Wednesday, 21 July 2010

And the heat just continues......

It's gotten swelteringly hot again, but this time we have the added bonus of high humidity, blech! Also a chance of severe thunderstorm, which I really hope happens, that way my migraine can go away.

Being my day off, it's cleaning and cooking (jam, of course) as per usual. Today I'm going to make sour cherry jam, and if I'm feeling super productive, maybe some wild blueberry lime jam as well. A friend at work gave me a big bag of fresh basil from her garden, think I'll make a nice lemony pesto sometime soon and freeze it.

I have stewing under the sink what I hope will be a yummy raspberry liqueur; my attempt at something like Chambord, made with black raspberries. It's been sitting there almost a week, tomorrow I will add some orange peel and a vanilla bean and let it sit for another 2-3 weeks or so before filtering it, bottling it and letting it sit for about 3 months. Looks good so far!

This year we have limited our balcony garden, as they were working on them and replaced the old rusty ones with new ones up until about a month or so ago. We saw these hanging planters for vegetables and decided to give them a try with some heritage tomatoes.

Has anyone else tried these? Not sure if we got the tomatoes out too late, they haven't started flowering yet. Fingers crossed!

At the same place we bought the planters, they had these neato small water gardens on sale; as I love waterlilies I could not resist:

The only problem with this is my one cat keeps trying to eat the plants!

If you live in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, or are planning on visiting it, I highly suggest a walking tour run by my friend Kimia called Grand River Walking Tours. It's highly informative and fun too.

And now, off to clean and make jam. Have a fabulous day!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Long hot days of summer

It's been a while since I blogged, it's been over 30 degrees Celsius for more days than I can count and we don't have air conditioning in the bedroom. When you're sleeping and you're cold, you can always add another blanket, but when it's so hot you're sweating like mad lying there, there's not much you can do. Thankfully last night and today we finally have some rain and a more livable temperature of  low 20's.

Of course during the hot weather I decide to make jam; I guess I really didn't have much of a choice given that we picked the fruit when it was ripe and it needed to be used pretty quickly. It's my first attempt at making jam and I'm quite proud of the results! So far, I've made a sugar-free strawberry jam, a strawberry margarita jam and a red raspberry jam. Just check out the luscious colour on the raspberry jam:

Raspberry is my hubby's favourite, I'm sure he won't be giving too many of these away! I was thinking that homemade jam would be a great Christmas present to give to people this year, that way I don't have to start baking a month and a half in advance (like I did last year with giant shortbreads).

This Saturday apparently there is a Cherry Festival in Kitchener at Cherry Park, I've never been (nor heard about it until recently), but I think I will check it out after work. Here is the link:

Cherry Festival in Kitchener

I think I might go back to where we normally pick fruit on Sunday and see if their black raspberries are ready. I'm thinking besides jam, I might try making a raspberry liqueur. Chambord is too expensive to justify buying, although the bottle is pretty neat looking.