The garden and yard has been mulched- finally. It is only the end of summer, a project scheduled for the start of summer that was continuously pushed back to due busy summer weekends and obligations (fun obligations!). We were so blessed to have the opportunity to help out an outstanding young man named Martin, who was looking to earn extra money for an online theology course. I have never met someone quite like Martin, a Senior in High School he is wise beyond his years. Martin and I worked side by side on Saturday accomplishing a long list of to do's in the yard. You know how some people simply make you want to be a better person and you can't help but smile when you are in their company? Martin is this type of person, it fills my heart with happiness knowing that he is on a mission to brighten and be a positive influence in each persons life that he meets. I see big things for Martin in the future.
It is funny how one day you are the person willing to work odd jobs for extra money, then overnight it seems, you become the person with the means of paying for that extra help. As the years pass, Justin and I look for opportunities to lessen our work load in order to spend more time relaxing with one another. Not long ago, in my late teens and early 20's my Dad would hire me as a "grunt" as he so lovingly called his helpers- he is a general contractor and always had some odd mindless task that he would rather pass along to someone else to complete. I was so appreciative of these opportunities and am happy to be able to provide someone else with the same chance to earn a little extra money.
It is hard to find hard working, responsible and highly capable young Adults - Martin is a rare find. We already hired him for our Fall clean up - raking leaves is my least favorite fall chore. Knowing how grateful he is makes my heart full of happiness. When we broke for lunch, Martin whipped out his nutella sandwich - I offered him some cut up farm fresh veggies and local fruit from the morning farmers market. He was so grateful and commented how he doesn't eat many fresh fruits and veggies- he then told me that I sure do eat healthy, so many good fruits and veggies!
While we were finishing up in the Garden, I told Martin to help himself to the Cherry tomatoes ripening on the vine. He went over with some hesitation, puckered up his face and bit into a cherry tomato- his face immediately softened and widened into a great big smile. He could not get over the fact how sweet and amazing that cherry tomato tasted. I realized how lucky I am to have access to fresh fruits and veggies on a daily basis- I told Martin, now that's how a tomato is suppose to taste. Martin went back for another, then another- he couldn't get enough. Growing up, my Dad always planted a huge Garden- I grew up knowing the importance of eating as close to the source as possible and the difference of taste. It is easy for me to forget not everyone is as lucky or has those same opportunities or access as many of us do.
This recipe is one that makes it pretty simple to enjoy local fruits in season- a simple coconut whipped cream, local fruits and an easy inexpensive topping.
I am looking forward to having Martin back in the Fall, my friend who connected us with Martin will be spending the day with me for some long overdue girl talk. I have a local fall inspired lunch planned and can't wait for Martin to experience local fall flavors with a vegan twist.
Blackberry Peach Parfait
makes 2 large parfaits or 4 small
you will need:
coconut whipped cream or your favorite vegan whipped cream
(recipe found here, minus the peanut butter)
2 medium peaches, sliced
1 cup blackberries
for the oat topping
1/4 cup gluten free oats
1 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 spring of fresh thyme, stem removed
pinch of POW salt (optional)
In a small bowl combine all ingredients for the oat topping and mix until well combined.
Set out 2-4 parfait or wide mouth glasses - starting with the coconut whipped cream, evenly divide layers of whipped cream, oat topping & fruit - repeat and end with whipped cream and oat topping. you will essentially have 3 total layers of whipped cream & oats with 2 layers of fruit.