Today was awesome! I got to spend the day with my wonderful daughter. Earlier this week, I was watching television and out of the corner of my eye I caught the end of a commercial for a small local grower that sells heirloom tomato plants. They are called Love Apple Farms up in Santa Cruz county. Here is their website: http://www.growbetterveggies.com/growbetterveggies/love-apple-farms-2008-tom.html I went to their website and they listed 100 varieties that they sell from March 17 to June. My daughter and I love heirlooms, so I called her and said that we had to put the info in a tickle file so that we could go next year. She said, "Well, let's go this weekend!" I have been excited all week. She just got a beautiful new car so she even said that she would drive.
Santa Cruz is about half an hour to forty five minutes away, so you usually have to make a trip count. I have not been up there in years. We got up there and went right to the tomato plants. They had a list of the varieties, so we made our first pass of the plants, looking at the photos of the tomatoes and the descriptions. My daughter marked off the ones that really caught our attention. Then we made our serious second pass, collecting the ones we really wanted. I got ten new plants (to add to the ten I already have!) I love to garden so I have told my daughter, when she bought me some plants earlier this year that I would tend the plants and share the bounty with her. My daughter is a really talented knitter and she told me today that she is knitting me new socks as a thank you! I have three pairs of socks that she has knitted me and they are truly like a hug when I am cold or sick.
The plant sale area of Love Apple Farms shares acreage with a darling vintage co-op shop. Now I love me some vintage so it was a joy to go through the rooms. It was set up so cutely and I ended up buying a couple of treasures. For some reason I had to have this bottle opener, not that I open many bottles. But it was so cool!
Afterwards we were starving, so we went to a place that is a local tradition. It is a little grocery store in Corralitos that I swear has not been updated since the 1970's. However, they are infamous for their sausages and marinated meats, which are the best ever. The entire back of the store is an old fashioned butcher counter with a whole staff of butchers. The whole back wall is covered with all of the awards that they have won. The entire store smells like smoked meats. In these glass cases are meaty goodness and several types of sausages. The biggest seller must be the Cheesy Bavarian, which will make you weep while you eat it. My daughter and I each ordered a Cheesy Bavarian sandwich and headed out to the picnic tables to sit in the gorgeous sunshine. These sandwiches are so good that they do not need anything on them. We had our sandwiches then headed in to buy stocks for our freezers. Yummy. I even got Liesl a smoked bone that still had lots of good meat for her on it. This evening I spread out a big blanket of hers to chew it on. She was so happy. It still has a bit of meat on it, so it is in the fridge for her tomorrow.
After we had done our meat shopping, we were off to the next adventure, in search of ollalieberries. These are amazing little berries that are grown in Watsonville. They were actually developed in Oregon and are a cross between a Logan berry and Young berry. June is when they are in season. Or so I thought. Apparently, with all of the funky weather this year and the late spring, ollalieberries are late. So no fresh ones, but luckily they sell frozen ones from last year's harvest. All is well. The lady at the counter directed us to the Obsidian blackberries that were fresh and ripe. We ate a pint of them on the way home.
We had the best time, I got to spend time with my daughter and her car is super cool. It was fun to have such a great adventure. Liesl greeted us at the door with lots of kisses and tail wags. I love that welcome.
I am grateful for today. It was such a blessing.