Notes from the Fox Den

by Josie Fox

Hello and happy June from the Fox Den!

Can you believe that we are six months into 2018 already? School is out and the long hot days of summer are upon us.

This is actually my favorite time of the year with fall coming in a close second. I was born in June I so I suppose that allowed me to enter this world equipped to handle the hot Texas summer. I am fairly certain that I’m one of the few people that never complains about the heat.

I cannot think of many things better than spending a day at the lake or along the coast followed by a summer night campfire and S’mores. By the way, be sure to stock up on Peeps when they sell them at Easter as those make the best S’mores! There is just something about the caramelized sugar on the outside of the melted Peep, combined with the crunch of the graham cracker and dark chocolate, that takes you to a place I like to refer to as foodie heaven. (A big thank you to my dear friend Shawndra Tobias for teaching me about Peeps S’mores in the first place).

Summer also seems to be ‘festival season’ in Texas with each region celebrating everything from barbecue, blueberries, shrimp, bluegrass and tomatoes.

June kicks off the month with the 34th annual Tomato Fest in Jacksonville and the 29th annual Blueberry Festival in Nacogdoches on June 9. For a list of events to the Tomato Fest, please see page 8A of this issue.

I love to stroll through the vendor booths and restock my pantry with homemade jams, jellies, preserves and relishes. Growing up my parents always had a garden and my grandmother and mother would spend hours canning and making their own jellies. Some of my fondest memories come from being in the kitchen with them.

Re-learning how to can vegetables and make jellies is on my ever growing list of things to do. I think it is an art form, and a bonding experience that we have let fall to the wayside.

I was speaking with Lurlene Bowden on Wednesday and she was telling me about all the chow-chow and green tomato relish she was making and I think that has me feeling a little nostalgic for days gone by. It also has me hoping that a jar or two of her goodies will magically appear on my desk in the near future (hint, hint).

Although I don’t feel the heat, I know a lot of people do and I want to encourage you all to take precautions as the temperatures rise. Listen to your editor...wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water and try to do yard work in the early morning or later afternoon hours when the sun isn’t as high.

Please remember that pets feel the heat too and steps need to be taken to ensure they don’t suffer for heat exhaustion or dehydration. Avoid using metal water or food dishes outside as this can cause burns. Pre-made frozen treats go a long way and will earn you extra brownie points with your fur babies.

To update you on my little garden, I returned home and my plants looked a little parched. They have been watered and fed, which perked up the leaves a little bit. The hibiscus that Kingsley attacked is recovering and has a few buds developing. The little purple flowers have stopped blooming, but they are still green so I’m guessing they are just done for the season.

Until next time, I hope you all have a wonderful week!