The fruits of my ancient apple tree, which has stood tall and proud for many years, provide us with enough cooking apples to last throughout the year. I have frozen pounds of them and stored the rest in a cool place. Though they lack the bright and artificial sheen of supermarket apples, their superior taste more than makes up for it.

In recent years, we have taken to cultivating a small orchard in our garden. Mulberries, apples, pears, plums, quince, and cherries now grow in the side beds and vegetable patch, requiring little more than occasional watering during hot spells and an occasional pruning. For those who seek an effortless approach to gardening, planting a tree is the way to go.

The easiest fruits to grow are soft fruits. Our raspberry canes, which I have divided to create more, flourish effortlessly. Our currants and gooseberries, while occasionally raided by birds, provide nourishment to our feathered friends and ourselves alike.

Of all the plants one can grow, herbs are by far the simplest, requiring little space. When added to a salad, they can turn it into a work of art. One can even grow some herbs indoors, supplementing them with sprouts to create a macro salad for a micro price.

A friend once gave me a valuable tip: Bigga Dried Peas, which cost only 90p at Sainsbury’s, make excellent pea shoots. Simply place them in soil, water them, and enjoy when they grow to be about three inches high.

For breakfast, I indulged in a large pink smoothie. In my blender, I combined 1.5 cups of Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, a heaping 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries, a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter, and two scoops of Tera’s Whey Organic Bourbon Vanilla Whey Protein Powder. The resulting smoothie tasted remarkably like a vanilla PB & J.

I also snacked on 2 oz of wasabi snack mix, a treat my parents had brought over.

The remainder of my morning was spent preparing dinner, which prominently featured a quart of heirloom tomatoes. I also finally made use of a Kelapo Coconut Oil sample I had received the previous summer at HLS, and included tri-color quinoa from a past trip to Trader Joe’s.

Our dog, who is rather skittish, became frightened by the oven and stove-top as they were in use for nearly an hour. Nevertheless, the end result was worth it.

For four servings, here are the general specifications if you wish to recreate the meal: cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package instructions, roast 1 quart of tomatoes, slice and roast 2 large zucchinis, sauté 2 pints of sliced mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter, sauté 14 ounces of extra-firm tofu (drained, pressed, and seasoned) in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, and top the meal with a sauce of your choosing (I added 2 tablespoons of pesto to my own bowl).Recommended by my Spanish friends:licuadoras para verduras y frutas

My husband had picked me up from work, and we walked straight to see “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Delaware Park. Unfortunately, we only caught the first half of the play due to my late departure from work and Adam’s strict bedtime. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed what we did see and shared a bag of cola gummies for dessert.

Buffalonians, have you seen any Shakespeare in the park this summer?