Monday, February 22, 2016

snow still melting, lots of good food, waiting for spring, licquers...and a prepping tip for all of you!

it's been a couple of grey days...but we don't's been mild, the snow is still melting and we are waiting for spring with much anticipation!

here's jambaloney's favourite meal - steak and shish-kebabs! with beet-pickled turnip, corn sprouts, and spring sprouts - yummeh! i, of course, had lamb.

the lamb here is terribly expensive but jambaloney got me a couple of flats when it was on sale. i have to admit that it's kind of "blah" - i am used to getting really good lamb back in the city and it always had a nice gamey taste to it. this lamb is just kind of "blah". so we won't be purchasing anymore unless we can find an organic farmer here on the island that will sell us some. we have a couple of names to check out and then perhaps we can enjoy lamb again!

here's a beautiful sunset from the other night!

sorry kids - more sushi! 1 tamago at each end of the plate, 1 shrimp, 1 tuna and 1 tofu.

on the second plate is our version of a california roll - avocado, carrot strips and cucumber strips - deelish! now that we have regular access to THE FISH GUY, and the fact that we have learned to make the rolls without a bamboo mat, and the fact that we ate sushi regularly back in the city, and the fact that it took us several attempts the first 2 yrs we were here to make our own - needless to say, sushi is on the menu at least twice a week! we looooove sushi!!!

in keeping with our love of soups for breakfast - here's a thai soup with coconut milk, lemongrass, mushroom, shrimp, carrot, lime, crushed chilis, a ton of garlic, cumin, turmeric and cayenne soup. the base of the soup starts with a pint of homemade broth.

jambaloney used to be a bartender for years and can make all kinds of fancy cocktails. as i only drink wine (red, lindemans bin 50, shiraz), i have never been interested in any cocktails or stuff - i hate pina coladas, daiquiries and margaritas. but jambaloney has recently introduced me to cointreau - oh me oh mi - i love it! on special occasions (having sushi for dinner or supper is a special occasion to me - that's how boring my life is - bahahahahah!), i now have a cointreau.

he puts 3 ice-cubes - i must have 3!, an orange peel twist, and a squeeze of an orange. deelish! and goes so well with sushi in my mind!

what is this, you ask? i bet you can smell it through your screen!

it's a mixture of grated onion, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and salt and pepper. it's a standard mix for various middle eastern dishes including kofta. you mix the spices with ground lamb to make the koftas. as we can't find any ground lamb on the island, i made it using ground beef. and the twist i added was throwing in about a half cup of left-over quinoa - it was a great addition and provided a real nutty taste.

the koftas are put on the grill on skewars and served with hummus and my cucmber/mayonnaise dip which is sort of like tzatziki minus the yoghurt.

here's a fantastic and spicy breakfast for any vegetarians out there. this is korean dobu-jorim which is tofu and onion cooked in a very spicy sauce - it'll kick you in the head and get your day started!

you can prepare the sauce to go with beef, chicken or pork.

now on to the prepping tip - one that i want all of you to consider. many preppers talk about having spices on hand - but mostly, in my experience, they mean salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme and maybe some garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder.

but i say instead of another flat of canned tuna - stock up on a pile of spices. and not just the regular spices - stock up on the exotic ones too! spices are the "actual" spice of life. learn how to cook using your more exotic spices like cinnamon (which is excellent for your metabolism!), turmeric, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, cloves, creme of tartar, ground mustard, sage, bay leaves, coriander, korean red pepper flakes, cardamom, wasabi powder, celery seed, mustard seed and more! from these spices you can make custom spices of your choice - like allspice, garam masala and a variety of curries. there are so many delicious basic foods that you can make if you have the spices on hand - such as something as simple as a potatoe curry from potatoes that you grow yourself!

all of the spices listed above have incredible health benefits and i strongly believe that we are what we eat and that including a variety of spices in your daily diet IS prepping for your health! for example - including turmeric in your daily meals or taking it as a tea has many health benefits. here is a link to a simple google search on turmeric.

you can do the research yourself, as in some cases, certain medical conditions are prohibitive of some of these spices. but not many. and the health benefits of these spices, if you don't have a prohibitive medical condition, ARE TOO MANY TO COUNT!

all right, stepping off of the spice soap box now. just remember - you ARE what you eat.

anyway, we are having a really nice day - jambaloney is moving the freezer and clothes washer around in the basement since we were able to put a lot of stuff that was cluttering the basement in the new shed. moving the freezer and clothes washer will really open up our dirt-floor, small basement and provide him with a sorta-kinda work room of sorts (Ed - after seeing your workroom and all of the stuff you build in there, and the fact that i am now screaming for a murphy bed - i think jambaloney has cut you off. bahahahahah! naw 'jes teasin'. but he's close, buddy!). i just made some delicious savoury croutons for - SNACK! we love snacking on croutons! and guess what i use to make croutons? i use old bread, EVOO and wait for it - SPICES!!!! (see how i turned that around and brought it back to spices? bahahahah!)

allrighty then - off to take a walk around the yard, get Frankie Blue Eyes off the roof. again. third time today. but hey - it's exercise and you don't want to get me started on how important exercise is to prepping. that's another post for another day!

hope you are all having a great day too!

Friday, February 19, 2016

canada: land of the responsible gun owner!

hope you all get a kick out of this!

cheers everyone!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

a fabulous day, lots of food...and sprouts!

don't ya love it when you have a fantastic day? today was one of those kind of days and i'll explain why later!

saturday night and sunday we had a bit of a storm. it was beautiful when it stopped. but for the next couple of days it was frigidly cold - brrrrr!

it's times like those that you want comfort food - like a big bowl of homemade miso, baby bock choi and mushrooms with a big piece of kimchi.

that'll sure warm you up for breakfast! for lunch we had grilled shrimp, an avocado and cucumber salad with sprouts and some corn sprouts.

the corn sprouts are in the middle of the plate and they taste very sweet - i love them! jambaloney finds them a little strange. which leads me to my next point....did you know that you can sprout corn kernels??? yes you can! and if you have access to organic corn - stock up on it! if you can grow your own corn, grow a ton and save some kernels for seed for the following year. but save as many kernels as you can for sprouts. sprouts are very nutritious and i will talk about sprouts in more detail in a bit.

back to homey, comfort food when it is freezing outside. nothing says comfort to us than steak fajitas with all of the fixings! like homemade salsa, grilled onions and peppers, and avocado - yummeh!

the second day of the big freeze started with my all-time favourite comfort food!

i call it "giblet soup" because i normally make it with the giblets from a turkey or chicken. "giblets" are the heart, kidney and liver of the animal. this time tho, i used some beef liver cut into tiny pieces, with thin slices of celery and homemade broth - deevine!

a nice delicious dinner? roasted veg - one of our favourite vegetarian meals!

now for a big let down! jambaloney was in to work on site last tuesday and you know what tuesday means right? THE FISH GUY!!!! the fish guy had fresh-caught swordfish steaks and as neither of us have ever had swordfish....jam got us some. we could hardly wait to try it. it cooked up beautifully in just some butter, salt and pepper.

my verdict? BLECK! it tasted like fake-pressed chicken stuff! the fish is very dense and i tend to like my fish flakey. jambaloney didn't mind it, he thought it was good but it is not something we will stock up on or ever buy again - the stuff is really expensive!

anyway - back to why today was a fantastic day! it was because after our couple of days of deep-freeze, we had 3 days of rain, fog and mist. you know what rain, fog and mist do, don't you? rain, fog and mist does this:

woohoo! they make snow go away! check out the front yard this morning:

almost no snow! and the long range forecast looks like we won't be getting any anytime soon!

for this morning's breakfast we had a little celebration! we made vietnamese rice paper rolls - deelish!

rice paper wraps with vermicelli, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, a ton of cilantro and shrimp. with fresh-made dipping sauce - we deserved it! and nothing will wake you up and prepare you to enjoy a gorgeous day better than those.

we walked around the yard and had dips in the hottub. jambaloney checked the generator and atv and did some odd work around the yard. i prepared shish-kebab skewars for our supper this eve - jam will be grilling up a steak for him and lamb chops for me.

now for some prepping information that no one ever seems to talk about - saving seeds for sprouts!do you know how many radish seeds you can get from one radish plant? bazillions. save some of those seeds for next years planting but use the rest throughout the year for sprouts - they are delicious!

here is some very interesting info about sprouted seeds:

"Seeds and grains contain a wonderful store of nutrients and are an excellent source of enzymes. Nature has protected the enzymes in dry seeds, nuts, grains and legumes by placing enzyme inhibitors in them. Enzyme inhibitors prevent the enzymes from being activated until the seed is germinated. Unfortunately this also prevents us from receiving the benefit of the plant enzymes to aid us in the digestion of the seeds. Germination neutralizes the inhibitors and releases the enzymes. Many people are sensitive to these inhibitors and display allergic reactions such as headaches. Some have difficulty digesting the seeds and nuts, grains or legumes and suffer indigestion. These digestive problems can be prevented by soaking the dry seed and beginning the germination process. Sprouting makes the vital enzymes fully available for our body's use and eliminates the possibility of allergic reactions to the enzyme inhibitors.
Many seeds also contain phytic acid which significantly reduces the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and other minerals into the blood stream causing loss of important minerals. When the seeds are sprouted, such losses become insignificant. Several other important functions are served in sprouting. The nutritional value is greatly enhanced, even quadrupled in many cases. In addition, starches and proteins are converted into simple sugars and amino acids which are much more easily absorbed and utilized by the body. In the case of nuts and seeds, the fat content is reduced by as much as 30-40% as it is consumed or energy in growing the sprout or converted into fatty acids.

The high concentration of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (proteins), RNA and DNA in sprouted foods have a regenerative effect on the human body. This concentrated combination of nutrients is available only in the live cell food."(

a plant that is full of millions of seeds and is normally grown for ornamental purposes is amaranth. you can plant a small pot of amaranth and still get a bazillion seeds for sprouting!

and you know the seeds that you saved 3 years ago and are not sure that are still viable to plant? sprout them!

many people and websites much smarter than me say that seeds only have an X viable planting life. that may be true...but one thing i know from experience is that if you store your seeds in a cool, dark place under proper conditions - they'll sprout many years later. and the point that i am trying to make is DO NOT THROW AWAY SEEDS. at the very least, in 5-10 years you may be able to get them to sprout. and sprouts are highly nutritious and should play a very large role in your diet whether the S has hit the fan or not.

getting off the sprout soap-box now and going for a walk around the yard with jambaloney and the cats and i don't even have to try to avoid the snow - it's almost all gone - wahooey!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

resurrecting a post from 2012!

we went to the community hall for a valentine's dance last night. there weren't a ton of people there but we had fun none the less - we were getting pounded all night and day with snow, so a lot of people couldn't make it out. but yesterday is our true "Valentine's Day" - the 13th not the 14th. he worked the door, and helped with the bar, and carried all of the licquor up to the lock-up room at 1:30am and then busted down tables and helped clean up. i helped but certainly didn't do as much as him. and so in lieu of a proper post, and the fact that he woke me with his snoring, i decided to do a cut and paste of a post from 2012. it's rather boring and just tells the story of when we first said "i love you" to each other....but it means a lot to me...and if yer bored and awake too...well have atter!

it's February 14....but i prefer February 13!

Happy Valentine's Day!

this is a very meaningful day to me and jambaloney. not because of today - but because of yesterday - February 13!

11 years ago on February 13, jambaloney told me he loved me for the first time! i near swooned and/or fainted. it was touch and go at the time with the knees all week and my stomach doing backflips - but somehow i managed to hold it together and tell him that i loved him, too. it was the first time i said it to his face but i had said that i loved him many millions of times by that point to just about anyone who would listen to me. we had only been dating since January 19, almost a month, but i knew the moment i looked at him that he was mine. plus there was a big, flashing sign on his head, put there by angels, that blinked "kymber - he's yours!!!" over and over.

i worked at my absolute favourite job at the time. i worked with some of the greatest colleagues and friends ever. i would walk into work, floating on air, and dead tired from another night of no sleep. jambaloney and i used to be phone hogs during the first few weeks of our dating, and we would stay on the phone all night talking during the work week. we fell asleep together so many times on the phone it's not funny! anyway i would float into work and as i approached my desk i would hear all of the little songbirds (my colleagues) singing - "kymber's in lerrrrrve!". i loved it! two of my friends, J and my boss V, would invite me into V's office for a full run-down on the previous evening's marathon phone session. and they would ooh and ahh with me. they always said that he sounded to good to be real, or true, for that matter! but when they met jambaloney they fell in love with him almost as much as me. i was fighting those women off until the time i left that job!

speaking of fighting off women - man oh man - i have been doing that since the first day i met him! needless to say, i am a pretty good fighter! naw, jes' teasin' wit' ya! but i have yet to encounter a woman that doesn't fall in love with him on sight. he is incredibly gorgeous, ya know? but when they see how kind and generous he is - they love him more! when they realize that he is a true and proper gentlemen (you did good, Liz!), they love him even more! when they find out that he can fix anything, lift anything, cook, clean and do laundry - that's when i have to get the boxing gloves out!

did i tell you that i won a chainsaw from the VFD raffle? no? well i did - woohoo for jambaloney! anyway, last saturday, at the Fourchu Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner, everyone was congratulating me on winning. one of the women said, "now kymber, you can take the chainsaw out in the woods and jambaloney can do the dishes"! at the exact same time, both jambaloney and i said that he always does the dishes. i then said that he cooks, cleans and does laundry, too! the next words out of her mouth were, "can he please come and live with me, then?". we all laughed. but trust me, she was dead serious. i might need to get the gloves back out soon. jeesh!

so today is happy love day and i have a stupid, little homemade love day gift for him. but yesterday was the important day for us. February 13 will always be my second favourite day of the year. January 19, the day i met him, will always be my first!

wanna see something goofy but fills me with incredible happiness, joy, awe, wonder and a feeling that someone so wonderful really loves me?

here's 2 pics from a summer day not too long ago. we were laying in the sun and jambaloney braided my hair and put flowers in the braids.

i hope he knows just how very much i love him. i know that he knows...but i don't think anyone other than me could ever really know just how much.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


jambaloney here - yes i know it has been a long while since i posted - i have been pretty busy with work, still i did manage to get our quick- and dirty shed built in october and novemenber.

first off - down to the beach to get rocks to make a base - i put these on plastic for weather barrier - i used an atv ramp for the wheelbarrow - it was a bit steep..

so i lessened each load - 4 trips did the trick.

 for the base i didn't skimp - all pt lumber..

i pre-set screws at 16" intervals along the 2x12s as pilot screws, i used the compressor to add 2 nails to on either side when together...

i used some free creosote 4x6s  as runners on the rocks (on an old tarp)

so here is the flooring deck

and then a floor!!!!

i also bought all new lumber for the frames..

and here are all the frames made, i used the floor as a large workbench!!

compressor came in handy but  it died after the frames were done,,,

another angle of the frames - the shed is 8x12 feet - anything over 100 square foot floor area requires a building permit.

 after some fiddling around, here are 2 frames braced together...

and squared off at the base  - before...

and after!

here is another angle...

as i only have 96 sq feet of floor space, i decided to "go up" so one length is 8 feet high, the other 10, this save on cuts, - i couldn't heave the 10 foot high wall frame up without it slipping ( i am only 5' 7") so i tacked a board on the floor to use as a brace...

hurrrah - 4 sorta-walls!

next was the Simpson hurricane ties that i use for rafters - it allows me to cheat and avoid cutting notches to seat them flush on the frames...

here is a good look with them in place ....

now to cut the rafters....

i square them all off at once

then clamp them to mark for cutting and placement in the hurricane ties

my new saw i love - 12" sliding miter - 2 at a time!!!

these blocks are for the ends and the hurricane ties won't work there..

i marked the square ends

you can see the blocks at the  top here on the ends - i screwed the rafters into them and put plates on the outside..

black plastic vapor barrier...

and walls - missing a few interim pics - i was in a rush -

ed - i DID have 6 old pieces of plywood for walls so some of this was scrounged!!!

but the end wall here is osb ..

hiding behind vandura...

well the rest i built without photos - i got it done just in time... the roofing is a new favorite of mine, osb covered with 6 mil plastic covered with a tarp -  2 hr installation, good for 5 years , 20 bucks. i re-roofed the sheds on the north side of the manor this way too. all buildings are "supposed" to be temporary, but this shed might stay in which case it will get siding and a metal roof one day,

i covered the NE wall in plastic  and slapped a crappy old door on there - this lets a lot of light in - the side is most protected form the wind..

 it may look like crap but it stores a LOT. we got the furniture out on the attic that was in the way of everything and stored a bunch of other stuff that was in out way out there... the corridor is just the right size and since then our living and working areas are noticeably better!!

 for sandy - last day of the season trout - aug 31, 2015..

and for pioneer P - a week before the end of the season i got this beauty - best colours of the year!

just spent  the last 2 days shoveling snow and am looking forward to another dumping on saturday -  i am beat - hope you are all surviving winter!!