Monthly Archives: April 2012


A few days ago I set out to make Dandelion Jelly, inspired by all the cheerful dandelions flowers that seemed to appear over night. Seemed like a fun way to feel productive, while milling about outside with the baby. So we picked some dandelions on a sunny day (or I picked them, will Little R did her best to scatter them about, despite several decoy containers) and the next day I separated the yellow and white parts from the green.

Making the jelly was easy, but unfortunately it didn’t set. I followed the recipe meticulously, but it didn’t say anything about testing the jelly stage, so I didn’t, and I should have. The flavour of the “not so jelly” is pretty subtle, but nice. When I first tasted it all I could taste was sugar, but the next day it had more of a sunny honey flavour. There are, of course, ways to fix runny jelly by cooking it again but as it was just meant to be fun, and dandelions are free I figured I’d follow the advice I read on a website and “label it syrup and move on with my life”.

And so: Dandelion Syrup. To be enjoyed in fizzy water for a drink, or drizzled on fruit salad!


Filed under food, gardening, making


Little R is one. (well, one and a day now…) We planted an apple tree for her. Something we had intended to do on her birth, but I’m actually just as happy to be doing it now, since it seems a fitting thing for a first birthday. There were no hand-made gifts from mummy, but there were decorations, and cake, and well-wishers. And flowers. When I look at the little arrangements on the mantel and table I am reminded of picking flowers around this time last year with Little R on my chest. Those first flowers are one of the beauties of a spring birthday. I love that each year, when we come to celebrate her special day, there will be primroses, forsythia, plum and quince blossoms. Just perfect for my sweet girl.

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Birthday Bunting

We have a little birthday coming up; a first birthday.  Strangely, I do not seem to have made anything yet for Little R’s special day. A  bit of in decisiveness, a bit of just getting caught up in things, I guess. (Really, what have I been doing? Not blogging, that’s for sure!)  Feeling badly about this, but am reminding myself that I don’t seem to have any problem making her things for no special reason at all. What I have made is  a quick birthday bunting from some scrap fabric. Double triangle pieces zig-zagged together and attached to some bias binding I had lying around.  Since gifts might go largely over her head anyway, maybe it’s just as nice to make something that can start a tradition of birthday decorating.


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Fair Weather

Little R very much enjoys being propped up on the back of a chair or sofa to look out the window. Enjoys sitting there, and bitterly resents being removed. This morning, as consolation, we headed outside in that half hour chunk of time before her nap normally reserved for….well, what really? – bathing, getting things organized, whatever.

We checked on the little plants in the cold frame, all happily doing quite well even after a slight drama on Easter. I managed to leave the light propped open over night, which in the end was OK since it didn’t get so very cold. I hurried out Easter morning (in a snow storm, it should be said!) to address this, and when I tried clearing the snow from the light I was too heavy-handed and broke the (already cracked) glass. The short story is that a huge clump of heavy slush fell directly on my mesclun, flattening them severely. But today they are fine, so no harm done. (“Poor man’s fertilizer” !)

Then we visited with the cat, and with the green man in the apple tree. A little chickadee hoped from branch to branch, chattering cheerily to us. Little R was entranced. I noticed the buds on the apple are starting to pink up. When we came away the chickadee was on the top-most branch of the tree, merrily singing “so-mi, so-mi”, or as Gary tells me it is known “Fair-weather, fair-weather”. I do believe you are right, little chickadee; it is certainly a beautiful day, and one to be spent outside! Hope you can all enjoy it too!

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Catkins for Easter

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