Friday, September 30, 2016

Busy in the kitchen

Yeah, as if my week hasn't been busy enough... I made potato buns yesterday (I CANNOT throw out the water when I boil potatoes. It makes the most delicious soft buns you can possibly imagine). I had to make homemade buns, because they need to be made into sandwiches for a road trip, with the turkey I roasted earlier this week. (I had to cook a turkey, because we're going to be travelling on Thanksgiving Day.) 



My potato bun recipe is loosely based on Jean Pare's
"Awesome Potato Rolls" in her Company's Coming "Breads" cookbook


If I receive a significant number of requests in the comment section (1 or more),
I will happily post the recipe. 

I have the First Edition;
it's quite beat-up, as a favourite cookbook should be. 

Second Edition, Available at Amazon 


Yesterday, I also made Salsa Cruda (raw salsa). I suppose I could post this on a Raw Organic Vegan Gluten-free website, because the salsa is pretty much all of the above. But then again, I could not, because there is no recipe. It was one of those "Enough for Your Family" recipes, where you make it up as you go along. I can tell you that it contained chopped tomatoes, red onion, green pepper, red pepper, avocado, cilantro, two crushed garlic cloves, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, chili powder, and black pepper. But not the amounts, sorry. It tasted ok, but I thought something was missing. Not sure what. I'll keep experimenting. The kids liked it though, and it certainly was healthy enough. So there's that. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Like that Oscar Wilde guy might have said...


...if he had been into vegetable gardening: 

We are all in the tomato tray...

But some of us are looking at the stars.

This fellow is my 2016 candidate for the Vegetable Oddities file.
.

Blogging is sketchy because... tomatoes


Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful--grateful, I tell you, that we can grow so much of our own food, in such a small area of land, in such a short growing season. But it's a lot of work.

Some of the 2016 Tomato Harvest
(we grew 5 varieties this year)

Mr P. had to build extra bins in the cold storage room.

The ripening trays

The little plum tomatoes that had to be taken off green because frost was threatening. 

Yet another box of plums, this one in the furnace room.

Every day I check all the boxes and bins for ripe or ripening tomatoes,
and bring them upstairs for processing. 

My turkey roaster full of salsa, ready to go in the oven.

It yielded 7.5 quarts of salsa. Which was a huge pain to process by canning (more on that story later).

I've also cooked up batches of pasta sauce, and we've processed many, many tomatoes for freezing. It helps when you have kids willing to peel and chop tomatoes.
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How to write a best-selling book



Well, if I knew that, I wouldn't be sitting here, all poor and obscure, would I? In my 20-odd years of freelance writing (and most of them have been very odd, indeed), I've penned hundreds of thousands of words. Some of them have even taken the shape of books, but only theoretically and/or germinally--that is, they still languish in Word files, and have not been bound and printed for sale. (One or two are even fiction, but something tells me I'm never going to give J.K.Rowling a run for her money.)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Every time I think I've seen it all


Something comes along to befuddle me. Such as a grownup colouring book that features, not something lovely and relaxing (the whole purpose of adult colouring books)...

Available at Amazon. As if.
...but ugly, hideous, stressful, depressing clutter. It boggles the mind. Those of us who suffer from hoarder-like tendencies, and poor housekeeping skills (--oh Freudian slip! I almost typed poor housekeeping kills) don't want to be reminded of our weaknesses when we're trying to relax and de-stress.

Why don't they just make a colouring book of a bedbug infestation, or the Black Hole of Calcutta? Ye gods.

If you must colour a house, then why not one of these?






And if you must colour clutter, then let it be neatly organized and terribly cute.


I want this, Mrs Beazly!
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Saturday, September 17, 2016

So about that saddle...



I forgot to mention it wasn't actually on a horse, metaphorically or otherwise. It was more like this:



When I go back and read the previous post, I have to laugh at the part about writing "every day." Good heavens, life has been so crazy that it took me two weeks to get back here and check for comments (and Yessssss! There was a comment!).

Actually, I have been writing every day, but emails, texts, journal/diary entries, and correcting your children's grammar and spelling don't really count. Since I've been on hiatus from most of my professional writing jobs for a good two years, it's incredible --and rather depressing-- how difficult it has been to get back in the habit. Why are bad habits (like overeating or watching too much HGTV) always easier to form than good habits?

Let us ponder this is future posts. Let us hope that there will be future posts.
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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Back in the Saddle

Miss P #7 horseback riding in Cypress Hills Park, SK

Where did the summer go? I ask that every year, and the answer is always the same: I don't know. My summer was full. So full that it may take years to write about it. But here it is, September 1. Back to School season (though as a homeschooler, I get to choose the day, and it's not today. I never start school before the Labour Day weekend).

But I am resuming blogging, if for no other purpose than to practice some personal discipline, and to get back in the habit of writing every day. The word of the month is discipline, and I'm going to need it, in order to survive September. School and harvest don't always mix.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Well, Daughters, that ol' birthday will be rolling around again soon...




And this way, I can get at least seven hits on this post. So here's a partial list. I'm not greedy, I just like to give you lots of variety to choose from.

The exquisite Nordic Ware "Heritage" Bundt pan. Available here


Le Cuistot Vieille 8L Oval Dutch Oven (Red).
Available AND ON SALE RIGHT NOW! (no pressure) here. 

Cuisinart 3 Qt Dutch Oven (blue)
Available here. 


Cool plant stand from IKEA. Available…where else?

The Moody Blues' best album.
 Amazon (or elsewhere if you can find it cheaper. Or at all.)


Yeah, that's really what it costs.
(But hey, it's come down. It was $47 when I put it on my Wish List.)


Available pretty much everywhere.
(Should I publicly admit that I haven't read this book yet? )



Yep.




All my life I've longed for one of these…
Amazon again.  (Some cheese knives would be nice too.)








And so would some cheese! You know that I like everything, especially Brie.





Wine and chocolate are also perfectly acceptable birthday gifts.



 


And then there's... 
Because my capacity for self-delusion KNOWS NO BOUNDS
(If I'd lost a pound for every dollar I've spent on fitness clothing, equipment, and DVDs… )
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Friday, May 13, 2016

Yep, the weather knows it's Friday the 13th.

I woke up to a yard covered in frost. And yesterday it was snowing. Which wouldn't be quite so surreal if it hadn't been +30 C (86 F) a week ago. Last week, I mowed the lawn; now I have to wait for it to thaw out. Climate change indeed. 


 My hot pink Geranium is pushing out more blooms. 
I'll have to take solace in that until things start blooming outside. 



Clever marketing or FALSE ADVERTISING?

I say the latter. It's moderately disappointing to grab the jar from the fridge thinking you're going to get real mayo on your sandwich, only to find that you accidentally bought knock-off Miracle Whip. And LIGHT on top of it all (which means it's half water)! 

I say it's devious labelling. My daughters say, "Mom, when you're shopping for groceries, WEAR YOUR READING GLASSES."