Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Homegrown. Homemade. Is Best!...


I didn't appreciate the beauty of gardening and growing your own food as I did this summer. Starting at my husband's sister's place in Montreal-- she had a huge fruitful plum tree and a delicious herb garden lush with purple shiso leaves, rosemary, two kinds of mint, and my favourite-- rau ram (Vietnamese cilantro). And of course we couldn't leave without taking a little of this and a little of that to return home with....


Back home, I looked forward to enjoying the lovely fragrant rau ram with a meal of DIY Vietnamese shrimp and pork rolls, and pre-fried homemade spring rolls courtesy of my mother-in-law in Montreal. 


I knew my parents were growing in their backyard, but when I finally got a chance to see it in person I was blown away-- a gorgeous panoramic view with supple tomatoes on tall vines, large green buttercup squash dangling, lush purple shiso leaves and purple Campbell grapes fence-climbing...



A neighbouring plum tree overhangs my parent's side and they are free to pick as they please...


Which my sister-in-law Yoko made jars of jam with... sour plum jam (cooking up plums before they fully ripe). Savouring breakfast by also spreading it neat or atop pâté or foie gras on water-type thin crackers.


I had brought two fresh just-caught sea bass from Port Perry to cook for dinner at my parents, and when I inquired about green onions, they asked my brother to cut some from the garden. So convenient-- I mean, how great is that?


But the biggest prize in their yard has to be the two huge bartlett pear trees-- we've had them ever since we moved in when I was a child; they never fail to bear bountiful of pears year after year. Bags and bags full to eat and to give away to neighbours, friends and relatives. Is it really just now that I truly appreciate their presence and precious fruits?...


Bitter melon given to my dad from a friend growing these gourds, and of course my dad had to return the generosity with a gift of his own-- a bag of pears! Oooh, the beginnings of a great organic food barter system...

Dad cooks up stir-fried bitter melon with onions and Chinese sausage.

And I can't wait to try this pear jam Yoko made... 

I love this quote I read in an issue of Edible Toronto-- Small City Spaces, Big Food and Heightened Awareness (Summer 2015), "Our food supply is largely imported, but if people start growing their food, they will want to grow a little more. There's less waste. It's a heightened awareness. Your head grows, your heart grows as you become more connected, your health grows because you're eating food that doesn't have chemical inputs, and ultimately you're helping the earth." Now, if you're not doing it already, doesn't growing your own food look and sound good to you too?




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