Sunday, 26 June 2011

We Have a Blog!

After reading books by Michael Pollen, Novella Carpenter, Sarah Elton, Alisa Smith & J.B. MacKinnon and many others I seriously questioned where our food came from.  We were already eating fairly clean with very little processed foods being brought into the house and those we did have were considered "treats" or "convenience foods" for days that were crazy busy.  But the more I read the more I wasn't happy buying foods that travelled great distances, had chemicals added to them to make them ripen at a specific time or coated with chemicals to keep them "fresher".

Last summer we made a huge effort to eat locally and to get to know who grew our food.  We joined a CSA with the Kwaratha Ecological Growers and looked forward to picking up our basket of food each week to see what would be included.  We rushed home, laid everything out, starred at it for awhile, talked about what we could do with it, tried to figure out what some things were and then hit the cook books and internet to get ideas.  We learned really quickly to prioritize our CSA food share into what had to be eaten in the first few days and what could last until the end of the week, not wanting to waste anything.  Flash freezing and canning also saved food when we had two shares when our friend was away on holiday!  Neighbours also received food gifts to help reduce the waste.

We enjoyed the summer CSA so much we decided to join the winter CSA and to be really serious about cooking food that was produced within 100 miles of our home.  At first it seemed daunting but we made some accommodations that helped.  Coffee was definitely staying as was chocolate, tortilla chips, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, cheese and oranges from the USA.  We started reading labels on packaging and asking lots and lots of questions to farmers at our local farms and farmers markets and actually found that most of the items we use as staples can be found quite close to home.  Learning to eat in season brought us back to the food of our childhood, lots of potatoes, apples, squashes, onions, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beans, frozen peas and corn.  What we missed the most was the greens and the fresh fruit, oh the berries!  Thank goodness for the freezer in the basements with all those summer berries tucked away.  I think that is was saved us from going a little stir crazy!

Speaking of berries . . . strawberries are now available and we've already consumed 5 quarts of them!  Soon we will be berry picking so we can have those luscious little gems all next winter!
Strawberries from our local farmer in Raglan!

Strawberries and Vanilla Yoghurt, yummy!
Sharon

Home made Pizza

Yesterday Sharon and I went to our local Farmer's market to replenish our supply of vegetable. We bought beets, peas, strawberries (there is nothing better than local strawberries), zucchini... What we have noticed by eating in season and as locally as possible that the food tastes real, there is more flavour in the fruit and vegetables.

I was looking at the veg. that we already had at home and saw that some of the tomatoes looked like they wouldn't survive, so that means pizza! (or my tomato pie, keep coming back I'll be making that soon with all the varieties of heritage tomatoes at the market)


Tomatoes, red onion, zucchini
and scapes

Store bought pizza dough and it's white!!
I let it warm up and rise.















The green stuff in the bag is pureed garlic scapes from last year. We freeze it in small amounts in vacuum bags. We sometimes use that instead of basil in our pesto. But I forgot to mix in the pine nuts and parmesan cheese so it was just scapes on the dough.


It's a lot thicker than I usually make it.

I spread the scapes over the dough with my hands. Earlier I cooked the red onion orange pepper and zucchini ribbons in some oil and then I added a little balsamic vinegar. YUM! Then everything is placed around the pizza so that you get to taste everything on each slice. :)
I lightly sprinkled some parmesan cheese over the veg. as well as some crushed dried sweet basil before I put the mozarella ball on top. (The dried basil is left over from one of our winter CSA shares)
Peppers, onions and zucchini are all
spread over the garlic scapes.

Ready to go in the oven.












I have to tell you it tasted much better than it looks. I cut the pizza into small pieces so I can have more than one! It goes well with a beer or an ice tea. Sometimes I put fresh baby spinach on top at the very last minute to add more veg. or colour. Well here it is. What do you think?


Thursday, 23 June 2011

Take Out at Home

Sharon made a great dinner yesterday. It tasted like a good quality Asian takeout. The base was rice noodles with a variety of vegetables from the fridge. We call these meals "the kitchen sink" because everything goes into the pot except/including the kitchen sink! I can't show you a picture because we ate it for dinner and lunch. It tasted even better the next day :) I asked her if she could make it again and she said it might not taste the same because there is no recipe :(



chinese takeout
Hey Barb,
If you're up for it I'll try and try and try until I get it just right and then I'll write it down!
Sharon

Monday, 20 June 2011

June is a busy Month


I've been sewing as much as I can fit into the June rush. With school coming to an end and all the work that needs to be done to finish the year! Yikes! I finished a purse for Sharon and a quilt top too.



#1181 - Gadget Girl from Whistlepig Creek Productions, www.wpcreek.com



The quilt was made from 2 bundles of Moda scrap bags. A friend gave me the second bundle. I had enough of the colours to make the stars (blue, green, red and white). I had to buy the background fabric and the red and white snowball fabrics.  This pattern was based on a pattern called "Merry and Bright Stars". I loved starting this quilt. I had to match strips of fabric to sew together in order to cut them into the triangles for the starts. I will admit I don't want to cut or sew another triangle based quilt for a while. By the end I just wanted it finished :( I will finish quilting it over the summer and I may sell this quilt.


Introduction

Hi my name is Barb and I am a Quilter. My sister's name is Sharon and she is an amazing cook. We are both vegetarians and try very hard to eat locally and in season. We are going to try to share some of the food and quilts we make through the year. We belong to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where we pay the farmer at the beginning of the season and receive boxes of food once every two weeks.

This is our second summer belonging to a CSA and we have just finished our first winter, well really we are starting the summer boxes now! Last summer we canned a lot of fruit and vegetables to help us get through the winter. We also froze a lot of things too.