Dirt and duck eggs

Brrr…. a chilly Monday at Northbrook.  We’ve stolen an extra day since holiday gatherings kept us in the city for the first half of the weekend.  Plus, the WorkHorse has started up cycling in earnest, and there were races to race.

This weekend I finally got my hands into a project I’ve been positively itching to get at for months now…cleaning the windows.  Now I know this doesn’t sound exciting, and it really wasn’t a delightful task, but having looked out through grimy windows for the past 9 months has been driving me nuts.  While I’m not completely finished I am now reveling in a gloriously clear view. My efforts were rewarded with a beautiful sunset last night.  The light hitting the back fields was truly stunning.  Maybe I should have grabbed my camera, but sometimes I think it’s better to just take purposefully something in than to be distracted by trying to capture it.

The Garden Obsession was not forgotten this weekend, despite a limited stay. We pruned one of the lilacs within an inch of its life, but I’m hopeful we’ll reap the rewards in a few weeks with a lovely blooming lilac – my favourite scent in the world.  We also had a visit from John and Mary of Glen Road Organics this morning.  They came to have a look at our raised beds so they can estimate how much soil we’ll need.  We thought about grabbing soil from the farmed fields, but realized that the soil quality might be poor and also chemical-laden.  Mary confirmed that the soil in the fields is quite depleted.  My obsessive reading of the gardening books tells me that gardeners grow great soil, not plants. So, we’ll start with great soil and see what we can grow from there.  John and Mary are also going to hook us up with some compost to improve the quality of the beds around the house and pool.  I’m more excited than I ought to be about a big soil delivery…

In the city this week it was all about the kitchen.  It was a week of big kitchen yields.  Here’s what was cooking in the city this week

Macaroons (really a meringue/macaroon mix) – without the chocolate

Passover brownies – with nuts and without – chocolate chips in all

Matzo bark – the young cook burned her fingers badly on the caramel, but they were almost worth it

Peas with spinach – one of my favourite sides

Blueberry muffins from the Barefoot Contessa

Chocolate swirled banana bread – truly delicious

Frittata – with ham, fontina, asparagus, shallots and zucchini

Leek, potato and zucchini soup

So, as you can see, it was a productive week in the kitchen!  This has resulted in a not-at-all productive kitchen weekend at the farm.  Fortunately there are lots of leftovers.

The big discovery of the week was duck eggs.  We got them in the farm box this past week and had no idea what to do with them.  Fortunately an internet search led me to jamieoliver.com and I learned that duck eggs are perfect for baking.  They are larger and richer and lead to fluffy, rich baked goods.  The duck eggs went into both the blueberry muffins and this morning’s waffles – and they did not disappoint.  Plus, they were beautiful to look at.

With just a few hours until we’re city bound, there is laundry to do and lunches to dole out.  I always hate to leave, but at least I’ve got my city orchids to enjoy while I’m home.  I’ll share them with you here.  Until next weekend…

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2 thoughts on “Dirt and duck eggs

  1. I can attest to the deliciousness of some of these goodies. Do make the chocolate swirled banana bread . . . the best ever!
    Carol

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