Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall

We dearly enjoyed our last weekend of warm weather, playing in our boat, going for a dip in the lake, and walking in the sunshine. And just like that it was over. Sunday night, Fall blew in on a blustery storm, sending Summer scurrying. The weather has been chilly ever since. This past Sunday we went for a walk to the beach and it couldn't have contrasted more with the Sunday before. We were wrapped in coats with mitts and toques in the drizzly rain. This morning we woke to -5c outside and a heavy frost. The furnace is now on (I was hoping to make it to October, but when it is 15c inside and not warming up, it was time to cave).
Before the last frost, we picked all of our September strawberries. We had tons of large, sweet berries. Somehow Kesten ended up eating most of them.
And now that the colder weather is here, I am starting to think about knitting again. I have some yarn in the mail, with which I hope to make Kesten's Halloween costume. Expect a new pattern sometime next week. And I am considering knitting a cardigan for myself. What knitting projects are you working on?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

This Party Called Summer is Almost Over

One weekend left! One more glorious weekend of hot weather and then Autumn temperatures will be here with a vengeance. We've been trying to make the most of this bonus Summer. Bike rides, beaches, and backyard playing have been the activities of the week. And while out on those bike rides, I have noticed the leaves turning colour. We also spotted a bear, another sign that Autumn in here.
 After the bear sighting, we decided to bring in the apple harvest. We don't want to draw them into our neighbourhood! So after supper last night, all 3 of us headed into the yard to begin the harvest.







Kesten began by helping, pulling apples off and throwing them into the box. This slowly disintegrated and soon he we throwing all the apples out of the box. By the time we got out the second box for apples, he climbed right in for easier access and proceeded to toss the apples out as fast as we could put them in! But after all that, we managed to get all the apples picked. Soon we will have apple butter, apple pies, and apple juice (but I might just wait until the weather cools down first).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This is a post about food...

Oh food, how I love thee! I have been busy this past August and September trying to make the most of all the food that is growing in abundance around me. Jams, jellies, canning, and freezing have been taking up a lot of my time. But along with all the preserving has come some nibbling (read: gobbling) and taste testing of all those preserves. I have especially been enjoying the wide selection of jam that I stockpiled this year. Since it is hard to choose just one flavour, I had wild raspberry and nectarine jam on my farmer's market bread this morning.


The next bounty I am working on preserving is my tomatoes. I have never had such an abundance of tomatoes since moving here! They are doing wonderfully! So right now I am making a pasta sauce with them to freeze and eat with my homemade pasta (once I get around to grinding my flour). Both my older chickens are laying now, so I will have enough eggs to make pasta when the time comes.
 Home grown garlic, onions, oregano, and thyme also went in the sauce.
 The only thing not from my garden is the salt I added.
 It is still bubbling away, thickening up. I can hardly wait to eat my meal entirely from scratch!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Leaf Printing

 While at my sister's house, we decided to try a Japanese leaf printing craft that we saw on Alys Fowler's Edible Garden (around 22:15 minute mark). First we collected a variety of leaves and flowers. Nothing dry, there must be a lot of moisture in them for it to work. Beautiful colours and interesting shapes work well. (Unfortunately, the oak leaves pictured here did not work at all!)
 Next, we folded the leaves and flowers between natural fabrics. The fabric has to be natural so the dye will take. With that on a cutting board, we hammered away.  The goal is to smash the juices out of the plants.
 Here you can see the dyes coming through the fabric while it is still folded over.
Next we opened up our creations to see what we came up with. Pansies and fern leaves worked really well, as did rose, marigold, and calendula petals. When they were dry, we ironed them to set the dye as best we could. I don't think they'll hold up to multiple washings though. Maybe if we had prepared the fabric with a mordant or something first. But they would make cute jam jar covers or things like that.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Egg Number Two


...Was a big improvement! 

Egg number two is on the right. Look how much bigger it is.
 And it is smooth like a real egg should be. Well done, Eggatha.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Last Dregs of Summer

I know, I know! I've been away from the blog for awhile! But I have a good excuse. I have been gone the last two weeks, visiting family and friends and spending very little time on computers. But now that I am back, I will fill you in on my holiday.

For the first week, we went to the beautiful town on Nakusp to visit my sister Jaimie and her family. Her son, Parker is just about 6 months older than my boy and it was so much fun to see them together! Here is Parker, feeding Kesten breakfast. He took good care of him. We picked wild blackberries and the boys loved having them for breakfast!
 While I was in Nakusp, my sister and I pursued many culinary endeavours. First it was plum jam from plums in her garden, then tomato sauce from her very own tomatoes.
 We also harvested her spuds, one of my favourite gardening activities.
 Next we experimented by making sauerkraut. What fun that was! We used her very own home-grown cabbage and carrots too!




The Sauerkraut is happily fermenting away. I can hardly wait to try it!
 Next a stop in Kamloops for my really good friends' wedding. I was honoured to be a bridesmaid on their big day. What fun their wedding was! I really miss living close to them!

And the last stop of our trip was West Kelowna to have a family reunion. I got to meet my older sister's new baby and she got to meet Kesten for the first time. Three sisters and we each had a baby boy. Gotta love the symmetry of that!


 What a cutie that little Wyatt is! After my sisters left, we spent some time visiting friends and mountain biking and making nectarine jam. It was such a nice holiday and so nice to get back home too.
Waiting for me at home were a whole bunch of ripe tomatoes. I would have had even more too, but the slugs are getting at them. I am going to make a small batch of pasta sauce with these, so I can eat it with the pasta that I make from scratch with my own wheat and eggs. It will be a meal totally from scratch! Muahahaha!
Annnnndddddd....Drumroll please.... Today I found the first egg in the chicken coop. Laid by one of the Wyandottes! It is a classic first egg too- teeny tiny, soft-ish shell, and many weird cracks. They'll get bigger and better as the chicken gets more experience laying.


Look at this size comparison. On the right is a typical chicken egg from the grocery store. On the left is the teeny egg from my pullet. Ha!
Hopefully I am back in business with eggs again! It has been awhile! (And don't those sunflowers look pretty? I love them!)
So that is that! It is still hot here, in the twenties, and I can't really believe that Summer is over and the kids are back in school. Where did time go?
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