Make, Jane, make!: June 2012


Small Share

Friday, June 29, 2012


This is all that is left of the beautiful bean plants that my sons planted while we were at the Zephyr Organics open house. They were all growing beautifully in and were beginning to outgrow the pots my sons had decorated while at the open house, so I moved them outside hoping that the boys would be able to harvest beans from their own plants in a few weeks.

All I can say is that I am very angry and annoyed at the bunnies and beginning to think that it's been a while since I've enjoyed braised rabbit.

Okay... [deep breath]... Here are some nicer pictures of our gardens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Braised Pork Belly and Shanghai Bok Choy

There's nothing like a richly braised meat accompanied by simply stir-fried, lightly salted bok choy. Warning: Do not look at the upcoming pictures if you are not a fan of fatty meats...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strawberry Margarita and Strawberry Basil Ice Pops

It's been so hot here lately. High heat and high humidity at a time of year when my body is just not ready for it. The kids are irritable because they're constantly dripping sweat after being dragged outside for all of mommy's yard and garden work. So how do I bribe them without filling them up with gosh knows what goes into those syrup-laden, packaging-heavy frozen treats that are commercially available?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Warning: Farmshare posts ahead...

The CSA season is beginning here and you are now being forewarned that my blog will very soon become almost completely food oriented.

Here's the first box. And yes! There's finally enough bok choy in my share to make a whole vegetable dish. (I always wondered what I was supposed to do with the measly two heads of bok choy that I used to get in my half-share last year?)

So hopefully, I'll be able provide some seasonal, gastronomical inspiration as I try to keep up with the deluge of produce.

In case you were wondering, here's the planned itinerary for the above:

  • Leaf and Romaine lettuces: salads.
  • Rutabagas: mashed (to go with red-braised pork belly)
  • Bok choy: stir-fried (to go with pork belly)
  • Rhubarb: jelly or tart... undecided as of this moment
  • Spinach, kale, chard: blanching and freezing
  • Asparagus: grilled (mmm!)
  • Scapes: Maybe a stir fry with tofu, mushrooms, carrots...
  • Radishes: leaves have already been made into pesto. Radishes may (attempt to) be butter dipped
  • Sage: a friend suggested sage tea which sounds intriguing and soothing
  • Basil: Will be planted with the rest of my basil.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mesh Produce Bag Repurpose

Have you ever thought what a waste it was to throw these produce bags away? I don't usually buy packaged and wrapped vegetables or fruits but there are a few staples that come pre-bagged that I routinely purchase.

Avocados are one such item. Obviously, you can save these bags and use them as your produce bags, which is the fate of the above pictured bag. But other than saving them for reuse or the random craft, do they have any other repurpose? They do - in the most unusual place...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Great Hat: The Eddie Cap from Mushroom Villagers

Have you ever wanted to get a hat that was the perfect fit? How about if it had a nice long, wide brim that actually shaded from the sun? And what if the kids thought it looked a bit like a train engineer's cap (upping its intrinsic value at least tenfold)? Well, that's the Eddie Cap! Irene over at the Mushroom Villagers has a great tutorial for this versatile cap.

I first made this cap for my eldest, when I was still very new at sewing, and Irene's photos and instructions guided me through the whole project without a hitch. It wasn't long before my large-headed son needed an upgrade, so a second army-patterned cap was made with a few alterations to the measurements to accomodate his oversized gourd.

Recently, I had to make a third cap for #2 because we'd lost his hand-me-down one and because he wanted one like big brother.  I thought I'd take a few photos to show the slight modifications I use to make the cap more comfy for the little guys.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What to do with a Bold Bunny?

Grrrr.... A few years ago, it was all our lettuce. Last year, they ate every one of the heirloom black cherry tomatoes before we even managed a taste. This year, they demolished almost half of the tomato sproutlings. Now they've decided that they like pea shoots?!? I mean we love eating 豆苗 (pea shoots) too, but I was hoping to get some peas first!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Around the Yard 2012, Part 3

Can't help taking pictures of the gardens... makes all the work seem a bit more worthwhile.

I just caught the end of the iris blooms. The wet weather lately has been great for our yard and gardens, but has unfortunately confined me to viewing the colours from indoors. Today was the first day that the lawn seemed dry enough to set the baby on while I did some quick garden clean-up and snapped some photos.

The pale pink peonies are still awaiting their turn in the sun. I love this pale pink one, partly because of its delicate colour and partly because they are a division of the ones that my father has been growing since I was a little girl.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Quick Boy's Gift

As a mother of three (children :P) sending her son to a birthday party hosted by another mother of three, I am very careful about what to send as a birthday gift. 

Having three children means that over the course of three children's birthdays, Christmases and other occasions that grandparents deem gift-worthy, we have accumulated enough toy/clothes/books to keep our children happy. Don't get me wrong, we appreciate the kind intentions of friends and family assuming we need three times as much of everything - but we simply do not have enough house to store all the transient items of childhood. Also, we believe that our children are already lucky to have so much and part of our world-view is that anything we do not absolutely need would be much better off left in currency form and used towards helping those in need.

For birthday boy M, I asked mom what he would like and she simply replied that M would be happy with any gift. My husband and I decided on a gift card, but what of the birthday boy and our son? Surely, no kindergartener gets joy out of giving or receiving an envelope with a gift card in it?