Archive for August, 2011
This is just past Charleson Park, along the seawall between the Cambie Bridge and Granville Island. It’s an easy 20 minute walk from our house, downhill on the way there, and uphill on the way back. We spent a good part of this past Sunday lounging there with egg salad sandwiches and lemonade and local cherries, happily folded into a summertime cliche. We walked through the docks, found a section of seawall beside this big, bright bed of cosmos, and spent an hour or so looking out into the bay watching the ducks, kayaks and sailboats cruise by and thinking why don’t we do this ALL THE TIME!?
Egg salad sandwiches
Makes 2 sandwiches
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (here is how to make them)
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Arugula or lettuce leaves
4 slices of bread
Mix together eggs, celery, red pepper, chives, dill, paprika, mustard and mayo. Season with salt and pepper. Layer arugula or lettuce on the bread and top with egg salad. Don’t forget the lemonade!
Finally! Months of coddling tomato plants grown from seed have produced an actual tomato. As you can see below, there are more on the way. I’m sure they will be wonderful, too, but the first tomato brings the clearest sense of victory. Our patio is shady, part-sun at best, and it takes a good stretch of warm weather to make veggies grow. Double victory!
I was paralyzed by it, of course. How does one consume such a precious treat? If I had some buffalo mozzarella handy, I’d have gone for a classic caprese salad without a second thought. But I don’t. So I decided on a home-grown theme. Arugula, basil, chives, and parsley from my garden, olive oil carted back from Spain and sea salt that was a gift from my husband. Such specialness, and oh-so-good.
I’ve just arrived home from a relaxing 10-day holiday on Prince Edward Island and it was so refreshing to be in such a simple place. My parents have a cottage near an area of PEI called Tyne Valley, a tiny place filled with small town charm. In their yard are several sour cherry trees that were ripe with berries when we arrived. You’ll see a lovely tractor in the photo above: it was there along with several others to help repair their bank, which was damaged in the winter storms. Not the most tranquil thing to have at the cottage, but it was helpful for cherry picking in the treetops.
I spent about an hour picking these cherries and my mom and I put in at least another hour pitting them (drinks in hand, of course). I made a sour cherry sauce that we enjoyed on my mom’s famous no-bake cheesecake and on ice cream. More cherries were picked when my uncles visited and they were transformed into an amazing sour cherry crisp. I think it is safe to say that sour cherry eating, in all its delicious forms, will become a new cottage tradition.
Sour cherry sauce
8 cups of pitted sour cherries (I’m sure cherries of any variety would also be good)
1/3 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Put cherries in a saucepan along with sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes until cherries come to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until cherries are tender and the juice is beginning to thicken. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 2 tablespoons of water and stir into cherry mixture. Let simmer for 5 minutes until sauce thickens to desired consistency. If you find it to thin still, add mix another teaspoon of cornstarch with water and add to the sauce; if it is too thick, add a touch more water. Squeeze in the lemon juice at the end and store sauce in a jar until you’re ready to slather it on cheesecake, ice cream, biscuits, etc.