Saturday, May 26, 2012

Harvesting: Lemon Balm

This year I am trying to dry the ingredients I use in my favourite tea blend, since many of them grow in my backyard. Buying raspberry leaves in the winter was driving me crazy, knowing I had an abundance all spring and summer and didn't do anything about it!

This morning I harvested the first basket full of lemon balm. It takes no time to dry in my second-hand dehydrator. I've already done a batch of raspberry leaves when I pulled out all the new shoots that appear in the spring, and mint. The mint in my pot is growing great this year, and I'm keeping it there for many a fresh mint cocktail (mojitos, anyone?). But the farm market I regularly visit has big bunches for a low price so I'm trying to bring one or two home each time and dry them so we have lots for winter tea.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Eating Vegan: Day 5

Well, we've had various detox symptoms. I was exhausted and angry on Day 3, but perked up yesterday. I thankfully haven't had any trouble cutting out eggs, meat and dairy. Jay has had some mega detox but is coming out of it now, wow! I am so proud of him for sticking with this, even after two 14 hour days on job sites with crews munching on pizza, timbits, and coffee. And I was easily able to handle a "single-parenting/school performance/dinner needs to happen immediately" scenario yesterday and felt just fine with my choices, or lack thereof. Great, actually. Sitting in a pizza place and watching your kids eat pizza,  moaning about how awesome it is while not partaking yourself is actually doable. Good to know.

I got Dreena Burton's newest cookbook in the mail so that will certainly inspire some meals. This week I've cooked a lot out of the Rebar cookbook. I love that book!

Dinner alone tonight. I promised the kids turkey burgers, but afterwards made myself Heather's easy fried rice (delicious!) and roasted sweet potatoes with orange-cilantro glaze. I was full and happy after the fact (the glass of black currant wine didn't hurt, I'm sure)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Preserving: Food in Jars cookbook!

Aren't they pretty?

I received the new Food In Jars cookbook yesterday and today made two of the recipes. A double batch of Rhubarb syrup (now I can drink Rhubarb soda in November!!) and a batch of Meyer Lemon Jelly. Come to Mama. I predict this jelly and I will be having a great time together when I am no longer following a vegan diet and can make crepes. Yum...

I love to buy a new canning/preserving book at this time of the year, and I'm so happy with this book! She obviously loves rhubarb and meyer lemons as much as I do. And she has got me thinking about a few other types of jams that I would normally not try. Cantaloupe? She described it as tasting like an adult Creamsicle. Um, yes. Many recipes make small batches so you don't have to have vast quantities of produce on hand to whip up some canned goods.

Can't wait to try more!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Knitting: Ishbel Shawl

Why, yes, another shawl! 
This one is for Faire's teacher. 
All three teacher gifts done, and it's not even June! 

This leaves me lots of time to knit more shawls (I'm not kidding,) and other knitted accessories, for my sister's wedding in July. In fact, I believe I will cast on her wedding shawl right now.

Pattern: Ishbel, by Ysolde Teague
Yarn: bfl sock, by Sweet Georgia, in Riptide

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eating Vegan: Day 1

Jay and I are excited to be taking Heather's 30 Day Vegan Workshop, starting today!
I loaded up on produce and have been pouring over vegetarian and vegan recipe books, looking for new ideas to try.

Today for lunch we ate roasted yam wedges with an amazing sage-lime aioli.

Sage-Lime Aioli (Vegan)
2/3 cup vegenaise
zest of one lime
juice of half a lime
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt

Oh so yummy. Will use this as a veggie dip as well. And next time I will try a lemon-basil version. 

I'm looking so forward to trying new recipes, and giving lots and lots of veggies a starring role on our plates!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Gardening: May Long Weekend

 Raspberry canes, fully loaded.

Freshly painted "lounge" area. The white tub in the table was Isla's little water play area, but now we've discovered it's true calling : ice cold beer chiller.

 New garden boxes filled and mostly planted.
(This is the view from my back deck.)


So much brown. Soon enough it will be filled with green!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Knitting: Summerflies Shawl

Another shawl.
This one is for Isla's preschool teacher. It has a butterfly motif in the lace, which is fitting because on graduation day, all the preschoolers in the "Caterpillar" class release butterflies as they leave the school and go on to Kindergarten. 

pattern: summerflies shawl
yarn: patons grace

Friday, May 11, 2012

Knitting: Damson

Oh, how I love this shawl!

It took much longer than expected, due to boredom with the garter stitch base, I believe. Then I ran out of yarn as I was about to begin the final row. Argh. But I was able to fudge an ending and now I am a very happy knitter, and also Maid (matron?) of Honour, because this baby will be over my shoulders at my sister's wedding this summer. Along with shoes the same colour. 

I was never much into yellow, but now I love it, especially earthy, honey, buttery, mustardy tones. Obviously I like the colours of food...

Pattern is Damson, by Ysolde Teaque
Yarn is Quince Tern, in Buoy (with the final finish in Quince Chickadee in Carrie's Yellow)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Knitting: Little Shells

I was able to knit this shawl during my weekend on Galiano Island. 
I added to it, so it was a bit larger than the pattern says. I really love it, and I do believe this pattern will be used again!

 It's for Shea's grade three teacher.

Pattern is Little Shells
Yarn is Quince Chickadee in Lichen (2 skeins exactly)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Retreating: A Weekend on Galiano

A weekend retreat with the bellydance troupe. We stayed in a lovely spot, and though the sun didn't really come out, the rain stayed away. 
I'd love to return this summer with my family and camp.