I just returned from two delightful days in a cabin by a lake in the Laurentian Mountains, Quebec. It was a girls’ getaway with three wonderful friends of mine. Three of us drove from Ottawa to meet the fourth who had rented what we thought was a rustic hunting cabin by a lake.
Not so rustic after all.
The cabin was perfect for the four of us and was filled with all sorts of cottage charm. The dock caught the sun most of the day and our view was beautiful.
We swam, talked, ate and relaxed. A loon and a heron dropped by and I waited with camera in hand for it to take flight. It was far more patient than I.
Late afternoon on our second day the clouds rolled in and it poured. We began to think we might be forced to stay an extra night. That would not have been hard to take. The storm turned out to be a teaser for what was to come later in the evening; soon the lake was calm again and we were overwhelmed by the double rainbow right in front of us.
We have now received four boxes from Mike’s Garden Harvest as part of our CSA membership. It is fun to see what is in each new box and I love having food delivered to my door! One of our boxes included some little carrots which were so tasty and fresh I didn’t want to cook them. Instead we grated them into a Carrot & Cumin salad which went nicely with a Thai Pork Green Curry.
With a large bunch of chubby spring onions to enjoy I made several Farm Fresh Omelettes using the following ingredients and method. For one omelette:
- Chop coursely four spring onions and six swiss chard leaves.
- Saute spring onions and chard in skillet with vegetable oil until onions begin to turn gold and chard withers.
- Beat two eggs with a fork, add a tablespoon of milk or water.
- Pour eggs over onions and chard.
- While eggs cook sprinkle chopped fresh chives, oregano and thyme plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper over the top.
- When base of omelette is lightly browned top with grated cheese and sliced grape tomatoes.
- Brown the top of the omelette under the broiler.
We have a few herbs growing in our own garden so when some basil turned up in the mystery box I combined it with some of our own and made Marcella Hazan’s
Simple Tomato Sauce for 450g (1lb) pasta
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves peeled and sliced very thinly
300g tinned Italian peeled plum tomatoes
Salt & Black pepper
10 fresh basil leaves torn by hand into small pieces
- Put oil and garlic in a saucepan and turn to medium
- When garlic turns pale gold, add tomatoes and turn heat to very low. Cook uncovered until oil floats free of tomatoes, about 20 minutes.
- Add salt and grindings of pepper and cook another 2-3 minnutes, stirring from time to time.
- Off the heat, stir in the torn basil leaves.
This week’s box included more than enough green beans for our family of five so I chose Jamie Oliver’s Good Old French Bean Salad to have with sausages one night.
Our second box from Mike’s garden harvest was delivered on Canada day and included a treat in celebration of the day. We have been promised vegetables but in the box was a little punnet of strawberries and a bunch of rhubarb. Andrew turned them into two delicious desserts, a Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp with an almond meal topping based on this Raspberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe and a Sticky Rhubarb and Ginger cake. Both were delicious. I also made a Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp with the second bunch of rhubarb using a very similar recipe.
The remainder of the box was made up of more salad greens, radishes, and onions so we kept making salads with fresh, tasty ingredients. Andrew used some of the lambs quarters from the first box in Lentil Burgers which we all enjoyed, even the serious meat lovers.
A few months ago we signed up with a Community Supported Agriculture venture and this week received our first box of produce, grown just down the road from us. Our vegetables come from Mike’s Garden Harvest and Mike, himself delivered our box on Wednesday night. Receiving a box of herbs and vegetables each week reminds me of the mystery box challenge from MasterChef.
This week’s box contained salad greens, lambs quarters, spring onions and radishes. We made several salads with the greens including a Broccoli, Arugula & Blueberry Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing, only I substituted the arugula for salad greens and I don’t even know what a Meyer lemon is so we had plain old ordinary lemon. It was still good. (click on the salad name to see the recipe)
I also sautéed some of the radishes in a brown butter and lemon sauce. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked radishes before; usually I cut them in patterns to serve with salad. They looked pretty bubbling away in the pan as there were purple and pink ones.
Andrew used some of the lamb’s quarters in place of spinach in a Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry.
I did the same thing and replaced the spinach with lamb’s quarters when I made Sun-dried Tomato Spinach Rice Pilaf. By the end of the week we still had some vegetables left, all still looking green and fresh. I can’t promise that I will blog about our mystery box every week but I will do my best to write about the contents and our recipes as often as I can.
Between Andrew and B14 we have soccer games or practices seven times a week. We are also enjoying some Women’s World cup games in Ottawa. Last week A & A watched France beat Mexico then Korea win against Spain. The week before we joined B’s soccer team to watch Germany tie with Norway then Thailand beat Côte d’Ivoire.
B14’s team has played a couple of tournaments already this season including one this weekend.
Dressember has come to an end so I wanted to let you know how I went with my challenge and campaign. I was successful in wearing dresses every day in December. I wore many of my own and borrowed from friends and family also. It did not end up being too hard, the winter weather was pretty kind in December. I would have definitely found it much colder during January.
I have not yet reached my fundraising goal but there are a few weeks left so a reminder post here and a reminder email might get me a little closer. I am thrilled to have raised $940 and am so thankful to have such supportive friends and family members along with some donors I don’t know. Thank you all.
During Dressember and since it ended I have read updates and newsletters from the International Justice Mission, the organization which will receive the funds and put them to use around the world. The stories are both encouraging and heartbreaking. Men, women and children are being helped, freed and given hope but there are so many more still to be reached and impacted. If you would still like to contribute please click over here to my fundraising page.
I’ll wrap up with the dresses for Dressember 19-27:and the final four of the month, the year and the challenge:
Ottawa, and much of Canada, is in for very cold temperatures and arctic winds this week. Often when it is coldest it is also prettiest. When I went outside to take these photos I could here the ice on the trees cracking and creaking in the wind.
To read earlier posts about my Dressember campaign visit here and hereA few fun facts about my Dressember so far
- consecutive days spent wearing dresses = 21
- different dresses worn =18
- people whose closets I have raided = 4 (thanks girls)
- things I wouldn’t usually have done in a dress – shovel snow, stack wood, take a carol singing hayride!
- already raised 42% of my Dressember goal (I’d love to reach 100%)
Far more important facts which should help you see why I am wearing dresses all month and raising money for the International Justice Mission
- It costs $20,000 to cover a IJM lawyer’s salary for a year
- $4500 will cover trial fees for a victim’s case
- $200,000 would provide 100,000 hours of individual trauma therapy for trafficking survivors.
- Over $270K has been raised so far this Dressember
- The total goal is $500,000
If you would like to support the International Justice Mission in working to end human trafficking, if you would like to see dignity restored to all women, if you would like to see justice for the poor, then donating to my Dressember campaign is a chance to be involved.
Thank you to those who have donated to the campaign and encouraged me as I have participated. To see the daily dresses you can check out my Pinterest board or Instagram.
We are almost one third of the way through Dressember and I am happy to report that I have reached over a third of my fundraising goal. My goal is $1240 which is $40 a day for the month of December. Thank you to those of you who have checked out the sites I linked to at the beginning of the month and thank you to those who have already donated.
Last year the Dressember campaign raised $165,000; this year’s campaign has already past that milestone. As of today, 2,510 Dressember advocates around the world have raised $170,144.
I have to admit it has not been too much of a challenge wearing a dress for the last nine days. The biggest thing is of course keeping warm as the temperature has ranged from +5°C to -16°C. Most of my time has been spent inside but even when I’m outside I have a collection of warm boots and cosy tights to keep the chill off! Both my girls and a couple of friends have allowed me to raid their closets. I didn’t set out to wear a different dress every day in December but it has been fun to have such variety.
The point is to make a difference and to make change possible for women, men and children living against their will in desperate, illegal and hopeless circumstances. The money raised for the International Justice Mission funds rescue missions and system reform as well as programs to equip and support those who have been rescued. Read some of the stories of hope here.
If you would like to the work of the International Justice Mission please visit my fundraising page. For updates check back here on my blog; to see the daily dress visit my Pinterest board or my Instagram
Thanks for caring.
Today I begin my Dressember challenge to wear a dress every day in December and raise awareness and funds for the work of the International Justice Mission. To donate please visit my fundraising page.
The heart of Dressember is dignity for all women so I hope you will get involved some how. The money raised will help stop human trafficking. I would love you to share my fundraising page or blog address and if you are able, donate to the work of the International Justice Misson which works all over the world to rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible.
I will update you regularly here on my blog as well as post my daily dress on Instagram and Pinterest.
Today’s dress is an oldie; I made it at least fifteen years ago, maybe more. I recently shortened it as it hadn’t been worn for years.