Friday, September 19, 2014

The Last of the Espalier Apples

I thought I took a photo of the last basket of apples I picked from the espalier apple tree, about a week ago now.  They were more ripe than when I picked the previous basket, since the seeds inside are now brown, not white.  However, they are still a bit more tart than I like.  Fortunately, I discovered that if I slice and dry them, the dried apple slices turn out sweeter, and quite delicious.  So my counter has been full of apple slices, air drying, every since :
As they shrink and we keep eating the dried ones, I keep adding more.  Perhaps I should have spent the time to dry them in the oven on low heat, but since I haven't been in a rush, this method has been working for us.  I think this is now the last of my fruit, other than a few more Autumn Gold raspberries, which will probably be turning moldy now that the weather has turned to light rain.  I will miss this steady harvest coming from the garden this past month or two.

After I visited my Mom Wednesday, and saw her sunflower buds, I came home and noticed that one of mine was already in flower.  I had not noticed from the kitchen window, since the flower was facing in the other direction.  I should have taken a photo then, so I didn't need to step out into the rain this morning, to take a photo for the benefit of (bragging to) my Mom.  The two taller ones on the left of the photo are also in bud :
Another one is much shorter, but has a large bud also:
I have a fall crocus (which I didn't intentionally plant originally, but it has been popping up for a number of years now).  It looked better before the rain hit it :
My dahlias weren't impressive this year.  Again, they got off too a slow start due to slugs, and perhaps are a big crowded out now with my other plants.  My banana did re-grow since it was cut down, but didn't get very big.  But at least I was able to create some ceramic leaf platters from it :

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What's Up with the Canning?

Anyone who has read my blog recently will know that I have been doing a LOT of canning this season.  Several batches of grape and apple juice, and a number of batches of mint syrup.  On the weekend, a good friend of mine wanted to make antipasto with me, so we spent the evening together, making a big batch of antipasto, both vegetarian as well as with tuna.

Today was a beautiful sunny September day, and I had the kids (who are still waiting for the teachers strike in BC to be resolved, so they can go to high school!!) help me pick a very large basket of mint, which I brewed into a mint infusion this afternoon (wow, the whole house smells amazing!), and then I made a huge batch of mint syrup tonight :
Jars of homemade mint syrup.
I also have about 6 liters (6 quarts) of mint infusion remaining, but I need to buy more sugar and find more jars before I will be able to process it.

I laugh to myself that I am doing more canning than cooking lately.  Tonight my 13 year old ate before soccer practice, but the 15 year old and I were rushing from shopping and errands, and ate while he was at practice.  This is my "caterpillar roll" which actually looks like a caterpillar!  With food this creative, tasty, and affordable ($7 for the roll, which was pretty much dinner), why would I want to cook?  I need to save my energy for the canning.  :-)
Caterpillar roll sushi roll.

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