Thursday, July 16, 2009

So how DOES my garden grow?

Back yard looking towards the parking and garage (hello travel trailer)

Back yard looking at fence garden beds and the gutter garden

Shade bed, where my mint, tarragon, green onions and hostas live... and a piece of sod for patching!

Here is my Bright Lights swiss chard, beets and green beans

My acorn squash and more beets, beans and chard

Looking at the left garden bed

My poor busted tomato plant... I should really be more careful... I tripped over it while watering and snapped off all it's tall bits and a whole bunch of flowers :(

The radish section of the gutter garden

This bed has most of my herbs (oregano, sage, chives, dill, chocolate mint & parsley), radishes &carrots.

Here is my sad little lemongrass plant, my basil, thai basil and my monster tomato plant!

Here are a bunch more tomatoes and my "gutter garden" which has more radishes and lettuce.

My Raspberry Rumex Sorrel... it looks pretty and I remember my mom making a soup with sorrel, I've been harvesting and blanching leaves, hopeully I'll eventually get enough for at least one recipe of soup!

My zucchini plants are taking over the garden!

My reject tomato plant and nasturtiums at the front of the house

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

reading | Too Many Cooks by Emily Franklin
listening to | sweet, sweet silence
eating | matcha ice cream
watching | nothing, but I'm going to start watching Mental soon
planning | to finish sewing the trailer curtains and then MAYBE the cushions
feeling | satisfied
anticipating | boating tomorrow evening with some of my favourite friends
cleaning | up after Micah &the Special K incident
drinking | mint tea &lime

I'll leave you with a picture from our recent(ish) camping trip to Premier Lake, taken at Canuck Lake.

Matcha Ice Cream

I love green tea ice cream so much, but often find that it tastes a bit like, well, grass. So when I decided to make some for our big sushi party last night, I knew that I needed to tone down the earthy taste. I wanted it to taste more like vanilla ice cream and green tea got together and made a delicious ice cream baby!

I hate messing around with custard based ice creams and that is all Father Google would show me, so I went to my tried & true vanilla base (thanks to Heather Bailey) and managed to get EXACTLY what I hoped for.

We served the green tea ice cream with a chocolate buttermilk cake (from this cookbook). One of my friends brought apple pie and store bought vanilla ice cream and I was afraid no one would eat my weird green ice cream but ... everyone tried it and most liked MY ice cream BETTER! Take that Breyers! (Sarah is probably rolling her eyes at me right about now!)

Matcha Ice Cream

2 c whipping cream
1 c whole milk
3/4 c sugar *
1 T vanilla
1/4 t salt

2 T boiling water
2 t matcha **

1 mini cocoa camino green tea chocolate bar, chopped

Whisk together whipping cream, milk, vanilla and salt.
Stir matcha into boiling water. Cool.
Pour matcha into milk mixture.
Freeze according to your ice cream maker's preference (I usually let mine run for about 30 min total, adding the chopped chocolate roughly halfway through).

This is the perfect amount for a KitchenAid Ice Cream maker.

* I used organic cane sugar and found that I needed to slightly heat the milk in order to dissolve the sugar.

** If you don't mix the matcha in the boiling water it just clumps into little balls in the milk mixture (even if it's been heated!), which mine did, so I strained it and added more mixed with boiling water. I ended up with little matcha bits that didn't strain out and they added texture in an okay way.


When making the base, I have used many dairy variations all with good success. As long as you have 3 cups and you have most of it being high in fat it has a great consistency. I have used table cream (18%) instead of the milk and also half & half (10%), but the whole milk also makes a really nice ice cream and less random creams to use up (i just make more ice cream and have several flavours in the freezer).
I don't know if I would try skim milk... maybe when Micah is older and I'm not buying whole milk anymore I'll give it a try.

I have used this base to make strawberry, peach, chili chocolate, and now matcha.

I want to try it with goat's milk soon so that it will be better for Blair. I'm not sure what to mix in that will work with the tanginess of goat milk. Also I'm not sure if the goat's milk will have enough fat to produce a creamy enough ice cream.

Monday, July 13, 2009

From my kitchen...

I've been busy busy busy in the kitchen, pulling out my canner on every dreary day possible and making use of the fruits of my labour (rhubarb thievery, strawberry picking, and actually watering my garden!)

I've made: strawberry lemonade concentrate (from here), rhubarb syrup (from here), rhubarb juice (based on this, mint simple syrup (like this one), thai simple syrup (based on this but I added thai basil), stewed rhubarb (from Too Many Cooks) and green tea (matcha) ice cream (using Heather Bailey's amazing vanilla base.)

I plan on posting the changes I made to some of the recipes, as well as pictures if I remember, but my to-do list includes:
+ finish travel trailer cushions
+ finish travel trailer curtains
+ tile laundry room counter
+ build shelves in laundry room
+ tile front entry window box
+ put eye hooks in for green bean runners
+ throw a sushi party tomorrow night
+ convince Micah that naps ARE for cool kids
+ sew Micah a little black apple doll (his will be wearing pjs and should probably have more boy-ish hair)
+ go for walks and hikes so I don't look 3 months pregnant
+ figure out if we're going to keep Micah's new car sear
+ go on a friend's boat

Carolyn/Kait - did you find that the True Fit seat kinda smushed your kids thighs and their, um, parts... Are you using it with out without the padded seat part?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

reading | my blogroll, I haven't found a book to settle into yet
listening to | yo gabba gabba
eating | rice cooked in asparagus broth and green beans (with teriyaki jerky crumbs because they were right there!)
watching | micah eat cheese, while hypnotized by yo gabba gabba
planning | a whole list of projects that I shouldn't start until I finish the last bunch of projects... like the trailer cushions and the 5 half sewn bags
feeling | bummed because I haven't seen Blair all day long and won't see him until tomorrow morning
anticipating | strawberry picking on monday and then a girls trip to Calgary
cleaning | up after Micah ALL day long!
drinking | mint tea concentrate and club soda!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What`s`s an update!!

My garden is growing along nicely but Im far too lazy to show you the pictures I took right... I'm also too lazy to work on Micah's baby book, too lazy to do the dishes, far too lazy to make dinner, yup too lazy! I went for a long walk in the lovely sun and it stole my will to do ANYTHING!

Blair is working for Purolater for the next 2 weeks, which is good because well we really need some income coming in, but it means loooong 12 hour days and I feel really sorry for him... but really I'm just glad it's not me going to work! He will also be dj-ing weddings again for Just Music on Saturdays, which means that I will probably want to take off for the next 2 weeks because it will be grouchy, sleep deprived city around here! But then he wouldn't eat because he just crashes when he comes home.

I know four preggo people right now, and really I kinda wish I was pregnant again. I would do some things differently (like not be so restrictive about my diet) and I think I would also enjoy it more, though I doubt I would have the same crazy energizer bunny stamina that I had with Micah :( Blair wants a bigger house before we have another baby, so according to his calculations I will have another baby in 2015 which I am SO not cool with! I'd be happier with so spring of 2010... but I don't think it will happen :(

Micah is starting to walk! YAH!! But his feet are so small that he stil wears like 0-6 month Robeez... so he will be experiencing the hurt that is known as gravel and other sharpies this summer poor kid! If they grow about half an inch he can fit the cute tip toey joeys that I droool over!

He is such a funny baby, he constantly amazes me...
- he has the best, most infectous laugh like a cackle
- the ability to completely steal people`s attention
- he loves fiercly (i have bites (i mean kisses) on my chin to prove it)
- plays intensely
- calls me dadadadad which is not funny because he used to call me mmmama, and of course he also calls Blair dada but with way more intensity
- he can sign milk very distinctly, and thinks it`s hilarious when I try to get him to sign things like more, all done, thanks, etc.
- he loves baby Lila a lot, he loves to rock her car seat and he tries to climb in it to kiss her, which is not always appreciated by her!
- I think he will be a great older brother!
- when he eats bananas (only for dada apparently) he says mmmmmmm aaah, because thats what dada did!
- he is bored of cheerios, so is Izzie...
- he LOVES it when I make towers for him... sometimes he will wait patienly until the tower is nice and tall and sometimes he will know it over as soon as I stack 2 blocks and sometimes when we`ve been making towers for a few minutes he will knock over a tower of 1 block (which isn`t really a tower)... he loves this game so much... Blair is amazed that I will sit and endlessly rebuild towers until Micah is done destroying them! This is why I`m the official stay home parent (even though we are both at home)
- he loves his sippy cup, and drinking tea from his grammas mug, and my club soda &juice mix... he makes the best face from the carbonation and then goes back for some more!
- he shoveled the pasta with pesto into his mouth last night and even tried to lick the plate off... apparently we need to eat more and more of it, which is fine because my basil is growing crazy!

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut... I feel like a bad mom because I'm not keeping records or writing down when he's getting teeth and crap like that but I'm just enjoying my time with him... he changes so fast that I would always be writing stuff down and I`m pretty sure that the time with him is way more precious than the fact that he took his first steps in June 18, 2009 (which he did, so I do know some stuff)

Oh and my trailer... I have 3 out of 7 cushions sewn, with the other 4 all ready to be assembled... I just can`t make myself do it<, so we went camping a few weeks ago with a half ugly trailer... but man is it ever nice to have the trailer!!!