Sunday, May 19, 2013


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This weekend I put flowers in every corner of the house.

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The smell is so intoxicating.

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I'm enchanted by this spring.

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A new little shawl to ward the cool evening air off my shoulders.

Monday, May 6, 2013

More spring leaves

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A few of you wanted to know what that bright yellow knit on my couch was. It's the Woodland Shawl started many many moons ago. The stunning yarn is Malabrigo Lace in Frank Ochre (swoon) gifted to me by wonderful Heather. I had seen this gorgeous version and wanted one exactly like it. I'm trying to finish it in time for a fabulous escape my husband and I will be taking this summer. I can't wait to tell you more....

Have a good week!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

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Happy Spring! Doesn't it feel good to feel warm sunshine and smell that tender green spring smell?

I recently went on a plant walk with Amber Westfall, a gifted teacher who specializes in foraging wild edible foods. I highly recommend her walks and workshops if you're in the Ottawa area. Did you know that a surprising number of wonderful foodstuff is available on your doorstep? We visited a local urban park and unearthed many edible goodies, such as garlic mustard, maple blossoms and stinging nettle.

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It inspired me to hunt down my own wild edibles. I found a huge patch of nettles just off of one of my favourite bike paths. And both garlic mustard (which I have been battling for years, as it's an invasive weed) and maple are right in my backyard.

Harvesting mindfully, I gathered enough nettles to make a wonderful spring tonic soup. Nettles are extremely nutritious and have many medicinal uses. Of course, gloves are a very good idea when harvesting nettles!

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Spring nettle soup
4-6 cups of tender spring nettles
2 onions, chopped
6 cups of broth (I especially love using nourishing bone broth)
4-6 potatoes, cubed
6 cloves of garlic, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon

Sauté the onion and garlic in a generous glug of olive oil. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and nettles. Lower heat to a low simmer. Cook till the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and finish with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.

I also pulled up some garlic mustard from my flower beds and made a yummy pesto:

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Garlic mustard pesto
Large bunch of tender spring garlic mustard
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts*
1/2 cup of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything in your food processor or blender and mix till it gets creamy and lush.

* You can easily substitute with more economical nuts or seeds, but I do love the rich creamy taste of pine nuts here. Just be sure that your pine nuts are not from China, or else you could get an unpleasant case of pine mouth. I speak from experience here. Not fun!

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It's so nourishing to eat seasonally and locally.

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Makes me very excited for what's to come:  raspberries, wild strawberries, wild roses to make this cake, burdock roots, black walnuts, crab apples....

I've been reading a wonderful book on growing, foraging and cooking wild foods. Whole Larder Love is a beautiful book with tons of wonderful recipes.

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Food for the body and soul. Have a wonderful, wild weekend!