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. 

Make Something (grow) Every Day

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because we both love soup.

 

I was given a Moosewood cookbook this week. I can’t believe I never had one, even through my vegetarian years. Tonight I made the North African Cauliflower Soup. The soup was delicious but needed some croutons for more taste. I paired it with wine & a salad ~ bocconcini cheese, grapes, lettuce, yellow peppers, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms and yogurt ceasr dressing.

Make  Something Every Day

Cheese Rounds Cake !!!

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Happy Birthday to my sweet husband Corey! To celebrate, I made a Cheese Rounds Cake! Layered cheeses: Bourskin garlic & herb, German Brie, Montreal Smoked Port Salut, Bavarian cordonzola, Manitoba red hot pepper havarti & Comox Camembert. To garnish: Truffle pig orange chocolate, pickled asparagus, red grapes, almond crackers. Served with Sleemans honey brown & Pinot Grigos.

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Crotchless pants, not my fault

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I take no credit for my husband’s current crotchless pants. I just fix them. Sewing was the order of the craftroom today. 4 repairs to pants, a dress, my first crack at darning (hole in my fav Hand knit green & blue stripped socks ~ as I refuse to wear slippers ~ but that’s a different story), replaced a skirt zipper & refilled a bunch of bobbins ~ once I messed 2 up, I got the hang of it. Friday crafternoon wine in the background was my little helper.
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The Mad Housewife

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Fantastic, heh? Happy Johnny Cash Day from the Mad Housewife extraordinaire. Laundry & litter & woodstacking inside complete yesterday with some fall garden harvesting.

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We have enough kale for the island for the winter, as my husband is not a fan. I tried honey & creole spice with our bbq steak but he didn’t love it. I think you either love or hate Kale. I’m a lover. It’s so damn good for you. Although we didn’t drink Mad Housewife merlot, some fizzy vodka martinis with olives & pickled asparagus were consumed, as we played in the retreat yard in our rubber boots. Ps. I worked on the craftroom unpack / set up for a while so expect crafty posts soon!

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my little cod croquette!

I was feeling frisky in the kitchen and decided to learn a new way of using some of the frozen ziplocs of fish in our freezer – thanks to my fisherman husband. The above video is Hilarious! I went with a Greek Christmas recipe Cod Croquettes but I used Ling Cod & Snapper. I didn’t dress quite like the crazy video lady (winks to husband) but I did use her recipe. It was a lengthy process & as usual I made way too much so after dinner we were still frying croquettes. Here’s how I did it:

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pan fried all the fish in butter & garlic till flakey. Made mashed potatoes with milk. Melted butter with onions, green onions & more garlic & parsley. I grated Mozzarella cheese and crumbled Feta.

20111022-093509.jpg I mixed it all together in a big pot and put in the fridge for 45 mins.

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I made little balls of mixture (recipe called croquettes to be fingers but mine fell apart during frying). I dipped balls in egg whites then in a mixture of Panko & Cajun seasoned fish crisp & lemon pepper.

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Then I tightened up my Martha Stewart wedding apron (from Annelli in the Saulte) and got down with some frying. I used olive oil and blue mechanics paper towels for grease drying after. Naughty bits of yummy were consumed with wine & sour cream to dip. Fisherman’s review: “they were very tasty. The lemon pepper made them zingy. They were the prefect combination of zingy & crispy. It was good”. There you have it folks! Ling Cod & Snapper Croquettes.
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here kitty kitty

  


and we thought the cats would have a hard time on the stair well..

Check this out – a wine cellar in a spiral staircase, accessed through a window hatch in the kitchen floor! 

      

We thought our new retreat staircase and wine cellar were pretty cool…

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Basement smells like a hobo Part Deux.

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Our cabin being only wood heat, proved lovely for the winter but not helpful for Ubrewing. Previous Blog entry spoke about wine sediment floating on bottling day. This was remedied with a week in the “craft” room with a heater. I waited a week and filtered / racked then repeated before successfully bottling! What we have here is a very crisp, clear, fruity Pinot Grigos. The beer we emptied back into the primary, re-added yeast and put in the heated room. It never reactivated so we threw her out. Not to worry, we will get back it after our next move. I think Corey wants to try beer from scratch (hops and barley instead of a kit).
What WAS positive was that I relocated my Wine Journal! Mom gave it to me when I lived in Powell River. First recipe was Pam & Geoff Redmond’s moon cycle wine (Happy 11th Anniversay you guys). Last entry in the book (before entering today’s wine) was 10 years ago in Tlell, Haida Gwaii, BC. While living with Kate & Janet, I was making Salal Berry wine ~staining our bath tub & entering it in the fall fair. The same berries and year I got my cat & named him “Salal”.
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Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes.

delicious Quadra (island Winery) red wine!

Souffle fail. My first Souffle and I made it on Snapper (though recipe calls for Salmon). It didn’t rise and looked like mayonaisse baked on fish. Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes. 

Costco score ~ these beans rehydrated in the wedding crockpot were pretty great though.

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Port & Wine


Next time we make hootch, we’ll get the equipment and do it from home.We have been shopping for a u-brew that we like in Campbell. still no luck. This latest one didn’t even have wine tasting & cheese. Imagine. smerk*. I made it regularily on Haida Gwaii. In fact, I ruined a bathtub making my 2nd place ribbon at the Fall Fair ~ homemade blackberry wine.

We bottled a house white Gwertzraminer.  We also (and when I say “we” I mean Corey and I  went in, chose the hootch, gave the nice lady our money and I went back and bottled it this week)… WE also  made a PORT. yum Port. A  bit pricier and an extra 2 weeks to make. Ideally it requires an  extra year to age but that never happens. This special brew always gets an extra filtration before they bottle ~so post filter and pre-bottle, I add in a 250ml of Apricot Brandy! This gives it a fruit finish. This time, I added one of those AND a 250ml of Mango Brandy. The fruityness and booze level is mucho high. Drop in at the cabin for a tasting. Mi casa est su casa.

One week officially until we leave for  our wedding in Mexico!

MAKE SOMETHING EVERY DAY