Monthly Archives: September 2011

Roasted Tomatoes

Last year I canned tomatoes. It went well, but was a LOT of work. This year we have freezer space so I decided to freeze some. For this first batch I simply hulled the tomatoes, cut them in half and arranged them in a roasting pan. Then I drizzled them with olive oil and put them in the oven to roast slowly. (you will find recipes for roasted tomatoes online that call for  10-12 hours at a low heat, and I’m sure these are amazing but I just did mine for around 3)

I got three meal-sized bags out  of literally five minutes work, so it seemed worth it. I’m hoping they will impart a yummy summer flavour to some winter meals.


Filed under food, gardening

An Afternoon in the Orchard

Yesterday, for the third year in a row we returned to Gate’s U-pick to load up on apples and pears. No doubt there are places to pick closer to our new home but we so enjoyed our outings to Gate’s we thought we’d make the trip.

It was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, the decision to go picking, but we managed to pack up and pull out of the driveway in record time. Once at the orchard we began by enjoying a basic picnic (the best kind!) of bread, cheese, cucumber and cookies. Then we wandered amongst the trees, sampling the fruit and filling 5 bags of apples and pears. It was lovely to have Little R along on what I think we can now call a “family tradition”, and funny to think that the last time we were there she wasn’t much bigger than an apple pip herself!


This year I have plans to invest in a food mill and make some applesauce for freezing. In previous years I’ve muddled along, leaving the skins in a just pureeing it, but I look forward to having the proper equipment.

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Filed under food, gardening

My 90 Minute (ahem) Shirt

I made something! I followed this 90 Minute Shirt Tutorial to make a shirt for Little R. I shudder to think how long it actually took me to get it done, since my 90 minutes were taken in tiny baby-allowed pieces.

I think the hardest part was drafting a pattern because I didn’t have something to cut up to base it on. The head opening needs adjusting, but I should be able to do that next time, and I’ll just think of this as a prototype. I was nervous about sewing the sleeves but that part was actually a piece of cake. I made it out of a stained shirt of mine, so I was able to cut the pieces to avoid hemming, which probably saved time. But I also made several dumb mistakes (in fairness, occasioned by trying to do too many things at once) which negated the time saved! But it would be great if I get the hang of it because it is hard to find shirts her size that aren’t onesies. I also like  long sleeves because I have so many wool sweaters for her.

So it’s far from perfect. Fortunately Little R is little enough not to care, or have a say, so she will wear it anyway!

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Filed under making

Afternoon Tea

Cucumber Sandwiches

Blackberry Scones

Jam Cookies

good neighbours

a happy baby

a perfect sunny day

and a pot (or two) of tea.

If this makes you hanker after an afternoon tea of your own  I can share the recipe for the scones and cookies, which will get you part way there!

Blackberry Scones (adapted from a cheese biscuit recipe a friend shared with me)

Preheat oven to 400.

In a bowl mix 2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp sugar

a bunch of blackberries (if you have a chance stick them in the freezer for a few minutes to help them keep their “integrity”)

Then add

sour milk: 1 cup milk plus tablespoon vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes before adding

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Drop scones onto parchment lined pan (I made 12) and bake for 15 minutes.

Jam Cookies from Winnie-the-Pooh’s Teatime Cookbook. (I know!!)

This is half the recipe, which fit perfectly on a large cookie sheet. Just enough for tea when you are having other things, with some leftovers.

Cream together 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar

Beat in one egg yolk and 1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir in 1 1/4 cups flour.

Refrigerate for 2 hour, ish. Then preheat oven to 350.

Make little balls with dough and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Make dent with thumb in the middle of each and fill with your favourite jam. Bake for 15 minutes.


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Filed under Celebrations, food