Tuesday, August 29, 2006


So my lovelies, I've been canning the last few days. Figs and peaches gifted from my friend's gorgeous trees supplemented with local bounty from the Shady Mile farm have been keep me busy. After gorging on fresh figs, I had to 2 huge baskets of edge of erupting ripe figs that I turned into fig compote and a fig chutney. Peaches (all together 50 plus lbs), got turned into peaches in vanilla syrup, peach compote with green cardomon and spiced peach & ginger chutney. I had some leftover peach slurry from the compote and freestyled a peach-rum-hazelnut sauce which I canned and I'm planning to break out in the dank swamp of February over some pancakes or perhaps a simple pound cake or a bowl of real vanilla icecream. Who wants to bet that it won't last through September?

I didn't get out for much blackberry picking this year. I did manage to get a couple of yogurt containers and made a blackberry-plum-rhubarb jam (with a touch of balsalmic vinegar). It's so good. The blend of tangy and sweetness goes well with goat cheese on a slice of baguette.

Blueberries , oh the bounty was good this year. They are huge and sweet and once I finished stuffing handfuls down my gullet, I made them into various jams. My first was a blueberry rhubarb jam. The late summer rhubarb is divine and damn a certain someone who keeps reminding me that they cause kidney stones. I'll worry about when I pee pebbles. The next batch was a blueberry plum jam. Finally, I made a blueberry ginger jam. Well, actually, it's more like a sauce. I mismeasured the sugar and it isn't quite thick enough. But it's thick enough for a crepe syrup or a 'fruit-amisu' (basically boozed up fruit sauce and fresh fruit instead of espresso in a basic tiramisu).

I just picked up a couple of pineapples (my guilty pleasure) and I'm thinking of a pineapple marmalade. Or maybe a chutney with some leftover peaches and rhubarb. Or a pineapple mint salsa sort of thingamabob. Who knows.

Along with all the fruits that are filling my belly, are all the brilliant veggies that I've been getting via my Nanoose Edibles produce box and local farmer's markets. From beans to squash to those sexy garlic and of course, the tomatoes. The tomatoes are going to be star of the show at a Slow Food event at the Laughing Geese in the Cowichan Valley on Sept.12. Participants are asked to bring a dish made with local tomatoes. In the invite, they dared up to bring a tomato dessert. Now, my lovelies, you know I couldn't pass up a dare like that. So now I've got to figure out a tomato dessert. Any ideas?

Happy eating!


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