Archives for July 2014

A garden tour

Alive. Thriving and alive is what I see when I look out over my garden. It may be a tad unkept and it may be behind other plots in comparison, but considering it was completely devastated during a storm last July, I only feel gratefulness for what I have this summer.

Let’s take a tour, shall we? It changes so fast. Every time I pay a visit after a particularly hot day I notice the plants pushing higher, reaching further. Buds open after a good overnight rain and the fruit grows even bigger. These photos were taken over a week ago, and already there are changes. Considering we grew most of the garden from these seedlings, it’s a small miracle everything survived and thrived!

The lessons learned from gardening are numerous and change also happens from year to year as we learn from our mistakes.

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Early Summer Risotto with New Garden Vegetables

I can’t quite remember when risotto went from being a favourite menu item when dining out to a weeknight staple around our table; a go-to comfort food that changed with the produce brought by each new season.

It may have been when my Italian culinary school chef tutored my class on the art of the risotto, instructing us never to rush the dish or the rice would guess our haste and become gummy rather than creamy. Perhaps I became less intimidated to cook the classic dish after testing it out frequently on Danny when we were newlyweds.

At any rate, I eventually discovered that the cheesy rice dish was an indispensable vehicle for getting my children to eat vegetables. Ever since, I’ve seldom been without the basic ingredients for risotto: chicken or vegetable stock in the freezer, butter and Parmesan cheese in the fridge, rice and onions in the pantry.

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Weekend links and photos: Canning Edition

I was offline much of this week; the weather was too nice to stay indoors and so we camped, hiked, fished and gardened from morning until evening.

As a result, I have a good collection of photos to recap the week, plus a recipe for Danny’s most requested breakfast food. What is it? Read on to find out, but first, a short round-up of must-read articles.

Weekend links – canning edition:

Here’s the week in photos:

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How to wash dishes when camping

June turned out to be our big camping month. We planned it that way because the days are cooler and there are fewer bugs than later in the season. This year, the weather was particularly gorgeous, and we happened to luck out on some pretty great sunshine, too.

Now if you’re not into camping, please know that this is probably the last post on the subject for the summer and we’ll soon be moving onto gardening and putting up food. If you are all about the great outdoors, though, then you’ll find this post handy for your next adventure.

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Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Chia Seed

Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot, nine days old. And so goes the ditty about porridge.

Our family happens to like our oatmeal hot, especially when we’ve just crawled out of a tent in the middle of the forest. Sometimes I like to go all out with my campfire breakfast, but most days we’re looking for something quick and comforting.

Instant maple oatmeal is a simple breakfast my children beg for both at home and at the campsite – and I’m not talking about the packaged variety. This homemade version of a grocery staple is a recipe to keep in your back pocket year round. It yields a tasty breakfast that is easy to prepare and replaces a popular supermarket item with something much more nourishing.

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