Browsed by
Author: Redawna

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Gardeners for 2017

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Gardeners for 2017

December is upon us once again and it is time to start thinking about those on our Christmas lists! This list is not in any particular order and are all items I have used or I would love to have! If there is something you think I need to add to the list I want to hear from you!

The Top 10 Christmas Gifts for the gardener on your list on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

To kick off my new 2018 garden series Grow Your Own Food we will start with a fantastic Top 1o list of gifts that won’t break the bank for the gardener in your life. If you are the gardener in your family these are some great ideas you should have on your Christmas list.

 

Bee Houses

A Bee House is on the top 10 list for Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

Perfect for the backyard to attract and house solitary bees that work tirelessly to pollinate. Solitary bees do not produce honey, live in colonies or have a queen, their main job is to pollinate the plants all around us from fruits and vegetables to the crops grown by farmers. Just one solitary bees activity is equivalent of up to 120 worker honeybees in the pollination it provides. Now that is a powerhouse pollinator that you want to attract to your yard!  A  Bee House is simply an artificial nesting structure that mason bees, and other solitary bees, can use to lay their eggs.

 

Gazing Balls

Gazing Balls are on the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

Gazing balls have a very long history and have been around since the 13th century first being made by Italian artisans using blown glass. Kings first displayed them in their gardens believing they held magical powers and they were thought to have brought prosperity and good luck to the owner. Over time homeowners would place the  globe near the front entrances to ward off bad things like disease, evil spirits and even ghosts. It was thought to keep witches away when placed near the door to the home, thinking witches would see their own reflection and thus be scared away. I may be a bit late to the gazing ball party and would love one of these as an addition to my yard!

 

Woodstock Chimes

Wood Stock Chimes are on the top 10 list of CHristmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

These are the most amazing windchimes I have ever heard and I cherish the set I was gifted. They truly are musical. (taken from their website- In 1979, musician and instrument designer Garry Kvistad founded Woodstock Percussion with a single great idea – to make the world’s best sounding windchime. He’s been creating his world-famous, musically-tuned Woodstock Chimes ever since. Today his company offers a unique variety of high-quality, affordable, musical gifts from around the world that inspire, entertain and bring pleasure to people of all ages.) Garry is behind the design, development and tuning of all Woodstock Chimes.

 

Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News is on the top 10 list for Christmas gifts for the gardener in you life on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

Mother Earth News is the definitive gardening magazine that  provides wide-ranging, expert editorial coverage of organic foods, country living, green transportation, renewable energy, natural health and green building. Every issues is jam packed with topics that inspire, teach and cultivate the passion to live well! A must have subscription for anyone who loves to garden.

 

Berry Scoop

Berry Scoops are on the top 10 list of Christmas gits for gardeners on Nutmeg Disruped

 

 

If you have done any blueberry or saskatoon picking it can be an enjoyable but time consuming and tedious activity.  There is a better way! Let me introduce the berry scoop! It makes it easy to pick large amount of berries much quicker then hand picking individual berries. A must have for any berry enthusiast.

 

Mushroom Growing Kit

Mushroom kits are in the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

 

These kits are absolutely fantastic! In as quickly as 10 days you can grow and harvest a variety of fresh mushrooms right in the comfort of your own kitchen.  They are very easy to care for and it is quite amazing to watch your crop of mushrooms come in! These easy to grow mushroom kits are a must have for any mushroom lover.

Pruning shears

pruning shears are on the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

There is something to be said for a high quality set of pruning shears. These are a must have for any gardener! They make cutting a breeze from trimming branches on trees and shrubs to chopping up amendments for the compost pile or any task the requires cutting. A good set of sharp shears make the job quick and super easy.

 

Terrarium

Terrariums are on the top 10 list of Christmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

Terrariums are a fantastic gift! Gardening under glass is  great way to bring nature indoors, The gardener in your life will be able to create an amazing zen garden that can be enjoyed year round for many years to come.

 

A Gardeners Tool Seat

The Gardeners Tool Seat in on the top 10 list of CHristmas gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

 

 

These are small portable fold up seats that also house all of your hand held tools, row markers or anything you make use of out in the garden. It helps reduce strain on knees and hips by being able to sit low to the ground for a more comfortable gardening experience.

 

Hori Hori Knife

The Hori Hori Knife is on the top 10 list of Christmas Gifts for gardeners on Nutmeg Disrupted

A Hori-Hori knife, sometimes referred to as a “soil knife” or a “weeding knife”, is a heavy serrated multi-purpose steel blade for gardening jobs such as digging or cutting. The blade is sharp on both sides and comes to a semi-sharp point at the end. This one came highly recommended by the most amazing gardener I know. He has had his for 10 years and said it is the best gardening tool he owns.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a bountiful and prosperous New Year! Be sure to stop back in and follow along with my Grow Your Own Food series throughout 2018. If you have ever wanted to grow your own food but were unsure where to start I will guide you through the entire process from learning about your growing area, what seeds to select and will walk with you from Spring through the harvest in Fall and right up to prepping your yard and garden for 2019.

Share on Facebook
Dill Pickles

Dill Pickles

It has been many years since I  made nice garlicy dill pickles. I am usually drawn to making Yum Yums as they are a taste of my childhood and instantly take me back to my baba’s dining room table and the many family gatherings we would have. But this year I am craving dill pickles, vinegary and heavy on the garlic! After a very wet hot summer this years cucumber bumper crop did not disappoint. With a huge amount of cucumbers I have more then enough to do at least a double batch of dills.

I don’t like any funky spices in my dill pickles and keep it very simple with fresh dill and garlic. To give it a bit of extra zip I use a 7% vinegar.

Making dill pickles in the Nutmeg Disrupted kitchen.

 

 

As always be sure to sterilize all your jars and have them hot and ready to fill. Warm all lids and screw bands in a small saucepan keeping warm until needed. All pickles are processed in a hot water bath, be sure to check on times for your specific elevation. And to keep things clean and efficient I always use my canning funnel to aid in the addition of any liquids which I am using during canning.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dill Pickles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • small pickling cucumbers
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 cups of 7% vinegar
  • ¼ cup of pickling salt
  • garlic cloves - peeled
  • dill heads
  • 7-8 1L jars
Instructions
  1. Scrub the cucumbers with a brush making sure all dirt is removed.
  2. Trim a bit off of each end of the cucumbers.
  3. Rinse well.
  4. Peel cloves of garlic, I used 4 cloves per jar.
  5. Shake the dill heads well to remove any bugs, give a quick rinse under water and place on paper towels to dry.
  6. In a large pot combine the vinegar, water and salt.
  7. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 -5 minutes.
  8. Place a head of dill and 2 cloves of garlic into the jars then fill with cucumbers packing tight.
  9. Add two final cloves of garlic.
  10. Using a canning funnel fill each jar with hot pickling brine.
  11. Add the lids and screw bands until finger tight.
  12. Place all jars into the canner and process for 15 minutes

Making garlic dill pickles in the Nutmeg Disrupted kitchen

Allow the jars to cool for 24 hours on the counter before moving. Make sure all jars have sealed by pushing down on the center of the lids. If there is any type of flex the jar is not sealed and should be stored in the fridge and consumed first. A properly sealed lid has no give and will be slightly concaved. Store pickles in a dark cool location. The are ready to be enjoyed about 2 weeks after canning and will last up to one year in storage.

Share on Facebook
Meringue Cookies

Meringue Cookies

A simple, delicate, showstopper. They can be any flavour and colour combination you like. You can dip the bottoms in melted chocolate or decorate them with sprinkles before baking. Easy to make these melt in your mouth cookies are a favourite of many.

I piped these with a piping bag and notched tip but you can use any type of ziplock bag with the corner cut off or even just a tablespoon to spoon the meringue out.  They look great free formed and hold whatever shape you make them. I do recommend baking them on parchment paper or silpat mats.

It is a fantastic addition to your cookie collection.

 

Meringue Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookie
Ingredients
  • 3 large fresh egg whites
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add almond flavouring, colouring (if using), cream of tartar and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Continue beating until stiff glossy peaks form.
  4. Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert a star tip. Transfer meringue to bag.
  5. Pipe cookies 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes at 250 degrees until firm to the touch.
  7. Turn off oven leave meringues in oven 1 hour.
  8. Remove from oven; cool completely on baking sheets.
  9. Remove meringues from paper; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
  10. I like to double up my cookie sheets to insulate the bottoms of the meringues from getting to dark, especially when making white meringue cookies.

You can serve them just as they are or dress them up with filling. I decided to sandwich these with a luscious ruby red grapefruit curd.

Meringue Cookies on Nutmeg Disrupted

Share on Facebook
Canned Smoked Whitefish

Canned Smoked Whitefish

This is a topic close to my heart. It is a passion of mine that started in an effort to preserve the biggest harvest I ever had from my garden. It was the summer of 2001 and I had a 4000 square foot garden over flowing with fruits and vegetables. It was the results of working my way through the hardest struggle of my life.  Months before I lost my youngest son. Deep in the dark lonely hole of grief, I was desperate to find something good in the world. Something to busy my mind. My hands. To have purpose. So I started some seeds under a set of florescent lights that winter.

From those dark days grew a passion that gives me tremendous joy and is where I go to think, or not. And the results is an amazing wealth of fresh produce that I preserve to last the entire year.

Along my preserving journey I have made pickles, jams, jellies, pickles eggs and sausage and my latest experiments have been with smoked fish.

Smoked whitefish on Nutmeg Disrupted

Smoked fish is a flavour of my childhood that takes me back immediately to the kitchen table of my childhood home. It was like Christmas when my Gido would arrive bearing bags of whole smoked whitefish. Truly, it was one of the things I most looked forward to, better then any other gift he could have bought.  They were whole fish, cut down the belly, laid flat then smoked until they were dried yet still had a touch of tenderness to them.  I would gently peel the bones back from the fish and break it apart into flakes, popping the pieces into my mouth and slowly enjoyed the salty smokiness of each bite.

That was 35 years ago yet I can picture it as if it was only last week.

Blessed with friends who had just gone fishing it was easy to get as many as I needed. Everyone who knows me knows I love to smoke fish whenever given the chance. Looking for a better way to handle the fish once smoked I looked into canning it. All you need is a pressure cooker. And hey, that is a fantastic reason to pick up an new kitchen toy! I bought  a 22 quart Mirro pressure cooker at Canadian Tire.

22 quart Miro Pressure cooker

The first step in the process is to prep the fish for the brine. It must be scaled but keep the skin on and all the bones need to be removed.

Preping whitefish for smoking

Brine

3 1/2 quarts of water

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of coarse salt

2 tablespoons of onion powder

1/2 cup of white sugar

8 cloves of garlic, minced

Combine all of the brine ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Simmer and stir until all sugar and salt is dissolved.

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Brining whitefish on Nutmeg Disrupted

Once cool add the whitefish and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Remove the fish from the brine and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry.

Spray the rack from the smoker well with non stick spray. Place the fish on the rack, skin side down leaving a bit of space between the pieces. .

Place the rack on the top setting in the smoker and smoke for one hour.

Have all jars clean and sterlized and in hot water. All lids and rings should be in a pot of water, slightly simmering on low/medium heat.

Fill the canner with the proper amount of water for your model. I used 4 quarts for this application.

Remove the whitefish from the smoker and allow to cool for a few moments.

Filling jars with smoked whitefish

Gently fill the jars with warm whitefish, leaving 1/4 headspace in each jar. Drizzle with a touch of canola oil. I then topped each jar with 2 heaping tablespoons of hot sauce.

Adding hot sauce to the smoked fish

Clean the rims of the jars with a hot clean cloth, add the lids and rings until finger tight. Place on the racks of the pressure cooker.

Loading up the pressure cooker

Place and secure the lid on the cooker. Now crank up the heat!

You want the pressure cooker to get fully pressurized. Once that happens and the cooker begins to let off a steady stream of steam,  start timing for 10 minutes. This is a very important step, do not skip.

Once the 10 minutes has passed add the 10 pound weight and maintain the cooker just under 10 psi for 110 minutes.

After 110 minutes remove the canner off the heat and allow to cool for 1 hour before removing the lid of the pressure cooker.

Remove all jars and allow to cool completely.

You can open a jar and enjoy it immediately.

Canned Smoked Whitefish

I am sure my Gido would have enjoyed this version of preserving Smoked Whitefish.

dad and Gido auctioning in 1969

(my dad about age 22 and my Gido, first & second generation Auctioneers)

Gido in the pineapple fields of Hawaii.

It is amazing when I look back at how many of my memories of him are food related. Though first and foremost he was a businessman it was his garden and the crab apple picking adventures with him I cherish the most.

I don’t know where he got the smoked fish, whoever it was had some amazing skills.

 

 

 

 

Share on Facebook
Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins

Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins

I love oats. Eating them takes me back instantly to my childhood. Sitting around my cousins table, surrounded by people I have so many fantastic memories with.

We would eat it with fresh cream that came from the cows milked earlier that morning. Truly a flavour of my childhood, simple yet transformative. It is amazing how one taste can transport you back to a moment in time as if were yesterday! And a flavour memory I refer back to often.

Looking to do some baking this morning I had oats on my mind. I have an amazing maple bread recipe that I love and have to share soon, but with a bunch of fresh berries in the fridge I thought muffins would be perfect.

 

Berry Explosion Oatmeal Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup of blueberries - fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup of raspberries - fresh or frozen
  • Streusel Topping:
  • combine the following
  • ¼ cup of butter - grated when cold
  • 4 tablespoons of quick cooking oats
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the oats and milk.
  2. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, canola oil and sugar.
  4. Add the oat and milk mixture.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
  6. Stir well to combine
  7. Gently fold in the berries
  8. Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin cups.
  9. Top with the streusel.
  10. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes to until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Berry Explosion Muffins from Nutmeg Disrupted

It is a great muffin with fantastic texture from the oats. They are not sweet and have an amazing amount of tart juicy raspberries. With the perfect hint of nutmeg that rounds out the flavour.

Perfection.

 

 

Share on Facebook
Content Protected Using Blog Protector By: PcDrome.