Top 3 Reasons to look forward to Spring

So many wonderful things happened today. First, the clocks went forward so we officially have an extra hour of daylight. For some people, that might not seem like such a big thing. But for me - it really signifies the END OF WINTER. Second, I opened my bedroom window to let in some fresh air and wasn't immediately cold. Third, when I opened the window there was a symphony of bird songs in the backyard. Fourth, I noticed the tulips were starting to poke their heads up in the front yard. Like I said - wonderful.things.happened. Oh yes, they did!

And all of these things started me thinking about all of the things I love about spring. Here are my top 3.

Chive Flower Blossom Vinegar


 Growing Tomatoes from Seed


Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

Why are you looking forward to Spring?

Beer Jam

When you think Beer and then you think Jam what other ingredients come to mind? First of all, there are all of the different types of beer to consider; lager, al, wheat beer, stout, etc. And then once you have settled on a beer what goes with it?

I should ask my friends at Peerless Beers as I have had the pleasure of tasting many a fine beer in their company and under their guidance.

But my creative juices are flowing and there is simply no time for such counsel ;). Yesterday, James and I were out in the garden picking all of the ripe tomatoes that we have on our plants in the backyard. ( has been a busy morning as those are already cut up and on the stove being turned into Spicy Tomato Jam for our personal stock) and I noticed that my rhubarb has exploded once again. I was thinking about this new bounty of rhubarb last night and wondering if I should make more Rhubarb Vanilla Jam, when suddenly Rhubarb and Beer were together side by side in my mind.

Rhubarb Beer Jam. I even like the sounds of it. I am thinking that it would go nicely with a wheat beer...what do you think?

To be honest, it was not where I was going originally when I started to think of Beer Jam. I was thinking of something heavier, kinda syrupy. And that may still happen. But I have been side-tracked and now I need to know if I am onto something good.

Stay tuned....


A home for my frozen Rhubarb

Every time I open my freezer door I think to myself - What can I do with these bags of frozen rhubarb? They have been haunting me since about October and I am tired of it with custard which seems to be the safe place for rhubarb to land in this house. In the summer I tend to overdose on rhubarb as we inherited what I would consider to be a sizeable patch of it in the garden of the house we bought 2 years ago. Finally a garden, and with it comes what I consider to be a 'responsibility' to ensure none of what grows in it goes to waste. Last winter we have more pesto than even I knew what to do with as our garden seemed to have burst with basil. This year it is the rhubarb that seems to be taunting me.

With the tulips in my front garden starting to poke up out of the ground even though it is only March, I felt like the rhubarb was beginning to breath down my neck. What would I do with all this frozen rhubarb if it wasn't gone before the new rhubarb started to grow.

That's it...challenge accepted. I was going to make something new and today was the perfect day as the temperatures took a dip and made it feel like winter all over again.

I spent the morning in the commercial kitchen making jam that I would sell, now I was going to spend some time making jam that I would EAT!

I stumbled across this recipe during my search and decided it would be perfect. The list of ingredients made my mouth water just reading it. Cara Cara Oranges, Meyer Lemons (I didn't have any so I just used regular old lemons), rhubarb, carrots, rosemary....hmmmmmm.

Now if you ever spend a lot of time preparing recipes that require you 'zest' anything, may I suggest you buy one of these little babies. It makes the process so easy. I think I got mine at Crate and Barrel but I am sure you could find one anywhere.

Just the process of zesting the oranges and the lemons made me forget a little that it is still winter and well below zero outside. The fresh citrus smell seemed to permeate the entire kitchen. Just look at the gorgeous beasts.

The colours of all of the combined ingredients is gorgeous, I had a hard time covering the bowl so that it could macerate overnight. My instant satisfaction urge was taunting me and telling me just to proceed asap so that the final product would be that much closer. But the saying is true, sometimes good things are worth the wait.

And this my friends was definitely worth the wait!

Going to be a busy couple of weeks as I prepare for the U of T Scarbrough Farmer's Market. March 7th 11am - come shop!