We had a great market day. Sell out at both markets. Lots of people mentioned the article that Beth wrote. It was rather overwhelming, all the kind words and recognition. Made me sad to think that all of the kindness wouldn't be necessary if Philip were still here. Last night the kids watched Cheaper by the Dozen with our guests. Nora came up to bed crying because the dad dies in that story. We cuddled up and I gave her a kiss and told her I miss him too and prayed for her to be comforted and she fell right to sleep.
So anyway, we were thankful for all the support from people who heard our story. I was thinking that maybe one good thing out of many things that have come out of our tragedy is that many people are seeing that their little act of buying a loaf of local bread baked by a local gal can truly make a difference. It makes a difference for us. It means I can pay our bills, stay on the farm, sit on the front porch in the evening and watch two little girls play wiffle ball and drink heavy cream in my coffee.
Speaking of wiffle ball, it was fun watching Rose and Nora play by themselves after playing with the whole Schmitter crew. Rose pitched, Nora hit. When she hit, she ran to base, and if she made it safe, left her ghost player on the base and ran back to home plate to be up to bat again. When she hit the ball again, her ghost player made it to third and she would run to second, if she didn't get out. I think at least one of her ghost players made it to home. Rose's team got up to bat right as it got dark, and a skirmish on the field sent everyone into bedtime. I hope we have enough beds for all those extra players.
We miss Lynn Moore and the Schmitters already. What a gift to have dear friends come for a visit. I wish I had more to give them. They gave me so much. Brought food, tents, made dinners, took kids out on fun excursions, washed dishes, washed laundry, and blessed us richly. I am thrilled that our life and business makes it possible for us to have others come and experience a little taste of the bounty of farm living. It is humbling to think that hearing roosters crow and making butter can impact a life.
I wasn't going to make supper for myself this evening. The kids ate leftover ziti. But then I saw that bag of veggies Patrick received in a barter deal with Randy Deel at Botetourt Family Farmer's Market.
One bag had october beans. I didn't grow up with october beans. Must be a regional thing. I don't really know what to do with those beans. But as cool as it was outside and as hot as it was in the house, I decided to take the bag out to the rocking chair on the front porch and began to shell. Little by little the little pile grew into a mound in my bowl. A mound of art. Pink and white beans, like a still life. The colors were lovely. But the most lovely thing was that Rose found me and before you know it, she got addicted to shelling out those beans with me in the cool evening. One of my favorite things, shelling beans or peas on the front porch in the cool of the early evening. Took them in and braised them with olive oil, lots of garlic, chopped rosemary and kosher salt. While they cooked:
Okra. Lots of tender tiny okra.
One of my very very favorite vegetables.
Rose and I decided that we had to have some, sliced and sauteed with garlic in some olive oil, just until tender, sprinkled with kosher salt. It cooked before the beans finished, so we split it between the two of us and gobbled it up before you know what happened. We talked about how we like little okra boiled, slimy and yummy with butter and salt, but sauteed in olive oil with salt is just about the most perfect food ever. A couple of kids passed through the kitchen and watched Rose and I scarf down our treat, and I suggested if they cut up the rest of the bag of okra I would cook it up for them, but they just drooled and passed on by.
I think we forgot to give thanks, standing up in the kitchen, scarfing down our okra and october beans, but I do give thanks now for Randy growing okra! Ours is just getting ripe, but we don't have enough that survived for our okra loving family. A glass of red wine on the porch with my beans (noone else wanted them) and a phone call with my baby sister was a nice treat. As I tasted the new flaver of the beans, I wondered if I stewed them with some lamb shanks, more garlic, extra rosemary and some vermouth, they might be even better. Will have to look up some recipes. I have no idea how folks around here cook october beans. Must ask neighbors!
Well, another week passed on. We are about six months past the time of Philip's death. Hard to believe. Winter ended, spring came, summer is drawing to an end.
The girls just came in and made me read this post out loud to them, to make sure I didn't write anything bad about them. Rose suggested I keep writing until I am old and then we will have a story of our life. I don't think I want to think that far ahead when I am this tired. For now, time to shut it down and say goodnights and take a look at the rising moon. Not full yet, but getting there.