Sunday, August 25, 2013

wanna see an amazing sunset? here ya go. my friend, JUGM, did a post about red skies at night and how they affect the comment section of her post. her and i have a nice banter about sailors everywhere and our auntie's visiting...bahahahahah! sorry to the men who read here and don't want anything to do with that!

here's The Man, looking all hot, getting ready to go to our friend P's birthday party in our sister community of Fourchu last week. ladies - avert your eyes - he's MINE!!!

and here's me. yes, i've been called smurfette, short, tiny...and most recently my friend SciFiChick called me vertically-challenged. in fact, i think her exact words were "girl, i knew you were vertically-challenged but NOT THAT vertically-challenged!". i love her. but yes, i have a hit out on her.

here's some yummy bulgogi with rice, homegrown green beans sauteed in butter and some kimchi. nothing like it after a long day's work.

kids - can anyone help me identify these bushes? are they elderberry? we have been looking at pics on the internet and they seem to be elderberry but not sure.

if they are - can you say elderberry wine? elderberry tincture? elderberry tea??? oh kids, i know that you can!!!

i hate to sound smug....PioneerP, mmpaints and Sci - eat your heart out with envy. this was yesterday's harvest.

bahahahahahah! oh i know that it's sad but hey - at least it's something! until the end of august when our harvest will really come in. look what we made with our sad little harvest:\

and here's some more harvest - we are eating local food and our own harvest 3 meals a day. not too shabby!

we eat a lot of steak around here. it's local and delicious. the stir fry is all our own veg as are the tomatoes!

here's some quinoa tabouleh for dinner - yum!

more harvest. this is the time of year when we eat our own fresh, home-grown food daily and it feels wonderful!

local AND cheap sausages - they are sooo spicey and tasty!

and yummy potatoes pulled out of the ground, sliced and fried in butter! they are deelish! we are in for a super harvest of potatoes this year, which is a good thing, because we eat a LOT of potatoes. think of Bubba in the movie Forrest Gump - "fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp on the barbie....". well that's us except with potatoes "fried potatoes, smashed potatoes, potatoes on the barbie, baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin, scalloped potatoes, twice-baked potatoes..." - we loooove potatoes!!! bahahahahaha! i hope that you all had a nice weekend.

Friday, August 23, 2013

aug fishing and more greenhouse nonesense!

 jambaloney here!

 after a pile of work days - i did some fishing the other morning - it was a nice sunrise...

pioneer preppy and sandy have been here before, but this trip is for sandy's husband Bulldog Man ;-))

 and bright out - gonna be a hot day!

 but at 6:30 it isn't so bad yet ;-)

out on the water - we are headed to  the brooks that feed the river this morning. it is getting late in the summer and some trout start the trip to the spawning grounds way early. we are not allowed to keep fish after aug 31. not too many days left!

 today we go up the north framboise river a bit, it's more like a big stream, but fresh cold oxygenated water all year. brook trout need running water to spawn.

which this is!

here is a nice 11 inch trout! it is probably a sea run - the colors are purplish... they are silver initially but they seem to change.. i COULD be wrong and these are all different strains... time will tell.

we caught two - the smaller trout definitely stays in fresh water all year - it's makings are more brown and orange - pretty cool eh?

the big one is super red inside - probably from eating small shrimp. it was yummy!!! the skin splits when they go into the pan this fresh, nothing we can do - best fish ever.

 how about some work??? after a summer hiatus, i am back to working on the greenhouse and getting it ready for fall - i scraped, caulked and painted these windows last week - now they need scraping..

all ready to go at the back - they are gray because my good friend w tipped me off to buying mis-tinted paint. i got a gallon of gray primer for $10.00 and a gallon of gray paint for $10.00 ... that's 20.00 for what would cost 75! they are going at the back so no foul anyway!!!

i did a quick and dirty with plastic and strapping in early june to finish it for the summer...

off it comes and up goes the osb framing at the bottom...

and now the 1x4 framing goes up... 1x4s span a stud leaving a 1 inch lip on each side - good enough!

next i put the windows in place (notice the tape on the windows with the number and placement - saves time trying to figure out who goes where!!) i anchor each on the inside with a 3" screw to keep them in place....

before i go around and screw them in from the outside... several 1 1/2" deck srews pull the window into the frame nice and tight

and here is the finished product  - the windows look less ghetto to be sure!!!

not a deep sunset, but he clouds are magnificent!

hope you are all having a good late summer - cheers all!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

oh man - not even 5pm and i neeeed my bed!!!

check out this wicked cool bug that was on our window this morning - pretty awesome eh?

ugh. we're bushwhacked. like seriously bushwhacked! we were up early this morning to attend our community centre's "hungry man's breakfast". we served and cleared and re-set tables. then busted everything down when it was over. it was a beautiful, hot, august day and that kitchen was boiling! but we served about 80 servings, then sat with our friends to enjoy our breakfast. it was a great morning and we love seeing all of our friends plus people that we only see a few times a year. then it was home to water the gardens and the tadpoles in the pond and then off to our friend P's birthday. that was in our sister community of fourchu. wow! what a turn-out at that event. there were people, family members from all over canada and the states. i ate 15 egg salad sandwiches (they all had the crusts cut off - teehee!) and about 10 ham sandwiches (no crusts on them either - teehee!). jambaloney filled up on all kinds of sweets - half of the table was full of sweets!

the hall was so full that a lot of people just stayed outside! it was such a beautiful day and the harbour in fourchu is probably one of the top 10 most beautiful places on the planet. we had a really good time and got to catch up with all of our fourchu friends!

tonight was supposed to be our community centre dance - but it was cancelled as the county decided last week to fix our one bridge that lets us in and out of our community. the dance was cancelled because we didn't know how fast the bridge would be fixed. true to cape breton form - my goodness we have excellent services here! - they fixed the bridge in 2 days!!! like entirely replaced it!!! and graded our dirt road again AND put down gravel in our worst potholes. i sure do hope someone from the Richmond County public works and services reads this blog - they do such an awesome job and with such little money!!! we will call the county on monday and let them know what a good job they are doing. we do that every time they grade our road or fix something around here. and we call at least once during the winter to let them know what a good job they do of plowing. it's crazy, but we get better service here than we ever got back in the city!!! i kind of expect it because i grew up here but jambaloney is always blown away. it's a nice feeling, for sure!

anyway - here's a yummy trout, green bean and kimchi breakfast - oh yummeh!

my friend SciFiChick, who has been canning tomatoes for a month, as well as putting up a whole pile of other veg, and who never wants to see another tomatoe again - she'll get a real kick out of the pic below. my expert homesteading friends, mmpaints and Phelan, they will kill themselves laughing. my good buddy, Pioneer Preppy, will want to pat me on the head and say "good job, little dumb kymber". i don't care tho. i am pretty proud of myself.

check out today's harvest:

can you say - SCORE! oh ya baby!

here's yesterday's supper - some shish-kebabs, jambaloney's famous rice (his trick - add almond oil!), fresh local plums and kimchi - deelish!

here's some beautiful clouds from earlier this morning. i think we have the healthiest clouds in the world! i love them!

okay - now it's 10 after 5. i still have to stay up for another 3 and a half hours. our dance was cancelled but our friend next door invited us to go and hang out on the porch, play music, dance, have some "refreshments". this was a last minute thing because they knew how disappointed i was that the dance had been cancelled. it was very sweet of them to throw this impromptu party. but again, it's been a long day and we are bushwhacked. yep, we're babies and don't mind admitting it! so jambaloney is out raking up all of the grass he weed-whacked yesterday to add to our potatoe tires, i am putting up a post and then hitting up everyone's blogs. please, everyone, put up a new post. i need to kill 3 and a half hours!!!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

kimchi (or as i like to call it - kymberchi - teehee!) - a how-to

we love kimchi. it not only tastes great, punches you in the head with it's kick, and is terrifically wonderful for your stomach flora - it just feels good to eat! kimchi is a traditional dish that koreans eat a ton of, and they eat it with every meal. there are a million different kinds of kimchi, which is simply fermented veggies, but i am providing a traditional kimchi that my korean teacher taught me many moons ago when i was on my korean language training.

this type of kimchi is normally prepared in a ceramic crock and then buried underground for a minimum of 3 months to ferment. sounds crazy but if you have ever had "proper", buried-in-a-crock kimchi - oh man there is nothing like it! and my friend Harry can attest to the fact that if you spill it - there is no smell like it on earth! but man is it deelish!

anyway - when my korean teacher left korea and came to canada with her husband and children - she quickly figured out that she needed to make kimchi regularly for her family as there was no where to buy it (that has since changed! i am glad to say that ottawa has several korean stores and markets and we were able to get really good kimchi all of the years that we lived in ottawa). anyway, i digress. here is the kimchi recipe that my korean teacher taught me. this stuff is awesome!

first off - here's your ingredients: 2 nappa cabbages, several small daikon radishes (or one big one), coarse sea salt (do not use table salt!), korean red pepper flakes, a quarter cup of thai fish sauce (i use 2 of my home-made concentrated fish ice cubes), a whole clove of garlic and a big knob of ginger.

cut the bottoms off of your nappa cabbage and then peel each leaf. trim any bad spots. fill a big pot, crock, or as i use a cleaned and washed cooler. add a cup of coarse sea salt and about a gallon of water. stir the water until the salt has dissolved. place all of your trimmed leaves in the water. use something to make sure that your leaves stay submerged in the salt brine - i use bottles filled with water. 

put your container in a cool, dark place for about 3 hours.

next up - grate your daikon radish. this kimchi i made a few days ago has some real spicy kick to it. it's because i used daikons fresh from the garden!

crush all of your cloves of garlic, and your ginger, using a garlic press into a big bowl.

add the grated daikon radish, cup of red pepper flakes and fish sauce.


rinse all of your cabbage leaves and green onion. rinse them 2 or three times. then wrap them in paper towel and a cotton towel - you want the cabbage leaves to be incredibly dry.


make sure to wear rubber gloves as the red pepper flakes burn. trust me. and don't wipe your eyes or nose. trust me.

 take each piece of cabbage and rub it with the sauce. rub it into all of the grooves of the cabbage both front and back. you will feel the cabbage leaf start to wilt. that's good. when the leaf is covered both front and back, fold it up and put it in your glass jar.

keep adding leaves and while doing so, press down as hard as you can so that the leaves start releasing their liquid. you will think that the jar is full and then realize that it is only half-full. you can fit a lot of cabbage leaves folded up like this in a jar.

 leave about a quarter inch of headspace at the top of the jar. keep pressing down on the cabbage as it will continue to shrink down. when you are pretty sure that your jar is full - cap it and put it somewhere cool and dark. i put ours under the bed.

every few hours, shake the jars. really shake them. you will notice that a liquid has now formed and that the cabbage has shrunk down. that's the fermentation part and that is a good thing. if you see bubbles - that's good too. you can let your jar ferment up to a week but i never last past 3 days. once you have decided to end your fermentation phase, put your jar(s) in the fridge. enjoy with every meal. this recipe isn't the crock recipe - if using a crock and the proper crock recipe - the kimchi will keep for a year or longer. this kimchi recipe will keep for about a month in the fridge.

give it a try. it certainly is an acquired taste - but if you acquire a taste for it - you'll want it all the time. i love kimchi!

here's breakfast this morning - zucchini/carrot fritters with sour cream and you guessed it - kimchi! it was awesome!


 we walk to the river everyday. it's good exercise and also a balm to our souls!

our dear friend W is always asking for updates on Frankie Blue Eyes, Mankly, Spanky Patoonch. here he is on his box on a shelf. all four legs straight up in the air. he's a bit of a nutjob our little Mank!

i spent some time this morning getting veggies cut up for shish-kebabs for tonight's supper. i marinate the veggies in a bunch of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, garlic and onion salt. jambaloney painted boards and windows to continue working on the greenhouse.

this saturday night is our big summer dance at our community centre. i can't wait - it's going to be so much fun! when jambaloney went back to ottawa last month, he and his mom bought me a beautiful dress and i can't wait to wear it! i can't wait to see all of our friends! the only drawback is that our brother G and sister C won't be there! we'll miss them but will see them at the end of the month.

ok - that's enough blathering for now eh? we're off to the river. have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

misty morning in aug

jambaloney here!

 a few days ago - there was an awesome mist in the morning. sometimes it is just plain fog everywhere, but this morning the mist was hanging low - this shot is out back where the sun is rising.. about 5:50 am..

and this is out front - strachan's  brook is invisible, but the sky above is blue!

6 in the morning - here comes the sun!!

still nothing to see out front!!!

now it is getting bright out  - it is summer after all!!

and this is the best part - it was very cool the night before - about 10 C (50F) and that brings a heavy dew... and of course the mist... but sometimes when the mist is low and the sun comes up strong, everything glistens like crazy..

and you see hundreds of otherwise invisible spider webs -they are amazing!!!

if you look at the large image of this pic, you will see strands of silk spanning all the grasses!!

here is a classic spider web!

and more sun - it is pretty blinding when it rises like this out back!

a shot looking back at the  manor and the monster, i mean, the greenhouse! kymber loved this shot - makes her feel at ease - can't say i disagree , we love it here!!

okay more spider webs... seriously they are everywhere, but only or mornings like this can you see them..

hey can we see anything out front yet... uh no ..

this shot is about 15 degrees clockwise from the last -  as you can see it is clear up here @ the manor but 40 feet down is mist - pretty cool eh? look carefully and you can see a grackle - they are early risers too - must be the birdseed we put out every day.. uh, yes, of course it is!!!

more sun and more spider webs!

make sure you blow these pics up to really see the silk!

i hope you find these as fascinating as i do - some spiders build a new web every day... they eat the old silk first - reuse, recycle ;-)

many different webs, many different spiders...

it is getting warmer and the webs are starting to fade a bit, they will all be invisible in an hour...

 i know you all might find this post a bit touchy-feely coming from me and want something more rough and tumble with tools and junk wood... hey lets go back to early march - behold - the atv!!!!

and a ghetto snow trailer - i found this snow scoop in someones garbage a year ago... 

we are going down to the well... get a bunch of skinny dead-falls to make sticks/poles for the spring. we need to repair some fences etc.  hey pretend it's winter!!!

i only cut dead trees - it is easier to tromp around in the packed snow...

half hour later - all we need for spring!!

one ratchet strap is all that is required to lash them to the ghetto sled

worked like a charm!!!

back to the manor and we are done - this kind of job is a good winter task - easier to do and the poles were there in the spring when we needed them!

 no it is not winter - i just threw that in there - here is the sunset of spiderweb morning - awesome!

thanks all for coming by... i have been pretty busy with the cabinet, garden, trip to ottawa and all - i owe you some visits to your blogs - i have been remiss, am sorry about that ... i promise to come by very soon...

also, thanks for all of the comments on the cabinet - i really, really appreciate the support!

cheers and have an awesome day!!!