I’ve often joked with friends, including here on my blog, that the West Coast Seeds annual catalogue is gardener’s porn. If you are a gardener in Canada and perhaps even farther afield, you have heard of and eagerly await the arrival of your copy.
I seriously have the bug. And “We be jammin'” is my new theme song. Or at least the part of the song that keeps running through my head and won’t come out.
My first ever jam (I’m still ridiculously pleased with myself) was strawberry rhubarb made with Certo Light so I could use less sugar than a typical recipe calls for. Call me crazy but I prefer to taste the fruit, not just the sugar. That batch was still quite sweet, so clearly I’d have to try again.
After the first batch of jam I used some of the rhubarb I’d gathered from a neighbours yard to make a rhubarb concentrate (a.k.a. a rhubarb ribena, ergo christened rhubina). Don’t worry, I asked the neighbour first, about taking the rhubarb. Turns out she and her husband hate rhubarb so she told me to take as much as I wanted. Oh yeah, baby! Continue reading
I’ve been writing a lot about diary cows and animal welfare lately, but what I’ve actually been DOING is making sure to do my part when it comes to eating local. I have the good fortune to live in an area with lots of agriculture and food production, especially during the summer. That means great finds at the local farmers markets and some of the nearby farms.
Driediger Farms is a local institution and offers all manner of u-pick berries throughout the summer season. If you’d rather skip the back-breaking task of picking them yourself, you can of course pick them up from the farm market instead. (I wanted to get the full experience, and yes, it was a little hard on the back.)
The next variety of strawberries will be ready in a couple of weeks, so I’ll need to make these berries last. Which of course means…more jam! I may also go back in a few weeks and get some raspberries, my all-time favourite berry. EVER. (Better than candy fresh, also delightful as a raspberry liqueur. Mmmm.)
In response to the post Drinking Milk From Abused Cows, one of my readers commented, “I didn’t watch the video. I’m far to sensitive to watch cruelty. We started buying organic milk many years ago. Do you think that means the cows are treated better?”
In response I did a little digging and thought I’d share what I discovered. Continue reading
The other day I contacted the BC SPCA to ask how Joe and Jeni Citizen (that’s you and me) can support turning the Canadian Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals — which outlines standards for humane treatment of all manner of livestock, including dairy cattle — into law.
The Code of Practices is a document that covers the minimum in appropriate livestock management practices for all manner of species raised for food production. Continue reading
It’s so easy to let yesterweek’s news of animal cruelty in the dairy industry slip between the cracks of things you care about and want to change, and things you just need to get done to survive the week. Life is busy, I get it.
I get it and I still think it’s worth not letting this issue slip back into obscurity. Because the lives and welfare of these kind, gentle animals is at stake. And if we don’t care enough to do something, there’s no guarantee someone else will. Continue reading
After my recent success with homemade strawberry rhubarb jam, I started eyeing mangos at the local independent grocer with a whole new level of interest. Hmmm, I’d like to try me some strawberry mango jam…
I typically don’t eat a lot of jam, mostly because when I do I often find it too sweet, usually to the point where the sugar overwhelms any taste of the actual fruit. Such a waste. I prefer less sugar in my diet and want to make jam in a way that most enhances the fruit’s flavour. But making jam is truly a scientific endeavour, where the chemical reaction of the ingredients completely influences the finished product, so adjusting the amount of sugar in regular recipes simply does not work.
In my quest for low sugar jam options, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way about the natural chemistry behind homemade preserves. Continue reading
I am pretty darn pleased with myself, I must say. I’ve finally done it, all on my own. I made jam this week! Strawberry-rhubarb jam to be exact. “Tis the season for fresh strawberries, and we have lots of strawberry farms around here, so it seems only fitting. Continue reading
If you are intrigued by the concept of Eat Right 4 Your Type (as in blood type, see my review and related post), Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s related book, Eat Right 4 Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia: The A-Z Reference Guide for the Blood Type Connection to Symptoms, Disease, Conditions, Vitamins, Supplements, Herbs and Food, provides additional in-depth food for thought, particularly around the biological and evolutionary changes that may have influenced the blood/digestion link. (Unfortunately, the title also goes rather in-depth; try saying that without taking a breath.) Continue reading