I try not to use the oven in the summer, because it heats up the kitchen--but we still love fresh bread. This is my latest experiment, "baked" in my oval crockpot. The bread that's pictured doesn't include herbs; the recipe does. Good either way, with or without. The jar in the background is hog plum jelly, a gift from our rancher friend Dolly, who gathered the hog plums herself. Bill is still in New Mexico, and I'm afraid I'll eat this whole loaf myself, and probably half that jar of jelly. Think I'd better put the bread into the freezer.
I've spent the week catching up on emails and various small projects. Peggy and I assembled our herbal eletters for September. I wrote an article for Sharon Astyk over at Hen and Harvest--the first part of a two-part piece on growing herbs for your medicine cabinet. I'll let you know when Sharon posts it. While you're waiting for that, you can read an excerpt from Sharon's new book, Depletion and Abundance. (Hey, Sharon: I'm still waiting for my review copy. Hurry it up, okay?) Peggy and I also worked on the new eletter for our Story Circle book review website. If you're on our SCN mailing list, it'll show up in your inbox on Wednesday. Also caught up on the week's entries for my journal book.
Fall Garden report. The temperatures are cooling off, which seems to be encouraging more female blossoms on the squash. I've planted more beans, peas, carrots, lettuce, and radishes, but am saving space for later peas and spinach. The potatoes will go in as soon as the seed potatoes arrive--next week, I hope. Meanwhile, I'm watching Ike. The computer models are split, half taking the storm to LA, half to TX by late in the week. No way to tell at this point.
Several people have written to ask how Toro is adapting to being an Only Dog. Frankly, he's bored. He's a heeler, and he likes to keep an eye on things. When there's nothing to keep an eye on (when Mom is sitting in front of the computer for hours on end, say), he takes a nap on my feet, just to make sure that I don't get up and go someplace without him. Bill and I are discussing the possibility of getting a puppy to entertain Toro. We're not sure that this is the right motivation for getting another dog, but like Toro, I miss the extra doggie energy that's generated by more than one dogs. So we'll see. Still in the talking stages.
Book talks. Bill and I are driving up to Illinois for my high school class reunion (Bismarck High, 1958!) in early October. I'm doing three book talks in the area. You'll find the details here. If you're in the area, stop in and say hi.
Reading note: I truly believe that to stay home, to learn the names of things, to realize who we live among . . . then I believe a politics of place emerges where we are deeply accountable to our communities, to our neighborhoods, to our home . . . If we are not rooted deeply in place, making that commitment to dig in and stay put . . . then I think we are living a life without specificity, and then our lives become abstractions. Then we enter a place of true desolation. --Terry Tempest Williams.