Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Yummer Recipes

It’s August and I’ll be spending as much time as possible outside, eating and drinking delicious things. Here are a few recipes I’ll be enjoying, taking full advantage of all the food that is finally ‘in season’ here in Alberta!

BBQ Veggies
1.     Spray sheet of aluminum foil with oil.
2.     Cut up any amount and kind of veggies (zucchini, carrot, onion, bean, potato, bell pepper work best) and place in large bowl.
3.     Add enough olive oil to coat veggies (2-4 T should do it).
4.     Spice with salt and pepper as well as any of the following combos: oregano and lemon OR dill and lemon OR rosemary and chopped garlic
5.     Put veggies on foil and wrap. Make small cuts at top to allow veggies to vent.
6.     Cook on BBQ at Medium- low temperature until veggies are soft (around 20- 40 minutes). TIP: To speed up cook time of potatoes and carrots, microwave pieces first so they are half cooked.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
1.     Mix:
·  1 part ketchup
·  1 part brown sugar
·  1 part soya sauce
Use on chicken or pork when BBQing, or great for a fresh, garden-vegetable stir-fry

1.         Place 12 medium mint leaves at bottom of glass.
2.         Add:
·  Crushed ice
·  1 oz spiced rum
·  1 t honey
·  0.5 oz lime juice
·  2 oz soda/ sprite/fresca
3.           Mix with vigor

Iced Tea
1. In a large pitcher mix:
·  1.5 litres boiling water
·  6 of your favorite tea bags (bought cheap in bulk at Save-on or superstore) or try flavoured Rooibos for a great decaf drink
·  honey to taste
·  1- 2 freshly squeezed lemon juice (add pulp if you like)
Mix above ingredients and let sit in the sun for a day. Add ice and serve.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Best of Bridge)
1. Heat oven to 325 F
2. Cream together:
· ¼ C butter
· ½ C vegetable oil
· 1 ¾ C sugar
· 2 eggs
· 1 t vanilla
· ½ C sour milk (add 1 tsp vinegar to regular milk)
3. In separate bowl, sift together:
· 2 ½ C flour (white or whole wheat)
· ¼ C cocoa powder
· ½ t baking powder
· 1 t baking soda
· ½ t cinnamon
· 1 t cloves
4. Mix dry ingredients with creamed mixture.
5. Add:
· 2 C grated zucchini
· ¼ C chocolate chips (I like the small and dark ones)
· 1- 2 C berries (optional).
6. Bake in 9x13 greased pan for 45 minutes until toothpick comes out dry. Once cool, I decorate with sprinkled icing sugar, mint leaves and berries.

Fruit Leather
1.     Grind any fruit in the blender (berries work best). Don’t add water, unless the blender cannot function without it.
2.     Spread thinly on plastic wrap lined cookie sheet.
3.     Place in oven at 250 F overnight or leave outside in warm weather for 1-2 days (covered to keep bugs out).
4.     Peel and enjoy!

Frozen Yogurt Cups
1.     Mix in a blender:
·  1 part plain yogurt
·  1 part fruit (soft fruit like peaches and berries work best)
·  Sugar or honey to taste
2.     Pour into popsicle molds or use recycled materials as molds (deep ice cube trays, Dixie cups, small yogurt containers etc) and add wooden popsicle sticks (bought at craft store).
3.     Freeze and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Slowly making the landscape edible

This year I planted many different edible plants purchased from Shallow Creek Nursery ( They specialize in hardy fruit for the prairies. I'm trying my luck at growing honeyberry (fabled to withstand frost to -10 C), black raspberries (they don't sucker like regular raspberries, so I planted them in my garden) and sour cherries (a Juliet). I was also seduced by the fanfare at health food stores and planted a Goji Berry.

Peppers, thyme, chives, mint, basil and sunflower sun on the deck.

Eona Grape- a green grape apparently good for eating fresh... we'll see. With mixed feelings I removed the Virginia creeper that was in this spot; It was a lovely plant, but infested with leaf hopper. In it's place I planted the Eona and a Stuben.

Coriander and Dill grow wildly together

Ever-blooming Strawberries are beginning to slow down production.

This Kiwi is a zone 4 that survived the winter! I have transplanted it to a sunnier spot and it is beginning to flower. I did harvest some small fruit last year. Very sour but apparently I can store them and they sweeten up. When established, this vine can grow up to 20 feet, though I'm curious to see how it will do with our shorter seasons. 

The black raspberries are on either end of the strawberry, kiwi and grape bed. The Kay Grey grape was a slow starter, but its beginning to catch up to its cousins planted in a different bed.

A Manitoba Tomato grown from seeds from Salt Spring Seed.

We planted this Dwarf September Ruby in 2006, the year our first daughter was born. We bought the tiny thing for $20 from a nursery that was transitioning into a U-pick. The apples are firm and refreshingly sweet-tart.

This large (12 foot!) unknown variety of Saskatoon has greatly increased its yields thanks to the Northline Saskatoon I planted this year. The berries have also substantially increased in size to about 15mm. 

In the hanging baskets I've tried Galina tomatoes and Spaghetti squash. The Squash is growing but certainly won't cover the pergola like it did in my dreams.

Square foot Garden Update

The square foot garden on my back cement pad is growing! Here are some pictures from July 12, 2009. In the case of most of the plants shown here, I purchased the seeds online from Salt Spring Seeds (

Colourful peas

red potato flowers

hungarian black peppers

There's an eggplant hidden in there somewhere.

Even corn!! This was an experiment and we'll see if we actually harvest anything...

kids harvesting snap peas

If' I'd realized how large potatoes would grow, I might have planted them in a different place rather then here shading the rest of the garden!

Here's our lettuce and carrot patch that must be weeded much more often than promised (thanks to the weedy back alley). I just harvested the first of many carrots, while I've already planted the spinach squares for a second time.