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Good morning, and happy Sunday! It was a classic summer week, including camp, pool time with friends, delicious peach desserts, bike riding, and good books. All of the highlights, along with each of our dinners, are included in today’s roundup of Our Week in Meals!
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For those of you who are new to the blog, Our Week in Meals is where I share a little bit about what we’ve been up to over the past week — as it relates to our dinners each night. This series gives you a glimpse “behind the scenes” at some highlights from our life, shows you how I balance a busy schedule with feeding my family, and offers a few new ideas for your own weekly meal plan. Now, let’s back up to last weekend…
Sunday morning was cloudy and cooler, so we stayed close to home and took care of some of the chores that were neglected the week before when I was under the weather. Keith cut the grass, we all cleaned the house, and I took some new recipe photos. Even on a gray day, though, these beautiful flowers brightened up my kitchen! My neighbor, Mary Ruth, sells the most gorgeous flowers (as well as fruits, veggies, and baked goods) at the local farmer’s market.
And this little bundle of good cheer kept me company near my desk this week. The vase is handmade by my mom!
The sun came out that afternoon, so we headed up to Culpeper so that the boys could ride their bikes at a park in town. Plus, they saw an ice cream truck for the first time! Casey said, “this is amaaaaaazing!”😂
Keith grilled salmon for dinner that night (a summertime favorite around here),
which we paired with corn on the cob, roasted new potatoes from the farmer’s market, and a cucumber tomato onion salad. We’re taking advantage of everything that’s in season while it lasts!
Gibbs attended a camp this week, so I had the younger two boys at home with me during the day. Spencer joined me for a beautiful morning walk up the road on Monday…
…and he wants you to know that he requested a “military cut” at the hairdresser’s over the weekend. You should also know that he wears his clothes backwards about 50% of the time (and doesn’t care). Hah!
They wanted to go back to the park in Culpeper to ride their bikes later that day (maybe hoping to see that ice cream truck again?!)…
…and I made a pot of easy homemade chicken noodle soup for supper, which sounded good when I was sick last week.
Plus a batch of our favorite blackberry muffins on the side!
Tuesday was another gorgeous summer day to be outside, so we tried to take full advantage. My friend Mollie joined me for an early morning walk, I took the younger two boys to the pool while Gibbs was at camp, Teddy got a much-needed haircut, and we stopped at the local farm stand to pick up even more peaches, blackberries, and blueberries.
How about some book chat?! I recently read The Lions of Fifth Avenue, which was another entertaining novel by Fiona Davis. It follows the same pattern as her other books (like The Address and The Magnolia Palace), with one character in the past and another in modern day, both linked by a mystery that must be solved. I enjoy the combination of historical fiction, mystery, and romance in these novels, which keeps me turning the pages to figure out how it will all come together. Here’s the Amazon summary:
It’s 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn’t ask for more out of life—her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she is drawn to Greenwich Village’s new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club—a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women’s rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. And when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she’s forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.
Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she’s wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie’s running begin disappearing from the library’s famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-averse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage—truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library’s history.
Next, I just finished The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther, which turned out to be a perfect seasonal “beach read.” I loved that the story takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, where we spent every summer of my childhood at my parents’ beach house. It brought back so many memories of family vacations, from the pies and zucchini bread at Morning Glory Farm, to the popular ice cream shops and hiking trails around the island. The story was sweet too, but the setting was the real treat! Here’s the summary from Amazon:
When Meredith Fox lost her sister, Claire, eighteen months ago, she shut everyone out. But this summer she’s determined to join the world again.
The annual family vacation to Martha’s Vineyard seems like the perfect place to reconnect. Her entire extended family is gathering for a big summer wedding, and although Meredith is dateless after being unexpectedly dumped, she’s excited to participate in the traditional Fox family game of assassin that will take place during the week of wedding festivities. Claire always loved the game, and Meredith is determined to honor her legacy.
But when Meredith forms an assassin alliance with a cute groomsman, she finds herself getting distracted. Meredith tries to focus on the game and win it for her sister, but she can’t help falling for him. And as the week progresses, she realizes she’s not only at risk of losing the game, but also her heart.
Another early morning bike ride and walk to beat the heat on Wednesday. The rest of the day included work calls for me, and quiet play at home for the younger boys until it was time to pick up Gibbs from camp.
Puff pastry ham and cheese “hot pockets” were on the dinner menu, which I customized to suit everyone’s tastes. I added a couple of apple slices to mine, and used turkey and provolone for the boys (rather than ham and Swiss). Kept the crew happy!
Plus salad greens with Dijon vinaigrette and potato chips on the side.
We packed picnic lunches and spent most of the day at the pool with friends, and then I delivered a meal to another friend who recently had a surgery.
Since I was cooking for her family, I made twice as much of everything and kept half for us to enjoy, too. Multiple meals for a single effort! I delivered blueberry buckle for easy breakfasts,
…plus a peach galette with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Friday morning started with an early walk with my neighbor.
After dinner, Casey helped me pick the first of our early apples. This is a Golden Delicious variety called the Golden Pippin.
Since we don’t spray our trees, the bugs get to a lot of them before we do. But these little guys sure are delicious — sweet, juicy, and really crisp!
We dragged the boys to Salvagewrights in Orange on Saturday morning (an architectural salvage store) to look for an antique mantel for a room in the new addition that we’re putting on the house later this year. We not only found a great mantel, but Casey brought home this sign for his bedroom! I’m raising the next generation of “pickers,” and I love it…
The rain held off so that the kids could swim with their buddies at our friends’ pool that afternoon…
…and we granted their request for burgers and chicken fingers at the Chili’s in Culpeper for supper. I always appreciate a night off from the kitchen!
And that’s it for today, friends! I hope that you’ve found some new inspiration for your own table in the days ahead. Thank you for being here, and for so many kind well-wishes when I was sick last week. This community is truly a blessing!💓