Sending Father’s Day Love from Arizona to Israel

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Happy Father’s Day to all the rad dads in the world. I’m sending lots of love to Israel right now, where my dad is working for the next week. (This photo captures when we first met in the hospital.)

Although he’s not home to celebrate with us today, we do have a Father’s Day date lined up for next weekend; a hug and some foodie gifts are waiting for him. For now, here are some top reasons my dad is great.

1. He made me a wooden Barbie bed when I was little. Dad is pretty handy and crafty, and some of my favorite memories with him were when we worked on the wooden dollhouse I inherited from my grandpa. We spent hours gluing together tiny chairs and music stands or putting up Victorian wallpaper in one of the little rooms.

2. He got me a subscription to magazines like Harper’s, Bon Appetit, and Urban Farm. I love that my dad supports the kind of work that I hope to do someday. He’s had a subscription to Time magazine since he was a teenager and reads everything from Reddit to The Atlantic.

3. He loves movies as much as I do. He also always has good movie snacks like almonds and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

4. He helps me with my garden and built a shade structure for it even though it has never really been successful. AKA he’s supportive even of my failures.

5. He taught us the importance of seeing the world and always took us on great vacations. I haven’t done much international travel, but we spent nearly every summer visiting a new city, everywhere from Seattle to Washington, D.C. These experiences instilled such a sense of exploration in me, and I hope to continue prioritizing travel/movies/magazines/tiny handmade furniture/gardens as an adult and, eventually, a parent.

Tomato Cobbler + Berry Peach Pie

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I love summertime for many reasons, but one of them is the seasonal fruit and veggies. One of my favorite go-to yet fancy meals is this tomato cobbler with blue cheese biscuits by Joy the Baker. It’s a fresh take on Southern comfort food, i.e. my favorite. My garden has been struggling; I’ve picked a few little tomatoes, but it hasn’t been very fruitful, literally. Thankfully my grandpa – the master gardener – gave me a tub full of cherry tomatoes the other week. This dish was even better with homegrown tomatoes.

Then, last night, I was feeling a little Snow White-inspired and decided to bake a pie.

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Berry Peach Crumble Pie

Filling: 1 c. blackberries / 1 c. raspberries / 2 c. chopped peaches, unpeeled / 3/4 c. sugar / 2 T. cornstarch / 1 T. flour / 1/2 T. vanilla / 1/4 t. salt / 1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press raw crust into pie pan. Mix berries and peaches with other ingredients gently. Pour mixture into crust.

Crumble Topping: 1/2 c. brown sugar / 1/2 c. flour / 1/2 c. oats (I used a mix of oats and granola) / 1/2 c. cold butter, diced

Mix butter into dry ingredients until crumbly. Top fruit before baking. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake 40 minutes. Cool before cutting. Enjoy!

Growing garden

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About a month ago, we planted a little vegetable garden in the backyard. Post here. Even looking back through the pictures from the first garden post reminds me how much smaller they were when we planted them. (Look at that tiny basil sprout I’m packing in!) I’ve struggled with keeping plants alive in the past, so entered into this new garden with a little trepidation. It was one of my resolutions though, so I was also quite determined. And look! Our garden is growing beautifully. The strawberry plants have sprouted little white flowers, there are tiny green tomatoes on the vine, and a lovely purple flower on the eggplant stalk. (I’m quite curious about that one – growing eggplant is new to me.) Not to mention the sprouting herbs we planted from seed.

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The budding garden is the pride of my week, although this week has been pretty top notch. The weather has been fairly cool and more than fairly windy, so I’ve been trying to take advantage of that by spending time outside. As you can see, Raena is loving the weather too. I’m almost done reading John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley and really enjoying it. All I want to do is buy an old RV and travel around America with a sweet canine friend. But really, that’s looking like a great option.

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Also, I’m loving this graphic by Justina Blakeney. It pretty much sums up my relationship with my garden: little talent and lots of love.