Monday, May 1, 2017

Happy May Day! We're Eating Red!

Last May 1st (2016). We still had snow. And we had that little pergola structure that the previous tenants put up for their bbq...which fell over in a wind storm!

Just three weeks ago...

What do I have to complain about? It's May 1st and even though it's raining, the snow is GONE. This gives me lots of happy! :) I should be dancing around the May Pole today lol...but it's cold out, so today is an indoor comfort/cozy/hygge day!

I managed to get out to the garden center yesterday and got my supplies for the porch. Those 8 foot pieces of wood will have to be sanded and weather-proofed, which I will start once the rain dies down at the end of the week. I also got some chicken wire - I want to make some kind of screening for my container garden to keep the birds away. My neighbour told me last year the birds picked at all of her pumpkin seeds and they never stood a chance!

(not my photo!)

Has anyone ever made lilac lemonade? Kristina mentioned it in her post today. It got me curious and I found a recipe online. I've been reading good things about its benefits: it has a calming effect when used as aromatherapy, so it might be good for my anxiety problem. I also read it was used to treat if you come down with a case of it, eat a lilac flower! 

This is out my office window. Our lilac tree is just starting to bud. I think I will harvest some of the flowers this year. I would like to try to make the lilac simple syrup for the lemonade, but also use the flowers for aromatherapy. I'm always trying to find new, natural ways to help with anxiety and depression...not to mention any other ailments that come my way! Oh, there's a Blue Jay on the ground by the bird feeder! I didn't see him when I clicked the photo!

Eating Red!!! We had some tomatoes to use up and the bread I made the other morning was so fresh, we decided on tomato sandwiches for dinner last night. Once in a while for a treat, I buy some Imperial aged Cheddar. It comes spreadable...but like I said, it's a treat because now it's up to nearly $8.00 for that little 1 cup container. It was a nice light dinner.

I fell for it again...strawberries were on sale last week, and I bought some. They come all the way from California and who really knows how old they are by the time they get here? All I can think of is "oooh strawberries!!!"...but, they never taste very good. They aren't sweet at all. Sigh. We added some sugar to the strawberry shortcake to help it along. I must try to wait until there are fresh local strawberries available! It's hard though!


  1. I know what you mean about the strawberries! I have some in the back but they're June bearing so it will be a while. I got some at the store also as they are just too tempting in the stores but like you, I am always flavor, no juice, no sweetness.
    Happy May Day to you with no snow! You have global warming to thank probably! LOL! Although global warming really isn't funny but alas some things you have to laugh about or you'd cry and I'm not a crier. I have a cheese I buy here that is almost as costly so I too try to make it last. It's a real treat! I need to make bread today for sure as I am out. It's cold here after the storms came through and it's windy and overcast a good day for some Hygge is right! The heat is on as it was only 50 F when I got up this morning.
    I wish I had some lilacs here as I love them! Lucky you! Have a great day!

  2. Hi Sam :)) I have a strawberry plant from last year, but I'm not sure what's happening with it, I believe mine is June bearing also, so I'll have to wait and see. The store bought fruit these days seems to be so tasteless. I think that's one of the reasons why we don't eat much fruit anymore, it's not because we don't like it. I think I need to research around for where we can get fresh fruit. We have lots of apple orchards here and we go apple picking in the fall...but I need a good supply of fresh fruit until I can grow my own. I have the heat on too. After a soaker-walk with the dogs this morning, we all needed to warm up! Have a great hygge day!

  3. I like your lemonade. It's good to experiment with different things and see if you can find something better than what the doctor fobs off on you.

    When we lived in Italy, one of our favorite meals was tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh bread from one of the little road side places by the beach. Seeing your pictures reminded me of that.

  4. Hi! You sound as impatient as I am to get out there and garden. Dreary day here in Indiana for the first day of May but I went and bought plants anyway! Hurry up nice weather! Nancy

  5. Rain, I actually made lilac lemonade today. Yum.

  6. When I was grocery shopping on Saturday, a young Asian man asked me to help him pick out a good container of strawberries because he didn't know how to tell if they were good or not. (Like I do?) I showed him how to turn the container over and check for mold but that's the best I could do. I hope he enjoyed them!

  7. Those tomato sandwiches look wonderful. (My husband would say, "Where's the meat?") Our organic co-op has had some tomatoes that actually taste flavorful. Not like vine ripened from the garden, but not too bad.

    We got up to 40F today so the predicted rain/snow mix was all rain. Yay! We have to be thankful for small favors this time of year! I have to keep repeating my mantra: Warm weather is coming, warm weather is coming!

  8. I made the same strawberry mistake a few times already this year :( an't wait for my own. The kids had a fundraiser at school where u could order plants. I ordered white strawberries...cant wait to get them.

  9. Rain, I think even in California it is still too early for the good ones.

    You might look up lavender lemonade if you have not already. I have not had it but I do love the smell and taste of lavender.

  10. Hi Harry :) I can't wait to try the lemonade, I'm just waiting on the lilacs now. If it were up to the doctors, I'd still be on 4 different mind-numbing meds...the worst part was that they kept upping and upping the dose because they became ineffective. It was hard to ween off those, but now it's all natural for me. Wow, you lived in Italy? How nice! I wish I could find a nice fresh Mozzarella! When we move, I'm planning on setting up a little spot for cheese-making.

  11. Hi Nancy! :)) Yes, I'm antsy to be outdoors! This will be my first big garden. I've had herb gardens in the past and last year I grew some tomatoes and strawberries from plants, this year it's all from seed, and I'm so excited. I hope you get some good weather to get out into the dirt soon! :)

  12. Hi Kristina! Oh cool, I can't wait to make some myself! :)

  13. Hi Debra :) That's what I do too, turn it over. I think that quality of fruit these days isn't like it used to be, I just can't wait to have some fresh fruit soon. If someone asked me how to choose fruit, I would be tempted to say "buy the plants and grow some yourself"...

  14. Hi Mama Pea :)) It's true, warm weather is coming! It got kind of autumny here lately with rain and chilly temperature...but I'm keeping faith in Mother Nature! :) The tomatoes are very good, they're the ones I buy at our market and they're always so fresh and reasonably priced. But still, I can't wait to taste my own!

  15. Hi Nik :)) White strawberries? How fun! It's hard to resist a berry after a long winter...but we have to! :)

  16. Hi TB :) I actually have some lavender essential oil and I find it's good for my migraines, it also helps me relax, but I get really sick of the smell quickly. But I bought some lavender seeds this year and I'll be planting those as well, thanks for the suggestion, I'll likely try to make lemonade from those too!

  17. Happy May Day (ish)! That cheese spread looks so delish! Doesn't this time of year make you just want to go out and go crazy with the planting? I am having the hardest time waiting -- because I know the cold nights are not quite past.

  18. Hi Susan :)) That cheese is so good, but my arrogant to charge that much lol...I want someone to come spread it on my bread for me for that price! Yeah, the cold nights are definitely not past yet here either...patience patience patience... :)

  19. Hi Rain!

    We spent Beltane evening walking the dogs out in the wide open. It was bliss! :)

    We too had tomatoes for dinner! I made grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches with butternut squash soup.

    Amazing the time from a few weeks ago to now and the snow is GONE! :) Rain is welcome this time of year and I hope tonight as Environment Canada promises, some thunderstorms. I love grabbing my blanket and sitting on our front stoop to watch the storms roll through.

    I have never bought that cheese although I have seen it in the stores. I was always worried that it would be like Cheese Whiz but now I know it is not! (thank you).

    I love lilacs and their scent!! We have a few trees around the yard and my really big one has the loveliest smell of all. I tend to bring in a few branches and keep it at my bedside so I can smell this all night. Pure bliss to me. I can see why the smell would help with anxiety. Very calming!

    Did you get the pics I sent of the wee greenhouse? The lettuce really likes it in there. It told me this morning :) Kidding...I don't really hear voices ;)

    Have a good day,

  20. Hello Rain,
    You were right I should have asked my question on your blog. I did find the answer: simple syrup keeps indefinatly (per "Food 52" blog). Adding liquid citric acid or lemon juice will keep it from crystallizing. Happy cooking, Sandy

  21. Hi Dianna!

    Well, I will warn you... That Imperial cheese has lost its really good flavor. As per usual, the quality of everything goes down, but it is not quite like Cheese Whiz yet, I'd wait for it to go on sale if you want to try it!

    I love that you talk to your lettuce haha! The greenhouse is really cute. I can't wait for the lilacs to grow! I love smelling them, but now I want to see if they help with anxiety! I'm glad that you had a nice walk on Beltane!

  22. Hi Sandy! I've made simple syrup a lot actually. I make a spicy one to go in an Old Fashioned. I find that they do last a long time, but I don't put lemon juice or citric acid in mine. We keep them in the fridge, but I would say after about a year, they could get a little musty. Finding the right combination of sugar to water was the key for non-crystallization for us. I find 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water works well!


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