Friday, August 23, 2013

As free as we could be....

Sometimes I just want to run away and start over.  That sounds bad doesn't it?  I don't really want to, but it does seem easier sometimes.  I think it's just the freeing, country landscape I see in the movies that help shape my dream of the simple life.  I want to live in the country somewhere like Savannah, GA...or maybe somewhere in New England.  I want a little cottage with a big porch, a vegetable and herb garden, peach, apple and lemon trees, a strawberry patch and blueberry bushes.  I'd paint the cottage yellow and white with a bright orange door.  I'd hang blue and white striped curtains and plant wild flowers all over the yard.  I'd just stay home and bake pies, read books, host teas and play my guitar.  Wouldn't that be the life?  I'd write, listen to music and create new recipes....and for sure put a lot of things in mason jars.  I think I'd decorate my entire kitchen with mason jars.  I'd do many things with mason jars!  I'd serve sweet tea and lemonade in them, mix dressings and sauces in them, store berries and peaches in them and maybe even fill some with homemade strawberry shortcake for a special dessert one day.  The kitchen would be bright, with white, open-faced cabinets, colorful dishes and custard walls.  Mason jars would line the shelves and the pantry would always be full of flour, sugar, chocolate chips, nuts and any and all baking ingredients.  Imagine all the scone recipes I could come up with in this fantasy life.  I'd get my groceries from a local market and meat counter located right across the street from the local quilt shop, candy store and cafe.  If I needed produce, I'd just swing open the back door to my cottage and pick from my garden.  Walking up to my house would always smell like rosemary and blueberries and when you step inside, you'd be hit with a constant aroma of sweet nutmeg and fresh coffee.

In the spring and summer, I'd open all of my windows, everyday, and let the sunlight shine through while the linen curtains flow in the breeze.  I'd always have fresh-cut, white daisies on my table....probably in a mason jar...and a big bowl of bright yellow lemons (from my tree) as a centerpiece.  For lunch, I'd often find myself enjoying a tomato (homegrown from my garden) and goat cheese sandwich on fresh, homemade herb bread with a glass of berry lemonade to wash it down.   Fresh peach and apple pies would always be cooling on my window seal and the aroma of wild honey would fill the house with comfort and happiness.  In the fall, I'd fill my porch with bright orange pumpkins in all sizes and sunflowers would line the front of my yard.  The orange and red leaves on my trees would be so vibrant and beautiful that I'd never want autumn to turn to winter.   I'd cook things like butternut squash soup with cracked black pepper, topped with fresh cream and served with toasted pumpernickel bread, slathered with honey butter.  For dessert, I'd serve pumpkin spice cupcakes and hot apple cider.  My cottage, in the winter, would be covered in a velvety blanket of snow that glistened like tinsel.  Inside, would be warm and toasty, both in temperature and in color.  Reds, creams and trims of gold would fill the house with all the fuzzy feelings that the holidays bring.  Milk chocolate cocoa, topped with sweet whipped cream and served with homemade cinnamon raisin coffee cake, would be a nightly indulgence in the month of December at my house, for sitting in front of a fire and watching Hallmark Christmas movies on TV.  My winter days would be spent in the kitchen making freshly baked sugar cookies, fudge, peanut brittle and peppermint bark that would fill dozens of trays, wrapped in shiny ribbon and given as delicious gifts!

While I'm not soaking up the peace and harmony at home...sometimes I'd head down to the local cafe and play my guitar at open mic night....and afterwards, I'd sip lattes and enjoy the folksy array of music.  In my cottage, I'd finish my book, start another one and finish my screenplay, too.  Of course my family would all live down the street from me.....and no where to be found would be me, at a 40 hour-a-week office job.

Ok,, enough dreaming.  Although I don't dream of a glamorous life, I still know my simple dream is no where near coming true.  That's why I love to take little weekend excursions with my family to give myself a taste of country living....and a beautiful life.  

A couple weekends ago, I had a jam-packed weekend of "country" fun!  On Saturday, my sister, Bri and I went with our friend Marcely and her mom to a Sonoita winery.  It was a lot of fun and absolutely lovely.  Now, as you know if you read my blog, Bri and I visited Napa Valley last year and fell in love with vineyards and wineries.  I don't drink, so I was the designated driver.  I did, however, go on the wine pairing tour and sip a few of the wines.  They were sweet and delicious!  Later, we took a wagon ride through the vineyard and then had a delicious lunch in the vintage room.  We ate shredded beef with lots of roasted chilies and tomatoes, a fresh tortilla and cowboy beans.  It was so tasty!  After the wine tour and lunch, we decided to head into the town of Sonoita and check out the cute little shops.  We found a couple artsy shops and more importantly, a charming little bakery.  We walked into the bakery in hopes that we'd find a glass case full of pastries and a menu of specialty coffees.  Our vision became reality.  We walked into the bakery to find the walls lined with mason jars, filled with anything from rhubarb jam to pickled okra.  It was so adorable.  I had a homemade blueberry-cream cheese bar.  It was out-of-this-world delicious.  Bri had a homemade granola bar and Marcely and her mom had a cranberry-orange muffin.  The bakery owners were the cutest little old couple who were a bit disturbed with our slightly over-the-top excitement over the mason jar display.  However, after a bite of the decadence we had in front of us and a sip of the smooth and steaming cup of coffee....our happiness exuded and they couldn't help but appreciate our whimsy.  The little old lady even ended up taking a picture of the 4 of us.  When we left, there was a guest book in the entrance and I wrote a song lyric, signed our names and we were off.  We will definitely be going back there again soon!

On Sunday, the very next day, I was ambitious and stuck to "peach pickin'" plans.  I'm so glad I did.  When I'm at Apple Annies, I'm happy.  My mom, sisters and I have been going to the apple festival for years and it's ALWAYS the happiest day of my year.  This year, we decided to go the the peach festival, too!  The peaches are obviously in the summertime and am I ever glad we went!  Those peaches were the juiciest, sweetest peaches I have ever and will ever eat in my life.  They are absolutely scrumptious.  I bought a big bag full of them with plans to make a peach pie, peach tart and peach strudel.  Yeah, that didn't happen.  One by one....I ate them all...cut up into pieces and shoved straight into my mouth.  I'm not even sorry.  They were like little pieces of heaven....and I had a baker's dozen.    

The day was so fun!  It was my mom, my sister, Ginger, my mother-in-law and me.  We ate peach pancakes, shopped for fun country decor at the arts and crafts fair, visited the new country store and also went to the produce farm for fresh corn, watermelons and veggies!  I took lots of pictures and at the end of the day, we had loaded Ginger's car up with plenty of homemade fudge, kettle corn, veggies and peaches.   On the way home, as a tradition, we stopped for lunch at Magaly's, our favorite Mexican restaurant in Benson.   It was a day to remember and I can hardly wait for apple season!!   Here are some great pictures I captured from my fun-filled weekend of wine and peaches!!

Here we are at the Apple Annie's Country Store...

In the country store, they have a little dessert cafe!

The gift shop at Apple Annie's is decorated just like a country kitchen....with old fashioned baker's racks. 

Yummy fresh produce!

The produce farm is so peaceful and quaint...

Ginger and I with peach ice cream and peach slush!

My mom and mil taking a break on the bench.... :)

Our kind of peach pickin'

My silly momma!  She posed in this picture for Brady's sake!  It looks kinda real...haha!

I had to snap a few pictures of the beautiful apple trees....

Until next time, Apple Annies!!

On the road to Sonoita....

Fresh pistachios at the Winery!  We bought some jalapeno ones!

Bri and I in the vintage room after lunch!

Bri, Marcely and her mom!

The infamous mason jars!!

Monika's Bakery!


  1. I think this my favorite of your blog entries.

  2. Sounds like a perfect dream! I'll go with you! You really should be a writer!