August is one of my favorite months of the year. Besides this being the month that Trevor and I were married, I also consider it to be the best time to check out the farmer’s markets. I’ve been visiting the market behind the St. Lawrence Market every Saturday since early July and each week I end up coming home with more items than were on my list (thank goodness for the bus stop beside our building). Last weekend, though, I had to hold back because in a few days we’ll be flying out to visit my parents. I stocked up on a few things we had run out of and in the end, I caved and bought one large basket of peaches. After making a small batch of jam (the obsession continues), I had a couple little guys left over. Not enough for anything really fancy, but enough for this cute little dessert.
I know we’re at the very end of rhubarb season, but I couldn’t let the season go without sharing my Grandma’s recipe for rhubarb meringue cake. It’s also a bittersweet day because today would have been her 83rd birthday. My Mom sent me a photo of her handwritten recipe last month, but I was so caught up in all my jam making that I didn’t have any rhubarb to spare. Once I slowed down on the jam production, I set aside some extra stalks.
When I first made this cake, I had no visual guide and only a very briefly written recipe, so I was constantly texting my Mom questions: What size of cookie sheet do I use? How thick is the cake suppose to be? Is it supposed to be meringue? How thick??? My fingers turned red and went numb chopping up stalk after stalk of rhubarb and after I spread the thick, fluffy meringue onto the unbaked cake base, I started panicking and was convinced that I had done something wrong. We were just about to eat supper (poor Trevor was hovering around the counter waiting for me to move so he could get his food), so I put the cake in the oven, set the timer and hoped for the best.
If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you may have noticed that I started making my own jam. Yes, my tiny little condo kitchen has been turned into a jam making factory. In the last month, I’ve churned out two batches of strawberry jam, two batches of strawberry/rhubarb jam and one batch of lemon/strawberry jelly. The canning addiction has hit me full force and we’ve barely scratched the surface of raspberry, blueberry, apple or peach season. I keep joking with Trevor that by the end of summer, he’ll be able to build himself a fort with all the jars.
Over the years, the most popular post has been my recipe for Easy Yogurt Overnight Oats (thanks, Buzzfeed) and as the temperature continues to go up, it’s easy to see why. They are super easy to make because all the prep is done the night before and you get to wake up to a cold, creamy breakfast that can be dressed up with all the fruit and toppings your heart desires. A definite plus for me because I tend to be very zombie-like first thing in the morning and the window between waking up and leaving for work tends to feel very short.
Lately, I’ve been posting a quick photo of my weekday breakfasts on Snapchat and it’s helped me become a little more creative with what I eat. When I was a teenager, I was perfectly happy with a large bowl of Cheerios or another kind of cereal, but over the last years I’ve discovered that boxed cereal doesn’t fill me up the same way. Right now, I’m really into simple foods with lots of veggies or fruit (hello berry season!) and anything that doesn’t take a lot of time to put together.
I feel like a broken record when I talk about how quiet I’ve been here. Lots of baking and cooking has been going on in the background, but nothing blog-worthy or anything that I could call my own until now.
In April, I felt a little burnt out from cooking until we did some major spring cleaning. I went through my cookbook collection, pulled out my favourites and placed them in a high-traffic, visible spot near our couch. The move to the couch has been great because I sometimes get restless when watching TV and flipping through cookbooks are a great alternative to playing mindless games on my iPad. As a result, our meals have had a lot more variety and I actually look forward to spending time in the kitchen again. I highly recommend this method if anyone feels like they are in a rut and don’t know what to make for supper. It’s also been great for planning ahead for breakfasts in the morning and for packing lunches for work.