Wednesday, August 21, 2013

summer road trip

There were colours on our drive around British Columbia.

Blue skies, sunburnt yellow fields, blushing peaches, the impossible blue and green of the water.

But somehow the sweep of a mountain and the ripple of a lake shore is clearer in black and white.

Mount Robson in the Rockies.

In the Rocky Mountain trench, near Valemount.

Witty's Lagoon, near Victoria on Vancouver Island.

The land my Scottish great-grandparents settled in 1920, which my dad now manages as a woodlot. Near Courtenay on Vancouver Island.

Wild brambles on my dad's land.

Rinsing his feet in the ocean after a dusty walk through the bush.

Red and blue huckleberries I picked in my dad's front yard for breakfast.

Day trip to Quadra Island.

Pretending I actually live on Quadra Island.

View across Okanagan Lake from Kettle Valley Winery in Naramata.

Lake shore during an afternoon swim in Peachland.

Picnic lunch on our way home at Kicking Horse River in Golden.

one year ago: cherry peach jam
two years ago: tschüss, deutschland! and german groceries
three years ago: peach crisp and tomato zucchini gratin

Friday, August 2, 2013

snack chronicles: super fudge

As a constant snacker and snack-baker-maker, I'm not sure why I didn't try this recipe sooner.

It's been sitting in my recipe binder, gathered from a visit with Angela in Halifax in July 2006.*

I've glanced over it for ages, but I think the fact that it has sunflower seeds scared me off.

I shouldn't have been scared.

Without further ado, may I present super fudge?

It is not, in any traditional sense of the world, fudge. It's more like a homemade Eat-More bar, with a bit of cocoa and honey and peanut butter to bind seeds and gooey dates together.

It's not fudge, it's super fudge.

Making it is fun, too. You heat up honey and peanut butter till they're loose and hot. Then you quickly stir the cocoa and everything else in . . . and watch everything magically change.

Suddenly, the texture is more like fudge, more like you want to roll a ball of it between your fingers just to see what it will do.

You quickly pour it into a lined pan, let it firm up even more in the fridge.

I used roasted sunflower seeds and sesame seeds  thanks to the brilliant husband for the suggestion  and they give a light, toasty crunch in their chocolate-y body. Perfect for snacking.

This recipe makes about 36 little squares, which I individually wrap and keep in the freezer. Every morning this week, I have grabbed a super fudge bar on my way out the door, and been very happy to find it at work around 11 a.m.

*I know that because I actually mark every recipe with a date and place. Call me crazy, but I get a kick out of looking back on them.

P.S. And now I am off on summer vacation! I am getting the distinct sense that said brilliant husband would prefer I helped pack as opposed to write a post. I will try to do my duty. Bye!

one year ago: finding jim mitchell lake and tarragon three-bean salad
two years ago: sun tea
three years ago: rote grütze on ice cream and rosemary corn butter

super fudge
yields about 36 small bars of super fudge

1 c. honey*
1 c. natural salted peanut butter
1/4 c. cocoa powder or carob powder
1 c. roasted unsalted sesame seeds
1 c. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 c. flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 c. dates or other dried fruit

Line an 8" by 8" square pan with parchment or wax paper.

Heat the honey and peanut butter over medium-low heat. Stir together. Turn off the heat.

Quickly stir in the cocoa powder, and then all the seeds, coconut and dates. Pour into pan and refrigerate to harden. Cut into squares and keep in the freezer.

*I'm going to try 3/4 c. next time and see if the texture still works. I'll update you when I know.