Farmers Markets & Mojitos

A visit to the Farmer’s Market is a summer Sunday tradition and the later in the season, the better it gets. Big, juicy, Okanagan peaches were proudly on display at almost every stall. Their sweet, peachy goodness is so irresistible this time of year, I had to grab a few to take home with me.

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You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita von Teese

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After the market I wandered home through the community garden, stopping to munch on a few raspberries and chase after the gorgeous, but grumpy, neighborhood cat in a vain attempt to pet him. I always try to tempt him with various morsels from the Farmer’s Market but he’s a tough customer.

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Once home, I retrieve my little Okanagan gems from the bottom of my bag, un-bruised and un-squashed (yay) and settled down with my laptop to decide what to do with them. I stumbled on this recipe on Jillian Harris’s blog and decided to make my own version of her delicious, BC celebrating cocktail. After a gorgeous day spent buying fruit, smelling flowers and soaking up the sun, a fresh peach mojito on the patio is the perfect ending to this Sunday story.

Sweet Peach Mojitos

  • 2 cups BC peaches
  • Handful fresh mint
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 4 ounces dark rum
  • 2 ounces peach schnapps
  • Club soda

Directions

  1. Muddle the peaches, fresh mint and limes
  2. Add rum and peach schnapps
  3. Top with club soda and serve!

Serves four if you’re and normal person and serves two if you’re like me.

peach mojitos

There are two kinds of people I don’t trust: people who don’t drink and people who collect stickers – Chelsea Handler

Flowers in the Rain

I took an extra day off last weekend to squeeze in as much beach time as possible before summer fades into a distant memory. And, guess what? The weather report lied. It had shown a sky full of a happy, smiling, bright yellow sunshine and what the weather gods delivered was a misty, grey Vancouver day accompanied by the gentle pitter patter of mellow but constant raindrops.

So, after taking some time to be annoyed at not being able to spend my day strolling on the seawall, I took Nick for a walk in the neighborhood and found this…

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My neighbor’s zucchini garden. The bright, sunshine-y flowers were almost shocking against the muted greys and greens of the rest of my world. My neighbor had already told me to help myself to his garden, so I obliged.

Pan-fried zucchini florets are one of my favourite things and they are so easy to prepare:

Fresh Zucchini Florets with Blue Cheese

  • Pour a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a frying pan
  • add as many florets as you have or will fit into the pan
  • fry until soft
  • add crumbled blue cheese at the very end (local, organic is always best)
  • put on a pretty plate and serve

One word of warning: When you start growing your own food and/or foraging, bugs often make an unwanted appearance. Unlike conventional food which is radiated, gmo and/or sprayed to within an inch of it’s life with pesticides, real food is a yummy home for a number of insects. After I thoroughly washed the outside of my florets, I put them in the pan and, guess what? Two slugs quickly appeared and ran around, as if to say “Why is it getting hot in here? What the heck is going on?” I grabbed a piece of paper and guided them out of the frying pan and into a pot in my balcony garden, screaming periodically whenever they crawled towards my hand.

Anyway, this can happen with fresh, organic food so be prepared. I think it’s a small price to pay for the exquisite, just picked taste and health benefits of real, unaltered, honest to goodness food.

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Gillian Aldrich started growing vegetables in her backyard three years ago, and she’s now working on planting a bed of hydrangeas along one side of her property. As she digs in the garden, her 8-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son often play around her, sometimes taking a break to dig for worms or pick strawberries. Instead of watching them, Aldrich is playing, too — “my kind of play,” she says.

“When you sit at a desk all day, there’s something about literally putting your hands in the dirt, digging and actually creating something that’s really beautiful,” says Aldrich, 42, a magazine editor in Maplewood, New Jersey. “There’s something about just being out there that feels kind of elemental.”

Aldrich isn’t the only one who feels this way. Many gardeners view their hobby as the perfect antidote to the modern world, a way of reclaiming some of the intangible things we’ve lost in our busy, dirt-free lives. – Health.com