Floral notes: September 2018.

I have realized the benefits of carrying around a couple of folded brown paper bags in my book bag. (I don’t usually carry a purse. You can’t fit enough books in the ones I own so they’re pretty much useless to me. And if you’re going to carry around a ginormous purse, you may as well lug a sizeable, sturdy book bag, right?).  You never know when you might be strolling around and see seeds that need collecting or just enough ripe rose hips for a cup of tea or a leaf that needs identifying or pressing….  I’m certain my neighbours just shake their heads when they see me toodling around. At least I’m entertaining to others!  Do you forage in your neighbourhood as well?


The apple trees on the property where I live have produced like mad this year so I’ve been picking and processing over the past few weeks.  I’ve made a bunch of unsweetened applesauce, a carrot/applesauce blend, some jars of apple jelly, and infused a few slices with whole cinnamon, allspice, and anise in vodka in preparation for the winter warm-ups that will certainly be required within the next few months.  (Perhaps sooner: we have snow in the forecast for this week!).  I wanted to make this apple jam but it will have to wait until next year; sadly, I cannot hog all the apples to myself.

Juicy, sweet freestone peaches from our neighbouring province, British Columbia, have been so inexpensive this year – I suspect they had a bumper crop over there!  I mixed up a bunch as pie filling and froze them for use later in pastry or over top of ice cream, breakfast oatmeal, etc..  But I also made this peach barbecue sauce, which was fantastic!

And…I made blueberry soup.  I didn’t know that was a thing, but apparently, it’s a common dish in Sweden.  You can eat it either chilled or warm (we opted for the latter).  If I had enough blueberries in the freezer, I could see eating this every day – it’s so delicious!  The recipe I used isn’t quite traditional – I was eager to try this one because it has maple syrup and cardamom in it.  If you’re nervous about fruit soups, don’t be – this is a great breakfast meal and not too sweet. Actually, it sort of makes your tummy smile. Which is weird, but comforting. And comfortable, at the same time.

If you remember this entry I posted I about the non-book items our public library carries, you’ll recall that I mused aloud-ish about trying out a musical instrument.  True to my word, I carted this splendid item home on the train late last week:


Now to find some good beginner keyboard tutorials on You Tube!  Or, I’ll just have some fun and mash all the buttons for the “crazy noises” feature that the machine sports (those are the librarian’s words, not mine, but it’s the description I would have used as well). My neighbours will be elated with my efforts to learn new skills. I can already hear the knocking on the door, the broomstick tapping on the ceiling. If I can just get them to time it to my playing, we’ll have a band and we can go on tour tomorrow.

And, in the “Endlessly Bragging” Department, I have not one, but two, articles in the Fall 2018 issue of Herb Quarterly magazine: “Rock Your Garden!” and “Dooryard Garden Design.” The magazine is out on newsstands all across North America.

Share any new recipes you’ve tried recently or let me know what new ideas or fun things you’re working on this week!  


    • Hope you didn’t get too much snow! We were fortunate and only received a skiff – in northern Alberta, it was a completely different story. So much white stuff up there! Hope it’s sunny there for you now!
      Have a fantastic week, Jean!

  1. I grew up with fruit soup (fruktsoppa) thanks to my Swedish grandparents. We always had it in winter, especially around the holidays, but it was a great favorite during January and February when the snow was piling up. No blueberries for us, though. Grandma’s recipe used dried fruits of various sorts — apricot, plums, currents, lingonberries, and so on.

  2. My goodness, you are industrious! My mouth was watering as I read about all that you had prserved. As for the bookbag, it makes perfect sense, right down to the two paper bags you bring should you find anything to scrounge.

  3. Snow?! Jeez–it’s too early for that! I love that you’re going to learn to play the piano! I only wish I had paid attention and practiced all those years I took lessons and managed to learn almost nothing. I’d like to learn the bagpipe . . . but what would the neighbors think about that?!

  4. I’m going to come back to this for the recipes but it sounds like fun to make so much. No foraging here. My tomatoes won’t even ripen. Huge and green and fall is here. I agree on small purses. I’d like to have a roll along for books and what not instead of off the shoulder. I knew we were going to have an early fall but you already have winter! Oh my goodness.

    • I read somewhere that it was the “Year of the Green Tomato” – I think that sums it up truthfully!

      A roll along for books is so much better for the body than a carry bag – something for me to seriously consider next time I purchase a new one….

  5. Good for you, Sheryl, for trying out the keyboard! I have one under my bed that gets to see the light of day when I have holidays (and am spending them at home), and I have beginner sheet music for Chopin :). I will probably always be a beginner! Congratulations on your articles!

  6. I love the look of the blueberry soup recipe! Good luck with the keyboard! If you do get complaints, most keyboards have a headphone socket to enable you to play to yourself without bothering neighbours or long-suffering partners 😀

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