Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Solstice Weekend

Happy Solstice y'all! That long-awaited longest day of the year was on Friday and the whole weekend shaped up to be awesomely summery.

Off work at noon on Friday, I had some time to work in the garden at home. It was a sunny day and I weeded, battling the mutant-fast growing morning glory and dandelions. Here's the garden, with kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, (bolted) spinach, favas, potatoes, tomatoes, nasturtium, garlic, beets, carrots, snap peas, arugula, and mixed salad greens. I harvested what I could- some peas, strawberries, greens, and nasturtium flowers.

I also added more soil to my barrel potatoes. If you haven't heard of this method, it's a good way to container garden with potatoes when you have limited space. You can use any kind of bin, barrel, or sack as long as there are drainage holes in the bottom. Earlier in the spring, I filled it with about 8 inches of soil and compost and planted potatoes. Here they are just starting to grow in the bottom.
As the leaves grow, you keep adding soil to the base of the plants, and they keep growing up and creating more tubers below the surface. Here were the potatoes on Friday!
Later in the afternoon I headed to my neighborhood farmer's market on Phinney Ridge. I couldn't pass up getting some Rainier cherries in the glory of their season, and some heirloom tomatoes from Yakima.
That evening I went to a backyard BBQ and let myself have my first summer ale. I'm very particular about not drinking seasonal beers out of their intended season, though in the stores there will be a lot of overlap. I also tried a cocktail with cynar for my first time, sipping it by a fire while a huge moon rose over Woodland Park. The actual Supermoon was a couple days later, but it was the biggest moon I saw over the weekend. 

On Saturday my sweetie made coffee and cooked me some eggs with veggie sausage and I had a much-needed relaxing morning. It's funny how much 7:30 feels like sleeping in when you are used to getting up at 5. Then I hopped on my bike and rode to a family lunch/belated baby shower in Magnolia. The plan was to go straight from there to the Fremont Solstice Parade. I didn't want to worry about trying to catch a crowded bus, or park 30 blocks away, so biking seemed like the easiest option. I crossed the Fremont bridge and apparently had forgotten just how incredibly many people go to the fair. I could hardly find a place to park my bike! 

Then I realized I needed to cross the street to get to where my friends were... but it was completely impossible to cross the street. There was a wall of parade spectators about 5 people deep for dozens of blocks. I ended up having to walk to the very beginning of the parade to get around the crowds and then back down. I finally found my friends and still caught a good chunk of the colorful parade.
The whole event is pretty crazy with the sheer number of people in the streets. I couldn't handle something like that very often, but for special occasions I absolutely love soaking in the vibrant urban feel. There was so much to see and do, with people-watching, costumes, local vendors, food trucks, people eating at tables and patches of grass on the canal, buskers, official music stages, laughter from the beer garden. It was another sunny day, even hotter than the day before. We ate Thai food and grabbed a cold beer with some friends before.

In the evening we rode down to Honkfest at Gasworks Park. Tons of music and people dancing and hanging out outside in the warm evening air.

We sat on top of the hill and watched the sun reflecting off the buildings and the sky change colors. I fell in love with Seattle even a little bit more.

After an unusually warm last few days, Sunday was grey and wet. It was a good day to be inside and get odds and ends done. We weren't going to let a little drizzle dampen our summer spirits though. We had a BBQ with some friends in the evening, cooking homemade pizzas on the outdoor grill. We originally were going to make pizzas outside, but decided to move the operation into the basement, which worked out well.

The pizzas were delicious, with toppings from olives to burrata to chopped garlic scapes to pesto to fresh arugula. There were homemade desserts like cake with chocolate ganache and fresh raspberry sauce, peach pie, and lemon bundt cake. Other homemade drinks showed up like hibiscus-pennyroyal soda and homebrewed Belgian-style beer. It dried up for awhile, and we were able to hang out in the yard.
When it stared raining again, we just stood by the fire and made sure to cover the important items.
The rain stopped long enough for people to roast some marshmallows, and then it waited to start pouring until everyone had left. 
If the weekend is any indication of how the whole summer will be, I think some good months are ahead!


ElizaBeth said...

What a glorious Solstice weekend in Seattle! I miss the Fremont parade and I especially miss it when the sun decides to shine on it (though it greatly increases the fair weather spectators). Thanks for rubbing in the Rainier cherries... how I miss those beauties. They don't seem to make it down to Ukiah. Why doesn't anyone grow them here??

AmberAnda said...

The weather can be so iffy at the end of June, so I was pleasantly surprised that the sun shone for the parade! Wish you could have teleported up for the day to hang out :) Maybe you should plant a Rainier cherry tree down there and see how it does!