from my gardens ..

our version of a snowy day ..

Posted in from my gardens .. on January 5th, 2016 by grdnstff – Be the first to comment
out past the sheds ..

out past the sheds ..

i was born and brought up on the prairies, so i have some acquaintance with snow .. more than twenty years .. and winters with below freezing temps .. waay below, in some cases .. since i moved to the coast .. more than forty years ago .. snow has become an excitement for me .. more of an appearance of magic than anything .. you see, the thing of it is .. on the coast where we live .. snow pretty much disappears as soon as it touches the ground .. it takes just the right conditions to keep it here for any length of time .. i mean .. i’ve seen it last a week .. !

in a snowy winter on the prairies there are many an adult .. generally men .. who have been given the job of keeping the driveway clear .. the sidewalk .. the path to the garbage cans .. to the compost .. to keep an eye on the snow on the roof .. big job .. on top of everything else thy do in a day .. because there are times when snow needs to be shovelled every day .. !

in a snowy winter on the children love all the paths .. here and there .. all across the yard .. leaving potential space for pie tag .. initiated by creating a big pie in the yard .. the shape is made by shuffling one’s feet together .. traveling in a big circular path to make the shape .. then the pie sections are cut into pathways through the snow .. using the same foot shuffling technique .. once the shape is defined then you play .. ‘it’ stands in the centre .. everyone else runs around and across the pie while ‘it’ tags .. so fun .. !

well, likely you had to be there .. or maybe you have been .. ? ..

at any rate .. back to the here and now .. and our wonderfull snowy day .. here’s hoping it lasts until morning ..

i could build a pie for tag ..


our gate and beyond ..

our gate and beyond ..


a taste of things to come ..

Posted in from my gardens .. on September 4th, 2013 by grdnstff – 4 Comments

we had a rainy day here the other day .. seemed a bit unusual as we didn’t have much in july or august .. record breaking dry period, i hear .. at any rate, the rain was welcome as far as i’m concerned .. it was a BIG rain, too .. meaning it rained steadily from early morning .. meaning it was penetrated the earth more than a 16th of an inch .. meaning i got to stay inside and do inside things .. the day brought that feeling of autumn and winter days to come .. brrrr .. ! .. almost made me want to light the woodstove .. instead, i got into some seasonal activities .. like sitting at the computer .. and preserving tomatoes .. making salsa .. ole .. ! ..


6:30 in the morning ..  frank had just left for a quick trip to the okanagan to visit grandkidlets .. and to bring boxes of fruits back to our little island .. peaches, nectarines, plums, pears .. and of course.. sunshine filled .. glorious tomatoes .. there’s no comparison to island tomatoes .. those grown in the full, hot interior sunshine .. all day sun .. have a different substance .. and robust-ness .. about them .. that is completely different than any i’ve seen on the coast .. not better necessarily .. just different .. i had one on my outside railing .. basking .. taking in the bits of sunshine out there .. that weighed in at over a pound and a half .. that’s  one of those “one slice for a sandwich” kinds of tomatoes .. mmmm ..

tomatoes ..

since i was up and at ’em early .. and since i’d made beau his next seven meals of stewy ground beef and veggies .. and since i had all this free time .. partly because of frank’s departure .. and partly because of the rain .. i decided i’d carry on in kitchen mode and make salsa with some of those lovely tomatoes sitting out on the railing .. i started off using a recipe from .. then .. as often happens .. i changed it up to suit .. instead of roasting the tomatoes i skinned them .. into boiling water they went .. for about half a minute .. then out and into the sink of cold water .. i cored them .. slipped their little red skins off .. and chopped them up into a bowl .. then i moved to seeding peppers .. i seed hot  peppers because .. although i like heat in food .. i don’t want so much that it covers the taste of everything else .. and the placental material that holds the seeds is .. apparently .. where all the heat is focused .. so i take that part out .. then i went on to chopping onions and garlic .. added some lovely green cilantro .. a cup of cider vinegar .. a few dry herbs .. a dash of salt .. a touch of sugar .. and set the pot to boil .. then backing off to 3 for a gentle  simmer ..

pot full ..

while i waited i headed to the computer .. i like to see how other people do things .. like make salsa .. most of the recipes i googled simmered their salsas for 10 minutes .. !! .. not me .. i love the process of making sauces and relishes and salsas and believe the magic happens during a long, gentle simmer .. 3+ hours for this salsa .. the ingredients happily and slowly melding together over time .. creating a lovely, thick sauce which i then put into jars .. and place in a hot water bath for 15 minutes .. then .. pop . ! .. pop .. ! .. pop .. ! .. pop .. ! .. pop .. ! .. the sounds of successfull canning .. mmmm .. nothing like it ..


.. and the next day i did it all again .. i ended up with seven pints and 2 half pints of lovely .. thick .. spicy salsa ..