The Bohemian Kitchen is about cooking, gardening and the occasional DIY project that takes place in my apartment in downtown Ottawa.
I grew up knowing where my food comes from. I am from a small town and a small family where we ate homemade meals together most nights. We had a rubarb plant in the backyard that we’d cut up and bake into a pie, the crust made from scratch. The crabapples were picked from the tree out front then made into jelly. Peas came fresh from the pod, and there were weekends spent strawberry picking.
I remember planting peppermint as a kid so I could make my own tea. It felt satisfying to stuff fresh leaves inside a tea ball, fill the mug with boiling water, breathe the steam and drink the tea that came not from the grocery store but from the backyard. It was the feeling of self-sufficiency, not complete of course but still a small taste, something to feel good about.
Living in a city, I find that food-to-table connection is largely lost. Or at least, in my own experience, I found it easy to forget. When I moved away from home at age 20, I spent the first four years going to school, sharing apartments, and seeing mostly concrete when I stepped out the door. I moved around often and most places had no balcony, and certainly no backyard. For the longest time I forgot about gardening, and I forgot how much better food tastes when you grow it yourself.
I’m not sure when or how I got back into it exactly, but it must have been in 2010 when I got bored and planted peanuts. Somehow I ended up with plastic storage containers on my balcony filled with dirt and various plants. I haven’t stopped since.
Long story short, my passion is food and I feel more connected when I’m growing at least some of it myself. It might be extra work, but it is possible to grow vegetables on an apartment balcony. If you don’t have a balcony or don’t get much light, there are community gardens to join. To get a taste without gardening yourself, there are restaurants and farmers markets that feature locally grown food.
I’m still learning how to fit sustainability into my urban lifestyle. I hope that you’ll follow along in my journey!
I have several projects on the go, including
Apartment Gardening, aka Urban Gardening, aka Balcony Gardening
In the summer of 2010 I began to grow herbs and vegetables on my balcony. At first, it was for economical reasons, since certain things like basil are cheaper to grow than to buy, but I also love the convenience of stepping outside to grab a handful of parsely or thyme whenever a recipe calls for it.
In 2012 I signed up for a garden plot. It has been a learning experience! The first two years consisted of me stumbling about, figuring out what to plant when. In the third summer, I began to make some progress with actually growing things as opposed to killing them.
From time to time I will write a guide to growing plants from grocery store food.
Most popular posts include
Well I think this is self explanatory. This section includes all foods that have been cooked or baked in my kitchen, separated into sweet, savoury or ‘other’ categories. The ‘other’ category includes DIY experiments such as homemade vanilla extract and flavoured vinegars.
I’ve recently started teaching myself how to create my own recipes. My first muffin recipe, which I’m ridiculously proud of (so please humour me), is the Tropical Strawberry Muffin.
30 Day Vegan Challenge
In January 2015, I challenged myself to eat vegan food only for 30 days. Check it out!
I first started The 52 cupcakes project as a way of fulfilling the WordPress postaweek2011 challenge. I got bored of it pretty quickly so I quit without finishing, but feel free to check out the Oreo Cupcake recipe. I get compliments every time I bake them.
DIY Projects and Experiments
I like to mess around with unconventional things, so every now and then I will post something that doesn’t fit into any other category. For example I enjoy planting seeds from grocery store plants. These aren’t always successful, in fact they usually die before growing too big, but they amuse me and I think others might find it fun to try it too.
The review section is still relatively new – I only started it November 2014. I’m always looking for good vegetarian food in the Ottawa area, so I’ll be making more of an effort to take photos of what I try at restaurants and post it here.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading my blog. Any comments or suggestions are more than welcome, and can be directed to me on this website in the comments box, or by using the contact form.
Hope to hear from you!