Posts in Category: Gardening
The winter has been long and the crafting and visualizing and dreaming and mapping and tackling has been much. Here’s a bit of what our hands have been up to, feeding our spirits and continuing to make our home uniquely our own. Where our hearts live and dragons breathe fire on occasion, when it all becomes too much. So we make felt and pipe cleaner crowns and wands and hope it’s magic enough until the frost breaks. (Which it did, and then it didn’t, and then it did … and we’re currently in a state of blizzardy DIDN’T.) The making of said crowns and wands turned more into a mom-craft than a kid-craft as they lost interest, but they still have fun playing with them anyways.
Our home: where no one else knows and no one else but us, my little family … sees the joys and failures of each day. As long as we use our hands to gather hugs, make art and build pretty things, I’m confident, all will be fine. I know I breathe fire a lot less when tapping into creativity and art. Something I hope to continue to pass onto my chldren. Play is the work of childhood after all, as Maria Montessori so simple yet brilliantly coined many moons ago.
Below are some floating shelves I’ve been conjuring upon since last summer, using galvanized steel, pine I measured, had cut at the good ‘ole Home Depot, stained and cured myself. Of course I measured the pipe I had cut wrong, but everything else was perfect, I swear! If not for some very good friends who came over to help, we would have been doomed. (I’m talking to you Sean! And Char, your lovely wife for holding up the windows that I had to take down one by one and clean, inclding all the runners and all the yuck. At 10 o’clock at night. When you were both supposed to be our dinner guests. And I fed you vegetarian that was spicy. Becasue of course.)
Anyways, aren’t they pretty? I had a hard time getting good photos since the shelves hover over a window, hence an epic battle with natural light and all, but you’ll have to trust me, they are quite dreamy and my kicthen is slowly turning into the unique, totally custom, inviting headquartes of magic-making, love-making, , ecclectic, homestead-y, jungalow type of warmth that I’ve been dreaming about …
I’m about to get all up in your face with my snobby tomatoes. You know, the REAL, heirloom kind. The ones that aren’t perfectly uniform, altogether unsymmetrical and absolutely DIVINE tasting. Yea, those ones.
Now, you could make this salad with regular variety beefsteak tomatoes, but for the love of gawd please don’t make them with GMO knock off, fake ‘heirloom’ tomatoes. Please just no. It just won’t taste the same and part of the absolute bliss in eating this salad comes from only being able to enjoy it in this state (with such a variety of home-grown tomatoes), oh but one time of year. When tomatoes are ripe and ready to be plucked off of the vine.
Which, for me – happened late as they were planted late. Lucky us…we’ve received a warm fall so far which allowed all of my green tomatoes the time they needed to grow and ripen into rock-star status. Heirloom tomatoes would in fact be rock-stars if they could, I think.
So now that you’re all quite certain of just how much I love growing, eating and waxing poetic (sort of), about tomatoes, we can move right along to what you’re really all here for, (I think?) A simple yet damned good caprese salad recipe.
I skipped over most of the veggie aisles last night at the market, (except for tomatoes, which are bursting but not yet ripe in our garden.) It felt a little surreal (not sure why), and absolutely wonderful. When I started this whole affair back in March, I had little knowledge about gardening outside of building upon and maintaing our perennial english and cottage style gardens. I knew I wanted to start from heirloom seeds.
I knew that we had to have raised beds built in our front yard because our backyard is happily and beautifully dominated by maple, cedar and birch trees. And patio. Shade friendly perennial gardens. Putting my worries aside on what the neighbours might think, (yep it’s a reality – especially in small towns) even though I totally got approached with wonder by many of them and ignorant sarcasm by but one. No need to get into detailing that. So putting all of that aside, because we sure weren’t going to let ‘neighbourly’ reactions dictate whether we grow food for our family or not, we entered into a trade agreement with some good friends to help us design and built it all, who know way more about all of this stuff that we do…
*Full Disclosure: There are lots and lots of swears herein. I also have annoying gas. Like the kind that is caused from ingesting FAKE FUCKING CHINESE FOOD. TMI? Welcome to this post*
More patience for when the pizza place had no Hawaiian pizza (WTF?!?!) so we got Chinese. BIG MISTAKE. I haven’t had sugared up MSG in forever and I think my kids have had it maybe twice before. it always amazes me the striking difference in behaviour when they eat crap food like that. Which isn’t saying much since they were already on a crash course straight to TODDLER FREAK OUT BEDLAM.
We were on our own tonight and I had to make a trip to the mall to pick something up. I thought we would have a nice cool (AC) traipse around the mall like we occasionally do. (For some reason they LOVE that place, it’s like Chuck-E-Cheese to them.) I thought they’d be angels like they usually are, when I indulge them with a couple of rare mall treats. Like popcorn and kale pineapple smoothies. Those are threats to them. We should have just stuck with that.
It’s taken 2 years, 2 spring, summer and fall seasons; to actually USE our second floor balcony. There are 2 reasons for this. One, being that I was a tad bit over-protective in letting my little ones actually step foot out there.
I read far too many headlines about babies and toddlers falling to death or serious injury. That such a thing could happen in the blink of an eye. In the presence of any of us, not just neglectful parents. Which is how I rationalized my irrational fears about our balcony.
Then I grew up as a parent a little bit. As in I’m slowly becoming a less obnoxious helicopter parent as the years go on. So this year? This year we’re actually enjoying this space. I’m just not letting them out there by themselves…