A Very Good Day in a Busy Week – and a Rustic Peach Tart that will Make Your Day Even Better

30 Jul


We have had an adventurous week in the O’Donnell household. Visitors. Animals. Jet lag. And several hundred photos (okay, more than that) to peruse and remember our vacation in Washington.

First: our visitors. Audrey her husband and Randy, from  one of my favorite blogs, Minnesota Prairie Roots, stopped by on their way to a family reunion. How lovely it was to see my friend again! We enjoyed an evening of laughing and eating together just as we had at their home one year ago. The recipe I’m including at the end of this post is in honor of her!

Audrey and Boo.  Such a lovely photo!

Audrey and Boo. Such a lovely photo!

Secondly: our animals. When we left for vacation on July 4th we left the care and keeping of our two cats (and my tomatoes, herbs and flowers) to our neighbor’s daughter. We had no worries. The cats, however, seemed to feel differently. Even with a visitor twice a day, they decided that they had been abandoned and so set off to seek their fortunes.

One, Copernicus, (as blogged about here  in her skunk vrs. cat cat-astrophe and here when she was expecting her kittens and a couple weeks ago, here) stopped by from time to time while we were away, but her year-old son, Zephyr, did not – at least not that anyone ever saw. So, when we returned at midnight on the 20th, no cats were to be seen at all. Thankfully, Copernicus showed up the next evening, looking healthy and fine and far cuddlier and purringer (not a word but I’m choosing to use it!) than ever before. For several days she loved us and cozied up to us – making us think that we should leave her more often!

But there was no sign of Zephyr. The kids and The Sailboat King took walks looking for her. We even drove around, calling, and driving in a neighbor’s driveway when we saw an orange cat…but no sign. Nothing. Nada.

I admit, I was thinking the worst. But we were still praying.

And then, Friday morning, the 26th of July, after not having been seen by anyone since the 4th of July, he showed up, walking nonchalantly across the driveway, just as I came upstairs in the morning.

My eyes bugged out. I opened the front door and called to him. He stopped and turned and began walking toward me. I reached for him and he backed off. I knelt down. Held out my hands slowly. Called him by name. Saw his golden eyes looking up at me, inquiringly, accusingly?

And he came to me.

Back in his favorite spot on the deck.

Back in his favorite spot on the deck.

I picked him up and went into the house.

“Hey, guys! It’s Zephyr! Zephyr is home!” I woke them up with my calling and they all came running.

I admit it, I was crying.

It was a good day, beginning with the kitty’s return and ending with Audrey’s visit. 

Beach treasures - being sanctified in the Minnesota sun.

Beach treasures – being sanctified in the Minnesota sun.

Thirdly: The Jet Lag. What can I say? It is what it is. It’s only two hours different here in the Mid West from the Pacific Northwest, but it’s been hard to recover!

Either Zephyr became a pirate on his adventures away from home, or he was yawning after being wakened up.  He and his mama seem happy to be home.  And we're quite happy, too!

Either Zephyr became a pirate on his adventures away from home, or he was yawning after being wakened up. He and his mama seem happy to be home. And we’re quite happy, too!

Peach Rustic Tart Recipe, which I made for Audrey and Randy – I like this style of pie because it’s so much easier than a traditional pie! This is a Martha Stewart recipe – and it’s delicious!! 🙂 Here’s the link: Stone-Fruit Galette. PS – I sprinkled a little more cornstarch over the top and drained the fruit before adding it to the crust because I hate peach pies being too runny.  Oh, and I added Turbinado Sugar on the top of the crust instead of the fine sugar that she suggests.  It’s so yummy!

The marvelous rustic tart...or galette, as Martha Stewart says.  I call it a tart.  It's a more normal word.  :-)

The marvelous rustic tart…or galette, as Martha Stewart says. I call it a tart. It’s a more normal word. 🙂


16 Responses to “A Very Good Day in a Busy Week – and a Rustic Peach Tart that will Make Your Day Even Better”

  1. Minnesota Prairie Roots July 30, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Oh, dear Gretchen, we so loved visiting you and your family. From the nature tour to the delicious meal (thanks for posting the peach dessert recipe, which I will now need to try and replicate) to the laughter and the hugs, it was the best evening. Loved every minute with you guys.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell July 30, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      I’m so glad! We had a lovely time as well – it’s always nice to be with people and not feel awkward or at a loss for words. Not everyone is like that. 🙂 The peach tart is very easy as long as you’re confident with crust! I do use the one listed in the recipe – Martha’s “Pate Brisse” – but you could probably use whatever crust recipe you want – or even buy one! Her recipe is the first crust recipe I’ve ever been confident in making and yes, I use the food processor for it. Have always been happy with the results! Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by to see us – it was wonderful!

      • Minnesota Prairie Roots July 30, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

        You are welcome, Gretchen. I meant to tell you also that your kids are just the most polite and friendly and darling kids ever. And Colin, well, we like him, too. I do feel like we’ve all known each other forever.

  2. Ruth July 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Sounds like a great time was had by all. So glad your kitty found his way home!
    That tart looks delicious.
    Welcome home. Good to go away. Good to come home.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell July 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

      Yes, both are very good! 🙂 Are you enjoying your summer?!

      • Ruth July 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

        Oh my yes. I am in Ohio with the grand kids and being out if school is so great. I love that you found your childhood book.

        • Gretchen O'Donnell July 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

          Sounds perfect for you! Yes, finding the book was like a drink of water in a desert – such a relief and rest for the soul!

  3. treadlemusic July 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    Sounds like such a lovely time was had during your visiting! A wonderful post and thank you so much for the recipe link. Peach anything is number one in my book!!!! Hugs……

    • Gretchen O'Donnell July 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      I love peaches too! And yes, we had a lovely visit. So fun to see blogging friends, eh? Someday we’ll have to have a big meet-up with more of us!

  4. Beth Ann July 31, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    I LOVE the picture of Audrey and your little one!!! So precious!!! And the pirate cat picture cracked me up—totally cracked me up! You could not have gotten that picture if you had tried!!!! I am still laughing!!! ARRRRR! So glad the kitties are safe and back to their normal places .

    And I am with you guys—we definitely need a blogger get together sometime!! Maybe after Audrey gets through with the wedding????? Let’s make it happen!!!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell July 31, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Yes, maybe then and before the snow flies! I’m glad you enjoyed the cat photo – I couldn’t resist the caption. 🙂 And yes, I think that photo with Audrey is lovely, too.


  1. Friendships forged via blogging | Minnesota Prairie Roots - August 3, 2013

    […] Then Randy and I were off on a nature walk with the kids through the 10-acre wooded and hilly creek-side property while Gretchen and Colin prepared a delicious meal of grilled pork, lettuce and fruit salads, assorted breads and the best peach dessert ever. (Click here for the recipe.) […]

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