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COTTONWOOD — Cottonwood Summer Fest is almost here! And what’s a community festival without a parade? Lineup starts at 9:30 a.m., at Cottonwood City Park, with the parade to begin on Main Street at 10 a.m. this Saturday, July 31. Hurry if you want to enter because Thursday, July 29 is the deadline. Download an entry form from the Facebook Cottonwood Summer Fest page and take it to Coyotes One Stop, the old Mini-Village right next to Rodonna’s Country Haus Restaurant. I imagine one could also email the information to Tabitha Key at Families, businesses, organizations, interesting vehicles, costumed kids with or without animals, you name it, are welcome to enter, whether on floats, walking or riding something. All festival events are outlined on the Summer Fest Facebook page.

Not connected to the Summer Fest, is a free concert on Friday night, July 30, 6:30 p.m. at the Cottonwood City Park. Idaho’s Got Talent 2016 winner, Aaron Weil, will be performing contemporary Christian music with a touch of bluegrass. This event is sponsored by Cottonwood’s Emanuel Baptist Church. For information, contact Pastor Dan Coburn 208 962-2407. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy a pleasant evening of music for the entire family. You could bring a picnic dinner, as well.

The Monastery of St. Gertrude has published a new book, “Come to the Table, Recipes for Loving and Serving.” It is a compilation of submitted recipes and comments by friends and neighbors of the Sisters. Produced and edited by Ched Johnson and Nancy Collins-Warner, the 154-page, spiral bound cookbook is interesting to read without even lifting a finger in the kitchen. Quoting from the book’s end cover, “Come to the Table is offered in the Benedictine spirit of 'hospitality of the heart.' You are invited to savor delicious offerings of family memories and yummy recipes. Writings from the St. Gertrude’s community are gathered round traditional Benedictine values, complemented by hand-drawn illustrations, archival and personal photographs.” The book is available in the museum gift shop at the Monastery or mail-order by contacting the Historical Museum 208-962-2050. I just finished reading about Sister Chanelle’s Wacky Cake, the recipe which is included along with the lyrics of a song she wrote honoring the humble cake. Another interesting article and recipe by Theresa Wessels, recounts her mom’s, Bertha Kopczynski, homemade noodles and chicken.

Speaking of books, a summer read is just the thing to pass away these hot, smoky days, the Little Free Drive-Up Library, located at the entrance to Dog Bark Park is frequently restocked with titles. Leaving a book is not necessary; just swing by to see if there’s a title or two of interest. Right now, there are a few children’s books, plenty of novels, a book filled with the humor of Patrick McManus, westerns, mysteries, William Faulkner, some biographies and who knows what else.

Harvest seemed to start in earnest this Saturday with grain trucks rumbling into town. Last year’s new outdoor storage site at Fenn is also receiving plenty of grain. ‘Tis the season. ‘Tis also the season for garden reaping. We had our first, tender zucchini yesterday!

My husband and I spent a few days over in Montana, staying in a fire lookout which was near productive huckleberry patches. We decided to only eat a few handfuls, leaving the rest for the mountain critters who may be short of forage this year. Being in subalpine terrain, I was delighted to find a cousin to the huckleberry, the Grouse Whortleberry, vaccinium scoparium, which is a feathery, very low to the ground shrub sporting tiny, sweet red berries.

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