Always Thankful

I hope you have all had a wonderful (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend with your friends and family. Yesterday we hosted the meal with our family. I don’t have the huge extended family that many have, but none the less, it was still a feast to prepare for!

I am so thankful for many things this year, and wanted to share with you all what some of them are.

Firstly, I am thankful for this man, who is the love of my life. I have known since I was 14 years old that I would spend forever with him. He is patient, generous, loves me unconditionally, my best friend, and a wonderful Papa and Dad to my loves.

IMG_8308

I am forever grateful and thankful that I get to be Mom and Grandma to the most amazing humans that I know. I can’t imagine living in a world without them and am so proud of who they are and cannot wait to see what is in their future.

IMG_7597 IMG_7745 IMG_6992

I am guilty about letting time pass and not connecting with friends. I am purposely trying to not let this happen now. My friends are so important to me, and I hope they know how I love them too. I received a message from a friend which was so impactful, letting me know that I was a good friend. He said “It’s always better said than regretted”, gosh so true.

I am thankful for my step mom, Marianne. She was my Dad’s love. She was his life, his love, she brought a smile to his face, and loved him, and my family. I am forever thankful for what she did for him. I am thankful for the time I got to spend with him, and grateful that he was my Dad. I am thankful for the values that he invested in me which in turn I have passed on to my family.

IMG_5531

The list could go on and on, yes I am thankful! Thankful for my life and the people in it. What are you thankful for?

IMG_9101

Salmon Season is Here!

We really feel so fortunate that we live in this wonderful area. Surrounded by mountains, trails, lakes and rivers. With the main river a 5 minute drive from our home, when it’s salmon season, we try to get out there. Right now the pinks are running, they aren’t the greatest for fresh eating, but they are great for smoking and using in recipes!

Right now we have salmon that is cured and going in to the smoker, and salmon that is in the curing process. As well, salmon our for some salmon chowder tomorrow. Thank goodness for Pinterest is all I can say!

I had to chuckle this morning at 6 am, walking to the river with my purple salmon rod, with my husband, son in law and their friend. I was the only woman out there, and I know I got some looks with my ‘girly’ rod. Well don’t discount that my rod looks girly and I am a female! Who was heating it up out there, and getting some of the non-catchers (men) talking, yup ME!!!

Here are a couple of our pics from our early morning adventure! Stay tuned for pics and recipes to follow! If you have a salmon recipe you would like me to try, please feel free to share!!!

IMG_8927

IMG_8937 IMG_8946

A Summer Side…

Tomatoes, basil and fresh corn, three of my favorites! So when I came across this Caprese salad recipe I had to make it. We are the supposed ‘corn capital’ here in our area. I don’t know what area we span, BC, Canada, North America! But we do take pride in our local corn. Personally my favourite is the Super Sweet variety sold at the Sparke’s Corn barns. You can find a “Chilliwack Corn Stand” at every corner from July-September here, so one does not have to go far for the sweet ingredient in this salad!

IMG_8834

INGREDIENTS

½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
4 medium size ears fresh corn , husked and silk removed
3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, (I use multi coloured)
2 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom, halved and sliced in to ¼ inch slices
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced into ¼ inch cubes or 3 ounces of Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup small fresh basil leaves, if you don’t have small leaves, roughly chop enough larger leaves to equal ¼ cup
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves*** (optional)

Boil the ears of corn for 2-3 minutes, remove from water and cool.
When corn is cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.
Combine tomatoes, corn and fresh mozzarella in a medium size bowl.
For the dressing combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk well.
Add 2-3 tablespoons dressing to tomato/corn mixture and stir gently to combine. Taste and add more dressing and additional kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, if needed

You Say Tomato, I say Tommotto!

Tomato, tommotto, the same thing right!

This year our little thumbs turned a lil green, we are proud to say we can grow things! Tomatoes are in abundance over here in this yard, as well as jalapeños, that will be for another post! I have quickly discovered you can pickle/can tomatoes, and make wonderful dishes like this Gruyere Tomato Tart I am about to share with you!

IMG_8769

Thanks to the Food Network Magazine subscription, I tried this tasty dish on the weekend. It was a HIT! I am glad I made 2 of them for our family dinner of 7.

IMG_8802

I used a variety of our cherry tomatoes plus our larger variety tomato. Along with our fresh herbs, it was beautiful to look at and tasty in our mouths. I highly recommend trying this, and change up the cheeses bit, I added a spicy cheese!

IMG_8804

Have I got your mouth watering yet!?

Here is the simple recipe!

Roll out 1 thawed puff pastry sheet in to a 10 x 14 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; transfer to a  parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese, leaving a 2-inch border on the long sides. Top with 4 sliced crumbled cooked bacon, 3 thinly sliced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, 1/2 tsp salt and a few grinds of pepper. Fold in long sides; cut vents in the pastry. Fold in 1/2 inch of the short ends, pinching to seal. Brush the pastry with 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water. Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

part of it!

Peachy Sunday

Ahhhh Sundays in the summer, I love them! Living in beautiful British Columbia, summers are wonderful for our fresh fruit. I have had it on my mind for a while now to make a peach pie. and I had come across many recipes while scrolling through Pinterest. When someone asks me about Pinterest, 2 words, Life Changing!

I am crazy about my recipe book Butter Baked Goods, it has the best recipes, and is my go to for the pie crust recipe. I don’t believe in store bought crusts!If you follow my on Instagram, I mentioned that I would share my Peach Pie recipe that I used today. Of course, I think that I always need to double my recipes, I really need to remember that it’s just the 2 of us now!

IMG_8787

There is something about vintage Corning Ware that I just love!

IMG_8788

Here is the link for the recipe I used today, it was a bit runnier than I anticipated, I would perhaps add 2 more Tbsp of cornstarch to the recipe.

IMG_8794 IMG_8795

What do you like to make with peaches!?

Summer Lovin’

Yes, summer lovin’! I love the sunshine, the activities that come with summer time, and of course the fresh fruit and veggies that are so abundant around here at this time of year. I must admit, I do have a slight addiction to canning and mason jars! I guess it’s not a dangerous type of addiction that can cause harm, so I am safe!

IMG_8740

love my sign from Typo shop in Australia!

Currently I have 30 pounds of cabbage fermenting for another 5-6 weeks to make my own sauerkraut as well. I haven’t tried it before, so I am curious how it will turn out. This morning I came across a recipe for Peach Pie Moonshine, so it has me thinking I should try this next, along with some more mustards and a Siracha sauce of my own. We have an abundance of peppers growing in our yard and I will make use of them!

Here I wanted to share a couple of my canned goods from the past couple of weeks.

IMG_8603 IMG_8657 IMG_8707 IMG_8571

Some yummy mediterranean style mushrooms, pickled beets, cranberry siracha pepper jelly and blackberry jelly!

Here is a little glimpse of some of the stock downstairs!

IMG_8741

I loved him most…

I have been absent from blogging…I just haven’t felt inspired to write. On July 9th the early morning call came to me, “Darlene, I just received a call from the home, your Dad isn’t doing well”, it was my step mom. I had received this call a couple of times before but something told me this one was different. As I got off the phone, all I could think was ‘Dad please just wait for me’. Within the hour I was walking in to his room. I immediately knew, he was going to be going ‘home’ very soon. I sat beside him and took his hand, and all I could do is weep. Oh Dad, I don’t want you to suffer, but Dad I am not ready to lose you yet. Although alzheimers took him from me a couple years prior, I still yearn for his touch, to watch him breathe, to stroke his hair, to watch his mannerisms. I made the call to my husband that it did not look well, as well to my two kids. I asked them if they wanted to see Grampa, knowing that it would be hard for them to see him and say good-bye. My son could not do it, which I understand why, he has loved his Grampa for 27 years and wants to remember Grampa the way he was. My daughter came and sat with us that day, along with my aunt and step mom. I told Dad, your girls are here, it’s ok to go home. There were sweet words shared that morning, ones that I will never forget. As I kissed him and told him that I loved him, Dad went home to heaven.

dad2

It doesn’t feel right that life keeps going on. I miss him so much, although I have missed him for a long time. Dad was my greatest teacher in life, my biggest cheer leader,  has loved me the longest, loved me absolutely unconditionally and honestly the best person I have ever known. I cry when no one is around, I want to feel him, I want to look at his hands, just touch him. I just wanted to curl up in the bed with him that day, as I still do now.

My Dad set amazing examples to his children and grand children. He was the most Christian person one would ever meet, he walked the walk. I mentioned in my tribute, I have learned many life lessons from him, the greatest one he taught me was the power of forgiveness. I honestly wouldn’t have some people in my life if I had not forgiven them, always reflecting on a talk he gave me about it. At 16 years old I had to forgive people who had affected mine and my son’s life as a young teen mom. I still and will never forget, it still hurts me badly their choices, and affects the relationship today, but I had to forgive so I would not be consumed with that negativity in my life.

I should have told him more how much I loved him. I should have paid more attention to his stories. I should have visited him more. I should have….Please, tell the ones you love how much you love them. Embrace the ones who love you. I loved him the most and with my whole heart. I will miss you forever Dad, I will keep your memory alive. I don’t think these tears will dry, but I know that you are with me. I will keep talking to you like you are here, and loving my family like you loved me.

dad4