Friday, 12 August 2011

peaches [nothing quite like them]

There is nothing quite like a freshly picked Ontario peach.

You think the fruit can't get any more beautiful, with its fuzzy gorgeous skin - that is until you slice into it.  The colour on the inside of a peach is so gorgeous, you stop for just a moment before popping the slice into your mouth.

There are numerous varieties of peaches, and right now in Ontario we are enjoying many of the semi-freestone varieties. The ones I brought home from the market last week are Garnet Beauty.  They are delicious.  I am also a huge fan of White Lady peaches, a variety of white peaches. I discovered these last summer working with Bizjak Farms at the markets.  One of the many joys of working at Farmers Markets during the last months of summer is the sheer joy the site peaches bring children and adults alike. Children can hardly contain themselves at the site of peaches (even less so than with strawberries in June).

I don't know what it is about peaches, but this fruit seems to trump all else.

Late Wednesday night Daniel and I finally got around to turning our fresh peaches into jam.  I couldn't think of a better way to spend a late night during the middle of the week. We can now enjoy peach jam all year (or, until it runs out / we give it away!).  The good news, peaches are in season until the end of September, so we can make enough jam to last us all winter (and with extra to give away).

our finished jam

enjoying our jam at breakfast the next morning

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

weeding & pulling

This morning Daniel and I decided to spend some time caring for our garden.  It's been raining quite a bit the past couple of days, so the soil was moist and weeds were easily removed.  It was a bit of a sad morning in our garden today as we had to pull the remaining lettuce that had gone bitter and face the seven tiny red peppers that had turned rotten.  We have also noticed that a few tomatoes are rotting from the bottom while still on the plant.  We have no idea what this could be.  The tomatoes aren't touching the ground, and look completely fine except for the bottom part.  It's a mystery to us.

We also cleaned up our zucchini plants, which are growing into our potato plants.  We had to pull a few of them, to give the others room to blossom.  I was feeling a little worried about the progress of our zucchini plants, but they are still flowering, so maybe they just need more time and my patience.    

After all of the weeding and pulling and re-organizing, we made a pleasant discovery - a huge zucchini that was just waiting to be picked.  

So, I'm thinking now, that maybe I shouldn't feel sad about the lettuce and the rotten tiny red peppers, but instead, enjoy the zucchini that grew for us and accept the fatalities of the garden and learn for next season.   

a hot pepper with tomatoes growing in the background 
(also, my camera string, but I like the photo anyways!)

some of our tomatoes are starting to rot from the bottom... any ideas?

this photo is a bit misleading, I'm certainly not happy about composting 
our remaining lettuce, but smiling felt better than frowning

what's left of our lettuce crop. We couldn't pull ALL of it.

our bright discovery this morning 
if you look closely, you can see a tiny red bug making it's way down the stem

zucchini plants gone wild

beautiful zucchini flower

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Today was a great day

Today, Tuesday August 9th was a great day.

My day started out with a lovely breakfast and a beautiful downpour this morning, followed by a bike ride and sushi with my friend Joe, this afternoon.  If that wasn't already a good enough day, we came back to my place and spent some time digging in our garden. 

We found lots of ripened treasures waiting for us - tomatoes / peppers / cucumbers / cherry tomatoes /  basil / sage / rosemary / beans / peas and.... carrots!  We also discovered that the beautiful tiny sweet red peppers had been left on too long and had rotted / exploded.  While it was a neat discovery (the exploded ones, that is)  it is sad and an important reminder that Dan and I need to spend time in the garden every day. 

After sending Joe off with tons of veggies for her and Andrew to enjoy at home, we still have plenty to work with for the rest of the week.

breakfast, made by my love, Daniel.

There are so many treasures in this container... 
Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peas, and beans!
We are planning to dry a bunch of the pea seeds to plant next year

 Our first two carrots! 
We planted them a little too closely, making them difficult to pull out, 
but it was an exciting moment nonetheless.
I feel a little bad though, if I'm being completely honest, I pulled them out of the ground without Daniel... I hope he's not too heartbroken. 
The good news, we have many more to pull and I think we will probably plant more carrots... and maybe even beets... we will see how the week goes. 

Our garden.  I think we need to weed again...

mmm mmm mmm beautiful.

Monday, 8 August 2011

garden veggie quesadillas

It seems like our garden has exploded with veggies.  It's almost to the point where we are feeling a bit panicked about what to do with everything.

We have ideas and plans, but it seems, not enough time.

zucchini relish, salsa and jarred hot peppers will have to wait.  Yesterday, we only had time to make a quick meal, but it was delicious.

Dan ventured down to the garden and came back with plenty of newly ripened veggies: green pepper, red pepper, hot peppers and more tomatoes. The only meal we could think to make with these veggies was Veggie Quesadillas.

As it turns out, that was an excellent choice for our Sunday dinner.
2 wraps
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
bowl full of black beans
1 hot banana pepper
1 tomato
a bit of grated cheddar or mozza cheese
salsa and sour cream for dipping

Assemble wraps / fold in half / place on grill for a few minutes / dip in salsa & sour cream /  Enjoy!

Friday, 5 August 2011

a friday morning in august.

It's Friday and it's August.

A Friday morning in August means a lovely morning breakfast with my love, Daniel.  
Being August and all, it also means picking more veggies from our garden.  Today I picked a full bowl of cherry tomatoes, mint and a very large zucchini.

yum yum yum.

I took a few more photographs of our garden.  It changes everyday.  Our peppers are ripening and our potatoes are getting so big! Out lettuce is growing so tall, but unfortunately this means that it is also becoming bitter and not very pleasant (but still beautiful and fun to take photographs of!)

Friday morning breakfast

hard boiled egg, toast and coffee

garden goods

our tomato family is ripening fast!

our one potato that can't wait to be picked

in the August sunlight green peppers becoming red peppers

we can't remember the name of these little red peppers, 
but they smell so delicious and are completely full of seeds!

our big, bitter, beautiful lettuce 

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

grilled vegetable pasta

Even in the heat of summer I sometimes feel like a warm meal.

We recently acquired a small counter top grill, which has been so amazing!

I have been longing for grilled veggies for a while now, so I decided to make a super simple grilled veggie pasta.  It was super delicious.
two small onions
one yellow pepper
one zucchini
a handful of green beans
a couple of garlic scapes, for garnishing
parmesan cheese, to taste
olive oil, to taste

Grill the veggies until tender and add to cooked pasta.
Toss together with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and parmesan cheese.
Add a few cherry tomatoes for taste (I really like the way they look on top of a bowl of pasta!)

our first tomato!!!

a few days ago Dan and I picked our first ripe, beautiful red tomato!  It was an exciting moment.  More tomatoes are ripening, and we have big plans for them... stay tuned.

there it is!


A lot has been happening.

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to update.

A lot has been happening.

Our peas and beans are just about finished for this season, which is kind of sad, but it's time for other veggies to shine.

I've taken so many photos of our little veggies growing, so I'm not going to write much this posting.  I never imagined how much fun it could be to take photos of vegetables, so please enjoy each one!

ginormous bean

green peppers - waiting for them to turn red

sweet little peppers

tomato family

 onions after a good watering


peas peas and more peas 

a view from our deck, pre-watering

banana peppers

lettuce! so much lettuce!