Monthly Archives: September 2010

Little Village

Sometimes, particularly when I have other things I should be doing, I have a strong urge to create something. It is really best to yield to the urge, or it won’t go away, so when I found myself inexplicably needing to make some tiny papier-mâché houses, there was nothing I could do but follow it through. These are real papier-mâché, as in paper pulp, from recycled paper. This little town reminds me of some toys we had when we were little, and also the tiny wooden houses we used to paint at Christmas. So, there you have it. Now maybe I can get on to the things I should be doing, though if I’m honest this was so much fun I feel like playing some more…

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Fall Colours

Some fall colours: purple asters, red berries, scarlet leaves…..

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Cracking Crackers

I tried my hand at making some crackers yesterday. Started out by following a recipe but quickly realized I didn’t have all the ingredients, so I made up my own.

Here it is:

1 cups of  whole wheat flour

1 cup white flour

1/4 wheat germ

1 tsp salt

some carraway seeds for flavour

Mix in 1/4 cup oil and enough water to make a dough. Knead for five minutes. Roll out very thin and cut into rounds or squares. Place on ungreased cooky sheet. Bake, turning,  at 400 until brown on both sides. Don’t forget about them. (The ones in the photo are actually from a second batch as I ate all the others, and I must admit I left them just a little too long, but they are still edible.)

And that’s that. I’m now interested in trying  a few more variations.

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Canning Tomatoes!

This weekend, for the first time ever, I canned some tomatoes (some of my own included). This has been something I have been wanting to do for ages, but have never tried. during the winter, it is quite easy to get by on mainly local vegetables but it never seems possible to manage without canned tomatoes so we always wind up buying them. Of course, my canning efforts are nowhere near the amount we need. Maybe I’ll make more, but even if I don’t at least it’s a start. I canned a little over 10 lbs of diced tomatoes which turned into 9 500 ml jars. As I guide I used this blog post. The only issue I had was that once processed I found that the contents of the jars were separated, with liquid on the bottom and tomatoes on top. I did some reading and found that this happens if you have preheated the tomatoes for two long. I didn’t know this was a potential issue, but I’m not completely sure I did that. Another problem may have been that I peeled and chopped some of the tomatoes the day before, and kept them overnight in the fridge. Fortunately, though they don’t look as good all you have to do it shake the jars before using.

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Food For The Freezer

Last year we did a great job freezing local vegetables for the winter. Unfortunately, this year, what with all the coming and going from one house to the other, we haven’t! So today I braved torrential rain to go to the Friday market with the express purpose of buying food to freeze.  I bought, a large box of tomatoes, two broccoli, three zucchini, a bag of spinach, a bag of peas,  two red peppers, two green peppers and four ears of corn. Oh, and a box of peaches. I’m going to spend the rest of the rainy day preparing all this for the freezer. Hopefully I will be able to repeat this for a few weeks to make up for our poor show this summer!

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The Herb Garden Grows

During the summer at Good Cheer I started a little herb garden in front of the house. I have big plans that involve several beds of flowers and herbs, and a rock wall, to provide some interest to the front of the house (and for use in cooking, of course). I began by digging a “deep bed” which is unbelievably hard work. Especially as I chose some hot summer days to do it. I transplanted some chives and rooted a bit of sage I found elsewhere on the property. The sage was tricky as this should really be done in the spring and as the cutting has next to no roots it is hard for it to survive hot weather, especially when I’m away for a week at a time and unable to water it. Only one of my three survived.

I also stuck in some sorrel, which grows all over the lawn, just to fill up a bit of space. My aunt and uncle kindly brought a few more herbs over so now I’ve got Lemon Balm, Thyme, Golden Oregano and Chamomile! At first I was a little worried that my planting should be more organized but….life is long, so I’ll just bung things in where there is space. With a sprinkling of flowers it should look charmingly rustic, if nothing else!

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Table!

Remember I said we were building a table?? Well, we finished it ages ago but I have not been very good about taking pictures. Even now I don’t have great shots but I thought I’d at least post something to prove that we did it. It is very sturdy, if not perfectly straight, and we love it.

Putting it together.

Unfinished.

Finished.

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