Since it's red and my stove is white, this can stand in as a "How I spent my Canada Day 2011 weekend".
It started on Friday with brunch. Then we headed out to Emma Lea farms on Westham Island, where the strawberries are from. Whenever we go to Westham Island, it also means a stop at the apiary. We now have fireweed honey and some pumpkin / purple loosestrife honey. I still have to figure out something to make that lets the unique honey taste shine through.
Then off to Steveston, which initially seemed like a mistake, since it was filled with hordes of people for Canada Day. Well, in retrospect, it probably was a mistake, but the sun did come out. As we walked up to a packed Hogshack (which is a BBQ place that I had been hearing a lot about), there just happened to be a table opening up.
The BBQ was good. I was even more pleasantly surprised by the awesome beer list that they have. I had a Hitachino Nest White Ale, and it was absolutely perfect for a summer day. In fact, my first sip had my face go through various transformations, after which I passed it around for everyone to taste. It's lemony fresh beer witbier that should be mandatory to drink when it is really hot out.
Then, bellies full, a wander around Garry Point Park. There is a sculpture there called Wind Waves that is great to see in person. This it way off in the distance over open fields
And then a drive back home, finally a little bit sun-kissed, and with a really full day behind us. Fireworks? Yeah, off in the distance somewhere :P
Saturday & Sunday was Foodtree's launch of their iPhone app at Trout Lake and Kits Farmers Markets respectively, so Rachael was working for the first half of both days. I got to do a bit of a sleep in and some video game playing each morning, then went off to support the Foodtree team.
On Saturday, the sun really came out for the first time. Spending just three hours in the sun just caused Rachael and I to really wilt. We came home and napped the afternoon away. Getting back up, I decided to start prepping the jam. Anthony traded some of his backyard rhubarb for strawberries, so I was able to make strawberry rhubarb jam. I like how it turned out, even though I never both measuring anything - 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar, 1 1/2 brown sugar, and some number of cups of strawberries and rhubarb :P The jars all popped, so I'll be gifting them out this week.
Then, to get out of the house for at least a bit, we experimented with my new car2go membership. We had actually used it on Thursday to get home and parked it outside our house, since we're inside the area where you can leave the cars anywhere. It kind of feels like stealing a car. In any case, the one out front had moved a couple of blocks down to Pender, so we jumped in and went for a drive to go for gelato at Bella Gelateria. From there we went up to Queen E park, just to be out and about and enjoy the view.
Sunday morning was cleaning up the jam kitchen plus finishing off Dungeon Siege III, which some people mentioned I should never have bothered to buy in the first place. I don't know if I'll bother writing about it. Was fun to play, there is no replay value, and it pales in comparison to DS I & II. And, it was only 12 hours long. Yes, kind of like the contrast between Dragon Age and Dragon Age II. This joystiq review is pretty funny. I guess my id had fun playing.
Ahem. But I really only played like an hour or so to finish the final game. Then I jumped into a car2go again and went over to the Kits market. This was a one way rental (so I don't have to pay while I'm at the market), and I just happened to park right behind another car2go car, so I was reasonably sure one of them would be available when I wanted it.
It was another long day for Rachael, so after a short rest we biked over to the New Brighton Pool and went for a dip. It was great to be swimming, and yes, it feels like the west coast summer has arrived (even though it was raining and sunny this morning).
After biking back I retired to the kitchen and made lots of things from the farmer's market: kale chips, roasted garlic scapes, bacon, bok choy, and some red potatoes. I also decided to make some more jam, so combined guavas with some of the remaining rhubarb. After I wrote that post about my past guava experience, I thought I'd aim for something like that. I've had a taste, and I think I put a bit too much sugar in AND the whole seeds in thing didn't really work out. I need a fine mesh sieve or china hat before I try something like that again. I also have this sense memory of my mom and grandma making rosehip jam which also has tons of seeds in it, so I'll need to try that again as well.
So there you have it. Canada Day. And Strawberry Rhubarb jam. Hope you had a great weekend.