Monday, June 29, 2020

Summertime and Peaches

Summer growing up was always a fun time for me.  I was a carefree kid who loved to run around the neighborhood, playing Barbie's with my neighbor friend, trying to sneak plums from my uncle's plum tree, building forts in the dirt fields, and just being a kid full of curiosity and wonder. 

My Dad had a garden across the street from our house, and I would sometimes go over there and have long talks with him.  I would even help him water or pick veggies and bring them home so my Mom could make them for supper that night.  He grew the nicest looking produce.

Being the youngest, there was always something to do, whether it was going up the hill to play with my cousin or walking to my friends' houses, the next block over.  It really was a happy and wholesome childhood.   

Peaches always remind me of Summertime, and one day I went over to Nel's house, and we made two peach pies for ourselves.  We started out with a dozen ripe peaches. 

I peeled them all and cut them in small chunks, which took a little time.  Nel mixed them together with the corn starch and lemon, and the pie filling was ready to go. 

Nel made the pie crust, and when it was done, it had a bit of a salty taste, and the pie was a combination of salty and sweet.  

 She filled the pies

Pinched the ends to secure the pies

Made a slit in the center so
they would bake well.

She made the homemade cream too!

This takes a long time to beat,
about 5-10 minutes.

I felt like a kid again licking the beaters.

We let the pies cool,

 and when I got home, I had a slice of it with whipped cream.  It really was the best peach pie I ever had.  Nel used to make them in Georgia, and she said Georgia peaches are the best.

Summertime and peaches.....
they really go together, don't they?


Monday, June 22, 2020

June Gloom

Here in So Cal, we have overcast skies with cool temperatures the month of June.  It is called June Gloom.  It usually clears up in the afternoon, and the skies are sunny again.  Not sure why this happens, we have just always heard that it was caused by low altitude clouds that carry cold ocean water over the land around this time of year.  But whatever the reason, it is a real thing here.  Here are some pictures of the June Gloom days. 
There is a house on the main street that has these vibrant pink flowers covering it.  I think they're azaleas, and it looks quite lovely.

My kitchen has a lot of light, and it's the room with the most sunshine coming through, which is nice since that is the place where I spend most of my time making goodies.
Outside my bedroom window.
On these overcast days, it's a good time
to write in my journal.
Now, I've seen blue hydrangeas before, but Nel has a big bush of purple hydrangeas in her front yard.  They look so pretty against her green house.
She sometimes picks the flowers from the bush and puts them in vases around the house. 
I love this decorative bottle in her bathroom. 
She got it from Michaels, and I want one!
This picture of Francesca makes my heart sing.  Do you know she's 2 and a half already?
Well, these June Gloom days are almost over,
and we'll now have two more months of hot summer days.

Fireworks have been going off already in my town at night.  It's really LOUD!  And annoying!
  I must be getting old.  ; )


Monday, June 15, 2020

Claremont College

Nel had the day off, so she thought we could take a drive to get away from the house for awhile.  She is working from home teaching, so she needed a break.  She wanted to stop by her favorite coffee and pastry shop in Claremont, but I told her that I wasn't ready to go out in the public yet, so I brought each of us a slice of lemon cake and frosting that I made the night before, and she brought a thermos of coffee.
We ended up at Claremont College, and Nel showed me all the different areas surrounding the college.  We first stopped at a shady courtyard and sat on a bench to enjoy our coffee and goody. 

There was a bronze horse there that
Mia took a liking to.

This is the same courtyard that we gathered at
after Nel got her Ph.D. many years ago.

She has a child now, so I'm sure many thoughts ran through her head when we visited the college she attended all those years.

The Theatre.
  The mural on the theatre walls was interesting.  Nel hopes that it will be open and that The Nutcracker will be playing there for Christmas.

Mia looks so small on these steps.
It's such a grand theatre.

This is the library courtyard.  It's not open to the public right now, but I was able to take a few photos surrounding the area.

There was a white flower bed
that was so pretty.

A blue bird stood still long enough
for me to take its picture.

Another courtyard.  The purple flowers scattered to the ground looked beautiful.  I see them all around this area, and they come from the trees that grace these neighboring towns.

On the way home, we saw these words inscribed
on one of the college gates.

There is a neighborhood of charming houses in Claremont that we drove through.  Not every house in the neighborhood is kept up and beautiful, but about every third house is very nice.  This is Nel's dream home.  Not too small, not too large, just a perfect size cottage.

Nel was at Claremont for 7 years working on her Ph.D.  It was a wonderful day, and it was a special time for her showing me around the area where she many years reading so many books and eating so many tuna melts and taking naps at a nearby park.  I felt very collegiate after spending the day here haha.  And being with this little one made it more special.


Monday, June 8, 2020

Greek Night At Nel's

I wasn't able to carry on my tradition this year
and attend the Greek festival up north,
so I was so delighted when Nel said that she was going to make my favorite Greek dish, Pastitsio, and have us come over one night for dinner.   She prepared it with macaroni, ground beef and lamb, cheese, and a béchamel sauce.  And the ingredients that tell you it's Pastitsio is the cinnamon and nutmeg.  It turned out delicious. 
She also made salads for everyone and iced tea.
Nel's decorating is different than mine, but she has her own style, and much of it reflects the things she loves....old things that have been with her since she was small, travel, books, and more books!  This is the globe I bought her several years ago.  It looks so nice next to her reading chair.
I think she has books in every room of her house.  Here is the frog from the Disney movie, "Princess and the Frog," which is one of Mia's favorites to watch.
Every now and then, I'll notice something around her house and smile, as it brings back a memory for me too.  In Mia's room, some of Nel's old dolls and animals from her childhood.

Remember my Greek doll that I misplaced?  Well, I was glad that I found it during the move.  Now, she is safely with the other heritage dolls waiting for grandchildren to play with them.

Both of my daughters have become good cooks, and always seem to experiment in the kitchen.
It is sometimes fun to celebrate one's heritage, to honor our ancestors who lived and worked and played and sacrificed to bring a better life for our children.

It was a fun night, 
and the food was Yummy.
Thanks Nel.