Sunday, September 29, 2013

nasturtium spice!

check out these wicked cool clouds....the sky here is so amazing!!! and it seems so much bigger than it was back in the city!

we have had a few really nice days...

i am hoping, based on the weather forecast that i will be jumping in the river tomorrow! jambaloney jumped in yesterday and trust me - that water was COLD!!! but, if tomorrow is as warm as it is supposed to be - i'm jumping in!

last year we were still swimming in the river until october...but i am worried that tomorrow might be my last chance. i love the river and so does jambaloney!

anyway - enough rambling - this post is about making your own nasturtium spice. have you ever had a fresh nasturtium? they are so delicious! and spicey and peppery! they are excellent in salads or sandwiches.

here's a pretty little nasturtium:

they come in all different colours - red, orange, yellow and beige.

lots of people pick them fresh and add them to various food. but when you have a ton of them and you want that spicey, peppery taste to add to your food over the winter - you pick them and dry them!
on a screen, if you have one laying around (we have 20 million because jambaloney is a really good garbage picker!)

you could use a dehydrator or an oven...but heck, we have the good fortune to have a porch wrapped in plastic! it gets so hot out there on sunny days that it takes no time to dry the flowers!

make sure that the flowers are completely dry...and this:

once you have gathered enough, stick them in a blender or anything that will chop them really fine to make a powder.

and there's your nasturtium spice!

you can add it to soups, stews, salads, dressings - whatever! it has a very delicious, lightly-spicey taste when it has been turned into powder. we love the stuff!

so besides a trip to the river, making hot sauce which i will share tomorrow, suntanning out on the front deck, many walks around the yard, filling the pond and feeding the tadpoles and various jobs that jambaloney has been working on throughout the day, oh and lots of good food - that's been our day! we love harvesting and preparing our food together - it's so rewarding! especially in the winter months. we have had a great day. i hope that all of you have a great day, too!

Friday, September 27, 2013

a quick update!

hey kids - how goes it????

ya, i know it's been 2 weeks since i posted but man time flies when you are having fun! we have been having a lot of fun around here recently - we had the most awesome time at our last dance, saw all of our friends, hung out, danced 5 million songs - no really - our dj played 5 million songs!!! and that was when he and his helper weren't asleep at the console - bahahahahah! they have a tendency to do that. plus we have been playing with garlic, harvesting, getting ready to plant the fall garden...ahhh, you know, life and stuff!

on top of that our internet has been on a serious blink over the past few days - meaning sometimes it worked but most times it didn't! i find that very frustrating and so don't even bother logging on when it is doing that. part of living in the country, right?

anyway, here is a beautiful sunset from this evening. we aren't sure what that big twinkling thing is in the middle of the pic? maybe mars or venus? we have to look it up.

we love sitting outside in our rocking chairs and watch the sunset - it is so quiet and beautiful!

my friend W is alllllllllways asking for updates on Spankly Patoonch! like always! but anyway, W just won't stop. constantly asking about my little Mank, Mankly, Spankly Patoonch. so here is an update for W:

ya, that's little Mank in a bag!

jambaloney got some delicious haddock in town the other day - nothing like haddock and beans - yummeh!

and here's some "boiled dinner". it is cape breton island's national meal. growing up, everyone had boiled dinner for sunday dinner. dinner being at noon because supper is in the evening.

we are looking forward to the next 3 days - supposed to be awesome weather and there will be a river day and an ocean day at the very least! we spent all evening making salsa, hummus, a big greek salad and some pita chips - we'll be all set to pack lunches really quickly when it's time to down tools and run to the river or the beach!

now i gotta run...there's some pita chips, hummus and my baby calling! i hope you all are doing fine. give me a day or three to catch up on your blogs!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

fishing and misc stuff

jambaloney here!!!

stephen - this is your fishing trip, well it was on aug 25 ;-))

hope you like to get up early - here is 5:15 AM ;-)

nah, too early for trout back to bed until 7 !

it is late summer, here are some pearly everlasting on the way down...


near the water now...

and a nice pitcher plant

gorgeous morning!!!

nifty caterpillar on the canoe - gotta get him to safety!

it was a weird morning, really calm... we got to the fishing hole and you bagged a nice male with spawning colours!

it was nice upstream!

the river was backed up with salt water ansd there were jellyfish 5 km from the ocean... they were dying in the fresher water, but still..

we also saw some HUGE ripples of the water surface.. i think they were striped bass. whatever they were, no less than 5-10 lbs.... no luck getting a bite, just as well, they were probably too heavy for trout gear.

nice sky on the return...

hope you enjoyed your fishing trip stephen!

okay, back to work, this post - some odds and ends i've been working on... i cleaned up teh yard for fall projects...

these are empty window casements that i got glass out of for the greenhouse roof..

leftover windows stacked neatly.... tire sidewalls...

more windows...

old boards from our friend g and c's old shed that need cleaning up - nails and roofing shingles to be removed. the HOLE shed was covered in shingles - lots of nails, they must have been cheap  i will build a smaller shed with this was free

here are cleaned boards under a tarp...

it is good wood!

when i am in town, i go to the dumpster out back home depot...

and get free stuff!!!

this is grade b lumber used to separate lumber for sale on pallets - no matter - i can use it 1/2 is pressure treated to boot!

here is a bunch of thicker stuff on hand...

garden cart need help!!!

mis-tint rust paint!!!


all painted up lost the sides....!!!

gorgeous evening!!!

really nice!!!

lighting up the nasturtiums a golden colour!!!

cheers all!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

2 minutes....

we went to our volunteer fire department training this afternoon...and then we held our meeting.

our Fire Chief called for 2 minutes of silence, after we had read the minutes on our last meeting...

he called for 2 minutes to remember september 11...

i felt very glad to remember all that had happened that day. for me, the day was sad, bittersweet and exceptionally joyful. there were many heroes that day and they did not wear uniforms. see my previous post for more info.

we remembered at our volunteer fire department meeting tonight. we remembered.

Remembering 9/11 through the beauty and grace of a people that almost no one has ever heard of

(this is a post that i shared last year...but it is such a wonderful story that i thought it would be nice to share again!)

I am certain that everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001...that tragic day will forever live on in our hearts. There was so much terror, panic and fear for many people...and some people will carry scars forever.

But there was much beauty and love found on that a place that most people have never heard about. That place is on an island to the north of my island in Gander, Newfoundland. And it was there that beauty, love and generous hospitality flourished on such a horrible day.

Gander, Newfoundland is a town of 10,000 people and is situated at the easternmost edge of North America. The Gander International Airport was a refueling stop on early transatlantic flights of the 1940's and 1950's. But the advent of long-haul jets in the 1960's ended its life as an aviation hub. The Gander International Airport still has a big runway, but big jets touch down there much less often now.

All of that changed quickly and suddenly on September 11, 2001. In the space of only 3 hours, the Gander International airport landed 39 jets carrying 6,600 passengers from all over the world. With such short notice, a major city would be hard-pressed to shelter and house that number of people. But Gander, one of Canada's poorest provinces, housed and fed all of the 6,600 passengers for four days! The people of Gander, and the people from nearby towns, provided food, shelter and in some instances, clothing, to all of those scared passengers who did not know when they would be able to finish their flights. Many of the passengers were Americans who must have been terrified and worried for their families back home.

Many international passengers were surprised at the level of generosity and hospitality that was shown to them by the people of Gander. But for most Canadians - we were not surprised at all - Newfoundland/Labrador is known as a place of great generosity and hospitality, and the people there have huge hearts.

Letters, cards, e-mails and gifts are still pouring in to the town of Gander and the Gander International Airport from passengers expressing their great thanks. And even though the town did all that they could without ever expecting anything in return, their grateful guests even donated over $60,000 to the town.

(i don't usually do copy and paste posts but i felt that this article needed to be shared. the article marked the 10yr anniversary of 9/11, and i think it is fitting to be reminded of this story on every anniversary.)

Gander on 9/11 told 'you were the best of us'

U.S. Ambassador David Jacobson paid tribute to the town of Gander, N.L. for its generosity on 9/11, hailing its residents for their grace and good humour and representing "the best of us."

Jacobson was a key speaker at the memorial ceremony held at the town's hockey rink, where two steel girders from the World Trade Center were presented by a New York City firefighter to thank the town for its hospitality toward stranded air travellers on Sept. 11, 2001. The girders will remain in the town's aviation museum.

With a tremor in his voice, Jacobson reminisced about the tireless efforts of all the town's residents and surrounding communities during that day 10 years ago, and the days that followed.

"This could well be the motto of this town: 'Without waiting to be asked,'" Jacobson said.

He spoke about one stranded passenger, a child, who turned four in Gander soon after 9/11. All his gifts were stuck on the plane he had been on, so to make him feel better, a local Gander family threw him a party.

"They consoled and they cooked, they cooked and they cooked," Jacobson recalled.

Jacobson also thanked the hundreds of Canadians, including those in Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto, who helped thousands of stranded passengers.

The Gander ceremony began with a group prayer with its mayor, Claude Elliott, taking the podium first to honour the "beautiful acts of humanity" that happened on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Good can triumph over evil all the time," said Elliott who was recently in Washington D.C. to accept an international resiliency award for town residents. Gander, with a population barely hitting 10,000, welcomed 6,600 stranded passengers that fateful day.

Elliott told Jacobson that residents didn't need any accolades for their generosity.

'We wanted to do it'


Residents have been singled out for their tireless efforts in making strangers feel at home, opening their houses, filling prescriptions without charge and making sure people felt comfortable bedding down in schools and church halls.

"We wanted to do it. The smiles of the people who left Gander was sufficient for us," said Elliott, who ended his speech with a quote: 'What you do for yourself dies with you but what you do for others lives on.'"

Monica Burke, 44, a 911 dispatcher from Seattle, was one of three strangers Beulah Cooper, 70, welcomed into her home. Burke told the audience she has returned to Gander twice since that day, maintaining close ties with Cooper.

Burke recalled feeling "tired, scared" and breaking down crying when Cooper offered her shelter. "[Beulah] reminded me that kindness and humanity can light even the coldest, darkest night."

'Light in the midst of darkness'

The province's premier, Kathy Dunderdale, said the day helped further define the friendship between Canada and the U.S.

"What binds us are the values of liberty and justice," said Dunderdale, who exalted town residents for doing what most people in her province consider "second nature."

"[Gander was] a beacon of light in the dark … [residents] showed the way to hope and humanity in a time of death and despair."

Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews also thanked the people of the area for the example they set: "Places like Gander … galvanized our resolve to be light in the midst of darkness."

And in a statement released later Sunday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay asked Canadians to remember not just those who lost their lives in the attacks, but also " those who sacrificed in the years since." "Canada's soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen faced the threats that challenged the security of our nation, accepted the fears of their compatriots, marched to the front lines of one of the most dangerous places on Earth and fought to defend the ideals and values that shaped Canada and made this country great. … On behalf of all Canadians, I thank the members of the Canadian Forces for their service, sacrifice and selflessness."

In between speeches, the white-clad Gander Academy Grade 2 sang songs. The three-hour ceremony wrapped up with The Last Post.

'Incredible acts of courage'


Elsewhere, Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended the Ground Zero ceremonies in the U.S. after formally designating Sept. 11 a national day of service, honouring both the victims and the Canadian communities who aided stranded travellers 10 years ago.

“While Canadians share in the grief of all those mourning loved ones lost, we also honour the incredible acts of courage, sacrifice and kindness by those who served in the rescue efforts,” Harper said in statement released Sunday.

The prime minister said Canada would stand with its allies to "help ensure such a tragedy never happens again."

“Terrorism will not undermine our way of life … We will steadfastly defend, protect and promote our democratic values and principles, the very foundation of our free and prosperous society.”

Harper met with family members of some of Canada's 24 New York 9/11 victims on Saturday night. On Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama sent a letter to Harper thanking all Canadians for their support during that difficult time.

"We remember with gratitude and affection how the people of Canada offered us the comfort of friendship and extraordinary assistance that day and in the following days by opening their airports, homes and hearts to us," Obama wrote.

Plaque for Halifax airport

Several other communities across Canada had unexpected visitors when U.S. air space was shut down to all but military aircraft, with about 200 flights diverted to Canadian airports. Many flights also ended up in Moncton, N.B., and in Halifax, where 8,000 extra passengers showed up.

U.S. Consul-General Anton Smith presented a plaque to Halifax airport managers early Sunday to thank employees and residents for their aid.

In Ottawa, an open-air concert "of hope and remembrance" began precisely at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first plane hit the World Trade Centre.

Jean Chr├ętien, who was prime minister when the attacks occurred, attended the Parliament Hill event along with several hundred others.

After the concert, Chr├ętien recalled how tens of thousands of Canadians turned out on Parliament Hill to express their solidarity with Americans in the days after the terror attacks.

“We had 100,000 people on the Hill," he recalled "And the greatest moment, when I asked for three minutes of silence, it was probably the three minutes the most moving of my life to not hear a noise for three minutes. People praying in their own faith for the American people."

You can read the complete article here.


On this September 11, may we remember everything that happened - not just the bad stuff, the deaths, the terror and the panic - but also the love, generosity and humanity that was shown by ordinary people dealing with extraordinary circumstances.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

clouds, glorious poop, garlic, blue hands, berries, nasturtiums, candy and food - it's been a busy couple of days!

check out these beautiful clouds rolling in from the front of the house:


out back looked like this:


but very soon changed to this:


we have very beautiful clouds here! i love them!

woohoo - we got poop! have a gander:


that's 4-year old poop! we will be getting truckloads of this poop all autumn long, and amending all of our tires and beds - woohoo!

here's a nice, light way to start your day - a breakfast of pita chips, roasted in the oven with olive oil, garlic salt and onion salt, homemade salsa and homemade guacamole (which we call "gwawk-a-mole):

but if yer sending your man out to dig poop all morning, he needs some eggs, fried potatoes and fried balogna! yummeh!

remember a few weeks back when i cut all of my garlic scapes? we were intending to sautee them in butter (deelish!), but they were so pretty, i put them in a vase of water. well, look what they did:

they started forming bulbils and flowers!!!!

my friend Sue, has an excellent post up about growing your own garlic, harvesting it and curing it to use throughout the year. you can read her informative post here. she explains out all of the steps of growing your own garlic. we have grown garlic for years - we love homegrown garlic! but this year, i have been researching how to grow garlic from bulbils (which are just tiny cloves) and from true seed (which come from the flowers)! i will do a post in a few days about how to grow garlic from bulbils and true seed - it is very interesting - at least, i think it is!!!! i know that my friend Harry Flashman is waiting with baited breathe for such an exciting post - bahahahahahah!

here's a pic of my harvested garlic. jambaloney bought me that harvesting basket and i just love it!

 here's the harvested garlic in the outdoor kitchen sink ready to be washed up!


here's the garlic drying on screens in the sun!


and here it is, all cured and tied together to go up into the pantry.

i am planting more garlic tomorrow - i will plant cloves, bulbils and seeds - it is very exciting - we love garlic! the harvested garlic will keep us in garlic until spring when we will harvest what we are planting tomorrow. we eat a lot of garlic!!! we love it!

here`s a yummy supper to feed a hard-working man after he`s been out all day doing chores, planning how to build cold-frames and sharpening the chainsaw:

local, spicey sausages, local strawberries, and homegrown tomatoes, green beans and swiss chard - yummeh!

both of us have had dyed-blue fingers and fingernails for over a week! it`s from all of the blueberries and blackberries that we have been picking and sorting! our friend D paid us for picking blueberries on his farm by giving us 20lbs of blueberries which is exactly enough to last us for a year! and his berries are the best!

once the berries are picked you have about 3 days to process them!  so we spent the last few days processing our berries!

 in addition to berry processing, i have been daily harvesting nasturtium flowers!


once the nasturtium flowers are dried, i crush them in a mortar and pestle and make nasturtium powder. add this to any food for a nice peppery zing!

want a delicious breakfast? how about some homegrown carrots and peas sauteed in a little bit of butter, with salt and pepper - deelish!

it's strawberry season here - so of course, jambaloney picked up a ton of fresh, local strawberries. we ate a ton but also dehydrated a ton!

we dehydrated some of our blueberries too!

strangely enough, no one was able to get any blackberries this year??? thank goodness we have a ton of them on our land - we love blackberries! and we have a ton of bushes just thriving on our land! have a gander:

we picked these the other day which only added to our blue, blueberry hands!

we leave them out on a screen all day so that any little bugs have a chance at getting away before we rinse them and freeze, or dehydrate, them.

we love berries. they are so good for you!

here's a little jar of winter candy. these dehydrated, local strawberries are soooo full of sugar. we'll eat these over the autumn and winter - we only need about 2 million more.

last up - here's a delicious dinner of homegrown carrots, green beans and swiss chard all sauteed in a little bit of butter.

it's been a busy week around here...our fingers are still blue. but it has been a very rewarding week as well. how has your week been?