Posted in Food, garden

Fingers crossed

I may have jinxed myself with yesterday’s post about first time out and things turning out exceptionally well.

Today I’m also trying something for the first time and feeding the results to friends! Hence the fingers crossed! I don’t have a plan B for supper so let’s hope.

The story begins a couple of years ago when my friend’s dad gave us some beans. He grows them and then dries them and shells them out. So this year I planted some of his and after we ate them fresh and green I let the plants continue. I pulled, dried and finally shelled them in a post called Side tracked

They’ve been patiently waiting for me to remember to soak them on a weekend night and have the day for them to simmer. First I checked with my mom for a recipe but it turns out that’s doctored up canned beans was the norm although she did hand write out a receipe for her granddaughter’s shower gift. I then turned to my two favourite on line sites only to find out they both used canned beans to create their baked beans.

So I just picked the first three hits, read the reviews, picked one (Genius kitchen which I’ve used before) and set about making it. They have to soak overnight in cold water; the next morning they are boiled in clean water for 10 minutes. While they were simmering on the stove I made the sauce for them; a modification here and there like less sugar and a jalapeno. Then I put them in the oven and walked away for several hours. We did have to adjust fluid levels a few times but I am happy to report they were cooked after 6 hours and the sauce was absolutely spot on!

So first time lucky but it sure won’t be the last time we have them. It takes pre planning but it is neither hard nor complex just time consuming for the cooking part. It was a casual meal for sure but paired with good friends and lively conversation and a brew it went down well.


Posted in Food, Random ramblings

Local Fare

It’s a banner year for wild Saskatoons and I don’t mean crazy drivers in the city but rather that lovely purplish fruit. I know that not everyone is a Saskatoon fan but we love them at our house. 

I have memories of family outings, in the sunshine of course, with our buckets and our blue fingers. I’m quite sure I also had a purpish tongue as I love eating them off the bush.  We would all pile into the car and go searching for a good picking spot. Which strikes me as a bit odd, now that I am an adult, that there were no bushes on our section of land. 

Where we live now we are fortunate to have several areas that are populated by saskatoon bushes. But this is our first year, since 2007, that we’ve had a good harvest.  It’s obvious that they thrive in hot dry conditions, unlike our hay crop, but I suspect the saturated ground from 7 wet years has helped as well.  

It’s a good thing I’ve had help picking considering what a bumper crop there is. My help comes from a variety of forms though as my regular picking companions only eat the berries. Our two dogs absolutely love saskatoons and are quite comical to watch. You can always tell where they are as the bushes are waving and your can hear them. I’ve also had family and friends join me as it would be a shame not to share the bounty. 

With a crop like this it gives one options about using the berries. If there isn’t many then they get saved for pies or dumplings, company meals of course! If there is enough then you can make jam or muffins. I wanted to try making Saskatoon berry syrup but my first attempt was definitely a failure as the mixture was so thick that straining it or hanging it for the juice was not an option. So what to do with 3 cups of mushed cooked berries?  I combined a few recipes and created a Saskatoon strudel slice. It’s been cooking and cooling while I have been writing and so I think it’s safe to publish that it’s a keeper recipe. Next up is going to be the recipe below which is for Saskatoon Berry sauce. At our recent dessert club I made pie, which seems pretty basic for an event that is all about desserts. According to Ron though, that was the best Saskatoon pie he has had in 27 years.  My cousin and I made a few dozen pies for a family reunion and that Saskatoon pie has been his standard for all these years. So I guess it was good and worthy of a dessert club entry!