Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tasty Treats

This summer has flown by, especially the month of August. I am working extra hours at the hospital due to holiday and maternity leave staff shortages and will be glad to get back to my regular schedule in October. The summer has been hot and I have not had time or energy to go trekking on trails during the week. But the warm and frequently rainy weather has been great for farmers and the harvest this year is abundant and early.

Poor light and the worst nature photos of the week! :-)

I am no longer awakened by the sun in the mornings as the days shorten. I enter the kitchen to boil water for tea when I get up and now have to put on a light. Each morning someone is watching for that light and waiting for me to raise the blinds. Last year I had three Blue Jays who called for peanuts but this year a male Northern Cardinal comes to the window and chirps for a treat. Cardinals often come to feeders only at dawn and dusk and while I do not have bird feeders up in the summer, I will pass out something to persistent "trick or treaters". Mr. Cardinal is quite bold now, unlike most of his kind, and comes to the picnic table for his peanut. His chirp alerts the chipmunk and several squirrels that breakfast is served and the peanuts are gone in a couple of minutes.


I always pack a lunch for work and I try to avoid any containers which are thrown away. I bought a stainless steel Bento Box in San Francisco's China Town last year and enjoy filling it with salads and fresh fruit. On the weekend I take time to prepare some of our local produce into dishes which will keep a few days in the fridge. It takes no time at all to fill my Bento Box on workday mornings. Today I made cabbage and onion slaw, lentil sprout salad, corn and edamame salad, and pickled carrots. I love to eat fresh spring rolls with pickled carrots, cucumber and fruit strips.

I remember Mom going to the big market in Durban, South Africa and bringing home large amounts of fresh food. She would spend the afternoon cleaning and storing it for the week. When we moved back to Canada she canned and froze food all summer and stored it in the cold cellar. I seldom make preserves but do find the time preparing meals with fresh ingredients is well worth the effort.

And my little morning routine of tea, passing out peanuts and making my lunch is always a good start to a busy day.

11 comments:

  1. you eat a very healthy lunch. On Fridays, we have munchies morning, when some of us will provide morning teas. I normally don't eat lunch if I had a big morning tea. Recently I notice I have a reflux if I have too much sugar.

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  2. Sounds like you have had a really busy summer at work Ruth. LIke you, due to the heat and humidity, I've not been out very much and am so looking forward to the fall. Funny that your friends call to you each morning for breakfast!

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  3. Worth getting up for, I'd say.

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  4. I agree this summer has certainly flown by and as well there was little time (and energy) spent on he trails. The food looks delicious and I would do anything to have spoon right now to taste test it. Each year I can beets, and this year I tried peaches.
    How nice to share your breakfast with natures little "very accepting" creatures.

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  5. I like the 'flying' chipmunk.He looks like he wanted to get away as fast as possible.The salads look yummy.
    Blessings,Ruth

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  6. Fresh food, oh it looks so good. Being so remote, fresh food occurs every two weeks, but really doesn't last until the next shopping trip. I like the Bento Box.

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  7. I love pickled carrots and spring rolls! I first tasted the carrots at a Thai/Vietnamese restaurant and couldn't believe I had just found them :) Thanks for all the recipe links, I'll be bookmarking them.

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  8. You seem to have a nice relationship with your morning visitors-you reward them with treats and they reward you by letting you know that they look forward to your treats.In recent years have started to eat more natural foods-I like the idea of your speciallunch box.

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  9. Went to the Bento site, Ruth. Very interesting. I used to prepare meals ahead also - rather cook and freeze than cook a meal at a time.

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  10. love the pic with the birds and the chipmunk! so cute! my boys and i love watching them dance around our yard, too!

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  11. Your backyard critters are very cute.
    Your lunch contents look delicious and healthy.

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