Monday, June 29, 2009


There is so much I would love to write about these days. Unfortunately, life has been busy and hectic and hasn't really allotted me the time I need to vent my thoughts. Summer has finally arrived and it's supposed to get significantly warmer before the week is up. This is all good news for my garden, particularly my tomatoes.

This year I decided to leave them in pots on my sundeck rather than plant them in the ground. I figured this would at least somewhat compensate for my poor soil conditions and would also allow me to protect them from the elements when needed. (We had a week of thunder showers where the rain was so heavy that I was convinced the second great flood was on its way. ) As you can see, my tomatoes are thriving where they are. I am not sure as to whether it's because they are in pots on my deck or whether the conditions all around (heat, rain, etc) are better this year. Last year I hardly got a tomato, and this year, it's not quite yet July, but I have one that's almost ripe and a few more that are well on their way. I've done two types of tomatoes this year: the large ones...I can't tell you the exact type, come from seeds that an Italian friend of my father's brought back from Italy. They are almost the same shape as a Roma, but much, much larger...think beefsteak tomatoes...I think last year my father had one that weighed about three pounds. They are the meatiest tomatoes I have ever come across. One slice will make a very large sandwich. There isn't a lot of juice that comes gushing out. They aren't hollow, they are solid flesh...perfect for making fresh salsa.

My other tomatoes are small cherry tomatoes (I have two varieties and no longer remember what they are). I am quite partial to these for salads as nothing quite packs a punch of flavour like they do. These tomatoes are not quite as far along as I started them much later. They don't yet have tomatoes on them, but they are full of blossoms and looking very healthy.

I also put some of my lettuce in pots on the deck as well. Some of them went in the garden, but I thought I'd try both. The lettuce in the pots on my deck have grown much faster and are much sweeter. Perhaps they were watered better, I'm not sure. The lettuce in my garden really didn't grow much until this last wave of heat. Perhaps the pots heat better and retain the heat. How's your garden these days?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


You'll never leave where you are until you decide where you'd rather be.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Small Realizations

I recently had the following snippet of a conversation with a delightful international student that I have had the privileged of knowing and working with this year. I love how the wheels in the minds of children turn as a new realization sets upon them and expands their understanding of language.

DG - Carla... (slow and ponderous) is your hair blonde?
Me - Ya, I guess you could call it blonde.
DG - Oh...
Me - Well what colour did you think it was?
DG - I thought it was yellow.
Me - Hmm... I see...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Zesty Lemon Mousse

You know you've stumbled upon a gem, when you bring a dish to a staff party and the entire building asks for the recipe. This is exactly the category in which this lemon mousse falls. It's light, not too sweet, and pairs well with berries and white wine and probably even chocolate. I hope you'll enjoy this as much as I have. The recipe doubles easily, and for as quickly as it will disappear, you are probably best to do so, or you will find yourself needing to whip up a second batch before you've scarcely finished the first.

Zesty Lemon Mousse:

1 pkg unflavoured gelatin
1/4 C cold water
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
1/2 C lemon juice
1 C granulated sugar
2/3 C plain yogurt
1 C whipping cream

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small sauce pan. Let stand 1 minute to soften. Stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice and half the sugar. Stir in the yogurt. Let set in the refrigerator until the consistency of egg whites.

Whip cream and add remaining sugar. Fold into lemon mixture. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or more.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


"How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? ...This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know; all things are connected like the blood which unites our family. All things are connected."

~Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe states - 1848

Monday, June 08, 2009

Yum, Yum

Awhile back Pandave told me that it was about time that I posted another recipe. Well, truth be told, I haven't been in much of a cooking mood lately. It's been way too warm to think about putting anything in the oven. So I got to thinking, why not ice cream. I had some blackberries in my freezer that I wanted to use up before the next crop started coming on. And voila...what's not to like about this recipe? With only three ingredients it couldn't be easier. And trust me, this one tastes as good as it looks.

Blackberry Sherbet

4 C of fresh or frozen blackberries (thawed)
2 C sugar
2 C buttermilk

In a food processor, combine the blackberries and sugar; process until smooth. Strain and discard seeds and pulp. (I strained through cheese cloth but couldn't bare to throw out the seeds and pulp, so I threw it all in my teapot, added hot water and had delicious blackberry tea.) Stir in buttermilk. If you have an ice cream maker, throw the mixture in and let the machine do its thing. If not, pour the puree into a 9X13 pan. Freeze for 1 hour or until edges begin to firm. Stir and return to freezer. Freeze 2 hours longer or until firm.

If you like, just before serving, transfer to a food processor; cover and process for 2-5 minutes or until smooth. This step probably isn't necessary if you use an ice cream maker.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Tyger! Tyger!

Take a walk through the urban jungles with this magical short by Guilherme Marcondes of Brazil loosely based on Blake's, "Tyger! Tyger!" This mesmerizing little production combines puppetry, illustration, photography and CGI. Wow!

Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symetry?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Goosey, Goosey, Gander

It's that time of year again. I've been watching the goslings as they scurry along the beach and occasionally dip into the water, bobbing up and down with the goose and gander never far behind. They're much bigger only a weeks time. Took some more photos this morning which I will post when I have a moment. There is actually more than one family, they form quite a posse. Of course they have to be vigilant in their guard. Last year I watched as an eagle took a swooping dive and plucked one of the little ones out of the water. Not anything anyone could have done. It was nature at its finest.