Saturday, June 29, 2013

Serviceberry Jam~




I've mentioned over the years how fond I am of our serviceberry tree..Caroline and Frédérick gave it to me for Mother's day..the May before Lucas was born..which was in Sept about 8 yrs ago..

It's grown so much..Like Lucas~
It is a wonderful idea to commemorate the birth of a child with a tree.
This one is stunning as you drive up in Spring..then at this time of year..





The tree is laden with small red fruits..  they are almost 90% red only a few days after I shot these pics.. a nd they are not unlike the look of a blueberry..the birds adore these berries..
I set out to gather some and beat them to it..~ Beat them to eating them all before we do..
The only thing I feel awkward about..are the walkers by..that look..and I feel I must explain~
Or my neighbor..who wondered what I was doing..?
These fruits are not well known..so it engages longer than I wish conversations..when in my flip flops w/ socks..because everything is so wet..  and damp and chilly too in bare feet..
It is a look my daughter said yesterday.. and I quote...."the only thing better mom.. would be to go put your crocks on~with the socks.."
Love my daughters..they are my fashion diva advisors:)
One darling newish neighbor..  is just about one of the most beautiful women..on earth..with a smile from ear to ear..with great hair..teeth..laugh..etc..2 little kidlets and a friend now of both my daughters..
Anyways she drove by too   rolleddown her window..and said .."you know whenever you pick those berries it rains:)"
As it started to pour yet again the last time I picked and she walked by soaking wet ..w/ the face of an angel and wet hair:)



Onto..making some Serviceberry Jam~ I really really like Weck Jars~


I was grateful to find an easy recipe..


I wanted to make sure we would like it before making the full batch..so I made 1/5th..one jar..

The aroma lingers:)  Better than Wallflowers:)
Oh it just smells divine..
I will be making more..That is if I beat the birds to the rest..we've already picked quite a bit more..added to muffins..and topped lemon curd tartlets with them..



La Recette~

I was very grateful to land upon this blog for the recipe~

Serviceberry and Lemon Balm jam~
 5 cups serviceberries
21/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lemon balm chopped..
Mix first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil~
Simmer until reduced by half..
ap 25 minutes..at this point jam should be set..remove from stove add chopped lemon balm.
Pour into sterilized  containers..
And give them a nice water bath~
Delicious!
And don't foget the lemon balm~





One of our daughters..now 36..playing Red Riding Hood  when she was about 4-5

and her son Oli.. who will be 4 soon..bottom left playing dress up..blowing bubbles.. on a visit in our gardens..so similar!
I am sure the little boy in the RRH photo.. would be quite surprised to see I kept his photo:)
John~:)
He must be 39 ish now~  same age as me~...+20.

The birds and I have come to an agreement..I let them pick and they let me replenish my reservoir as I chose..
Again more jam in the making..
Had it not rained   (poured..cats and dogs .. )the day Noah came..I would have had him pick them all..even if I only reaped half his harvest:) I know how he picks blueberries~:)
My posts are off kilter time wise because I was concerned about Google stopping a function..
Don't want to miss any of you~

Happy Canada Day weekend here..and happy July 4th in the USA..and Noah's Bday here~also on July 4th~x
N.B.  Serviceberry= Amélanchier~

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blooming Salad~And Jacques' Dressing~







Boston Bibb Hydroponic..Love that lettuce now..Buttery soft..sparkling..and beautiful to look at.
My Borage is finally in bloom and I love adding it to salads..etc..the nasturtiums are having a slow start..much rain..not much sun..but it is a very good garden year here.Cannot complain..I know the rain is getting many a little itchy..
But I don't mind it so much..
Still many pansies left and lots of herbs..
The salad dressing that is our go to.. is Jacques'... takes 2 minutes..
We never buy bottled always like trying new recipes..but this one just stays as the go to one..
In his words..


La Recette 

1/3 cup EVOO
1/3 of 1/3 of a cup good balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt,pepper and a pinch of Herbes De Provence..
Combine all
That quantity is more than enough for the big bowl above..
I like to add toasted pine nuts too.

Oh salads are so much prettier in the summertime..





Sunday, June 23, 2013

Soul Food #139



My bouquets bring me so much pleasure~








Loving seeing so many treasures in the garden~ The bunnies..cute..but they eat my herbs and veggies..way cuter than squirrels though!
The 3 real live ones..their mom came over to take photos of them in their dad's ties..and shoes..she had a 16x20 canvas made to offer him for Father's Day~♥

She was here 10 minutes..:)  we took many photos..the outakes are so cute too..
The boys were great sports~♥
I assure you I have her permission to share:)
We loved the pics so much I had an 8x10 printed..:)

Lucas will be 8 in August..Max just turned 6..and Oli will be 4 in Sept..
Noah..  will be 5 July 4th..(he is not in this picture..  ..he was at his home..)



To every thing there is a season~Look..just a short while ago..!



 Hooray for summer~

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Best Chocolate Cake I ever Made in 40 yrs.



You will rarely hear me say the best..of..as there are too many bests:)  But when my daughter told me about this cake she recently made..I..who am married to a chocolate cake lover..thought:  "Try it!"..
And so I did..and I have many favorite chocolate cake recipes I have amassed over the last 40 yrs..
But this one takes "le cake":)
For the texture..taste..and ease..
You can find and print the recipe here..Sooooo gooood♥

It's from Ina~I enjoy her so much~
And my daughter..I really enjoy her so much:)
and me..
to you~
Make it..you will see♥





Not the one to the left~ That's a felt pastry~ I think they would make cute Christmas ornaments for the bakers you know~
I will make the cake again..and again..and try and get a post worthy photo all unto it's own..but it's summertime..and the plants are more pressing:-)
I groomed the beds within an inch of their lives yesterday~ Cut back all the Forget Me nots..that's always a passsage of time chore..

In the garden ...poppy season is almost done..some petals fell yesterday..



These salmon ones are my favorites in the larger ones..the bright oranges and reds don't seem to last as long as these..




Take the time to peek into poppies if you can..they are one of the miracles I mentioned..


Exquisite creations..don't you think?

I took out my Windsor Newtons..


I still remember when they looked this new:)
and painted a journal page or two..
The most unsightly poppy appeared..yet I took such pleasure  in doing them..The uncanny part is that I found a small feather.. with a salmon tip ..right after I painted it..so I added it to the journal..
This is a painting I would pull out of a journal in the past.but I have decided to leave the errors in also..or else how will I learn.I picked it..cinged the stem and ket it in a short stout vase..it opened like a pancake:(Sounds like I am blaming the poppy..t's not her fault:)



Influenced by Sara's Midda's book... the second one now..I can be a bit compulsive when it comes to book love..blog love..garden love..recipe love..
Love..love:-)



It's a wonder of a book.. on Pinterest..they showed how to make gift tags with trying to do the lines of her book..it works..I dedicated my Tag to Paris Breakfasts Carol as she is the one that alerted me to this second book of Sara's I now have the pleasure of having here.




Another very good idea gleaned from Carol..I took out my watercolor sets and painted individual swatch cards to keep in the boxes..this gives me a much better idea of what the colors actually look like..



I have ordered a small set from England in a tin box and am excited for them..I do recommend a box I have for travel...that is very affordable in the USA at various places..
The Koi travel box w/ integrated brush..I plan on getting another for Max for Christmas..next time I visit the USA.

The small Cotman is genius too..and colors brilliant..I've not yet bought one with the water reservoir incorporated..I would perhaps covet that next:-) The Koi..has the magic brush..we all have favorites..the large Koi brush is a travel..backyard coup de coeur.


And if you love poppies as much as I do..you can download this poppy wrapping kit..I enjoyed wrapping a gift for a friend with it~All her free downloads are beautiful~Elli~

Enjoy..



I don't have any other  posts prepped..  so I'll say it now..
Posting it early for Bloglovin..would hate to stop seeing some of you and I understand it has to be done..?
Bon Weekend~


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Dream a Little Dream..




Stars Shining bright above you~



Night Breezes Seem to Whisper..:"I love you"~


Birds singing In The sycamore tree~


Dream a Little Dream..of me~


Say Nightie Night and Kiss Me~


Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me~



While I'm alone and blue as can be~




Dream a little dream of me~


Stars Fading..but I linger on dear~


Still craving your kiss~


I'm longing to linger till dawn dear


Just saying this:



Sweet Dreams till sunbeams find you~
Sweet Dreams That leave all worries behind you~
But in your dreams whatever they be..
Dream a little dream of me~


Peony Love in and out of the garden this week~
Thank you Sara for coining this phrase for me.
And thank you The M and P's for this song for us~

'Tis very MOCHE today..Sunday.. so dark..so rainy..  drooping blooms partout..
We celebrated Jacques and our 2 son-in -laws in brilliant sunshine yesterday.. ..some clouds and a glorious beeze outside...."
Dans Notre Jardin.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Farniente~


Remember Julia? Eat Pray Love?

And the word Farniente?
I have trouble with that.. but once in a while..I can..and love~
Farniente~
After all the grooming is done..
to just enjoy..


Pick a small bouquet ..of  Rhodies..Baptisia..Nepeta Catmint..etc..





Peek at the new growth..Jonhson's Blue Geraniums..a perennial I favor.. the Irises still blooming..and the very first rose..Polaris..drooping in the rain..

I love this old fashioned rose..a small hint of pink..so pretty..and floriferous..It would make a fabulous hedge rose..I have 2 large bushes..one in front by the road..and one in back in another bed..No protection needed in my cold climate..That is a big PLUS.


I let it dry off in the sun and picked it..
to make..



From the book..Cooking with Flowers~



This is a dear dear book..With a funny story attached to it..
This book has been featured on many blogs..  and here..  and here..etc..  and now right here   in QC..:)
 I have always loved to use my flowers in baking..cooking.
I saw it on Amazon..from a reseller..I had just had a marvelous experience w/ a reseller thanks to a a thoughtful friend who ordered a bread baking book for me from an Amazon Reseller..and I had bought books too..
So when my violas were blooming their heads off..I was awaiting my book..seeing even more blogs talk enchantedly about it..
Lo and behold the book arrived.. circa 1986..not even the same cover..not even the same author..yet the photo had shown the identical book:(

I was not charged for the book..but that wasn't the point..I never called to get a credit..I called to get THE book:)

Well they didn't have it..so one month  was spent..  waiting..getting..waiting and then reordering  at Chapter's ..for the real thing:)
Because i was ordering something else at Chapters too.
I LOVE Amazon..don't misunderstand..:)


It's a keeper book with many interesting recipes and pretty photos..
If you grow edibles or can get your hands on pesticide free blooms..I say go for it.

This weekend is Father's Day here in Canada.


Thank you for taking care of me daddy~
It would be so nice to have you both still here~
I always called him daddy at home......or papa..never dad~
My parents were terribly good looking..When I see photos of them in their youth..
I get tears in my eyes..full of optimism..joy..la belle vie..

I think Great Gatsby..


Things change with every passing year..
Some good..some not so good..
They lost a child before me..she was 5..I look at photos of my dad with her and I have never seen such a smile..
Yet..they had me afterwards..and never compared..they just loved me.

With everything you lived through..you were always good to me.
I see a happy child in these photos:)
Thank You~
Here's to all the wonderful fathers  we have known..and know.



La Recette~


Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 tsp salt
 1 cup..2 sticks unsalted butter room temp
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsps finely ground pistachios
1 tbsp rose water
1/4 cup rose petals

Method


Preheat oven to 350F
Line a 9 inch square pan with foil and place a square of parchment on bottom of pan
Sift Flours and salt together 3 times
With a mixer on med-high..cream butter for 2 minutes or until smooth slowly add sugar until it is fully integrated.
Mix in half the flour,pistachios,rose water,rose petals.
Turn mixture on low and mix in remaining flour~
Be careful not to overmix.
Press dough into prepared pan gently  bake ap 50mins or until slightly brown on top.
Remove shortbread from pan and cut into 1 1/2 inch squares..
Spread shortbread squares on a baking sheet and bake an additional 5 minutes..until the edges are a little golden(you want shortbread to be flaky)

My Notes..I omitted the salt because I use salted butter:)



Have a lovely weekend~

And Farniente..means..
if you don't know or had not seen EPL..:)
Or if that is hard to do like it is for me:)