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Saturday, October 1, 2016

october 1, 2016....there will never be another one!

wow! october. and we are just getting our indian summer. we get it every year. a full week of weather that starts with cold nights, cold mornings and then almost summer-like days - such a nice treat with autumn right around the corner. jambaloney went fishing for striped bass/mackeral...


no striped bass or mackeral this time...


no worries - we still have a ton of beautiful wild fish in the freezer but he did manage to win my love again for eternity:


(eternity only lasts until i get my next mussel fix!). jambaloney only ate 2 mussels...he's not terribly fond of them. me? i scarfed that plate back like a madwoman!!! i love my shellfish!!!

we made a ginormic pizza.


the crust was very foccacia-like with lots of air holes and quite chewy and gooey.


we topped it with EVOO, crushed garlic, oregano and basil from the garden. pizza tip for all of you - after you have spread your sauce whether it be EVOO-based or tomatoe-based: always add a little mozzarella before any of your additional toppings - you'll thank me later! then we added fresh-grated parmesan, goat cheese, a little goat feta, then tomatoe slices fresh off the vine and green and black olives. followed by more goat mozzarella, goat cheese, goat feta and parmesan - it was a delight!

speaking of delights - how about planting your own garlic seed from garlic that you saved yourself in a bed of beautiful, rich loamy dirt full of decomposed seaweed and comfrey??? i know - yummeh!


how about planting another whole bed of it?


how about we planted about 260 garlics??? woohoo! we were high-fiving each other for hours. what can i say? we don't go to restauraunts, movies, clubs, etc. and the only time we go to town is when we absolutely HAVE TO!!! so we have to find our entertainment in other places - bahahahahah!

in other, more sad news.....jambaloney needs the plastic from the tomatoe cages to finish putting up the insulation in the basement. as it is october 1st...it was time to pick the last of the tomatoes. here are my sad-looking tomatoe plants after i stripped them:


and a free shot of the rat cat (edgar). he is finally growing his hair in, he is the stumpiest little cat ever and he weighs about 80lbs!!!!

i was able to part with my tomatoe plants because of this:


that's only one half of the greenhouse - there's more tomatoe plants on the other half - woohoo! fresh tomatoes until at least the end of october!!!

today was a bit of an odd day - bright and sunny early this morning and then turned to queer and cloudy - it was still a beautiful day!


here's the last of the beautiful, ripe tomatoes from our plants.


they'll be turned into our favourite pasta for tomorrow night's supper. and here's the last of the "turning tomatoes" that should ripen over the next week.


and here's all of the tiny greens.


they will either ripen in the next few weeks or they'll be added to last year's bag of frozen green tomatoes to make chow with. waste not, want not, kids.

although we have frozen more blackberries than we can possibly eat - they are still coming in like gangbusters so we eat about this many a day and have for the past month.


and then - lo and behold! jambaloney saw a woman at the side of the road, picking something. he smiled and waved at her and then went back to check on whatever it was she was doing.


HUCKLEBERRIES! and a ton of them!!! guess what we're doing tomorrow??? your guessed it! going and getting a ton of huckleberries!!! apparently they make great wine and since we plan to try our hand at wine-making this winter - finding these free berries is a goldmine. we're big believers in gathering as much free food as we can!!!

my blogroll is still wonky...actually, it's just gone. a big thank you to 1st Man for trying to help me get it back. but it looks like i am just going to have to add all of our favourite blogs by hand...which i will do in the next few days. if you want to be listed in our blogroll and you have 5 mins to leave a comment with your blog name - that would be great!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

blogger has gone wonky!

is anyone else having problems with blogger? i just refreshed my blog and have lost my blog roll??? i looked in the layout and everything is as it should be but i cannot see my blog roll??? can any of you see my blog roll??? is anyone else having probs???


hopefully this will get cleared up. sorry to any friends who use our blog list as a launching point.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

where did september go?

where did september go? i honestly have no idea! although there were many river days...



it's been grey and cloudy the last few days...with a bit of rain...still lovely days though...


the harvest is coming in...


as my tomatoes are indeterminate - and we like them that way - i don't get a glut of them all at once. it's pretty much every day a few here and a few there, enough for us to eat each day and then freeze the rest until they are all ripe and i can make home-made canned tomatoes just the way we like them. and have beautifully-preserved delicious home-grown tomatoes all winter/spring...hopefully enough to get us to the summer when we can start harvesting again

here's some local mushrooms fried with brown and wild rice - yummeh and buttery! with some pickled veg from the garden and turnips pickled in beet juice.


15 pints of home-made chili....this chili has a ton of beans, hamburger, chunks of chuck roast and a ton of mushrooms....15 pints of this added to other stuff we already have canned will see us nicely through winter. it's nice to make your own meals and can them...no need to stock up on tinned food.


growing your own food is hard work but so worth it in the end. here are carrot seeds from our carrots that we grew last year. carrots are biennials so they don't produce seed until the second year.


last year we harvested our carrots and ate them all winter. then used the last of the scraggly dried up carrots and re-planted them this year to let them go to seed and go to seed they did. that's way more than enough seed for next year. no more buying carrot seed.

that's the place that we are trying to get to - no more relying on seed companies for seed. we've got potatoes, carrots, various lettuces, a whole whack-load of herbs, peppers and tomatoes and a bunch of other stuff that we don't have to purchase seed for anymore. i think that's becoming pretty self-reliant.

here's sorted and dried garlic from this year's harvest that will be planted in the next few days - another saving of seed from our own and thereby not needing to rely on anyone but ourselves for the seed.



we like to eat seasonally so here is a beautiful plate of roasted veg and the pickled peppers i made for jambaloney from our own peppers.


and then there is foraged food. check out these blackberries that just grow on our land without any help from us.


this year they have been coming in like crazy and although it's end september they have already put out a second harvest.  we have a ton of fruit in our freezer for the winter and have steps to be able to preserve it and/or maintain it if we lost power for an extended period of time. same for all of our meat. and all of the beautiful fish that jambaloney caught this season.

it's a transitional time of year...still harvesting, gathering and foraging...but getting ready to plant and re-plant a bunch of stuff. it's hard work but so enjoyable when on a cold blistery day, you just want to read your book with your warm sweater on sitting in your chair, not really wanting to cook something, so you just go to your pantry and figure out whether you want smoked trout and crackers, some stick-to-your ribs chili, or a variety of home-canned soups. it's a lovely feeling!

Monday, September 19, 2016

fruit salad!

this is a pic from a few days ago - the past 3 days have been rainy, foggy and misty - no worries tho - the garden is loving it and we are getting a bit of a break from all of the blue and sun.


fruit salad kids - it's a staple in our house during the summer. it's when all of the best fruits are in season and local and we gorge on fruit salad daily.


fruit salad features prominently in our trips to the river. it also features prominently at dinner time.


depending on what fruits are available depends on what we add to our salads.


we love our fruit salads!


so now i will share with you the secrets of a kick-you-in-the-head-fruit-salad. you can thank me later.


no need to make a syrup....just follow these steps.

start with a gorgeous dollop of honey in whatever container you are going to store your fruit salad in. local, unpasteurized honey. and a big dollop. next up - a splash of ACV with the mother. squeeze a quarter of a lemon if it is really juicy, otherwise do a half a lemon. mix that all together with a chopstick or knife. next is salt and pepper. quite a bit of salt and quite a bit of pepper. the salt will bring the juice out of the fruit and the pepper will add some pepperyness!

now we move on to the herbs. several leaves of mint and several leaves of anise (preferably right from your garden). mix those herbs into the sauce that you have created. and now for the kicker - chop up a cayenne pepper very finely, hopefully one that you grew yourself. add that to the sauce.

now we add the fruit - whatever fruit is on-hand and available locally. canteloupe, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, watermelon, mango, peaches, apple - whatever. just use whatever is on hand.

trust me - you'll enjoy the best fruit salad of your life. make sure to add the anise leaves. they taste like licquorice and really add an extra level of yummy to your fruit salad. anise is very easy to grow and produces beautiful flowers that all the different bees love.

go make this fruit salad and have a bite a couple of times a day. serve it over lettuce as a meal or serve it as a side dish. you can't go wrong with this beauty. i promise!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

let's talk about garr-lick baby....and a bunch of september catch-up!

(h/t to Salt 'N Peppa as my garlic song is sung to the tune of "let's talk about sex". and garlic is just about the sexiest thing i know....after jambaloney of course!)

"let's talk garr-lick baby
let's talk about you and me
let's talk about all the good things and the bad things garr-lick should be
let's talk about garr-lick....
let's talk about garr-lick"

ok. well i tried to sexy garlic up. but why? garlic is one of the sexiest things that you can grow for yourself because it's easy and natural (see what i did there? how i tied garlic and easy and natural sex together - bahahahah! i kill me sometimes!!!!).

but really. garlic is one of the easiest things to grow. stick a garlic clove in the ground in september, come back the next september and harvest a garlic bulb. and garlic is sooo good for you - it's a jewel of a plant and has been proven to help us physically, mentally and emotionally. garlic has been used to flavour food since the beginning of time. it's medicinal properties have also been understood and used since the beginning of time. and there isn't an easier food to grow for yourself! if deer are eating your carrots - they won't touch garlic! if coyotes are eating your berries and apples - they won't touch your garlic! neither will rabbits, wolverines or aliens.

and i could get all "bubba shrimp" on you and list the uses of garlic - garlic tea when you are feeling under the weather, adding garlic to just about every meal, garlic in your home-made salad dressing, garlic soup, roasted garlic, garlic bread, garlic bug spray, garlic under your pillow to help you sleep at night, i won't even mention protection from vampires, drying your garlic to make your own home-made garlic powder, garlic in your gloves to keep your hands warm in winter....the uses are simply too many to name!

so anyhoo - here's our garlic bed in july - look at the size of those stalks!


but once the garlic grows scapes...cut the scapes, eat some and put the rest in a vase.


after 2 or 3 weeks, the scapes will straighten themselves out.


and then start forming flower heads....this is good - very, very good. i'll tell ya why in a minute!

 like this:



you want to clip those garlic flowers...i'll tell you why in a few.


and dry them and save them in a box like this:



today was garlic-harvesting day and we got some real beauts!


i give them just a quick rinse and leave some dirt on them and then dry them out on the deck:


the garlic bulbs may look small but look at the size of the cloves:


the cloves are huge and when you crush them - you get all of the garlic pulp and juice.

here's next year's garlic seed drying in the sun...they'll be planted in a few days:


but back to the garlic scapes and the flowers they produce.



the flowers produce "bulbils" and guess what bulbils are? you guessed it! garlic seeds!!! woohoo! and if you plant the tiny bulbils...next year you will harvest garlic cloves. and if, next year, you re-plant those garlic cloves, the following year or the year after - you'll be harvesting garlic bulbs. bulbs of garlic...all from those tiny little bulbils that you grew yourself!!!

so now i ask you again - isn't garlic sexy????

ok - enough about garlic - let's do a quick september catch-up.



amazingly beautiful days - september around here is lovely. so is october and november.

there were lots of river days during the first half of september and lots of freezing cold dips!


roasted veg hash, poached eggs and fruit salad...that's a breakfast for champions! i'll have a post in a day or two on how to make the most-wicked fruit salad.


lots of harvesting.


strange red mushrooms down at the river.


like hundreds of them. we have to look them up and find out what they are.

grape leaves.


if you are planning on pickling anything - you MUST have grape leaves. here's a one day harvest of cucumber, pattypan squash, green pepper, hot peppers, carrot, orange peepers made into refrigerator pickles...with grape leaves. grape leaves keep the veggies crunchy.

macaroni with our own tomatoes, a ton of parsley and freshly grated parmesan. with a quinoa fruit salad. if you don't regularly eat quinoa, you should. oh and you can grow your own from store bought quinoa. who knew? i'll be planting quinoa next year after our success with amaranth.


my mans...heading down the driveway on a foggy evening to go and catch his last trout before the season ended.


another 12 pints of bone broth that i simmer for 4 days and then can.


a yummy stir fry with jambaloney's amazing rice (his trick - put a bit of almond oil in with the rice. the man's a genious!).


and speaking of trout fishing - he came home with these babies which we promptly smoked.


smoked to perfection...it puts smoked salmon to shame. so now we have some smoked trout to enjoy as a treat during the winter.

not a week goes by without some sushi...this time we had some smoked trout sushi with our tuna and california rolls - deeelish!


we have been picking wild blackberries every day for the past 3 weeks. they are still coming in gangbusters!


another free, foraged food that just grows on our land and requires no attention from us.

every day or two, a few more peppers ripen and i add them to jambaloney's hot pickle jar.


and to finish up - the garlic bed. i pulled the garlic and clipped them all, spread them out in the sun and jambaloney pulled all the weeds, added mulch and compost and some potatoe tire dirt and this bed is ready for planting in the next few days! woohoo!


if you don't already grow your own garlic, you really should. you buy it once, plant it, harvest it, save some to re-plant, let that go to flower and get bulbils...and you have fresh, home-grown garlic for the rest of your life!

sending much love and sorry if i haven't been hitting up your blogs lately...we've just really been enjoying our september!