If I Had a Cottage in the Countryside…



it would look like this:

And the gardens would look like this:

(via here and here)

And I would drink tea and read on beautiful days here:


And I would invite friends and family over and we would dine al-fresco here:


And the kitchen, where I would cook and bake like crazy, would look like this,


and this:


And I would hang out in a living room that looked like this:


And I would curl up in this nook to read and nap:


And throw fabulous dinner parties in a room like this,


or this:


Finally resting my head here:


Dreaming is fun.

**The cottage from the first image just happens to be A.A. Milne’s cottage (author of the Winnie the Pooh books).

Pick-your-own: Tart Cherries and Strawberries

This past weekend, I got to spend a lovely afternoon with my dad.  We met up at a local farm and picked some tart cherries (or “sour cherries” or “albaloo”  in Farsi) and strawberries.  While albaloo-gathering was our main goal, we lucked out and were able to enjoy the tail-end of strawberry season too.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  We had great weather and great conversation and to top it off, I got to make off with some tasty loot.

We have gone to pick albaloo for a couple of years now and I love that it always reminds me of going to pick them when we were younger.  It never fails to  amaze me that I get so much satisfaction from eating something that I picked myself.  I can’t wait to have a garden one day and then eat the things I have actually grown myself too.  I guess going fruit picking and eating the tomatoes and cucumbers from my parents’ garden will have to do for now. :)

Thought I would share some of my favorite pictures from our lovely afternoon.

So, we picked several buckets of tart cherries,

along with a crate full of strawberries too.

I can not wait to make some goodies with my albaloo.  I would try and make something with the strawberries too but they did not last very long in our house.  Perfectly ripe and sweet, we couldn’t resist.

Garden to Table

I have started reading this really great blog called Aarti Paarti.  Aarti was the season 6 winner of Food Network Star and she has a show called Aarti Party on Food Network.  In one of her posts recently, she shared this video made by Kelsey and Shaun at Happyolks.  (Click here for the link to the post).  It is called Pumpkin Gnocchi and it is very, very cool.  Gosh, their whole blog is very cool.

What I think I like most about this video is that it reminds me of the satisfaction that exists when I know where the food I am eating comes from and when I know exactly how it was made.  Double the satisfaction comes when I have made it myself.  Now, I will be the first to admit that I get off track and get into cycles where I forget how much I enjoy the process of seeing something go from “garden” to table but then I see things like this video (or I read a blog like Happyolks) and I get re-inspired.  I think that is the appeal of gardening.  To be able to grow what I eat…a dream I hope to make a reality one day.  But for now, borrowing from my parents garden and trying my best to buy local and organic whenever I can totally works.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.  Mmmmm…pumpkin gnocchi.