Tuesday, July 19, 2022

July Delights


"Rebecca's World"

Living on an island has the advantage of ocean breezes moderating the temperature. This morning a little wind ruffles the trees I see from my window. A frisky-tailed squirrel just ran across the lawn. An airplane drones far above and closer to home I hear the beep-beep-beep of a construction vehicle in reverse. In between all of that, birds chirp from every corner of the garden, and a hummingbird visits the jasmine, now in flower. 

The roses are past their first flush of blooms, but tight buds promise more flowers in a week or two. Dahlias are beginning to bloom. Rebecca's World is new to our garden, and what a beauty she is with bits of white against the deep red. She's dahlia to watch because the balance of white and red can vary greatly. I'll be interested to see if all the flowers will be similar.

Last night I stayed in the garden until 9:30, weeding and cutting back. As the light began to fade I heard the birds sing their sleepy night songs and settle quietly. Blueberries are beginning to ripen and I've picked several bowlfuls to eat fresh and to freeze for winter. 

Tart-sweet raspberries are a summertime favourite. My grandfather used to own a raspberry farm and one of my first jobs in the summer was picking berries. On hot days, we alternated between the shady side of the row and the sunny side. I learned to pick them quickly, but not as quickly as my mother did, for she spent many summers picking berries. Nowadays, my picking is quite leisurely and the bowls fill much more slowly than the flats on stands that we used to use. 

Kim, from Happy at Home, recently held a giveaway for a lovely cookbook featuring recipes by the season and occasion. I love reading cookbooks and was happy to receive this one in the mail. Thank you, Kim. There are a number of recipes I'm looking forward to trying. 

This dish, not from the cookbook, was eaten here last night. A grilled pork tenderloin, marinated in a fig balsamic dressing, along with grilled zucchini and apricots, and served with couscous, went down well. Tim took leftovers for his lunch today. 

Although many of his co-workers go out for lunch, Tim has always preferred eating something from home - for time as well as expense. He often takes leftovers, so I cook enough for dinner to make sure he has some. 

A friend gave us a platycodon "sentimental blue" plant several years ago (thanks, Sandi), and I always enjoy seeing the tightly folded buds swell and pop open. They remind me of origami. 

Looking out my window once again, I see bees busy about the roses, and a damsel fly hovering like a helicopter deciding where to land. A white butterfly circled the fig tree then sailed off across the hedge to visit the neighbour's garden. 

Time for me to make some pesto for the freezer with the basil, bought from the market. Our own basil is miniscule and will perhaps be ready at the end of August. One can hope. It's a dismal year for the vegetables. The Swiss Chard has been nibbled to the ground, so I've netted it in hopes of preventing a repeat. Tomato plants are puny and barely flowering, with just a few fruit forming. It's a very good thing we are not dependent on our potager for winter sustenance, or we would become very lean. 


  1. Your grilled pork dish looks delicous! Leftovers for lunch is always better than take out.

  2. I love your new cookbook! It will be fun to try some new recipes from this book!

  3. That's a very special Dahlia, Lorrie. You do wonder how it decides which petals will be white, or if indeed they are all going to be the same. Fascinating plants. I wish mine hadnt been decimated by predators this year.
    How lovely to win such an interesting book, I'm sure there will be many recipes to try.
    Your garden sounds so inviting.

  4. The Dahlia is beautiful. I do enjoy these flowers but have given up on trying to grow them. I don't seem to have any luck with them, so I enjoy the ones that others are growing. Raspberries, oh the memories that word brings. My Mom had several long rows and I have spent many hours picking them and then we waited for folks from North Dakota to come to buy them.

  5. Lovely post...


  6. We prefer home cooked food to dining out any day. Tim is a wise man.

    Our basil may be ready for the last of August too. It is slow growing. The tomatoes are coming into bloom now. I wonder what kind of a crop we’ll get this year.

  7. That Dahlia is wonderful. I like the idea that each flower will be unique(maybe).
    I have tried growing Balloon flowers but have had no luck. They're so pretty.

  8. That Dahlia is stunning!

  9. Hi Lorrie~ I just love reading your posts...I can almost feel the ocean breezes, smell the flowers and taste the raspberries! The cookbook looks wonderful and so does your meal, yum! Enjoy your week! Hugs, Barb

  10. Dinner looks delicious!
    That dahlia is very pretty and I like the two tones of petals, seems rather unusual and would be so stunning with other red and white flowers in an arrangement.
    I have a few dahlias and need to find space for more as they are fabulous cut flowers.

    Enjoy the sunshine and warm weather in your garden.

  11. You always manage to make me really "see" what's happening around you. The Rebecca's World is stunning! I've never used apricots to go with pork but what a perfect combination of flavors. The John Hadamuscian cookbook has been one of my favorites for decades. I have 5 of his beautiful cookbooks. Be sure you look at the Lemon Meringue Bread and Butter Pudding--it is so good!

  12. When we visited the Butchart Gardens many years ago, the dahlias were in their glory. I will always associate them with your corner of the world. Yours is a beauty and how fun to see how different the coloring will be from bloom to bloom. The colors are perfect for a Canadian garden.
    It's interesting to see what's blooming in your garden. Our blueberries are long gone. When I look at the bushes it seems a bit sad to have to wait another year to enjoy the berries. I suppose it does provide a deeper sense of appreciation to be part of the whole process.
    I hope you will enjoy trying out the recipes in the cookbook. Looking at your pork and apricot dish makes me think you could easily write your own cookbook. That sounds like a delicious flavor combination.

  13. Your wonderful mid-summer pictures (both words and photographs) summon the feeling of joy the season brings. And a bit of frustration too as the rainy spring apparently was hard on your food 'crops'. Gardening in the Pacific Northwest was always a gamble , however it leads to great appreciation for those whose livelihood depends on providing our daily sustenance!

  14. That dahlia is very pretty. Your meal looks very good. Bringing lunch to work seems so much more of a relaxing prospect in the day instead of having to make the decisions involved in eating out! Hope you are having a good week.

  15. "It's a very good thing we are not dependent on our potager for winter sustenance, or we would become very lean." That's what I'm thinking about my summer garden as well! After the greens and asparagus that were abundant months ago, my garden has not been successful. The adzuki beans failed, the okra failed, the eggplant failed... on and on like that. I bought new eggplant starts, but only two, so that won't go far. I hope I can get some greens going again for next winter. But I'm glad it's only me I'm (not) feeding off my vegetable beds.

  16. Like your hubby, I prefer bringing leftovers to work. Takeout lunches or dining out add up!

  17. Pork, zucchini and apricots sound a delicious combination. I have a little platycodon too - when it first begins to open I always feel tempted to press it as it looks as if it would go 'pop' but I, of course, resist the temptation.

  18. Your dahlia looks beautiful in red and white. I was never very successful growing berries, but I do love fresh berries! Your pork tenderloin dinner sounds so good.

  19. I love the colour of your dahlia. My raspberries have been burnt by the heat in fact nearly all the plants have suffered like us!
    Your dish looks delicious. I will have to cook for 6 very soon ( my two children and their husband and wife are coming very soon with the baby ) I will have to look on your recipe blog to get inspiration.

  20. It is fun to see your July delights, from the dahlia (wow!) to dinner (yum!).

  21. Good morning, Lorrie. It is hard to believe it is almost the end of September and here I am commenting on your post of July 19. I think I was still in the hospital at that time. Anyway, I enjoyed this post very much and your dahlia is glorious. Dahlias are a favorite of mine - just don't have the room for them here. I hope you all have faired well during the terrible storm, that the outskirts of it didn't bother you. Have a great day and week ahead!


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