In a Pickle?

Garlic Dills.
Bread and Butter Pickles.
Sweet Gherkins.
Pickled Beets
Pickled Onions
Pickled Radishes
The list goes on..

Who doesn’t love a good pickle?

I have added dill pickles to my canning repertoire this year.  This being my first attempt at making dills , I am hopeful they will come out exactly like I envisioned them.  A crisp, garlicky dill pickle to grace my hamburger or to compliment my grilled cheese.  We shall find out in a few weeks after the required sitting time.

I had emailed my internet gal pal out west for her pickle recipe, but she was … Read more...

Chapter 2 of the Homestead Vacation

Diary of a Homestead Vacation continued…. (see previous post here)

…..BLUEBERRY picking!

Last year’s wild blueberry season was a total bust.  I don’t think I even picked one full cup of the tasty, little blue pearls.  It was such a hot, dry early Spring that then stretched into Summer and the teeny flowers of the blueberry bushes never had a chance of being pollinated.   The poor plants just shriveled up and keeled over.

This year has been vastly different.  We have had pretty much perfect growing conditions and I suspect we are in for a bumper crop.  My … Read more...

Diary of a Homestead Vacation

With technical issues beyond my control no matter how much I stomped my feet in a temper tantrum, I conceded defeat to the telephone line Gods and drank a two-four of beer to drown my sorrows.  Maybe not the entire two-four, but 6 is pretty close isn’t it? How about we went on vacation instead, definitely more plausible a scenario…and I can neither confirm nor deny the consumption of beer.


With nothing to do in cyber space, hubby and I dashed off to the Homestead for some well deserved R&R before his 3 week shutdown commenced mid-July.  This being one … Read more...

Mango Nectarine Salsa

Open a jar, close your eyes, sample a spoonful of this bright, flavourful salsa and you would swear you were dining al fresco in Mexico.  It is that good.

Excellent served as a topping for grilled chicken, fish or pork, it also makes an excellent alternative to plain salsa alongside a bowl of crunchy home-made tortilla chips.

You can vary the heat by adding more jalapeños to your liking, or if you have wimpy taste buds, remove them entirely.  Either way, I bet you will love the taste.  Enjoy!

Mango Nectarine SalsaIngredients

2 large, slightly under-ripe Mangos (if using the smaller … Read more...

Next Week’s Menu

Ack!  It is June already! Cold, rainy May is finally behind us and now we can concentrate on summer F-U-N that is just around the corner.  I love the month of June, boasting the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the arrival of Strawberry Season.

Nothing tastes as good as fresh, homegrown Ontario strawberries after our self-imposed fast from last summer.  I head to the local PYO (pick-your-own) farm a few miles from the Homestead and come back laden with hefty baskets filled with luscious, red, ripe fruit.  Some are made into muffins and desserts, others … Read more...

Easy as Apple Pie

One of the best things about Fall are Apples.  Apple season is now in full swing with lots and lots and lots of fresh, crisp apples ready for picking, eating, canning, juicing and baking.  I am an Apple Snob though, only liking a few specific varieties to eat fresh.  I do venture into other varieties for baking, as long as they stand up well to the cooking process.

Canadian Thanksgiving is approaching quickly and I am usually pressed for time in getting dessert ready in the days leading up to the annual food-a-thon.  So this year I decided to venture … Read more...

Tomatoes by the BOATLOAD….

I think.  Just maybe.  I planted too many tomato plants.  For one person.  Me.


I have just cleaned off everything from all the plants (both regular and cherry toms) and sorted them by level of ripeness…..


A nice, pretty rainbow of tomatoes gracing my countertop.

The Cherry Tomatoes are representing the colours of Italy…or Mexico even.


I now have lots, and lots, and lots of tomato recipes to look through…. and use.

First up, roasting some more cherry tomatoes for the freezer (they are great as a topping on pizza, or tossed into an omelet).

Once the larger tomatoes …

Fall is Around The Corner…

I love Summer and hate to see it come to an end. I know my days of roaming around in flipflops and shorts are almost over. My wild flowers are fading and the flower heads are getting ready to scatter their seeds for next years re-birth. Even the leaves of a few Maples are already showing their Fall colours…way too early for my liking….they are pretty though.

The past couple weeks have seen the nights cool considerably here on the Homestead.  I even had to break out the sweaters on a couple days last week, much to my dismay…. and … Read more...

The Farmer in the…… Market

Nope, the Farmer isn’t in the Dell…he/she/they are at my local Farmer’s Market.  I just love going to the market.  Nothing screams summer like a Farmer’s Market chock full of fresh produce with Vendor’s hawking everything from cut flowers to ice cream… yes… ice cream and if it wasn’t for it being 8:10 in the morning when I arrived, I would have had an ice cream cone.

But I already had breakfast and was busy scarfing down some very yummy free samples of Smoked Salmon Paté on crackers.  SO DEE-LISH…. and of course, I had to buy a small tub … Read more...

Abra Cadabra-Presto its Pesto!

If you are like me, you are probably wishing you could wiggle your nose like Samantha Stevens and turn your seemingly endless supply of Basil leaves into cute, little bottled jars of pesto in an instant.  Complete with bows on the lids and fancy labels.  But the reality is, you are not a witch like Samantha Stevens, apparently they only exist in tv land.  Therefore you must roll up your sleeves and deal with the Basil acreage on your own.  Dammit…why is tv make-believe only?


I have 2 Basil plants at the Homestead and one in my garden in the … Read more...