Sunday, July 31, 2016

some beautiful days, making herbed salts, lots of jobs, meeting up with friends, and a bunch of food! oh...and a ton of pics!

it has been a gorgeous couple of days!

perfect summer weather for us - in the mid 20's (C) but with a nice breeze as well.

i really like these funny little clouds.

i cut my garlic scapes the other day - i think they make a most beautiful flower arrangement!

different people cut their scapes at different times, some cut them as soon as they come up, some don't bother cutting them at all...and some like me cut them when they fill a vase so beautifully. according to some train of thought - cutting the scapes lets the garlic bulbs put more attention into the bulb rather than the flower. i always leave a few scapes go just to see if i can see a difference. i think cutting the scapes does make for larger garlic bulbs.

but the cool thing about cutting the scapes and putting them in water is that the flower heads will continue to grow and will produce tiny, tiny little garlic bulbils that you can plant and the following season the bulbil will turn into a clove. you then plant the clove (or just leave it where it is) and in 2-3 years you'll have a whole garlic clove. cool eh?

talking about cool - how about making some herbed salts to use on a variety of meats. i started with some dill and dill heads.

chop it up finely.

that is almost a quarter of a cup so i used almost a full tablespoon of large sea salt.

you can use fine sea salt but you take all of the fun out of it. smash the herbs and the salt with a pestle and by doing so, you release a lot of the juices from the herb into the salt. and now you have just made dill salt - perfect for fresh-caught trout, striped bass or salmon - yummeh!

the salt will keep the herbs fresh for at least 2 weeks if stored in a cupboard - or it will last a month if stored in the fridge. the herb will not lose it's colour or freshness.

next up was thyme and thyme flowers. i always include the flowers in my salts and when i dehydrate or freeze the herbs.

of course rosemary.

and mint - a lovely salt for lamb or pork.

and here's my 6 little jars of the above-mentioned salts. i make small amounts at this time of the year because the herbs are coming in like gangbusters. at this time of year as the herbs are coming in, i like to make herbed salts, dry some herbs, freeze some herbs and make salt beds for them for over the winter. i will show you salt beds in a later post.

here's some lovely pork with 3 different herbed salts - the herbed salts really bring out the flavour of the meat.

woops! how could i forget my favourite?!?!?!? parsely salt! i looooove parsley salt!!!

here are some little hamburger koftas with their corresponding salts sitting behind them.

delicious! as i said - the salt takes on the flavour of the herb and brings out and keeps the freshness of the herb.

i make a big pot of kymberz version of vietnamese-inspired hot and sour soup - that way, our breakfast is ready each day.

this soup is loaded! it starts with bone broth, then you add 3 big chunks of lemongrass, 1/2 cup of lime juice, 1 cup of pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, 2 TBLS of sugar, 3TBLS of fish sauce, 1 TBLS of crushed garlic, 1TBLS of crushed ginger, sliced mushrooms, shrimp, mint, cilantro, and a big blog of homemade hot sauce. this soup will kick you awake in the morning and get you going. i know some people wonder soup for breakfast? yes, this soup has so many nutrients and if you eat it for breakfast, it gets all of your lymph nodes pumping and also raises your body temperature so that when you go outside in the blazing sun - it doesn't feel like such a shock.

oh yum - chicken breast with a variety of herbed salts - double yum!

grilled on the barbie (the salts are added afterwards), roasted veg and some apple slices.

we took the cabinet doors and drawer fronts off of our piece of crap bottom kitchen cabinet-thingy that we bought from home hardware when we first got here, and pressure-washed them, sanded them and painted them.

ugh. finally. we painted them with bathroom paint - the same paint we used on our upper kitchen cabinets. the bathroom paint is so easy to keep clean - just wipe with a wet cloth. our bottom cabinet cupboards just kept getting stained and i was sick of scrubbing them and them still looking like crap. not anymore baby!

peas and tons of pea flowers - woohoo! we love peas!

Dani - this is a pepper plant that i planted from your seeds last year and overwintered. look at all of the little baby peppers growing on it - woohoo!

here's some hungarian hot was and jalapeno peppers going crazy! the peppers love living in the greenhouse during the growing season!

and check it out - lots of tiny green peppers! these things are sooo very sweet and crunchy - i love them!

tomaties! the tomaties are actually growing - woohoo!

and carrots going to seed - how lovely!

yes kids - i have managed to grow 2 cabbages this year - wahooey!

i have 2 more rows that might make it but with this heat, i am afraid they will bolt!

and potatoes! nothing so wonderful as potatoes!

as many of them have already flowered, we can be eating brand new baby potatoes in the next week or so! and here's some baby grape flowers....could we get more than a handful of grapes this year???

here's our overgrown grapevine that drives our friend W crazy!

we don't have a clue how to take care of it - but W is trying to teach us. thanks w!

and lastly, our slanty little apple tree - trying to put out apples. go little apple tree! we don't know hao to properly care for this either. but we're learning.

we have been trying to learn as much as we can since starting this adventure....and we have had to focus on the things that are feasible for us , in this place and at this time. we continue to learn every day - and we thank all of the people in our blogroll for sharing all that you share.


  1. Your food looks so yummy! I would kill for 20 C weather. It's been 100F where I live...l

  2. Looking at your peppers, I am frustrated. I got lots of tomatoes from our garden, but though we planted squash, peppers and watermelon, not a single vegetable from any of them! I don't know why. The plants are still alive and I am taking care of them. I thought I had some little squash, but the next day they were gone.

    I had frozen burritos for supper tonight. M will be home from up North shortly though and the dining situation will improve. I always like the dishes you post on the blog, they look both healthy and delicious.

    Life is good, just have to hope it stays that way!

  3. You should be able to find info on line about caring for apple trees, but I guess you know that. Keep up the good work!

  4. My cute bunny friends made quick work of my beans, so we are down to peppers, corn and black eyed peas - for some reason, not so popular with the bunnies. Need build a better covering...

  5. love the salts, your veggies are coming on great, wishing you a bountiful harvest, I have some of Dani's peppers growing fruit has now set.

  6. Oh, that food! I want to come live at your house!

  7. I'm fascinated with your salts. I have to watch my sodium intake, especially in the dreadfully hot, humid weather, but I may have to try that with some rosemary or basil. Or maybe cilantro! Mmmm.

    Our tomatoes are starting to slow down. They always stop blooming when it gets to the point of not cooling down at night.

  8. My pepper seeds from Dani look just like yours, snap!

  9. thanks for sharing all your posts, and all the well wishes to over the years. You too are the best.

  10. what about your teeth.? repossessed or the tooth fairy is on strike?

  11. I always come away from your blog with ideas to try and then I have to rush off and cook something because your food inevitably makes me really hungry!