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I've been blogging over at Our Sleeping Flowers these days. Still me, and still delicious, come join me!

Even though it's getting cooler, I still love meals where I don't have to cook anything. I like to rely on my blender, a knife and board, and my can opener (yes, can opener) for quick weekday meals. I love making things from scratch, but beans are not one in my rotation. It is now autumn, the mountains that loom so close are peppered with red, orange, and yellow, the apples are now selling alongside the last of the peaches and of course they taste incredible, I can feel the brisk chill that travels deeper than my first layer of skin, and yet I am still transitioning.

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The official last day of summer, and I have a handful of tomato-dish-this, peach-dish-that to share with you. A large percentage of the tomato dishes begin with tossing the tomatoes with olive oil, honey, vinegar of some sort, and a bit of salt, then baking until they pop. From there, they take on their own unique persona, whether they're blended, mixed with greens, or in this case, baked again. This second time, they're surrounded by custard sopped morsels of bread. It's a good transitional dish, robust with flavor and warmth, because it's around this time of year that my toes begin to chill.

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beet pickled eggs from a few years ago

This Thursday, I will be at Jacob's Cove along with Rachel Hodson and David Vogel from Edible Wasatch for the Veggie Pick and Pickle Farm Tour. The event is part of a monthly farm tour series sponsored by The Downtown Farmers Market and Edible Wasatch magazine. It begins at 3 p.m. (meet at the farm at 4 p.m. if you're nearby) and costs $30.

Those who come will be introduced to Dale Allred (agricultural engineer extraordinaire at Jacob's Cove), and given a taste of freshly pickled produce from the farm. After some instruction is given, everyone will be sent to the greenhouses to find prime pickling produce, then gather at stations where they will learn how to preserve their freshly picked goods for their pickling pleasure. There will be light snacks, information about the farm, information about our cooking classes, and copies of the latest Edible Wasatch available, as well as some good conversation and company. Sound like a good way to spend your Thursday evening?

Read on for more details.

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With August and September's surplus of food, I have been trying different ways to preserve it all, so we have some reminiscence of summer when January comes along. I tried my hand at canning peaches for the very first time this summer, a friend and her children came over to share the experience. We let the kids watch movies, eat popcorn, and play while we caught up, laughed, cared for the occasional unhappy child, and enjoyed the novelty of something we remember our mother's and grandmother's doing, but we had never done on our own before.

We bought a bushel of "second" red haven peaches from a favorite orchard stand. "Seconds" peaches are the peaches that get a little bruised and worn from their short trip to the stand, or have some kind of imperfection. They also sport a price tag a third of what the poster child peaches cost. Since we were using them up the same day, the imperfections weren't enough to spoil them before we used them all. We also bought 2 gallons of their raw unfiltered apple cider that was frozen from the year before, planning to use some for the actual canning, and drinking the rest (my little one's favorite part).

We followed this webpage's instructions for cold packing the peaches, processing them long enough for our elevation (4500 feet!) and instead of a sugar syrup used the apple juice. We didn't can the whole bushel of peaches, saving a few of the under ripe ones for making some peach jalapeno jam a day or so later. By the end of the evening, we had fourteen quarts of peaches, four hungry kids (who requested dinner, "but it better not be peaches!"), four sore feet, and two empowered women who felt a small connection to times past and the satisfaction of real food work. My favorite part about real food, it has a heritage.

I especially loved that through the process of it all, old memories were remembered and new ones were made. I realized we weren't just putting up peaches.

What are you preserving this year?

This morning, I watched the moon set. It was giant, low, and a dusty orange red before it dissappeared through houses and trees. Then I watched the sun rise. I love the deep cold blue of the sky that warms into golden hues, setting the clouds alight with blush hues. This morning they were the color pink I remember from my mother's 90's floral printed curtains in her kitchen window facing east, and the color of my toddler's flushed face after an afternoon in the summer sun.    It was a good start to my weekend.

I have a bowl full of the most beautiful tomatoes, but all I want is a peach.

I decided today that I will no longer hold on to summer as desperately as I have been. I always complain that autumn just isn't long enough to be enjoyed, and I want to enjoy it, thoroughly.

I may make pie this weekend, to celebrate.

The first day of September.

Yesterday was the last day of 90 degree weather; every day this week shows highs in the mid 80s. It was as if summer declared a clean end with exactness and clarity, even though we technically have a couple weeks left.

ugh. summer. end?

I am not sure if it has been because I've had a little one to play with for the last few months, but I have loved summer this year, and I'm not usually a fan.  I will miss the bare toes on green grass, scraped knees and bare shoulders, the smell of sunscreen and sweat on the little one's skin, her pigtails ruffled around the edges and everywhere in between from summer play. I will miss sitting out on our front steps eating popscicles, watermelon halves, and anything else cold. I will miss the early morning sun (really early), the warm winds, and the prickle of my skin when moving from outdoors in. Even with everything I will miss, there are so many things to look forward to.

For one, cooler weather means there are things to be baked, like cake.

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