“Folly On, Folly On”

_MG_2150_2

Yo yo yo

Some coffee, some omelettes, some pretty trees, and some news!

CB and I are going to move to Cape Breton in November!!

This island is one of the most gorgeous places on the entirety of planet Earth, but after two and a half years it’s about time to move on. We will miss so many things, so much. We made some really, really good friends here, who I hope keep me in their life because I want to keep them. In a little box, in the attic, forever. Nice and safe.. nice and safe.. my precious……. But if you know us, you know we suffer from a chronic case of itchy feet. I’m not just talking about the fungus, Im talking about the push for new stuff to see and do. It feels sad, but also really deep down good, to think about the next thing. Exciting! Fresh! Bold New Flavours! This is sounding like a Juicy Fruit commercial..

IMG_2066

Today we got up and made some breakfast, drank copious amounts of coffee, and talked about the future. It was nice. LOOK AT THAT BREAKFAST! Damn. Then we went out for a wee walk. It was chilly, but with no wind and lots of sun so very pleasent. I took pictures of mushrooms, as I do.

_MG_2123

So pretty, the sunshine on the super green moss and blue-white snow. Little mushrooms poking out.

IMG_2078

Crunchy crunchy ice.

IMG_2073

Spikey moss

IMG_2108

Peeking through the trees at the pond

IMG_2076Found this golden mushroom!


IMG_2091

Frosty grass, the pond is covered in thin patterns of ice like glass. CB through rocks on it, and they cracked through like a spoon through creme brulee. So satisfying..

IMG_2101

Pretty red leaves and black berries

IMG_2105

Birchy birches

IMG_2080 IMG_2112

These mushrooms looked so beautiful in the snow

IMG_2126 IMG_2144Ice and yellow leaves
IMG_2143Some snow on the ground, but still leaves on the trees!

Thats the end of the walk. I was going to tell you more about our plans but I think i should probably stop watching this Richard Pryor documentary and get in the shower, get ready for work. Alright alright here I go. SEE YA!

Advertisements

Frogs and Mushrooms

IMG_1494

Oh Hi

Didn’t see you there.

Oh me? Just writing a blog.

You don’t remember what a blog even is? Or who I am? Or what you’re doing here?

Oh that’s very queer indeed… indeed..

*AMNESIA*

Yeah so, hi! Remember me? I used to write nonsense here and accompany it with pictures of homemade pizza or flowers for an audience that consists nearly entirely of my mother. Miss me for the last 3 months? Anyway I have had 2 days off in a row, which meaning summer is winding down. I found myself at home under a blanket, feeling that odd mixture of fidgety-ness and intense malaise that sets in around noonish on my second day off. Its like even if your days off fall on a wednesday & thursday, the second day always feels like a sunday. Then I thought oh YEAH Ill write a blog about stuff and things! I havent really participated in the world very much this summer, but our friend Imma came for a visit for a week and a bit. We went for a hike on Turpins trail in Tilting and took some pictures. It looks much colder than it was.

IMG_1520

Turpins trail! Which has a really daunting little emblem… It looks like a Wickerman in the shape of a bunny with a scythe over top….. yeah never noticed that before.. okay… moving on..

IMG_1496

This is the very TRAIL we walked upon! We took the Road Most Travelled, not because we are conformists, but because everything else is made of rocks or steep drop offs into the ocean.

IMG_1526

The ponds are so mineral rich they are very still and very black. We were having a peek for baby fishes or a sign of life but ended up just staring into our own reflections… deep, dude.

IMG_1485

CB dropped a rock in.

IMG_1525

This is a larch tree. Its pinecones are little rosebuds growing straight off its elegant little braches. Cutest conifer ever!?

IMG_1510

So there was a whole plethora of fungus to be seen along the trail. These ones were the prettiest. Something had been nibbling them. Somewhere in the woods a caribou was having a real weird day.

IMG_1523_2

As you walk the trail, the environment changes super drastically every so often, and you get to experience a variety of ecosystems. This one had a bench that has seen better days.

IMG_1528

Marshy marsh. Boggy bog.

IMG_1536

CB is classy as shit and smoked a stogie on the walk. Cigars, pine trees, and salt water go nicely together, someone should make a really classy cologne.

IMG_1554

IMG_1562

It looks really cold, but it wasn’t so bad. It would threaten a drizzle every now and then but that just kept us feeling zesty fresh on our hike.

IMG_1565

Random pile of rocks in the shape of a pyramid.

IMG_1584_2

IMG_1500

WE FOUND A FROG! I dont care what anyone says, frogs are rare here. They are RARE! CB is like #1 Champion at catching frogs and turtles, so he gently scooped him up so we could get a good look.

IMG_1508

Aside from a little bit of pee, he seemed pretty chill.

IMG_1495_2

These are Blue Bead orchids. The leaf shoots are edible in the spring/early summer but the delicious looking blue flower pods left behind are poisonous.

IMG_1492

A moldy mushroom! Look at that! That mushroom got moldy. weird.

IMG_1490

Imma holding the cutest button mushroom we found. Awww.. like a little snowball.

IMG_1585

Over the bridge

IMG_1587

Seagull making a racket over head.

IMG_1589

Found this rock, nicely labelled, in the middle of nowhere..

IMG_1590

Imma standing over a perfect line of black lava stone pressed in between plates of granite, leading right to the sea. So neat!

IMG_1594_2

Follow it!

IMG_1598

Lovely still pond

IMG_1600

CB threw a log in it

IMG_1613

Skeleton of a boat rotting on the beach

IMG_1619

Sun bleached sea shells

IMG_1623

CB wiggling a creepy wormy tube of seaweed on a stick at Imma

IMG_1663

Imma somehow on the walk picked us each a four leaf clover. Magic!

IMG_1664

Seal Cove is my favourite place to put my feet in the water, but it was too cold and we managed to turn a 2 hour walk into a 4 1/2 hour walk so we walked by it

IMG_1668

Chubby bumblebee on a thistle, beautiful

IMG_1674

Tiny specks in the water are two ducks floating around

IMG_1681

Sappy cones

IMG_1680

Me taking a picture of Imma taking a picture of Ghost Pipes. They are really strange things. Somewhere between a plant and a mushroom, it has no chlorophyl and lives symbiotically with trees and mushrooms, taking what it needs from both. Creepy little things.

IMG_1625

Pretty piece of turquoise sea glass

IMG_1630

Tidal pools, hunting for sea urchins and crabs, unsucessful

_MG_1634

Oyster leaf growing between the rocks on the shore. They are a succulent, their leaves are plump with water, making them salty and briney like an oyster.

_MG_1637

An area of the walk was covered with bird wings. Maybe a dozen or so.

_MG_1643_2

We stopped and watched an epic battle between a crow and a small, very fast little bird. CB thinks it was probably a chicken hawk. He wasnt going hungry.

_MG_1648_2

A bleached out log jutting out of the rocks. I dont know if it got stuck there in a storm, or by people, but it was very striking as the storm started to come in.

IMG_1672

Creeeeepy little out house..

And that was our walk. TIME FOR CURRY LUNCH! BYE!

Soup & Cellars

bloobyYou can feel the winter creeping in, now. Mid October. That came so fast! The winds are picking up and carry with them an icy feeling. Its been so dang blustery I havent been able to light my jack-o-lantern. Very disappointing. CB and I were up in the wee hours of the morning, into work. The place was dead so he made every soul he saw a big breakfast. I baked, and cleaned. It was nice. We came home and chilled. I cooked some things.

Cooking away the afternoon.. steaming up the windows with the cold rain pattering against the window panes and the wind howling away. An older action movie on tv, barely holding our attention.. The smell of dinner and the sound of Tommy Lee Jones makes me think of home. Feels more like a sunday, for sure. Definitely a jogging pants kind of day.

I have been on a binge of cabbage soup lately. We buy 2 chickens, roast, pick the flesh from the bones and eat them with greedy greasy fingers. Then throw their bones in a big pot for stock, let it bubble overnight until its got all the goodness out. The next day I cook some garlic and onion in the schmaltz I saved from the roasting pan. I add the stock, and cubes of turnip, potato, some rubbery old carrots, chopped cabbage and a couple of bay leaves. Lots of black pepper. Probably too much salt.

Then it’s meatball time! Squishing the pink ground meat between my fingers I massage it into many little balls. Carefully I fry them off in batches, saving the pan fond. Deglaze the cast iron pan with half of my beer.. sip the other half. Nice beer. Then with that I make a gravy, with a little flour, and milk. This gives us meatballs & gravy for dinner.. half of the meatballs go into my soup. Too much cabbage! So chop the leaves fine, rub salt into them and it will soon become a jar of sauerkraut for the cupboard. Lunch and dinner done for a few days. Dishes everywhere. Oops.

 

IMG_8956

View out of the buick window, on our way to the post office. NO MAIL! Bahhhh…

 

IMG_8975

Later in the evening we went out for ice cream. I have been off sugar for .. I’ve lost count.. 20 days I think now. But today, I will have ice cream. It was delicious, and worth it. We listened to a radio show about Beethoven, and how we might be playing his symphonies too slowly. They sound AMAZING when sped up. When we got back home it’s not raining so I went for a walk up the hill.

IMG_8958

Dead raspberries and the fluffy ghosts of dandelions.

IMG_8960

I dont know what these are, but they are crunchy now. They taste like paper! Loving the fire truck red of the blueberry bushes at this time of year.

 

IMG_8969

A look out from the hill.

IMG_8968

Red, blue and yellow.

IMG_8980

I like this lichen. It looks like someone painted on this rock.

IMG_8983

Pink, green, blue and black.

IMG_8984

I found a cool thing! An abandoned root cellar! With its TOP OFF! Eeee!

IMG_8985_2

OooO what’s in there…

IMG_8986_2

Hmm too dark..

IMG_8987_2

FLASH! Oh it’s just some garbage. Time to go home.

IMG_8990

Having a berry snack on my way back down the hill. These are probably the last blueberries of the season. Like ice wine, the cold weather has made them so, so sweet.

IMG_8988

Time for meatballs!

Junuary Walk

IMG_8110

Good news, everybody! June 19th marks the day we FINALLY TURNED OFF THE HEAT!

Bloody hell. Its always so fecking cold! I was told at work that “oh yeah, its always cold this time of year here. We call it June-uary” OH HOW QUAINT GOD DAMN IT! Mostly I’m just pissed because I bought this toque that was obviously someones first attempt at a hat and now Ive been wearing it for like 9 straight damn months! BAH! I SAY! BAH!

Anyway, these pictures are from my day off on Tuesday. It was sunny, and I decided to go for a walk and do a bit of foraging for some goodies. Flowers are starting to bloom, and leaves are all sprouting up and so many things are edible! My front lawn is pretty much a salad. All it needs is some thousand island and voila.

I packed my Foraging Kit:

– bottle of water
– camera
– cool shades
– a variety of plastic baggies
– a glove for picking prickly things

And I set off! I was fully imagining I was Princess Nausicaa in the beginning of The Valley of The Wind where she’s running all around collecting specimens in glass tubes….. My brother and sister may be the only ones who know what the hell I’m talking about. But that movie was my life as a girl.

 

IMG_8096

I needed to collect some caribou moss, as usual. We go through a lot of it. I candy it and put it on cakes. Today I made a little forest scene on top of a birthday cake with candy dirty, and candy rocks, candy moss and then shooting up through it was real violets on their stems. It looked pretty cute. Im probably the only mofo putting shit like moss and candied beets on people’s bloody birthday cakes and getting away with it.

IMG_8100

These little bell things are cute, not 100% sure what they are though. I think they will eventually be a berry.

IMG_8101

Nice patch of creeping juniper here. I use the branches for syrups, or blitzed up in sugar for flavouring things. I also use the berries. There’s so much juniper here that I sometimes fantasize about opening a gin distillery here.

IMG_8102

Now this is what I was really after; fireweed. The leaves taste exactly like tea, and the blossoms make a beautiful ruby red, perfumed jelly. Not enough were in bloom and the few that were were covered in bees frantically scraping up all the polleny goodness out of them. I felt too guilty taking away what limited blooms there are here from  the old bee’s so I’ll save it for next week.

IMG_8103

These little darlings are spruce tips. Each three fingered prong gets these beautiful, super flavourful little bud on them. They are DELICIOUS and packed with vitamin C. Im doing all sorts of stuff with this, because the syrup and jelly is a beautiful purple colour.

IMG_8104

They are full of pollen right now as well, if you can see it on my grubby little finger there.

 

IMG_8111

Oh a bone!

IMG_8114

I trudged my way up the hill, on my search for a better picture of some ice bergs. They have been so close and beautiful and I have no good pictures of them!

IMG_8115

See them there.. those wee white specks in all that blue? Yeah thats them!

IMG_8116

I took a break by this pond, which had this tangle of bog rosemary growing in it.

 

IMG_8118

Beautiful little pink flowers.

IMG_8120

I love anything with the prefix of “bog”. It’s charming.

IMG_8123

All around the pond was a thick, green moss looking exactly like the shag carpeting that was in my nan’s living room when I was a kid. It was nice to sit on, in the sunshine, staring at my murkey little pond and eating random stuff.

IMG_8124

I mentioned caribou moss, now this beautiful little puff ball is reindeer moss. Its finer, and grows in orb shaped puffs. Its lovely. And actually, not moss, it’s a lichen.

IMG_8128

So cute.

IMG_8129

IMG_8130

Labrador tea, starting to bloom. They get pretty white flowers.

IMG_8132

More fireweed growing in amoungst some short birch trees.

IMG_8136

I found this weird stuff, and it was very pretty. I tried a bit, and it tasted like INTENSE seaweed followed by the unpleasentness of what I imagine licking an infected wound would taste like.. yeah.. like.. rot and pennies and blood and salt. Bleah. I really, really regretted that. But just in case I was wrong, I had another. CB told me that when he would go mushroom picking with his Poppy, he would have baby CB put anything they tasted in their pocket just in case it made them horribly ill and they needed to identify what it was. I should have put some of this in my pocket… because I was maybe worried I was going to die. DONT EAT RANDOM SHIT OFF THE GROUND, KIDS! Stay in school dont do drugs.

IMG_8141

“Oh sweet, alfalfa sprouts! BLEH A DEAD MERMAIDS BUTTHOLE!”

IMG_8086

And back home again.

There’s a lot more stuff out there thats ripe for the picking; burdock root, dandelion leaves, sorrel, baby violets, labrador tea, chicory, clover, pungent sweet gale.. nettle, wild mint.. lots of leafy stuff thats good for eating. I’ll keep posting what I do with what I collect. SEE YA!

Moss Candy

IMG_7423

It was really mindblowing to finish work late and come out to a SUNNY DAY! I should have been exhausted but the sun imbued me with some magic maniac vitamin D energy and I took off to the hills! I found a sweet snow pile by our bedroom window that was hard and perfectly smooth snow and I slid down it until it stopped being smooth and cut my butt up a bit. CB said he could hear me crying about it from inside the house.

Oh but I know there’s something good out there. I best not waste the opportunity of no wind and no snow and get me some good stuff from the rocks. I’m talking about the velvety green stuff man, moss. I’m going to make it into candy. HEALTH!

IMG_7414

Not off to a good start. A rather meager patch if I may say so..

IMG_7397

Sweet, looks like a bonfire party is about to happen any second. I wonder if there’s like 7 or 8 frozen hobo bodies all around the drum underneath the snow.

IMG_7398

I am likin’ this lichen! It kind of looks like a cool guy face with a big mouth and sort of a winky eye.

IMG_7402

BINGO!

IMG_7404

It’s like a shag carpet, only less gross and with less bacteria! BEAUTIFUL!

IMG_7405

Gotcha! Caribou moss. I hope the caribou don’t mind me thieving their crop.

IMG_7406

Oh noooo my paper bag ran awayyy!

IMG_7408

AHA! This is the fucking kid that rides around in circles around our house every hour of every day on his fucking 4wheeler with a cut off exhaust so it sounds like the fucking apocalypse GAGRGR I know where you live now, mother fucker! Im coming to jam a potato in your tail pipe!!

IMG_7409

IMG_7410

IMG_7418

Beer bottle bum.

IMG_7419

Copper BB’s shining on a tiny little ice puddle.

IMG_7421

Now to deal with my precious harvest..

IMG_7424

Throw a bunch of baking soda in a bowl.

IMG_7427

Soda’d.

IMG_7425

Add moss and cover with water. Swirl it around a bit.

IMG_7428

Cover and let sit overnight. Then rinse it, clean it, pick all the stray furry other mosses out between it’s branches, dip in hot simple syrup and bake at 250F for an hour until hardened. Tada, moss candy!

Weasel Foot

 

IMG_6288

Good morning!

IMG_6230_2

Hot cup of tea in a cold house on a november morning is nice. So steamy.

IMG_6213

A weasel got into our garbage in the night. There was a weasel shaped hole in one side and right out the other. Looks like he favours pumpnickle bread and nibbling balogne bits off the strips of wax. Weird. It must be hard to be a tube of prey in the winter, leading all the baddies right to your burrow with your little footprints. I followed them. The bugger lives under the shed beside our trailer. I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE! The nice thing though is that we just left the bag out there another night and he came back and ate up all the mess he made!

IMG_6231

I thought I was a super genius when I started using cleaned meat trays as palettes for my painting. This is why I never had before, and just forgot… turpentine + styrofoam = no more styrofoam.

IMG_6217

Cookin some red cabbage. Makes the house smell like home. My mom reminded me that my Nan would stick cloves into a whole onion and place it in the middle of the cabbage while it cooked but I hate clove so NEH.

IMG_6289

We went for an adventure for about 10 minutes until CB decided to poop on my party and want to go back inside. Apparently he didnt want to spend the last bit of my day off wandering aimlessly around in the freezing cold. Jeez.

I found a green leaf and ran to pick it up. But it was a plastic leaf, which is why it still managed to stay green. CB said I should keep it, take it in somewhere warm. But I thought it must be from the cemetery over the hill and its probably haunted by ghosts so.. I put it back in a bush and went home.

 

 

IMG_6204

 

Oh Shhhhh…ean! Ocean.

IMAG0093_edit0

Day off day off day OFFFFF! YEAH BOOOI!

Yesterday I got up before 6 in the bloody morning, on my day off. Technically, that is sleeping in. Bah. It’s too dark to do anything at that time. Saturday is grocery day so it was slim pickins in our kitchen, so with hungry tums, we tried to go out  to get some coffee or a gas station sandwich with no luck at all. So we just cruised back and forth down the islands main street until the grocery store opened up, like gangstas.

Grocery shopping is my fav, dunno if I mentioned that. We will be working on a very neat and tidy budget for this winter so it makes it even more fun and challenging, like a game. I used to play this game with my Dad at the grocery store check out, where we try to guess how much the bill would come to, and whoever wins gets to keep the change in his pocket. I rarely won, but usually got all the change anyway, wahahaha! But I’m winning now boy, I have honed my skills and now Im a grocery store discount ninja. You should see me in the meat department boy, calculating price per kilo like a mofo. I was only off budget by $5.06. Not too shabby. Anyway this is probably only interesting to me so let’s carry on shall we!

Also, please note, I have not bought a chocolate bar in 2 weeks. For anyone that knows me in real life, you know what a major breakthrough/sacrifice that is..

After grocery shopping CB and I went to the island bakery beside the grocery store for some coffee and eggs & toast. It was very nice. I poked my head into the kitchen and the bakery owner let me come in and check out her sweet ancient kit. I’m such a G.D nerdbucket for old kitchen equipment. The second my eyes hit a dusty old Hobart I get all star eyed in love. She had a scale so old that it was actually made in Canada. Nothing is made in Canada! We chatted for a while, I think she appreciated how much I appreciated her awesome kitchen. I was jealous, really. Then we had some peanut butter chocolate “mice” sweets and went on home.

Later that day we drove over to Sandy Cove and took a walk on a trail I’ve heard is pretty awesome. It’s called Turpins Trail and I cant wait to take the next person who comes to visit me for a walk on it. Its stupid beautiful. And figures it was the day I didnt bring my camera. CB took some photos and super short videos on his phone though.

You can’t hear it in the video but the waves were so huge and loud! The waves would hit the rocks like a 25 foot wall of water and the sound was like a crack of thunder. You could actually feel it through your feet. Amazing.

IMAG0092

There’s a lot of old lobster traps all over the place. This picture is for you mum, I know you like your lobster traps!

shelly

CB spotted this awesome driftwood laying on the pebbly beach. It was definitely an telephone pole or something at one point, and now its a little fat torpedo we have named Shelly. Unfortunately we happened to meet Shelly half way through our walk and therefore had to lug her heavy wooden ass the rest of the way to the car. Oof.

Screenshot_2013-10-27-11-22-00

The track took us from beach, through beautiful dreamy boreal forests, over smooth granite plains of the Canadian Shield, along the shore line, up cliff faces and over black ponds on rickety bridges. I made CB go first over them, heh.. It was an amazing walk. It was such mindbender when you step off of a beach into a dark forest, and there is crab skeletons underneath pine trees. Does not compute.

sea urchin

I found specimens! Sea urchins, and a little ziplock baggy of Labrador Tea. Chef brought me some at work the other day to infuse into an ice cream and it was freaking delicious so I’m glad to have more of it. It has a very strange smell and flavour. Kind of smokey, black tea, lemon notes and something that really reminds me of my childhood. I think maybe it smells like a certain kind of plastic. Remember water babies? Like that. Like a Water Baby having a smoke and a cup of tea with a twist of lemon at Christmas time.  Yeah.

butterfly

This is CB’s friend the moth. He has lived on our windowsill for almost 2 weeks, coming down every so often to vibrate hilariously on CB’s computer to warm up. We finally took the screen off the window and set him free. Not before giving him a last meal of some honey squeezed all over the sill, before he left.

jerkchicken

This is the meal I came home to on friday night. CB made proper jerk pork and coleslaw with gravy. The meal we miss most from living in Toronto. It was NEARLY perfect. I even made festivals and black cake! It was so freaking good I dont even remember eating it. Just a beautiful, spicy haze of chomping.

fritatter

I just made this monstrocity for lunch. Its called Taco Night Leftover Frittata. With hot dogs. And some tomato sauce. And cheese. Im going to go eat it, and then do some weight lifting. Not even joking. Yeah, I do that now. JEALOUS?