My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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How an early morning walk segued into my first juicing experience!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Well … yesterday I went for a lovely long walk … and found myself on the section of the pathway that paralleled the local allotment gardens.   And along both sides of this pathway were heavily laden blackberries bushes, like a jungle, they were so thick.  So I picked a few and then decided to go home, fetch a bucket and return to pick away.

It was an overcast morning and the hornets were not too much in evidence .. so perfect time for berry picking.  I hadn’t done this for years and it felt good to be just simply harvesting this wild bounty.

As cars roared back and forth on the Pat Bay Highway, which also paralleled the pathway .. not too close, though – I was protected from this traffic noise by the gigantic thick  hedge of tall Oregon Grape and the overgrown thickets of blackberries.

It was a lovely and quiet time of the day .. only two passersby … a lady with a Dutch accent who commented that the best berries are always at the top of the canes .. true!  And a brisk walker who was on her morning jaunt and on her return I saw her stop and taste the berries!

Well, I don’t really know how long I spent carefully detaching ripe berries from the thorny branches, but it must have been well over an hour.   I had nearly ¾ of a bucket and decided that was enough for now.  Next time I’ll bring a little step-ladder with me to get some of those top berries.

Back at home, I searched for recipes using these blackberries .. but not in the mood for baking, so decided to just freeze them.  A thorough rinse, patting dry and I put the first of 3 large parchment paper lined trays in the freezer.

After awhile .. a thought popped up .. I remembered that I had bought dh a juicer for Christmas and it had not been used yet.  Hmmmmmm

Maybe I’ll try my hand at juicing.

I must say, first, try to imagine a spotless kitchen, with the latest kitchen gadgets spread out on a tidy, work surface.  Everything is spotless and sparkly.

Hold that thought .. cause that isn’t how it all worked out.  But I didn’t take any pictures, so there is no proof, ha ha ha .. read on! You’ll see why I didn’t take any photos .. perhaps next time.

So I removed the 3rd tray, the berries hadn’t frozen yet.   Assembled the juicer, which is a Hamilton Beach, Big Mouth Extractor.  And what a powerful little juicer this machine is .. I love it.

The first batch of blackberry juice streamed out of the machine and I soon had a few jars full .. tasted the juice and it was very concentrated … and needed to have water added.

This is so much fun, I thought .. so why don’t I juice the frozen berries!   Went to the freezer, found all the ziplock bags, 2 large and 3 small and began my next juicing session.

Well … I soon discovered that this little machine churned out what was almost like blackberry ice-cream!!  The motor slugged away and soon I had more jars filled.   Time to empty out the pulp container… and it sure seemed like there was a lot of juice left in the pulp .. so I put the pulp in a strainer.

Finished cleaning out the juicer and thought, what the heck, why don’t I run this pulp through again .. and received more juice.  This time I put the pulp in zip lock bags to take to the compost.

I then cleaned out the machine .. this is no big deal, soapy wash, rinse, brush the metallic sieved bowl and ready for action again.

This time I juiced carrots .. oh, my.   Concentrated vitamin C.

After several hours of experimenting with other berries .. it was time to call it a day.  Carefully put all my new juices into the fridge, some in the freezer for later.  Thinking it would be a good idea to fill some ice-cube trays with juice, for easy future drinks.

I have a lot to learn about juicing, that is, to blend various fruits together, but that will happen.

Anyway, time to relax and watch some Coronation Street, so I just left the zip-locked bag of berry pulp on the counter and to the land of tv I went.

Returning to the kitchen awhile later .. I discovered another lesson learned.  That is, not to leave a plastic bag of berry pulp on the counter.

There was blackberry juice on the counter, trailing down the kitchen drawer, cupboard and puddled on the floor and baseboard for a circumference of about 3 feet.

Oh, shoot … this isn’t good.

My first thought was, darn, I could have used that juice, what a waste.

My second thought was, omg .. this blackberry juice stains like crazy.

My third thought was, omg .. I am so glad that dh is not here right now.

I quickly gathered cloths to soak up the beautiful juice that was everywhere.

Next I found my container of “Mother’s Choice” hard surface cleaner (manufactured by Pink Solution in Vancouver) applied some of the grey paste to a cloth and scrubbed away.  This magic solution completely eradicated any residue of the beautiful blackberry liquid and our counters, wooden trim on the cupboard door, plus the cupboard door surfaces, baseboard trim and flooring  now bear no evidence to my “juicing accident”.

Relief!!

Well, if I hadn’t gone for  walk yesterday, I wouldn’t have noticed the zillions of blackberries growing so close to home, which resulted in my gathering enough and this segued into my entrance to the world of juicing.

Yeah

Seems to me that every time I go for a walk, whether by myself or with my pal D, something interesting  occurs.

Which reminds me of our very interesting walk a few days ago. We were invited on a tour of a garden which belonged to the most amazing planted boulevard.   A tour which lasted for two hours!   And lots of pictures.

But that is for another time.

For now I will just marvel at the results of my first juicing experience and I think I will search out some sparkling water to add to some of this nectar!

🙂


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More abour our wanderings at Saxe Point, such a magnificent place to be.

Friday, September 21, 2012

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I look at the date on today’s paper and think . .yegads .. my birthday is next week!  And for that I am glad.  Remembering when I was little and thinking “I am 8 and the year ends in 8” (I won’t say which decade though, ha ha ha) .. followed by subsequent years of “I’m 12 and the year ends in 2” … guess I’ve fallen out of the rhythm, cause my next number ends in 4 and the year ends in 2!

Guess its high time to start a new birthday saying, heh?

Besides the sometimes complimentary birthday drink I receive (depending on the restaurant) .. I find that each birthday feels to me like New Years Day .. a fresh slate, as it were.  A fresh new year starting.

Now, I will create new habits, new routines, finish what I’ve started, and start new things.  Oh, it is so nice to have these dreams!

Today I’m posting the balance of pictures taken a few days ago, when my pal D and I went out for a day of adventure and discovery.

We’d started the day at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Planned to meet in the Nature House, arriving within a few minutes of each other .. and then, each waiting for the other, we made little forays outside and thus kept missing each other.

I had a few conversations with someone who worked there and then made a few visits to my car.  She, in turn, would exit the building and go looking for me.  So, in hindsight, we must have looked kind of cute, like one of those little cartoons, where 2 people don’t exist in the same space at the same time.  However, eventually the time continuum stopped playing around with us and we met up at the entrance!
And, good friend that she is, D fully understood how I was sad at the loss of our little Youbou and gave me this very lovely card, a Beth Logan work of art .. that caught the essence of little Y.  He did have that quizzical air about him as he went through his daily life with us.  And how appropriate, as it turns out, that he was on a boat, nearing or approaching a harbour … to the next stage of his lovely little soul’s journey.

And again, how appropriate, as it turns out .. that the card had a nautical air .. as D and I later on were exploring around the ocean’s edge at Saxe Point!

So I had a little sniffle session, reminiscing about little Y –  and carefully placed this beautiful, thoughtful acknowledgement of little Y’s presence on this earth in my car for safekeeping.

And we began our day’s outing.

Such fun, scrambling along the rocks, discovering paths and rockeries.  Beautiful gardens.  A lovely abandoned house that had belonged to the caretaker, now empty, how sad.  Imagined how wonderful it would be to live in a house like that and to live in such beautiful surroundings, with such amazing views of the ocean.  Heaven, indeed.

It was a weekday, summer was over and so not many people at the park on that lovely sunny day.   Felt carefree and worry-free .. with no appointments, work timelines.  Such a good feeling.

We found some crystalized salt areas and many uniformly shaped string like sections … D did some detective work and concluded that these were actually sections of sea-lettuce, the green colour removed by the salt and then dried by the sun.

So we spent a few hours wandering around, exploring, discovering … and enjoying the priceless beauty of the surrounding waters.

Another lovely day .. and all within the confines of our lovely city.

There are many many more such treasures and we will find them when we strike out on our discovery walks, now that the gardening season is slowing down.  And look forward to another pal from the past who will be retiring in another month and she will join our wanderings .. then we can really make trips of discovery!  Such fun ….and .. Gadzooks .. we will even try to travel to the Mainland (Vancouver) for a time or too.

And perhaps a gulf island day trip … now won’t that be fun!

But there is so very much here to discover on the island and in the city of Victoria .. we are so very lucky, don’t you think?

So .. on with this lovely day.