Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And Speaking of Pickles

I seem to be under stress and I have been under stress for a few months now. It's that BIG PROJECT I'm working on. Every week I seem to have a new way of dealing with stress, but mostly I eat too much. I did have a lovely risotto at Trafalgar's with pickled sunchokes on top which inspired me to eat sunchokes again.

I am drinking a lot of kombucha, which I have grown to love so much that I have trouble keeping up for the demand. Peter calls it my fermented lady tea. Well he doesn't really, but that's what he's thinking.

I have just watched the two seasons of Green Wing, an absolutely amazing adventurous British comedy. The second season was gut-churningly disappointing, but season one is AMAZING. I may just have to watch it again while making felted sweater crafts. It is cold and rainy and today I may not have discovered the meaning of life, but I have discovered the meaning of "lek" and I like it.

The skies are pouring forth, which is good timing because I just planted a bunch more seeds, (including salsify) but bad timing for the fruit trees which have just come into bloom.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Contemplating Pickles

  As I am deciding what to grow this year, I'm thinking about fermenting. What can I pickle? I discovered some inspiring links. I love pickles in taco, in sushi rolls and as a side to curries. Wanna start a pickle club?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cranberry Recipes

 Okay folks, here's some recipes I'm working on. Let me know what you think!

1 12 oz bag of cranberries
1 large navel orange, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup raw organic or biodynamic honey
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp freshly grated turmeric
pinch of salt

Pulse in a food processor to desired texture and eat with your favourite curry. No need to pulse it too long--I like to just make sure there's no whole cranberries left. Oranges and honey vary in sweetness, so be sure to adjust the honey to your taste. You can leave out the ginger and turmeric if you want. It's best if you have some raita and green salsa to serve with your curry as well.

If you have leftover sauce, just puree it until it's very fine and then make popsicles for the cold and flu season. You also can freeze some in ice cube trays and then make Shirley Temple smoothies with orange juice and/or hibiscus tea. You could add vodka to make a "Dirty Shirley."

Shirley Temple Smoothie:

1 cranberry chutney ice cube
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup hibiscus tea
1/4 cup coconut water
1/2 cup sparkling mineral water

Put it in a blender and blitz it, or experiment with layering the ingredients.

Dirty Shirley:
1 cranberry chutney ice cube--make it into crushed ice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 shot vodka
1/4 cup hibiscus tea
1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup sparkling water

I'm thinking we should make crushed ice out of the cube and then experiment with layering the ingredients.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Le Tigre Changes its Menu and I Almost Cry

We went to the Winter Farmer's Market today and I knew Le Tigre was going to be there, so being an addict, I let myself start jonesing for popcorn chicken and crack salad. I looked at the menu and almost fell over, because it has changed. "Don't worry, it's the same stuff, just a different menu," the guy tells me. Well, I ordered the Crack Salad, which is now officially called Crack Salad and it's even better than before with more veggies in it and kale chips on top. Happy Happy Joy Joy.  The chicken is now called something like That Frikken Chicken which is good, but it comes with a different sauce. Hello? That chicken is all about the spicy mayo. I accept the new sauce, but ask for the mayo, just in case I need it. The new sauce is a sesame oil and citrus sauce which is very nice, but mama needs her mayo and the mayo tastes even better than before, or maybe that's just because I haven't had it for such a long time.

Love ya, Le Tigre. Missing ya, Vij's. Ou es tu?

I am also loving the dried biodynamic cherries from Walter in Cawston. Those babies put all other dried cherries to SHAME.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Beta Testers Needed

I will be beta testing some lesson plans, projects and recipes in the next few months and I'm looking for friends and family to help out. One of my resolutions for the new year is to start measuring ingredients when I make recipes. Tonight we had spaetzle and lentils with a spinach salad. I made a dressing with the lovely Styrian Gold pumpkin seed oil mom bought us at the Winter Market. I mixed it with a glug of balsamic and a glurg of maple syrup. It was really nice with apples, pumpkin seeds and sweet and spicy pecans. I like using maple syrup in salad dressings because it tastes good and it emulsifies so easily in the dressing. Put the ingredients in a jar. Screw on the lid and shake. I like to keep it simple.

We had a really good discussion at the dinner table about the pathology of internet addiction spurred on by Q on CBC radio this morning. We also talked about  internet trolling, online community-building and sexism in birding.

Having tired of nonfiction I read the book I gave Peter for Christmas Called The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker which I devoured in one afternoon. I really enjoyed the book and especially liked the choices the author made in creating the character of the Golem, who will stick with me in my imagination for a long time. My only complaint is that she skimped a bit on the period costume detail.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

What Do You Do in the Awkward Zone Between Christmas and New Year's?

taking photos of wasp nests in bared branches

starting to think about new year's resolutions

watching robins and starlings gather in the oak trees

experiencing a fond feeling for brussel sprouts


granola and milk before bedtime

molasses ginger cake with eggnog and rum ice cream or apple sauce and caramel sauce

apples for breakfast

dried biodynamic cherries

really good salads--smoked trout, fennel, grapefruit and salmon roe

leftovers for lunch

indulging in two pots of good, strong tea at Shaktea, grooving to Ella Fitzgerald singing a-tisket a-tasket

sleeping in

discovering an online episode of Morse I had never watched before--like buried treasure

developing new lessons for next year's classes

revelling in warm, fuzzy feelings for family and friends

reading the obits of the famous people we lost this year

eagerly awaiting an autobiography by Nigella Lawson

going for a walk for no other reason than going for a walk (and finding jumbo croissants)