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FauxPas

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    Vancouver Island, BC Canada

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  1. Got a few pickling cukes, made a few pickles. Nothing too crazy. πŸ™‚
  2. I'm somewhat embarrassed at how bad these photos are and how poorly they represent the variety of vendors at this local market. It really is a nice and diverse market, super popular and fun to wander around when I have the time. I was in a hurry yesterday so only snapped a few quick pics. I picked up some pickling cukes, strawberries, onions, peas. And then some of the cukes became pickles.
  3. Not boring! Actually, quite beautiful! πŸ™‚ I made a tiny little bit of lower-sugar apricot jam recently, just a simple recipe of fruit, sugar, lemon zest, tiny bit of Grand Marnier. It's the one thing I absolutely have to make each year. Yesterday was blackberry-raspberry jam and today was Sun Relish. Sun Relish is a recipe from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). It includes equal amounts of peaches and yellow bell peppers along with lemon, some hot peppers, sugar, white wine vinegar, lemon, salt. I made it a few years ago and gave some away and got some great feedback on it. It's tasty and pretty! This time I used habanero peppers but used them very sparingly. πŸ˜€ Blackberry-raspberry jam and Sun Relish
  4. My background is Scandinavian and I was at University of Oslo for a bit. I remember summer potato salads, often very simple. Maybe like this one with just potatoes, sour cream, mayo, and a LOT of dill. I think the recipe I linked may be heavy on the dressing though, as I seem to recall most being lightly dressed. My problem was with all the dill, I find dill a bit overpowering sometimes. A family member made something similar but with lots of radishes in it. Looking online, I see variations with a bit of vinegar or lemon juice, celery, red onion, or even sliced pickles, like this one from Outside Oslo.
  5. Oh no, we've lost another good one! I'll miss her cheerfulness, her empathy, her friendly tone and humour. Just took a quick look at posts about flying kites and a funny story about her husband driving her to work through Topanga Canyon while she was pregnant and eating crackers to ward off nausea. Loved all the little details of her life that she shared, one of those warm folks who make you feel that you know them even when you've only read a few online posts!
  6. Some controversy over his behaviour at his former restaurant and his win. Here's one link, more if you wanted to search for it. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/top-chef-gabe-erales-apology-firing-harassment-1234987992/
  7. Mashed potatoes can be frozen, just think of all the Hungry Man Dinners out there in Freezerland, ha. (Didn't/don't they have mashed potatoes in them?) πŸ˜€ You could make up something like some Shepherd's Pies (with venison?) with mashed potatoes on top and then have an easy meal to cook later on, if you have enough room in your freezer(s). I've frozen Cottage Pie before, but I can't remember if I browned the potato topping before freezing or not. I think either way will work, but you might want to allow it to thaw a bit before heating. Here's an example of one not browned in advance, but thawed before final cook. https://food.unl.edu/shepherds-pie-including-directions-freezing
  8. Well, it is Canadian dollars, so there's that, ha. But actually, that's the one complaint I have about them, their prices tend to be too high on several things. It's not always the case, their usual farmstand offerings are sometimes pretty reasonable. And they have deals at the farmers' markets as well.
  9. Forgot to mention that in the back of this photo is what I think is part of the copper still that the farm uses for lavender distillation. As they say: Stop by and view the art of lavender distillation. Our copper still is set up and running every day during our Lavender Open Farm Days. Today we are distilling our most fragrant Lavandula angustifolia English lavender. We use steam distillation to extract the essential oils from the lavender flower buds. Steam causes the plants oil glands to erupt and the oil evaporates into the steam. At this point, the steam is routed through copper tubing on its way to the condenser where cold water running through the coils cools the steam, which condenses it back to a high-grade liquid of oil and hydrosol. Passing steam through copper tubing helps to achieve sweet, higher quality lavender oils and hydrosols. The best time to view the process is in the afternoon, when the lavender water is flowing. We have been distilling lavender for well over a decade so we’re getting pretty good at it. We’re also most happy to explain the process to anyone who is interested. Just ask for Mike or Shannon (me) when you are here. Our lavender essential oils and hydrosols are available for sale in the Barn Shop. https://www.shamrockfarm.ca/
  10. It's Lavender Harvest time at Shamrock Farm! They do have some culinary lavender (dutifully included in one photo below) and they are harvesting lots of veggies and flowers. A quick visit this week. Still quite a bit left in the field, despite all that they have already harvested. The barn contains lavender, lavender products, a flower bar to make your own bouquets, lots of garlic and various veggies. Lavender hanging from the rafters! The sign is from their Spring plant sale, also a very popular event, especially their heirloom tomato and pepper varieties. Lavender buds, French or English. Lots of garlic curing. Various flowers. They had some amazing sweet peas. Culinary lavender and various lavender products. Those cherry tomatoes look out of place, that's because I was reorganizing my basket and set them down for a minute! The lavender wall. Some of the veggies they sell. I didn't photograph the tomatoes or the various greens at the right end.
  11. It's an early season white potato, I think Yukon Gold is mid-season, though the baby ones may be harvested earlier? The Warbas are harvested initially without a skin. I think they are firmer-fleshed than the Yukons and they have an earthier and maybe slighter sweeter flavour than Yukons. They are very popular in SW British Columbia. We have a few farms growing them here and they usually start harvesting the Warbas as early as May, after planting in March, so they are quite early. They need to be stored in the fridge because of the lack of skin and moisture content. They continue to harvest them for a few months, though the characteristics change somewhat. Later in season, they develop more of a skin and the flavour may not be quite so pronounced. I am sure they could easily be grown in Washington state, but I don't know if they actually are grown there. They may be marketed under a generic description like Nugget or New Nugget. They are identified by their pink eyes, lack of skin in the early season and crisp, white flesh. They are apparently an heirloom variety from the 1920's. My favourite potato for salads but also lovely just steamed and then tossed with butter. https://www.potatopro.com/news/2016/harvest-warba-potatoes-british-columbia-signifies-beginning-summer
  12. FauxPas

    Pickled Onions

    I made this recipe once for my husband, who likes cocktail onions in his vodka martinis. I used some as a side dish also. I liked them, but I can't remember if I adjusted the sugar amount. I used white vinegar and did add a hot pepper. I made a half batch or less, didn't bother with the water-bath canning and just stored them in the fridge. I don't know if you want to futz around with pearl onions, though, they can be a pain. Not sure if you would want to use this for sliced onions? https://www.bernardin.ca/recipes/en/pickled-onions.htm?Lang=EN-US
  13. Warm potato salad with Warba potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, sweet onion and a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A few basil leaves. There are more potatoes there than it appears, they seemed to hide at the bottom for the photo. πŸ™‚
  14. And my favourite warm potato salad is potatoes with green beans, served warm and quickly mixed with sweet onion, cherry tomatoes and feta cheese and a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Maybe a bit of fresh basil. Plan to make this one tomorrow, will try to share a photo.
  15. My everyday potato salad is pretty simple. I love the Spring/early summer Warba potatoes because they have a firm flesh and a fresh earthy taste. They are harvested very early almost without a skin and aren't cured at all, so they have to be kept refrigerated. I like potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and a generous amount of celery. I let the potatoes cool a bit, then toss them with a few splashes of sweet pickle juice. Add the diced celery and eggs and then a bit of mustard and lots of (Haters can pile on here, ha) Miracle Whip. I have a friend who uses mayo but adds sugar and I suggested she could make her life easier by just using MW instead. πŸ˜ƒ 😈 Sometimes I add some diced sweet onion or a bit of green onion and maybe top it with a bit of paprika. Chopped pickles (sweet or dill) don't really appeal to me, but I've tried adding them once or twice. I just made this batch, somehow the photo makes it look gloppier than it really is. πŸ™‚
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