No no no, no-no-no, no no NOVEMBER

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Hello grumplings, how’s it is hanging? Yes? Good! No!

I have been thinking about my blog a lot the last few days. Been missing it really. Missing the little community of cool-ass bloggers, and their cool-ass blogs that I usually spent my mornings reading. I miss rambling in broken english and mortifyingly poor grammar. I miss telling you all about the latest food ingested and outgested. The only cure for this kinda blues is to write a blog!

Today is a wet sort of cold that gets into your bones, so we are curdled away inside like squirrels. There is a steady shower of rain that every so often turns to snow and then back to rain again. We have a more temperate little mini climate in Gabarus, and the rest of the island is having a fun-time blizzard today so no complaints here. CB has a fire roaring away, and we’re spending the morning in the kitchen cooking together and watching all the Harry Potter movies. We started last night and have just finished the second one. Its a good background movie on such a Novembery day. I forgot how dark they were, Harry P just straight up murdered some guy. And then got awarded school points for it. Wtf…

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Life is pretty great right now, but one of the top 5 best things has got to be visiting the library regularly. Libraries are the best places on earth. Last month we took out books on compost, solariums, gunsmithing and the first volume of Hellboy. FOR FREE. FOR NO MONEY! It feels like stealing. And stealing feels exhilarating like driving a race car. And driving a race car feels awesome like doing cool drugs. And doing cool drugs feels like visiting the library. I like to get high, on imagination.

This month I grabbed Mastering the art of French Cooking by Julia Child, an ancient old book of Nova Scotian cooking and a book about Scottish baking. We haven’t gone grocery shopping in a while so the Scottish baking book is great, every recipe only has about 5 ingredients, one of which is usually oatmeal. And we never run out of oatmeal…

The first recipe Ive baked from the book is for “sour skons”, to use of the last of the sour cream in the house. This recipe originated in Orkney in the late 1700’s.

ORKNEY SOUR SKONS

200g flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
25g medium oatmeal
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
142ml sour cream
2 tbsp milk

Mix into a soft dough, pat into a 1″ thick round and cut into 6.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes.

I have to admit, I did not put the caraway in these. Instead I added nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon because I wanted a vehicle on which to shovel tablespoons of apply jelly into my face. And caraway.. I dunno. But I think that would be nice with cheese maybe! Like a fine aged Cheezwhiz perhaps. This recipe took, I shit you not, 17 minutes from when I stood my lazy butt up to when I was eating a softy warm scone. It was super light, with a fluffy texture and I liked the addition of a little oatmeal. They tasted, however, like the 1700s. I’d make these again but probably add a bit of sugar and maybe a pinch more salt to balance it out.

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Sweetpea was hoping I would hate them and dump them all into her dog bowl in a fit of disappointment and rage. Instead I just ate three, covered in jelly. Actually I put mayonnaise on one. Don’t you dare judge me!

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This spider has turned my window plants into his very own apartment complex. I like him, he can stay. I haven’t seen a single fruit fly since he moved in.

I have lots to write about but I should pack it in now and go help CB with the pork dumplings he is making for dinner. EXCITING! Dumplings are the #4 best thing in life by the way. I’ll tell you about the others later. Peace out!

Darling Buds of May

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Hi buddies!

Its been so so long since Ive written a blog. Usually that means Ive been working too much or depressed (or both!), but not this time, by golly. I’ve just been busy doing good stuff. Life stuff, house stuff, dog stuff, family stuff, love stuff, nature stuff, food stuff, that kind of stuff. Adult stuff!

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We have gotten a lot of Shit Done in the last couple of weeks and it feels good. We sorted out things like insurance and licences for various things, registering vehicles and getting health card crap. We saved up and bought ourselves a washing machine so I don’t have to spend my evenings fastidiously spot washing buttercream stains off my work shirts and re-wearing my socks until their are stiff as dicks. We also bought a very small counter top dishwasher, because that is an area of adulthood that we routinely fail at. We both just hate dishes so much and it often is a point of contention. So now we sleep in a bed that isn’t just a mattress on the floor, we have a $20 robot who vacuums our house for us, a little machine that magically cleans our clothes and dishes AND clean water AND heat all in the same place at the same time. It feels nice..

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3 months ago I started a blog with some Life Goals which I never finished.. so not really off to a rip rollicking start there. But here it is:

I have been mad craving Russian food for some reason so I was really into the idea of making the Russian salad Herring in a Fur Coat. The picadillo vainica is a South American dish of ground beef and green beans that was delicious and will definitely be something we make often. I made pork fried rice for dinner one night that was such good junk food. That butternut squash pasta recipe I have been dreaming about was pretty meh. The Sup Mang Tay is a delicious Thai soup with French influence that was so lovely for lunch. And we had lobster for mothers day with Marie which was such a great day.

Ive been walking most every day with Sweet Pea after dinner. Its so nice to spend an hour outside while the suns going down, listening to the robins and frogs chirping their spring time love songs. The heavy perfume smell of trees and flower coming into bloom. Even picking up the dogs poop is nice because at least it wasn’t in the house!

 

 

Ive definitely mastered French macarons, having made a thousand or two since I wrote that, and I am learning how to do fondant cakes and loving it. Work has been a bit rougher than Id like lately and I was thinking of quitting. But I sucked it up and had a good long talk with the boss lady about what I need and what we need to do better on, which I always find so hard to do. It went well, so I think things should sort themselves out. We will see.

CB dyed my hair magenta, turquoise, blue and purple. It was pretty rad.

And my garden is started!

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They are big enough to transplant, just waiting for the morning frost to pass before I get these babies into the ground! My nasturtiums are looking hardy so they have already made the move to a pot outside. Actually I think its an old metal water or milking bucket or something.

I have been spending 100% more time outside than I have in the last couple of years. CB and I come home after work and play with Sweet Pea out in the yard and then lay down and have a little nap on the mossy lawn. The black flies are out now though, so its hard to lay peacefully on the grass without having to blow blackflies back out of your nose every 10 seconds.

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So far we have a few plants coming up outside, but mostly just beautiful daffodils which apparently the smell of which work Sweet Pea up into a psychotic frenzy with a thirst for human blood. Ah, Spring Time.

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OK because of our slow ass internet this blog has taken about an hour and a half to write, so long past my Attention Span’s point of no return. I leave you with this poem about daffodils, because I hate you.

Lolz kidding. You’re alright.

Love, Kara

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils
– Wordsworth

 

 

 

Wham Cran Thankya Man

Trying to think of a cranberry pun proved more difficult than anticipated.

The other day CB and I were out for a jaunt and I ended up coming back with half a grocery bag full of wild cranberries. There was a nice patch of the juicy wee buggers along the path right on the ocean.

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They have been sitting on the ground for a few weeks of frost and maybe even some snow, so the sugars content was super high. They were still firm and crunchy, full of juice, and tasted like a bit spicy like nutmeg. Gorgeous.

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I had them in the fridge for a couple of days before I could get to them, but you wouldn’t know it. Cranberries last forever. I laid some out single file on a sheet tray in the freezer to freeze for later, but ended up just making more cranberry sauce with them anyway.

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Very easy to clean, the berries float and the grassy bits mostly fall to the bottom. I let the water run and just lifted small handfuls of berries out, through the running water to wash away the schmutz, and then into the pot.

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Making cranberry sauce is super easy. If you want a clear jelly, like the can, just boil the berries until they burst. Then strain off the juice by pressing through a mesh strainer or through a ricer/foodmill. Then add 1/2 as much sugar as you have berries and boil for 10-15 minutes until thick. Nothing fancy. This is the recipe for the whole berry cranberry sauce I just made because ya know, the skins are full of fibre, and everyone loves to poop!

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups whole cranberries

optional: orange zest, thyme, black pepper, garlic, etc..

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In a medium sized saucepan, combine sugar, salt and water. Bring to a boil, and let simmer 5 minutes.

Add in cranberries, and continue to simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cranberries will burst, and sauce will thicken.

**Pour into sterilized jars and boil for 5 minutes to preserve.

Tada! You don’t have to boil the jars to preserve it if you are eating it within the next couple of weeks. Just keep it in the fridge. If you want to keep the jars through the winter, its a good idea to can them properly.

There ya go. If you’ve never made cranberry sauce before I hope you try it for christmas. Lalala!