Dirty Toes & Sticky Fingers

She says:

This weekend will mark the official beginning of the “sunny season” at Rabbit Hollow. It’s more than spring, as it runs into summer, but it’s the feeling that lasts right through until September. You know, when we get to be outside and soak up the sun. Sometimes that is just a decadent relaxing thing, but other times it means doing those outside things you love… at Rabbit Hollow that’s gardening for me, and barbecuing for the Chef.

I was lucky enough to have my greenhouse this year (thanks to a thoughtful hubby who gave me the perfect anniversary gift). That means I have been watching my little seedlings and have been nursing my plants from the farmer’s market and my green thumb foodie friends with tender loving care. Some of those plants will come outside this weekend, and they will be kept company by the seeds that will be sowed in the newly tilled garden with a brand new fence!

I like to plant wacky things in our garden: Easter Egg radishes that come in a bevy of colours, purple carrots (the original look, believe it or not), fingerling potatoes… they don’t just sound cool, they are fun to eat. Many of these plants are heirloom varieties as well, which means they have “true” seeds – ones that will grow the same as your original plant if you plant them. (Hybrids like much of what we buy at the grocery stores will often not produce any fruit.) This is a great way to eat healthy and get reconnected with Mother Earth. You may think I sound a bit too much like a hippie, but on this topic I do agree that knowing where your food comes from is a wonderful thing.

Even if don’t want to get esoteric, I still think the simple act of “digging in the dirt” is great therapy for any of us; it’s a pause from the hectic nature of our lives and a chance to enjoy being outside. Let yourself get into it. Take your shoes off and let your feet feel the grass. Let your toes get dirty (you can wash them later with the garden hose.) And, when you do sit back with a drink in your hand, you can admire your handiwork as it grows and changes throughout the entire sunny season.

*If you are looking for heirloom plants for your garden, ask at your local farmer’s market, or at one of the private nurseries (we love the folks at Dogwood, near our place – they know lots and have a great variety. In downtown Kelowna, I have also had great experiences at the Flower Farm.)

He says:

I have two ways to unplug myself from the craziness of my busy life. One: I go for a hike and pick mushrooms and two: I make smoke. This Sunday marks our first party of the summer, ribs and chicken with friends. I am driving the big rig to their house and smoking all afternoon, and then, we eat! It should be fun, a bunch of people we have not seen in awhile from local wineries, restaurants, hotels and in general foodies looking to have fun. I will start ribs around 11 AM and chicken around noon to be ready to eat around 5 PM. This is a great opportunity to practice in front of a crowd who knows good food, so that I can be ready for our first competition on June 10th and 11th in Washington. There will be lots of sticky fingers Sunday night!

I’ll post a few pictures on my blog and Twitter Sunday afternoon and Monday. I’d love to hear your comments.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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