A Lasting Gift

Today I had the pleasure of browsing through my bookcase, and a special book caught my eye. It was a gift. One of the significant contexts of my life was Graduate School. I met some truly wonderful people during those years. One of them was Jeremy. He was funny, smart, kind, and a kid compared to me. I was much older than all of the other graduate students in the department, at that time. He had grown up in England, his father an Anglican priest, his mother a woman of colour born in Jamaica. Jeremy’s graduate research took him to Jamaica, the birth place of his mother. He used to send me postcards from Jamaica, I still have a few of them. One year, when we resumed classes, he brought back a book for me, called Lionheart Gal: Life Stories of Jamaican Women, by Sistren with Honor Ford Smith (1987). I treasured the book, it was meaningful to Jeremy, a connection with his Mother, who was a Jamaican woman by birth. A year or so ago I was chatting with an old friend from that period of my life, catching up on the news. It was then I discovered that … Continue reading


When canning I seldom experiment beyond what sounds good to me. No failures to date, all the things I have canned we have loved, either as a food, or as an ingredient. But all these Zucchini needed attention! Today! I have enough relish, more than 24 jars, and only I eat it, so really, I don’t need more relish. So, I can afford to make a batch of relish a little differently. If I fail to produce something I like with this zucchini, well, it wouldn’t be the end of the world as I know it, now would it. So I decided that this morning it was time to experiment with Liquid Stevia as an alternative to sugar in high-acid canning, relish in this case. I could have chosen pickles, but I prefer cucumbers for pickles, and I eat those raw as fast they are harvested. So relish it was. Liquid Stevia was substituted for the entire amount of sugar called for in the recipe: 2 1/4 cups of sugar translated into 2 1/4 teaspoons of Liquid Stevia. The Liquid Stevia was used in the recipe in the very same way that sugar would have been. A few interesting things … Continue reading


Sauerkraut, home fermented Sauerkraut, is a wonderful experience! Early in August I started a batch of Sauerkraut in a one litre mason jar. A week or so ago we opened it up and WOW! It is amazing, soooo good. As an added bonus it was made with a cabbage right out of our garden in the back yard. We only grew two cabbages, so there are no more to make Sauerkraut with. We will buy some now though, and get a few batches bubbling, while cabbage is in season and fresh from an Ontario farm. I found it to be too high in sodium for regular consumption, but I can still have a wee bit as a treat now and again. I am also fermenting Jalepeno Peppers, but they need more time, so we, mostly Attila in this particular we, haven’t tried them yet. They are looking good though, no sign of mold or any issues. Today I cooked pinto beans in the Instant Pot, so easy to do. I kept one portion in a container in the refrigerator for soup, and filled two more containers that went into the freezer. I need to cook some garbanzo beans as well, … Continue reading

Squirrels with Nuts

The first day of autumn, yesterday, was warm and sunny, a high of 24C here. Today it is hot and sunny, and humid. Not at all like autumn. Attila is working on finishing the new storm door, which of course needed a frame built for it. Renovating an old house is full of unusual and interesting adjustments. Here at Mist Cottage, we are like a couple of squirrels gathering nuts for the winter. The garden loves this weather, and the harvest continues to be bountiful. Today Attila harvested: Cherry Tomatoes, Beefsteak Tomatoes, Black Russian Tomatoes, Roma Tomatoes, another variety that I haven’t poked around to see what the seeds said they were, Scarlet Runner beans to eat, Scarlet Runner Beans that had gone to seed for planting next spring two large Zucchini a quart of hot peppers, Cayenne, Jalapeno, Serrano, Habanero a pint of Ground Cherries one English Cucumber The tomatoes will go into the basement to finish ripening, then will be made into pizza sauce. The only other produce harvested in a quantity suitable for preservation are the zucchini, and I am thinking about what to do with the zucchini! We went early to the grocery store to pick … Continue reading


Well, I honestly thought that by this time of year I would not be so very busy with what is coming in from the garden! Every other day I am making pizza sauce with our tomatoes, blanching green beans for the freezer, and making something with zucchini. We have enough tomato sauce canned now to last us until next years tomato harvest, so I’ve begun to make pizza sauce with the tomatoes, which I am freezing, because I am including the tomato skins in the sauce. The no-sodium Zucchini Relish jazzes up so many dishes for me, so that I am happy to have already canned over 24 jars of it. Two more jars of Zucchini Relish were canned this afternoon, and a half jar went into the refrigerator for immediate use. Another thing I tried today with zucchini was Zucchini Brownies, didn’t sound the greatest, but they are delicious! Nothing like a little bit of veg in your indulgences. Today is a renovation day. I know we weren’t going to do any renovations this year, except to fix the foundation wall along the garage, which Attila did early in the summer. But the stars aligned perfectly, so I decided … Continue reading