Tag Archives: garden


A couple years ago, i saw endive on the list at Bailey’s and imagined braised belgian endive drizzled with olive oil like i had in France. When i picked up my order and a mass of frizzled lettuce, i was disappointed. I can’t remember what i ended up doing with it.

Since then, i’ve come round to escarole (aka frizzy endive). In a big way.

IMG_0348.JPGThis summer, i seeded some in our garden. And last night, we harvested it for my favourite soup:

White Bean & Escarole Soup
1-2 cups cannellini, great white northern or navy beans
2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (red) onion, diced
6 cups escarole, chopped
3 cups (chicken or pork) stock
1/4 cup parmesan plus more to serve

Soak beans overnight. Simmer for 60-90 minutes or until tender. Sauté pancetta in oil until browned; add in onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add escarole and cook until slightly wilted. Add beans and stock. Simmer for several minutes. Add cheese and splash of lemon juice, if desired.

Good Company

I’ve befriended tomatoes this past weekend. I admit i didn’t have much of a choice….if i didn’t, the fruit flies would have.

There are two boxes of san marzanos and granaderos waiting to be canned in the front hall, those rippened are filling up cookie sheets ready to be oven-roasted and the yellow and orange cherries are being brought in from the garden to soften in the fruit bowl.


I took one of these and topped a baguette and a slice of sauvagine and thanked the hot weather that finally came round.

But fresh is still best. Pinky-red rather than orange and heavily creased and folded like a true heirloom. Sliced and nestled together on sourdough.


Quite possibly the best tomato we’ve ever grown.

Holy Smokes!

All last week, i waited for the asparagus to show its purple tips…but nothing. Then a glimpse beneath the soil before we headed put of town for three days. When we returned, the trilliums were flowering, the fiddleheads had unfurled, and the asparagus were almost a foot tall.


Redeem the garden

It’s mid-summer and the squash is flourishing. Sadly though, it is taking a toil on the rest of the garden. It’s tendrils sweep from one end of the garden to the other, past waving asparagus, climbing alongside the sugar snaps, squeezing itself between the gaps in the rabbit fence bordering the kale.

And the baby wormy vine borers inhabiting its stalk are even more aggressive. Silently. So that this plant, once a gift from the compost spread on the garden last fall, is now a curse.

But let’s not write it off completely, not yet, not until we name the four gourds we cut from its vine, like members of our family.


Or salvage its flowers before they completely whither and bake them with goat cheese….and devour them.


Stuffed Squash Blossoms:
1 egg
175 g goat cheese
2 T. bread crumbs
handful of parsley
salt & pepper

Combine and stuff 6 fresh squash blossoms. Whisk an additional egg in shallow bowl. Prepare another shallow bowl with 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Dip each blossom in egg, then cover in crumbs. Bake at 425 until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes.


With the goal being to wear as little as possible in this heat, i scrounged up some thin knit fabric and sewed a simple tshirt dress. it went a little like this: lay two 18×36 pieces of fabric on top of each other with wrong sides facing. Sew together 18″ side. Cut half circle (leaving 6″ on each side) for neckline. Cut a deeper scoop on front side of dress. Now sew together side seams, beginning seam 6″ below top seam to allow for armholes. Curve inward slightly for shaping at chest. Leave hem and arms raw. Sew a simple folded seam at neckline.


The boys have been sculpting in the sandbox.


And the first zucchini and shelling peas are ready.


In between days

We have a lot of trips planned this summer, both short and long. The days in between – while i look forward to them – for Eily, they are taken some getting used to. A bit of boredom can do you good….in the long run. Still, i’m trying not to just fill up these days with housework and self-directed play. But to give them something to look forward to in these wide open afternoons.

So we painted….ponds and muskrats and waterfalls and also ourselves. It’s something we haven’t done in ages and not yet with Gabe. I took the easel from the attic and put it in the yard. With the pool nearby to dunk Gabe in at the end.

We stopped for snacks and to steal the first ripe raspberries from the garden. And sugar snaps. And broccoli.