Garden, Part 3

On Tuesday j and I undertook the big dig. Let’s just say it was a lot of hard work. And, boy do my thigh hurt from all that squatting.

Here are the results.

Stay tuned for the results of the planting!


Garden, Part 2

I’m an impatient person.

j and I have plans to dig out, and potentially plant, the garden this Tuesday. (If we run out of time on Tuesday, planting may take place on Thursday.) But I’m not that patient.

Now that we actually have plans for the garden, not to mention plants, I’ve been itching to do something back there. Then, I spent Saturday at a friend’s garden planting party. I looked out my window Sunday morning and could no longer resist. So off I went to tackle the jungle. Technically our garden plans do not involve the jungle – the beds are to be planted around this chaos – but I couldn’t take it anymore. I put on my boots and garden gloves, grabbed my garden shears (yay Dollarama!) and went at it.

The jungle was consisted of two things: a bamboo plant and vines from a neighbour that have made their way over the fence and grown unimpeded for at least several years. I managed to fairly easily cut away at the vines and pull them off the top of the bamboo plant. I also managed to pull out at least a dozen long strips of vine that had grown under the vegetation in the rest of the yard. It was actually kind of creepy to pull these things out from all the greenery. Who know they were under there!

Once the vine was taken care of, I tackled the bamboo. There was a TON of dead bamboo hiding under the nest-y canopy the vines had formed on top of the plants. I’ve salvaged a bunch of the taller pieces and am hoping they’re sturdy enough to use as staked in the vegetable garden. By the way, super impressed with my $2 garden shears. They totally tackled the vines and bamboo.

You can see where I trampled all over the plants while clearing out the vines and bamboo. Oh, well. It wasn’t the nicest vegetation to begin with. And, the garden looks SO much better cleared out.

Even though I cut back all the vines from the fence and the house, I’m more than okay with them growing back and covering the fence. I just have to keep trimming them back so they don’t take over the door to the backyard.

More garden work to come later this week. Digging and planting!


Garden, Part 1

This year j and I have decided to make a garden. Purely to satisfy the demands of our stomachs.

When the discussion about gardening this summer came up I remembered my backyard. This will be my third summer in this house and I’ve never done anything back there, partly because it’s rather terrifying, partly because I’ve gone away for July and August previous years. This year I’m around for July at least so j and I decided to go for it and tackle my jungle of a backyard. Just so you know I am not overstating the state of my backyard, here are some before shots:

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The Queen Mum’s Fave Cake

Just in time for our Royal Wedding Sleepover!

My aunt invited me over to watch the Royal wedding and have brunch in our pjs so I thought it would be fun to bring something along to share. My grandmother gave me my great-grandmother’s little box of recipe cards last year and it’s full of classic British meals so I figured I’d try one of them – low-and-behold, one jumped right out at me:

I just love how this card was put together: typed (with a correction made), and the specifications re: “Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother’s” (incase you weren’t sure who she was) and then the added note at the bottom: “Note: This is the Queen Mother’s favourite recipe” – and yet there are no real directions. Nothing is written on the back of the card and I didn’t see a second one in the box to explain what temperature to bake everything at or for how long (I usually require very specific directions when it comes to cooking/baking and even then I tend to get it not-quite-right) Continue reading


Pysanky!

A late post about Easter – Ukrainian style:

The girls and I got together a few weeks ago to make pysanky – ie. Ukrainian Easter eggs. The premise is simple: take a raw egg, cover it in strategically placed beeswax, and dye it in successive colours. The result? An awesome keepsake.

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Mountains of Cookies

The other day I decided to make cookies. And, boy did I make cookies. I have a friend (ahem, let’s just call her “j”) who loves iced sugar cookies. Well, mainly the icing. In any case, I decided sugar cookies were to be made. But, I also wanted to make something else. Which led me to the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies that my grandmother has been making forever. It never fails that whenever anyone heads over to visit, she’s got these cookies on hand. That, in a nutshell, is the story of how I came to make cookies. The mountains of cookies part comes in purely because I have an irrational fear of not making enough baked goods to share. So I doubled the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe and ended up choosing a sugar cookie recipe that was undoubtedly doubled at some point in the past. The end result – hundreds of cookies covering every counter surface in my kitchen.

Technically the sugar cookies were supposed to be rolled out and then cut out. Not owning a rolling pin, I usually use an empty wine bottle to roll out these kind of things. But, I had no wine bottle, empty or otherwise on hand. So, after trying and failing to roll it out with a can of tomato sauce (not a good idea. the can crushed. oops.), I opted to roll the dough into balls and then press the balls down with the bottom of a cup. The perfect solution. Continue reading


Valentine’s Pancakes

Mr T and I had a really nice (homemade) Valentine’s date last night: we made dinner together 

I made him a card this week on which I painted two cute little watercolour robots on the front and gave him the recipe for Red Velvet Pancakes that I had found over at Café Zupas and we set a time to meet to prepare dinner.

My Mom had sent me the instructions for making your own buttermilk earlier in the day (apparently it’s just 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup  and then you let it stand for 5 min) but I was late leaving school so I just ended up buying a container. We were also out of yogourt (which I was going to use to substitute for the sour cream the recipe called for) so I needed to stop anyways – in the end I walked out with a container of crème fraîche….yes, I may have decided to splurge… Continue reading


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