Bananarama

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Since moving into our new wee house all I have wanted to do is stay home and bake and paint. Our house is so fun! Theres a lawn and so much space in the kitchen and its easy to clean up! Our first week here we felt like we were on vacation and we’d have to go back to the trailer at any minute. I love this little place.

Anyway, the two things I have been wanting to bake the most is blueberry pie (donezo) and my favourite banana bread. Its not exactly the healthiest version of the after school snack but it is so quick, super moist and gets even better the longer it sits. It is an absolute assassin with some salty butter on top.

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My Favourite Banana Bread

Yield: 1 8×8 pan or 1 large loaf
Time: 45 minutes start to finish
Cost: <$5

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
salt

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
dash of vanilla
8 ripe bananas
2 tbsps sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350F and line your pan with parchment paper.

Mash bananas and sour cream together.

Mix dry ingredients together.

Beat sugar and eggs together for 10 minutes on medium speed. Drizzle in oil. Mix in walnuts, banana and creme fraiche. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into pan.

Bake about 30 minutes. Longer if you are baking in a loaf pan.

Wait til it cools completely and eat with salty butter!

 

 

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Good morning Balogne!

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Tea cake treat! Graham cracker, marshmallow covered in chocolate. Inspiration for a new night time dessert! Marshmallow Ice Cream, hot fudge sauce and big fluffy gingerbread cookies called Fat Archies (thanks, Arlene!). Just because I want to eat that.

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CB finally got his new motorcycle boots! They were a long time coming and specially made just for him. He was excited like a little girl unwrapping them. They were born in Romania by an Italian motorcycle company, designed by a company in Duluth, Minnesota. So they had a long journey.

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He is very happy. I saw a picture accidentally on google images once of a motorcyclist who wasnt wearing proper boots and his bones were outside of his body SO since then we have been saving up for REALLY good boots because that is my new nightmare. Gah!

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Coffee and breakfast!

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CB’s glorious potatoes ARE HAPPENING!! So golden brown and crispy.

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Yom.

Junuary Walk

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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.

 

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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Oh a bone!

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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!

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

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

 

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Beautiful little pink flowers.

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

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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.

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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.

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So cute.

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

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More fireweed growing in amoungst some short birch trees.

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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.

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

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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!

Cookin’ Chook

 

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Isnt that a pretty looking chicken? I cant wait to eat her.

I’m very excited because I went to the grocery store today and saw more COLOURS! Red peppers, purple baby eggplants, grapefruit, blood oranges.. vegetables are cominnnng! I bought this bag of mixed purple, red and yellow skinned potatoes because I know CB has been eyeing them for making really pretty potato salad at the cafe. We’ll give them a test run. I’ve been underwhelmed by purple potatoes before, but sometimes they are amazing. Cover them in onions, thyme, bacon fat and butter.. let the chicken drip it’s tasty juices all over them, yeah.. that’ll be good. Cant wait. Now, time for tea. I just wanted to show you how pretty this chicken looked!

 

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Smoosh’d

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AHHH I smoosh’d my cone. Bummer.

CB and I had TWO days off together! We spent the first one in Gander, buying things like sim cards and ya know, pants. For our butts. So our butts arent hanging out and stuff. It was .. awful, but the best thing is it’s over with! A lady body checked me in Walmart over a pair of mens underpants…

We had our first Fishman’s Brewis! Which is soaked hard tack bread, salt cod and  SCRUNCHINS! *opera singing* It has changed my whole life. Oh Brewis, of my life, brewis of my heart, BREWIS OF MY SOUL! Who knew rock hard bread soaked in water could be so tasty. Possibly the most delicious thing of all time, but I felt like I needed to run a marathon afterwards. We also went to Pizza Delight because I am weak in the knees for pizza..

Yesterday we went for a walk around Joe Batts and ate some nice things too. We got a PO box so we dont have to put our address as “The Trailer Behind The Wood Shop” on forms anymore. We had a nice lunch at Nicole’s Cafe. CB had chowder with a roll and a cup of tea, and I had a snow crab panani.. panini?? Pinana. Which was the BEST THING IN THE WORLD. For dessert we finally got to the ice cream store on it’s very last day of the season. I got two scoops, partridgeberry jam tart and molasses raisin bread. It had bits of bread in it! CRAZY! I was so distracted by the pure flavour that I crushed it in my powerful paws.

And then there was this..

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Midnight snack. Frozen Cadbury chocolate mousse cake, a box of oatmeal cream pies and earl grey & whisky hot toddies, like a boss. It’s all Emma’s fault and also on an unrelated note she may be the best roomie ever…

16 Bit Wolf Pack

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We had a really nice day yesterday. In the morning we got up with the sun to tidy the house for our landlord to come over and inspect. So we had to furiously scrub all the lipstick pentagrams off the walls and spray the curry stains with carpet stain spray. CB scooted out on his motorcycle to the mechanics for a going over and to grab us ALL of the breakfast. He came back with bags of pies and sausages stuffed with mashed potatoes. Glorious, GLORIOUS! The inspection went well. For some reason here whenever you are being nice and honest everyone thinks youre trying to pull one over on them.. maybe its just our accents, make us seem like devious foreigners.

And then we had the rest of the day to ourselves. So I made a pot of tea, set out two chocolate bars, took off our pants and CB set up a LAN connection so we could play Minecraft together! I hadnt done that since playing the first Diablo with my Cousin and his friend Ryan so we could kill the Butcher boss together cause it was too scary to do it alone and I kept screaming and unplugging the computer.

First off, I spawn underwater with a pack of wolves. Very disorientating. But then the wolves wont leave me alone. And there are so many of them. Like, dozens of wolves, like they are attracted to me from miles away. I thought it was wonderful and jumped around through fields of roses with my adoring pet wolves but CB was all annoyed and confused and telling me thats not supposed to happen. But I knew it was a video game miracle just for me. And I loved them. They werent exactly tame though, and if you hit them, which I did a LOT because I dont know how to operate the computer Ive had for 6 years, they ate me. Really fast. Without remorse. It was realistic.

So the novelty wore off after a while. Especially as they were a serious hindrance to doing what a wanted to do most in the game, which was ride around on CB’s elaborate rail systems! It was like an awesome roller coaster under mountains, through caverns up into the sky and town to town. But imagine trying to be on a roller coaster, with a pack of wolves. It just doesn’t work. CB was all like “ARGH I HATE THESE STUPID WOLVES” and proceeded to slaughter them all. And I was sad. And lonely. Until he gave me a really big sword! And golden armor! Until recently I was using a little  grey square that the game said was “wool” as a weapon, so this was a major step up for me.

And we adventured! Like mighty square warriors, oh we adventured! I had a rucksack full of potatoes, pork chops and bits of rotten zombie flesh leftover from our first blood pumping skirmish with ZOMBIES so we were good to go. Pretty much my only concern when having adventures is that I have picnic supplies at the ready. Oh, and my wolves came back! And CB killed them. And they came back again! And he killed them again, it went on like that.

We adventured far and wide! Well okay mostly CB just taught me how to operate doors and then followed me around when I fell down holes and into caverns. I fell into some MIGHTY caverns. But we made the most of it, and I did some quality mining. So in addition to some snacks I had a variety of ores and some nice gems! Everything was going well. I should mention at this point I have mastered moving forward while looking forward and CB is a hovering zombie faced pirate looking character with godlike powers. I fumble around like a retard getting distracted by sheep and gems while he lights the way with torches and kills bad guys for me. It was just like real life. And just like real life, I’m terrible at it and CB has to fix all my problems, ha ha ha ha

Anyway I can only play games for about 30 minutes until either my attention span runs out or I get a thundering headache from the amount of learning my brain is having to do to operate simple controls. In this case it was the latter, because the game is actually super fun. Its like Lego, only a 3D world, where I can kill things and have wolf buddies.

After that, we had a nice warm afternoon nap until it was time for dinner. We took the Abel family out for Indian food at one of our old haunts on Henderson Valley Road called Tandoori Flame. They brought a couple bottles of wine and I was the brave soul to loudly request 8 orders of naan bread without shame so we had a great old time. Yvonne is halfway through nursing school and Rosie is working at a dental office so we heard all kinds of amazingly gross stories! Blopd and guts and poop and a catheters and receding jaw bones, all the good stuff. Many fart jokes were told and we feasted on a mighty feast. It was a proper days end for a proper wolf mother warrior queen and her supernatural protector zombie butler.

Jarmalarm

Hi fart knockers!

I’m finally writing a blog! Yayyyy! CB and I did a shit ton of x-mas baking, and I took pictures along the way so I have a few to put up, but I thought I’d start with.. the thing we started with. Makes sense. Just some nice, plain old strawberry jam, cooked the old fashioned way, just boiled slowly away with some sugar until its a nice sticky mess.

Step 1: Pour yourself a jam making rye & coke. Jam is a slow, relaxed process so its okay if you’re blind drunk for it, as long as you sober up a bit when it comes to pouring the boiling hot liquid into small jar openings bit.

Strawberry Jam
Yield: 4 litres of jam
Time: 2 hours
Cost: < $10

6 cups sliced strawberries
4 cups white sugar

Optionals: vanilla bean, lemon juice, orange zest, black pepper, basil, whiskey, cinnamon, balsamic vinegar, whatever your heart desires..

Step 2: Cut ya berries, son.

Some people leave them whole, some cut in half, some mash them unceremoniously with a potato masher.. I myself, am partial to a quarter segmentation of the fruit, which is best achieved with a small, sharp paring knife and a thumb with thick skin.

Step 3: Sweeten the pot. I use half as much sugar as berries, but you can use all the way up to equal parts.

Step 4: Bring it to a boil, and turn it down to a simmer. Let it do it’s thang for an hour or two. It will smell like the freshly squeezed armpits of an angel in your kitchen. NOT A SINGLE THING ON PLANET EARTH SMELLS BETTER. Bold statement, but I stand by it.

Now, it’s almost done, so this is where you can get a bit fancy. Add in things like.. vanilla, or lemon juice, or a couple glogs of whiskey. We added a blob of balsamic vinegar, and instantly the jam seemed to thicken up, the fruit broke down and darkened, and the taste got.. well, just “more”. Yum.

Mom, I can FEEL you rolling your eyes at my super precarious lemon curd double boiler here… yeah I know 8 pounds of lemon curd in a ceramic bowl perched on a small pot sitting on a thin piece of metal over an open flame.. not ideal.. but it’s my biggest bowl!

Your jam is ready when its nice and thick. If you want to be a nerd about it, you can keep a plate in the freezer, and blob some jam on it to test. If its still runny, let it keep going, if it holds up nice and stiff and you can fantasize easily about spreading it on a warm, buttery biscuit you’re good to go.

Last Step: Carefully ladle or pour it into clean, sterilized jars. You can put the sealed jars into some boiling water for 5-10 minutes to make sure everything is kosher in there, but I’m lazy and this isnt going to last more than a week or two anyway so I just poured it into clean jars.

Set them on a windowsill and look at them lovingly for a while..

Yeah, I put jam on my shortbread, what of it!

We put some ribbon on them and gave them, and lemon curd out as x-mas presents. I miss it..