Clearly gardening hasn't been high on my list of activities (it is winter in Edmonton, after all!).
One thing I have been doing is attending my community's gardening club's meetings. My interest is in the discussion around the possibility of a community garden. This seems quite exciting (although the approval process is daunting).
I hosted our last meeting and the educational component was "things from the garden that I have fermented". Jennifer handled the pouring of the various drinks. The rhubarb wine was well received, the hard cider was deemed okay, and the apple jack was reviewed as "smells good". Which is pretty fair--apple jack has pretty intense flavours. Strawberry wine is on my list of summer projects.
For Christmas, I bought Jess some vanilla beans and vodka to make her own vanilla (she uses a lot while baking). She was very excited to get the 26er of vodka in her stocking. I sensed some disappointment with the vanilla beans.
Anyhow, we have cut the beans and they are soaking--this can apparently take up to six months to to get all of the flavour out of the beans but the initial (one month) results are very promising.
In the meantime, we have been trying to enjoy the good weather with skating, skiing and snow shoeing. The hoar-frost this week has been crazy beautiful.
I've also been cooking and trying to use up what we stored last summer and fall. Above I included some oven-dried tomatoes and much of a bottle of rhubarb wine in a risotto, to rave reviews.