Everything is blooming in the garden. It's so rewarding to go out there and pick some stuff and then eat it for dinner on a daily basis! Here's the beginning of the latest status on the Zemel Farm. Aside from almost daily salads (sometimes we're just too lazy to walk 20 steps to pick lettuce!), we've eaten roasted beets and their greens, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, cubanelle peppers, some onions, and 1 giant zucchini! We've got a crookneck squash that will be ready soon. Apparently it's got bigger seeds than zucchinis do so I shouldn't let it grow too big. As it was, I left the zucchini on the vine for a little too long and then I had to pick out those seeds for Bayla. There are a few other little baby zucchini and squash on the plant as well after this round is done. There are also a million green tomatoes that we're just waiting to ripen and gobble up. The peaches are still little but they're turning pink as well. I hope they grow some more but they may not since the tree itself is so little, I'm not sure. So exciting to watch. We Zemel Farmers go on a tour every day to check on the progress and it's pretty cool.
I can't wait to take Bayla swimming again in her little blow up pool. I just wish I could get in there with her. Part of what I like about the pool is that it inflates on the bottom so she's not actually sitting on the ground. A little soft cushion for her round tush. On the other hand, that inflatable bottom is the very thing that prevents me from climbing in (don't want to pop it!). She was so cute in there the first time ... playing with the water and all the inflatable toys.
Last week, we were invited over to swim and have Shabbat dinner at the Hart's house. We really love going there. They're such a nice, warm, and welcoming family. It was Bayla's very first time in a pool. Zvi took her in and I just loved watching her try to figure out her new surroundings. She kicked and splashed around and didn't even get upset when she'd splash her own face with water. It was really funny watching her lick her fingers and taste salt for the first time. I know that our climate doesn't really support the need to have a backyard pool, but oh boy is it ever amazing to have one. Definitely something I dream about! Zvi told me about a conversation he had once about how people are either cottage people or pool people. I must admit, I do like cottages. It's nice to get away and being on a boat is really fun. But usually when I think about cottages I think about mosquitos and the various bug bites I tend to get and how itchy they are for weeks afterwards. I think this absolutely makes me a pool person.
After swimming, while we were having dinner, Bayla piped up with her very first real talking. She said "ma ma ma ma ma". I know she wasn't talking about me, but it was adorable. And then yesterday, out of no where ... she just started talking and saying all kinds of new sounds with consonants. Zvi was sitting outside on the porch with her, singing some songs and then when they came back in she just had so much to say. It was so nice to hear her voice and we can't wait to teach her words and hear her use them. Our little girl turned 7 months yesterday and she certainly showed us what a big girl she is!
I've pretty much introduced Bayla to every kind of individual fruit and vegetable that I'm going to for now. I'm going to start preparing bigger batches and freezing cubes of mixed foods. The reason I've been making things in small batches for now is because I've been serving the same food a few times a day for a few days to make sure there were no allergic reactions. Now Bayla can start to enjoy some variety both at every meal as well as throughout the day. I introduced her to banana for the first time today which I mixed with avocado to cut some of that intense sweetness. I've named this dish Avonana ... that that may imply avocado with mint so I might call it Banacado instead. We'll see. After this I'm going to give her Papaya and then we'll be onto the mixtures. I may give her mango before the mixtures as well or I may just save the mango to mix in with bananas another time.
Over this past month, since she turned 6 months, Bayla has eaten: apples, pears, nectarines, cantaloupe, banana, avocado, carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, peas, parsnips, cauliflower, rice, barley and oatmeal. She has enjoyed everything except the parsnips (they weren't good and sweet like they were supposed to be ... we'll try again), nectarines (not quite in season so may have been too sour for her), and apples (either the texture was weird for her or she just didn't have a good appetite due to her 6 month shots). I don't really know how she feels about the cauliflower since I mixed a tiny bit into the squash and zucchini ... but I don't want to give her too much since it'll just cause gas anyway. It seemed to be a good mixture to sneak some into to see how it goes. Now I'll be able to include it in soups etc or other combined veggie dishes. Anyway, good on her ... she's a great eater and very willing to try new things.