June that is.
June kicked my butt.
There are a lot of weddings in June, and if you work for a food shop that caters these things, that's what you will be doing.
So we will do a random catch up, okay?
There was food to make. Yes, I make food at work all day and then I make it at home.
Some of these foods were unplanned. Like jam.
One Saturday at work, we picked through flats of fresh strawberries (for another wedding) and there were a lot of bruised ones.
"Would I like to take them home to make jam?"
"Sure" I said, without really thinking.
Now if you've been following this blog at all, it seems like I make a lot of jam, which is kind of funny for someone who doesn't eat a lot of it at all. Strawberry jam is perhaps my least favourite but I knew it would get eaten and gifted. Still, I wasn't entirely jazzed about cranking out a regular batch. (If you follow this blog at all, you also know I will search out something a little unusual, mostly for my own amusement) Admittedly, after dinner on that Saturday night, I wasn't jazzed about making jam AT ALL but the berries were not going to wait.
I found this recipe at Canadian Living for Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam and I knew that was the one.
The balsamic vinegar smoothes out the harsh sugariness and the black peeper adds just a subtle hit of zing. Very nice. Oh, and forget about that "boil hard for 1 minute" in the recipe. You need to boil the you-know out of it for about 15-20 minutes if you want jam rather than dessert sauce.
You ever see a recipe and have to make it right away? First there was iced coffee. Again, funny 'cause I drink coffee maybe twice a year but I like it iced. And okay, confession, it's the sweetened condensed milk that does it for me.
I also had to try these snack bars right away.
It just so happened that I was on my way out of rural back-roads to civilization or rather, to the pottery supply store and at the very last corner was Whole Foods. So I stopped in for some Kamut puffs for the recipe - and they were on sale. Karma, right?
I also picked up some yoghurt. It was less than two-for-one because it was close to it's sell-by date and one of my favourite brands (Olympia) of vanilla yoghurt. Not all vanilla is created equally.
The snack bars were everything I thought they would be, healthy, delicious, devoured.
As for the yoghurt, one litre was eaten and the other one sat in the fridge until I woke up one morning with the idea to do this:
Frozen yoghurt pops, swirled with that strawberry jam. I didn't even have any popsicle molds any more, since my kids are no longer wee, so I had to run into town and buy the only ones available.
I have all my best ideas upon first waking up, it seems. This one was a keeper, especially since it is turning out to be a hot long weekend. Finally!
Notice, by coincidence, that the yoghurt treats are also colour-appropriate for Canada Day today :)
(By the way, am I the only one who has ever got out of Whole Foods for under $10? hee)
Lest you think I'm all about food, I have also been making soap. A lot of soap.
Here we have carrot tangerine, coffee, lavender, cedarwood, the bug deterrent one, (which needs a better name), cinnamon coconut milk and peppermint. I tried to make a soap on my days off to sell them next month at market.
And while I was doing what I was doing, the garden was busy too. These leeks over-wintered and so were ready early. Thankfully something looked tall and green out there. It has been a cool and wet season so far and things have been slow to get growing.
I have harvested and dried some nettle for tea (use those weeds!) and have a large supply of sprouting seeds from the fellow who supplies the shop with organic sprouts. I have pea and sunflower here in large un-photogenic jars. I was given a little more than I expected (small exaggeration) I think this will last us through the winter. I am in no hurry to sprout them as the greens are flourishing in the garden.
I'm still waiting patiently for walnuts and raspberries, though.
Oh and for wedding season to be over.
If you need me today, I'll be in the barn throwing pots.
Canadians, have a great long Canada Day weekend.