BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ripe with Plenty

Our garden is throwing out the spoils of early plantings, and we are enjoying the ability to pick our dinner right before it needs to be cooked.  We are eating kale, carrots, zucchini, peas, lettuce, onions and a host of other garden flavours.  We planted a few crops of edible flowers (borage, nasturtiums, calendula) that have found their way into many meals.  We are also lucky to find that our yard has been well stocked with fruit trees.  The yellow cherries have proven to be sweet and good.  I hope to find similar results from the 3 apple trees, 2 plum trees and the pear tree. And for those who are far away and cannot see our garden first hand, here are a few pictures.

A garden salad with calendula petals.
The cherries from the old cherry tree.
Nikolai's rainbow carrots (a seed pack from the kid friendly section of our local gardening store).
And a picture of a pregnant looking me... standing next to one of our very elderly apple trees.  This one, though completely hollow, has a rather abundant looking crop!
Yes, we're going to be adding a second child to our family... a child that is auspiciously due on December 26th. It gives us plenty of potential for an exciting mid-holiday birth... or an end-of-the-world birth... or a dawning of the age of Aquarius birth.  Whatever the case, it will be exciting.  And we are already fishing for ideas about what we're going to do with the potentially awkward birth date.  Because, really, no one wants to hang the "Happy Birthday" sign up next to their stockings...  Our current ideas include transposing the birthday forward by six months so that it's celebrated on June 26th with Nikolai (though a second baby also born exactly on the due date is quite unlikely).  Or moving the day of celebration forward or backward to December 1st or January 30th.  Any xmas babies want to weigh in on the debate?  It's always good to hear from someone with personal experience!

Now, to finish off with a very garden friendly recipe.

Vegetarian Salad Rolls with Nutty Dipping Sauce

For the sauce, combine all of the following in a jar or bowl and mix until smooth:
-4 tbsp nut butter (I like almond, Brad likes peanut)
-4 tbsp water
-2 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp brown sugar (or honey)
-1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

For the salad rolls you need:
-large rice paper wrappers (~8)
-rice vermicelli (1/2 package)
-chopped nuts of your choice
-assorted vegetables julienned (carrots, cucumber, peppers, zucchini, sweet peas etc.)
-the flavourings.  In our case we went to our garden for spring onions, basil, mint, cilantro and celendula (mostly for colour).

Pour boiling water over the rice vermicelli and let sit until soft.  Rinse with cold water, then season with salt to taste.  I used about 1/3 tsp of salt.
To assemble, soak one of the rice paper wrappers in warm water for about 1 minute, until soft (I used a cookie sheet).  Carefully transfer to a dry tea towel, fill with your ingredients of choice and wrap by folding in the ends, then wrapping over half the wrapper, and then rolling tightly.
Enjoy with the sauce!  Though I don't recommend dipping as that tends to be a bit messy.  I made 8 rolls and we were full after eating only 7. You can store them by wrapping them individually in plastic and leaving them in the fridge for up to a day.

2 comments:

~Shannon said...

Two of my nieces were born around Christmas (20th and 22nd). They celebrate their birthdays in December but earlier in the month. The important thing is to make sure that it is separate from Christmas (including presents...nothing is worse than getting a birthday/Christmas present combo!) I have a similar problem as my wedding anniversary is Christmas Eve (we were moving away from the family the day after Christmas and that was the only day we could get everyone together) so we set aside a day early in December to celebrate.I still get a card on the actual day, but the main celebration is earlier.
I hope that helps! Congratulations on the pregnancy and I love reading your blog!!

Linds said...

Given that I have a Christmas birthday (Dec. 24) I feel obliged to comment...
My advice would be to keep it on his actual birthday if it's directly before or after Christmas as there are benefits to both. Only if it is actually on Christmas day would I recommend moving it slightly.

If it's before Christmas, it is really fun to get to open presents early. I remember driving my siblings crazy as they were itching to open gifts and they had to sit and watch me open them. However, I'll also stress not to do the combo gift thing and to keep it as a separate entity.

If it's after Christmas, you can buy all of his/her gifts for super cheap since they all go on sale for Boxing week.

The other perk of a holiday birthday is that you tend to always have it off and don't have to be in school or work so you have more time with friends and family.

The downside is sometimes people forget about it due to the chaos of the holidays. I've actually forgotten my own birthday before. I was traveling one Christmas Eve and had been up for 12 hours and didn't realize it until someone wished me a happy birthday.

Whatever you decide will be fine by the child as long as there are presents and cake :)

Congrats and I sure hope you start to feel better soon!

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