Saturday, September 17, 2016

Summer recap :)

Whoa! I haven't been here in a LONG time. I planned to blog a lot this summer.... but I had a very lazy summer :)

The end of school is always a busy time -- but this year was busier than ever. My daughter, the Lovely Miss L -- had a baby! I'm refering to him as G -- my little Grandpeanut. He will call me Mimi (mimmy). I just can't face being called Grandma yet -- besides, my mom is Gramma -- and we don't want to confuse the little peanut, do we?

I had a lovely time this summer on the East Coast. I missed the little peanut, but Miss L was SO GOOD at FaceTiming with me, and texting me photos.

Andy loved rowing with our neighbour, B! She took us out into our inner harbour. So peaceful!


 I taught myself how to filet mackerel. The internet is one awesome teacher.


I went a little overboard with the preserving. I canned blueberry sauce, rasberry sauce, raspberry jam, raspberry lime jam, raspberry-saskatoonberry jam, blackberry rhubarb jam,  pincherry-lime jam(my favourite), saskatoonberry jam, and many kinds of blackberry jam (seedless is worth the work!)  I filled about 100 jars. Guess what EVERYONE is getting for Christmas this year!
And I made watermelon rind pickles (sweet) and some curry pickles (vinegar)! (I also made watermelon jam. Not my favourite)
I tried to make choke cherry jam -- but I couldn't get that weird astringency to go away, so I composted it.

 Lots of pin cherries. Imagine pitting these. Not so fun. But so worth it!

 All of those berries, i picked from my yard, or from the sides of the road. Foraging is so fun. I picked those pin cherries, and then  later that afternoon, the birds swooped down and ate ALL of the cherries from the tops of the trees (and the few that I missed lower down)

 Freezing raspberries

I picked so many blackberries that I had to give away a whole grocery bagfull of frozen packs at the end of the summer.  I couldn't fit them in the cooler to bring back to Toronto. Uh, we had 3 coolers full of jams and berries....

A very huge thank you to Marisa McClellan from Food in Jars for her brilliant blog and her perfect recipe books.

And a shout out to Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison for their awesome recipe book, Batch (I made my own pectin!)(And that is where the watermelon rind pickle recipe came from). And they are home town favourites (Toronto). Their website is Well Preserved.

If you want to get into preserving -- there are so many places to take classes. Last fall, Mr. B and I took a CSA canning class at the West End Food Coop. Last year, BlogTO created a list of where to take cooking classes in Toronto -- lots of them have canning classes. And so many other cooking classes.... (Mr. B? Pick a class! - MY birthday is coming up :)

My perfect dream life would include canning and preserving every day. I LOVE teaching, but canning would still win :)
I bought a food dehydrator this year too. So far I have made rhubarb candies (from Batch) and dried apples and dried raspberries (I was picking 4 quarts a day at one point! my freezer filled up too quickly!) I'm hoping to dry a lot more this fall.

Well, that was summer. Let's see if I manage to blog more often in the fall :)