Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thank you, Kristie!

After posting about my beautiful harvest of parsley yesterday, Kristie left a comment about her own parsley. As a quick aside, if you want a good blog to read, head over to Kristie’s blog, North of 49. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Anyway, Kristie wrote, “It seems to be a good year for parsley. I just cut a huge bunch yesterday and made a quinoa tabouli salad with it. Yum!”

I’ve never had tabouli (also spelled tabouleh and a variety of other ways) before so I headed off to Google to find out how it’s made and what’s in it. I discovered that it’s really quite simple to make, especially if you already have a tub of cooked quinoa in your refrigerator. Also included in the recipes I found online were things like sweet onion, garlic, cucumber, tomato, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. We just happen to have all these things at hand.

It also happens that the garden here contains a beautiful stand of medicinal-quality peppermint, which I’ve never seen anyone use. I’ve been picking and drying it and have even made a jar of mint sauce for John.

And so, this morning, I put this together…

It’s in the fridge right now so that the flavours can meld, but I can tell you that it is already tasty, refreshing and even John, who pulled up his nose at first, was impressed with the flavour. I can hardly wait to try it for lunch later.

Once again, thank you Kristie for the wonderful suggestion. I’ll be making this again… for sure!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Check It Out!

I LOVE the scent of fresh-picked parsley and it’s even better when it comes from my own herb garden. My little herb garden is really doing well. I’ve already dried a couple of handfuls of parsley, some thyme and some mint from the garden.

Incidentally, Susanne asked whether or not I’d soaked the sweet pea seeds before planting them; I did. Only one single, solitary seed came up. I will certainly appreciate the flowers that will, eventually I hope

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Moving Day

It’s moving day around here. No, we’re not the ones moving this time (thankfully!). We live in a fourplex and two of the suites were recently vacated. Today, a young couple is moving in to the suite beside us; they have a six-month old daughter and are expecting another child. They also each have a son from previous relationships, meaning that, at times, there could be up to four little ones next door.

Over the next month or so, another couple is moving in upstairs on the other side. He is an uncle to Rob (who’s moving in today); apparently the house they were living in was sold and they were told they had two months to move out. According to Mark, he’d already put in his garden. Today, he’s been busy getting a part of the garden here ready for transplanting some of his plants from where they’re living right now. They have my sympathies.

The house will definitely have a different vibe before too long. John, J and Mark are all gardeners (hobby gardeners, not by profession) so I have a feeling the yard will really be improved this year. Nice!

Speaking of gardening, my little herb garden is thriving; I’ve already been picking and drying thyme and parsley. The oregano is finally starting to grow (looking really good, though) and the green onions are coming in nicely. Today, I planted three little Italian parsley plants and I’m hoping they’ll do well.

The basil I planted in the flower bed a couple weekends ago is looking good, too. The tomatoes are finally starting to grow; it was almost like they didn’t want to grow because it’s been so unseasonably cold. And out in the big garden, the beans and corn are growing well. If the weather would just warm up a little, we might even be able to eat from the garden before too long.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Herding Bunnies

Well, that’s a couple of weeks that have gone by very quickly. Between working, gardening, and hockey playoffs blogging just didn’t get done.

I have been knitting. I have been gardening. I have been enjoying the companionship of neighbours who’ve just moved out. I have been busy. Today, though, I intend to (sort of) take it easy.

The Queen Silvia shawl/stole is seeing good progress. I’ve completed 12 repeats (as of last weekend), with another 8 repeats to knit before picking up stitches all the way around for the border. In the picture, I’ve loosely pinned the shawl out on a sheet so the nupps and the design are easier to see. Once fully blocked, this is going to be one beautiful shawl!

I just realized that I haven’t blogged about this project yet. This is the Queen Silvia shawl from Nancy Bush’s exquisite book “Knitted Lace of Estonia”. I’m working it in Jamieson & Smith’s 2 ply Shetland Supreme on 3.25 mm needles. The yarn, incidentally, is the one I had ordered for the Shetland Christening Dress that wasn’t white enough. For this project, it’s perfect! And, I should add, it’s a wonderful yarn to knit with.

I’ve found that after a couple of repeats, the pattern is an easy one to read and it’s working up fairly quickly. As always, with nupps, the secret to working them is to knit them loosely, very loosely. I’ve seen Ravelry projects where knitters have decided to use beads because they didn’t like making the nupps, but they truly are not difficult to do if you keep them loose.

Gardening. *big sigh* Yes, we’ve been gardening. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a garden. I’m a little disappointed. My seeds just didn’t start off as well as I had hoped they would. In all fairness, some of them were about 3 or 4 years old but even the seeds purchased this year just seem really slow to germinate.

I planted sweet peas under my kitchen window… an entire packet. One seed came up. Just one! I planted lettuce in the same bed. Nothing came up. Not a single plant. I had lettuce in starter pots. They came up and I put them in the garden last weekend. They don’t look like they’ll make it.

On the other hand, the basil that I started indoors and put in the ground last weekend is looking good and beginning to take off. The radishes and green onions are coming up and looking good. My little herb garden is thriving and I’ve already been trimming back the parsley and drying it.

Out in the big garden, the beans are looking good and the corn’s already up. A tomato, given to me by a co-worker, has numerous tomatoes just waiting to ripen. The strawberries are turning red finally, but the ones I’ve tried just don’t have the intense flavour they normally do. The weather’s just been too cold and the lack of sunshine has inhibited the sugars in the fruit.

We do know that everything is about three weeks behind this year. Even at the college (where John works as a gardener), everything is way behind compared to last year. He keeps a journal there; it’s interesting to look back and compare one year to the last.

And finally, today is World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP Day). Our little Sit & Stitch group will be meeting at our usual location, but sitting out on the patio this time. I will not be among them. I will be going for my walk this morning (bought some running shoes this week… finally) and this afternoon, I will be herding bunnies here in the house. Dust bunnies, that is. They’ve taken over and we need the space!