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Well, last night was quite noisy. Popping and cracking everywhere. Police and Fire Dept. sirens adding to the cacophony. Poor Blue was indeed on his short leash and attached to my chair. His barking tapered into whimpering little cries, I felt so bad for him. I think being attached to me on the short leash helped somewhat. That and constant vocal and cookie reassurances.

A friend was kind enough to comment on using benadryl to aid in calming his pup and I’ll have to remember that for next year and the occasional thunderstorm which also makes Blue go crazy.

Last night, I said a silent prayer for anyone living in a war-torn country. I don’t know how they keep their sanity much less stay safe. Can’t even imagine. With all it’s flaws, it makes me glad and appreciative to live in this country. Funny, this is something I noticed when I spent three weeks in Europe at 19. It’s seems to be a heightened awareness of what we have, even in the bad times.

On a lighter note, is it just me or does it seem that more people than usual on food blogs, are making ice cream from scratch? I’ve had an ice cream maker, a little pink, round domed one ages ago. Problem was, there was never room in the fridge for the canister. I’m sure it got jettisoned during one of the many moves in my former life.

The recipes intrigue me but I don’t really eat much in the way of ice cream or desserts for that matter to bother with ice cream making. At most, I may buy three  or four pints of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia (when it’s on sale) in an entire year. Yes, I can hear some of you moaning in pain from that statement. I know you love your ice cream.

On the other hand, I could eat cheese, French baguettes with butter every day of the week. Toss in some good prosciutto, Parma ham or Midwestern summer sausage plus an occasional dish of carpaccio and I’m set for life (albeit a short one, based on the amount of cholesterol they contain).

What I need is a neighbor or friend who makes ice cream and shares a scoop once in a while with me. Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone who fits that bill. So for the moment I’ll just continue to enjoy fresh fruit this summer along with all the wonderful veggies and the tomatoes from my amazing little volunteer tomato plant. Still can’t believe I picked 15 more tomatoes yesterday.

Herbs Waiting for Planting – 2009

The gardeners come today and I’m hoping they will deign to help dump the old dirt in a few of my containers so I can put in fresh soil. I really miss having fresh sage, thyme, rosemary, cilantro (the bunches from the store turn into mush in a day), and dill. And as I’ve said before it kills me to buy those little blister packs of fresh herbs for $2 and up.

A Potful of Thyme from Two Years Ago…I miss the herbs.

Picked up a container of heavy whipping cream and one of plain yogurt, so I’ll be making creme fraiche for the weekend. Found a strawberry stand with Oxnard strawberries a few weeks ago, hopefully it’s still there since I’ll be driving by it today or tomorrow. Nothing as amazing as strawbs topped with creme fraiche and raw or coarse sugar. Well, that or homegrown tomatoes, tiny fresh mozzarella balls and basil leaves. This is the part of summer I love.

Oh, almost forgot, the way I make creme fraiche is to mix equal amounts of heavy whipping cream and plain yogurt in a sauce pan. Heat till thoroughly warm but don’t let boil. Pour into a clean jar with a lid. Then let sit somewhere warm like the top of a fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. It will gradually thicken. Check consistency periodically to see how it’s setting up. It will not and should not be as thick as regular sour cream.

I found this method years ago on an episode of The Galloping Gourmet and like it since I don’t have a whole container of buttermilk, minus two tablespoons, going to waste.

P.S. Well, no luck with the mow and blow guys. They looked at me with tilted heads and said “que?”. In other words “huh? we don’t understand”. Darn.

P.P.S. Must share this link to a photo on Pinterest! Being the rainbow lover I am, I just melted!

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