Posts tagged ‘strawberries’
This weekend feels like the end of summer. The weather is still warm, but it is changing, as is the light, which is thinner now and less intense. Shadows are more pronounced and I see them invading sunny places earlier in the day. I don’t mind – there is something beautiful about the dance of tree leaves in the shade.
The plants of summer are still growing – yellow impatiens, a pot of blue forget-me-nots grown from seed that are just catching their stride, green tomatoes, mint, oregano and chives – but they’re slowing down. Two strawberry plants joined the garden this year and I’m pleased about that: from what I’ve seen in other people’s yards, they don’t wither away in the cold. I’m hoping the Asian greens will stay with me, too, if I don’t eat through them before winter arrives. Gai lan (Chinese broccoli) is the one below with the beautiful white flowers.
I’m looking forward to spending the afternoon outside on the patio in my wicker lounger chair saying farewell to summer and enjoying the beginning of fall. Next weekend I’ll find a garden store so I can plant kale, chrysanthemums, and winter pansies.
I’ve made these scones a couple of times recently, inspired by the gorgeous jar of homemade strawberry jam my uncle in Halifax gave me this summer. I brought it back from PEI and opened it a few weeks ago, and it is so delicious, as of course I knew it would be.
Whenever I’ve had John’s strawberry jam, it before it’s always been accompanied by his perfect tea biscuits. Sadly I wasn’t clever enough to write down a proper recipe for them before I got my jam home. I made these lemon scones in an attempt to create something similar. They are a variation on a cheese biscuit recipe I’ve made for years, which has yogurt as its secret ingredient.
They’re not John’s biscuits, but they did save me from eating jam straight from the jar.
Makes 8-12 scones
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold butter
1 cup plain yogurt
grated zest and juice of one lemon
a handful of dried cranberries, blueberries, etc
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in lemon zest and dried cranberries. Combine yogurt and lemon juice and stir with a fork to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. If the dough is too dry add in a bit more yogurt. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough gently until it’s smooth, pat it until it’s about an inch thick and cut out scones. Bake on parchment paper at 400F for 12-15 minutes. Serve with heaps of homemade jam.
Just thought I’d share a few pictures of how we’re enjoying the summer fruit season. I love this time of year when local berries and fresh fruit are so plentiful. (more…)
A quick post to point you in the direction of my strawberry salad recipe. It’s strawberry season again and enjoying the ripe red fruit in a delicious salad is a rite of summer for me. I found beautiful BC-grown organic strawberries for sale at the corner store on our street this week and I’ve been blissfully eating my way through a big basket for the past two days.
I’ve updated the original recipe to include mint and chopped green onions along with the salad greens, strawberries and goat cheese. Those herbs combined with the creamy cheese and the juicy sweetness of the strawberries is a magical pairing.
Happy strawberry finding and salad eating!
I’m still learning about strawberries. I purchased a small package of them last year for a hanging basket. I’d read somewhere that you should pinch back the flowers of strawberry plants during their first year, so I did this and only harvested a handful of berries. In the fall, I planted the strawberries in a small patch of dirt along the sunny, west facing spot along fence; small shoots also went in a couple of spots in our front yard. I mulched the strawberry plants heavily for the winter, and when spring came one of the first signs of life was these three bits of strawberry. The largest clump along the fence is flourishing and now has numerous flowers that I hope will turn into delicious berries. The two tiny shoots are both in shadier spots, but they’re coming along nicely. I was so encouraged by their early, healthy start that I purchased more strawberry plants this spring. Two were planted in a sunny spot under the large cherry tree in our backyard, but they’ve unfortunately already met their demise at the hands of the hungry (and destructive!) squirrels that live in our backyard. I also have a cute little strawberry pot stuffed with plants on our toasty warm south-facing backyard deck. I can’t bring myself to pinch off the flowers on any of the new ones, even after seeing how healthy last year’s plants look after having done so. I will do some more research on this question of pinching back the flowers of new plants in the first year. For now, I’m too keen on living in the moment and enjoying some fresh berries this year to do the deed!
The plants in our yard will probably only yield a few small handfuls of berries. There are a number of U-Pick berry and vegetable farms in the Calgary area and I’m interested in making a trip out to harvest some strawberries for snacking, baking, salads and maybe jam if I’m feeling really ambitious. During our last trip to Victoria I experienced the most amazing strawberry-rhubarb jam with my toast when we had breakfast at the Blue Fox Cafe – still can’t get it out of my head and I’m keen to try to make my own.