Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August snippets...

It's been a food fest this past week as we celebrated Mr. HB's birthday.
He loves pasta so we went to one of the best Italian restaurants Zambri's.
Family, friends and food...a winning combination!

We shared a Caesar salad and I opted for the filet of beef with polenta.
I only ate half of this tasty meal but every bite was delicious!

Mr. HB ordered his favourite pasta dish.

His dessert was a lemon gelato with cookies!
I couldn't help but think of something else when this arrived at the table.

Does it remind you of something?

The morning of the eclipse I stayed inside.
I had oodles of laundry to catch up on and a new book to read...

A lovely assortment of stories from well known authors.
A little armchair travel in the City of Light.

I made a tasty pasta last night with some of our homegrown tomatoes.

We like to eat our pasta out of bowls
using a fork with the aid of a spoon 
which makes it easy twirling the spaghetti noodles.

The recipe is from Monet's Palate Cookbook:
The Artist and His Garden at Giverny.

it's definitely
one of my favourite ways to use ripe fresh tomatoes.
Rich in flavour and simple.

Dinner is served!

Graham Thomas, a David Austin rose, 
is blooming in the "work area" of the Humble Bungalow Garden. 
This area is where we have our rolling bins 
that we use for garden cuttings and grass clippings...
we also have a wood pile in that spot so a beautiful fragrant yellow rose is a wonderful way of cheering up this area.

Good news!

 We have found a garden helper.
She is a well known local landscape designer 
who is studying at Great Dixter in the UK 
and she has graciously agreed to help us out.
I have high hopes....

We may avail ourselves of her expert design services 
and have her improve two of our overgrown beds.

The limelight hydrangeas are really in their glory this month.
I have been on a boxwood kick too...
buying them and popping them in pots randomly around the garden.

The construction of one of the two houses next door to The Humble Bungalow.
We chatted with the neighbours a couple of days ago
when they were looking at flooring samples and they have been told by the contractor that the house will not be ready to occupy until February!

Its no surprise that it is taking so long as the local trades are so busy.
There is a building boom happening here in town and our neighbourhood is just one of many that are buzzing with building projects.

The real estate market here has gone berserk!
 Prices have sky rocketed and I keep thinking that it has to stop sometime soon...

It makes it very challenging for young families and couples starting out to get into a condo or a home.

I have been diligently applying this cream 3 times each day.
It has reduced the red area on my knee...
from my nasty fall on the dock.

Instead of a Toonie sized angry red patch 
there is a small dime sized spot
which I think will fade and there will be no scar.

I met up with some girlfriends for lunch today and had a lovely long walk.
The weather continues to be warm and sunny...

Summer is drawing to a close...
and soon we will be thinking about sweaters and dressing in layers 
but for now let's savour the last few weeks.

What are you reading?
Have you been shopping for Fall and Winter pieces yet?

Hope that your week is off to a great start.


  1. Your David Austin roses are gorgeous. I am tempted to try a rose garden next year. I had one once, but lost the entirety to disease. Never had the courage to try again. I think it's time.

    I am envious of the new construction in your neighborhood. The flood that occurred here in July left our little area in disarray. The homes look unkempt. Some are now empty, and some are awaiting major reconstruction. Ours is still sturdy, but the mulch and landscaping washed away. At this point, most of us don't have the will or energy to work to replace it. So we will wait and hope that next spring we can start again.

    By the way, what is the difference between a Breton and a mariniere? I would love to know.

    1. It must be very disheartening living in the aftermath of a flood or any major episode like a fire, earthquake or tornado...Spring is a time of rebirth so planning a garden and dreaming about it over the winter might be a restorative way towards renewal.
      The Breton and Mariniere are one in the same....striped tops worn by the French...and now we love them too!

    2. Thank you for the encouragement. I plan on getting flower catalogues and landscaping magazines this winter to peruse while I navigate the winter months. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. We're off tomorrow for the Columbia River ranch in eastern Washington. It's my husband's 70th and he wanted to go away. I've never been to this resort before but it has canoeing and kayaking, walking and hiking and lots of quiet for reading. I bought The New Yorker and Vanity Fair magazines and I am starting a book called Mr. Pip which belongs to my sister-in-law. I'm not shopping but I need a pair of dress grey pants. I may have to "bite the bullet" and buy a pair of Eileen Fisher at Enda B on Tenth. Your pasta sauce recipe looks good. We don't eat pasta often and I've noticed vegetables sliced into a pasta form. I wonder!!

    1. Your upcoming holiday sounds wonderful...very healthy ad outdoorsy. The weather sounds like it will hold for your trip too which will make for picturesque kayak and hiking.
      A well made pair of grey pants will stand you in good stead for the cooler weather of Fall and Winter...must check out that shop on 10th sometime!

      Mr. Pip? I have never heard of that book so will do some investigating thank you for the title.
      Enjoy your trip!

  3. Happy Birthday to Mr HB! And congratualations for finding such an expert for your garden
    The restaurant seems great (well,the dessert.....!).
    Your tomato salsa recipe is quite the similar to mine,I only add some fresh chopped parsley
    I'm reading The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen,83+1/4years old (it is a little early :-),-better to be prepared-but funny as well)
    These wintercoats one has to buy during the summer....but,I did. It is navy,very beautiful,a little bit under the knee,I might make it a little bit shorter,we'll see. On my autumn list is still only a pair of pants and some lingerie

    1. Mr. HB reads my blog so he has read your birthday wishes...thank you!
      Love a funny book and so many of them are on the shelves right now...it's a style of book I usually save for the gloomy days of winter when I need a pick-me-up.
      Winter coats...ah yes, I purchase one last year which should see me through a few more winters...it is a wine coloured "puffer" coat...as for a dressy coat...I have not a one!

  4. Happy Birthday to Mr HB, and I'm sure he enjoyed that cheeky dessert! I love to see your limelight hydrangeas, and hope some day to see one in reality. They seem to have quite a glow about them. What fun to have a recipe book from Monet's Garden, and to cook his tomato pasta, which sounds soooo good. As you move to Autumn, we are having bursts of Spring and early Summer, and I have orchids coming into bud.

    1. The cook book and garden from Monet's Giverny is a beautiful book...I borrowed it from the local library a few years ago and copied out a few of the recipes that "spoke to me."
      Oh its so exciting when the orchids are in bud...I had to toss out 3 of ours as they were infested with aphids.
      Look forward to hearing more about your warmer weather as we slip into cooler days of Fall and Winter.

  5. Your dinner out looked delicious! Then I got to the pasta recipe and couldn't resist pinning it. Adding the anchovies is brilliant.

    Have a great day.

    1. Anchovies are not to everyone's palate but I quite like the salty fishy taste.
      Which reminds me that I use and love your recipe for past...the one that you sent me years ago!

  6. I always enjoy the pics of your beautiful roses and to have so many you can pick for the house and give away to friends must be lovely. How fortunate you are to find someone to help in the garden and someone who is training at Great Dixter. Such a fabulous garden. You might like to read The Well Tempered Garden by Christopher Lloyd who made Great Dixter so famous.

    Just read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. Set in SW China and all about rare teas. A good read.

    1. My walking partner read that book too and she liked it.
      I heard Christopher LLoyd speak here in Victoria eons ago when I was active in the Victoria Horticultural Society...we had the pleasure of listening to many of the great gardeners from the Uk..Beth Chatto, Penelope Hobhouse, Ann Pavrod, Christopher Lloyd, and many more...that is one of the benefits of being part of a large group of keen gardeners...the lectures and the slide shows!

  7. Your penmanship is quite delightful. Glad you enjoyed your Italian meal. The presentation of ice cream put me in mind of the sculptures of Miguel Barcelo and another Spanish artist whose name escapes me. I would add a sprinkling of flat leaf parsley as a finishing touch to your pasta dish. Mary

    1. My penmanship has evolved from the MacLean's Method of Writing that we were taught in school...my teachers would not be impressed!
      Parsley would indeed be a nice way to top off the presentation...
      it is interesting how artists' works are influenced by the human body!

  8. Sorry to be so messy, cleaning the computer keyboard after the second picture.
    Reading "The Little Paris Bookshop", interesting read.

    1. !!!! Ah so that picture surprised you?
      I have that book on reserve at the local library...am looking forward to reading it.

  9. Happy birthday to Mr. HB! What an unusual presentation for that dessert - it looks delicious, though. I haven't been reading much of late. I'm starting a new job and am quite overwhelmed with all the details to learn. It will be fine, just have to get through this stage one day at a time. Love your thoughtful posts, full of interesting pictures and tidbits. Recipe sounds wonderful.

    1. Yes the dessert presentation is rather unusual!
      Congratulations on your new job..it's a bit daunting learning new things but I find it quite invigorating. Good luck!

  10. Thanks for the spaghetti recipe! Please keep them coming, I love simple pasta recipes (all simple recipes, actually!) Emily :-)

    1. Roasting the tomatoes brings out an intense flavour...hope you like the recipe Emily.

    2. Yes, it turned out very well - so tasty! Looking forward to your next easy recipe blog! Thank you. Emily