Friday, 1 July 2011
Friday this and that . . .
Wow, can it be the first of July already??? Wherever did June go??? Time seems to be just whizzing by this year at warp speed! I hope that I'm not alone in feeling this way. Sorry I wasn't around yesterday, but Blogger wouldn't load on Mozilla Firefox and it took me until late afternoon to figure that out! It seems to be working fine today though. It also wouldn't let me comment on anyone's pages, so if you didn't hear from me, that would be why!
Our garden has taken off in leaps and bounds this past month. We had a lot of rain and so everything has more than recovered from the drought of the month before! It's so very beautiful and pleasant to sit out there . . . every breath brings a new scent of another flower on the breeze.
Scents are funny things . . . they have the power to transport us to different times and spaces don't they? For instance . . . the smell of lavendar instantly reminds me of my grandmother. It was one of her favourite scents, Yardley's English Lavendar . . .
The smell of strawberries takes me back to hot summer days as a child and berry picking. It's quite wonderful really.
Daisies, whilst they don't have much of a smell . . . they remind me of being a girl and sitting in a meadow, making daisy chains . . .
Apple Blossom reminds me of my years spent living in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia . . . and the birth of my eldest son. He was born Apple Blossom Weekend during their Annual Apple Blossom Festival.
The smell of the sea always takes me back to Margaretsville and walking on the old pier there and the smell of the Bay of Fundy. I can almost feel the spray on my face and hear the gulls in the sky. It reminds me of hot summer days in years gone past, and escaping to the seaside for some relief from the heat and humidity . . . and double scoop ice cream cones, that somehow never tasted quite the same when eaten anywhere else.
Sweet Peas, marigolds and Peonies make me think of my mom. I don't know why? Possibly because she usually had them growing in our garden. I remember her being quite annoyed with my ex one year because he mowed down the peonie that grew by her back door! He thought it was a weed. It hadn't started to bloom yet.
Scents are not the only memory keepers though . . . sometimes just the sight of something can also bring back wonderful memories.
Chickadees remind me of my sister. At my mother's old house in Nictaux she had a Laurel tree out front with a bird feeder on it. It was frequented by chickadees and one year whilst my sister was visiting she and I got great joy from standing very still under it and watching the chickadees come to the feeder with no fear of us. We were able to watch them up very close. In fact birdwatching always reminds me of my sister. It is a love we both share very much and have always done so since childhood.
When I see a blackberry I always think of an autumn day back in Meaford, Ontario when I was living there . . . and when my sister came to spend a weekend with me . . . we went wild raspberry and blackberry picking in the abandoned orchards that were not far from the old farmhouse we were living in at the time. We spend hours just picking and chatting together. It was lovely. I miss my sister. She's always been my best friend and we rarely find each other to talk to these days with the time difference and work and such.
Perhaps you'd like to share some special memories that a smell brings back to you? Or even something that you will see and that will bring a hidden memory back? The brain is a marvelous thing. Everything you have ever seen or experienced is tucked away in it's folds. That's why we must be careful not to look at things which are distasteful or abhorrent. It all gets stored in your brain and once there can never truly be forgotten!
We had a lovely day here yesterday. I had my reading student in the morning of course and then spent most of the day preparing a dinner for the missionaries last night. I made a beautiful cheese cake. The recipe said to leave it in the oven to cool once it was finished baking, with the door adjar. I did so only to discover that once it had cooled to room temperature, Miztie took it upon herself to partake of it in a way only a greedy dog can do. Needless to say we did not serve it to the missionaries. They got treated to doughnuts instead! And Miztie??? Well, it was my own fault really. I should have known something as tasty as a cheesecake would have been too tempting for her when left within her reach!
It's off to my Step by Step program today and then I am going to be immersing myself into the preparation of the lesson I have to teach on Sunday morning. Oh and the dishwasher still hasn't arrived. The PR group that arranged it is looking into the problem to see what's up! I hope it gets here soon. I am not the most patient person in the world!
We are not great fresh salmon lovers in this house. I will cook some as a treat occasionally though, and that seems to work just fine. We can enjoy it once in a while, but not on a regular basis. We both don't mind tinned salmon though, funny how that goes! Anyways, if you are looking for a delicious way to prepare salmon look no further! I often prepared this when I was working at the Big House as she loved a bit of salmon now and again. He was not really fussed, but he always went along with what she wanted and so would eat it. Todd rather enjoys it done this way though, and so do I.
(Photo courtesy Everyday Food Magazine)
*Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze*
Delicous Salmon fillets brushed with a tangy sweet glaze and then broiled to perfection!
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
2 TBS red wine vinegar
2 heaped TBS grainy mustard
2 heaped TBS dark brown sugar
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 salmon fillets, wiped and pin bones removed
1 small bunch watercress
1 lemon cut into wedges to serve
Preheat broiler, placing the rack in the top position. Heat the oil n a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened. Add the vinegar and cook until it is slightly evaporated. Add the mustard and brown sugar. Stir together until warm and combined. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Place the salmon fillets on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Brush most of the glaze on top of salmon fillets, reserving a bit for the end. Broil until the glaze is bubbling and the fish is opaque throughout, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from the broiler and brush the remaining glaze over the salmon.
Place some watercress onto each plate. Top with a salmon fillet and a few lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Baking in The English Kitchen today, a naughty but very nice Baked Blueberry Mascarpone Cheesecake!