Wrapping Up Summer 2011

I know, I know I’m holding on to the warm days as much as anyone else but the days are getting shorter and the nights, cooler. I’m thinking about wrapping up my plants or bringing them inside and buying my dogs new sweaters. I’m thinking of baking warm delicious things at night and not sweating to death. I’m thinking about the fall leaves and festivals and all the new goodies at the market popping up. Fall is a wonderful time.

If you are like me, most of you are probably still holding on to the last of summer. We still have warm sunshiny days, I’m taking my dogs for extra long walks, I’m attending baseball games and still dining alfresco whether it’s picnic or patio. I wanted to post about what I did this summer in terms of food and life. Wrap up the things that worked and some that didn’t and the things I learned that will carry me on to the next summer.


In May,  AJ got us tons of stuff to try our hands at growing some vegetables and some herbs. With some guidance from both our Moms and a few friends, and a few clippings from Rebecca, I now have at least a little to show for it. As summer is wrapping up I wanted to catalogue our attempt at gardening. I feel we did a good job with what we have, I learned a lot and now next year we will be more fruitful. Growing a garden couldn’t be more easy. We grew ours in pots and are still collecting green treats on the regular. It’s going to be time to transfer some of it inside and that I’m still learning about plus I do not have much space.


Although May is technically Spring the garden carried me through all the rainy nights with the prospect of summer. I thought warm thoughts and rang in Cinco De Mayo preparing some delicious Mexican inspired recipes such as Black Bean Quesadillas served with home made Guacamole. I also tried a new Portuguese soup called Caldo Verde which warmed me up during the cold wet Spring.


In June, the rains of Spring finally ceased and I got to celebrate the first warm days with a picnic with Sue. After a long Winter and a cold wet Spring it felt so nice to sit in the grass and just lay in the sun with good company and simple but delicious food. It was AJ’s birthday so we did a lot of family celebrating, ate a lot of cake and drank a lot of beer. A good friend of mine got married and I helped with the photography and of course the drinking and the eating, to celebrate that is. Asparagus came into season and I was eating it along with bread and eggs every weekend. Simple fried eggs with home made bread toasted and a side of pan fried asparagus. I also reclaimed some stale bread and made Strata for the first time! BBQ season was starting up as was baseball  and we were working hard on getting a new rescue dog. 


In July the weather was great, we used the BBQ every time we got a chance. I barely cooked and took some time to relax while AJ took supper by the reins for us. I walked a lot to work and took extra long walks with Gambit. We still had a lot of planning and errands to do with getting Rogue at this point as well as I was training for a new position at work. July was very busy and flew by. Our office was part of the local Pride Parade which ran right into my Mother’s Birthday. She and my Dad came down a few times in July to have supper outside on a patio in down town Halifax. I got to make some new cocktails as well as one of the best cakes I’ve ever attempted a Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte. To end the month (July 28th) we successfully arranged Rogue’s transport thanks to a handful of devoted, gracious and generally amazing people. Rogue was finally home and we could relax and enjoy the new addition to the family.


In August we adjusted to the new family member. We had a lot of struggles at first. Rogue was previously abused, although her health was good. She peed on the floor almost every day, several times a day for about 3 weeks. She was hyper active due to kennel stress and her and Gambit were not getting a long at all. After several weeks they had become friends and by the end of August I was relieved. She still has a long way to go but it’s progress every day. Her and Gambit are friends now and I can tell how she relies on him to tell her what to do. She lacks in human and dog social skills but she is super smart and learning fast. During this time I was home a little more than usual, I had taken some time off to spend with the dogs and the time I took, I cooked and baked a lot. I made Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake which was so moist and dense it was to die for. I attempted to focus on healthy recipes as I really did gain weight this summer and came up with a fresh strawberry salad dressing as well as a plum salsa. I found the perfect white bread recipe for my boyfriend and shared a wonderful white wine with Sue. August was really good to me.


It’s now September and I’m still eating sweet corn. We celebrated Gambit’s adoption day which was on 09/02 and had a big family BBQ. I accomplished one of my goals this summer which was to successfully BBQ a pizza. I got one more picnic in and got to see a place in Nova Scotia that even though it is super close to where I live, I had never even hear about it.  Of course this was a Susan directed adventure, she always knows the great places to visit. We later went back to York Redoubt and did a photo shoot as part of Susan’s Birthday celebrations. We also attended a Fringe Festival production called Mesmerize put on by some uber talented belly dancing/contortionist/hula-hooping godesses AND we drank wine of course! I actually found a California Red wine which I really liked! And finally, I followed a recipe from Joy the Baker/Tracy of shutterbean.com and became a vinegar potato salad convert.



I know I have four more days until it’s officially Fall however this weekend I have only Summer plans. It’s the end of baseball season and I’m going to go support the team and cheer as we only have 5 games left split over 2 days. I may wear shorts… gasp.. and I plan to spend the weekend with the doggies. As for next week I think I need to do some shopping!


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