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  • Writer's picturekaydee777

Dining with a view

The starting gun for summer has sounded across the county I currently inhabit. Although it isn’t finished, one of my cool season garden infrastructure projects, a western patio, is really coming into its own now that the heat dial is going up. The pavers were mostly chipped or broken seconds gleaned at a low price from the back door of a local hardware store.

This area stays shaded by the adobe house wall until late morning, making it a beautiful morning yoga and then outdoor brunch dining room where I can watch the birds not be scared by my trashy plastic twirler attempts to keep them off the ripening apricots. And admire the garden. Of course.

Enjoyed with brunch, my morning coffee for the next few months is an iced almond milk latte. Well that’s what it would be called in a coffee shop. I don’t have any complex ritual for cold brewing coffee. My drink is just Aeropress coffee from fresh ground beans, dripped over ice and topped with chilled almond milk. See how much a quarter of a century in USA has taught me.

Spread on an old (but classic) handprinted tablecloth, I feast luxuriously on potato pancakes (freshly dug potatoes are in season in my kitchen) topped with (scratch made) cheesy almond spread (miso and nutritional yeast are the secret flavoursome ingredients), hummus (scratch made, fresh dug garlic is in stock in my pantry) and avocado (from Mexico but that’s closer than California).

One of the things I do with this time in my one wild and precious life is make interesting food for myself. As I write beets are steaming for a batch of pickled beets. I suppose it’s my version of the time consuming tasks retired people find to do to support an aspirational quality of life. Apparently.

I still need to work on the garden area surrounding this patio which also sometimes serves as place to dry this year’s harvest of coriander seed. I plan an outdoor solar heated shower in the corner shown above, then a collection of beautiful rocks, maybe some interesting pieces of wood where there is currently a brush pile for the use of garden roommates various.I see birds mining this area for nesting materials while lizards scuttle for cover when I surprise them.

This is a problematic area for plants. Shaded much of the time by a cedar fence on south and west, there’s reflected heat off the (eastern) adobe house wall in the afternoons, especially intense in summer months. Rocks and sculptures and maybe some potted shade loving plants might be the best solution but I’m open to ideas. Shade in the desert is precious. My vision for this area is a outdoor room encouraging contemplation, restoration and relaxation. I’m currently looking at Mexican hacienda and Indian haveli courtyards for inspiration.

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