slow cooker wild apple chutney

Out for a hike along the Bruce Trail near Lion’s Head, in a tangle of wildflowers, and birch trees, and short, gnarled, thousand-year-old eastern white cedars, we fall upon an old, long forgotten apple orchard. The apple trees have grown wild. Some of them are stunted by the patchy, shallow earth they’re growing in, amidst all the limestone outcroppings. The trees are laden, heavy with fruit. The apples are shades of dark red and gold, soft green and pale yellow, some mottled, some picture-perfect. The sky above is a deep, heavenly blue, almost too perfect to be real. It’s an unbelievable bounty – a portrait of pure, wild joy.

Continue reading “slow cooker wild apple chutney”

homemade ricotta & a batch of baked spinach ricotta penne

I’m padding around my kitchen barefoot, late at night, on a rescue mission – making homemade ricotta from the milk that’s set to expire and cooking a batch of broccoli cheddar soup before the broccoli expires too. I love this – this quiet solo time in the kitchen. Pots on the stove. Fragrant aromas wafting through the house. Soft lighting. A shaft of moonlight falling across the dining room table. It’s a gorgeous August night. There’s a cool breeze, a waxing gibbous moon, and Neil Diamond singing “Stones” from the Hot August Night album on the radio. I’m on a massive trip down memory lane, remembering my beautiful best friend from high school, who succumbed to cancer way too early. We knew every single word to this entire album. Continue reading “homemade ricotta & a batch of baked spinach ricotta penne”

on ego, ideals, and a batch of slow-cooker granola

I’ve been thinking about this brilliant passage on the subject of ego and ideals: Continue reading “on ego, ideals, and a batch of slow-cooker granola”

a well-worn classic – self-saucing baked chocolate pudding

 

When I was very young, I had a book in which somebody had inscribed the following:  Continue reading “a well-worn classic – self-saucing baked chocolate pudding”

beans, bacon, whisky, lard – and New Year’s resolutions

bean hotpot

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Continue reading “beans, bacon, whisky, lard – and New Year’s resolutions”

silent symphony

snow on willows

This morning we woke up to the first real snow of the season. As much as I don’t absolutely love winter, I have to admit, the first snowfall is always a thrill. It’s pretty. And at least momentarily, the world is a beautiful, clean, white slate. Continue reading “silent symphony”

memories of love: tortellini in brown butter sage sauce

My paternal grandfather was one of the great loves of my life. He introduced me to the concept of unconditional love, though neither of us ever used those words. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I never heard him use the word love and he wasn’t particularly demonstrative either.  But I knew he loved me – long before I knew much of anything at all. Continue reading “memories of love: tortellini in brown butter sage sauce”

tart wild thing: wild apple crisp

Last night, just after dusk, I heard a pack of coyotes howling. It’s such a classic call of the wild – first the high-pitched yipping – then the howls. Then the dark silence, as though it never happened. Except it’s so haunting that the sound stays with you a while – lingering on – giving you just the slightest sense of unease.

This morning it was the wild geese. They’re gathering on the river just beyond my house. Every fall they do this. They congregate for days until, I presume, they reach some critical mass, when they take off and head south in their classic V-formation.

Wild seems to be a theme in my life just at the moment.  Things are a bit wild – a bit messy and out of control – too many deadlines – too much on. I’m overwhelmed. Even my misuse of hyphens seems to have become a little more wild than normal.  Continue reading “tart wild thing: wild apple crisp”

goat slider burgers with yoghurt mint sauce

I’m an increasingly guilt-ridden meat-eater.

Vegetarians and vegans will probably scoff at this – but I try to eat meat responsibly. I buy local meat whenever I can. I think about what I buy. I eat vegetarian routinely and purposefully. So, it’s with some reluctance that I post this recipe. It’s just that in all honesty, it is one of my absolute favourite meals. Continue reading “goat slider burgers with yoghurt mint sauce”

homeward bound

“There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul.”

~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables Continue reading “homeward bound”