeled – so it will be a surprise to see where everything is!

And my tomatoes are looking good, too! All fifty-six of them. 🙂 Still looking for that first yellow blossom.

The green beans are up, the first planting of corn is up and all seventy pepper plants are in the ground. (One can never have too many tam jalapenos!)

On this week’s to-do list: plant more corn!
DSC_0161This is the best crop of peas I’ve had in several years! They, too, love the cool and damp weather. Of course the Amish neighbors already have blossoms on theirs and have probably had several meals of them already – but at least mine are growing!

Which is more than I can say for my herbs – but then I haven’t even got them planted yet.

Maybe tomorrow.

Because I’m home.

I love being home.

June is such a hopeful month.


Momma Bear

It was another round of dental pain for my Dagmar today with a trip to the oral surgeon to have all four wisdom teeth surgically removed.

You would think that after all she went through last winter getting her dental implants that this would be a breeze. After all – can it get any worse than having someone screw titanium screws into your jaw bone?


Jan drove her the 2 hours to her appointment, sat with her before surgery and during recovery.  He even drove her straight home with no side trips to Menards!

As soon as they got home – “Momma Bear” took over. My poor baby with the swollen cheeks and pain filled eyes.

With her chipmunk cheeks stuffed with gauze, she communicated with grunts and hand signs.

When she handed me three potatoes I deduced that she wanted then mashed. Momma Bears just know those things. So I peeled them, cooked them, and mashed them – extra creamy with lots of butter.

Later, as her pain meds kicked in, she got more talkative.

“Mom could I have some water?”

“These pills are really wonderful!”

“Mom, tapioca pudding sounds so good right now!”

What? I didn’t see that one coming! I have never made tapioca pudding in my life! I’ve never even served it on my table. I’m not sure where or when she has even tasted it!

Hmmm….maybe it’s the oxycodone speaking.

But if my baby bear wants tapioca pudding, she’s gonna get tapioca pudding.  Good thing there was some tapioca pearls in the cupboard left-over from some pie-baking adventure.

One recipe search on Google and an hour and half later, tapioca pudding is cooling in the fridge.

“Oh Mom, this is so good!”

Score one for Momma Bear!

“Mom, I am so hungry for grits.”

Um, grits?

“Really creamy with lots of butter and maple syrup”

I’ve never made grits before in my life. I don’t even like grits.

I think I see a pattern here.

Momma Bear is going to get a work out.

I think I’m going to go count the pain meds.

And remove the bloody wisdom teeth from the kitchen table.

This could be a long evening.