Work With What You’ve Got

Farmer’s market fresh! One thing about summertime trips to the market is that (in the words of my grandfather), your eyes can be bigger than your belly. That’s sort of what happened with the basket of fresh peaches we picked up on Tuesday. To be more specific, it was our capacity to consume them before they hit their tipping point. We’re surrounded by overripe fruit, and so there are peaches in every meal. To top it off, we had a surfeit of cheese, left with us by some departing guests. What to do?

When I have a host of items that need to be used, one of my first thoughts is always salad. It’s a go-to when vegetables are in season. This one started with a vinaigrette of homemade red wine vinegar, canola oil, and Kozlik’s Balsamic Fig and Date mustard – in equal proportions. I mixed this in a large bowl, and then began adding veg – greens from the balcony garden, cucumbers, radish, and celery – but use whatever you have, like in this Kitchen Sink Salad. Then I topped it off with some walnuts, sliced peaches, and crumbled Stilton. If you’re a vegan, omit the cheese or use some chopped smoked tofu instead.

Even though I bought too many, I never get tired of too many peaches. We love them, and all the other seasonal bounty, so I’m grateful to be able to have many delicious ideas to use them up.

On Top of Old Smokey…

We were in California this week, where roadside stands were selling avocados ten for a dollar. (Grapefruit, too!) With the skyrocketing price of produce here in Canada, this is hard to even imagine.

Friends know I am a keen “eat local, make it yourself” advocate. So I’m not going to buy a Brussels sprout that has travelled halfway across the continent when we grow them right here. On the other hand, I have no illusions that the world is going to give up coffee, tea, or spices. So today, I propose a delicious compromise.

On top of a slice of homemade wheat bread, toasted (Canada is a huge provider of wheat to the world), some locally-made Kozlik’s Old Smokey mustard. Then, an avocado (yes, even at $1.29 each, one makes two affordable breakfasts). Finally, local eggs, nicely poached. 

That’s a compromise I can live with!


Dreaming up Ideas for a Leftover Feast

Yesterday we planned for a barbecue party…which is always a risk on a long weekend. Either the guest list will be feast, or famine. The low turnout means leftovers – a great opportunity for creativity. Couple that with an over abundant vegetable garden and our cooking imaginations are getting a fantastic workout.

On the menu this rainy Sunday morning: mushrooms and Swiss chard, sautéed in just a little butter. Then we tipped in a couple of medium eggs, beaten lightly. When the omelette could be folded, we topped it with a couple of cheddar slices (which also went down a treat on yesterday’s homemade burgers), covering the pan, just until they melted.

We served this delicious omelette on hamburger buns, spread with Kozlik’s Triple Crunch (secured on our last visit to Toronto) and topped with baby tomato slices. With a mug of hot Just Us! coffee on the side, we’re feeling pretty grateful about the whole start to today.