Goings On About the Garden : Part 2 – Cocktails and Barbecuing

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In Part 1 (here) of our garden story, I wrote about the plants that bloomed this spring, tulips in particular. In this post I’ll show you a bit of the fun we’ve had out there, so far this spring.

Before you get the impression that we booze it up a lot around here, since so many of these pictures include drinks, note that these pictures were taken over the span of two weeks. Yes, we drink and especially enjoy a cocktail outdoors when the weather is nice, but … well … we’re not always drinking!

These first pictures are of Saturday a couple of weeks ago. It was a long weekend and we were treated to beautiful warm weather for it.

Andrea came over, wearing a pretty dress, to celebrate our first time sitting outside on the deck. These pictures are tightly shot because our surroundings were quite a mess, since we had just taken the covers off the furniture and set up a make-shift seating area that morning. I mixed up a pitcher of Rum Ice Tea Punch (a recipe for that coming up in an upcoming post).

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Eddie joined us as we whiled away the beautiful afternoon.

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Then on the Sunday, I spent some more time outside. I finished the book I was reading, Delancey by Molly Wizenberg (which I wrote about purchasing here). It was really good, especially if you’re into food and cooking. It gave an excellent look at all that is involved in opening a restaurant. Molly’s writing is do wonderfully descriptive, and my takeaway is that such a venture is certainly not for the faint of heart.

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I also leafed through one of my favourite magazines, Food and Drink, which is created by and distributed through the liquor store. There was a feature in the magazine about Sanagan’s Meat Locker, a new-ish shop located in Kensington Market. The story included a photo of a hamburger and a description of butcher, Peter Sanagan’s, special way of making them, beginning with the kinds of beef he uses. It was interesting to see the local store in the magazine so I showed the article to Nick.

And two days later, guess what he came home from the market with? Some Sanagan’s hamburger patties.

As much as this might sound like I’m stretching the truth, I have only eaten one hamburger in over a decade, so that was extremely out of the ordinary. We do eat meat sometimes, but our day-to-day diet is primarily vegetarian, and while I love a good veggie-burger, beef hamburgers are just not something I normally eat. That goes to say that the one pictured in the magazine article looked really good!

On the following Wednesday evening, he fired up the barbecue for the first time this year, and cooked those hamburgers.

Once we had the coals burning, we also used them to cook some mushrooms and red peppers too. Nick put some of the mushrooms on the burgers and saved some to make pasta another day. After peeling and seeding the roasted red peppers, they went straight into the freezer to be used in future dishes.

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↑ there’s my “no make-up, hangin’ at home” look ↑

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And the hamburger was very good. If you live in Toronto and like to barbecue hamburgers, I recommend you try the ones from Sanagan’s in Kensington Market.

The beautiful lilac tree right next to our home is in full bloom right now and it is quite spectacular. This picture is taken out a second story window, so you can see that it is very tall. Although it was planted long before we became associated with this place, based on where it is and what is around it, I estimate that it is over 30 years old. This is the most lush that I’ve ever seen it, probably based on the fact that our compost pile is situated right at its base, so it gets lots of nutrition these days. (I previously wrote a post, called “Thanking Strangers from the Past for Pleasures of Today”, about it and two other flowering bushes, a forsythia and hibiscus, that have also grown into trees, that an unknown previous gardener planted here if you’d like to read about them.)

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Somewhere in the past two weeks we took a couple of trips to a plant shop in the neighbourhood (this one) to get seedlings for our herb garden and flowers to put in pots.

I got started planting those, but was stopped when the weather turned this past weekend. We had a huge rain storm on Saturday and really cold weather to follow it. We’re talking so cold you need a fairly warm jacket. It also rained on Sunday, which was a disappointment, because Andrea and her mother were coming over for lunch, and it would have been nice to sit outside. We still had a great time regardless, with Nick cooking us up some pasta (which included those previously grilled mushrooms in the sauce). It was our first time meeting Andrea’s lovely mother.

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It is still gloomy and cold out now, so outdoor fun has been temporarily put on hold. But we know it will be back, and when it does, we’ll be ready!

Thank you kindly for dropping by to see what we’ve been up to.
xo loulou

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