So Long Summer - From The Witch's Kitchen Blog at - 248762

From The Witch's Kitchen

So Long Summer 
Aug. 31, 2011 4:23 pm 
Updated: Sep. 7, 2011 8:16 pm


What a roller coaster ride this summer has

been.  My husband was put on stress leave in

May and sent for an angiogram in July.  That

was the scary bottom of it all.   From there

things have climbed back up again.  The

 angiogram showed that he's fine and he was

hired in a new position working at a school so

no longer has such a high level of work

related stress to cope with.  Not only that but

his blood pressure, that has been high for

years now, is totally normal.  It's amazing

what stress can do to a person's health. 

There were plenty of ups in there too, long

days spent at the beach and in the garden, a

few trips to Prince Albert National Park,

camping in the back yard, my sister-in-law

announcing her pregnancy (hooray for new

baby niece or nephew this winter!) and

several spectacular storms followed by cool

days playing in the mud.  I personally dealt

with some depression in the midst of this but

am doing much better now and just trying to

adjust to my husband's new schedule. 



Today is my last "official" day of summer

because tomorrow morning my beautiful five

year old daughter Marley starts

kindergarden!  I'm not exactly sure how I'll

react when I leave her at school tomorrow,

but today I'm excited and a little nervous but

so ready to have one kid less every other

weekday.  I've decided not to send my triplets

to our rural preschool because they've

changed their prices and I simply cannott

afford to send them.  Instead I'm going to

spend the mornings doing preschool stuff

with them and their older sister too when

she's home for it.  My head is swirling with

ideas for this but nothing is concrete yet.  I'm

not going to start until Tuesday so I've go a

little time still, right?


I've been grilling and eating mostly simple

fare with a few notable exceptions this

summer.  One night I made a salt and pepper

crusted rosemary venison tenderloin with

balsamic wild blueberry sauce. Also  these

Lemon Tarragon Pork Chops were

unforgetable,   Banana Cupcakes with a

swirled chocolate and peanut butter butter

cream frosting, Old Fashioned Coconut

Cream Pie and an amazing Mocha Cream Pie

that I based on this  Double Chocolate Cream

Pie with many additions and substitutions for

my mother-in-law's birthday, Garden

Foccacia that has been made several times

(my own recipe that I haven't posted yet),

Kofta Kebabs using venison instead of lamb

with Maple Dill Carrots and spiced turnip

puree.  Transitioning now from summer to

fall I made this Zucchini Gingerbread the

other day and it turned out so good that I had

to post the recipe and I will be making it

often until I use up my enormous glut of




It's good to be back and blogging.  What

memorable dishes did you make this


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Salt and pepper crusted rosemary venison tenderloin with balsamic wild blueberry sauce
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Aug. 31, 2011 7:34 pm
It sounds like you are doing just great! What is life without the valleys and mountains (moods)? Beautiful pictures. I'm wondering about the balsamic wild blueberry sauce! Sounds delish!
Aug. 31, 2011 8:01 pm
Thanks Marianne! For the sauce I took some frozen wild blueberries and tossed them in a pot with a few good shots of balsamic vinager, a few tsps of honey and a sprig of rosemary and brought to a boil. Then I mixed a little cornstarch into a little cold water and stirred it into the berries and simmered until it was thick enough. I tasted it right at the end and added another little shot of vinager and it was amazing. I made more than I needed and threw a little container of it in the freezer too. I'm looking forward to finding something special to use it with.
Aug. 31, 2011 8:59 pm
Sep. 1, 2011 4:50 am
Wonderful that things are looking up for you. My husband worked a very stressful job for well over twenty five years. He took an early retirement package last summer and since then he now sleeps all night, is off all the medications he had to take and has never been happier. It really is amazing how much stress can ruin your health. You sound like a wonderful mother and I'm sure your triplets will be fine with out preschool. My youngest didn't go to preschool and was the only child that could actually read when he started kindergarten. I remember his teacher was so amazed and asked me where he went for preschool. All my worries for not sending him flew right out the window. Besides what better learning experiences are there than playing in the Your meals sound wonderful and I hope you have the venison recipe with blueberry sauce in your personal recipes...because it sounds amazing. I'm afraid fall is not coming here anytime live in a wonderful place, so enjoy. By the way your pictures are always so beautiful.
Sep. 1, 2011 8:24 am
HA! I set the timer for 10 min on the AR today and found your blog. Glad to see you back, take care of hubs-our health is so important. Don't even shrug a shoulder over preschool, your triplets will learn so much more at home playing in the mud, schools don't teach those life lessons:) Congrats to Marley, I hope her first day rocked! She may play school with the triplets and teach them everything she is learning. I hugged the boys and sent them off to school today, I danced and cried at the same time. It's the last first day of school for my oldest as he graduates this year. Very mixed feelings and I am not old enough to have a child graduating LOL. Saved your zuc bread, looks delicious, I love ginger and molasses so I will have a zuc or 10 to turn into bread and candy (check out my zuc candy blog). The torrential rains in July turned my garden into a jungle. I am picking toms, cucs and zucs, apples for juice trying to get chickens butchered. So glad the grass finally slowed down and will only need 1 or 2 more cuts. Have a wonderful day Sarah, so nice to see you again. I rambled long enough, one would think I missed you or something:P Hug the babies and will chat later:D
Sep. 1, 2011 8:52 am
I have been wondering about you! Your blogs are always so good...I love your photos. Welcome back!
Sep. 1, 2011 9:15 am
Glad to have ya back Sarah-May! Your zucchini bread looks yummy!
Sep. 1, 2011 10:56 am
Nice to see you back. Your poor hubby is too young to have such health issues, I'm glad he made changes. As hard as it was sending my first off to kindergarten, sending my last nearly did me in. Enjoy your time with the triplets.
Sep. 1, 2011 12:34 pm
Thank you very much Sherri :). I haven't posted that recipe yet but I'll have to make it again to figure out the times and such. I rubbed a tenderloin with dry rosemary sea salt and coarsley ground black pepper then pan fried it in oil with some crushed garlic then threw the whole pan in the oven to bake until it was medium to medium well (hubby's not into rare) Then I poured the sauce that I wrote posted in the comments on this blog over the whole thing, when we start hunting this fall I'll make it again and write it down as I do it.
Sep. 1, 2011 12:40 pm
Thanks RnG, it's good to be back! Marley had a great time at school, she's still there now but I got to attend half of her first day (my grandma came and watched the little ones this morning) and she's the most confident child in her class. She's also the loudest ;). We had all of that July rain too, and a tornado hit a small strip of the lake area about 15 or 20 km east of here, we lost our tent to the wind with that storm. I have pumpkins everywhere this year and too many tomatoes to go with my annual zucchini pile. Time flies, I'm sure you remember your grade 12's fist day of school as if it was yesterday. My only twinge about not sending them off to preschool is that Marley got to go and I feel a little bad for not sending them too, so I'm going to do homeschooling in the mornings everyday and make a plan and everything. Next week we're making a scarecrow and harvesting the corn for one of their days. I hope to get it all figured out with some flexability in there for really niced days or unexpected rain soon. You're not the only one rambling. I missed you too. In a couple weeks I expect things to be settled down a bit and have more time for the buzz (ie my winter social life ;)).
Sep. 1, 2011 12:42 pm
Thanks TEXASTRACE! I've been doing a little photography over the summer, I see a pretty plate of food and my fingers start itching for a camera now, it's become a habbit, nearly an addiction :).
Sep. 1, 2011 12:43 pm
Thank you eecaule! I'm planning to make a batch of it in muffin tins over the weekend for my husband and daughter's lunches.
Sep. 1, 2011 12:44 pm
Thanks BigShotsMom, it's going to be a whirlwind this next two years, in two years from now all four will be in school full time. I won't know what to do with myself! I think first I'll sleep for a week then I may have to start a home baking business :).
Sep. 1, 2011 5:30 pm
Here ya are! So glad your husband is doing better. Keep an eye on that depression, girl. Don't let it get out of hand. Your kids will ALL do great! Marley in kindergarten and the triplets with YOU. Take lots of pictures and make lots of notes. Time flies. (hard to believe now, I know, but true)
Sep. 1, 2011 5:32 pm
So good to see you again. I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering where you had been. I retired from a horrendously stressful job 2 years ago. I believe if I had not done so, I would have died. And I don't say that in jest. The stress was so awful. There are now 2.5 people doing the job I had. Stress does awful things to a person. So glad your husb is mending and more importantly that he is in a new position. Do you subscribe to the Pioneer Woman's blog? She has a contributor who does Homeschooling and offers many suggestions and websites etc. to work with for the kids. Good luck. You will make it work, and as someone else said, your little one who is in K will share her wealth of knowledge from school w/ the littler ones! And THAT,,, is a really good thing!
Sep. 1, 2011 7:59 pm
Thanks Mominator, I was being strong for so long that when hubby's stuff finally got all sorted out it all hit me at once, I'm doing well now though.
Sep. 1, 2011 8:00 pm
Thanks Chris K, I don't subscribe but I do wander over there to browse once in a while, I'll have to look there to help me out through the course of the year, I'm pretty excited to get started.
Sep. 2, 2011 4:12 am
Can't wait to see your recipes! I'm really interested in the zucchini gingerbread! Maple dill carrots and spiced turnip puree sound good, too!
Sep. 2, 2011 5:36 am
Hi sueb, the links for some reason aren't working for me, but the zucchini gingerbread is in my recipe box near the top still, the maple dill carrots are an AR recipe and should come up for you in a search. The spiced turnip puree is just well cooked turnips pureed with a touch of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves :).
Sep. 2, 2011 6:58 am
Hi Sarah-May. I just wanted to stop in and assure you that your triplets don't need pre-school - they need to be kids - to play in the mud and explore the world around them. My grandson Michael didn't go to pre-school - he is the youngest of 6 kids and the expense just couldn't be justified. He is now in 1st grade and is at the top of his class. This time will fly by - take care of yourself and welcome back.
Sep. 2, 2011 10:55 am
Loved your blog Sarah May. Sorry to hear that you guys struggled this summer. Sounds like things are looking up though :) My husband has a terribly stressful job too. He retired from teaching after 30 years and had to go back to teach cuz our retirement medical insurance was $1150. a month and they were not paying our medical bills;( Very frustrating to me that we can't just kick back after a lifetime of hard work....but at least we have work :) Take care and enjoy those triplets. I know you have heard it a hundred times, but they all grow up in the blink of an eye.
Sep. 2, 2011 3:41 pm
Thanks Baking Nana! I'm feeling the pressure today but I'll get through it and soon enough I get to leave the house and the kids with my mother-in-law and have a break and some fun :).
Sep. 2, 2011 3:42 pm
Thanks Mauigirl! My favorite thing to do when they're all in a good mood is play with them without worrying about the chores and other things going on so I'm really looking forward to this homeschooling stuff.
Sep. 2, 2011 5:22 pm
Sarah-May, you are a whirlwind of good things. It will be a great year for you and your little family, especially now that hubby is on the sanity track with his work. I'm so glad your summer was good, and he is well again. BTW, your food pics are stellar! How did you find time to cook all these great foods, and vacation, too??
Sep. 3, 2011 7:42 am
Thanks Mamaw! I can honestly say that our "vacationing" happens about 15 minutes from our house. The water is nearly too cold and there's work and school now to keep us off of the beach or we'd still be there on nicer days. It gets cold early up here, the leaves are already changing and I'm on frost watch for the garden already.
Sep. 4, 2011 3:03 am
What a lovely family you have. Many Blessings for the coming school year. Looking forward to when you have time to post your Garden Foccacia. I am often inspired by your photos. Thanks much!
Sep. 4, 2011 6:43 am
Thanks Lightedway, I've got to make it again in order to post it, mostly for cooking time and such. I'll probably do it this week though as it's a good lunch for the kids.
Sep. 6, 2011 12:43 pm
Hi Stranger! Sorry about the hubby's health issues, but so glad he's better. It sounds like you had good summer in spite of a couple of down points. I used my glut of zucchini in a blueberry zucchini bread recipe from AR and in relish. Both were/are wonderful. It's amazing how much better food tastes when you grow the ingredients yourself:) Looking forward to future recipes and blogs. Welcome back:)
Sep. 7, 2011 5:44 am
Hi Mangel! It's good to be back :). I just got a box of wild blueberries, I may have to look up that recipe.
Sep. 7, 2011 10:53 am
Glad to see you're back! Also glad your hubby's doing better. Amazing what a positive career move can do for one's mental & physical health, isn't it? :)
Sep. 7, 2011 8:16 pm
Thanks Amanda! It is amazing, not to mention a person's moods :)
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About Me
I'm a self/family taught cook. I love to try new recipes and experiment with exotic ingredients and spices. I have 4 young children and I've been married for 6 years.
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I love curries, yeast breads, (any kind of baking actually) and anything different.
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The pre-Christmas appetizer party that I've started throwing for just my mom and step-dad, my family and my little brother and his family. Chinese Christmas eve at Grandma's, The Harvest feast we throw in September.
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