Thursday, May 31, 2012

eating like Kings and Queens!

one thing that we really like here at the Manor is eating good food! we love growing food, catching food, preparing food and eating food. eating food is probably our favourite tho - teehee.

with jambaloney able to go out regularly and catch us delicious food - well, that means we aren't only eating good food but free food as well! (nothing better than free, like jambaloney's last post repeated ad nauseum!) (oh - he's gonna kill me for that - bahahahah!)

here is that almost 2lb trout he caught the other day. because our river is shallow and not very wide, the trout are normally pretty smallish. they still taste fantastic, tho, and they are still free. but this one that he caught was a monster - have a look:

that is one healthy-looking fish! you can see in the pic below that with the head and innards removed, it is a very firmly-fleshed fish! so is the little one that he caught accidentally.

check out the colour of the flesh - simply amazing! that is because this fish has been feeding on ocean plankton and shrimp.

because we don't have a pan big enough to cook him, jambaloney filleted and then cut it into 4 pieces.

oh - hurry up and cook you delicious fish!

i wanted to surprise jambaloney with the side-dish that i was creating for this supper. i wanted to honour both him and the fish with something special. so i made some delicious wild rice, with sunflower seeds and cranberries. jambaloney made the lemon wedges and we also added some wild strawberry flowers, lemon balm and sage leaves. we knew that we could not eat all of this in one sitting!

here's jambaloney's plate (i always take a tail-piece as i love the tail - yummeh!). the pic doesn't do justice to just how thick that fillet was. and the wild rice was so filling! we really enjoyed our supper and then ate the rest of the fish and rice for breakfast the next morning.

there are Kings and Queens, both alive and dead, that don't eat the way that we do! we love good food. it's even better when it's free!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"put your money where your mouth is"

okay - there is enough crap lying around  the manor that i have scavenged from other people`s trash. time to roll up my sleeves and do something with it all, eh?

HAD to throw in that canadian expression ;-)

seriously though, the point of scavenging is to get something you can use or materials for something you can build and use. so here we are - doing both, there's a bonus!

this is the NW corner of the manor - i had planned to put an outdoor kitchen here, but there is sun only in the late afternoon.. we want to wash dishes in the early part of  the day, so this is no good. and it won't be just dishes - we will wash vegetables, tools , etc. so it's really an outdoor wash area we are building here..

notice the rhubarb in pots - my mom rescued them from the  rock garden last year - we will transplant them this week.

so lets get gonzo.. a good circular saw is a must, cordless drill too! and some screws and extension cord running from the basement..

here is an awesome re-use. i did a lot of wiring last fall/winter and went through this spool of 14-2 wire. turns out the empty spool is the best extension cord storage ever - super thin and light metal is perfect - free, yo!!

got this sink in someones large garbage pick a couple of weeks back - free, again!!

this i got last fall from the trash behind Home Hardware - it is the bottom for a shower stall that i guess failed QA or something, who cares? CAN YOU SAY FREE!!! ;-))

odd pieces of pressure treated lumber that were  also in the Home Hardware trash - they can't sell them, but i can use them, yup, free...

i got a bunch if thin shims @ Landry (local hardware store) a while back. they are used to space pressure treated lumber. the legs on these types of plastic sinks tend to be loose and wiggle - to secure them solidly,  i just jammed these shims in between the inserted legs and the plastic slots for the legs and then snapped them off - this ISN'T being scored on presentation .. take a guess... rhymes with bee!

measure lumber & cut accordingly...

use as many 2nd hand/stray screws as you can. i used deck screws for this and had to use a few new ones - ouch... 25 cents  :-( 

oh yeah, there was the electricity for the saw and drill...  another 25 cents - getting ugly here... okay, back to the base... pretty simple, you can see how it's made, it's uh... a bunch of used 2 x s, har har!

 (i got skimpy on the legs and used REALLY crappy scraps... i'll save the pressure treated stuff for something else ;-))

now the clever bit... the fiberglass resin on the bottom of the shower stall is hard as a rock and a bit contoured, so i got a tire sidewall (i have a "collection" of about 200 of these from tire gardening) to dampen the seating of the shower stall base and provide some grip.

i knew this would work out big-time. i have found a number of uses for the sidewalls i cut out, i will post about that later... if you tire garden - you wind up with a LOT of sidewalls - lol!

yup, gratuit!!

here is the final product - and i cheated...the stand on the left in this picture was a quick and dirty i built last year for our rain barrel. the rain barrels are going to be used differently this year and i have some gutter work to do before i set them up, it was built out of CRAP wood a small pallet and nails - all free!

here is the final setup out near the garden and hose for spraying and trenches for draining. we will be able to move it at any time and once a permanent location is determined, i will add a faucet and drain pipes - for now - perfect!!! place to put stuff, place to wash stuff, place to rinse and dry stuff - all on the major cheap AND reducing, reusing and recycling!

all in all - this "project" took 1 hour and cost 50 cents (cdn$). it illustrates nicely the benefits to successful scavenging - cheap, easy and functional. we now have a big cleaning area for the summer which will serve us well!

7:30 @ night - this is what it looks like from the front of the house - the pic doesn't do the lushness justice!!

BONUS!!  kymber planted these radishes 3 days days ago - already big and healthy - YAY! helps to have such a green thumb as the planting queen, thanks to her, we'll be eating real well this year!!

cheers all!

Friday, May 25, 2012

lots of different stuff...and a reminder that it is Memorial Day Weekend!

hello dear sweet friends - it has been another couple of absolutely gorgeous days at the Manor and we have much to catch up on!

first up - it is Memorial Day Weekend in the US. please take one tiny minute in silence and remember all of the POWs, all of the MIA's and all of the KIA's that served both of our countries in order that we can remain free. if you don't know what the acronyms mean - just ask in a comment.

i would like to direct your attention to a very serious post written by my Dear Friend Duke. he has seen it all first hand...he has been there...and been through it. a stronger patriot i have not met. please visit his post here and leave a comment in support of our rembrances and thanks. thank you.

jambaloney went fishing the other day and caught tonight's supper. normally the trout are small because they live in small rivers. he caught an ocean-run trout - these guys live in the ocean and the streams and because they eat so much shrimp and plankton, they get quite big and their flesh is soooo red. i can't wait to cook this baby up in a ton of butter - oh ya baby!

here is a pepper plant that i planted last year that didn't do anything. because he seemed to be hanging on so long in october, i planted him in a pot and brought him in for the winter. he held on. and then i put him on the plastic-enwrapped porch which is full of pollinators during the day and what do you know:

cha-lap-en-yo's baby. oh ya he is growing us some awesome jalapenos!

for your viewing pleasure, some beautiful pink flowers that can be found all over the yard.

and some pretty white daffodils.

and other little flowers growing in the grass. this might bore the heck out of you, but it's my blog and i looooove the flowers!

and introducing - dah-dah-dah - the very first Framboise Manor buttercup of 2012. take a bow, little buttercup!


 what has jambaloney been up to, you ask? good question. he's been out weed-whacking. i must admit that the yard was getting pretty overgrown. it's not all green yet but it soon will be. take a look at the beautiful blue of Strachan's Brook.

he always leaves a little bit of grass for the cats to play in - they love rolling around in the grass. i'll have a few tires of catnip set up for them soon.

aren't these beautiful?!?!?!? apple blossoms - so very pretty!

don't worry if your eyes tear up at this makes my eyes watery, too, and i am no softy. yes, you guessed correctly - it's the summer bedding out on the line. we'll put the bedding on the beds tomorrow and of course i will take pictures. no, please, stop thanking's the least that i can do.

hmmmm....some old dishes that you aren't using. what to do? what to do?

why you glue them together with silicone caulking - of course!

i was getting tired of always doing "jobs" lately...and we have had a lot of jobs to get done around here. i wanted to do something fun that would fill my heart with glee.

jambaloney - i need some stakes, please.

teehee - this is a water bowl and bird feeder. this one is for jambaloney because i love him so much. yes, it is a little tilty - but i like tilty.

this is a special one that i made for my friend Helga. a better friend could not be found. i wanted her water/bird feeder to be pretty and special. i am glad that i found these pretty dishes to make this for her. i hope that she likes it....but i know that she will. she has my heart, she does...and she knows it. Helga, after i put this up - a ton of yellow finches went to check it out. i think this will become the yellow finches favourite place. i am glad. because when i think of a bird that could properly represent you - i think of yellow finches. which are actually called "gold" finches. which is so appropriate because you are like gold.

the champagne glass had to be for my crazy buddy Jimmy. he's the guy who took care of our place while we were still in the city - and he's the guy who lugged this farm equipment up in his truck and then painted it red. Jimmy - my champagne glass is yours buddy!

and this simple one is mine. it's near the pond and bench. i love my pond and i love my bench. and i love the simple bowl on the plate.

while i was working on the above projects - jambaloney set up 2 more hummingbird feeders. we are getting lots of hummingbirds so we have to make sure that they are properly fed. aren't they pretty?

here's the four hummingbird feeders set up so that we can view all of them from the kitchen window.

i sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful weekend. to all of my American friends, please enjoy the holiday weekend. and please take a few minutes to remember what the holiday is all about.

if you didn't catch my dear friend Duke's post yet, you can find it here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

more huggie kultures!

so here is a couple of quick and dirty huggie kultures (that's what my friend Winston calls them!)!

find a sunny spot on your property that already has some dead wood in it.

add more dead wood and pile it up.

make sure to add some beach sand and seaweed - yes, i added the seaweed by hand- i love seaweed! also dump a bucket of seaweed water on it.

add some dirt and get jambaloney to jump up and down to pack it in all of the nooks and crannies of the wood.


and now you have a pretty quick and dirty alpine strawberry bed!

 here's a closeup of the tiny little guys.


since it's the long weekend and everyone else is vacationing...find another sunny spot. in this case, we dug up a bit in order to get some extra dirt.

same process - add your rotten logs.

and your seaweed, beach sand and seaweed tea.

and now you have a quick and dirty asparagus bed!

since i introduced you all to our "guard dog" in the last post, i thought i should introduce you to "the project manager". it never fails - whenever jambaloney is out working on a project, then "the project manager" will be out there with him. managing the projects. like he is doing below.

his name is noodle, nudie and nudie-nu. it's because he doesn't wear pants.

there's some beautiful little flowers that grow all over the place - i just love them!

and here's the original hugel kultur. jambaloney is out there adding more dead logs to it. i am the one who gathered the clumps of moss.

after a long hard day's work, some seriously-satisfying comfort food is a must - hence - homemade cheesy macaroni.

as you can see - we don't skimp on the cheese - oh no!

add some red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and yer good to go! we ate the whole pan over the course of the day/night.

and now the long weekend is over so it's back to work for us. cheers!