Friday, July 29, 2011
I'm almost finished knitting the Ambleside Shawl that I started this past month using this beautiful Noro Cashmere Island wool. The knitting of the shawl is completely finished! I still have to block the shawl and weave in the ends. I have never blocked anything in the past so this is entirely new to me. Sweaters I have made in the past were using acrylic yarn, and the other items I have made out of wool have been smaller winter wear creations. I will post the final results hopefully modeling the shawl very soon (even though summer is a little bit warm to be wearing a shawl...I won't be able to truly enjoy this until the Fall!)
I also picked some fresh veggies from the garden today! The hot banana peppers and cayenne peppers will be used in tonight's stir fry dinner. The tiny vine tomatoes and the other cherry tomatoes are being saved to make bruschetta - within the next couple of days, there will be more ripened tomatoes to pick which will surely make enough!
Thursday, July 28, 2011
It was a beautiful summer day outside and we decided to take a trip across the border to Niagara Falls, USA. We drove to Goat Island to check it out because I had never been to see the American side of the Falls, and Paul hadn't been since he was a little kid. We parked our car at the island and walked all around.
The day started off a little bit overcast, but the weather was just perfect - not too hot and not too cold. Plus, the mist from the Falls cooled us off rather nicely! These views are from Terrapin Point at one edge of Goat Island. You can see the Maid of the Mist boat from one of the photos.
We found that the views from Goat Island are a lot better than from the Canadian side. While the Canadian Horseshoe Falls are the most spectacular falls and they are on the Canadian side of the border, you can see them a lot better from the USA! You get to be way closer to the water and there were less tourists. Having been to the Falls on the Canadian side many times in my life, I can say that this was a new perspective of Niagara Falls that I loved!
We walked along the edge a little bit further to take in the views of Niagara Falls and the river. You can see the Maid of the Mist boat and the Rainbow Bridge between Canada and the USA.
After our view of the Falls, we walked along the river down a scenic path on our way to the Three Sisters Islands. We were the only ones walking down the path and there were many opportunities to duck into the trees that were growing along the river to get right up next to the rushing water. The water was flowing down the Niagara River incredibly quickly!
The Three Sisters Islands are named after the three daughters of the man who originally made it across to each of the three islands. There are small bridges and a path across to each of the three small islands. We stopped at each of the bridges for the view of the river. We also went off the main path and explored around the small trails that wrapped around the edge of the islands.
After visiting the Three Sisters Islands, we walked across a Pedestrian Bridge to the mainland where there were a whole bunch of touristy activities in which you could partake. We chose to skip most of that stuff and just enjoy the beauty of nature and the view.
We walked back to Goat Island and saw the Nikola Tesla Memorial statue. He designed the first hydro-electric plant in Niagara Falls.
We departed Goat Island and Niagara Falls knowing that we had a fantastic afternoon there and thoroughly enjoyed our visit! After the trip to the Falls, we drove to Walden Galleria and did some shopping, and of course, made a trip to the Cheesecake Factory! On our way to Buffalo, we stopped at a scenic waterfowl outlook and spotted some ducks. We had a wonderful day together not having to travel too far from home!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Here is the Chinese Five Colours Hot Pepper. Some of the peppers are beginning to change from their first colour of purple to a creamy shade of pale yellow. After that, they will turn pink, red and orange. It will be fun to see them change colors as they ripen! This plant seems to keep growing new peppers, so hopefully we will get a lot of them out of just one plant!
This is the Variegated Fish Hot Pepper with its striped peppers. They start off green with faint white stripes, and they are changing to be green and orange/yellow. I believe that they will end up being orange and yellow when they ripen and are ready to be eaten. It will be interesting to see how these ones turn out! I have two of these plants and they have many peppers on them.
Here is the Cayenne Pepper plant. Just one of the peppers is turning red but it won't take long for the others to turn from green to red. This is the only Cayenne plant that I have as the other one unfortunately died. Should still get lots of tasty hot peppers though!
Lots of Hungarian Hot Banana Peppers, ready to be picked and devoured!
Then, we have lots of tomatoes! Thankfully, none of the tomato plants died when I had to transplant them - very lucky! I am so glad that I moved them out of their previous shady location. Even though we may not get as many tomatoes as we could have gotten had they been in the full sun the entire time, these tomato plants have really grown and have lots of tomatoes growing on them! It may take a little longer for them to mature, but some of the tomatoes are starting to turn red! And that is good, because I cannot wait to make my famous salsa and bruschetta bread!
Friday, July 22, 2011
Even though I don't live in Dundas anymore, I love being able to shop at the local Farmer's Market whenever I can. We had one of the hottest days on record here with the weather (with humidity) topping a sweltering 50 degrees Celsius. It felt like a sauna outside and you would sweat like crazy even standing still in the shade. Many of the regular vendors weren't at the market due to the heat, but I still managed to pick up some great local and organic fruits and vegetables.
I picked up containers of blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. Juicy and delicious, perfectly in season!
I found these baby garlic scapes at one vendor who sold all organic veggies (I can't remember the name of the farm, unfortunately!), and these wonderful looking sweet onions from the Plan B Organic Farms stand. We've cooked with the scapes for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but they didn't have the garlic bulbs attached to the ends like these ones! I'm very excited to try them.
Organic cucumber, green beans, and assorted leafy salad greens.
Fresh locally grown mushrooms at the bottom of a paper bag.
I haven't tried these yet - jam and salsa by From These Roots. The Sultry Summer Salsa is made using organic vegetables from the garden and the Wild Blueberry Jam just sounds delicious!
I also bought some vegetable samosas and pakoras (not pictured) from Picone's in Dundas, as well as some of my favorite coffee beans from Detour. All in all, I had a fabulous day and did I mention, spent this wonderful day with two of my best friends in the world! That made the day even better!
The Dundas Farmer's Market is held every Thursday from 3:00-7:00pm in a parking lot on Miller's Lane in downtown Dundas, Ontario. Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
With a corner fireplace in our family room, it is difficult to know how to decorate it. I did have a couple of larger plants that I have been growing since back when I worked at a garden centre during my university days. I bought a few new smaller tropical plants, along with some colourful pots, and the whole room feels brighter and more lively!
The middle larger blue pot is from Terra Greenhouses - it is a Scheurich ceramic pot from Germany. We also have a larger Jade plant that is now living inside a white Scheurich pot (pictured below). The smaller orange-red and yellow glass pots were purchased at Crate & Barrel.
The plants, from left to right, are: "Forget Me Knot" (the branches are shaped into a knot) Dracaena marginata, Dracaena, Money Tree, Ficus, "Autumn Splendor" from the Croton Collection.
I also have a really big Jade plant that just keeps growing and growing! It is a little bit out of control at the moment, even after being trimmed back a bit. I think I need to stake the plant a bit so the branches don't grow all over the place.