Saturday, May 30, 2015

making hot sauce!

it's been another couple of fantastic days at the Manor! jam was home wednesday and thursday and back to work on-site on friday. he is really enjoying his work and he is super-skilled.

thursday we decided to make him some more hot sauce - he loves spicy hot sauce. last year as we were harvesting our peppers, we ate them as we harvested them. we made 2 quart-sized mason jars of hot sauce for him - he loved it! but then we had a glut of peppers (my friend SciFiChick was really proud!) and so we froze them to save them to make more hot sauce when he ran out. here is a mix of sweet italian red peppers, big bombs, orange thai peppers, monet jalapeno, hungarian hot wax and cayenne peppers with some onion and a ton of garlic.

and here is some super hot sauce in the making made of mostly orange thai hot peppers and a little of all of the others with onion and garlic.

poor jam was sneezing and coughing as i was cooking the peppers! so were the cats! these 2 pans of hot sauce were really fragrant!

i cook the onions up a bit in some olive oil, throw in the crushed garlic, add a ton of salt and pepper and then add the peppers. i cook the peppers for about 3 minutes and then add one cup of water. i then keep cooking it all on high, constantly stirring until the majority of the water has boiled off - about 20 minutes. then we put each kind of pepper mix into a bowl, cover them with a towel and bring them to the basement to cool off for several hours.

here are the 2 mixtures after they have been cooked.

once the mixtures have been cooled, i put them in the blender and chop them up, slowly adding 1 cup of vinegar as it's mixing. you can make it as chunky or as smooth as you want. here's a quart jar of regular kymberz "kick-you-right-in-the-head" sauce and a pint jar of kymberz "your-grandchildren-are-gonna-feel-a-kick-in-the-head "sauce. the regular sauce is HOT but the orange thai chili sauce is DEADLY HOT. my man loves them both.

the small jar with the red lid is the super hot sauce and is for my besties son d - he loves and collects all kinds of hot sauces. i can't wait for him to try mine - he's probably gonna fall down and faint - bahahahah!

here's some mixed bean salad that we like to have on hand all the time. it's 5 different kinds of beans, 4 different-coloured peppers, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, garlic, olive oil, and ACV (with the mother), sea salt and fresh ground pepper topped with some shaved parmesan. a little of this stuff goes a long way!

here's a spring peeper sunning himself on a comfrey leaf. i love them! they sing "meep-meep-meep" all night long. it's a very comforting sound and you know when you start hearing them every night that summer just around the corner - woohoo!

jam was wanting spaghetti of lobster for weeks now. it hurts me to adulterate lobster in any way except for eating it plain or making lobster rolls. but to appease my man, we broke apart 2 beautiful lobsters and adulterated them!

my version on the left is a garlic and cream spaghetti of lobster with shaved parmesan. jam's is on the right and is a tomatoe-pesto version with a ton of my home-made hot sauce. it was delicious - don't get me wrong - but i just prefer to eat my lobster plain.

here are the beautiful flowers on my sage plant that we overwintered.

what a beautiful plant!!! i will be saving seeds from it so if anyone wants some - let me know.

jam loves hamburgers during the nice weather days - and as i love to feed him - he gets what he wants!

i have to say - i make a mean patty! he loves these burgers and cooks them to perfection!

today was a lazy day at the Manor. we did our normal chores as per usual, but also spent time trying to lay outside. we couldn't do it. it's that dreaded season. BLACK FLY SEASON!!! arghghghghgh! we're both bit to death from watering gardens and trying to sun tan. it's impossible during black fly season. so we took our loungers and put them on our porch. we lay out there all afternoon and it was lovely.

and a hint for anyone who has blackflies and a blackfly season - stock up on benadryl. most people, us included, get wonky and crazy after too many blackfly bites - their venom is pretty powerful stuff. if after getting bit by those little buggers, you start to feel wonky, crazy, feverish, sluggish, can't think straight - take a benadryl. trust me - it works! and i hate taking pills! i also hate having to smear myself down with deet for the next 2 months - arghghghghgh!

well, that's it for now. jam is working on his contract for LRUS and i am going to hit up my bloglist! i hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

a crazy few days!

it's been a little crazy around the Manor for the past several days! we've had low-pressure systems and high pressure-systems move in and out and that always sets off my migraines! here's some beautiful pics of a few days of high-pressure systems:

the clouds look like you can just reach out and touch them and the air is so clear! here's our hugelkulture bed with all 25 strawberry plants in them - woohoo!

i got them planted even tho i was dying with a migraine - but i had to get them in the ground and am so glad that i did!

my friends - THIS is a tea biscuit!

you may all be thinking - "hey kymber. that's a nice tea biscuit". but you would be wrong! that is the best tea biscuit in the world. that's a tea biscuit made by my friend L. we met L and her husband D last year - they found us through our blog, bought a home here in Framboise and then we met up last summer. we had a wonderful visit. she made tea biscuits for us when we met up and had a wonderful supper together. you can read more about us meeting up here - we had a wonderful time! she did not know at the time that i was a tea biscuit connaisseure nor that i was a tea biscuit snob - i can't help it people - i just am!

anyway L was down for a few days to get the house ready for when they come down with their family in august. she had no running water and the hot water tank had blown up over the winter. she and her Dad tried to fix it but then D called us on the phone to ask if jambaloney could go over and help. he went over this past saturday but because i had a migraine i couldn't go. that's how bad the migraine was, friends - i really wanted to go and see my friend but i just wasn't up to it. jambaloney got the water running and will fix the hot water heater before they return in august. i already have a pile of plans on surprises for my friend L but i can't go into detail because they read our blog. she will be mightily surprised tho!

back to the tea biscuit! i am dying with this migraine and jambaloney comes home with a bag full of tea biscuits mad by L!!! i haven't eaten in a day and a half - i can't eat when i have a migraine because i can't keep anything in my stomach. when jambaloney came in and said that L had made tea biscuits for me - i almost started crying! and i nibbled on that tea biscuit above and it was like the heavens opened up - finally i had some food that i could eat, it settled my belly, it was absolutely delicious and it felt like love in my stomach! that was such a sweet gesture when she was dealing with all kinds of problems! i ate another tea biscuit a couple of hours later and it was divine.

now when i say that i am a tea biscuit connaisseure - i mean it! most people slather their tea biscuits with butter, jam or honey - and you can hide a crappy tea biscuit by slathering it with the afore-mentioned 3 things. not me! i am a purist! i eat my tea biscuits plain...and you can't pass off a crappy tea biscuit on me - no way! and L makes THE BEST!!! i will try and get her recipe, kids, but i can't make any promises! she's a little sneaky, she is! bahahahahah!

allrighty - can you believe that we transplanted all of our over-wintered peppers? and found this tiny orange pepper who flowered over the winter, in the house, and became a pepper?

check out the high-pressure system being kicked out by the low-pressure system. it sure makes for amazing skies!

here are the overwintered peppers, transplanted and moved to the greenhouse:

these things are becoming bushes and trees!

more low-pressure system moving in:

it's amazing to look at the skies here - they are always so clear and beautiful!

you never know from one minute to the next what to expect!

such deliciousness!

here's a flutter of red and gold finches - they come several times a day to our apple trees and bird feeders!

here's a delicious salad made from our own greenhouse greens and that little orange pepper that grew over the winter:

here's a new product that i got from it seems like a fantastic product so far...i am testing it out and will give a proper review in a few days!

here's some blackened hot and sweet chicken drum sticks with vegetable kebabs, cucumber, pear and pomegranate salad, extra hot sauce for dipping and yummy yoghurt!

here's a carrot, raisin, mint and sorrel salad - deelish!

here's our little friend fat boy:

he comes here every year and guards that feeder like mad! we love him! this year we have been standing close to the window and talking to him and i swear - he recognizes us!

here's a beautiful sunset from the other night:

i love the skies here, they make me feel like a part of something way, way bigger than me!

and lastly, tonight's supper - shrimp pasanda, coconut rice, greens that we grew ourselves and corn, yellow pepper, cucumber and cauliflower salad - it was yummeh!

so even though i was down for a few days with a migraine and jam was at work - we still managed to get a lot done in the garden. today was cloudy and gray all morning and then the sun burst open and the sky was clear. we downed tools at about 1:30 and nekked suntanned for the afternoon. we're a tiny bit sun-kissed - jam is working on his contract and soon we'll head outside to watch the sunset. then some hottub dips and perhaps a movie on netflix. it's been a mish-mash the past few days but hey - all is good!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

just a really awesome day!

look at the mist on Strachan's Brook...this is at about 5:30 am:

it's quite something isn't it? here it is about 1 hour later:

today we had a really awesome day!

jam finished building the pea bed and i planted 100 peas!

everyone asks us if the caging around all of our beds is to keep out deer and rabbits. we have deer and rabbit all over this area of the island but they pretty much keep to themselves. we have an occasional rabbit come on our land but they just eat the clover in the front and back yard. we have never had a problem with wild animals in our gardens (knock on wood!). no - the cages are for our cats!!! all 3 of them love nothing more than being able to play in the beds after harvest. our first year here we learned after we had planted a bunch of stuff and went out later in the day and all of the beds had been dug up by cats. our cats!

i did 9 rows of 3 types of beets and 5 rows of 2 kinds of radish - wooho!

i also did some more brassicas. i hate to do this to you, friends, but we had our very first salad from the greenhouse today. and lobster.

the salad is red-veined sorrel, mizuna, microgreens, chives, green onion, parsley, mint and lemon balm. all that we grew ourselves! that salad was deelish!

and fantastic news - true to their word Vessey's expedited 25 more strawberry plants to me that we received on tuesday. jam spent the afternoon weeding our existing hugelkulture and adding compost and seaweed. these strawberries are albion strawberries and will go in the hugelkulture in the morning - i can't wait!

we are incredibly fortunate to have a ton of wild raspberries, blackberries and cranberries growing on our land. until we start a proper orchard we get the best blueberries and apples from our friend d. the only thing that we felt we were missing were the strawberries. these strawberries produce small but delicious fruit all summer and well into autumn. according to vessey's, these strawberries will produce until october if you live in a temperate climate. woohoo - eating fresh strawberries in october - now that's something!

tomorrow will be another full day of planting - we have to transplant 16 pepper plants that we overwintered and that's going to be a task. but all of the pepper plants have turned into bushes and they are covered in flowers. then i have to get everything re-arranged in my little greenhouse in the house in order to start cucumber and zucchini - woohoo! this will be a busy couple of days - but good ones. i hope that you are all having fun out in your gardens too!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

a couple of grey days, a couple of nice days, lots of food, the river, strawberries, getting things in the ground and the first trout of the year - woohoo!

today was a beautiful day!

we were up early and got a lot of stuff finally feels like we are catching up and spring is really here.

it's always good to stuff your face with delicious raw food...only the shrimp has been cooked!

we went for a walk to the river the other was a bit of a grey day but we didn't care.

going around the bend in the road.

lots of baby trees where mature trees are dying. nature, when left alone, always knows how to take care of itself.

deer tracks!!!

it would appear that a group of deer came up our river road and right up to our well! then they probably saw the house and smelled human activity and then took off. but it is always great to know that they do really live in this area!

my man....carrying some fishing gear and a rod.

one of my yellow flip-flops that got blown away!

boat-dura. she's pretty ugly but we love her!

here is a the canning lid that i nailed to the tree in memory of my friend SciFiChick. you can read about it here. the writing has worn off but the next time we go down to the river, i will take my marker and re-write on it. she would love this!

here's the river....i always take this picture for my friend C.

here's me sitting on boat-dura with my flowered gum boots. i've had those things near on 8 years now!

and my man, doing what he loves.

he wasn't planning on catching anything....the river has only just melted and the trout are still pretty sluggish.

he just loves casting. but lookee here - first trout of the year. we ate that in honour of Sweet Sandy!

the next trout belongs to Pioneer Preppy.

here's some delicious chicken curry loaded with so many spices it almost blew our heads off! thank goodness for the yogurt, coconut and raisins to help cool it off. and fresh mint from our greenhouse!

here's a sad story with a happy ending. i have always ordered all of our seeds or plants from Vessey's - they are a fantastic company from Prince Edward Island which is just to the east of our island. they also ship to the US and i can attest to the quality of their products and their customer service.

in december/january, i ordered 25 strawberry plants from them as well as a bunch of seeds and some garlic sets. the seeds came almost immediately but the garlic sets and strawberry plants would ship at a later date as vessey's waits to ship until after the frost free dates. so about 3 weeks ago our post office lady called to tell us that a box marked "onion sets" had arrived. i knew it was the garlic sets. as we don't go very often to the town where our post office is, i asked the lady to hold the box until another box came in - that would be the strawberry plants. well, lo and behold, jam went the other day to pick up the parcel and the strawberry plants were in the same box.

and looked like this.

i tried to revive them with water for several hours, then planted them in some really good soil in a pot but i don't hold up much hope.

i called vessey's and explained to them that we don't get a lot of parcels, that it's quite a drive to our post office and that there was nothing on the box indicating that live plants were included. i wasn't making a complaint - just a suggestion - that perhaps they could put a sticker on the box if live plants are included. the lady completely understood and expedited 25 more plants - free of cost! now that is customer service! we have been dealing with vessey's for 10 yrs now and we have never had a single complaint. they are a great company!

here's some bbq steak and bean salad.

how about some broccoli and beef - much better than you can get at a chinese take-out!

how's 14 rows of carrots planted sound? sounds mighty fine to me!

and a whole bunch of brassicas transplanted - woohoo!

this is a sage plant that we planted from seed and overwintered - he's already going to flower!

and finally - some green things coming up in the yard.

those daffodils should be opening soon - woohoo!

it's been a long, but good, week. my maniac man has been working his butt off in the yard and on his contract! right now he's out there building a new pea bed. tomorrow beets, radishes and peas get planted. it feels like this is going to be a great gardening year even though we were off to a bit of a late start. no worries - we're more than making up for it!