Well, more like reality, really.   As the warm days pass lazily, the midsummer garden is in full swing and flourishing. Our meals are created to make the most of the bountiful summer harvest – though I must admit everything is not all ‘hunky dory’! This year the forces of mother nature are throwing a few curves at us.

There’s a constant battle going on against the mildew and diseases that run rampant throughout this summer season. The cucumbers are having a rough go this year and are catching all sorts of viruses. The tomatoes are struggling too. While some plants are lush and green others are absolutely ugly looking with their leaves turning yellow. Every week, we dutifully spray them with organic ‘concoctions’ but even so, one of the guys gets the unpleasant task of going in and cutting out the dying/diseased leaves and practically de-nuding some tomatoes – it’s one heck of a dirty job!

A nice surprise this year is the Anna Apples as they are continuing to produce luscious fruits. The other day we made an Apple Pandowdy which was delicious – spicy and sweet! While whipping up the dessert some of us couldn’t help but start humming softly“shoofly pie and apple pandowdy”… yikes couldn’t get that ditty out of my head for awhile!

We really enjoy this time of year – well, not exactly, the excessive heat and smog we could definitely do without, but the wonderful fruit and veggies that kaleidoscope our plates makes summer always a pleasure. Meals are simple and are practically ‘raw’ as it is much too hot to cook or eat hot food anyhow!

On the DIY roof project, sections of the backyard are looking like a total disaster area with dust and parts of shingles and shake everywhere! It’s a funny feeling to walk into the garage and look up and see the sky! Well, that is if you can call it “sky” – this yearthe smog is the worst it’s been for some time. I remember back in the 80s when we moved here, the smog was sooo bad that you could see it drifting down the street like fog moving in from the coast. Also the mountain range that defines this area was shrouded in an awful stew of poison. Some days when the smog was a yucky brownish color, your eyes and throat burned and your head ached, causing you to feel as if you were being slowly poisoned. Well, thanks to CA’s tougher rules the air quality has greatly improved. Well,  that is until this year.  The air quality seems to be regressing.

I remember an old-timer who once told us that not too long ago the south facingSan Gabriel mountain range was covered in green pines and oaks but eventually the smog killed them off. Now we are left with dry chaparral. Shame.

Weather Report: Cloudy and humid. 

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