Sarah Raymond is a writer and artist from Toronto, Ontario. Her young adult novel, Signs of Martha, comes out in spring 2011 with Great Plains Publications. Scroll on down for musings on writing, art and other perils of domestic life. Homemade drawings included.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Harvest Updates

I always thought zucchinis were long and green. Ha! Check out this bounty of pear shapes and flying saucers ("patty pans"). I think the green orbs are called "eight balls". As you can imagine, I'm searching for ways to cook up these guys. They've snuck into cake, pizza, lasagne and stir fries.

The purple hanging things are peas--a prettier colour off-screen. I don't find them as sweet as green peas, but they're easier to find. Once again, thanks to the Young Urban Farmers for growing cool veggies in our back yard. Did you hear Chris on CBC radio on Friday, spreading the word about city growing?

As the harvest comes in, I wait for results from the macro edit of my novel. The latest draft is with my editor at Great Plains Publications. Unless I have major work to do, we'll move on to the fussier micro edit soon. Growing a vegetable garden is a year-long project. The novel has taken five!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More than Great Food at Terroni

Woman cannot survive on homegrown vegetables alone. She needs restaurants too, and we love Terroni on Balmore Ave, Toronto. The pizza was a thin-crusted expanse of cheesy terrain. It had hunks of basil that could point and laugh at the prim garnishes of less confident dishes.

But that's just the pizza. The menu at Terroni opens with a foodie comic. True love.

Someone cares.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Veggie Gardens in other Weird Places

Alternate title: Is that a banana plant in your garden or are you just happy to see me?

My kids and I happened upon yet another unusual spot for a veggie garden. (The other was on the rooftop of the Royal Fairmont Hotel.) This little food group grows at the Toronto Zoo, and includes tropical plants. Coffee, too. Forget "Meet the Zookeeper". I wanted to attend a "Meet the Zoogardener", but alas, the zoo wasn't offering. And for some reason, my silly children were pulling at my sleeve and dragging me off to the monkeys.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


No cheerful garden posts this week.

Over the fence on Saturday--a horror. A life disappeared suddenly and tragically. Our 2 1/2 year-old neighbour, the little scurrying golden-haired girl, is gone. Rest in peace, little one. May your family gather strength. Somehow. And to hell with that swimming pool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Carrot Fiesta

Aaack! (Shriek of delight.) These gorgeous beauties erupted from our garden plot. Crazy Elaine (Young Urban Farmers) planted not only seeds for orange carrots, but for red, yellow and white ones, too.

Peeling skims off the redness, I discovered. Or--if you want to get silly--you can peel only occasionally for striped carrots. Regardless of carrot colour or goofy peeling, all the varieties taste equally sweet.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Their Basil; My Basil

We took a field trip to the rooftop gardens and apiary on the Royal Fairmont Hotel, Toronto. We passed guarding stone lions on the ground floor to reach the Fairmont's basil. At our place, you trip over the garden house to get to the herbs. Still. Basil is basil. My basil plants grow happily in pots but keel over and die when I plant them the ground. I have no idea why.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sewing Frenzy

Last week I noticed this woman at a dry cleaning shop on Yonge. I'm her evil sewing twin. An order for wooldebeasts just came in, so I've been stitching like crazy. New plush beasts are under construction for Freedom Clothing Collective on Bloor St. in Toronto.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Before and After the Zucchini Harvest

What better place to add vegetables than to a cake? A chocolate one, no less.

Yesterday we celebrated a belated birthday for a friend. Sunday's harvest from the Young Urban Farmers was still fresh on the counter, so I shredded a zucchini into the batter.

The entire cake disappeared down various throats within hours. I told the kids about the zucchini during their final bites.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Harnessing the Power of Literary Heroines

I'm in the throes of editing my novel now, to be launched in the spring of 2011 with Great Plains Publications in their teen fiction series.

To help me edit, I stitched up Anne of Green Gables. She's been whispering all sorts of wise and encouraging thoughts in my ear as I work through the chapters.

Ann-with-an-e has a rather Mona Lisa-esque, enigmatic smile, don't you think?