Sunday, July 31, 2016

some beautiful days, making herbed salts, lots of jobs, meeting up with friends, and a bunch of food! oh...and a ton of pics!

it has been a gorgeous couple of days!

perfect summer weather for us - in the mid 20's (C) but with a nice breeze as well.

i really like these funny little clouds.

i cut my garlic scapes the other day - i think they make a most beautiful flower arrangement!

different people cut their scapes at different times, some cut them as soon as they come up, some don't bother cutting them at all...and some like me cut them when they fill a vase so beautifully. according to some train of thought - cutting the scapes lets the garlic bulbs put more attention into the bulb rather than the flower. i always leave a few scapes go just to see if i can see a difference. i think cutting the scapes does make for larger garlic bulbs.

but the cool thing about cutting the scapes and putting them in water is that the flower heads will continue to grow and will produce tiny, tiny little garlic bulbils that you can plant and the following season the bulbil will turn into a clove. you then plant the clove (or just leave it where it is) and in 2-3 years you'll have a whole garlic clove. cool eh?

talking about cool - how about making some herbed salts to use on a variety of meats. i started with some dill and dill heads.

chop it up finely.

that is almost a quarter of a cup so i used almost a full tablespoon of large sea salt.

you can use fine sea salt but you take all of the fun out of it. smash the herbs and the salt with a pestle and by doing so, you release a lot of the juices from the herb into the salt. and now you have just made dill salt - perfect for fresh-caught trout, striped bass or salmon - yummeh!

the salt will keep the herbs fresh for at least 2 weeks if stored in a cupboard - or it will last a month if stored in the fridge. the herb will not lose it's colour or freshness.

next up was thyme and thyme flowers. i always include the flowers in my salts and when i dehydrate or freeze the herbs.

of course rosemary.

and mint - a lovely salt for lamb or pork.

and here's my 6 little jars of the above-mentioned salts. i make small amounts at this time of the year because the herbs are coming in like gangbusters. at this time of year as the herbs are coming in, i like to make herbed salts, dry some herbs, freeze some herbs and make salt beds for them for over the winter. i will show you salt beds in a later post.

here's some lovely pork with 3 different herbed salts - the herbed salts really bring out the flavour of the meat.

woops! how could i forget my favourite?!?!?!? parsely salt! i looooove parsley salt!!!

here are some little hamburger koftas with their corresponding salts sitting behind them.

delicious! as i said - the salt takes on the flavour of the herb and brings out and keeps the freshness of the herb.

i make a big pot of kymberz version of vietnamese-inspired hot and sour soup - that way, our breakfast is ready each day.

this soup is loaded! it starts with bone broth, then you add 3 big chunks of lemongrass, 1/2 cup of lime juice, 1 cup of pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, 2 TBLS of sugar, 3TBLS of fish sauce, 1 TBLS of crushed garlic, 1TBLS of crushed ginger, sliced mushrooms, shrimp, mint, cilantro, and a big blog of homemade hot sauce. this soup will kick you awake in the morning and get you going. i know some people wonder soup for breakfast? yes, this soup has so many nutrients and if you eat it for breakfast, it gets all of your lymph nodes pumping and also raises your body temperature so that when you go outside in the blazing sun - it doesn't feel like such a shock.

oh yum - chicken breast with a variety of herbed salts - double yum!

grilled on the barbie (the salts are added afterwards), roasted veg and some apple slices.

we took the cabinet doors and drawer fronts off of our piece of crap bottom kitchen cabinet-thingy that we bought from home hardware when we first got here, and pressure-washed them, sanded them and painted them.

ugh. finally. we painted them with bathroom paint - the same paint we used on our upper kitchen cabinets. the bathroom paint is so easy to keep clean - just wipe with a wet cloth. our bottom cabinet cupboards just kept getting stained and i was sick of scrubbing them and them still looking like crap. not anymore baby!

peas and tons of pea flowers - woohoo! we love peas!

Dani - this is a pepper plant that i planted from your seeds last year and overwintered. look at all of the little baby peppers growing on it - woohoo!

here's some hungarian hot was and jalapeno peppers going crazy! the peppers love living in the greenhouse during the growing season!

and check it out - lots of tiny green peppers! these things are sooo very sweet and crunchy - i love them!

tomaties! the tomaties are actually growing - woohoo!

and carrots going to seed - how lovely!

yes kids - i have managed to grow 2 cabbages this year - wahooey!

i have 2 more rows that might make it but with this heat, i am afraid they will bolt!

and potatoes! nothing so wonderful as potatoes!

as many of them have already flowered, we can be eating brand new baby potatoes in the next week or so! and here's some baby grape flowers....could we get more than a handful of grapes this year???

here's our overgrown grapevine that drives our friend W crazy!

we don't have a clue how to take care of it - but W is trying to teach us. thanks w!

and lastly, our slanty little apple tree - trying to put out apples. go little apple tree! we don't know hao to properly care for this either. but we're learning.

we have been trying to learn as much as we can since starting this adventure....and we have had to focus on the things that are feasible for us , in this place and at this time. we continue to learn every day - and we thank all of the people in our blogroll for sharing all that you share.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

making rose salve...and catching up!

well kids - it's been a long week and a half! we've had business meetings, flying internationally several times, meeting up with movie and rock stars - it sure can wear you out.

BAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH! naw - we've been busy in the garden and the house, jambaloney's been busy working on his contract, we've been petting cats, near died when we had high humidity for almost 3 days in a row (i feel so sorry for all of you people that live with constant humidity - i swear, we were crying for those almost 3 days!) and eating lots of good food.

but when it wasn't humid, we were outside enjoying our days.

jambaloney, the weeder extraordinnaire, has been weeding non-stop. i've been making more salves. this is rose petal salve.

make sure your roses are just in their prime and pick them, lay them on a screen to give any bugs a chance to get off, after an hour, all the bugs should be gone, then rinse them and dry them really well - putting them back out into the sun works well and quick!

toss those beautiful petals into your salve-making pot and dump some hard coconut oil and coconut milk in the pot.

let it all melt together.

toss in some clover heads and heal-all flowers for the medicinal quality that they provide.

let it all cook up JUST to boiling.

strain your mixture and press on your mixture to get all of the liquid out.

put your liquid back in the pot and chuck in some 100% beeswax (if you are lucky enough to get Pioneer Preppy's beeswax you are one lucky sod!)

once the beeswax has melted put the liquid that HAS NOT ever come to a boil, do your spoon test.

dip a spoon into your mixture, let it sit for 10 minutes. then rub the spoon. if it's too runny, add more beeswax, if it's too thick, add a little more coconut oil. when you are satisfied with the composition, fill little jars. here's mine:

this, like all of the other salves i make has many uses. you can use it as a face cream, body cream, lip balm and for anything chaffed (like elbows knees and feet). you can also just use it as a hand cream - it has a soothing fragrance and if you rub it into your hands in the evening watching tv or whatever - it has a very calming effect.

now for my buddy W, who is always asking about the cats. Rat Cat...i mean Edgar....found himself a new bed.

we have pillows and blankets and little beds all over the house that not one single cat has ever gotten into?!?!?!?!? but put a box lid on a desk...and that is Edgar's bed. Noodie-Noo sleeps on boxes that are in a shelf. Mankly-Spontoonch ( Frankie Blue Eyes) sleeps on a tiny ledge in the kitchen. and Moby-Moe is now sleeping in a tire insert on top of the hottub. these cats are nuts.

we watched a thunderhead develop the other day - what a gorgeous picture!

but it blew by us.

and here is some homemade chili burritos that i made the other day for supper.

jambaloney suggested that the only thing that could make the meal more decadent was to put a poached egg on it.

i concurred. and then served it with a quinoa, parsley and mint salad topped with tomatoe and cucumber. we moaned for hours.

now on to some "herbs". how about some lemon balm, bee balm, sage and sage flowers, heal-all flowers, sweet marjoram and flowers, chamomile, oregano and thyme all drying in the sun? woohoo! i pick these quite regularly and solar dry them on screens for delicious herbs for over the winter that you grew yourself!

here's another beautiful day - i had a friend once ask if cape breton is really as beautiful as it seems??? just google cape breton and you will see tons of pics - NOT taken by me - and you will see just how absolutely mesmerizing it is! especially at the Manor!

here's some fresh-picked herbs that i put in jars of water - why? because i am going to make herb salt out of them. stay tuned and i will show you how i salt my herbs for use throughout the winter.

heading down to the river one day, every day - it doesn't matter what day - it always looks like this!

down at the river. special pic for my friend C.

coming back up the road after a river day...after a day of looking at the sky with awe. and then we see the lop-sided Manor - my favourite place in the world.

"the man" (jambaloney) wanted steak, chicken thighs and homemade potatoe salad for supper. "the man" always gets what he wants for breakfast dinner and supper!

i had a piece of his bloody, un-cooked steak and still prefer mine to be like combat-boot leather. on the left is chicken thighs cooked on the bbq and then tossed with my "kick-you-in-the-head" homemade hot sauce with butter and honey. on the left is a teriyaki-kind of sauce that i just made up with ginger and garlic and stuff.

both were delicious! and as you can tell - for my potatoe salad, i use yolks from 6 eggs but only use 4 whites - i like my potatoe salad to be yolky!!!

sorry if i haven't been by your blogs. but it's hard living the life of riley! sending love though!