Monday, August 24, 2009

Bread Baking Babes - Sadly I am not a Babe this month.

Huge apologies to Gorel of Grain Doe the Babe of the Month and chooser of August's bread for our Bread Baking Babes group.

The month has just shot by and I didn't have a chance to try out Gorels Russian Black Bread.

Please visit Gorel and the rest of the Babes (listed over there on the right) and check out their breads.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back Bacon on a Bun

This is one of Scotts favorite sandwiches and I love it too not only for the taste but also because it's ridiculously easy.
We first had this sandwich at the farmers market in Calgary at Millarville, and it became one of our Saturday morning rituals during market season.

Our Kamloops summer Saturday morning rituals include a latte for Scott from Cowboy Coffee and bannock from the market downtown. But a couple of times since we have moved we've treated ourselves and reminisced about Millarville with a back bacon on a bun.

Like I said, crazy easy.

Get yourself some nice buns - I prefer soft rather than crispy for this. Gently fry up some sliced onion until nice and soft and brown. Slice some back bacon (aka Canadian bacon as it is known outside of Canada) into slices (not thin but not really thick) and fry them in just a touch of oil until they are hot and browning in spots. Then slather your buns (hee!) with mustard and pile with fried onions and back bacon. Then devour and consider having another.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Freezer Pickles

It's been a few years since we canned anything. We have a ceramic stove in our house here, and I've heard both that you shouldn't can on a ceramic stove, and also that it's safe. I don't know what to believe, but I don't want to risk the well-being and intactness of our stove to find out for myself. I don't miss canning, all that time and heat, especially this summer....blah. No way. But we bought some really nice little cucumbers at the market on Saturday because who can resist those puppy dog eyes of Scotts. I haven't yet found a recipe for freezer cucumber relish, but I did find in one of my notebooks a recipe for freezer pickles.

I don't know where this recipe came from, and I can't tell you if it's any good, because they have to freeze for at least 3 weeks before you try them.

So stay tuned!

Freezer Pickles

8 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tb salt
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar

Toss the cucumbers onions and salt together in a large bowl. Cover and let sit for 2 to 3 hours.

Rinse the cucumbers very well. Squeeze handfuls of cucumber to remove excess water.

Put the cucumber/onions into freezer bags or freezer containers. Stir the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved, and pour over the cucumber/onions.

Freeze at least 3 weeks before eating. The longer the pickles sit, the sweeter they will be. Thaw in the refrigerator before eating.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Julie & Julia, and very good food.

We went and saw Julie & Julia today.

I had no interest in seeing the movie when I first heard about it. I read the book a few years ago and didn't care for it. I wanted to be a fan of the book. I thought the premise was great. But ultimately I just found her so unlikeable that I didn't enjoy the book.

But then I heard that the story would also be about Julia Child and that Meryl Streep was playing her and I became much more interested. I figured that the movie would "Hollywood-ize" the Julie character to a more likable person, and then the reviews were good, so we figured why not.

I loved the movie, especially the storyline of Julia and Paul Child. What a wonderful life they had. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were amazing. The movie is funny and inspiring and touching and I lost count of how many times I cried.

After the movie ended we went to my parents house (they saw the movie with us) and my Mom had a Julia feast planned out for dinner -

Potage Parmentier to start (which I believe is the first recipe Julia Child tested for the cookbook, and the first recipe Julie cooked from the book), followed by

Rapee Morvandelle, which Scott and I have previously cooked, and then we managed to find the strength to eat a few mouthfuls of Cherry Clafouti.

Scott took one for the team and ended up with blue fingers after pitting the required 3 cups of cherries.

Eating like this once in a while - heavenly. Eating like this for 365 days - madness, darling.

Market Aug 15

This is probably the biggest haul we've bought at the market so far this year.

On the right are some pickling cucumbers, I'm hoping to make my favorite bread and butter pickles with at least some; Scott wants to try something new. Below are some carrots, nice and small and hopefully sweet. I'm looking forward to when the market carrots and bigger and cheaper; there's a carrot soup recipe in Super Natural Cooking that I want to try. Then 6 relish cucumbers we got for $1. I've never made relish before and am looking for a freezer relish recipe - does any such thing exist? Next are some beans - green, yellow and purple, and finally some Ronde De Nice squash. I've wanted to try these since last year.

Monday, August 03, 2009

garden! and juice.

The heat has not been kind to our flowers and garden (or the forests in BC, for that matter). The lettuce has died, our squash plants are fried. The broccoli bolted. What can you do?

We have a surprise in our garden this year - sunflowers. The birds have been dropping seeds in the garden from our feeders, and now we've got some lovely sunflowers growing. I hope they do it again next year.

This tangled mass is our tomato patch. So far we've harvested maybe a handful and a half of cherry tomatos, and there are tons of little green tomatos, and lots of blossoms to go. The Super Fantastic plant has produced lots of good sized green tomatos. Hoping they start to redden soon, but then again I do love Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches, so I'll be ok. There are also some small heirloom tomato plants hiding in there, Black something, or something Black.

My potato plants! After the sunflowers this makes me the happiest in the garden.

The herb and onion section.

The surprise of the garden this year - peas! Scott planted these on impulse and neither of us expected much. They are doing very well and 2 nights last week we stood over the plants, snacking on our delicious pea bounty.

The raspberry plants and hanging in there, but are still really small. We added another plant to pump up the volume.

Another experiment of Scott's - carrots. He planted these late, so we'll see what happens. But they are off to a good start.


I love juice and smoothies and they are so easy to make at home. At least 3 or 4 days a week I try to make a smoothie to take to work with me. Here are 3 of my current favorites.

This one took me by surprise, how much I liked it. You need a juicer, which I have been using less lately cause it's a pain to clean, but it's always worth it.

Strawberry and Grapefruit
adapted from Thirst by Nigel Slater

1/2 large grapefruit, rind removed
1 orange, rind removed
10 strawberries

Juice the 3 fruits together, stir and drink.

The next one I don't have a photo of, but it's my favorite because you can change it up. All you need is one part fruit (my favorites are strawberry, raspberry or pineapple) to two parts apple juice. If the fruit is fresh, I'll add a couple of ice cubes. If the fruit is frozen then I omit the ice. Yum yum yum.

This is the best photo I have of this last one, because the minute it came out of the Magic Bullet we drank it all. This one is heavy on the sugar, so we don't have this often, but it's so refreshing.

Lemon Lime Slush
Rachael Ray

1/4 cup boiling water
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice and 1 lemon slice (I omitted the peel and the slice)
1/2 teaspoon grated lime peel, plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1 lime slice (I omitted the peel and the slice)
2 cups ice cubes

Using a blender, mix the boiling water, sugar, lemon peel and lime peel until the sugar is dissolved, about 15 seconds. Add the lemon juice, lime juice and ice cubes and blend on high speed until slushy, about 15 seconds. Serve with the lemon and lime slices.