Summer Berry Calfoutis

 

David Chow's Mulberry and Red-currant clafoutis

David Chow’s Mulberry and Red-currant clafoutis

 

If you are looking for the perfect, quick, simple and delicious dessert to use up all the amazing fruit and berries that are bursting forth around us, look no further than the classic clafoutis. The clafoutis, often known as clafouti, comes to us from the Limousin region in France, traditionally made with un-pitted black cherries. If you want to be real stickler about it, this dessert, made with any other fruit other than the aforementioned cherries is known as a flaugnarde. But no matter. The dessert police will not jail you if you call it a clafouti! Continue »



Filling in the Cracks with Hardy Sedums

Sedums can fill unusual spaces in the garden, like this V-shaped gap in the garden.

Sedums can fill unusual spaces in the garden, like this V-shaped gap in the garden.

Perennial Sedums, the winter hardy version of succulents, are tough. Remember, if you like succulents, there are two kinds, the tender ones that can’t survive freezing temperatures—like echeveria, jade plants, burro’s tail—and these, commonly called Hens and Chicks or stonecrop, which are perfectly able to withstand Canadian winters. There is always a space where you can fit a few in your garden. And there are so many named varieties of hardy sedum to choose from. Colours range from green, blue-green, and pink all the way to deep purple. One of my favourite new varieties that does well in dry shade is bright yellow-green ‘Angelina’, which turns orange in the fall.

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‘Angelina’ sedum turning orange in September.

 

The sustainable approach to gardening is to make sure you have growing plants covering soil, rather than on relying on mulch. Avoid bare soil at any cost. Instead, use low ground covers for any garden bare spots. Sedums work especially well in garden crevices, as seen in the picture above. They are true ground huggers and help to stop erosion on slopes. This sedum patch above, is growing on a slope, where even mulch would be regularly washed away.

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Chill out with these Chill Soups

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In the winter there are few things as comforting and satisfying as a big bowl of hot soup, brimming with meat and root vegetables, a hearty soup with a slice or two of thick buttered bread is a winter favourite. But soup has its place on summer menus too. Chilled soups are healthy and delicious, and there’s something about a chilled soup that seems elegant and refined; a cold soup served on a sun-splashed patio usually elicits a murmuring of delight and even surprise. Maybe it’s because, as Canadians, when we think soup we usually think of the aforementioned hearty bowls of chunky, meaty winter soup, or have been inundated with images of children racing home to a steaming bowl of tomato soup, or vats of chicken noodle soup-Jewish penicillin-when someone goes down with a nasty cold. Chilled soups in the summer do not conjure up similar emotions, but simply delight us with bright, lively colours and fresh flavour Continue »



Love Grows where My Rosemary Goes

 

Rosemary in full bloom

Rosemary in full bloom

 

I’m a lucky fella, and I’ve just got to tell her
That I love her endlessly
Because love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me-  
Edison Lighthouse

If you love rosemary the way Edison Lighthouse does, we understand. They were talking about the herb right? This perennial evergreen, a member of the mint family, is one of those gifts that keeps on giving throughout the year, it’s aromatic leaves appearing in foods both savoury and sweet. And this summer’s hot dry conditions are perfect for rosemary; native to the Mediterranean, it thrives in these conditions, growing into a full, bushy shrub reaching a height of over six feet. It is lovely to look at too, making a wonderful addition to your summer gardens, its unmistakable scent noticeable when you walk by. Though it won’t survive our cold winters outdoors, Sarah Battersby tells us how to keep it thriving during the winter, making this wonderful plant an herb for all seasons.

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Raspberries are Rock Stars

 

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When it comes to fresh fruit and berries, living in Ontario in the summer is like attending a season long music festival; just when one headliner finishes their act, along comes another to take centre stage. We started out the spring with rhubarb fool, we glutted ourselves on strawberries, then cherries, then blueberries, and now raspberries are making their way to the main stage. Continue »