Wednesday, January 11, 2017

a boring update

it's been grey and then grey some more!

thank goodness for fruit salad in the morning with cilantro just to give you the extra boost you need!

some women expect that when their man leaves for the day, that when he arrives home, he should have a gift. perhaps chocolate, perhaps some roses, perhaps a new diamond something????

me? in the beginning of january i can't think of a better gift than some fresh dill!

that dill was put into a special vase on my brand new lazy susan and it is the most beautiful centrepiece!

when The Man brings you dill and his Greek ancestors are calling (he has NO greek ancestors btw) then you have to break out the hummus, the tzaziki, the parsley salad, cucumber salad, kaftas and grilled veg! him and his greek ancestors (he has NO greek ancestors) would settle for nothing less!

and on his latest excursion into town he found a pile of ground lamb on sale. he knows how much i love lamb.

i made a tiny but proper shepherd's pie using lamb....won't be making that mistake again! it's soooo much better with beef!

we are up to our eyeballs in the worst part of winter..we have 4 cats in this tiny house and all of them are suffering from depression...but we are the types who bear the good with the bad. we'll be singing and dancing nekked come april...oh you know we will - bahahahahha!

hoping you all are making it through this long winter ok! and sending love!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

5 days in and 2017 is looking good!

so far, for us at least, 2017 is looking very promising! even though since 2017 began, we have already had 2 major storms that kind of fizzled by the time they got to us. here's a pic of a few days ago:

not a terrible amount of snow and actually quite pretty! but sorry snow - some rainy, foggy, above zero days does this to snow:

that's a pic from this morning - snow all gone! woohoo! so far, this winter has been usual. temps either normal or below normal and still no staying snow - another woohoo!

my friend TB, who writes for the blog The Forty-Five has had some interesting posts lately that have got me thinking. in one of his posts here he thanks all of his readers and commenters for returning, whether regularly or not, whether commenting or not, but for just being there and reading. i thought it was a wonderful thing to do (say, or rather, type). so to all of you who are our dear friends, online or in "real", regular commenters (like Sweet Sandy, TB himself, Mr. Flashman and if the post is right - PioneerPreppy among many others!), frequent commenters (like Dani, Susan, Fiona and a bunch of others!), sometimes commenters (i'm talking to you Deb Harvey!), friendly lurkers (thanks guys!), not so friendly lurkers (and you know who you are. maybe you should get lives perhaps!) and of course those dang pesky Russian hackers, jambaloney and i say thank you very much!

(written with the beautiful fountain pen that i got from my good friend Ed last year. thank you again Ed! you can read more about the beautiful, hand-made pen from Ed here.)

at this point i know that my friend TB is probably blushing! but even though i haven't been keeping up with blogging and commenting lately (i know - my BAD!), i still do read all of your new posts if you are listed in our blogroll. our favourite blogs are listed there and i try to stay on top of everyone's new posts. even if i don't comment - please know that i keep up with you all and forgive me for not always commenting. i so enjoy reading about what you are all doing, thinking about, eating, who you are spending time with, magazine/book/movie reviews....all of it. the people listed in our blogroll are very interesting people and if you haven't already checked them out - you really should. and if you would like to be listed in our blogroll - send me a link to your blog and i will check you out and see if you fit our required profile of homesteader, wanna be a homesteader one day, gardener, survivalist, prepper, nut-case, weirdo, fisherman, and/or someone who just loves life. you will definitely get a spot in our blogroll if you are someone who tries, sometimes fails/sometimes succeeds, but always trying to learn more and always trying to share with anyone who will listen (or read).

so i should have called this post - "a post about my friend TB" because he has another post recently found here about changes in his diet. being more consciously aware of what he is eating and why. we are in the same place. we are trying to be very conscious about our diets for several years now. we went dairy-free (minus butter and eggs - can someone please tell me why eggs are included in dairy???) over a year ago and about a month back, went to a friend's party. they were serving pizzas to each table and of course, we looked at each other, knew better, but ate a piece of pizza each. not trying to gross anyone out - but on the whole drive home our stomachs were in knots! and i only made it in the door and barfed my guts out!!! and being that we are dogs for punishment, a week ago, i wanted nachos with cheap cheese and sour cream. i used to load my nachos with an entire container of sour cream!!! one bite and both of us were turned off for good! when you remove things from your diet, things like milk-solid products (whatever they are) and caesin - your taste buds change and some people, like us, find that when you eat that stuff again - it either turns you completely off or, like me, you barf. sorry kids, just sayin'.

anyway, a few months ago we removed gluten products from our diet. after 3 weeks of absolutely no gluten, we tried some fresh bakery bread. it wasn't so bad. kind of enjoyable. so now, every now and again, we will have some bread and we haven't suffered for removing it, nor introducing small bits back into our diet. it's all about portion-control for us and not eating 8 pieces of bread a day.

over the past several years, our diets have gone from a heavy dairy (and i mean cheese - lots of it every day!), heavy gluten, heavy meat diet to one that involves more whole foods with tons of fresh veg, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts. and we have certainly not suffered from it!

here's a delicious dinner of butternut squash and pumpkin puree that we made up and canned from last year's harvest.

add in some coconut milk, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, cilantro, sea salt and pepper - and that will keep you fed until supper!

we eat a variety of different salads made from scratch every single day. it's interesting but i read a quote from some nutritionist who said something like - even if you can't get access to organic fruit and veg, then non-organic, even if it is GMO fruit and veg is better than no fruit and veg at all. i tend to agree.

a lovely mid-afternoon snack for the 2 of us to share:

parsley salad with red onion, a ton of fresh garlic, cumin, cayenne, turmeric and fresh- squeezed lemon, some home-made from-scratch hummus, and some home-made radish and carrot kimchi.

a lovely supper of vietnamese pho done the correct way (frozen slices of beef added to the bowl with the boiling broth and veg poured over the beef):

jambaloney wanted some steak with his and so had this lovely cut:

normally he can eat twice that much steak but with us incorporating more raw, fresh whole food - we are both eating much less meat. fish and seafood, however, will always have a happy place on our plate! and of course, fresh veg stirfries! yummeh!

sometimes you just don't need the carb or the meat in a meal. and like most of you who are regular readers already know - we aren't regular dessert people. dessert for us is about 2 hours after supper and usually consists of raw veggies or fruit. we try to consume as little refined sugar as possible and when we do, it's a choice. a conscious choice.

our diet has developed over the last 15yrs eating and cooking food together. now don't get us wrong - when we want a full english-style breakfast - it'll be a throwdown! no one on the planet can eat more hollandaise sauce than me. but that is saved for occasions when it is appropriate - otherwise - we choose to have a few meatless days a week (it happens by accident), we eat a ton of fresh veg and fruit, we eat almost no processed foods, and we have learned that we love pickled veg, fresh from our garden and pickled and/or canned when at it's freshest. we try to be conscious eaters.

so if this post was long, boring and drawn out - you can blame my buddy TB because it was reading a few of his previous posts that i started thinking about these things and remembering when we started making conscious decisions about food - and remembering things like thanking your readers, commenters and lurkers.

last but not least - he has a post up about determining what the essentials that you require, specifically you,
in order to lead a fulfilling life. oh jeesh. i've spent all day on that one. am gonna spend some time thinking about it for myself, have jambaloney think about it for himself and then on sunday - another snow day for us - we are going to do what we always do - sit down together and figure out what our real essentials are in order to live the best life that we can live together.

i feel like i am ripping off of TB's posts...but i found them very thought-provoking and what better time to be thought-provoked than at the beginning of the year!

thanks TB...and thanks to all of you! we hope that 2017 is looking as good to you as it is to us. and we wish you all of the best in this brand-spankin'-new-year!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2016

after 2 months of grey, foggy days....the past few days have been quite a nice break!

we actually got to see some blue and some sun....both were much appreciated!

our Christmas was quiet....we actually don't celebrate Christmas in the traditional manner.

we don't put up a tree to decorate because look at how decorated the trees already are!

but we celebrated a nice, quiet couple of days together.....jambaloney even worked on his contract on Christmas day!!!! we ate like mad fools....nothing new there - we always do!

when we get sad that it's winter we bust out the thai spring rolls and carrot ginger dressing for the salad. with sprouts and mandarines and a dipping sauce so spicy it would make my NM bestie, who's also named Spicy, blush - bahahahahah!

that was a good one, i gotta admit it. more carrot ginger dressing, more sprouts and leftover vermicelli created this lovely salad to go along with BLT's....

we like daily salads with a mix of everything in the fridge....

we love veggies and fruits and we aren't afraid to say it!

but sometimes the greek ancestors come calling and they want some lamb.

followed up the next day with another daily, this time greek-ish inspired, salad.

the remainder of the lamb was turned into one of the best lamb stews we've ever eaten!

and you simply can't say "holiday" or "merry christmas" without holiday/christmassy sushi - you just can't!

jambaloney is getting really good at rolling the sushi! and that kimchi is at least 3 months old and it sure tasted like it!

Christmas Dinner is something that we actually do celebrate - this year with a lovely stuffed duck!

here's some Christmas love on a plate:

duck with a red wine gravy, from-scratch cranberry/ginger/pear/rosemary and thyme sauce, roasted baby potatoes in duck fat, brussel sprouts with bacon, beans/peas/and asparagus in butter, mashed carrot and turnip with maple syrup and homemade savoury stuffing with mushroom, giblets and celery. we've been stuffed for days! and eating lots of delicious leftovers!

that poor man of mine has been wanting curry for over a week.

no worries - shrimp pasanda to the rescue. made from scratch with onion, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, cayenne, ground coriander, tomatoes, coconut milk and coconut oil. there is still some of the sauce left so i think we might be tossing the leftover duck in it.

we hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and that you got to spend it with family and friends, if that's what you wanted. we went to the Lobster's 'R Us Christmas party 2 weeks ago and had a blast meeting up with friends old and new. we are looking very much forward to the new year and all that it will bring with it. we are happy and healthy and 2017 is brimming with promise.

we hope that 2017 will bring wonderful things to all of you.

lots of love,
jambaloney and kymber

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

winter wonderland december 2016

we don't normally see this much snow, this early, in december. but we got a bit over the past few days and it doesn't look like it is going anywhere....yet.

jambaloney shoveled off all of the roofs, decks and steps, plowed the driveway and did all the cat paths - all before noon! here are some cat paths he makes with the atv - the cats love the paths!

he shovels/atvs paths all around the house for the cats!

we have received questions about going dairy-free and gluten-free and how it impacts our diet. first off, we aren't completely "dairy-free" - just "casein-free" - we still eat eggs and butter and hard, aged cheese. secondly, we have found that for the most part in the case of gluten - it's a matter of portion control. after going completely gluten-free (no bread or other wheat products) for 2 weeks, we have slowly introduced a piece of toast here, a sandwich there...just not everyday. it works for us. and using those terms just helps us explain a little of what we are doing with our diet.

some people have wondered if we were going vegan or would be a big NO WAY! but only because we do enjoy all different kinds of meat, including the kinds of meat that other people scoff their noses at but that we enjoy. and we love, and have access to, too many different varieties of fish and seafood to ever give that up. but again - it's all about portion control.

if you've followed our blog for a while, you will notice that i normally only show our meals on a black plate. that plate is always portioned with meat, carb, fruit, veg, raw and fermented food - normally. but what you might not know is that for the most part, that one plate is to feed the 2 of us. after i take the pic for the blog, i scooch some of the the food (1/3) from the black plate and jam is left with 2/3. as i normally only show a few slices of each piece of fruit or raw veg, that means there is more waiting in the sidelines. and i always make extra food for "tomorrow's dinner", so there is more food if one of us wants a little extra. but we are very conscious of portion control.

anyway, some friends have asked specifically about breakfast and dinner (which some people call lunch). they said that they can't imagine breakfast or dinner without bread. well here's a delicious boiled egg and spicy, homemade kimchi bean sprouts that make a wonderful breakfast! (as this is not shown on a black plate, it is not shared. this is a full breakfast for one of us)

here's a half a grapefruit and some spicy kimchi for breakfast.

whenever certain types of food are available, jambaloney buys up a ton and i make kimchi with it - yummeh!

you want an egg salad sandwich for dinner but can't have bread? how about an egg/potatoe salad with radish and celery with pickled bean sprouts on top rolled up in a nice piece of lettuce? trust me, you won't miss the bread!

a delicious fatoush-inspired shrimp salad for dinner or supper with organic corn chips (no gluten)...(on a black plate which means it was shared - that's 2 portions on one plate)

another black means the food is shared....

notice the size of the piece of grilled chicken? also shared. with kimchi, raw bean sprouts, tomatoe slices and a ton of grilled veg.

a small bowl of chicken noodle soup for breakfast, or morning snack or afternoon snack.

want a perfect meatless stir fry? prep all of your veg beforehand!

cabbage, green onion, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, celery, turnip, onion, ginger, bean sprouts. served up with brown rice and 2 raw fruit (on a black plate so this was shared. we both went back for a little more stirfry but there was plenty left for the next day's dinner)

you still want a sandwich? ok - how about a beautiful BLT with the L playing double duty. here's a delicious dinner of bacon, lettuce, tomatoe and bean sprouts on romaine lettuce leaves acting as the "bread" with a ton of mayo, salt and pepper. (black plate which means i ate one BLT and jam ate the other 2)

we eat meat and/or fish at least 4 suppers a week. here's some yummeh steak with onions, grilled sweet potatoes, grilled mushrooms, pickled bean sprouts and some orange wedges. (black plate - shared meal)

this is a salad that you can make in the morning and then eat on it all day long. it's especially smart to make a salad like this if you know that you are going to be busy, the both of you, for most of the day, don't want to have to stop to make food, but know that you will be eating healthy.

it's chock-full of raw and fermented ingredients. this, of course, was shared throughout the day and we didn't need to stop our work to cook. next up - everyone's favourite! butter-fried haddock, smashed potatoes and parsley, some raw apples, raw pomegranates, sweet corn and spinach that was frozen in season. (shared plate)

we are big believers in eating 6 times a day. 6 times???? yes - 6 times! we can't always control that if we have to go into town or when jam is on site at work, but we do our best. a nice filling small breakfast, a morning snack, a delicious, portion-controlled dinner, an afternoon snack, supper, and another snack (or 5) in the evening. i like to put extra effort into our afternoon snacks. like this one:

gluten-free crackers with wasabi mayonnaise, our own smoked trout, lemon and our own dried dill with some fermented onions, peppers , kimchi and pomegranate seeds - yummeh!

it's all about portion control and making sure that you have raw, cooked, fermented food daily. if you can handle dairy - fill your boots. same goes with bread. those are both delicious foods that many people enjoy! we just found that by removing them from our diet has helped and we have slowly started letting gluten products back in - just not too much at a time. it works for us. sorry if i have bored anyone but i have received questions and i love sharing our meals with you all...but if any of you have anymore questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

it's funny that we are all "preppers" of one sort or another and i have always found it interesting that when preparing food, it's called "prepping"....prepping the food. prepping your food can't be highly rated enough. and i don't mean storing 4 years worth of beans...i mean prepping your daily, weekly, monthly food.

for example, we just went through a winter snowstorm advisory over the past few days. we didn't get hit with much snow but many other places in the province got belted. however, when jam told me that me that we might be getting hit - we "prepped" our food for a few days. first, we chopped a cup of fresh garlic to have on hand to add to food (all of our food contains fresh garlic), as well as 3/4 cup of fresh chopped ginger. then we made a bucket-load of hummus. then we made a bean salad. then we made a kick-you-in-the-face parsley and red onion salad. we made some hard-boiled eggs. and some chicken noodle soup - enough to last for 3 or 4 days. so if the power went out - no worries. we would pull all of that food, plus some fresh fruit, shove it in our cooler, shove the cooler in the snow and no worries about what we would eat for the next several days. but it's nice to have that stuff handy even if the power doesn't go out....after breakfast, we stop for a mid-morning snack and eat a couple of chips and hummus. bean salad for dinner. parsley salad for afternoon snack. and then we cook, or not, for supper. that's how we like to make meals weekly - we like to have stuff already "prepped" and made to eat during the rest of the week.

here's early this afternoon...the sun already going down:

and this is about 4pm....the sun definitely beginning it's descent - it is dark here by about 5pm.

and then out of nowhere this big, ominous looking guy appears:

no storms or snow expected for tonight. should be back to normal temps tomorrow. we are pretending it's summertime and having shrimp/vermicelli/coriander rolls for supper - bahahahahah!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

so sorry!

it seems that some of our friends have been concerned about our lack of presence on the blog lately. we are really sorry if we worried any of you!

i promise we'll have a post up in a day or two and get back in to the blogging swing of things! until then - again - we are sorry if any of you were worried! we are fine and things here are at a full-tilt-boogie getting ready for winter. responses to emails from our dear friends coming soon! and i'll be checking in on all of your blogs in a day or two.

we are hoping that you are all doing well and we are sending you all much love from the both of us!