Summer Lingers – Give Thanks

It’s been a long hot summer and though it’s officially fall, summer weather isn’t over yet.  In August and September the Lower Mainland of B.C.  and Vancouver Island  broke a 119 year dry-spell record. We had only 5 mm of precipitation in September and 2.9 mm in August. The woods are tinder dry and we are all on forest fire watch, as we enter this Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, which promises to hold even more sunshine for us.

I guess you could say I’m a fair weather girl. My body doesn’t ache when the sun shines and that means my temperament is sunnier too.  Summer means gardening, canning, and other seasonal yard work I like to do. Living on a forested island surrounded with lovely beaches means our business gets a boost from tourists. To top that off we get summer visitors because this where my friends vacation.

Summer (South) associated with
fulfillment
warmth
growth
sunshine
flowering
productivity
and a sense of fullness of time
Autumn (West) associated with
transition
maturity
fruiting
ripening
harvest
preservation and storing
and a sense of running out of time
September: Apples, Basil, Beets, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Chives, Cilantro, Corn, Garlic, Grapes, Hazelnuts, Kale, Kiwi, Leeks, Melons, Red & Yellow Onions, Parsnip, Pears, Fall Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Radish, Swiss – Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Walnuts, Winter Squash
October: Apples, Beets, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Garlic, Grapes, Hazelnuts, Herbs, Kale, Leeks, Melons, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peppers, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radishes, Winter Squash, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Walnuts

At the Farmers’ Market

Food deserts are areas where 20% of the population lives in poverty and 33% have difficulty accessing a grocery store. Did you know that living in a “food desert”  area without access to healthy food raises a person’s chance of diet-related diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart problems by 46 percent?

Fortunately, where I live an abundance of locally produced food is available and shopping for it is both easy and fun.  For many years I worked at the Farmers’ Market every week but now I’m a regular customer. My neighbors are busy canning and filling their pantry shelves for the winter days to come, so business is brisk for vendors whose crops are coming on strong.

Top Reasons to Visit Your Farmers’ Market:

  1. Locally produced foods, purchased in season are fresher and more flavorful than those in supermarkets.
  2. Organic foods produced with fewer chemicals are better for your health and the environment.
  3. Buying food locally reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
  4. Buying food locally supports your local economy by keeping money and jobs in your community.
  5. Prices are usually lower than supermarket prices.
  6. Get details on how your food was produced, cooking tips and recipes direct from the producers.
  7. Support the future of family farms and local food security.
  8. Support retention of heritage species and encourage cultivation of new species.
  9. Connect with your neighbors and community.
  10. Have fun!

Canadian Thanskgiving

Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a national holiday celebrated on the second Monday of October since 1957.  However, the origin of the first Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to Martin Frobisher, an explorer searching for the Northwest passage, who celebrated surviving after a long and difficult trip from England in 1578.

Canadian Thanksgiving is an opportunity to give thanks for a good harvest and other fortunes in the past year.  It’s not surprising to find that many Canadians, myself among them, consider Thanksgiving weekend to be their favorite holiday of the year.

As I type this article I’m keenly aware I have much to be thankful for this year, not the least of which is the readers who have supported me through this grief filled less than stellar summer. I hope you will try the recipes I have posted below and think of me when you serve them to those you love.

Leek and Carrot Creamed Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 12 cups chopped leeks, (about 5) white and light green parts only
  • 3 cups chopped carrots, (about 6 carrots)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cups water
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup 18% cream
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp pepper

Preparation
In Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil over medium heat; fry leeks, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves, stirring occasionally and without letting vegetables colour, until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Add water and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium low and simmer until fork-tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in blender, puree chives with remaining oil until bright green. Strain through coffee filter into bowl. Set aside. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

Discard bay leaves from soup. In blender, puree soup, in batches, until smooth. Strain into pot and heat over medium heat; whisk in cream, salt and pepper. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) Reheat; ladle into bowls and drizzle with reserved chive oil.

Related recipes:
Two Canadian Pumpkin Soups
Give Thanks: Roasted Tomato Soup
Three Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipes

Blackberry Sour Cream Cake

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Filling:

  • 3 cups wild blackberries
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preparation
To make the crust, blend flour and sugar with the baking powder and butter in a mixing bowl. Once blended, add the egg and vanilla and mix until it can be worked with a roller. Roll out the crust and place it in the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Add the blueberries.

In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla.  Pour this mixture over the blueberries. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes at 350 F or until cake is set in the middle. Allow the cake to fully cool before cutting into it. (Note: To make in a 10-inch spring-form pan, use 4 cups of blackberries and bake for an extra 12 minutes.)

Related posts:

The Advantages of Buying Locally
Companions in the Garden
Food Security: Subversive Plots
Do You Grow Your Greens?
I Love Container Gardening
Farmers Market
I love shopping local

23 thoughts on “Summer Lingers – Give Thanks

  1. Pingback: From Grief to Gratitude | this time – this space

    • Hi Mark,
      It’s good to see you commenting here in my personal blog. When I was a kid and for 16 years after I married I was the primary cook. Then I hung up my apron. Now I do primarily the scullery maid work and wash up as my hubby is the primary cook. Now and then I do cook and even bake. In other words, I’m the backup cook and believe me when I say that suits me just fine.
      P.S. If I do say so myself, I make good soups. As for this one increase the ginger and you may be pleasantly surprised.

      • Thanks for recipes at the Vox Diaspora– I see that there’s MORE! Wow!

        Props to letting your husband cook. I tell you, my wife likes that arrangement… but while I’m the cook, she’s the baker. She made these nice ones up last night: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21397229@N05/8137327552 We sometimes switch roles but that more or less seems to work.

        We can’t afford farmer’s markets but we’ve gotten really great help on gardening from the in-laws. Of course Thanksgiving in the States is coming up, but I’ve been really thankful for their help, for being able to exchange our crops, and I am thankful that other friends and family have helped us with produce, too.

        • I’m so sad to hear you cannot afford the food at Farmer’s Markets but happy to hear you have firends and family who share produce with you. Where I live there are no big box stores. We rely on farmers and fishers for much if not all of our food. Gardening s definitely the way to go when it comes to producing at least some of your own food and being connected to the land.

  2. Happy Thxgiving, TiTi. Didn’t know it was that dry. We’ve been away in another province. My partner has been cycling from Alberta, through Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and now California. It is unbelievable that in over 35 days he experienced only 2 hrs. or less of moderate rain. For several days he rode through forest fire smog…there were over 30 forest fires in Washington, Oregon area. It affected his breathing.

    However I’m sure on his return towards B.C., later he’ll get the drizzle.. or as we call it, ‘green rain’.

    As well, here in Alberta until a few days ago, it’s been a gorgeous summer and we didn’t experience true brown dryness until last 3 wks. here.

    I’ve been visiting our local market and loading up on produce. Just wonderful. And discovering my favourite cafe nearby. :)

    • Hi Jean,
      We had a great weekend. The potluck food was great and so was the conversation and the music. Our friends were her for the weekend and won’t be back until Christmas. It was good to spend time with them. It was strange to have such warm weather a month later than we usually do. The rain will begin in few days time and we do need it but some like it hot and I’m among them. :)

  3. I’m a summer fan myself but don’t like the humidity or the high temperatures. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the different flowers and vegetables. an interesting added benefit of Farmers markets are the free fruits one can sample. I now go to the one in my city as Sunday brunch where I can sample fruits, nuts, breads, etc etc :)

    • Hi there,
      I’m not sure what your summers are like but where I live they are lovely months. I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it but Farmer’s Markets are good places to sample fruits. I sampled some fruit leathers and became a regular customer of a lady who makes fruit leathers out of the windfall fruits from her neighbor’s orchards. I like sampling the baking. :)

  4. timethief, your recipes sound and look fantastic! And the way you got your pictures to do that mosaic thing…which I can’t figure out yet…is OOH LA LA. Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and yours. I’m sure your brother’s spirit will be with you even as you still grieve his loss and yet move on to celebrate holidays. As one of the first TV chefs (The Frugal Gourmet) used to say at the end of every show: “I bid you peace.” Gentle hugs, Miss Maura

    • Hi Maura,
      I do hope you try the recipes. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you do. This year taking both the Leek and Carrot Creamed Soup and Blackberry Sour Cream Cake to the potluck celebration we are attending. The Roasted Tomato soup recipe I linked to is my personal favorite.

      I used Jennifer’s instruction in her post to create the mosaic http://gammagirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/circles-squares-and-mosaics-the-gallery-feature-gets-another-makeover/ It turned out larger than I wanted and I haven’t figured out how to reduce the size yet.

      • titi, Thank you for pointing me again to that article once your holiday was over. I’ve been having some quality one-on-one time with Jennifer in the forum because I couldn’t get that mosaic to work no matter what I tried. Turns out it may be my theme!! I was so stoked to use it and spent much time and aggravation before I gave up and placed all my photos “by hand.” It’s too bad that feature doesn’t actually work on all WordPress.com blogs. Of course I thought it was something lacking in me. ;-)

        I’d love to try your recipes — especially the mocha shortbread — and with the U.S. Thanksgiving coming up at the end of November I will have a hard choice as to what to make. Thank you for sharing these recipes. I have one for banana bread with sour cream, keeps it nice and moist. It was on my blog in the early days! If you wish to peruse, look for “Moistest Banana Bread.” I always double it and freeze one loaf because it’s my husband’s favorite.

        • It’s a new image feature and sometimes they need some find tuning by Staff until they work perfectly in all themes. I hope this issue with Sunspot was fagged for Theme Staff attention.

          P.S. The moist banana bread recipe sounds great.

  5. I love farmer’s markets. Unfortunately since moving to our current house, the good farmer’s markets are not very close by and I’m buying more at the grocery store than I want to. I love the way your photos look in the new gallery format! They’re lovely photos and displayed very nicely.

    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy,
      Farmer’s Markets have a social ambiance that energizes me and makes me smile.

      I like the new mosaic gallery format too. Give it a try but do know that controlling the size is an issue. It automatically becomes the width of the space in the blogging column in your theme. I didn’t expect that and when I tried to change it I wasn’t able to.

      • I tried it! The size didn’t bother me as much as the lack of control over what was a big picture and what was a small one. I finally had to delete a few photos that simply were not worthy of being the biggest picture in the collage.

        • I went through a similar process and finally recognized how important it was that I was selective when it came to the images I Included and the sizes they were. I’ll pop over to see how yours turned out. :)

          Addendum:
          Unless you were changing the mosaic image sizes … well they were changing on their own and it was cool! :)

  6. TT-80 degrees and sunny here today. Just got back from a five mile walk around the lake. Your blueberry cake recipe looks absolutely wonderful. However, I won’t need that to think of you, as I do all the time. Be well, dear friend.

    • Hi Marty,
      It’s good to know that you think of me as as think of you too. I’m grateful that we met online as if we hadn’t I wouldn’t have been aware of your aphorisms. The most recent collection is full of food for thought.

      “Words have to make sense; facts don’t. That life makes no sense is the most beautiful fact of all.”

  7. Thanks for linking my post on Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup. It is a fantastic recipe. I hope you are able to try it out sometime. I have detailed step-by-step pictures on the post if you care to look at them. Thanks again for sharing the link.

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