indigo rose_FeedMeDearly

Aside from a slightly off-topic discussion about the feeding habits of bears, I’d say that our tasting of the gorgeous Indigo Rose tomatoes went reasonably well. I’m pretty well-versed in my heirloom tomato varieties having sampled all kinds of treats from the iconic Brandywines to the yellow Pineapples. But Indigo Rose tomatoes are one of my favorites. They’re sweet and fruity, with a wonderfully juicy texture; they’re my go-to summer tomato for salads, fresh tomato sauces, and bruschetta. And my sidekick Lauren, the other tomato lover in the house, couldn’t agree more.

ME: Guys! We have a new one.  What am I holding?

LAUREN: A tomato.

ME: A tomato, that’s right.  Does anyone remember the name of this tomato from the Farmer’s Market?

SAM: Uhhhhh….

LAUREN: I didn’t even read the sign.

ME: This is called an Indigo Rose tomato.  Why do you think it’s called that?

LAUREN: Uh because of the color of indigo in it?

ME: Yeah, it’s go that really, really deep bluish purple coloring on it.  Isn’t that cool?  Do most tomatoes have this color?


ME: So when we see this color we know that we’re dealing with a very special tomato. I’m going to have you guys smell this because it–

EMMA: I don’t like tomatoes.

ME: It doesn’t matter if you don’t like tomatoes.  I still want you to smell it.

SAM: It smells like a normal tomato.

ME: Don’t lick it.  Ok.  Are you going to smell it for me Emma?  Let’s all do this together.

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If there is a variety of spinach to introduce to your kids, this is the one. Straight from the farm, it was crunchy, crisp, and had the most beautiful purple-tipped roots. After I’ve seen the potential for spinach, it’s going to be hard to return to those limp bagged baby spinach greens that you so often see in the grocery store. This is spinach with heft. Popeye-approved 100%.

ME: Do you know what you’re eating?  What is it?

LAUREN: Green leaf lettuce?

ME: No, it’s not green leaf lettuce.  Does anyone know what the green leaves are on their plate?

SAM: I don’t know.

ME: Have you guys ever tried spinach before?

LAUREN: I have.

ME: You have?  Where?  At school?  Where have you tried spinach before?

LAUREN: When we were cooking something.

ME: You and me?

LAUREN: No.  At camp.

ME: Oh cool. Have you had spinach before Emma?

EMMA: But it was tinier.

ME: Have you guys ever heard of Popeye?  Who’s Popeye.


ME: No, it’s not Papa (their grandfather).  Popeye is a really strong guy with big muscles.  You know what he loves to eat? 

LAUREN: Spinach!

ME: He eats spinach.  That’s what he eats all the time.  Can you believe that?  He eats this stuff.  What do you guys think, does it taste good?

LAUREN: With some olive oil and salt on it.

ME: Yeah.  You like it, Emma?

LAUREN: It tasted so bad plain.
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“I wish it were Summer every day” Lauren told me last week. “That way our Summer would never come to an end.”

And that, my dear girl, is exactly why Summer should come to an end. Nothing is special unless it’s sacred. A weekend isn’t indulgent unless it’s well-earned. And so, too, with this perfect string of weeks that separates Memorial Day and Labor Day. Days that bleed into each other, leading me to ask on repeat – “is today Friday?”

Rodney was traveling last week, so we did what we do on most days, which is make things up as we go. It was our last full week at the lake.

Last visit to the Ringwood Farmer’s Market (at least for a few weeks) to pick up some really big shoe-matching carrots…


Last time to make a mess of my closet and try on our bridesmaid and flower girl dresses for an upcoming wedding one…more….time…


Last time to crash our friends’ houses for frozen treats. Those red treats, dangerous….Unless you intend to look like Batman’s archenemy, in which case, perfection….


Last few hangouts on the dock with aging furry friends…

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Last time to walk the patio with the intention of…

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….making shoes; that’s right, that was the day when they piled Rainbow Loom bands on the ground and made some desperately-needed footwear…

shoes_FeedMeDearly (1)

…and a pair for me…


…a pair for all of us….

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yellow doll_FeedMeDearly

I was so thrilled to find a Yellow Doll watermelon at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago. I hauled it around the market as I picked up a few more items, satisfied with my prize.  As I was paying for some carrots, I asked the farmer to lop the tops off. “You know you the tops are edible right?” he asked as he passed me my change. I then launched into a lengthy story of how my freezer was full of carrot top pesto, blah, blah, blah. Finally got home, no Yellow Doll in sight. In all of my pesto smugness I’d left it with the carrot farmer, his consolation prize for having to listen to my five-minute response. Fortunately there was another Yellow Doll waiting for me a week later. And it was well worth the wait…

ME: Ok, wait guys.  What are these called?

SAM: Uh, yellow baby.

LAUREN: Dolly?

ME: Yes!  You were the closest. Yellow doll, that’s right.

EMMA: Yellow dolly.

ME: What does it look like?

EMMA: A tomato.

ME: It does look a little bit like yellow tomatoes.  What’s different between these than our usual watermelons?

SAM: They’re yellow.

ME: Yeah, they’re yellow and what else?

LAUREN:  They’ve got blacker seeds.

ME: Yeah, they’ve got darker seeds.  With our other watermelons you can kind of eat the seeds.  But with these ones you really should not eat the seeds. Or else….


ME: You will grow…

LAUREN: A watermelon out of your head.
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ghost peppers_FeedMeDearly

Before you report me to CPS, please know that this mystery food was not intentional. Ghost peppers are nearly 500,000 Scoville Heat Units, which is twice as spicy as a scotch bonnet. To give you some perspective, after handling an open chili with bare hands and scratching my nose, both my finger and my nose were tingling for 30 minutes.

So clearly I wasn’t trying to feed this to my children. But if you’ve seen my weekly CSA posts, you’ll know that each week I set out our vegetables on the ground for an aerial snapshot of each week’s box. It just so happens that my kids – for better or for worse – are now much more adventurous eaters than they were a year ago. Prompting two little ones to take it upon themselves to sample this week’s produce before I had a chance to pick up our loot. Which led to some interesting mystery food discussion….

EMMA: Aaaah!!!!! Aaaahhh!!!! It hurts, it hurts!

ME: What hurts?!

EMMA: My mouth!!!! I’m crying! It hurts!

SAM: Aaaahhh!!!! My mouth hurts too!

ME: Guys, what happened?! Oh my god, did you eat a spicy pepper? Which one?

SAM and EMMA: (crying and drooling)

ME: Lauren, which one? Which one did they eat? Did they eat the ghost pepper?

LAUREN: Which one’s the ghost pepper?!

ME: The small one! The small red one! Where are the peppers?

LAUREN: I don’t know!

ME: We need to find them, hurry, this is really bad if they ate them. They could have really burned themselves!

ME: (Searching uncovers the peppers, one with a large bite out of it)

SAM: It hurts mommy (drooling)

ME: Guys, you need to drink something – here, drink this…where is it….here, drink this…it’s LEMONADE!

EMMA: I hate lemonade!

ME: Oh my god, guys, eat these hamburger buns – it’ll soak up the spiciness. Hurry!

SAM & EMMA: (Eating, and spitting out big clumps of chewed hamburger bun, crying and drooling)

ME: Is it better?!


ME: Oh my god, I’m going to have to call poison control. Guys, you could have burned yourselves!

POISON CONTROL: Hello, this is poison control. Can I get your name?

ME: So my kids just ate a bite of a ghost pepper, is it possible that they severely burned themselves?

POISON CONTROL: No, but you should be aware of vomiting and diarrhea.

ME: What can I do to reverse things? I’ve been giving them bread to soak it up.

POISON CONTROL: The active ingredient is capsaicin –  do you have milk at home? Ice cream also works.

ME: OK, I’m going to try it. So there’s no way that they actually burned themselves with this?

POISON CONTROL: No, just keep them upright this afternoon in case of vomiting and diarrhea and I’ll call you in an hour to check in on them.

 ….. (20 minutes later)

ME: Guys, is the ice cream helping?

SAM & EMMA: Yes.

EMMA: I don’t like those peppers. Take them back to the farmer’s market!

SAM: Yeah….Throw them out!