Care Package

Does anyone else think vegetables from a local garden taste so much better than from the store? Yesterday I received an amazing care package from my wonderful neighbor Greg (via my parents). He is the one who let me stay with him during the year my parents were building their house. Anyway, he has a really great garden and usually always shares his goodies with me. This time I received yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, Hungarian wax peppers, green onions, and the little bulb onions that smell awesome. I can’t express how delicious these veggies were. I chopped up some of the squash, zucchini, pepper and bulb onion, sautéed it in a pan, and then chopped it up in my food processor. I mixed the whole thing with some quinoa for a healthy bowl of mush. I was jonesing for a healthy dinner!

After that, I met my friend Brianna at Naticakes to catch up on our summers thus far. She listened to me slur stories through my retainer and didn’t once judge me for getting two kinds of frozen yogurt: cake batter and white chocolate macadamia. Remind me again why I can’t eat frozen yogurt for all three meals?

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Post-Naticakes was filled with 30 minutes of Downton Abbey (Season 1) and two full hours of the Bachelorette. Before I weigh in on the Bachelorette, does anyone else love Downton Abbey? I borrowed the DVD from Alex’s dad, only to discover I actually have access to it on Netflix. I’ve been trying to set aside at least 30 minutes an evening for half an episode, but I’m having trouble resisting the urge to watch them all in one sitting! If you haven’t heard of this show, here’s a brief synopsis, courtesy of PBS.

The Downton Abbey estate stands a splendid example of confidence and mettle, its family enduring for generations and its staff a well-oiled machine of propriety. But change is afoot at Downton — change far surpassing the new electric lights and telephone. A crisis of inheritance threatens to displace the resident Crawley family, in spite of the best efforts of the noble and compassionate Earl, Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville, Miss Austen Regrets); his American heiress wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern); his comically implacable, opinionated mother, Violet (Maggie Smith, David Copperfield); and his beautiful, eldest daughter, Mary, intent on charting her own course. Reluctantly, the family is forced to welcome its heir apparent, the self-made and proudly modern Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), himself none too happy about the new arrangements. As Matthew’s bristly relationship with Mary begins to crackle with electricity, hope for the future of Downton’s dynasty takes shape. But when petty jealousies and ambitions grow among the family and the staff, scheming and secrets — both delicious and dangerous — threaten to derail the scramble to preserve Downton Abbey. Created and written by Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), Downton Abbey offers a spot-on portrait of a vanishing way of life.

Well, have a Happy 4th of July tomorrow and remember to be safe if you’re going to be handling fireworks!

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