Heirloomin

Heirloomin 1I’m a bad gardener. I know this about myself and have accepted it. But once a year, amidst mountains of bolted, fibrous rejects destined for the compost I get something really right; one vegetable or another fights through my tortuously under-watered and over-acidic wasteland of topsoil and emerges to prove that yes, I can successfully grow something. These precious few successes are what keep me coming back to break the soil every year. (more…)

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Fennel-Roasted Salmon

Fennel Salmon1Andrew and Nikki, our awesome neighbours across the street were kind enough to slip me a big chunk of sockeye from their last fishing trip with only the promise to “do something good with it” in return.  I love my neighbourhood!

The next day was surprisingly warm and clear so I caught up on the last of the garden maintenance – Pull those last two carrots, rake the lawn, hit the gutters – and started plotting dinner a little early. I’d collected a couple big armfuls of fennel stalks, some fresh and some dried from last year (they make great garden staves!) and I wanted to cook with ‘em. My mind was already set on grilling outdoors; I just needed a plan of attack. (more…)

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Gone To Seed

Gone To Seed1Still alive I am.
At the end of a long dream.
On my journey,
fall of an Autumn day.

          Matsuo Bashō, The records of a weather-exposed skeleton (1684)

I sit in my living room, coffee in hand with the fire from the wood stove sputtering and popping behind me, toasty and content, while outside my austere little zen garden shivers and rots in the autumn frost…  It’s all gone to seed. (more…)

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Borscht

BorschtBorscht is the quintessential Ukrainian (not Russian, although they have also adopted it as their own) soup/stew. The recipe for it changes from country to country, village to village, grandma, to well… you get the idea. It’s pretty amorphous, and delicious! The basic recipe calls for various root vegetables stewed in broth with the occasional addition of sour cream or vinegar. It is served hot, or sometimes cold, and always with dark, hard bread and dill. It’s dank stuff… If you want an apt and slightly creepy metaphor:  it’s like suckling on the roots of the earth itself. (more…)

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