Category Archives: Baking

The move is on the back burner, but the garden prospers

Well after months of looking for that perfect piece of land in the country, and not finding anything within an hour commute for my husband, the move is on the back-burner for the time being. Maybe in the fall, if, of course all the painting, fence building, kitchen sink replaced, kitchen counters sanded down and refinished again. Well husband works on his list, I fiddle-faddle in the garden, well, I will be jam making, pie making, canning vegetables, freezing vegetables, and every once in a while I will dust the inside of the house. The other day, hubby swept the side porch of all the twigs and branches Bear loves to chew and tear apart. Then said to me, if I saw a leaf/branch etc. on the porch could I please pick it up? Well didn’t laughter ensue. “Have you seen the inside of the house dear? The 3 inch layer of dust in the living room? If I’m not dusting hun, chances are very slim some leaf will be picked up!”  (In my defence, with all the work he is doing inside the house, the dust he creates, well what’s the point right now?).

My rhubarb did fabulous this year. I made my first strawberry rhubarb pie, and even though it did make a mess on the bottom of my oven (thank goodness we barbecue all summer, because I don’t see me cleaning at the moment), it tasted fabulous, so fabulous I had to give half of it to my best friend, I couldn’t stop eating pie for breakfast, lunch, then supper.

Fresh picked rhubarbrhubarb pie

My herbs are growing exceptionally well. I have already dried quite a bit of thyme, and am pretty sure I will not run out of it this winter. Sadly the nasty chipmunk started to eat my rosemary of all things, so out came the chicken wire!

Rosemary

Rosemary herbThyme
thyme

Oregano and chives

Oregano and chives

Lemon Balm

lemon balm

The squirrels decided my potatoes were tasty, so I nailed down more chicken wire which stopped them in their tracks. The potatoes are now growing wonderfully and I should have a nice early crop in a few weeks. Most I will leave for the fall, then store for the winter.potatoes

My elderberry bush we transplanted last year, is growing fine and along came this beautiful Elderberry Longhorn Beetle. Elderberry Longhorn Beetle

Our two mulberry bushes are producing a lot of fruit this year. After trying to gather the berries by using first a pillow case, we decided it was much easier to just lay down tarp and shake the tree. Mulberry jam coming up.

picking mulberriesusing a tarp to catch mulberries shaking from our treeI am also growing broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, lettuce, celery, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, radishes, yellow and green beans, pole beans, snow peas, cucumber, green onions, acorn squash and watermelon.

broccoli, brussel sprouts, beets, lettucepotatoes squash snow peas (800x450)pole beans in string maze (528x800)first zucchini of the year (667x800)hot peppersbanana pepperstomatoesOn the other side of the yard are the flower gardens, far too many to add though. We do make sure we have lots of milkweed for the Butterflies.milkweed

Lastly one of our many flower pots filled with flowers, I thought would good look together.flower pot of flowers

I hope you enjoyed viewing a small portion of our gardens, I certainly enjoy spending my mornings digging in the dirt.

Our trash can turkey for Thanksgiving 2015

For the past few years we have been baking our Thanksgiving turkey in a trash can. Sounds weird and WTF, right? Here it is in pictures:

Basted turkey

The turkey has been basted and is ready to be baked.

The turkey has been placed in a wire contraption my husband made out of clothes hangers. This will enable the turkey to be hung on the stake.

The turkey has been placed in a wire contraption my husband made out of clothes hangers. This will enable the turkey to be hung on the stake.

The turkey is hung and being watched by our Beagle Cocoa.

The turkey is hung and being watched by our Beagle Cocoa.

Bear watching the hung turkey as my husband lays foil on the ground.

Bear watching the hung turkey as my husband lays foil on the ground.

The trash can has been placed over the turkey, charcoal is surround the can, and on top of the can.

The trash can has been placed over the turkey, charcoal is surrounding the can, and placed on top of the can.

The charcoal is raked off the top of the trash can, and surrounding area on the ground.

The charcoal is raked off the top of the trash can, and surrounding area on the ground.

The trash can has been lifted and voila we have a baked turkey.

The trash can has been lifted and voila we have a baked turkey.

The young man carefully lifts the turkey off the stake.

The young man carefully lifts the turkey off the stake.

Our trash can turkey is ready to be carved and served.

Our trash can turkey is ready to be carved and served.

My life with chronic pain, dogs, and Master Baking

Life has been a roller coaster of pain lately, with Bursitis now in my hip, sitting, which was already quite difficult for any length of time, is now almost impossible for more than a few minutes without having to take more medication. It has left me quite depressed, not really wanting to do anything.

Making life more painful, has been my insistence on taking the dogs for a walk in the dog park (though I have lost quite a bit of weight which is a bonus). It was not too bad walking on the snow, but then it melted, and refroze. Left were deep ruts in the ice, making it extremely hard, and actually dangerous to walk on, yet I did, then paid for it with having to lay on the couch covered in ice pads and heating pads.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of both middle child and the young man home for six days. Each were on spring break at the same time. It was wonderful to have them home but then reality set it…laundry, the tank of gas that lasts a month for hubby and I now vanished. It seems I have become used to the empty nest, the quietness, and my own slow but steady routine. With the kids home, I was reminded how there was no food in the refrigerator when actually there was, but nothing to their liking. How I now had to buy skim milk for the young man, almond milk for middle child, numerous juices, since one container seemed to disappear in a day.

Then they left and what happened? I missed them. It was about a week after they left that the young man Skyped with his mom and dad. He doesn’t Skype very often since his internet connection is not very stable. The conversation was awesome, but I was very tired, and with exhaustion comes fibro brain, meaning I mess up words, can’t find the words I need to complete a sentence, or I mispronounce. As I was explaining to the young man, how I made English muffins, he didn’t really seem to care because as he told me, he doesn’t like English muffins, and will therefore never make them. The next thing that happens is I ask why he doesn’t want to be “Master Baking”, and both he and my husband break out in laughter. I’m lost, until they explain that it sounded as if I had said I wanted him to become, like his mom “Master” at “Masturbation”. Personally I didn’t see it, but they laughed and laughed. Conclusion, mom should not have conversations when she is tired.

It’s been over two years since my husband starting renovating the bathroom. Well, actually it was my idea, and the eldest daughter said she would do most of the work but then she started working. The bathroom was left a mess, and it was now up to my husband to finish what we had started.  I wanted subway tiles to cover all the walls, so after much disagreement, and me holding out for my design, hubby finally relented and the tiling began. It took well over a thousand tiles to cover all the walls, before he finished. The grouting was done, fixtures were put back in place. We still have to decide how the shelves will be done. More tiling, wallpaper, or paint? This decision may take another few months. Thankfully we have the upstairs bathroom for showers. We can still use the sink and toilet in the bathroom, but there is no towel rack, so towels are just thrown here and there after washing one’s hands.

This has been my life lately.