Posts tagged ‘strawberries’

Scenes from the berry patch

A tiny bounty of berries is growing in our garden right now. It is the first year for the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries we planted, so I am happy to have anything at all.

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The tally so far: about 40-50 raspberries, maybe a dozen strawberries (and counting since there are still a few flowers and white berries), and six blueberries. A modest harvest to be sure, but it has thrilled me to bits to be able to take our little guy out to the garden every day and pick a berry or two to go along with his cereal.

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I have fond memories of picking berries (and other good things) from the gardens of my childhood and I hope our garden can be the same source of happiness for our son as he grows up. I also love the picture I have in my head of my now three-year-old nephew running out to the yard when he was just over a year old to pick berries from the raspberry patch. It was amazing to see such a little guy so tuned into the good stuff growing in the yard.

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Casey will be a year-and-a-half-old next summer, so I wanted to get our berry patch planted this year so we have a chance of keeping up with demand. One thing I know about this kid is that he’s an eater… I’m sure no berry will be left behind next year!

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Strawberries are his hands-down favourite right now. He loves to hold them by the stem and suck on the berry until there is nothing left but a white core and leaves. Who says you need teeth to eat?

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July 20, 2015 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

Deep dish rhubarb and strawberry crisp

 Our neighbourhood farmer’s market is open for the season again. My parents were here for dinner the other night and while we were eating gorgeous yellow cherry tomatoes from the market somehow the conversation drifted over to rhubarb. 

Rhubarb pie, rhubarb jam. Rhubarb strawberry jam. Rhubarb muffins. Rhubarb crisp. Stewed rhubarb over ice cream. It all started to sound pretty good.  

From all of that talking, and from the stalks of rhubarb and sliced strawberries I put in my freezer a couple of weeks ago, came this yummy, gooey mess.  I also used a shrivelled old orange I had in the fridge to add flavour along with baking spices. 

I made my crisp “deep dish” style in a beautiful baby blue Le Creuset pot my husband gave me a few years ago – it’s about 8 inches wide and half as deep. You could also use a bigger, shallow dish. 

 

Rhubarb and strawberry crisp

4 cups sliced rhubarb

4 cups sliced strawberries

Juice and grated rind of one orange

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon of each: ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg 

1/2 cup sugar

1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup butter (or coconut oil)

1/4 candied ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine rhubarb, strawberries, orange juice and rind, spices and cornstarch in a baking dish. Mix together flour, oats, sugar, oil/butter, candied ginger and walnuts. Sprinkle on top of rhubarb and strawberry mixture. Bake covered at 350F for 30-40 minutes and then remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes until crisp is lightly browned. Don’t forget the ice cream! 

 

June 4, 2015 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Summer garden

climbing roses 3

Somehow it is already the August long weekend. I’ve been dipping into a book of poems by T.S. Eliot this weekend and thinking about the “still point” in Burnt Norton, the idea that past and future can gather together in the present, creating a sense of meaning and solace, of something more permanent than time.

The still point reveals itself more often in the summer months when there is more slowness and reflection, more space for being instead of just doing. As I write this I am on the patio. The dog is sitting beside me in the shade of a plant, positioned so there are tomato leaves resting against her forehead and nose. I’ve just fed her the last few snap peas from a waning vine in an effort to distract her from what has become her latest game, nipping off the buds of my string beans (she should at least wait until they are fully grown if she’s going to be the one to enjoy them).

2013 tomatoes

Eliot’s poem takes a walk through an imaginary garden, and I hope whatever you’re doing this weekend feels a bit like that. In my garden, the roses are mostly gone, but the tomatoes are thriving, lavender is about to rebloom, pole beans are winding their way up bamboo stakes and the mint and oregano plants I have scattered throughout the garden have sprouted tiny purple flowers. Life is still as it’s going to get, I think.

There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat,
through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.

strawberries and roses

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mint flowers

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pinks

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balloon flower

climbing roses

August 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

End of summer garden

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.

September 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm 1 comment

Lemon scones and strawberry jam


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.
 
Lemon scones
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.

October 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm Leave a comment

Fruit and berry season is here!

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…)

July 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm 1 comment

Strawberry salad!

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!

June 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm 3 comments

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