Make, Jane, make!: August 2012


Small Share

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Late Summer Harvest 2012

My poor pumpkin has succumbed to the mildew wilt brought by the cucumber beetle and withered away into nothingness. As such, I was forced to harvest the pumpkins which are a good sugar pumpkin size. One pumpkin was so ripe that it actually fell off its stem when I picked it up, it will probably become the filling to a pie, cake, or muffin while the other three will likely adorn our front step warning of the approaching of fall (sigh).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Late Summer Gardens 2012

The gardens are very overgrown with flowers (intentionally planted) and hay seeds (unintentionally sown), and I have a feeling that this will be the last really vibrant weekend of my summer gardens before the flowers start wilting and the plants begin to get scraggly.

The clearance priced gladioli have begun to bloom and it was so much fun to wait in anticipation of what colour and size the blooms would be.

The kids are super excited as our pumpkins begin to change colour and take on a more pumpkin-esque hue.

Unfortunately, I was never really able to get on top of the cucumber beetle that seemed to love living in the large pumpkin blooms and the mildewy leaf disease that they spread has really damaged both the pumpkin and cucumber plants. Luckily, we've managed to get a few cucumber harvests into pickle jars and hopefully the pumpkin vine will hold out until the pumpkins completely mature.

Here's the embarrassing mess that I call the tomato patch.... I was overzealous in my planting (again!) and I also let a few plants that self-seeded grow. Which is why there is hardly any breathing space in that garden, barely any weeding leeway and certainly not enough space for the kids to get in and help me pick the tomatoes of the inner sanctum.

So far only one pepper plant has anything to show for all their flowers. Still waiting and hoping for the other plants to start production. Kind of sad that we don't have any scotch bonnets this year because nothing beats sauce and rubs made from fresh hot peppers.

Our cherry tomatoes are also producing and the boys love eating those straight off the vine. I need to snag some tomatoes so that I can save some seeds for next year since these are the only tomatoes that my boys love eating so much. Something about the small size and this particular varietal's thin skins makes them extra juicy and sweet.

Anyway, that's all for now. Just wanted to share what the rabbits (and squirrels now too... grrr...) haven't stolen.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Grape Tomato and Oregano Sourdough Focaccia

I've been learning the way of sourdough (more on that in a later post!) and having some beautiful grape tomatoes and leftover dried up oregano from past CSA boxes inspired me to make some focaccia. Of course, this focaccia does not have to be made with homemade sourdough ;) You could easily substitute store-bought pizza dough and have the same fresh-baked result.

The method is simple enough...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Garlic, Mushrooms, Zucchini and Eggplant

So what do you serve at a small craft brewery's inaugural tasting party? Lots of great homemade food, of course! We had smoked brisket, bbq and jerk ribs, sprouted arugula salad, fennel and orange salad, quiche, homemade sourdough focaccia and this pearl couscous pilaf.

I absolutely love Israeli/pearl couscous - it is the perfect combination of silky smooth and al dente chew.  It can take on a variety of flavours and goes from refrigerator to table with no problems whatsoever.

This particular dish has the added oomph of umami-laden roasted vegetables and comes together in a snap. I think everyone at the table loved this satisfying, vegetarian friendly dish.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Octopus Brewery Swag

My husband and his friend have started a brewery. I know, they're geeks. And I, marching in my own geek parade, thought, "How cool would it be if they had some shirts for their first tasting?"

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Home Brewing - Octopus Brewery

My husband loves beer.

He has a friend who also loves beer and knows how to brew beer.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Kale Fried Rice

Ever stuck for lunch or dinner? My kids love fried rice made with... kale!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Garlic Scape Tofu with Ground Pork

More garlic scapes and some scallions in our CSA box and more stir-fry. This time I used the garlic scapes in a no-spice version of ma po tofu. (I'll be so happy when the kids get old enough to eat super spicy foods so that we can go back to food the way hubby and I like it... sigh.)

Usually I make this recipe with garlic, but the garlic scapes promised a much milder and more perfumed flavour...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Roasted Zucchini and Radishes

Previously, I wrote about trying to get DH to like beets. Radishes are another veggie that he is not a fan of and I cannot fathom why. Adding to the mystery is the fact that he enjoys Chinese turnip/radish which (IMHO) has an even stronger taste than your common radish.

So I decided to try roasting the radishes because all vegetables taste great tossed with a bit of olive oil and sea salt and roasted until caramelized. I also mixed them with some zucchini because hubby likes zucchini. 

Then I tossed the whole lot with some balsamic vinegar that I had reduced to a sweet deliciousness and served it alongside of a nice garden salad and stuffed chicken thighs. And what did he think?