The stars aligned this past week. My dear dear friend Valentina called to say that she and her man Henroy planned to be in the area and wanted to visit. Awesome. We planned for a 24 hour visit from Saturday afternoon to Sunday.
The next day, a woman I work with said that her sister was coming in from Halifax on Saturday morning and bringing lobster. A box holds a dozen beasties Nancy only needed 4 so I got 8.
I decided to steam rather than boil them. It took about 15 minutes. I pulled 3 of them out half way through so I could finish them on the bbq on Sunday.
Tina and I made quick work of breaking down the cooked lobsters. We sliced open the tails and cracked the legs and claws with the back of our knives. Totally the rhythm of a kitchen drum circle. It was perfect.
We had the lobster with some local treats. I made potato salad with some screamingly new potatoes from helinka in combermere. Peas from Chris and peas from Joanne. Radishes from Jackson. Cucumbers from Joanne . And a kale and broccoli salad from my garden. It was a feast.
We accompanied it with a couple of bottles of prosecco and followed it with a campfire by the lake. Pretty much a perfect day.
We were blessed with stunning weather. The best July can offer. After breakfast on the dock I took Tina and Henroy out for a boat tour of the lake.
They left for the trek back to kitchener after a salad lunch with all the wee bits lurking in the fridge.
After a wee nap in the hammock I grilled the 3 remaining lobsters and served them to V and M with more salad and a big bowl of boiled new potatoes with garlic and parsely. And a jar of pickled baby beets for Vic.
What a perfect weekend. And only 6 more sleeps until vacation and family party. 🙂
My friend is away this week and she told me to make sure to harvest her garden while she was away. I walked over after work today and picked zucchini peas and beans. I added broccoli from my garden, an onion from the market, and a handful of shrimp that were lurking in my fridge waiting to become dinner.
At the end I added a couple of spoonfuls of fermented bean and chili sauce and tossed it all together . It’s a common Chinese condiment made with fermented soy beans and fresh red medium-hot chilies. If you’ve ever ordered ‘black bean’ something at a Chinese restaurant that’s the flavour.
Piled on a mound of basmati rice and eaten outside on my front porch at home while a storm is seeming to blow in. I continue to be delighted with the meals that the garden keeps suggesting.
Today it reached 31 in killaloe and tomorrow is supposed to be hotter. Thankfully a weekend at the lake is in my immediate future. And I’ve got a special luxe weekend of food planned with one of my dearest friends. Fun fun.
That looks like a lot but it’s really just about 3 ounces of cow tenderloin sliced very thinly. It was a wee leftover piece of tail (lol) from a previous project that has been waiting in my freezer for the right thing to come along.
Broccoli so fresh that I didn’t pick it until the rice was cooked and the meat had marinated. I did a pretty basic stir fry. Garlic ginger onions white wine soy sauce sesame oil and corn starch. Cilantro and parsley went in at the end. Simple and good.
I feel very fortunate to have broccoli in my garden. I hear that it’s prone to bugs but I haven’t had any. And it tastes great.
Lots more to come for sure. The garden grows by leaps and bounds every day.
Spicy Korean Garlic Fried Chicken
I found this recipe on YouTube about a month ago and it’s been calling to me ever since. Today was the day. Maangchi is a Korean woman living in new York with a great food blog and YouTube channel. Look her up if you have any interest in Korean food. It’s great home cooking-type stuff.
I started with 2 of the huge chicken thighs from the chicken I butchered in the fall. Skinned and boned there was 500 grams of meat. I tossed it with egg, potato starch, ginger, soy sauce and pepper.
Next I made an oil infused with onion flowers from my garden, garlic from my friend Karen and chili flakes. I saved the garlic and onion flower for garnish and strained the oil for later.
I deep fried the chicken pieces in a wok for about 5 minutes then let then drain while I made the sweet and sour sauce.
I used the infused oil to cook onions and some green chilies, then added soy sauce, vinegar, water, and potato starch.
As a final step I re-fried the Chicken bits to get them extra crispy and tossed them in the sweet and sour sauce with the garlic and onion flowers.
So so good. I had the intention to make a salad but I ended up just eating the chicken and having a beer. Kind of like Korean pub food. I’ll have a salad tomorrow with the leftovers.
It’s been a difficult year for gardening but things may be turning around. It was way too hot way too early then it got cold again and then back to hot. And it’s been so so dry. Thankfully we’ve got some rain in the past week so things are picking up.
My greens are great. This is a row of kale, arugula, cilantro, and lettuce. The arugula has just started to bolt but I likely have a few more weeks yet until I turn the patch over.
The broccoli is doing really well. All of the plants now are broccoli-ing. There’s nothing quite like broccoli snapped from the plant and eaten where you stand.
Tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplants are all in bloom and the cucumber plants are doing great.
Eggplant flowers are a delicate purple shade. I’ll try to get a picture to share.
My garlic didn’t do well at all this year between the leek moth and the draught. And while my asparagus thrives, so do the asparagus beetles. Grr. I’ve squished more bugs and larvae in the past few weeks than I care to remember.
I’ll get some better pics soon and give an update on my gardens at work.
I love having my own garden but it means I need to practise a lot of restraint at the market. I can’t let myself buy things from vendors if I’m growing it myself.
Today’s lunch is a mix of produce from my garden and from some of my farmer friends. The lettuce, arugula, tatsoi, and kale are from my plot. The cucumbers and dill are from Joanne, basil from Chris, tomatoes from David, radishes from the people in killaloe that I never can remember their name, and eggs from Pam.
It tasted great and the smell of the fresh herbs filled the room.
In other news, we finally got a nice long rain and the gardens are smiling. It’s been so dry and watering with a hose just can’t replace a good rain. And I got to eat my first spear of broccoli from my own garden the other day.
I’ve never had fresher and the taste was beyond comparison.
Bring on summer!