Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembrance Day

Canada does not get the recognition it deserves for WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars, Somalia, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan....and a pile of other wars that my countrymen have served and fought in.

i remember. and i thank my fellow countrymen always.

to all serving members and veterans out there - in Canada, the US, GB, Australia...i salute and thank you all today.

Monday, November 7, 2016

we ditched the we are going gluten-free, too!

yep...we finally did it - ditched the gluten! we went cold-turkey almost 3 weeks ago and after a couple of weeks of feeling sickly and crappy, we are finally feeling the better for it!

yesterday, i had a baby shower to attend and everyone knows a baby shower is all about the 10 million trays of sandwiches!!! i ate one tiny egg salad sliver of a sandwich and started paying for it before the shower was even over!!! it's strange how quickly your body reacts once you've eliminated something from your diet. so now to figure out what to do with all of the flour and pasta we have in our preps. we'll slowly now begin adding almond, quinoa and rice flour for the occasional times we'll make flat breads and pitas. we just had quinoa pasta for lunch and there is no difference in taste or texture. it is definitely more expensive than wheat pasta but with us being off the dairy and not spending a kajillion dollars on dairy every month, we'll be able to build up a stockpile of the quinoa pasta.

kids - we did not do this lightly. we both love bread and pizza. we love toast. we love sandwiches. but we were both starting to feel sluggish and gluggish. i suspected it was gluten. and if you suspect a food isn't good for your body - eliminate it from your body for at least 2 weeks. then try that food and see how you feel. you'll know almost immedietely after consuming it. so that's why we've been staying under the radar and just sticking close to home. lots of napping and lots of good food.

it's really starting to look like autumn - especially when the sun bounces off the ridge out front.

it's our birthday month - woohoo! i'll be 46 in a few days and jambaloney, whose birthday is 7 days after mine will be 51. we are just at the right age where changing our diets can really have a big impact on our health and we're happy with that.

here's some delicious liver and onions - we love liver!

and a delicious chicken stirfry - yummeh!

i just made another batch and a half of regular nappa kimchi and because i had some bean sprouts hanging around, i made a little jar of bean sprout kimchi - deelish!

can you believe it's november 7th and i harvested this from the greenhouse?!?!?!

we are still eating fresh tomatoes if you can believe that! that greenhouse is awesome! and here's jambaloney's jar of "never-ending pickled hot peppers":

he's been eating pickled hot peppers everyday since mid-july when i first made that jar of pickles for him. and ever since then, every few days a few more peppers ripen and i slice them up and fill his jar again - he loves them!

here's our quinoa pasta that we had for dinner today with a sausage/tomatoe sauce.

rounded out with the bean sprout kimchi and some pomegranate seeds. it was really good and the quinoa pasta seems more filling than wheat pasta.

we've had a quiet couple of weeks doing our daily jobs, getting the harvest in, eating good food, getting ready for winter - jambaloney is building our wind-break/heated cloches/plastic thingy on the front of the house - he'll have a post up soon about how we save on heating by using an ugly, but very worthwhile, heat trap. he's also been busy working on his contract every single day for months now. we've been busy gathering seeds, drying herbs, canning, preserving, etc. and just getting ready for winter.

tomorrow is a big day for our american friends and i encourage you all to get out and vote. the rest of this week should be interesting to say the least.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

FREE, nutrient-dense, WILD FOOD!!!!

jambaloney was in to work yesterday - he had a great day! and got us FREE, nutrient-packed wild food!

as he normally works in the day, he sees the lobster and crab boats come in all the time and he loves watching the operation and learning new things. since the tuna boats only come in at night - he's never seen the tuna operation before. that changed yesterday when a tuna boat came in carrying a 400lb atlantic bluefin tuna - can you believe that!?!?!?

the boat pulls in the harbour and they use a big winch-thing to lift it out of the boat - have a look:

because the plant sells the tuna commercially, they remove and discard the head, tail and all organ meat. jambaloney couldn't believe that no one wanted the organ meat - NOTHING is more precious on a wild animal than the organ meat!!! one of the guys asked if he wanted the heart and steaks from the head and tail. you can imagine jambaloney trying not to jump out of his own shoes. then buddy gave him the heart, 2 steaks from the head and 6 steaks from the tail...and we are not talking small steaks!!!! pictured below is the deep red heart in the middle and flanking the heart are 2 ginormic steaks from the head. the 6 steaks from the tail are all around the plate.

have you ever seen such beautiful red meat? a bunch of you who raise and slaughter your own animals would know - but this tuna was caught and processed in under 8 hours and after it was caught, was killed immediately, and then kept on ice until the boat got into harbour. jambaloney was so excited to have been there to have watched and these guys know what they are doing!

of course, we had to try some raw right away! the steaks from the head and tail are a lot fattier than the fillets that are used in sushi but hey - we aren't about to kick a gift horse in the mouth! the raw tuna with just a little salt was divine and waaaaay better than the thinner, less fatty fillets.  then of course, we tried half a steak grilled on the bbq and half pan-fried in butter.

holy moly! talk about kick-you-in-the-face calcium and iron overdose!!! what does it taste like? how about really, really, strong, fatty, gamey moose meat combined with a pasture-fed cow's beautiful liver and kidney. a little goes a long way and that is fantastic for us as we are cutting down our meat consumption and wild, free nutrient-dense tuna fresh-caught from our beautiful ocean by our friends and jambaloney's colleagues - wow! double wow! that tuna is gonna last all winter long!

i gotta run now. we've gotta go lay down - bahahahah!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

thanksgiving storm 2016

whoa! what a storm! 225mm of rain in 2 days, 110km wind gusts and 39,000 people on the island without power!

here is strachan's brook a few days ago...

and after all the rain:

we lost our power on monday night and got it back this afternoon at 4:30. we also lost the phone yesterday afternoon but got it, and our internet back this afternoon. there are still people without power/phone but the good folks at nova scotia power are working around the clock.

and it pays to be prepared kids!!!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

more framboise manor thanksgiving traditions and tips...and welcome to our boneyard!

our mornings in october start out like this:

very cool. lots of fog and mist. you need your pants, socks and sweater. and the hottub. ahhh the hottub is awesome on coool mornings. but the days quickly turn into this. bright, blue and hot...and you get a treat - rip yer clothes off and suntan - woohoo!

yes, we sunstroked ourselves again. but we also had our thanksgiving dinner. here's a tip - when removing your turkey from the pan to the tray - try not to let it fall apart in your hands!

here's the framboise manor traditional turkey dinner - it's a lot of food on a plate but man is it good!

on the left top to bottom - brussel sprouts that are steamed for exactly 6 minutes and then fried in butter for another 3 or 4 mins - don't be shy with the butter! i plated this wrong as the carrots and beets are in the middle on the left but they blend together - underneath the sprouts are purple haze carrots - steamed and then mixed with butter and honey. the beets were steamed and mixed with ginger and ton of pepper. under those are turnip, steamed, mixed with a ton of butter and maple syrup.

middle of the plate, my cranberry/pear/ginger/pepper sauce and 2 scoops of potatoes mashed with more butter. right side of the plate - turkey - i cook mine breast-side down for one half of the cooking time and then flip it for the rest of the time. trust me - it makes all the difference. and of course stuffing! and gravy made from the drippings. we gorged ourselves and then cried and moaned all afternoon. it was awesome and we'll be repeating this at our friend c&b's tomorrow - bahahahah!

so you all have been wondering what's hiding behind our berm in the backyard. well wonder no longer. here is the berm looking all innocent.

and here is the little doorway/pathway into the magical forest.

what's in there, you ask? we call it the boneyard.

basically, it's where jambaloney collects his junk. whenever he finds junk he proudly shows it to me and i tell him to put it in the boneyard. then whenever we are working on a project - he'll say - wait! i have the perfect thing in the boneyard! then he'll go and get said thing with a really proud look on his face - arghghg. but it works. i guess.

more junk. but we already know how we are going to use this junk next year.

there's a little path that he made inside the boneyard.

and that's where we get these.

the most awesome blackberries known to man. they just grow. we don't do anything to them. free food people.

as you can see - we've been picking them since early august. we have a freezer full of these babies. but they are on their second run.

delicious, beautiful and free food. we had them for dessert after our thanksgiving meal. with nothing else. our dessert was a handfull of free berries. from our land. all the while feeling grace.

you don't get more thanksgiving than that.

Friday, October 7, 2016

framboise manor thanksgiving traditions and tips

our indian summer has been incredibly lovely this year.

the beavers who moved into strachan's brook for several years have left for higher paying jobs in the city. here is a close-up look at all of the dead trees that they left in their wake:

canadian thanksgiving is this sunday. we normally celebrate american thanksgiving because we are invited out every year - to our besties c&b's house and also to our bro c&g's house.

this year - our thanksgiving with our besties is going to be even more special than usual. usually we have dinner with our besties and their son and daughter who call us their second parents - isn't that awesome? we love their kids, s & d. anyway, this thanksgiving is extra special because d and another of our friends k, are pregnant. they are expecting a baby girl at the end of december. so we are celebrating the birth of a new baby and our other friends k and b, who are k's parents, are also invited. jambaloney gets to see b when he goes into work but i haven't seen k for a few years. so our thanksgiving dinner this year is going to be especially special.

we'll be celebrating with our bro and sis c&g by taking them down to the beach next week. we are having a beautiful indian summer this week and it looks like it will hold out for next week too. our bro and sis have just moved down full-time and we want to welcome them with a special beach picnic. we love our bro and sis.

anyway - on to framboise manor thanksgiving traditions and tips. first not pick the hottest day of all of october to start your thanksgiving meal....we know this because we did this yesterday and by the afternoon, were soooo sunstroked that we turned the turkey off in the oven and went to bed - bad mistake. we slept for 4 straight hours!!! and then got up today and finished making our turkey dinner...more on that in another post.

but for starters - one of our biggest traditions here at the manor is proper stuffing. and by proper, i mean proper. stale sourdough bread that you roast in the oven with EVOO, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. once those are toasted and cooled - you pop them back in the oven with more oil, butter, salt and pepper, onion, garlic and fresh sage, thyme and rosemary. like this:

once all of that is roasted, separate the croutons from the spices.

chop the roasted spices.

add the spices back into the croutons.

now here's the exciting part. when your croutons and spices are roasting....cook up some onions and mushrooms. add celery, pear and cranberry. yummeh!

add that into your croutons and spices.

next up is your brown and wild rice.

add a couple of splashes of your homemade broth and you have stuffing. you want that stuffing made and sitting for several hours before putting it in the turkey.

so the morning that you are planning on cooking your turkey, you want to make the stuffing pronto. once it's made - it's time for turkey day breakfast soup - oh yes!!!!

some butter and EVOO in a pan:

drop in your turkey neck:

next up - your bag of giblets:

chop them up and add them to the neck:

some chopped celery:

apint of home-made bone broth:

a sprig of parsley:

framboise manor thanksgiving morning breakfast soup! we love it!

next up - framboise manor cranberry sauce - this is some good stuff kids! you start with 3/4 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. once the sugar/water/salt is boiling drop in a litre of fresh cranberries.

you want to keep it at a boil for about 4-5 mins....listen to the cranberries - they'll be popping. you want it to look like this.

once it looks like that - the excitement begins. chop up 2 beautiful pears, 2 cloves, a tspn of cinammon, a tblspn a fresh-crushed ginger and tom-pile of pepper.

stir it around until it looks like this.

then set it aside to cool. you can eat it hot or you can serve it cold - we like it cold.

you can use this sauce like a jam on toast, cakes, pancakes or on ice cream - it's to die for!

we woke up to this this morning.

we got cracking, finished cooking our turkey, made all the sides, it took us all morning but we were eating our thanksgiving dinner at noon. now we are stuffed and moaning and going outside for only 20 minutes at a time. it's soooo blue and sunny and we don't want to sunstroke ourselves again - bahahahah! but we'll get our mats and go do our stretches, do odd jobs around the house and yard...and enjoy another brilliant summer day in october.

thank you october!

for any canadians out there - Happy Thanksgiving! thanksgiving is our favourite holiday....i am sure you can figure out why! (if you can't - it's because it's a last blast of summer...and a time to give thanks. something we try and do every day. and it's not hard when you live in a paradise of 6 months of winter and 6 months of biting bugs - bahahahahah! xoxox)