Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In the kitchen

It has been a busy few weeks around these parts. We've had a few frosts already, which means we (read: my husband) had to work hard to get the garden out of the ground quickly. We were pleased to have a decent harvest of carrots and potatoes, but very upset that all 16 of our tomato plants fell victim to this. We've managed to save precious few, and my grand plans of canning sauces, salsas and straight-up tomatoes have been crushed.

That said, we have been enjoying the rest of our harvest. Though it certainly isn't enough to get us through the winter, it will get us by for a while. We hope to double our garden next year.

My in-laws brought us some big cases of organic B.C. fruit when they came through here a couple weeks ago. The middle child had taken to eating plums, and then throwing the pits haphazardly around the room. I was finding pits everywhere. Hello, can we say baby choking hazard? Yes. So, needless to say, the plums came to a swift end.

Can I just say that we are at jam capacity? Saskatoon jam, blueberry lavender jam, and now plum jam. Our pantry is slowly but surely being taken over by jam. (For the record, the blueberry lavender is still my fave.)


Friday, September 3, 2010

Off the Needles: Pebble

This literally took me two evenings to make. Complete instant gratification. I mean, look how cute it is! How could I not feel gratified! Baby knitting + Sense and Sensibility = obviously perfect!

Adorable, right? Right? (And, if the biased lady may say, the babe under the vest is pretty sweet too.)

The pattern is called Pebble, and can be found (for free!) here. I used Mirasol Akapana, which is soft, tweedy goodness. Seriously. So soft. The yarn is pretty inexpensive (not to mention a really lovely company), and I only used about half a ball. The buttons are from a giant jar o' buttons I scored at the antique mall (I am loving the mismatched-button look lately).

Oh, this baby. My own personal bundle of squishy wool. Love doesn't begin to describe it.


Thursday, September 2, 2010


Last weekend, a booth at the farmers' market had blueberries on sale, 10 lbs for $25. Quite a deal for unsprayed berries, I dare say! The were, of course, a little past their prime, but they had a destiny far greater than the average blueberry.

It started last Friday. I had a hankering for some cookies, so I did a quick flip through my cookbooks, and settled on a recipe for Lavender Chocolate Chunk cookies. (From ExtraVeganZa, which is laden with lavender recipies, for those interested.) One bite, and my love affair with lavender was rekindled. How had I forgotten how delicious lavender was?! I mean, could you say no?

Didn't think so. Anyways, while I was on my lavender high, I was trying to conjure up other ways to use my lovely lavender stash. I knew lavender and blueberries went delicious together, and so it dawned on me: blueberry-lavender jam! A quick google search revealed that many people shared my dream. So, once I had happily acquired my 10 lbs of blueberries, I sterilized some jars and set to work.

I used this recipe, tripling it, which worked perfectly. This is honestly the best jam I have ever had. It is all things delicious. Tripling it gave me 19 250 ml jars, and we have already gone through a few, as well as traded some for apples, and just given some away to share the goodness!

If you have any blueberries hanging around in your neck of the woods, I urge you to make this! Easy! Delicious!

Speaking of those apples... what is your favorite way to preserve apples? Sauce? Butters? Pies? I need to do something with them quickly, and inspiration and ideas are more than welcome!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Hello? Hello?

Some mammals hibernate in the winter. I, it would seem, hibernate in the summer. Contrary to many people, summer is my least favorite season. It is when I'm feeling least inspired. Hot weather makes me grumpy, and I find summer clothes uncomfortable. Give me cool temperatures and layers, I say!

Aside from feeling rather uninspired, our desktop computer decided that it had lived a full enough life, and would work for only 10 minutes at a time before turning off. Combine those factors, and you get a 2 1/2 month chunk of dead air in these parts. But we have been busy doing summery things. Saskatoon berries have been picked with friends, and canned with friends (yielding each family with a whopping 18 jars of jam). We have camped in the mountains. (Aha! Summer's two offerings appreciated by me: bountiful fresh produce, and camping!) We have been mosquito bitten, and sunburned, and have celebrated 3 birthdays! We survived one very long week with the papa out of the country. And here we are... August is nearly over. In just over a week Q will be starting kindergarten at the local Waldorf school, and we'll be finding new rhythms and routines.

I hope you'll join me as we find our footing and embark on my most favorite season (fall!!).