Saturday, June 24, 2017

Garden Fun, Peach Oven Pancake and Quiet Nights

Not too long ago, Alex and I had the habit of grazing all day on snacks and having a big dinner. We cut that out recently though in favour of having brunch and dinner without snacking. We haven't been able to figure out what we enjoy snacking on that isn't processed so we're pretty much giving that up altogether. This means I am getting lots of experience with my Breakfast Comforts cookbook! This morning I made a Peach and Almond Oven Pancake. It was SO DELICIOUS!!! The pancake itself is cooked in the oven and the peaches are cooked in a pan with brown sugar and butter. The pancake reminds me a bit of Yorkshire pudding, it's quite eggy and it was a new experience for us. I think the next one I'll make will be with pecans and strawberries. It looks small but it's quite big, 4 hardy slices, so we have some for tomorrow's brunch too.

I had some fun in my garden today. As you can see, "tomato land" was turning into a jungle. With two pots of garden peas, there were 12 containers in there. I took them out to prune, cage and separate, so they should do a bit better now.

Now they are in two separate areas. I put the Romas and peas next to the pumpkin patch, the regular tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are still in tomato land. I also put my lemon tree in tomato land, it's doing quite well with 4 big lemons that will hopefully turn yellow this season!

Speaking of the pumpkin patch...this is my experiment so I won't be upset if nothing happens. Having said that, I'm happy to report that the plants in the foreground are already flowering! Those are the ones I transplanted. The seeds I planted directly into the hills aren't doing so well. Only one of them grew (the little plant in the background). Funny huh? Everywhere I read and every video I watched said that pumpkins do not like being transplanted, yet they are thriving!

My "garbage bin" potatoes are thriving too. I added more earth to keep them growing well and plentiful. I'll add as much as I can as they grow, but the bins are nearly full at this point!

Despite the hot/cold weather this month, everything else is doing well. My second pot of lettuce is nearly ready to be picked and I planted 4 more pots. We realize that the Buttercrunch lettuce is our favourite crop, so I want to make sure we'll always have a good supply from now on. Every week I'll plant a new pot. I'm finding it very difficult making myself buy grocery store lettuce at this point!

My flowers are taking forever to grow though, they definitely need more sunny days like today. Our house guest Pavlov (running from Charlie) is having a ball. It's like he's on vacation up north! Why does Jack always look so sad in my photos? The other dogs are running around having fun and he's always focused on me and what I'm doing...aww, he's my little mama's boy lol...I can't even express how much these dogs mean to us!

Alex threw the ball into the little kiddie doggie pool and Jack sunk his face under to get it. I counted and he kept his face under there a good ten seconds! He's a water dog by ancestry, part pointer, part hound! :) At least that's what we think from looking at photos. He hates to get wet though, go figure.

These are my green beans, yellow beans and cukes...doing well also. I took advantage of the sunny morning to do my gardening and plant more herbs and lettuce. Now Alex and I are hibernating indoors because today is Quebec's national holiday and it's getting loud out there with tourists and bad french cover bands. There will be fireworks tonight so I'm preparing dog rescue remedy and some passionflower for Marlene. No offence to any francophones out there, but in all honesty, English people are the minority here and that's how we are typically treated. Montreal is more cultural but once you leave the cities, you're not too welcome if you speak English because it's associated with being Canadian - most Quebecers resent anything Canadian. Anyway...suffice to say we ARE NOT into the french thing so we prefer to just hang out indoors and watch movies this weekend.

But weeknights are still nice and quiet around here! Last night we treated ourselves to a cheese plate with some port and wine on the veranda. It was dark by the time we got around to dinner, and Alex had lit all the candles. It was so nice!

Here's a photo with the flash on. We found some really stinky Brie that is so delicious! And that heart-shaped cheese is a cheddar from England, so yummy! Alex and I try to be as frugal as possible since our dream is to purchase land and a home in a few years. But we also value the importance of enjoying each day. We don't go out much, we don't spend lots of money on clothes or vacations or "toys", so we treat ourselves to good food. It's important to keep your eye on the future, but to also enjoy each day as well, because we just never know what tomorrow will bring do we? :)

I hope everyone is having a great summer thus far, enjoying the garden and not working too hard!


  1. I like peaches with yogurt, that might be good on your pancakes.
    Your plants are really looking good, mine don't look that good out in the ground.
    Have a nice evening on your porch.

  2. Your oven-baked pancake looks like a German pancake, sometimes also called a Dutch (Deutsch) pancake. I love them too! Try it with icing sugar sprinkled thickly on top then squeeze fresh lemons over it. Delicious! That's the traditional way to eat one.

  3. Wow, your plants all look like they are thriving. I had a chuckle, seeing the lengths you've gone to to protect them from critters! It really is a battle, isn't it? -Jenn

  4. your garden is doing great! nothing like home grown lettuce, eh? i'm like you when it comes to the 4th of july. we have massive crowds out front so we hide inside. i hate fireworks!

  5. Rain - i had to actually open notepad in order to comment on this post! i think i would kill for that pancake it looks so good! your garden looks wonderful!!! i am sooo happy that everything looks like it is doing so well! your dogs and your borrowed dog are gorgeous!

    i love the kiddie pool for the dogs but please tell me that you and alex get in for a dip at least once a day!!! back in ottawa i always had a kiddie pool to dip in. now i have the river and eh? i am actually going to kill someoene to get that charcuterie plate! and you guys are just like me and jam - we don't go out much, don't eat at restaurants, have zero access to fast food being delivered - so we treat ourselves with our meals and making sure that every meal is a treat!

    sending much love to you all! your friend,

  6. You have a wonderful vegetable garden. Mine is very small, mostly doing it for fun.
    I'm tempted to make that oven pancake so I copied the recipe. Enjoy your summer!

  7. Hi Gill! :) We put vanilla yogurt on pancakes a lot. This time we used maple syrup. It was so delicious! I'm pretty proud of the garden so far! But I need to keep patient and remember that August is typically the harvest month around here!

  8. Hi Debra! :) Oh yes, the recipe says they are also called "Dutch babies". The recipe did call for icing sugar, but we didn't have any. Next time!! But the maple syrup really did a good job for the flavour!

  9. Hi Jenn! :) Thank you! The chicken wire solution is working so far! This is my first garden, well, my first big one. We're renting, so it's mostly containers. I read horror stories about deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds eating up people's gardens so I went full-on protection mode lol...Since the tomatoes are so high, I have to try to make another cover for them. Hopefully there will be no battle but the squirrels always find a way to eat whatever strawberries I'm able to grow. At least that's what happened last year in my one an only strawberry pot!!!

  10. Thanks Joyce! :) I do like fireworks, but not these days with a terrified dog and (we just discovered last night) a terrified cat...we got youngest cat Oscar at a rescue and last year he seemed okay. This year though, he freaked out when the fireworks started, poor little guy.

  11. Hi Kymber! :) Oh, I do that too! I use Notepad to reply to all of my comments, less scrolling that way! :) The pancake omg...I can't describe how good it is! We had leftovers for brunch today. I want to make more of them! But we have to be careful because when we like something, we tend to overdo it then never make it again lol...thanks for the potato advice! The bin is nearly full of dirt but next week I'll add as much as I can!

    Honestly? I don't think we'd dip into that kiddie pool, only because the dogs really dirty up that water when they walk though it!!! But we do have the lake nearby and we go for quick dips once in a while...but the 19 degree rainy weather isn't too conducive to wanting to take a dip in the cold lake. Hopefully the weather will get hotter in July. I'm so envious of your hot tub...I feel like it would be a tool for health as we get older, not just a tool for relaxation and comfort. I told Alex I wanted a hot tub at our new place and our imaginations just went wild with gazebos, bug screen, "sun roof"...we have motivation! :)

    Fast food: we had a yearly tradition of ordering (or taking out) pizza on Xmas eve...sitting by the fire, drinking red wine and eat greeeeezy pizza. We did it this year (after a thirty minute drive home)...and we were SO disappointed. Since we started eating (mostly) from scratch, we don't have the same palate for fast food anymore either. Next Xmas eve it'll be homemade pizza that's for sure! But enjoying a meal together is a special event for us and makes lots of memories! I'm glad you two enjoy good food too!

  12. Thank you John! :) I did a garden for fun last summer. I bought a few tomato plants and some herbs and a strawberry pot. This year, I wanted to try to feed us a little more! I hope you make that oven pancake, it's really something special! :)

  13. So nice that you enjoy each day.
    Your garden is looking good.
    Those pancakes, wow wow!
    I love suppers like that.

  14. Thanks Tammie Lee! :) Wow wow is right! We had the leftovers but I'll say they are much better freshly cooked. They were just okay, lost their wow the next day!

  15. Your garden looks like it is doing well and you are getting to harvest some. The peach pancake sounds delicious! It is good to enjoy quiet evenings together! Nancy

  16. Organic cheese here is so expensive. We don't buy it very often. Even organic cream cheese is high. I miss my raw milk, but some day we may have it again.

  17. I love making oven pancakes! Takes the toil out of standing and flipping a bunch of little ones. Plus the toppings are always great! They are eggy and as I am not the biggest fan of eggs I have to be in the mood to eat them but there is nothing stopping me from cooking them for everyone else! :) I like apples and cinnamon on mine!

    Your garden is looking fantastic! We have been having wretched weather, things are growing albeit very slowly and the soil is starting to take on a mossy look. Its sunny now but we are being promised rain for Wednesday and Thursday. No more rain!!!!

    I hope the weekend revelers were quiet and the fireworks didn't scare Marlene. That's what its like when we are at our cottage, everyone comes out to party. And sounds carries far at night and when you have an acre between the cottages its loud!!! :( I really don't like it when its a big party out there...much nicer when cottage season is done or during the week! Our Hunter seems not phased by any noise. Some kids were shooting off firecrackers in the school field across from our house Friday and he didn't even blink. My husband turned on the compressor yesterday to fill up my car tires and he walked right up to it when it was making a racket and was sniffing it. Odd pup!!!!

    I hope the rest of your week goes nice and smooth!

  18. Oh nom nom i love peaches. Those pancakes look delicious. And so does the cheese :) your plants look fantastic. Most o mine look good too but some really dont like this sh**** weather. Your porch looks so cozy in the evening with the candles :)

  19. Hi Nancy! :) Thank you, the garden is doing very well so far! My cherries, strawberries and chamomile have yet to show me anything yet though. I think they need heat and we're definitely lacking that. I have hopes for July! :)

  20. Hi Kristina! :) I wish I could get raw milk here, I wouldn't know where to find a supplier, I did a little research, but came up with nothing. We're lucky we have a good cheese shop, it's far away though, but they have raw milk cheese that's imported from Europe. When we're in town, we load up if we have some extra money!

  21. Hi Dianna! :) I never even thought about how it saves the flipping! Oooh, apples and cinnamon sound great for the fall! I'd like to make it again with some strawberries...I guess any fruit would work!

    Oh gosh, we are not having a great summer are we? You know, when the forecast calls for a lot of heavy rain, I still put the poly-tarp over my plants to protect them from the downpour, maybe that's why mine are doing so well. But I have that luxury of being home and I can run out and cover things quickly. I hope you get your sunny days soon!

    Jack is like Hunter, he sniffs the vacuum when I use it, but Marlene goes running. Jack was out with us last year watching the fireworks too...some dogs are made of steel!!

  22. Hi Nik! :) The cheese is now gone! Doesn't take long though lol...I'm going to be ordering Mozzarella and Cheddar supplies with my GST return next week, I can't wait!!!


❤ Thanks for your comment, I love hearing from everyone! ❤ Why not join me and my fellow artists every Thursday for TADD? That's Thursday Art and Dinner Date! It's a lot of fun!