The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘gardens’

Jeudi dans le jardin 5

The gardens are keeping the two-leggers busy now! Take a look at what’s happened over the last week:

The day's harvest on Tuesday. In the dish rack are Aubergines (Eggplants) and Hot Sweet Peppers, and in the basket are Peas and Purple Tomatillos. Elizabeth spent the day in the kitchen making yummy things for two-leggers.

The day’s harvest on Tuesday. In the dish rack are Aubergines (Eggplants) and Hot Sweet Peppers, and in the basket are Peas and Purple Tomatillos. Elizabeth spent the day in the kitchen making yummy things for two-leggers.

Things like Duffus Road Chutney, a recipe invented especially for Elizabeth by her chef friend, Double Dave!

Things like Duffus Road Chutney, a recipe invented especially for Elizabeth by her chef friend, Double Dave!

Many plants in the various gardens are in bloom:

This Calendula bud will probably open tomorrow morning.

This Calendula bud will probably open tomorrow morning.

And this little flower promises more of these...

And this little flower promises more of these…

Black Beauty Sweet Peppers. About time, Elizabeth says. She thought the sweet peppers would never produce this year.

Black Beauty Sweet Peppers. About time, Elizabeth says. She thought the sweet peppers would never produce this year.

And the second crop of Tom Thumb Peas is in flower.

And the second crop of Tom Thumb Peas is in flower.

Look! We've got A CUCUMBER!

Look! We’ve got A CUCUMBER!

Remember the turnip patch? It's filling out very nicely. They like peas, too, it seems.

Remember the turnip patch? It’s filling out very nicely. They like peas, too, it seems.

Not everything is rosy in the garden, though. We have a growing problem… a problem Elizabeth isn’t quite sure how to deal with safely:

We don't like having these around. This wasp's nest is a whopper.

We don’t like having these around. This wasp’s nest is a whopper.

I don’t really like having wasps around either, although they seldom bother me. The big one almost makes up for the nuisance with its unusual character. The entrance is on the side instead of at the bottom. Usually the wasps build them in a less exposed position, too, like the little one, which is almost against the wall of the house. I like the marvelous undulations in the paper and markings of this one, too.

While Elizabeth thinks about what to do about this situation, I looked around the nieghbourhood to see if I could find some help with our insect problem.

Look who I found just around the corner! This Northern Leopard Frog said it would help if it could. He's a bit worried about stings, too, though...

Look who I found just around the corner! This Northern Leopard Frog said it would help if it could. Froggy’s a bit worried about stings, too, though…

I’m going to keep looking, I think. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of ripening produce to guard, and Elizabeth is keeping very busy in the kitchen getting all the harvest stored for winter. The freezer is filling up fast!

Jeudi dans le jardin 4

The harvest has begun, at least of some garden (and wild) edibles. Elizabeth is hard at work bringing in produce, blanching or drying it or cooking with it and putting the results of her efforts into the freezer or on the pantry shelves for winter use. Some of the results are colourful, so we thought this week would be a good opportunity to show you. The gardens need some time to change before we go in and take more pictures.

We've cut the Bee Balm blossoms twice now. Here they are dunked in water (to eliminate insect life), spun dry and placed on the rack for the dehydrator.

We’ve cut the Bee Balm blossoms twice now. Here they are dunked in water (to eliminate insect life), spun dry and placed on the rack for the dehydrator.

After a few days in the dehydrator, we bottle the whole flowers and store them in a dark pantry. They make a good tea, especially when blended with the leaves of the same plant, which we will harvest a bit later.

After a few days in the dehydrator, we bottle the whole flowers and store them in a dark pantry. They make a good tea, especially when blended with the leaves of the same plant, which we will harvest a bit later.

Elizabeth harvests other flowers, too:

She hopes this year to get enough Calendula to make some ointment with it. It is very healing, especially for insect bites, rashes and skin conditions like eczema. Calendula is also nice fresh in salads. Looks pretty on the plate, too (the leaves when young are also great in a salad).

She hopes this year to get enough Calendula to make some ointment with it. It is very healing, especially for insect bites, rashes and skin conditions like eczema. Calendula is also nice fresh in salads. Looks pretty on the plate, too (the leaves when young are also great in a salad).

She's all finished with the clover now, which she also uses in tea. It adds a little sweetness to the mix.

She’s all finished with the clover now, which she also uses in tea. It adds a little sweetness to the mix.

Some of the herbs she hasn’t got time to use fresh, or has too much to use up, she dries.

Here's some of that French Tarragon she likes so much, all dry and ready to go on the pantry shelf.

Here’s some of that French Tarragon she likes so much, all dry and ready to go on the pantry shelf.

Last week a lady gave Kay a whole grocery bag full of Dill, so Elizabeth was busy all evening preparing it to dry or freeze to use when she starts pickling Cucumbers. If she ever gets any Cucumbers. Kay and I showed her a female flower that appeared yesterday afternoon, so maybe…

The beets are coming in now, too. these are some freshly washed beet leaves, which the two-leggers are preparing to blanch and freeze.

The Beets are coming in now, too. these are some freshly washed Beet leaves, which the two-leggers are preparing to blanch and freeze.

Elizabeth's newest culinary invention, Beet Leaf Rolls. They are just waiting to be covered...

Elizabeth’s newest culinary invention, Beet Leaf Rolls. They are just waiting to be covered…

...in a Tandoori fruit and yoghurt sauce before she pops them into the oven for a couple of hours.

…in a Tandoori fruit and yoghurt sauce before she pops them into the oven for a couple of hours.

Before you start wondering where she gets these bizarre ideas…

An old high school friend suggested she try using some of the bigger beet leaves to make something like cabbage rolls, offering the caveat, “avoid TOMATO-based sauce, a lot of the recipes you will find will offer to make a tomato based sauce that you pour over when you bake. This works much better for cabbage. With these tender and tasty peppery leaves, a lighter sauce I think works better.”

Elizabeth spent her formative first years among Ukrainian neighbours in the North End of Kenora. She loves Ukrainian food (she loves any food, really…) like perogies or cabbage rolls. So, she thought about it for a while…

Her ancestors also spent a good deal of time in India, and she’s grown up on the recipes they brought home when they returned. Et voila, as my friend Easy would say. Even so, she was really nervous about how this one would turn out as it was entirely invented and she’d never made cabbage rolls before and …

They were a big hit!

Elizabeth used one of the Hungarian Hot Peppers (the ones without the folds) in her Tandoori Beet Leaf Rolls. She hasn't tried one of the sweet Red Hot Peppers yet. Neither have I. She won't let me try either!

Elizabeth used one of the Hungarian Hot Peppers (the ones without the folds) in her Tandoori Beet Leaf Rolls. She hasn’t tried one of the Sweet Red Hot Peppers yet. Neither have I. She won’t let me try either!

She used other ingredients from the garden, like a Hot Pepper, for example, and she even used something her sister-in-law and brother made from Crabapples growing in their garden in The Yukon: Apple Butter. Truly a dish of many colours and flavours! She’s really proud of herself. So, I had to let her go on about it. Sorry.

Hey, Scribe. Could we maybe move along now? Thanks.  ~:o/=

 

The first of the Purple Tomatillos are ripe, now too. Soon Elizabeth will make some Mango Chutney using them.

The first of the Purple Tomatillos are ripe, now too. Soon Elizabeth will make some Mango Chutney using them.

While Kay and Elizabeth work in the kitchen, I like to supervise. Not only do they frequently need a taskmaster to fire them into action when they start focusing too much on chopping and forgetting things like pots of boiling water, but I also must ensure that nothing that inadvertently flies from the chopping block to the floor is trod upon or otherwise wasted.

Oops! [BUSTED!]

Oops! [BUSTED!]

Jeudi dans le jardin 3

The balcony garden is looking delicious!

We haven't got any cucumbers yet. The blossoms have started to come on the Double Yield Cukes, though. With luck, we'll see some before the first frost, bol.

We haven’t got any cucumbers yet. The blossoms have started to come on the Double Yield Cukes, though. With luck, we’ll see some before the first frost, bol.

Sweet Hot Peppers ripening up.

Sweet Hot Peppers ripening up.

Black Beauty Pepper - a sweet bell-type of pepper.

Black Beauty Pepper – a sweet bell-type of pepper.

Gregori's Altai Tomatoes forming on the vine. These are a Siberian tomato that Elizabeth thought might work well during a cooler growing season.

Gregori’s Altai Tomatoes forming on the vine. These are a Siberian tomato that Elizabeth thought might work well during a cooler growing season.

Hungarian Hot Peppers. Elizabeth picked these while they were still yellow last year, not realising that they would eventually turn red. They were fine that way, but she thinks they have a bit more heat when fully mature.

Hungarian Hot Peppers. Elizabeth picked these while they were still yellow last year, not realising that they would eventually turn red. They were fine that way, but she thinks they have a bit more heat when fully mature.

Last year, the Morden Midget Eggplants didn't do so well in the raised beds. Elizabeth thought that, like other aubergines she's grown, they might prefer the heat up on the balcony.  They're worth growing for the flowers alone!

Last year, the Morden Midget Eggplants didn’t do so well in the raised beds. Elizabeth thought that, like other aubergines she’s grown, they might prefer the heat up on the balcony. They’re worth growing for the flowers alone!

Morden Midget Eggplant Fruit

And they are producing well up there, despite the cooler weather we’ve had. Elizabeth hopes to use some of these in a Jewish pastry recipe she loves.

And for those of you who have been sitting on the edge of your seats all week wondering if the turnips have grown any…

It looks like they are yummying up from my balcony view of them (in the middle raised bed) and the second crop of beets, peas and carrots are coming along too!

It looks like they are yummying up from my balcony view of them (in the middle raised bed) and the second crop of beets, peas and carrots are coming along too!

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