And here we are again. Really far apart from the latest blog post and in the middle of yet another lovely season at Pruga. The bouquet (brought to me by a friend who hid this talent well, he picked these on his walk not far from Pruga) really illustrates the atmosphere here right now. Kinda hot and saturated. Does that make sense?
We need to go all the way back to the beginning of the season. It starts in earnest sometimes in late February, early March in our flat in Zagreb when we plant the seeds that we saved the previous summer, hoping they will all come up (they do!). That really brings Pruga back in focus.
By late April, they are more than ready to be put in the soil, so in the car they go, together with Mala, Mitzy, KitchenAid and all our stuff needed for six months. Every year, the goal is to just take necessities back and forth – one car load – as most of the things are duplicated between Zagreb and Pruga. After seven years of practice, it is still really hard to do.
So, the tomatoes make it safely to Pruga, they are planted, fertilised, loved. Then after 15 minutes of crazy hailstorm, they end up like this. I did cry a bit that day. Especially as this year we planted only tomatoes in the garden. Lots of tomatoes. Ok, we do have two strawberry beds as well. And lots of herbs of course. I know, I know, never put all the eggs in one basket. But what can I do when our perfect neighbours with huge garden give us so much of other crops, and I found that gardening is that not easy at all and decided this year to turn part of it into flower beds. Plus, of all the things we planted since we started this garden, tomatoes have the most of the “wow” factor in terms of the difference of what you can buy and what you can grow. And picking them for breakfasts and lunches straight from the garden beats anything else.
Miraculously (and with the support from one good facebook gardening group), they did recover. And they are surviving this odd monsoon type weather we are having in the last two months (hot, rain, humid – exactly what blight really likes). Now we are waiting for them to go red. Please keep the fingers crossed.
Strawberries were also really hit by that hailstorm and have recovered. Characteristically for Pruga, we have the sweetest, tastiest strawberries in August. They are at the their peak in early June but they are never as sweet then as I guess there is not enough heat. So, yes, fresh garden strawberries in August.
With the dog in the family, morning walks are the new thing here at Pruga. So Mala doesn’t completely forget that she is a city dog at heart (is she?) and there is such thing as leash, Vanja’s early morning routine has been enhanced by the dog walk through our woods. Mitzy quickly figured out that there is nothing more fun than that so she (even if she is let out before Vanja and Mala are ready), comes back at the right time and follows them closely around. Every day without the fail. Super cute ensamble. As you can imagine, lots of adventures happen on those walks.
Sometimes Toby the sheep dog joins.
House looks particularly nice in the mornings when it is so nice and quiet.
And from the other angle as well.
Couple of food images for a good measure. Surprisingly lovely combination that we discovered thanks to dearest friends and neighbours – peach, spirallised 😉 raw zucchini, crushed peanuts, fresh mint and teriyaki type sauce. Originally made with mangoes, in Istria it works really well with peaches!
And a classic that is always good. Especially if you live in the region that prides itself on its pasta so you can buy really good, local pasta, in the local supermarket and don’t need to even make it yourself if you are in a rush. Handful of sage, some butter, lemon juice and parmesan. Yum, yum, yum! One of many recipes.
Sometimes we have foodie guests that over years became friends. So we play and make our own buns for burgers. These were extra delicious. Plus, they looked really good.
And sometimes we make pizzas. G&T is always a good addition.
I was sorting through some files and found this. I think this was taken the first time we ever came to Pruga!
The old well is still in use.
And since we are talking about “before” pictures. This was advert for Mala before she came to us. Left one was from the shelter she grew up in and the right one from her temporary home. Her name was Cindy (!), we had to change it 🙂
And this is her today. What was our sofa on the terrace is now hers. As it should be.
To contrast everything above, we sometimes leave the village. The above was taken at the opening of Industrial Art Biennale, part of which is held in Labin until October. Some really cool art on display, please visit if you can!
Back at home it is really hot last few days (finally!) and this is how Mala rolls when not hiding from the sun inside.
Mitzy as well. She increased her sleep allowance from about 20 to 23.5 hours a day. On cooler days, she is known to climb a tree.
Mala’s picture above is probably cooler than this one and probably deserves to end the post. But one (I mean the writer of these posts) is allowed to have favourites, no? 😉