Like a Warm Blanket

Summer Renewal at Robinson Gardens


Summer Blooms

"I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket."
-Van Morrison

Dearest Friends,

Ahh.... summer... that glorious season with its warmer days and eternal sunshine... its gardens bursting with vibrant color and fragrant perfume filling the air with hope...ripe tomatoes and corn on the cob...sunsets at the beach... sand between your toes... barbecues fired up...
Has anyone notice that summer has sneaked in when we weren't looking?

Summer has always been my most favorite season. Longer sunny days made us think that anything was possible. It seemed that only magical things happened in summer. My mother's purple irises lifted their regal heads to the sky. We looked forward to family vacations camping in Maine or New Hampshire in the warmth of the summer sun. We picked buckets of blueberries and ate pies and muffins baked by our mom and MorMor (Swedish for mother's mother) who lived with us. We captured (and released) butterflies and bugs. We pulled weeds, shook the dirt from the long roots, and made them into dolls. We dug up worms from the garden and went fishing at the pond at the bottom of our hill. We had bike parades with all the kids from the neighborhood. We swam in the ice-cold water of a spring fed swimming hole nearby or at the beaches of "Old Cape Cod." We savored our time at our Grandpa's "camp" on White Island Lake, filled with multi-generational family members who reveled in telling their old stories, and we all sang around campfires at night. I can still hear the sound of the player piano echoing from the "Big Room."

I hope that you can feel your summer memories enveloping you now. For just a while, remember how summer felt, looked, smelled, tasted, and sounded. Lift yourself up by remembering the best of times. And when you cannot find the sunshine, BE the sunshine!

Here is a list of summer songs to help jog your memories. Play them loud and dance like no one is watching.

  • "Summer in the City" by the Lovin' Spoonful
  • "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Croft
  • "Summertime" by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald
  • "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran
  • "Summer Nights" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
  • "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett
  • "Dancing in the Street" by Martha Reeves and the Vendellas
  • "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles
  • "Under the Boardwalk" by the Drifters
  • "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding
  • "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer" by Nat King Cole
  • "Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin
  • "California Girls" by the Beach Boys
  • "Walkin' on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves
  • "Summertime" by the Sundays

With love and gratitude,

Today we offer you a light and delicious Provençal tarte sent to us by Keeley Smith. Keeley says that this tarte has helped her get through the quarantine in varied forms by changing out the filling.

Provençal Tarte

Ingredient list:

  • Puff pastry
  • Dijon mustard
  • 2-3oz goat cheese (optional)
  • 2-3 Small shallots sliced thin
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus. Tips and edible stalk sliced down to 1.5/2" pieces, quartered.
  • One roma or plum tomato
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Thyme

(1) Puff pastry

  • to keep it vegan there is delicious brand at Whole Foods
  • defrosted per label instructions
  • pre heat oven per label instructions
  • unroll onto parchment paper lined baking sheet then roll edges about 1/4" to create crust

(2) Dijon Mustard

  • paint a thin layer with pastry brush onto the puff pastry within the crust borders

(3) Set aside

  • (I've been non-dairy during quarantine. However you can really gzuzch up the mustard with about 2-3oz room temperature goat cheese blended in, until smooth)


  • In sauté pan over medium high heat sauté in olive oil thinly sliced shallots.
  • Just as the they are about to turn golden, add thinly sliced asparagus tips and edible portion of stalks to the pan. Sauté with salt, pepper and thyme to taste.
  • Before asparagus becomes too soft remove from heat and gently arrange mixture atop the mustard and pastry.
  • Sprinkle with a touch more thyme
  • Add one thinly sliced roma or plum tomato atop for color
  • Bake in oven heated per pastry baking instructions. Generally 11-13 minutes on 350°

Ellen Lipson has shared these photos of her wonderful garden in the Palisades.