Jackson Ripens

I’ve been patiently waiting for the four tomatoes on Jackson to ripen; until earlier this week, they showed no signs of doing so. And then, suddenly, yesterday morning one turned red, after a transition through yellow that started on the weekend.

That makes it 103 days from transplanting Brenda Whiteway’s gift of a seedling into our back garden to ripening.

Now I just need to figure out how to best make use of four vaunted tomatoes.

A single red tomato on Jackson the tomato plant.

The Healthy School Lunch Program

Prince Edward Island’s Healthy School Lunch Program launches today, something Oliver and I saw evidence of out at Gallant’s on Saturday morning picking up our salmon bagels: the kitchen was filled with tomato sauce, ready to serve as part of lunch in four schools this morning.

As I related here, the kernel of the seed of this program hatched on a fall day seven years ago at Montague Consolidated. From that first meeting, to a home and school policy resolution in 2015, to lobbying and plotting by parents, guardians, teachers and staff, officials in government and the school board, farmers, fishers and those in food service, a plan began to emerge, and after a pilot project this winter, which evolved into a COVID-adapted meal plan over the spring and summer, the program rolls out today to all Island schools.

What’s perhaps most remarkable is that the program as it launches today retains most of the key points of that original home and school resolution: it’s a “pay what you can” model, it emphasizes healthy, locally-sourced and locally-produced food.

In other words, it’s kind of a miracle.

For all those who poured their hearts into making this a reality, thank you; not only is it a wonderful thing, in and of itself, but it demonstrates how a good idea, with patience and nurturing and community-building, can come to fruition. That gives me an even larger sense of hope for what’s next.

The Applesauce Maker

Catherine liked to accumulate kitchen tools–I’ve found three crock pots, at least, squirrelled away in various places–and much of my curation over recent months has been figuring out what to keep and what to pass on; the likelihood of needing to serve tea to 30 people seems remote, so a great mug-purge is in the offing.

But there’s also gold in them thar hills, including this invaluable tool for making apple sauce:

Applesauce maker.

It’s ungainly and takes up lots of room in the cupboard, but I cannot imagine how people without one make apple sauce.

Which is what I did yesterday:

A jar of applesauce sitting on the kitchen counter.

We had some for breakfast; pleasantly tart.

Chairs Assembled

After a an hour or so of round-peg-in-round-hole work, the painted IVAR chairs are assembled and in place.

To take this photo required I attend to a long-accumulating pile of things-to-go-elsewhere, so we also get a clean dining room out of the deal.

Chair Assembly

Our dining room chairs have forever been a bodged together collection of scavenged chairs that forever seem on the verge of collapse. Having spent a week living with IKEA IVAR chairs while on vacation, I ordered four while we were on our way home; they arrived Friday.

I wasn’t content to leave them entirely in their unfinished pine state, so Oliver and I went paint shopping at Home Depot yesterday. To my delight, I found that we could buy sample pots of paint for $5.00 each, and these proved more than enough paint for the job. The orange is “tart orange” and the blue is “beta fish,” both from Behr.

I painted two coats yesterday and am set to assemble everything this morning.

The IVAR chairs are $45.00 each; gone are the days of $150 delivery charges to Charlottetown from IKEA: delivery was $29 for four chairs, four chair pads (and, because IKEA, two towels).

We’ll move the sketchy chairs into the basement, ready should a time come when the world allows us a dinner party.

Lentil Soup

I made a lentil soup for supper tonight with Paul Offer’s carrots, onions, peppers, leeks and potatoes, kale from Cranbush Farms, lentils from Riverview Country Market, and Purity Dairy sour cream. Three minutes in the Instant Pot. Smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and pepper to spice.

I feel like I’ve levelled up on life. At the very least I’m ready for autumn.

Mandy Patinkin: The Stakes

Mandy Patinkin:

I’m so nervous about this election I’m making my own damn campaign videos. Please get involved! Join one of these orgs and commit to volunteering. Get friends involved. Don’t have any friends? That’s ok, you can get involved twice as much! JUST GET OUT THE VOTE! 


The Stakes his his first video.