In the midst of summer.

Yesterday, I ventured out to the garden, and picked our very first golden yellow heirloom tomato.
I set it on the counter right next to the big ol' dark green watermelon... the first to appear in our csa box as of yet- & the first to be consumed since the summer of 2011.
Only a week left to our annual wine country vacation, and I'm over the moon excited about it.  I think more-so than I ever have been in these past five years.  This is the time of the summer where it all starts to feel a little rushed, a little too chaotic for my liking- right before our trip, right around Hailey's birthday... right when we realize that school resumes in only ONE MONTH. 
This year, Jacob's been in summer school (which we didn't want to have him do, but realized it was pretty necessary with the load he'll be taking next year, and will make the transition into high school(!!) a bit more smooth)... and today is his last day.  So, without being a total debbie-downer, I'll just say, it's been a little less 'summery' than usual around these parts this year.  Which has been a good thing in some ways- morning time with Hailey, a pretty nice routine (usually, during these lazy-crazy months, "routine" falls to the wayside in a bad way), and I have to say- far less bickering takes place when one is gone.
But I'm longing for day trips & car rides with both kids in tow... windows rolled down, music turned up... for picnics & game nights... peach cobbler & blackberry pie.  After the party, after school's officially out... come Monday mornin' ~ it's ON.
So that's why something as simple as a very first golden yellow heirloom tomato, and a big ol' dark green watermelon made me one very happy gal.
And of course, I got straight to work at putting one of the two to good use {the other to follow suit this afternoon}. heirloom tomato panzanella {by a 'napa valley chef'... gettin' in the wine-county moooood I tell ya :-)}. 
Garlic-y crisped oil-glistened bread, aromatic basil, in-season tomatoes.  To say "it worked" is an understatement. 
[*cook's notes:  used gluten-free brown rice bread, added cannellini beans, omitted the butter & cheese... still a 5-star recipe, substitutions & all...] 
Wishing you lots of sunshine this weekend... on the inside & out.


  1. That looks delicious! I'm jealous of your gardening skills. Our herb garden is doing good but the raised bed? Seems to be struggling, but maybe there's still time!

    1. Believe me, ours struggled for MANY years!!

      Each year, some things do well, others- not so much. Even this year, many successes, but many ‘opportunities’ too… birds eating some of our tomatoes, peaches, peppers… dark (rotten) spots on the bottom of some of the heirlooms… the peas were sort of a flop… I could go on and on :)…

      So, keep at it!! And seriously, let me know if you ever have questions.

  2. Hi Torrie-How are you doing? I have to say I am super jealous that you are going on a wine vaca..I say this as I am sipping away my Peju Red Zin right now. (by the way you must visit the winery if you can!) And I wish you could send me some of those heirloom tomatoes...I would just cut them up and put salt and pepper and devour them! Delicious.

  3. This looks delicious!! I would be super excited about getting a watermelon in one of those boxes too. I didn't even realize that they put watermelons in those boxes. And how exciting that you got your first yellow tomato.

  4. hearing that your annual trip is near puts time into perspective. i feel like i just read your last year's trip recap a week ago - the photos are fresh in my head! i, too, can't wait to get into more of a summer groove....june was a blur with traveling and the first two weeks of july have been busy. i need to insert some summer laziness into our schedules!!

    p.s. that salad looks delish. i am totally copying for lunch today!

  5. oh your trip is going to be fantastic. can't wait to see pics from it. That tomato panzanella salad sounds amazing!

  6. Our weird weather up here is delaying a lot of our summer veggies. Boo. I'll live vicariously through you - and hope there's still time for ours to pull themselves together. Heh.



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