Sexual Relations and Smoked Salmon

 

IMG_3748I love this cartoon, thought I’d share.

We spent the weekend xmas tree decorating, xmas card writing, wrapping and mailing packages for family and friends who live away, lighting up our yard etc.. very fun this year in our new house! Next year will be even more exciting and different with a newborn’s xmas! This week I also spent time decorating other parts of the house with swag. Messy and fun to be creating again ! This weekend and next week’s goals for me? The NURSERY and start some fun xmas baking. If you look back at last year’s xmas blog entries, we did a lot of firsts for baking. I’m thinking of redoing … mint and choc beaver damns and pine nut and smoked salmon tarts! For starters.

WHAT ARE YOU BAKING / CRAFTING FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

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Just beet it… October!

It has been a crazy busy where did this month go – October. For you as well? And what did I make to show for it? almost nothing.

THEN we went to COOMBS Goats on a Roof Country market and I got a 20 lb bag of beets. What more can a girl ask for?

After the lovely Nova Scotian Kate left from her awesome visit here.. I pickled beets last weekend! It was our first weekend alone as a couple in our new home and it seemed like just the right nesting thing to do. Below is a slideshow of the process. If you want the recipe, comment below.

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Should we Fry our Green Tomatoes or store them?

If you read my last post, you’ll know we’ve been busy beavers all summer. And you’d know we bought a house and we move in just 2 weeks! That said, I’m wondering about the garden this weekend trying to decide what stays, goes, gets dehydrated etc. During my luxurious nap this afternoon (after which my husband made me homemade wide baked fries and chipolte aoile- he’s the best, non?).. I did some painful and some helpful youtube research on harvest. I learned that green tomatoes can be cut on their stem, wrapped in newspaper and stored in a dark, cold box to rippen. I was also educated that they give off a gas called ethalyne  (spell?) and that rippens them. You can fake that chemical by placing an apple in the box or even hanging it by a vine of tomatoes to make them turn quicker. I will try the latter and let you know if that works, If not, I’ll be boxing a tomatoe and a cherry tomatoe plant next weekend!  This guy explains to it well and is easy on the eyes: 

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Homemade Blackberry Fruit Roll Ups !

“Are you gunna make fruit roll ups today”? Nope, that is not a four year old. That was my husband bugging me for the last few days. So yes. Today I took my first shot at home made blackberry fruit roll ups, in our new dehydrator (see bottom).

And here’s how we did it.
1. Pick a big freezer bag size of local blackberries from all your neighbour’s bushes. Prime time= end of August.
2. Clean and dry.


3. Make an apple sauce in blender just in case whatever kind of berry you choose needs thickening. Use the fruit bowl apples you hoped said husband would take for lunches but never does.


4. Put bag of blackberries in blender on low til they produce a somewhat thick syrup. Use juice if needed to get the blender goin’. Yum.


5. Mix apple w blackberries.


6. Pam spray roll up flat inserts. We did three.


7. Pour mixture on evenly. Lick spatula.


8. Turn dehydrator on to 130-140 degrees for 4-8 hrs.


9. Take out when leathery dry.
10. Cut to size. Roll. Store individually in seran and store in a Ziploc in freezer. They come out looking like photo #7.

38 Inspiring Objects

#10  the New Lee Valley Dehydrator.

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Our Day in Local Produce

Although we can’t wait to move off this overpriced tourist destination of an island, I have to say in the summer there is something to be said for leading a lifestyle based on the 100 mile diet ~ if you can. Yesterday Corey forced me off the couch to go blackberry picking, again. It’s an annual tradition with us, one that we swore we’d take more seriously this season. It’s a dangerous but yummy sport. Full chain metal clothing required. Three afternoons have been spent so far with a few more to go. What are we using them for? Our morning smoothies, beer & wine making, fruit roll ups, desserts.. you name it. I’m considering writing a therapy article entitled something like “The Couple that Picks Berries Together, Stays Together“. What do you think?

After berry picking we head to Fox road to our favourite EGG guy. I also buy handmade croched face and kitchen cloths from his daughter. Both items are found with an honour system for cash trade in this adorable fridge at the end of their farm driveway. The cat in the egg photo is a curious Salal (our cat).

   

As we drove back down the road we spot this… (dad will surely comment on the budweiser flat)

Further around the corner we see two red coolers with a “VEGGIES” sign. We stop and again on the honour system purchase these yellow beans and 6 hot peppers. What a hoot. Total spent for local produce in one afternoon? $6.50.Now I’d love to be one of those righteous “organic” (said with nose in the air) people that we are about to surround ourselves with on our next move in two weeks.. SEE BLOG TOMORROW ! but the truth is ~ from there we went and purchased a $30 pizza. Yes, that’s what I said. A $30 pizza at the only place on the island to get take out pizza. lol. And it was good. We finished our pizza and bottled a pinot grigio wine, in our rental bathroom for the last time. Quadra Island your days are numbered.

Zuke’s  and beans for dinner tonight, my creative blogger friends. Do you shop locally? Organically? I will be harvesting the garden & plum, apple trees and dehydrating herbs ~basil, mint and cat mint and cherry and roma tomatoes from the topsy turvy experiment in the next 2 weeks so stay tuned… And thanxs for staying with me.  xo. 

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It looks & smells an awful lot like marijuana but it isn’t…

 But it’s got the same effect on the cats. Cat Mint! Also known as cat nip in it’s dried form. The plant started out teensy and died in the house because they wouldn’t leave it alone. Outside, in the ground after 2 months ~it’s spreading! I’ve been pinching of the flowering tops so it bushes out more. Is that the right thing to do. Can a gardner comment and tell me?

I’m assuming the flowers seed and spread the plant but I won’t be here next garden season and want the plant to get as huge as possible so I can dehydrate it this winter! Lemme know please !

The cats love it!

What are you growing for your pets this summer season?

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Please don’t call me “strawberry shortcake” (just cuz I have red hair)

So the topsy turvy experiment (see previous spring posts) is in full BLOOM now! These things are amazing ~ idiot proof. Also- I just saw the containers for $20 each at Zellers.. and I got them for $2 each at liquidation world. Yeah me. And yeah sun! We have been enjoying a super red tasty treat of strawberries, now and then – no huge crop at once yet. I’ve rotated them monthly and water them nightly. Easy peasey. The bottom shot is the cherry tomatoe plant that is covered in little green gems. The regular tomatoe plant is maybe a week behind and twice the size. Can’t wait to have more tomatoes than we know what to do with!

Speaking of which… I treated myself to the deluxe Lee Valley Dehydrator ! I know, right? I even ordered the extra trays and the extra flat roll sheet for making your own dried fruit roll ups! Also exciting news n the growing front.. we have a pear tree. I thought it was plums because they had bums a few weeks ago. Stay tuned for pear stuff end of September! 

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Berry Picking is a Labour of Love *or* What to Do with a Kajillion Huckleberries?

It’s that time of the year again. So much fun to wander around the yard in barely any clothes and pick your dessert… or pick your smoothie ingredients for the next day… or? What do you do with huckleberries?

We’ve never lived where there are so many bushes of them, so we thought we’d give it a go this year. My Love bought an actual Berry Scoop from Lee Valley, when we there earlier in the month. It’s pretty amazing. Though, it’s still a labour of love separating greenery and bugs etc from berries and storing them. We just started tonight. My Love had to climb the cherry tree ~ they are ready but super high up! I saw a raven the size of an eagle in that tree today.  Competition is tuff. It’s not even fully salmonberry or blackberry seasons yet. See blog posts this time last year. What we also have on the horizon are three kinds of apple trees and a plum tree. yippee. Missing in these photos? Strawberries ~ we ate them promptly while picking.

the berry scoop !

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things that grow down by the bog

There is a huge bog at the back of the property that in the winter looked desolate with no foliage. Now, it has a giant field of these flowers surrounding it. They are chest height with beautiful yellow flowers. And some bug friends. Flag Iris. Iris pseudacorus is a species of iris, native to Europe, western Asia and northwest Africa. Common names include yellow iris and yellow flag. Its specific epithet, meaning “false acorus,” refers to the similarity of its leaves to those of Acorus calamus, as they have a prominently veined mid-rib and sword-like shape. Iris pseudacorus grows best in very wet conditions, and is often common in wetlands, where it tolerates submersion, low pH, and anoxic soils. The plant spreads quickly, by both rhizome and water-dispersed seed. It fills a similarniche to that of Typha and often grows with it, though usually in shallower water. While it is primarily an aquatic plant, the rhizomes can survive prolonged dry conditions.

This is what exploded in a weekend and covered the topsy turvy plants, that we had to move. This a huge gorgous trellis that runs the length of the garden fence. Wisteria! Wisteria (also spelled Wistaria or Wysteria) is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing vines native to the Eastern United States and to ChinaKorea, and Japan.

This plant is also growing down by the bog. It is currently over our heads. I think it’s an African plant? Each leaf is approx 3-4 feet in diameter. Huge. In the fall we put a giant load of raked maple leaves on it for the winter.  I wonder if we can eat any part of it? Another bog lovin plant! wiki:     Gunnera is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants, some of them gigantic. The genus is the only member of the family Gunneraceae.The 40-50 species vary enormously in leaf size. Gunnera manicata, native to the Serra do Mar mountains of southeastern Brazil, is perhaps the largest species, with leaves typically 1.5-2 m (5-6 ft) wide, but exceptionally long, up to 3.4 m (11 ft), borne on thick, succulent leaf stalks (petioles) up to 2.5 m (8 ft) long. It germinates best in very moist, but not wet, conditions and temperatures of 22 to 29 °C.

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topsy turvy check in

Let’s check in with the topsy turvy planters, shall we? Planted them 2 months ago. Organic soil, peat, super easy to put together and the root systems grow upwards heated by the plastic container. cool. My sweety helped hang them in a different place in teh garden a month ago because the vine they were planted under blew up into a zillion green leaves and flowered into gorgeous dangling delicate purple flowers. Now out tof the shade they are fabulous.

We’ve eaten 2 dozen little plump fully red strawberries so far. The tomatoe plants.. i busted a huge stem off while bragging to said sweety about the progress. That said, they’ve both tripled and are flowering yellow now! Our June on the coast, was the westest / rainiest on record ..so welcome to the hot July growing season! Stay tuned for harvest end of August, I’m guessing? So with zero effort and being super cheap I’m a fan of the upside down garden thingmes. Have you tried the As Seen on TV Topsy Turvy? Did it work for you?

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adventures of my green thumbs begins.

I’m learning how to garden! I know, exciting right? Living in this glorious retreat ~ and by glorious I mean a whole lotta “free” work on our end while paying someone else’s mortgage… Anywho.. the gardens are spectacular, at last!  I’ve been weeding and cutting flowers for vases for both my therapy offices and for both bathrooms and the kitchen, in the house. Awesome. So I have spent some time photographing the progress and I thought i’d start sharing photos of new finds, researching what they are and anything interesting about them, how to close down stuff as it dies (we had this overwhelming daffodil bed by the front door that I discovered I was supposed to trim after it died off.. leading me to wonder.. do I have to remove the greens from all bulbous plants after they kick it? I dunno). *** see middle photo with the ends of the poppies. Do I dry them out in a paper bag all winter and plant that? or is it just the little dry purple hairs that I plant?*** THIS IS WHERE THE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU BLOG FRIENDS, READING THIS ~ COMES IN! Please comment below or send me a link? danke.*

I just like the colours and smells and the ambiance they bring our summer life now. lol. So I’m learning and thought you might like to witness my learning and contribute  a thing or three for my learning? oui? Let’s begin our adventure of my green thumbs together.

This weeks’ fav flower is the peone. Have you smelt a peone lately? Oh man. This is the flower to put in the bathroom that really makes a difference after the mano f the house does his morning business. And what a great name. Did I even spell it correctly? Also pictured here is my new fav summer drink The Orchard peach Cider. yum. And I managed a craft placement of my fish ice cubes! As well, my arms took a serious beating when I tried to pick the pretty pink roses that have sprouted up everywhere! eek.

More on roses another time, there’s several species here.

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