It must be summer. I blinked and the week disappeared. I keep looking back around the corner for it but it seems to have almost vanished into thin air, leaving behind signs that it was here but for oh, such a short time. Strawberry and raspberry jams now added to the shelves, peas now hanging from the vines, and tomatoes putting out yellow buds. Everything is arriving so early this year; at the farm stand down the road this week, they already had local corn, apricots, and green beans and my eyes nearly started out of my head in surprise! The kitchen is piled with produce.
On a whim, I made refrigerator pickles from Smitten Kitchen on Sunday about an hour before company arrived for dinner and I personally could have bypassed everything else I made in favor of a plateful of the pickles even with just the amount of pickling that hour provided. Tart, crisp, dilly, salty - Perfection. Somehow I left a few to keep overnight (I'm not sure my guests even got any, I was such a hog) and they miraculously improved beyond Perfection. These are the easiest fridge pickles I've ever made and they will be a summer staple in my kitchen, no doubt. I felt morally obligated to share the recipe link with you.
Sweet Millie loves her new Vertebrae cardigan and I loved the making of it. There was no yarn chicken after I went up several needle sizes and in fact, I have a good amount of the yarn left to tuck away for a rainy day. I wove in the ends and immediately wound my MadTosh Twist Light in the colorway Spicewood. Oh. My. I love the colors in this yarn and I knew I wanted a cowl with it. I love knitting shawls but last winter I constantly reached for my cowls on a daily basis and I want this yarn to be made into something I wear often. Originally I planned to cast on a Starshower cowl by Hilary Smith Callis but being, well, ME, I had to browse Ravelry and look at every other possible cowl pattern that could work for the yardage I had. Only to settle once and for all on the Starshower. This is pretty much how I make all my decisions in life. Tedious? Yes, but at least at the end of the process I am completely convinced of the rightness of my choice.
Caddie Woodlawn was delightful. Books that take place on the frontier are always suspect for me in regards to the way that Native America will be portrayed. I can't help it - it can make or break a book for me (e.g., Betty MacDonald's The Egg and I, which I returned to the library after just one nauseating chapter and now I have to admit that, so sadly, even Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle feels a bit tainted just by virtue of the fact that they were written by such a shamelessly racist woman. I digress) and it is especially crucial to me in children's books at this point. Our kids have had some exposure to the complex feelings and perceptions of some frontierspeople toward Native Americans, like in Little House on the Prairie, but I am cautious about it still. It is such a complex and multifaceted conversation I get tired just thinking about it. So I was pretty happy to discover that overall the portrayal of the Native tribe near Caddie's family was generally positive. I loved the wild and free childhood Caddie had and the slow and willing transition toward womanhood (as defined by her day) throughout. I will look forward to giving it to Lyddie to read eventually but I think she will most enjoy it in another year or two.
I grabbed The Boys in the Boat from the library shelf which is a totally uncharacteristic read for me - I hardly ever turn toward biography but my friend read it last summer and really appreciated it. I am waiting for the final 100 Cupboards book, The Chestnut King by N.D. Wilson, and The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge both to come in to the library from my holds list.
I am still reading a chapter a night of A Charlotte Mason Companion but I also picked up For the Children's Sake to re-read for the first time since starting school with Lyddie. I think I'm being a little over-ambitious but there are so many good books in my world right now and what is summer for but dreaming about all the reading time you wish you had but never will?
Joining with Yarn Along