June 18, 2010

Summer Favorites

Fresh flower bouquets from our garden are a simple little joy for me. We have been blessed in most of our homes over the years to have flowers to cut and bring inside. I grabbed these lovely things in time to avoid their destruction in this morning's storm. No tornado warnings as of yet, but it got dark in a big hurry. I'm hanging out in our basement with the cat - thrilling!

Fruit in season is another summer favorite of ours. We were thrilled to find a big box of organic raspberries at our local Costco, and I made this light dessert called a Clafouti - it's a little like a custard cake, but really more custard than cake, and it's a French dish. The whole thing has only 1/3 C of sugar, so you can really taste the raspberries. It's good warm or cold - and let's be honest, it's good plain, but of course very good with ice cream or whipped cream - depends on your mood and how hard you worked the day you make it!

We love to grill in the summer like most people. This week we enjoyed some no-nitrate, all-beef brats that we purchased from the Iowa Food Cooperative. DH made some of his very good hot dog and hamburger buns. Aren't they lovely?!

Salad suppers are a warm weather favorite of ours too, and having an abundance of garden lettuce has led to making lots of homemade dressings. I have a mini food processor that's perfect for whirring up dressings that have some onion, or shallots, or another solid ingredient. My ancient dressing cruet, (the one everyone used to get for free with a packet of Wishbone dressing), works great for dressings that just need to be shaken together. In this picture there's a Dijon dressing, a wonderful French dressing that has far less sugar and oil than a typical French, and an Asian vinaigrette for a Chinese chicken salad - mmmmm...

And now a clunky transition to some other favorites, who are celebrated in the summer on Father's Day! I thank God for the wonderful fathers that I know, and these guys are at the top of the list!
First is my husband, who grew from this sharp young man into one of the best fathers ever! He seems to have mastered the perfect combination of spoiling our daughter, and instilling strong values and ethics in her. He is a godly father each and every day.

And these two fine looking little boys, my brothers, turned into A+ fathers themselves. They are such good men and I wish we were able to see one another more often.

I have no picture of my brother-in-law as a youngster, but he too is a fine man, and a wonderful stand-up kind of father. He has been a great blessing to my sister and her girls, and I thank him heartily for that!

And finally, this part of my Father's Day ode is impossible to write without choking up a bit this year. This is my dad, holding me on his lap about 50 years ago. (I love his checked tie and argyle socks - and he still has high standards when it comes to the way he dresses!) You would be hard pressed to find any man who was more dedicated to raising his 4 children to be good men and women - and the results are not too darn bad if I don't say so myself! Without going into the details, I can say that this man recently gave us all quite a scare. Many prayers, and many tears later, we are thanking God for his ongoing recovery. I loved you as this happy toddler, and I love you now Dad. Happy Father's Day!


  1. Great photos! And in your case the apple did not fall far from the tree. AMAZING the resemblance! And to think, before seeing this photo I always thought you looked exactly like a young Meryl Streep.
    Happy Father's Day DU!

  2. Thanks from DU, and can I keep the Meryl Streep part too?!! Just being greedy!