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Category: Food and recipes

Long weekending

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I’ve been having such a lovely long weekend – friends, knitting, tv watching, great food. We’ve been canning so much the last couple of weeks, and there’s just a couple more things on our list before apple season starts to arrive. In anticipation of fall (ignoring the 30+ degree weather), we also made a pumpkin loaf (recipe from Back to Her Roots) and it was delicious. We used regular whole wheat flour, plain yogurt, and subbed brown sugar for the maple syrup.

I’ve also picked back up my Aidez cardigan, and between brunch and some tv with H, I’ve gotten most of one of the front panels done. The reason I’ve picked this back up is because I might be going to Rhinebeck (NY Sheep and Wool)! I am super excited even though it’s still over a month away – I’ve been planning my sweaters, perusing the vendor and class lists, and reading lots of recaps. Are you going? Any tips or suggestions for first timers?

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

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The never-ending heat wave

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(Knitting details on Rav, recipe for the pickles posted last year)

I usually love summer… I’m always cold the rest of the year, and summer is the only time of year I can leave the house without a sweater. Plus summer has so many great events, there are picnics in the park, gardening, swimming, camping, and so on. But this year – oh my goodness. The heatwave has been never-ending and I am so warm. We’ve also gotten so little rain and everything is so dry and droopy. We don’t have AC and with the recent temperatures around 40-45 (105-115 fahrenheit) degrees with humidex, I am absolutely melting. I had a booth for Agrestal at the Kingston Sheepdog Trials last weekend, which is my only outdoor event this year. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing we were so close to the shaved ice stand.

I’ve been knitting lots of small things, reading lots of books, and eating lots of fresh, no-cooking-required food. Unfortunately the canning has to get done, even in the heat wave, so I’ve been trying to do everything in the evenings when it’s a bit less warm. I’ve done dilly beans and lots of dill cucumber pickles so far. The tomatoes are coming out of the garden pretty quickly now so soon it will be time for canned tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauce, and ketchup.

Are you also stuck in this heat wave? Any secret ways to keep cool?

P.S. As I’m writing this, funnily enough, a huge storm has rolled in out of nowhere, with lots of rain and wind! Thank goodness. (Now we just have to hope that everything doesn’t flood!)

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This week, in (mostly) food

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Whenever I upload the photos from my camera to my computer, I always find it interesting to see what I’ve been taking photos of recently. Sometimes, it’s a mix of everything, but other times, a theme emerges. This week was one of the latter, with lots of food photos – canning, simmering, baking – so much good stuff.

Links for more info:

Dilly Beans from Serious Eats
Mushroom gravy from VegKitchen
Whole Wheat Bread from The Kitchn

Hoping your week was delicious too!

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Twenty two

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I turned 22 at the beginning of the week, and I had such a wonderful few days! I was lucky enough to get together with a bunch of friends for dinner the week before (so many conflicting schedules makes this a harder feat that it might sound, so I really enjoy it when we manage to make it happen!). I spent the weekend visiting my parents, and I had lots of time for knitting, petting the dogs, wandering downtown and at the conservation area, and eating good food. In keeping with previous years, my mum made me a cheesecake with a sauce made from freshly picked berries. 21 was such an interesting and challenging year – I can’t wait to see what 22 has in store.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend! Happy long weekend to my fellow Canadians.

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Pesto time

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Midsummer has arrived, and I’m harvesting tons of basil from the garden, which means lots of pesto! We’ve planned to do a bunch and freeze it, but none of it has actually made it to the freezer yet because we’ve been eating it so quickly – on pasta, of course, but also on sandwiches, pizzas, french fries. We’ve mostly been having walnut pesto, because pine nuts are so expensive here, but maybe we’ll splurge and do a batch with them.

I wish it were possible to can pesto in a water bath canner – we’ll end up freezing ours, because I don’t have a pressure canner, but I hate to use up freezer space. I know we’ll want the space later in the year, especially as the holidays approach (we always spread our holiday baking out and freeze everything to try to cut down on the Christmas madness). Any tips on the best way to compactly freeze and store pesto? Cubes are convenient because they’re easy to portion but they take up so much space. I’d love not to have to use ziplock bags too if possible.

Any of you also enjoying pesto as midsummer approaches? Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

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Summer in contrasts

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Such is summer in the city… a study in contrasts. A quiet, rainy Canada Day at home, making pasta salad and peach pie, followed by a whirlwind of fireworks, house guests, neighbourhood wandering, and the pride parade. What fun. The pie was the first I’ve made this year with summer fruit and it was so good. The peaches were fine in terms of flavour (later peaches will be better, when they’re in season in Niagara), but they were still lovely and juicy. Strawberries are at the very end of their season here, so I’m hoping to make a strawberry rhubarb pie this coming weekend.

I am actually crossing my fingers for more rain this weekend – there’s lots I’d like to do outdoors, but it has been so hot and humid this week. We’ve been averaging around 35-40C with humidity. I don’t often wish for air conditioning, but keeping our apartment cool has proven to be particularly difficult lately. Some cool rain with a breeze would certainly do the trick.

What are your plans for this weekend? Has it been this hot where you are?

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On the flip side.

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I survived my final week of papers and exams and such, and the flip side is looking pretty nice. Don’t get me wrong, everything is still insanely busy, but the number of things on my plate is stating to feel a bit more manageable. We’re still looking for a new apartment, I’ve bumped up my hours at work, and I’m prepping for a yarn festival at the end of the month for Agrestal.

The weather here has been unbelievably beautiful. Yesterday H and I went for a walk and I had to roll up the sleeves of my cardigan because the sun was so warm, and today it’s meant to be over 20 degrees. If I seem overly enthusiastic, consider that it was snowing a week ago! Since we haven’t found an apartment yet, I’m not sure what the garden situation is going to be for this year (hopefully backyard or balcony, if not possibly allotment or yard sharing). But I’m thinking of starting some seeds anyway. I doesn’t feel like spring without trays of starts and I’m sure I can find someone who would take them if I can’t plant them.

I hope you have all been having a wonderful start to spring!

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Pickles, cabin fever, and sick days

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This week is the first week this year that I just feel so done with winter. Maybe it’s because we had a big storm the last few days, or maybe it’s because I’ve got the flu and have been cooped up at home, but I’m really looking forward to warm weather and fresh veggies and sunshine.

Even as cabin fever sets in, I’ve been enjoying the extra time to work on my red brick cardigan (I’m almost done the body – details on Ravelry) and have watched a few good things on Netflix. Some more episodes of The X-Files, and about half of a really interesting documentary about the Barkley race. I’d love your recommendations if anyone has watched anything good lately.

I did manage to make some pickles earlier this week, though, in an effort to hurry spring along. The cucumbers were just imported garden ones from the grocery store, and I made up a brine and stuck them in the fridge. I tasted one a few days ago, and although they definitely still need more curing time, the flavour profile is promising – just the right balance of vinegar, dill, and a hint of garlic. I used this recipe from Food in Jars, omitting the onions and packing them all into one big quart jar. The amount of brine listed in the recipe was still perfect, though.

Wishing you a lovely long weekend, friends!

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Catching up.

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It’s fall! The weather is so much cooler here and I love it- it’s the perfect weather for knitting and wearing handknits. Classes are good, although now that I’ve decided not to apply to grad school this cycle, I’m excited to graduate and maybe have a break from writing papers.

I’m still dyeing yarn, which is so fun, and I’ve done a few fibre festivals in the past few months. They’re my favourite- knitters are the nicest people.

Although I’m sad to see some summer favourites go out of season (peaches, strawberries, and tomatoes, namely), I’m also loving fall foods. Apple and pumpkin flavoured everything, please. And we did manage to can a bunch in August- lots of fruit jams, and some salsa and tomato sauce. The salsa is especially good- I’ll try to post a recipe later this week in case you’ve still got some lovely tomatoes.

Has fall weather arrived full force to where you live? (And please leave me your favourite apple and pumpkin recipes below… I always need more!)

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Summertime.

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I feel like the last two months have just flown by, and I can’t believe that I’ll be back in classes again in a few weeks. There have been so many fantastic days this summer, though, and I’ve felt so grateful to be working at such an amazing job, spending time with family and friends, eating good food, and visiting beautiful places. The next few weeks are packed full with exciting plans too.

How have your last few weeks of summer been?

(Knitting pictured- NYC Socks)

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