Saturday, October 15, 2016

FREE, nutrient-dense, WILD FOOD!!!!

jambaloney was in to work yesterday - he had a great day! and got us FREE, nutrient-packed wild food!

as he normally works in the day, he sees the lobster and crab boats come in all the time and he loves watching the operation and learning new things. since the tuna boats only come in at night - he's never seen the tuna operation before. that changed yesterday when a tuna boat came in carrying a 400lb atlantic bluefin tuna - can you believe that!?!?!?

the boat pulls in the harbour and they use a big winch-thing to lift it out of the boat - have a look:

because the plant sells the tuna commercially, they remove and discard the head, tail and all organ meat. jambaloney couldn't believe that no one wanted the organ meat - NOTHING is more precious on a wild animal than the organ meat!!! one of the guys asked if he wanted the heart and steaks from the head and tail. you can imagine jambaloney trying not to jump out of his own shoes. then buddy gave him the heart, 2 steaks from the head and 6 steaks from the tail...and we are not talking small steaks!!!! pictured below is the deep red heart in the middle and flanking the heart are 2 ginormic steaks from the head. the 6 steaks from the tail are all around the plate.

have you ever seen such beautiful red meat? a bunch of you who raise and slaughter your own animals would know - but this tuna was caught and processed in under 8 hours and after it was caught, was killed immediately, and then kept on ice until the boat got into harbour. jambaloney was so excited to have been there to have watched and these guys know what they are doing!

of course, we had to try some raw right away! the steaks from the head and tail are a lot fattier than the fillets that are used in sushi but hey - we aren't about to kick a gift horse in the mouth! the raw tuna with just a little salt was divine and waaaaay better than the thinner, less fatty fillets.  then of course, we tried half a steak grilled on the bbq and half pan-fried in butter.

holy moly! talk about kick-you-in-the-face calcium and iron overdose!!! what does it taste like? how about really, really, strong, fatty, gamey moose meat combined with a pasture-fed cow's beautiful liver and kidney. a little goes a long way and that is fantastic for us as we are cutting down our meat consumption and wild, free nutrient-dense tuna fresh-caught from our beautiful ocean by our friends and jambaloney's colleagues - wow! double wow! that tuna is gonna last all winter long!

i gotta run now. we've gotta go lay down - bahahahah!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

thanksgiving storm 2016

whoa! what a storm! 225mm of rain in 2 days, 110km wind gusts and 39,000 people on the island without power!

here is strachan's brook a few days ago...

and after all the rain:

we lost our power on monday night and got it back this afternoon at 4:30. we also lost the phone yesterday afternoon but got it, and our internet back this afternoon. there are still people without power/phone but the good folks at nova scotia power are working around the clock.

and it pays to be prepared kids!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

more framboise manor thanksgiving traditions and tips...and welcome to our boneyard!

our mornings in october start out like this:

very cool. lots of fog and mist. you need your pants, socks and sweater. and the hottub. ahhh the hottub is awesome on coool mornings. but the days quickly turn into this. bright, blue and hot...and you get a treat - rip yer clothes off and suntan - woohoo!

yes, we sunstroked ourselves again. but we also had our thanksgiving dinner. here's a tip - when removing your turkey from the pan to the tray - try not to let it fall apart in your hands!

here's the framboise manor traditional turkey dinner - it's a lot of food on a plate but man is it good!

on the left top to bottom - brussel sprouts that are steamed for exactly 6 minutes and then fried in butter for another 3 or 4 mins - don't be shy with the butter! i plated this wrong as the carrots and beets are in the middle on the left but they blend together - underneath the sprouts are purple haze carrots - steamed and then mixed with butter and honey. the beets were steamed and mixed with ginger and ton of pepper. under those are turnip, steamed, mixed with a ton of butter and maple syrup.

middle of the plate, my cranberry/pear/ginger/pepper sauce and 2 scoops of potatoes mashed with more butter. right side of the plate - turkey - i cook mine breast-side down for one half of the cooking time and then flip it for the rest of the time. trust me - it makes all the difference. and of course stuffing! and gravy made from the drippings. we gorged ourselves and then cried and moaned all afternoon. it was awesome and we'll be repeating this at our friend c&b's tomorrow - bahahahah!

so you all have been wondering what's hiding behind our berm in the backyard. well wonder no longer. here is the berm looking all innocent.

and here is the little doorway/pathway into the magical forest.

what's in there, you ask? we call it the boneyard.

basically, it's where jambaloney collects his junk. whenever he finds junk he proudly shows it to me and i tell him to put it in the boneyard. then whenever we are working on a project - he'll say - wait! i have the perfect thing in the boneyard! then he'll go and get said thing with a really proud look on his face - arghghg. but it works. i guess.

more junk. but we already know how we are going to use this junk next year.

there's a little path that he made inside the boneyard.

and that's where we get these.

the most awesome blackberries known to man. they just grow. we don't do anything to them. free food people.

as you can see - we've been picking them since early august. we have a freezer full of these babies. but they are on their second run.

delicious, beautiful and free food. we had them for dessert after our thanksgiving meal. with nothing else. our dessert was a handfull of free berries. from our land. all the while feeling grace.

you don't get more thanksgiving than that.

Friday, October 7, 2016

framboise manor thanksgiving traditions and tips

our indian summer has been incredibly lovely this year.

the beavers who moved into strachan's brook for several years have left for higher paying jobs in the city. here is a close-up look at all of the dead trees that they left in their wake:

canadian thanksgiving is this sunday. we normally celebrate american thanksgiving because we are invited out every year - to our besties c&b's house and also to our bro c&g's house.

this year - our thanksgiving with our besties is going to be even more special than usual. usually we have dinner with our besties and their son and daughter who call us their second parents - isn't that awesome? we love their kids, s & d. anyway, this thanksgiving is extra special because d and another of our friends k, are pregnant. they are expecting a baby girl at the end of december. so we are celebrating the birth of a new baby and our other friends k and b, who are k's parents, are also invited. jambaloney gets to see b when he goes into work but i haven't seen k for a few years. so our thanksgiving dinner this year is going to be especially special.

we'll be celebrating with our bro and sis c&g by taking them down to the beach next week. we are having a beautiful indian summer this week and it looks like it will hold out for next week too. our bro and sis have just moved down full-time and we want to welcome them with a special beach picnic. we love our bro and sis.

anyway - on to framboise manor thanksgiving traditions and tips. first not pick the hottest day of all of october to start your thanksgiving meal....we know this because we did this yesterday and by the afternoon, were soooo sunstroked that we turned the turkey off in the oven and went to bed - bad mistake. we slept for 4 straight hours!!! and then got up today and finished making our turkey dinner...more on that in another post.

but for starters - one of our biggest traditions here at the manor is proper stuffing. and by proper, i mean proper. stale sourdough bread that you roast in the oven with EVOO, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. once those are toasted and cooled - you pop them back in the oven with more oil, butter, salt and pepper, onion, garlic and fresh sage, thyme and rosemary. like this:

once all of that is roasted, separate the croutons from the spices.

chop the roasted spices.

add the spices back into the croutons.

now here's the exciting part. when your croutons and spices are roasting....cook up some onions and mushrooms. add celery, pear and cranberry. yummeh!

add that into your croutons and spices.

next up is your brown and wild rice.

add a couple of splashes of your homemade broth and you have stuffing. you want that stuffing made and sitting for several hours before putting it in the turkey.

so the morning that you are planning on cooking your turkey, you want to make the stuffing pronto. once it's made - it's time for turkey day breakfast soup - oh yes!!!!

some butter and EVOO in a pan:

drop in your turkey neck:

next up - your bag of giblets:

chop them up and add them to the neck:

some chopped celery:

apint of home-made bone broth:

a sprig of parsley:

framboise manor thanksgiving morning breakfast soup! we love it!

next up - framboise manor cranberry sauce - this is some good stuff kids! you start with 3/4 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. once the sugar/water/salt is boiling drop in a litre of fresh cranberries.

you want to keep it at a boil for about 4-5 mins....listen to the cranberries - they'll be popping. you want it to look like this.

once it looks like that - the excitement begins. chop up 2 beautiful pears, 2 cloves, a tspn of cinammon, a tblspn a fresh-crushed ginger and tom-pile of pepper.

stir it around until it looks like this.

then set it aside to cool. you can eat it hot or you can serve it cold - we like it cold.

you can use this sauce like a jam on toast, cakes, pancakes or on ice cream - it's to die for!

we woke up to this this morning.

we got cracking, finished cooking our turkey, made all the sides, it took us all morning but we were eating our thanksgiving dinner at noon. now we are stuffed and moaning and going outside for only 20 minutes at a time. it's soooo blue and sunny and we don't want to sunstroke ourselves again - bahahahah! but we'll get our mats and go do our stretches, do odd jobs around the house and yard...and enjoy another brilliant summer day in october.

thank you october!

for any canadians out there - Happy Thanksgiving! thanksgiving is our favourite holiday....i am sure you can figure out why! (if you can't - it's because it's a last blast of summer...and a time to give thanks. something we try and do every day. and it's not hard when you live in a paradise of 6 months of winter and 6 months of biting bugs - bahahahahah! xoxox)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

october 1, 2016....there will never be another one!

wow! october. and we are just getting our indian summer. we get it every year. a full week of weather that starts with cold nights, cold mornings and then almost summer-like days - such a nice treat with autumn right around the corner. jambaloney went fishing for striped bass/mackeral...

no striped bass or mackeral this time...

no worries - we still have a ton of beautiful wild fish in the freezer but he did manage to win my love again for eternity:

(eternity only lasts until i get my next mussel fix!). jambaloney only ate 2 mussels...he's not terribly fond of them. me? i scarfed that plate back like a madwoman!!! i love my shellfish!!!

we made a ginormic pizza.

the crust was very foccacia-like with lots of air holes and quite chewy and gooey.

we topped it with EVOO, crushed garlic, oregano and basil from the garden. pizza tip for all of you - after you have spread your sauce whether it be EVOO-based or tomatoe-based: always add a little mozzarella before any of your additional toppings - you'll thank me later! then we added fresh-grated parmesan, goat cheese, a little goat feta, then tomatoe slices fresh off the vine and green and black olives. followed by more goat mozzarella, goat cheese, goat feta and parmesan - it was a delight!

speaking of delights - how about planting your own garlic seed from garlic that you saved yourself in a bed of beautiful, rich loamy dirt full of decomposed seaweed and comfrey??? i know - yummeh!

how about planting another whole bed of it?

how about we planted about 260 garlics??? woohoo! we were high-fiving each other for hours. what can i say? we don't go to restauraunts, movies, clubs, etc. and the only time we go to town is when we absolutely HAVE TO!!! so we have to find our entertainment in other places - bahahahahah!

in other, more sad news.....jambaloney needs the plastic from the tomatoe cages to finish putting up the insulation in the basement. as it is october was time to pick the last of the tomatoes. here are my sad-looking tomatoe plants after i stripped them:

and a free shot of the rat cat (edgar). he is finally growing his hair in, he is the stumpiest little cat ever and he weighs about 80lbs!!!!

i was able to part with my tomatoe plants because of this:

that's only one half of the greenhouse - there's more tomatoe plants on the other half - woohoo! fresh tomatoes until at least the end of october!!!

today was a bit of an odd day - bright and sunny early this morning and then turned to queer and cloudy - it was still a beautiful day!

here's the last of the beautiful, ripe tomatoes from our plants.

they'll be turned into our favourite pasta for tomorrow night's supper. and here's the last of the "turning tomatoes" that should ripen over the next week.

and here's all of the tiny greens.

they will either ripen in the next few weeks or they'll be added to last year's bag of frozen green tomatoes to make chow with. waste not, want not, kids.

although we have frozen more blackberries than we can possibly eat - they are still coming in like gangbusters so we eat about this many a day and have for the past month.

and then - lo and behold! jambaloney saw a woman at the side of the road, picking something. he smiled and waved at her and then went back to check on whatever it was she was doing.

HUCKLEBERRIES! and a ton of them!!! guess what we're doing tomorrow??? your guessed it! going and getting a ton of huckleberries!!! apparently they make great wine and since we plan to try our hand at wine-making this winter - finding these free berries is a goldmine. we're big believers in gathering as much free food as we can!!!

my blogroll is still wonky...actually, it's just gone. a big thank you to 1st Man for trying to help me get it back. but it looks like i am just going to have to add all of our favourite blogs by hand...which i will do in the next few days. if you want to be listed in our blogroll and you have 5 mins to leave a comment with your blog name - that would be great!!!