In My Kitchen – June 2015

I can’t believe it’s June already. It seems like we skipped spring and went right from the long, cold winter right into summer! Today is June 8 and we have hit a record high temperature of 31.2 C and well, technically it isn’t even summer yet. I don’t think I ever remember it getting so hot so quickly in the year, and I am just in Calgary. My sister in Vernon has had more than a few weeks of this hot weather. That means that Okanagan BC cherries are ready super early! I saw some at the Calgary Farmer’s Market last weekend and thought maybe they were fibbing because they were so early. As a farmer’s daughter I can’t get too excited about all this heat. I know that a dry winter and spring is going to really affect crops.

Despite the summer like feel of today, I have been doing some spring themed experimenting in the kitchen. Hubby and I got quite a good yield of vibrant coloured spruce buds which I later pickled with cider vinegar.028Then I got inspired by our local annual Lilac Festival to create a Lilac Cocktail. I made a Lilac simple syrup which I paired with our locally distilled Spring Equinox spirits from Eau Claire Distillery.lilacmartini2 I’ve been busy cooking all sorts of interesting salads like this ‘carrot noodle’ salad with home grown mung bean sprouts and furikake vinaigrette. This is the very first time I have used the Heath Ceramics bowl I bought in San Francisco. I guess I was waiting for the right sort of salad to use it.furikakesaladI was so happy with my bowl I had to use it again for this potato and bacon salad I made for the year end football banquet. Don’t worry I didn’t bring it to the banquet, it was just used for a photo op! I was really disappointed I got chosen to bring a salad for the banquet…I thought the boys wouldn’t appreciate a salad. So I decided to ask the boy what kind of salad football boys were likely to eat and he replied, ‘bacon’. Well duh! potatosaladSome renovations have been going on in my kitchen. I’m curious to find out just how long they take. For now I am really happy with my new sink and streak (leak) free faucet. The old sink was white acrylic and was stained beyond belief. When I could no longer bleach out the stains we decided to begin the renovations by putting a new one in. Not really the usual way to go about things but necessary for sure. Hubby also has one section of the back splash replaced so far…after two months. The tiles behind the new sink are still the old style. sinkCalgary has an ever growing and vibrant filming industry. If you haven’t seen Fargo (the FX series) yet, you should really give it a chance. I didn’t care for the movie but I really loved the TV series. We binge watched it in two nights and I had fun picking out familiar local neighbourhoods and stores in the background.  After the season two filming wrap up, there was a prop sale where you could buy props used during filming. It was held in a huge warehouse where there was still pools of fake blood on the floor and an entire constructed house set. Each season of the show is set in a different decade, with the props at the sale appearing to be mostly 1970’s in nature. I can’t wait to see season 2!

fargoYeah, that’s one badass cleaver!

And finally in preparation for my youngest son’s Grade 9 graduation I had to go through the photo albums and pick out a baby photo to send to the school. I had a difficult time choosing because he was an extremely cute baby (and not just because I am his mom!) so I took a poll on Facebook. This is the photo I ended up sending in: sambaby3Special thanks to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who organizes this special monthly peak into kitchens around the world and to all the particapants. If you would like to join us, have a look at Celia’s In My Kitchen post and show us what is going on in your kitchen.


  1. tiffinbitesized

    OK – I read your companion post on pickling spruce buds and found it very interesting. I love foraging and laughed at your classification of foragers. Now I won’t be pickling any spruce buds any time toon in Australia as they do not grow here but tell me… what do you do with them? I read that you can bake them in a pie. So do you treat them as a fruit? What is their flavour?

    I love that you were able to buy some props. That cocktail shaker/muddler is to die for!

    Always interesting to see what’s happening xxx

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Well now. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them. I’ve heard they pair well with rich meats, etc. like any pickle. I also thought they might go well in a salad. I did bake them (fresh, not pickled) in a pie with blueberries last year and the flavour was a subtle almost citrus/pine like. I’ve also used the fresh buds in a cocktail. You have such great opportunities to forage for interesting bush foods in Aus….give it a go!

  2. @ChristineSalins (FoodWineTravel)

    The lovely thing about sharing our In My Kitchen posts is taking a peek into kitchens that are very different from our own. Spruce buds and lilac … it all sounds so exotic!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      well and the best thing is, they are free 🙂

  3. cathyandchucky

    What a gorgeous photo of your son. They grow up so fast it seems. We loved the TV series of Fargo too! How lucky are you to get to see the sets and props 😄

    1. dishnthekitchen

      To be honest I only saw the set house from outside. But the props were all so cool! I can’t even imagine sourcing them all…though I think that would be an awesome job!
      I had a prop sourcer come and buy an old pram off of me. I thought for sure it was going to be in Fargo but I never saw it, nor did I see it at the sale.

  4. Anne Wheaton

    I’ve just followed the links back for your spruce buds – fascinating. I used some last year to infuse in gin as I thought Christmas Tree Gin would be a good seller. Sadly the family thought otherwise. Now I shall try them in a pie, though not blueberry because they’re way too expensive over here.
    Lilac syrup sounds divine.

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Even if you use frozen blueberries it’s worth it. My thinking on this is that they are together in nature 🙂

  5. Kim Bultman

    Bernice, that last photo has me smiling still — amazing how fast they grow up, isn’t it? (He’s adorable!) Your lilac cocktail is so dainty and beautiful, and your salads look wonderful in your new bowl. I tried furikake seasoning for the first time last fall — it was delish, as I’m sure you know. Yay for your new sink! And those Fargo props? What a find!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      Furikake is pretty addictive. So much better than eating plain rice and dynamite in a vinaigrette. My boy is taller than I am now…hard to believe he’s so grown up but I am proud of the young man he is becoming. Thanks for visiting Kim!

  6. fergie51

    What a ripper bay photo! Do you still get such huge grins? That cleaver if making my skin tingle, love it. Thanks for sharing, I love seeing all these different kitchens and I especially love hearing about renos!

  7. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Bernie, your ceramic bowl is absolutely stunning, no wonder you’re so taken with it! And lilac cocktails? You live too far away.. 😉

  8. sherry from sherrys pickings

    yes love the fargo props. i loved the movie but couldn’t get into the series tho i adore martin freeman. cute baby shot too!

  9. mscate

    Such a good month for IMK! The salad looks fab!

  10. Justine @

    That lilac simple syrup is a fantastic idea, Bernice! Cheers. Such beautiful little cocktails!

    1. dishnthekitchen

      I don’t know why I never wrote an actual post on it..maybe I need to do a compilation of cocktails? Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

      1. Justine @

        That’s a great idea! I love a good summer cocktail and am always looking for inspiration. I was mulling over a lilac lemonade this year but waited a bit too long. Oh well — there’s always next summer! 🙂

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