Lemon Meringue Pie, sourdough bread and arugula-my tipsy turvy life of baking


I made a lemon meringue pie this week.  I got the recipe from Brydie of cityhippyfarmgirl.  It is

different and delicious and I don’t think I cooked the filling quite long enough.  If you make it- make

sure it comes to a definite slow boil.

Frank’s mother made lemon meringue pie with bananas on the bottom.  He wants me to do that for

him but I can’t.  Really- I just cannot do that.  For one thing- that would NOT be an lemon meringue pie

and secondly- I hate bananas.   Don’t ask me why she did it- she was a Hungarian woman trying out 

Canadian desserts and I think she got the pies mixed up. 

I also made a Rhubarb custard pie-


which turned out rather well!

003I wish I could grow rhubarb.  My soil is mostly a heavy clay

and it doesn’t do well in my garden.  But for $3 a bunch, I will keep on buying it – that’s not a bad price

for this tart and tangy treat!


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And there has been bread.  Baked and fried-  I love the fried sourdough- it puffed up into crunchy

cracker like bread pockets- with kosher salt and sesame seeds- such a treat.


There will always be bread.

And arugula!



My friend,Jane, grew a bumper crop and invited me to come and pick. 

What a delight.  I made wilted arugula salad.  I used it on a sandwich and it was perfect.

And I made a pasta salad with arugula mixed with other green leaf lettuces-

I feasted on arugula last week.

Notice how I said “I”- Frank said, “ Are you kidding me?  Where is the iceberg lettuce?”

No arugula for Frank.

(And no bananas in the lemon meringue pie, either!!!)

A love story


Growing up in a large family gives one perspective.  I am number 6 of seven children.

I saw relationships at work all around me- sibling, parental, partner, gender- there was

always something going on.  And because I was so much younger than my older sibs- I often

had the opportunity to watch them go through many of the trials and changes in life and learn

from their mistakes and wise choices.  I saw rivalries and teamwork, watched them work out

strategies and winced at some of the colossal fails.    But I also watched my parents and took careful

note of their relationship.  

My father loved my mother absolutely.  Even when she was at her most contrary- he adored her.

He would not always understand her- but he was in her corner as her greatest advocate.  His instruction

to me was invariably “ Mind your mother” .

  My parents owned a greenhouse, but my father also worked a full time job, so a lot of the work and

responsibility of running the greenhouse fell to my mother and my older brothers.  My mom was a florist

and made bouquets and corsages, funeral baskets and grave blankets- and she would transplant all the

seedlings in the winter and spring.  My father had a transplanting area set up for her in the back of the

commercial greenhouse- in an alcove between the little greenhouse where he kept his special plants and

the service room that housed the pots and flats and heaters and other paraphernalia that kept the business

running efficiently.

It was very much her area- the bench at the right height for her to plant without too much bending- a chair to

ease her back- foam mats (always encrusted with soil) and lighting right above her station for the times when

she had to plant into the night to keep up with the season.  The greenhouse was where their partnership showed

the most to me- they worked together to make it a success.

So- when my husband called me into the front yard the other day and showed me this-


a planting station that he set up for me- it spoke to me of his love for me.

He didn’t really understand why I broke into tears- or why I kissed him so ferociously- but he was pleased that I was happy!


My love language from my childhood  eye-  he provided a safe and comfortable space to plant the containers for our yard.


I planted up 14 different containers, my hands busy, my heart full, humming a happy little tune. 

Because I felt so loved.

In My Kitchen- June 2013

I don’t really have much to share.

I have made bread and cookies, cakes and casseroles,

sauces and many happy meals – but I didn’t take pictures.

Mainly because everything was eaten rather quickly- but also

because I am engulfed in a wave of depression that insists that

it isn’t that interesting and I don’t have the energy to fight it

right now.  Depression comes in so many guises that it seems

I am always fighting on a different front. 

But I am functional- can keep up with necessary activities- and

I want to honor the friendship that has been granted me by some

extraordinary people.  So, Celia, my dear, this is for you!

In my kitchen…


is this lovely cookbook- a Mother’s Day gift from my son, Luke!

I have been devouring the pictures and recipes, dreaming about

making the recipes, and  trying to get some of the necessary ingredients

stocked up so that I can make what I want when I have someone who

will help me eat it.  My husband will not happily eat any of the meals

that I am thinking about!

In my kitchen…


is this bowl, depicting the wind blowing into the sails of a ship.



This bowl (or one like it) – has been in my family since my earliest memory.

The truth – this bowl has only been in my possession for the last 20 years, because I found it

in an antique shop after I had broken the original.   I was so devastated when it broke that I

broke into tears and then hid it.  I didn’t tell anyone until I found this one and then I confessed

to my mother and sisters of my clumsiness and shame.  They were so wonderful and forgiving-

the bowl hadn’t meant nearly as much to them as it had to me- but everytime I look at this bowl

I not only remember the history of the original bowl- of family times cooking together- of it filled

with chicken soup with small dumplings (zsomervenka, in Slovak) of the wonder it inspired in a

little girl reading the story of a journey on its surface- BUT I also feel the love of my mother and sisters

and am reminded of the heritage of compassion and love that we share.

So that is what is in my kitchen this month- Love and hopefulness, and history and compassion.

Take a look at Celia’s blog for a list of other In My Kitchen posts- it is great fun to look into kitchens

across the world!