Sunday, June 12, 2011

A long over due update

I am so sorry for being away for so long but oh my gosh I have been having the most frustrating technical problems with the internet and with my laptop, which is no longer a laptop since it now has a regular keyboard attached to it and 6 things plugged into it, I had to get a USB port to handle it all. which means it's not portable anymore and boy, I miss that. Now my writing schedule is all wonky. I used to get up early (with the sun) and have coffee in bed with my laptop, this is when I did my blogging and reading up on the news and catching up on other people's blogs that I follow. Now I have to develop a new morning habit and for some reason sitting on a chair first thing in the morning just isn't spoiled do I sound?
So, lets do a little catch up with some photos;

This is my little fruit garden that I am very excited about, the tree on the right is an Apple tree and the 2 smaller ones on the left are cherry trees. 

a neighbor found a little red wagon at a yard sale and bought it for me.....very handy

this is my vineyard, I have 3 little grape vines that you can't really see growing here that are supposed to cover the wall of my house within time

Strawberries look a lot better this year, I am hoping for a few bowls of berries this year

Out of the 20 garlic that I planted last fall 12 are growing.....better than nothing I guess

This spinach has already been eaten and new stuff has been planted

Radishes are almost ready.....much later than last year

This is my shady garden that has plaged me for many years, I finally have hostas and monkshood growing in there and I transplanted some rhubarb (they say you can't kill rhubarb....but how does it do in the shade?) 

All these little cucumbers have since been frozen and new ones have been seeded which are just popping out of the

you can't really see but the peas are up and so are the 100 onions I planted along this fence( yes I planted 100 onions, I am expecting an onion famine in the land) )  

Here is the "before" photo for 2011, the goal is to create a green wall along that back fence

My new arbor that is to be covered in green by July, it is where the squash and pumpkins will fight for space (I always plant everything too close together)

If you came to tea in the evening this is where we would sit, among the herbs and Geraniums 

Up close at my vineyard, I am waiting for the gas company to complain because I have planted so close to their meter, I;m thinking since I pay dearly for that meter it shouldn't be their business but sometimes it's easier to ask for  forgiveness instead of permission 

If you came for tea in the afternoon this is where we would sit.....but then, who has time for tea in the afternoon?

The potato patch on the right and a few stray perrenials that have survived over the years

This area has been so ugly in the past so last fall I redid it, it is to be my fruit garden and hopefully all the space will be filled with bushy rhubarb soon 

Now lets see what has been happening in the kitchen;

Here is my version of homemade ice-cream, I did not invent this I got it from  Jamie Oliver's website. First you freeze some fruit, cut it up in small pieces and put in a freezer bags. Don't pack it in there tightly or you will end up with one big round frozen chunk. I lay the fruit on a coolie sheet and freeze for a few hours and then take put them in  bag. I have lots of Saskatoons in the freezer so I use lots of them. When you want ice-cream put some frozen fruit in your food processor or blender (my Canadian blender does not do frozen stuff, m y Mexican blender could make pulp out of a spruce tree) blend it until it is a frozen slush and then put in some yogurt and blend a wee bit more. I use my homemade plain yogurt, the whole point of making my own ice-cream is to avoid all the sugar in store ice-cream and most store yogurt is  full of sugar too. I also add some vanilla and a wee bit of honey and blend. Yummm yummm 

Frozen fruit

With yogurt and vanilla

Creamy smooth ice-cream
You could add any flavoring, like chocolate syrup or coco, maple syrup, whatever you have a hankering for.

So I am back to packing lunches and I know it sounds weird but I really enjoy packing a lunch, I usually cook for the whole week on the weekend and plan a weeks worth of lunch. Right now I still have to buy vegetables from the store so I am not eating as much veggies as I would like.

A great way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables is to serve everything on a bed of greens....these days I only have spinach in my garden

Always a baggie of fruit laying on the seat of my golf cart (my office)

This week I happy to see my local grocery store had some more organic vegetables, I was so excited.

I chopped it all  up and put it all in a big bowl and will just add some oil, vinegar, and Cayenne pepper and fill little baggies for work....really excited about this (I know I sound like a geek) 

Finally we are getting some heat, it's been a cold spring and still is very cool at night.

When it gets warm like that I make an extra batch of yogurt and let it incubate in my greenhouse, see the towel covered bowl on the left

Then I made cream cheese with it;

All you do is take your yogurt and put it in a cheese cloth and hang it up to drip, I save the dripping, it is the whey which is high in protein I put it in whatever I am baking at the time, bread, muffins or granola bars. Yesterday I had beans in the crock pot so I poured it in there. After about 5 hours you have a nice lump of cream cheese. Once I have fresh herbs I plan on seasoning it with herbs,  it's a great dip for crackers or chips. If you like a bit of a tart flavor drip it out in the fridge instead of on the counter.

Now, on to something real serious, I got old, real old. When my birthdays come they just come and go and sometimes I even forget, my birthdays have never bothered me or excited me in any way. I have never enjoyed birthday parties either, it's just another day. But....when my daughter has a birthday it is always a really emotional day for me, I always reflect back on the day she was born (May 28) it was a  beautiful sunny spring day, so full of joy, new hope, new life, new plans, new promises, new commitments, it was a life changing day for me. This year she turned 22, which makes me feel really old.  There is an ornamental apple tree in my yard, now I would never plant an ornamental anything tree, whats the point of having an apple tree if you never get apples but it was here before I and has survived over the years, it always blooms on my child's birthday.....glorious, stunning pink flowers, I call it her birthday tree. This year spring it was later than usual so it bloomed a week later.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful little one
So from there we go on to mayonnaise, over the last few years I have tried many recipes for homemade mayonnaise as the store stuff has too many things on the ingredients list that doesn't sound much like edible food and the fact that it can be in your fridge until the sides of the jar and inside of the lid look like you catch a new disease and .... it is still not rotten is also very scary (that also goes for catsup and cheese whiz) These recipes have all been good and defiantly edible but have really never been very wowing to me until I tried this one. I found it here;  Thank-you so much Brenda for posting this. This stuff by the way will keep for a few months in the fridge but not as long as store mayo.

So I won't bother retyping it, I did not put in any white sugar  but just added about a tbsp of brown sugar and next time I won't put so much vinegar, I don't like things to be really tart and this was just a wee bit too tart for me, it was more like tarter sauce, which was great because I just happened to be cooking  fish that day and it was so great with it. 

My so good mayonnaise, love it, no story about the noodles in the background they just happened to be
Fish with a nice lump of mayo

Then I had a visit from Flat Stanley for those of you that don't know him you can read up on him here  Flat Stanley came to me all the way from Oregon, it is his first visit to Canada. When a Flat Stanley comes to your house you are to treat him like a guest and send him home with pictures and stories of his visit so I tried to be as good of a hostess as I could.

I took him to work with me

He rode around with me in my gold cart (my office) while I watered the grrens

Check it out, it'a only 7 am and the sun is bright and high

He went on a rode trip to La Crete, we crossed the Mighty Peace River

Standing on the banks of the Peace River at my mom's house

"Look  at me" he says, I am in Canada

Just after 10 pm and the sun is just setting ( this was on May 28th, sun sets later now)

This is shortly before 6 am, sun has been up for about 2 hours already, "this Canada sure is a sunny place" he says. 

He opted to not ride on the bobcat with me, I don't blame him, I am not exactly smoothie poothie on the bobcat and the noise would have curled his ears
Due to me not being on the ball and sending him home right away he is now stuck it Canada due to the Canadian mail strike, I might have to send him on the Grey Hound Bus. 


Brenda said...

Hi, glad you enjoyed the cooked mayo., I will have to tell my mom that her recipe is getting around the country. I have no idea where she got the recipe from, I will have to ask her.
Sorry I didn't answer your comment on the cooking blog, I didn't see it until today for some reason.
I haven't posted anything on there for ages as I have been so busy with my art classes, etc.. I will have to get back on that.
Your flat Stanley story made me laugh, glad he is having a good visit in Canada, great place for him to summer in.
Have a good day.

Contessa said...

My goodness you have been busy. It boggles my mind all you get done. Your home and garden areas are very inviting, wish I could just drop in for tea. I will be sure to on the Isla!! You lead a very full and exciting life. Wish I had a fraction of your energy.

suna said...

love your edible landscape.