April 26, 2012

Stew of Provence and The Garden of Summer Past

The Maine House in Summer

I find it bittersweet to bid farewell to The Maine House. The contracts are signed and everyone is moving forward. It was such a dream of ours, or rather mine, to live in New England. I almost cannot believe it really happened..although our time was shorter that we had expected it to be.

I confess my gardening skills are limited, so when I do manage to create a colorful little space, I celebrate the accomplishment. It brings happiness and peace...just sitting quietly and watching the wildlife scamper about their little safe haven we created for them.

This bunny travels with us and finds a place of honor among the blooms. Wonder where he shall end up in the Texas garden?

Aren't these shades of green a glorious color?

I took this after one of those delicious summer soft rainshowers

Yellow and soft purple look beautiful paired together

One of the peonies I had planted for Mother

We loved this home and the gardens. I hope the new owners feed our squirrels, especially Mae Mo's Mr. Jimmy. Mr.Jimmy likes pumpkins, apples and granola. We named him Mr. Jimmy after Jimmy Carter, because he was nutty, like a big ole' peanut! Of course, it all began when we left raw peanuts on the deck for Mr. Jimmy.....Mae thought of this all on her own!

Take care of our little darlings (the deer) and be sure to leave the apples for them in the Woodlands during winter months. You will be seeing Chip and Dale this month. Then plan on a visit from the turkeys and the mallards....please keep the feeders full...we left them in the Woodlands for you!

Estelle's Summer Ratatouille
2 lbs eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces
5 t. salt, divided
2 1/2 lbs plum tomatoes
2 T. Olive Oil
2 cups chopped red onion
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 lb yellow squash
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
3 T. fresh thyme
1/8 t. red pepper

Sprinkle eggplant with 3 t. salt and toss lightly. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain any liquid. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, cut a small x on the bottom of each tomato. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 20-30 seconds, remove and place in a bowl of cold water. Peel tomatoes, discarding the skins and then chop. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often for about 8-10 minutes. Stir in zucchini, yellow squash, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, red pepper and remaining 2 t. of salt. Simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes until veggies are tender.

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