I know, I know, cranberries are the sauce fruit of the season. Apples are so… autumn. Well, it technically IS still autumn. But it’s the best part of autumn. The part where apples are still bountiful, but so are other treasures, like nuts.
So far this season we’ve had heartnuts, butternuts, black walnuts and chestnuts. I also cracked open a tin of store bought salted mixed nuts, tossed them in a hot pan with maple syrup and cinnamon until they became caramelized, sweet goodness and took them to a girlfriend’s house to nibble while we watched White Christmas. So good! And pseudo-healthy. Continue reading →
I didn’t grow up cooking. While I have memories of my mother and her mother canning and cooking together, and my paternal grandmother’s kitchen being a constant source of culinary goodness, I have no memory of helping. Or being taught any of the techniques or recipes I witnessed.
I want to say that things have changed for my kids. That they’ve been my kitchen helpers daily since they could hold a wooden spoon. But that’s not true. At all. Having never learned to cook at the side of a patient teacher, it’s been a struggle for me to find the patience to teach my own kids. Continue reading →
Our raspberries are fruiting again. They’re an “everbearing” variety that produces two crops of berries, which means twice the yard snacks and twice the happy. Raspberries are so expensive and fragile that for the few years where we didn’t have a patch, I was loathe to buy them. I am happy that they are so prolific. Eight plants became over thirty in a year, and now we have a robust garden of them. Continue reading →
The heat has returned (though not viciously) and the AC is back on. The garden is brimming with tomatoes and beans and cucumbers and the next flush of raspberries is getting ready to explode. Oh, and if anyone needs horseradish, I’ve got you covered.
One thing I love this time of year is going to various fruit stands and roadside markets to buy what our garden doesn’t provide. This past weekend it was a place next to what may be the world’s smallest chapel. They had peaches galore (oh dear, that sounds like a burlesque performer’s name). I couldn’t resist picking up a mixed basket of white and yellow fleshed gems. The whites are firmer, with a more perfume-y flavour, while the yellows were exactly what you expect a freestone peach to be. Amazing. Continue reading →
The edible seasons are flying by. While there are some late bearing strawberries to be had, the season is pretty well over. Berries will be finished soon. CSA baskets are now brimming with zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. But there are still stone fruits. Delicious, juicy, inspiring stone fruits. And to celebrate, I’m sharing two recipes plus a recipe idea that still needs tweaking. Continue reading →
Have I mentioned how much I love cherry season? Oh yeah, I did, here. It’s still going strong, and I’ve been indulging as much as I can. I bought a basket on the weekend from a farm nearer the lake, north of here. It still amazes me how the micro-climates around the peninsula can produce such variety in the same fruits (not to mention some incredible wines). These cherries are super dark, and very juicy, but smaller than the ones that we bought west of here. They are still delicious, though. Continue reading →
To understand how happy I am that cherry season is here, you need to know what happened last year in Niagara. Last spring, actually. We experienced weather in March that was beyond balmy. It was downright warm. So warm that we planted radishes and peas and harvested both before we normally would have planted them. So warm that the trees were tricked into budding early. Too early. An unfortunate hard frost came through and wiped out the local cherry crop, along with a lot of the other tree fruits. Cherries were hardest hit, though. We managed a meagre basket, found early one morning at the market, and that was the beginning, middle and end of cherry season for 2012. Continue reading →
I know it’s not necessarily a big deal to have baked a cake. Not normally, anyway. And especially when it’s not even a frosted masterpiece (or attempt). But I’ve been struggling with some sort of… something. We’ve narrowed it down to a viral sinus infection. And not only has it been uncomfortable, but the pressure has also messed with the vision in my left eye. So between the ache whenever I looked around, and not being able to see properly, baking (never mind blogging) hasn’t been on my radar. Continue reading →
Wow, has the heat arrived. And it’s unwelcome cousin, humidity. We had quite a storm the other night, complete with copious amounts of rain, so our gardens are happy. I actually harvested a few radishes already. That made my daughter happy. And we turned on the air conditioning last night. That made us all happy. Continue reading →
Wow, after the way “spring” started, I didn’t think we’d see this weather any time soon. We did kind of jump right to summer, a little. But it’s not stupid hot or anything, so it’s good. The Forsythia is in full bloom and the Lilacs will soon be out. “Blossom Sunday” is upon us here in Niagara; a time when historically tourists would come from far and wide to ogle the orchards in full bloom. That doesn’t happen so much anymore, at least not organized tours, but we’re planning on going out to take in the beauty. If I get some good pics, maybe I’ll come back and add them. Or check out my instagram account. Continue reading →