Big Meal Time!

May 23rd, 2009 § Comments Off on Big Meal Time! § permalink

Brian and I rode our bikes to the Wychwood Art Barns farmers’ market this morning. We had a good ride there, thanks to the dedicated bike lane on Davenport. But when we got to the Barns, no bike racks. People were stabling their rides anywhere they could. We saw one poor woman with a baby on her back trying to lock her bike to the fence. Hmmmm…

Back to the market. We purchased some amazing things: cinnamon honey from Bee’s Universe; garlic pickles; 5 chili chocolate from Choco; whole grain bread from St. John’s; smoked fish and summer sausage; elderberry cheese and organic olive oil; heritage tomato plants, lemon grass and thai basil. And we even purchased a CD. Big Meal Time! The name says it all. Those kids can really kick it out.

Fencing

May 16th, 2009 § Comments Off on Fencing § permalink

It’s time to build a new fence. A big tall one.

It’s not that we don’t like our neighbours. They’re very nice people. It’s just that we like our privacy more. And we know that they do too. That way Molly can zip into her backyard in her pink house robe to water her beloved lawn and not feel exposed. That way Brian and I can languish over supper under the wisteria without feeling like we’re performing dinner theatre.

We’re going to Home Depot later today to purchase prefab fence panels. They’re easy and fast. And we’re going to pay extra to get the lattice on top. Six feet should provide enough cover. Yes, it will mean there will be less sun for the garden. Yes, it will make our backyard look smaller than it already is. But it will be our sanctuary. Then, once the fence is built, we can build our new shed. The plot thickens…

the stink of spring

May 4th, 2009 § Comments Off on the stink of spring § permalink

I was so excited by the lovely tree at the front of our house when we first moved to our new home. It’s one of the few mature trees on the block and it makes our place look so beautiful. But little did I know that the lovely tree was in fact a dreaded Bradford Pear.

Anyone with any experience with the Bradford knows about its reputation: the tree stinks when in bloom. I mean, it reeks, bad. Don’t be deceived by those gorgeous white blossoms: they send out the funkiest smell.

It’s almost amusing to see the look on people’s faces as they catch a waft of our potent tree. They scrunch up their noses and cover their mouths, searching desperately for the source of the stench. No one suspects our tree!

But we know the truth. So we keep the windows closed until the beautiful display of spring blossoms have run their course. It usually takes about two weeks for the flower petals to drop, the musky scent growing stronger with each day and as the mercury rises. Ah, spring!

We’ve heard that the Bradford is also famous for splitting in half for barely any reason at all, due to its upright habit and clustered branching. It literally explodes itself. We can only hope. Until then, we’ll dream of the day when we can replace it with a lovely, sweet-scented cherry.

Una’s organic wedding cake

May 2nd, 2009 § Comments Off on Una’s organic wedding cake § permalink

It’s been a while since I’ve chained myself to the kitchen making something as involved as a wedding cake. But when my friend Una told us she was getting married, and that they’d managed to cover everything except the wedding cake, my inner baker woke up and stepped forward.

I love building cakes. It’s second only to building habitable structures and writing books. See, wedding cakes require planning and passion, just like good stories. You start out with an idea and then the idea evolves as you work away.

My first impulse was to make something elaborate and over the top. I wanted pomp and circumstance. Something that announced “no expense spared – they may not have a lot of money but man, the bride was beautiful and wasn’t that one hell of a cake!”

But a five-tiered parade with crystal pedestals was hardly practical as it needed to travel hundreds of kilometres south to New York State. The cake had to be strong enough to handle the journey. It had to be intimate and personal. It had to say “I love you, more than ever,” even if I can’t be there to tell you myself.

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