Archive for August, 2019

I Like Fresh Radish

When Blaine and I were growing up, Mom and Dad tried to grow veggies in the back yard.

Dad actually started with Potatoes in the front yard but Blaine and I wanted a lawn just as we saw in movies about a perfect American life.  A lawn where we could play football and wrestle around.  Dad eventually agreed and we had a lawn in the front yard.

A side story is where Dad tried to make an electric lawn mower when we eventually had grass,  but that is another story.

In the back yard, in the clay soil they planted veggies.  In the Sask warm sun and lots of watering we had prodigious growth.

Blaine and I raided the garden every day.  First growth of peas were consumed long before Mom got home to harvest them.  Fresh carrots hugged out of the ground, delicious.

But my best memories were of the radishes. As soon as Blaine and I determined that they were ready we would pull them out and … crunch.  The little heat and the great flavour.  If they stayed even 3 days in the ground they turned woody.

We went to a farmers market yesterday and bought fresh radishes just out of the ground.  I crunched on one and it took me back to being 8 years old raiding mother’s garden.

Public Notice

This blog, Views from Paradise, is intended as a personal blog for my family and friends.  I have no intention to make this a public dialogue.  I realize it is in the public domain and I remain careful not to reveal details on the family or attract controversial attention.

It is an attractive title, so I am often getting replies from people wishing to connect further or sell advertising.  This will never happen.  So unless you know who I am, please do not reply or comment on my blogs.  I will never connect this blog to another site.



Another Blackberry Harvest

We have been eating so many blackberries with our dessert that we did not have enough in the fridge for Pat to make her Blackberry pie.  Picked, fresh berries that have not gone through the nuclear storage techniques used by stores, do not last long in the fridge so must be consumed quickly.  I have been putting them on my morning cereal and we have them with ice cream every night and are giving them away.

Pat wanted to make her pie and our supply was not sufficient for her recipe. So we took Reese for another walk and in 10 minutes picked what you see in the bucket.

If you look at the price of Blackberries in the store… well if my grandchildren came out here, and had a great work ethic, and a certain tolerance to thorn pain… we could make hundreds of dollars.  Particularly as we could market them ORGANIC and WILD.  I am sure Janine or Vedran could come up with a proper logo.

More than we need for the Blackberry pie.



Comox Fireworks

Last night (the Monday of the August long weekend) we were invited to join a group of friends at a home that has a balcony facing the Comox harbour.   Every year there is a fireworks display for BC Heritage Day from a barge in the harbour, and our host’s home is 2 blocks from the beach on an elevated ridge where the fireworks are … right there.

The invitation required that we bring some wine (no problem as we just returned from a wine visit to Kelowna) plus some finger appies.  Party started at 8 with the fireworks at 10:15.

As it started to get really dark the stars came out.  The balcony faces south and there revealed was a brilliant early star.  As I may be considered a very knowledgeable person they asked me what it was.  I said as it is early in the evening it must be Venus.  A few minutes later a red star appeared just down to the right which I identified as Mars.  Even then I was realizing this could be a mistake but everyone was oohing and aweing.  Then there was a bright star to the left and I did not even try to identify it.  As it became darker the three stars became even more brilliant.

At 10:15 we watched as good as fireworks display as you could imagine coordinated with music broadcast over a local radio station that our host had connected to his outdoor speakers.  Great fireworks.

But as Pat was driving me home I had doubts about the stars so when I got home I looked them up on my star chart app.  Turns out the bright star was Jupiter and the red planet was Antares but even more surprising, the bright star to the left was Saturn.  I do not think I have seen Saturn and Jupiter in the sky together.

To be honest… I sent an email that night to the host and several of the guests admitting that I was wrong and identifying the correct celestial objects.  The replies were .. we don’t care, your story was convincing.

If you look to the south in the next few evening you can enjoy this sight.

In case you ask what appy we brought, well Pat made something special.  You may remember my blog about Blackberries.  Pat made skewers that had mini Boncaciono cheese, fresh basil leaves and the blackberries.  Perfect for the evening.


Blackberries have been around forever on the west coast but there is an invasive species called Himalayan blackberries that are particularly destructive.  They grow in long sweeping branches covered in thorns and are usually mixed in with another invasive species Broom.

Every spring when I join a volunteer group to clear broom from public areas the dreaded blackberry bushes act as protection for the broom with their thorns.  Miserable plant.

But come mid-summer there is a bounty as the berries come out.  Sweet with a tart taste.  Expensive to buy at the store because they are a bear to pick due to the thorns.

As it happens there is an open area 5 minute walk from our home that has not yet been developed. Rows of broom and Himalayan blackberries.

At this time of year we take Reese for a walk on the trails through this area and we pick a few blackberries.  I have a technique that saves me from scratches.  I have a straightened wire clothes hanger with a hook and instead of reaching into the thorns I pull a branch and harvest the ripe berries.  10 minutes of work and we have enough for a couple of nights of blackberries on ice cream for dessert.  May have another couple of weeks of this bounty before they turn back into the horrid invasive weed.