Harvesting Carrots?

Harvesting Carrots?
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Sunday, September 9, 2018

How To Make Quick and Easy Plum Jam in your Oven!

Delicious Roasted Plum Jam
I am very grateful to live in a place of bountiful fruit. In our yard we have grapes, thornless blackberries, a golden plum tree, hazelnuts, saskatoon berries, blueberries, apples, green figs, and quince. We have an Italian plum tree that has not yet been very forthcoming, but that's okay, because this year two friends gifted us with lovely dark blue, plump, little prune plums. Another friend sent over some sweet, delicious pears from her tree. We are blessed with delicious fruit and generous friends!

So, what to do with all these plums? 
It is true that I love fresh fruit.  I blame my un-fruited childhood in rural Saskatchewan.  Yes, we did have berries of many kinds, wild and garden-grown, but we did not, or at least on our farm, have any large tree fruits... crabapples don't count.  But here I am with a surfeit of fruit in my twilight years.  And I am adverse to all the work involved in making "preserves" in the traditional way.

You will not be finding this anytime in my 'back storage room':

 However, I heard from a friend about a friend's easy-peasy jam-making where he just did everything re the sterilizing in the oven.  That sounded like a good idea.  But specifics please!

And then I found a recipe for roasting plums on the internet-- roasting them to turn them into jam!  If you are a fan of roasted veggies (as I am), you will know that roasting holds the lovely primary and subtle flavours of food better than other methods, such as boiling.  So, with that recipe, I went to town, making a couple of adjustments for what I had in the house vs. what was called for in the recipe.

It starts with slicing up the plums and putting them on pans...

Look at the variation in colours!  Actually some of them were a little riper than others.  (That cream-coloured stuff is not butter or margerine, although it looks like it, but a whole grated lemon-- I freeze the lemons and then go through the arduous task of grating them in lieu of juicing-- yes, it is time-consuming.)  Notice that there are NO stones on the sheet above, just plum slices.
This pan of plum slices also includes the accompanying stone for each plum.  Reminiscent of Paul Simon's "Mother and Egg Reunion" in a very vegan-vague way.  Really, the plum stone is supposed to lend an almond-like (?) flavour to the jam.  Although, DO REMEMBER to remove the stones before you put the jam in the jar.

By this time, I am already salivating, loving roasted vegetables as must as I do. And I also love home-made jam, so it seems fairly likely that this will be a hit for me.
Oh, yes. yes. yes.  This is the real stuff, this roasted plum jam.  You have to try it.  The recipe is written out for you just below a couple more pictures of this caramelized, jammy jam.  I used Coconut Sugar to get the caramelized flavour.  You can go with whatever sugar you want!  Sugar is sugar (and apparently 'date sugar' is NOT sugar-- it is basically a whole food sweetener, being the dried and grated dates grated up to resemble some sugars... although it is much healthier, being a whole food and not a "refined" food.)

Hello! This is the finished product on Portofino Bakery's whole wheat toast.  It's not dainty, but it is DELICIOUS and that really counts for us:

  1. 4 pounds/2 kg Italian (prune) plums
  2. 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar (original recipe)- or other sugar-- I used Coconut Sugar
  3. Juice of 1 lemon (I used whole grated frozen lemon)
  4. Black Pepper in grater for pan #1
  5. 3 small jam jars with lids, sterilized in dishwasher or in oven


  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
  2. Cover 2 cookie sheets (or bake sheets of some sort) with parchment paper.
  3. Slice up about 4 pounds (about 2 kg) of Italian (prune) plums.  Stone each of them, and place them side up and side down (or all up, as I did) on both pans, 2 pounds per pan (1 kg).  On the second pan, place stones throughout in empty spaces.  
  4. Spinkle/spoon half the lemon juice (or grated puree) and half the sugar over the plums in each pan.
  5. Grate black pepper over the plums in pan #1.
  6. Either time the jars to be sterilized in your dishwasher (to come out at about the time your jam is ready-- about 30-40 minutes) or in your oven.  Please use directions online re warming the jars in the oven to co-ordinate with your hot jam being ladled into a hot jar.  I find the dishwasher idea to be pretty workable-- just remember to use the highest washing setting (*sterilize* on my dishwasher) and time to co-ordinate the sterilizing ending with the the jam coming out of the oven.  If you have any doubts about this, you might be better off just keeping your jam in the fridge vs. on the shelf in your pantry.  The jam done properly on a shelf can last for 1 year.  In the fridge, probably about a similar length of time.  It doesn't get a chance to sit around in our house.  As soon as you open it, refrigerate it after that.
  7. While jars AND jam are both hot, wearing oven mitts, carefully spoon the jam into the jars.  Jab it gently into the jars, making sure there are no air pockets.
  8. Seal the jars you are not going to eat from
  9. Enjoy!!  This is our current favourite jam: oven- roasted plum jam!

 You might also enjoy: Yummy Quick and Easy Fig Jam

Sunday, August 26, 2018

My Beef With The Dollar Stores

My current number one beef with the dollar stores might also be shared with a bunch of Pinterest and assorted website promoters: those neat little plastic organizers (containers, baskets, etc.) look good for about a year, and then they... disintegrate!  They have a much shorter life than the shopping bags we get from the grocery stores!

Maybe they are made of corn starch or rice starch or ??  In any case, perhaps we should be putting them in our compost bins?? (I'm joking)

I guess you do get what you pay for?  Who knew?

I have begun to replace the plastic storage/organizational containers with wire baskets, also from the dollar stores.  I also use large pretty dishes and trays in our main bathroom (yes, made from glass, pottery, ceramics) that I purchased at my favourite thrift store ("Too Good To Be Threw" in Courtenay, BC-- the prices are reasonable and the profits go to support programs for women and children escaping abuse). 

The work to bring down the clutter is still in progress.  Today we are going to go through a few falling-apart baskets upstairs that have accumulated rubble of various descriptions.  I want my husband in on this since he is the Dollarama maven in this house. 
This plastic basket fell apart bit by bit when I picked it up (with a jumble of small items in it, of course).  

So, have you run across this problem with plastic containers meant to organize your spaces in a pretty way?  Suggestions for replacing these kinds of containers? Your comments (below) are much appareciated!

You might also be interested in:
Sentimental Journey: What To Keep, What To Pass Along When You Declutter
Organic Granny Declutters-Simplifies-Minimizes 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Healthy Workout for the Senior Mind: Caring for the Caregiver

Healthy Aging: An Oxymoron?

A Healthy Brain Workout

A while ago, a friend who was doing some at-home care-giving for her husband who had a terminal illness, called to invite me to go with her to a "workshop about brain health" that she read about in our local paper. Like many "boomers"-- that is, people born in the 1940s to early 1960s demographic-- I am interested in layman's "brain science" where it relates to my being able to make some practical lifestyle adjustments to extend the life span of my brain's health, and, I hope, forego dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
I said "yes" to her offer.
When we arrived I was surprised to find that the workshop was being presented by the local chapter of the British Columbia Alzheimer Society. I have older relatives diagnosed with Alzheimer's and thought that perhaps this would be a way to learn about how to avoid getting that dreadful aging disease.
The brochures laid neatly out on one of the entry tables were labeled: Taking Action for a Healthier Brain. The suggestions for maintaining or improving brain health included:
  • be socially active -- hang out with positive people and don't let the connections with family and friends go asunder. Continue to learn new things, join interest groups, volunteer, and even hold down a job if that gives you pleasure and purpose.
  • have a healthy lifestyle-- basically, eliminate junk food and high fat, high processed foods, get more exercise, keep your blood pressure down, reduce stress, quit smoking and give up the alcohol binges. Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity are all risk factors for Alzheimer's disease.
  • protect your brain from injuries by wearing a helmet when doing sports like ski-ing, cycling, and skating. Use safety features like handrails to avoid falls. Wear sensible shoes (I added this, it wasn't in the brochure), and drive safely while wearing a seat belt.
  • challenge your brain- keep your brain challenged everyday because that actually reduces the likelihood of developing the disease of Alzheimer's. Play games that stimulate problem-solving, like sudoku (my husband's favorite) or Literatii (my facebook word-puzzle game). Don't forget about jigsaws, crosswords, and chess. Another way to exercise your brain is to continue to try something new or the change the way you normally do tasks. Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand, take a different route around the neighborhood when out walking the dog, learn a language (my husband has become fluent in Spanish and is an enthusiastic participant in Elder College classes that are offered in our community), learn to play the piano or join a writer's group, go to a museum, take a trip, enjoy hobbies.

Walking Is Brain Exercise

After reading over the brochure I was excited about the morning's events. I expected that there would be a nice little snack around 10a.m. too. I settled into a chair. Very briefly. Suddenly there was a group of women, many about my age, some older, moving with an organizer towards the door. I got up and clubbed with them as well. It seemed we were going on a half-hour walk. My friend and I exchanged glances. It sounded okay, but it certainly wasn't what we had expected. We took part in some gentle warm-up exercises, stretching mostly, and then headed out the door into the sunshine for a nice friendly walk along the riverbank of Courtenay. It was a beautiful sunny warm Fall Day-- the first really pleasant day we've had in weeks. We agreed that the idea to take a walk was genius! My pal and I might talk about going for a walk together, but do we? Not usually. This was a blessing.
At some point the leader of the walk asked us to:
(a)think of a name for our walking group and
(b)come up with some suggestions as to how we might support caregivers in our community who are looking after folks with Alzheimer's (I hear a woman volunteer say that she was caring for her husband with the disease).
My friend Pauline taking a walk in the sunshine along the River Park Trail in Courtenay

Humour Can Get You Over The Hump

My friend and I didn't even attempt coming up with a name for the group, but we did begin a dialogue about people we knew who were looking after loved ones with Alzheimer's and their trials. We agreed that it would be the kind and compassionate thing for us to offer our caregiver friends/acquaintances some time out -- we could look after the 'patient' so our friend could go for a walk or out to dinner with her friends. Back in the circle at the hall there were also other suggestions like bringing the Alzheimer's patient home with you, particularly if you had children around and taking the patient out for a drive sometimes.
After the walk we returned to the centre and prepared for a powerpoint presentation. The woman (introduced as Enid Mushypeas, Queen's lady-in-waiting/bodyguard) who stepped up to present had on a clownish ensemble and spoke with a thick Cockney accent... I got that she was going to introduce the idea of humour being a useful element in growing old (with or without Alzheimer's), and, as she pointed out, particularly important to cultivate if we wanted to have excellent care giving since it is quite likely, given a choice, excellent caregivers will choose to work with positive, easy-going, good-humoured people (with or without Alzheimer's) over curmudgeons. I still waited for the powerpoint to start rolling.
                                                 The delightfully hilarious Enid Mushypeas

Keep The Comedy Coming

No powerpoint. Instead we were treated to the most entertaining comedic presentation by a woman who purported to be a lady-in-waiting to the Queen of England, no less, or, as she had it, Lizzy and Phil. She had us in stitches. It was great to look around the circle and see everyone howling with laughter. It was a demonstration of how effective humour is as a learning tool and as a stress-release. How very relieving, too, that we weren't deluged with confusing explanations couched in psychopharmacological jargon (the Medical Model), as is humorously illustrated in this youtube video:



Nia Dancing

My friend and I got up to leave, feeling very satisfied with our little learning foray, de-stressed by all the laughter. But it wasn't to be: a nice young woman named Ann Marie Lisch steps up and tells us about our next activity in brain health called Nia, short for Neuromuscular Integrative Action. Nia developed from a combination of dance, martial arts, and healing arts like yoga and Tai Chi, back in the 1990s.
[Nia] works to build strength, flexibility and balance. Every muscle in the body has neuronal nodal points, memory receptors that are connected to the brain. These receptors help create muscle memory and help store the physical components of emotional traumas (Rossi 1993). In Nia we use the body to heal the mind and spirit by joining muscular movement with introspection, intention, visualization, imagery and expressiveness. Body language and verbal expression are used to help bring forgotten feelings-pleasant and unpleasant-to the foreground of consciousness. from Nia: The Body's Way at InnerIdeas

NIA demo

The Nia Workout

We were immediately taken up by the jazzy music and the graceful method Ann Marie used to encourage us to begin with the patterns that she showed us (that is, dance, martial arts, yoga and tai chi, all done in a circle with delightful drum jazz music) and moved into patterns that were more natural to our individual bodies. Where did we feel we needed to go, what was a pleasurable movement to make? This was joyful movement. It turns out that Ann Marie offers classes to seniors in our community (along with classes for other groups of people). I felt so great after the session of Nia that I feel like I may just have tumbled upon an "exercise" technique that suits me in my maturity, a time when I'm pulled among the computer, walking my dog, various volunteer commitments, family, home, garden, and not very inclined to 'exercise' in the conventional sense.

Brain Gym for Seniors

We began to make our way toward the door, but again, another young woman, called Katherine-or-Kat, asked if we were interested in doing some "Brain Gym"She quickly added that the Brain Gym exercises could be done in a chair if we wished. We had the option of sitting, standing or sitting and standing, as we were moved. My friend and I hauled chairs into the circle (of chairs-- we were not the only ones feeling a little wobbly) and the Brain Gym began. There are many good videos online that will convey the spirit of Brain Gym.
Brain Gym is a physical technique that helps the brain and body work more effectively together to actually help to reduce stress and improve co-ordination, concentration, and self-confidence. The vision improvement exercises help with stability, depth perception and mental awareness. In the video below you can see how volunteers work with a seniors' group to "give back" some of the gifts they have received from the community themselves.                   

Support For Those Caring For Those With Dementia

Caring for someone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, or other forms of dementia, can be extremely exhausting. As frequently happens, even well-meaning family supports can fall away leaving the care-giver feeling lonely and isolated. The Alzheimers Association of BC has support groups in place to offer a range of support services and social activities to encourage and promote coping for care-givers. You can find similar support groups and services across Canada here.
Alzheimers and Dementia Support Services for caregivers in the United States can be found here.
Groups for Carers in Australia can be accessed here.
So ended our lovely morning of laughter, new learning, lots of exercise, new friends and connections in the community, even prizes (I won a book of sudoku puzzles) and healthy snacks. The Queen's Lady-in-Waiting told us that an attitude of gratitude is also a marker for a healthy brain as we grow into our years. I feel grateful for people in our community who have put together this program and for friends who initiate spending time with me trying something new.
If you are a caregiver for someone with an Alzheimers or other dementia diagnosis, I encourage you to check out the resources in your community. If you can not find any groups listed above, speak to your physician (or psychopharmacologist). Perhaps there are others in your community who have also been asking to have a group and you can be a founding member!

**This article originally appeared on the writing community HubPages.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Figs For Sabbath Breakfast August 4, 2018

Ripe Green Figs from the first (breba) crop of the summer
When we first moved to Vancouver Island (November 2005), my husband was in awe of the neighbour's wonderful fig trees.  So we planted our own.  One of the two we planted withered and died (cursed?  
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Matthew 21:18–22  The Holy Bible
In time, however-- maybe about six years later-- the single surviving tree burst forth in prolific fruitage and has continued to this day.  It produces two crops.  Sometimes it rains and the droops mold before they are harvested (ahhhh) and sometimes (often) the second little knobs don't get enough of a hot season to mature enough to eat.  But there have been some wonderful pickings, and this year is one of those years.

This 'common fig'-- ficus carica--  does not require the pollinating services of a wasp from another fig tree.  Fig wasps are not generally available in colder climates.  While it grows in deserts, it is most happy next to an oasis (according to Wikipedia).  Our yard is like a desert in the summer-- a mountain ridge rising up from the highway that runs parallel to the Comox Harbour.  We generally start having a rainy season in early Fall, and throughout the winter months.  But no standing body of water in our yard.

Figs, dried, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy1,041 kJ (249 kcal)
63.9 g
Sugars47.9 g
Dietary fiber9.8 g
0.93 g
3.3 g
Vitamin A equiv.
0 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.085 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.082 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.62 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.43 mg
Vitamin B6
0.11 mg
Folate (B9)
9 μg
Vitamin C
1 mg
Vitamin E
0.35 mg
Vitamin K
15.6 μg
162 mg
2 mg
68 mg
0.51 mg
67 mg
680 mg
10 mg
0.55 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: Wikipedia

Friday, August 3, 2018

Backyard Blessings August 3, 2018

Another hot day it would seem, although, you know how weather works...

We are grateful to live in this dry, hot time WITHOUT wild fires nearby.

We are grateful for the bounty of our small, disorganized gardens in the backyard: purple pole beans (that cook green), thornless blackberries (if you struggle while picking regular blackberries in thorny bushes, you would so appreciate these thornless ones!), red tumbler tomatoes (thanks to Ed's dear friend Alberto), and the yearly crop of small golden plums from a tree wedged between a fence and a shed.

So grateful!

If you are grateful for your good fortune and would like to see how that gratitude works in your life, you can find some great suggestions for GRATITUDE PROJECTS here for you and your family.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Sentimental Journey: What To Pass, What To Keep When You Declutter

As you might have read already, I have begun to declutter my kitchen and living room areas as a ride-along with my husband's doing some painting in those rooms.  What to do, what to do-- I actually need to let go of items that were given to me, or harder yet, bequeathed to me, by people dear to me.  And the odd memento of some place and time that I will never more visit.  Dishes, mostly.  Please let me know what you think in the Comments below.  Would you give away something your |Grandmother gave you as a gift?  Would you give away a piece of bone china that you never use, that is missing a lid, but that is your all-time favourite Royal Albert pattern, and belonged to your Mom?

The first article of some sentimental value is a pinwheel crystal pilsner glass.  Pilsner is a kind of brew for a beer.  It is a fancy beer glass. 

 There were six of them at one time, wedding gifts from an auntie. There are three remaining (not bad in our house for something that landed here forty-eight years ago).  We do not drink beer any more. 

 It is too long to re-purpose as a dessert glass, and doesn't work extremely well as a vase either, although that is a possibility.  

What do you think?

Keep for sentiment's sake?

Give away?

If you are family, do you want it?

Any other ideas?

This is the bone china coffee pot that belonged to my mom.  It is Royal Albert "Silver Birch" pattern, which I like very much, but it is a knock-off of the regular coffee pot from the 1940s, and not quite as grand.  I can't find a lid online but I see that the tea pot lid is replaceable for $50 on Ebay. $50!

We don't drink coffee.  Does anyone serve their guests coffee in these pots any more? (I mean, besides at Church 'teas'-- do they even have church teas any more?)

Some arty folks would use this as a flower pot I suppose.  Is it worth it to advertise it on EBay and then wait six months for someone to buy it for $30?  If you are family, do you want it?  There are some cups, saucers and a cream/sugar that go with it.  Any other ideas?

 A china tea mug that my Grandmother gave to me one time when we lived in Saskatchewan and visited her in Vancouver.  Grandma was very precious to me.  However, I haven't seen this mug for the past six years, and so it is safe to say that it doesn't evoke any real feelings.  Family want it?
 A gift mug from a client who went to Hawaii.  It is always nice to see these sorts of little "appreciate-you" mementos, but the fact is that it sits up in the top cupboard unused and un-heralded.  I need the space.  The ex-client is now on my Facebook and we appreciate each other.  I don't think this gets kept.  hehe.
 A going-away gift I received from the Saskatoon women's shelter that I worked at for a few years, many years ago.  I just now took it out of the plastic bag it had lived in.  It is a very nice mug.  But Interval House has a website if I need to remember my times there.  Does anyone out there want this mug?  I would happily send it to you for the cost of shipping.

This is not exactly 'mine' to give away since it is a souvenir Ed brought back from his trip to Europe.  Like his 43 tee-shirts, it will likely live here as long as we do, but I will move it into his man cave out of the kitchen.  Phil, do you want this?  You were on the same trip as your Dad.

I don't think I will be going through all the minutia (nice word for 'junk') on this page, but you never know.  I know that some of you are organizational whizzes and I truly appreciate your ideas, offers, comments, and suggestions below.  Not just for these particular items, but for how to declutter in general-- what has worked for you?  Thank you!

If this interested you, you might want to read the previous post called Organic Granny Declutters-Simplifies-Minimizes 

For Family (Zirkwitz-Ritter-Rempel-Sanders) I plan to transfer our Genealogy information to this blog.  For the granddaughters and sons, we plan to write a little more about our life experiences.  All to come.  In the meantime, here are a couple of articles that you might want to read about our life long ago and far away:

Our Experiences of Being Contestants on a TV Quiz Show (1970s- Vancouver)

Food Trends Through My Life (1950- 2000s)

Some Things To Do With Grandkids in Edmonton (including photos of grandkids)

Read Me A Story: How Being Read Aloud To Shaped My Life (more grandkid pictures)

A Prairie Gal's Walk On Vancouver Island

Taking a Trip Back in Time With Pinterest (some family photos)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Organic Granny Declutters-Simplifies-Minimizes

Some of the Clutter from my Cupboards


My husband moved here about 13 years ago this coming Fall.  We managed everything we packed up in the space of a cube van-- by selling and giving away anything that wasn't positively necessary (or that to replace at that time would be too expensive) or that had deep sentimental value (hmmm).  In the 13 years since it is evident that if we had any "policy" in our home about not accumulating (okay, hoarding) it must have gone out the window quite quickly after we arrived here.

And we have precious grandkids-- who live afar-- which is meant to excuse the fact that we have raided the thrifts shops, Walmart, and Dollarama for stuff they 'collect', things they need need need (like water safety devices-- we don't have a boat but we do live near the Ocean), etc., for their time here.  I also had quite a respectable doll collection from forays onto EBay back in the day when I was addicted to doing that.  Some of the dolls have made their way to their "real" home, but there are still a wall-full upstairs.  And so it goes.

But the real reason is that I am feeling old and over-burdened with all this "stuff" that doesn't get used but that seems to have rented space in my head as well as taking up considerable space in cupboards and closets and drawers and on shelves throughout the house.  And because when we moved in here we felt that we were here for quite a while, and that feeling has changed with the comings and goings of new neighbours, I absolutely cringe at the idea of having to do a huge sort, pack, give away, and move with a deadline, when the time to move actually arrives.

And... it would be nice to live in a home that was not cluttered.  I vision that we will feel more relaxed, that it will be easier to have a clean-up schedule that doesn't involve feeling discouraged about all the niches and crannies and spider webs that must be cleaned up, and all the stuff that doesn't get done because of overwhelm (and because there are things I prefer doing, that win out-- I confess).  I imagine there will still be spider webs, but you know...


We are a couple with a spontaneous work schedule.   Mowing gets done when it looks like it might rain, meals get made when people arrive looking hungry, and arts and decoration projects often languish in boxes somewhere until they are either forever forgotten, or pulled out during an overhaul of whatever room the boxes live in.  Recently I have gotten into my head that the downstairs ceilings must be painted.  Knowing what a messy job that is sure to be, it seemed to be a good time to pull apart all the cupboards and begin the de-clutter process as described in an article I recently read.

  1. Remove all items from one room to another room so that the room to be decluttered is totally empty.
  2. Sit on the situation for a few days or a week.  Don't make any rash decisions about what must go and what must stay.
  3. After the week or so, begin to bring in the items that you definitely want in your space.
  4. Sell, give away, or throw out all other items that you decide are not necessary to your life and new peaceful outlook.
So, I am clearing out my cupboards in the kitchen, removing stuff from walls, shelves, drawers, counters.  I am about half-way finished and the small room I am using to collect the  detritus stuff.

Stay tuned if you are curious how this all works out.

Friday, June 29, 2018

5 Sweet Ways To Show Off Your Daylilies

I have a couple of great pops of day lilies in my yard.  Daylilies are so called because they have a bright surprise bloom that generally doesn't last more than a day or so.  They bloom in mid-late June (Vancouver Island) and provide lots of colorful blooms for cutting and showing off.

Here are some lovely arrangements that you can use to showcase your Daylilies:

  1. Daisies and Daylilies
A fresh, cheerful bouquet.  Daisies and daylilies bloom about the same time.  

     2. California Sunshine
Canada Floral

This is an Asiatic Lily mix called "California Sunshine."  You can have the same bright dramatic effect by putting together daylilies with these alluringly sunny color contrasts.  Put it somewhere that needs a big pop of bright cheerful sunshine to bring it alive!

    3. 180- Degree Vista
Chester Garden Club
This gorgeous peachy arrangement is a little different to what we are used to, on its side like a lush exotic flower salad.  Have fun with the variety of leaves.  The large soft hosta leaves along the back really draw the eye after the lilies on their soft lettuce-like leaf bed.  Note the seed stems for some extra interest and texture!  Have fun! 

Perhaps you have always wanted to take a floral design course so that you could put together beautiful arrangements like the ones here?  See what you can learn online for a small fraction of what it would cost to take it outside your home. Learn to create whimsical designs suited to your flowers, the occasion, and where the flowers will be presented.  Click HERE for more information.

   4. Daylilies-Roses-Succulents Burst
Korori Flower Shop
This Daylily bouquet includes succulents and tea roses.  Exotic and romantic, a super centerpiece for a wedding anniversary dinner!

     5.  Theatrical Display of Daylilies
Golden B Designs
And talking about dramatic... this explosive arrangement was put together for the Norris Theatre, Rolling Hills Estates, California.  The bright yellow and red Daylilies are teamed up with Bird of Paradise, Anthurium and sprays of Red Ginger. No shortage of Divas here..

If you have it in you to want to put together such a whimsical flower design using market or home-grown flowers, you can learn the basics online with Udemy.  Go here to get the information and to register.

You might also be interested in knowing about:

7 Things You Can Do With Rosemary

7 Things You Can Do With  Oregano Flowers

Monday, April 9, 2018

Ketoflex Recipe: Kelp Noodles with Chop Suey and Peanut-Miso Sauce

This is a yummy "Chinese Food" version of Ketoflex meal (vegan ketogenic).  I use cooked vegetables in this recipe, but you could go ahead and make a nice cold salad to have a complete "raw vegan" (or close to) Ketoflex meal.


  • Mineral Rich Kelp Noodles (see picture below)
  • 1 Medium Onion, sliced or diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Large Carrot, sliced into coins
  • 2 Cups of Green Beans, chopped
  • (Add in or substitute other low-glycemic vegetables of your choice)
  • 1 T. Coconut Oil
  • 1 T. Miso Paste
  • 3 T. Peanut Butter
  • Dash of Umeboshi (Japanese Plum) or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. Stevia powder
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste (optional)

  1. Heat Coconut Oil in Dutch Oven.  Stir fry Onion, Garlic, Carrot and Green Beans until cooked to taste.
  2. Mix Miso Paste and Peanut Butter until well mixed.  Add in dash of Vinegar and Stevia.  Combine well.
  3. When ready to serve, add in Kelp noodles and stir with vegetables until the noodles are softened up.
  4. Stir in Peanut-Miso Sauce.
  5. Add Salt and Pepper to taste and serve.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Alphabetical Recipe Posts

Recipes Listed Below Are Generally Vegan/Plant-Based and Often Gluten-Free. Organic Ingredients are Highly Recommended.

Press Ctrl-F and key in your desired search item.

Click on the LINK to go directly to the recipe!

3-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies

Almond Butter Cup Snack (Ketoflex)
Apple-Beans, Stovetop Recipe
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Avocado-Chickpea Hummus (Mexican influence)

Baked Tofu and Spanish Rice
Banana Upside-Down Cake (vegan)
Basil, Red Lentil, Purple Cabbage Borscht
Beets (Roasted) with Raw Walnut Cheese
Black Bean-Kale Soup
Blackberry Bliss (Kombucha shortcut drink)
Blackberry Smoothie Recipes
Blueberry-Carob Macaroon Oatmeal
Bread: No-Knead Rye Bread
Breakfast: 3-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies
Breakfast: Apple Pie Oatmeal
Breakfast: Banana-Coconut-Cranberry Oatmeal
Breakfast: Blueberry-Carob Macaroon Oatmeal
Breakfast: Butter Tart Oatmeal Porridge (Low Fat Vegan)
Breakfast: Cheery Pie Oatmeal Porridge
Breakfast: Cranberry-Orange-Chia Wholefood Muffin Recipe
Breakfast: Crazy Carrot Cake Oatmeal Porridge
Breakfast: Good Morning Chia Pudding
Breakfast: Ketoflex Breakfast Bowl Deluxe
Breakfast: Lemon Coconut Oatmeal Porridge (Low Fat Vegan)
Breakfast: Oatmeal Porridge with Nut-Jam Toppings
Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Porridge
Butter Tart Oatmeal Porridge (Low Fat Vegan)

Carob Macaroon-Blueberry Porridge
Carrot Cake, Oat-Wholewheat
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Porridge
Carrots: Pan-fried, Roasted
Cashew Cream Cheese Recipe: Cheese Cake Balls
Cashew Cream Cheese Recipe: Smoky Cashew Cream Cheese
Cauliflower Rice with Spicy Tofu (Ketoflex)
Champorado: Filippino Chocolate Sticky Rice (Instant Pot Recipe)
Cheery Pie Oatmeal Porridge
Chickpea-Carrot Curry Soup
Chickpea Salad
Chocolate-Chia-Banana-Avocado Parfait
Chocolate Mousse (with Avocado, Vegan)
Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Coconut-|Blackberry Shake (Ketoflex Recipe)
Collard Wrap Snack (Ketoflex Recipe)
Cranberry-Orange-Chia Wholefood Muffin Recipe
Curry-Cauliflower Rice Soup (Ketoflex Recipe)
Chia Pudding for Breakfast
Chunky 3-Sisters Soup (Corn, Squash, Tomatoes)
Crunchy Sunflower Seed Pesto

Dark Cherry Chocolate Smoothie (Dr. Michael Greger-approved)

Enchilada Casserole
Enchilada Tubbies- With Squash

Fig Jam Recipes (Vegan, GF)
Fig-Quince-Ginger Jam

Ginger-Grape Jam

Hummus- Avocado-Chickpea (Mexican influence)

Kale-Black Bean Soup
Kelp Noodles with Chop Suey and Peanut-Miso Sauce
Ketoflex Recipe Page
Ketoflex Recipe: Breakfast Bowl Deluxe
Ketoflex Recipe: Cauliflower Rice with Spicy Tofu
Ketoflex Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Coconut-Blackberry Shake
Ketoflex Recipe: Collard Wraps Snack
Ketoflex Recipe: Curry-Cauliflower Rice Soup
Ketoflex Recipe: Kelp Noodles and Chop Suey
Ketoflex Recipe: Salted AlmondButter Cup Snack
Kombucha: Blackberry Bliss (Shortcut Kombucha)

IceCream: NonDairy Mango Black-andBlueberry, No-Churn
Instant Pot: Champorado: Filippino Chocolate Sticky Rice
Instant Pot: Cook Perfect Brown Rice (Low Fat Vegan)

La Mousse Végétalien Habitude ('The Usual Vegan Mousse')
Lavender Recipes
Lazy Enchilada Casserole
Lemon-Coconut Oatmeal Porridge
Lentil Bowl: Mexican Red Lentil Stew with Lime and Cilantro
Lentil Bowl: Mushrooms, Carmelized Onions and Quinoa
Lentil Bowl: Pineapple over Coconut Lime Sweet Potatoes
Lentil Bowl: Savoury Middle East Lentil Bowl
Low Fat Vegan: Butter Tart Oatmeal Porridge
Low Fat Vegan: Good Morning Chia Pudding
Low Fat Vegan: Dark Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
Low Fat Vegan: Lemon Coconut Oatmeal Porridge
Low Fat Vegan: Oat- Wholewheat Carrot Cake
Low Fat Vegan: Orange Oatmeal Walnut Date Brownies
Low Fat Vegan: Spring Frittata

Moroccan Roasted Vegetables

No-Knead Rye Bread Recipe
Non-dairy, Mango Black- and Blueberry Non-Churn Ice Cream
Nut-Jam Toppings for Oatmeal Porridge

Oat- Wholewheat Carrot Cake (Low Fat Vegan)
Oodles of Noodles and Zoodles: How To Spiralize Zucchini Noodles
Orange Oatmeal Walnut Date Brownies (Low Fat Vegan)

Pan-fried Carrots
Pesto (Sunflower Seed)
Plum Jam
Porridge Recipes Page (Index)
Pumpkin Pie Porridge

Quince-Fig-Ginger Jam

Roasted Beets with Raw Walnut Cheese
Roasted Carrot Sticks
Roasted Plum Jam
Roast Potato-Pepper Comfort Soup

Salad: Jill's Tangy Chickpea Salad
Salted Almond Butter Cup Snack (Ketoflex)
Smoothie/Shake: Blackberry Smoothie Recipes
Smoothie/Shake: Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Coconut-Blackberry (Ketoflex)
Smoothie/Shake: Dark Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
Snack: Collard Broccoli Sprouts (Ketoflex)
Snack: Salted AlmondButter Cup (Ketoflex)
Soup: Basil, Red Lentil, Purple Cabbage Borscht
Soup: Black Bean-Kale
Soup: Chickpea-Carrot Curry
Soup: Chunky Three Sisters (Corn, Squash, Tomatoes)
Soup: Curry-Cauliflower Rice (Ketoflex)
Soup: Roast Potato-Pepper Comfort Soup
Soup: Tomato-Bean
Soup: Zupa (Veggie Soup in a Soup)
Spiralizing: How To Make Zucchini Noodles
Spring Frittata
Stovetop Apple Beans
Sunflower Seed Pesto
Sweet Treat: Banana Upside-Down Cake
Sweet Treat: Cashew Cheesecake Balls
Sweet Treat: Champorado: Filippino Chocolate Sticky Rice
Sweet Treat: Christmas Shortbreads, Vegan, Slapdash Recipe
Sweet Treat: Chocolate-Chia-Banana-Avocado Parfait
Sweet Treat: Chocolate Mousse (with Avocado, Vegan)
Sweet Treat: Dark Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
Sweet Treat: Fig Jam Recipes
Sweet Treat: Ginger-Grape Jam
Sweet Treat: Good Morning Chia Pudding
Sweet Treat: NonDairy Mango Black- and Blueberry no-churn Ice Cream
Sweet Treat: Oat-Wholewheat Carrot Cake
Sweet Treat: Orange Oatmeal Walnut Date Brownies (Low Fat Vegan, GF)
Sweet Treat: Salted Almond Butter Cup Snack (Ketoflex)

Tofu, Baked with Spanish Rice
Tofu Stroganoff, with Veggies

Tomato-Bean Soup

Upside-down Banana Cake (Vegan)

Vegan Shortbread Cookies
Vegan Squash Enchalada Tubbies
Veggie Tofu Stroganoff

Wrap: Collard-Broccoli Sprout-Tahini (Ketoflex)

Zucchini Pasta: How To Spiralize, Make Zucchini Noodles
Zupa Soup (Veggie Soup in a Soup)

3 Fun Things To Do With Grandkids in Edmonton, Alberta

3 Fun Things To Do With Grandkids in Edmonton, Alberta
Visit Fort Edmonton Park & A Review of Other Things You Can Do With Kids & Grandkids In Edmonton,Alberta (CLICK above)