David deSouza

David deSouza

David deSouza

David deSouza

Raised Vegetable Garden

It's been a joy and truly a labor of love piecing our raised bed garden together. We learnt a lot from our last/first attempt at gardening and this time we were better planned.

The Best Pizza Dough

We got a bit tired of our whole wheat pizza dough I think we got too accustomed to it and decided it needed some tweaking.

US Road trips

We've made a few road trips around the US. There's a lot to see here and a lot of distance to cover. Here are some of our trips on the east coast.

Panama

Panama's carnival celebration in Panama City are supposed to be the second largest in the world. Enjoyed this big party with fantastic street food, dozens of stages and loud music blaring at every corner.

Canada

Canada has some of the most beautiful sceneries and landscapes. I hope to drive across to the West coast some day but till then here's a glimpse of Toronto and beyond.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Home-made Organic Strawberry Jam

We made some delicious strawberry jam today. Picked up 6 quarts of strawberries from one of the local organic farms. They were so delicious it was hard not to finish them while cleaning. Our last attempt turned out great but this time it was even better!
Home-made Organic Strawberry Jam

Ingredients:-
  • 3 Kg strawberries (6 quarts);
  • Juice from two lemons;
  • 750 gm sugar;
  • 57 gm pectin(1 packet);

Preparation:-
  • Slice strawberries in half and place in large cooking pot.
  • Mix in the sugar, lemon juice and pectin.
  • Stir on a low flame till the juices get released.
  • Once it starts to boil stir continuously till you get the desired consistency.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Fruit Garden

We've just planted a few fruits this year. We had started with a pear tree a few years ago but that got eaten up by rabbits and wasn't flowering anymore. So to make up time we replaced it with a 9' pear tree and have protected the bark. We've also grown some vines, blackberries and red currents.
Currents, grapes, berries and pears

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Vegetable Garden

Last year we truly enjoyed the experience from our raised bed vegetable garden project. This year brought a significant addition into our lives. We weren't sure if we'd be able to manage growing our own vegetables this year. There was only one way to find out. And while we're at it why not raise the bar. So this year we'd set out with two raised beds!

Below you'll find a weekly update with the progress of our vegetable garden.




Week 1: Switching from a single raised bed to two had its challenges. We'd have to assemble the new bed and then empty the original bed and move it to its new location. The lawn had to be moved as well. After juggling the design on paper we were all set and ready for the the heavy lifting.

The lawn was moved, the beds lined with weed block and then, in went twenty 6 Kg bags of triple mix soil, some manure from our compost bin and some peat moss.

Despite trying to follow the square foot gardening techniques last year, we had cut corners and as a result our tomato crop got damaged. So this year we'd have to be more careful with the layout.

The vegetables that made the list were tomatoes, strawberries, onions, peas, cucumber, radish, lettuce, Swiss chard,cilantro,spinach,beet,broccoli,chives,dill, parsley and beans
Week 1: The raised beds are set.






Week 4: We forgot to protect the beds from one night of frost. We lost a few plants that night which was tragic as they were all grown from seed. Picked up a few new plants and we're back with full occupancy. Our radish are almost ready for picking. We had a strawberry too but the animals got to it first.
Week 4: Survived frost. Radish ready for picking.




Week 5: Enjoyed a lot of radish and spring onions this week. We even cooked the leaves and made a delicious vegetable with coconut. More radish and spring onions have been planted. Need to figure out a natural way to protect our strawberries.
Week 5: Plenty of radish over the week



Week 6: I happen to witness a chipmunk devour half our broccoli plant. It was such a stealth operation that if i wasn't focusing i'd never know that half the plant disappeared. The next day the entire plant was gone. This broccoli plant wasn't in the raised bed but i wasn't going t o take a chance considering the effort we had made to get this far.

We decided to install protective net around the beds to reduce the chance of our plants disappearing.
Using the poles of our greenhouse and some plastic fencing I was able to get the job done.

This week we've had a lot of salad. A healthy amount every single day of the week.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Čokoládová torta

Mamka made a lovely cake called Čokoládová torta for tea today.
Čokoládová torta


Ingredients:-
  • 6 eggs;
  • powdered sugar, 120 gr .;
  • flour, 100 gr .;
  • 1/2 baking powder;
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa;
  • 1 tablespoon of warm water;

Filling/Icing:
  • 4 eggs;
  • granulated sugar, 200 gr .;
  • 1 vanilla sugar;
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa;
  • 1 butter 200 gr .;
Frosting:
  • Chocolate, 50 gr .;
  • butter, 10 gr .;

Procedure:-
  • Whisk the egg whites to snow. 
  • Mix the egg yolks with sugar and a tablespoon of water. Add in sifted cocoa. 
  • Mix the flour with baking powder. Now add in the yolks and egg white snow, make sure to stir it in slowly. 
  • Pour the batter into a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
  • Bake at 180 ° C (360 ° F), about 20-30 minutes. 
  • After baking, allow to cool. Flip it over and remove the baking paper. 
  • Cut the cake in half lengthwise.This makes two layers to the cake.
  • Whisk the ingredients for the filling/icing (excluding butter) over steam until the mix melts and starts to thicken. 
  • Leave to cool slightly. Cut butter into thin slices and stir it in.
  • For the bottom section coat the top with part of the icing. 
  • Place the top section over the bottom. They are sandwiched by the icing. 
  • Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing. 
  • Prepare the frosting over steam like you did for the icing. 
  • Decorate the cake with the frosting.