A great thing about moving from the blast of a hot oven (Phoenix) to the cool summer breeze of the Rockies (Golden)* is your calendar is quickly booked with loved ones high tailing it to a more pleasant climate.

I’ve had family and friends come through by the handful this summer. (I think 10 different visitors, at last count.)

Alma's visit

Alma’s visit last week was a blur of activity. Our friendship is one of those rare gems that requires little maintenance. It also helps the girl loves to hike, shop and cook. I thought at one point our ears might fall off from the constant chatter. Or my pocketbook might shrivel up and die from all the “bargains!” I found.

Alma planned her visit during a very good week.  First Red Tomato Day is something celebrated with gusto around these parts. And oh, did we celebrate.

Alma's visit

Alma's visit

Alma's visit

Yeah. That basil is a little holey. So it goes with organic gardening. We like our caterpillars fat and spicy.

Alma's visit


A few shots from one of several meals we whipped up with ingredients from the garden — including tomatoes, basil, and arugala.

Alma’s pesto recipe is worth sharing:

“It doesn’t matter if you get these amounts precise. Just go for the desired consistency.”


2 handfuls of washed basil leaves

1/2 cup walnuts

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tablespoon diced garlic

1 small container of feta — preferably Athenos feta with basil and tomatoes

dash of pepper, salt

Pulse in the food processor. Serve with toasted bread, pita chips, or barbecued salmon. Try not to lick the bowl.



*It is really only a matter of perspective. The few summer days we’ve had here over 100 degrees have been miserable. I’d take Phoenix heat with ample air conditioning over the heat waves in the Rockies where I’m trying to sleep and it is 93 indoors.