So much yumminess!

Word wants to correct my spelling to crumminess, but I won’t let it. I really did mean to write yumminess. Or is it Yummyness? I like the ‘i’ better 🙂

So last week I started a sourdough starter and although it took a while, we had sucess! I have my first loaf started – did you know it takes 5 hrs!!! I did’t quite plan for that :/ looks like I’ll be up a bit later than expected tonight. I also had so much starter, that I tried buiscuits! I used Daiya cheese ( non-dairy for those that don’t know) and the just green part of a leek as I didn’t have any grated cheddar or chives. They are super!!! next time I’ll plan it better and make sure I have sharp cheese and chives.

I also started my Kombucha yesterday, so I will be hoping for less vinegary and more tastey this time around. I snagged a couple of bags ( ok I grabbed 6) of green tea from work as I only had flavoured green tea and not enough black. Can’t wait!

My seedlings are all out enjoying the heat on my back deck and I am jealous of them! I am in the kitchen cooking up a storm, and they’re lolling around in the sun.  Oh, I almost forgot, I’ve been waiting to have some leftover bananas to try the 3 ingredient cookies I keep seeing on Pintrest. Today was my lucky day and I had enough for 2 batches! I did one with mini chocolate chips, and the other with chia seeds, dried cranberries and a pinch of pecans ( someone has been raiding my stash <:( ). I report that they are friggin awesome!! I don’t miss the sugar or flour or anything! These would even be awesome for breaky before a bike ride to work etc. So I will definitely be making these on a regular basis.

Other than that, a relatively quiet week. I didn’t get to write like I wanted to, but I did get a bit of quiet time, which I needed. A new term started with several new students and I can’t wait to see how they all do.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a menu made. I did, however, learn that life is very much like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump says. I am struggling to find my place at work, and in life and decide what I want to do. Well, that’s not quite true, I know what I want to do, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to attain it. Change is hard. Contemplating it is also hard. Indecision is even more so. Sometimes, we just get frozen by decisions; our brains saying one thing, and our hearts another. The trouble comes when you have to decide if you’re going to listen to your head or your heart. Most people would say go with your heart, but that can’t always be the choice, since often long term goals take priority.

Take Scotland, for instance. I love that place ( well I don’t especially like Glasgow, but that’s just me). I would move there in a heartbeat! I can’t though, because I simply can’t afford it. but what if I could visit? I did a bunch of math and I would need about $6000 for the hubby and I to go. I tried to rationalize with myself ( hahah!) that if I could keep the cost below $3000, then we should be able to afford to go. However, we are in debt- a lot of debt- and that $3-6000 would go a ways towards getting rid of that, making our plans to move to the country realistic and attainable. But its Scotland! I really want to go! But I also really want to move to property and grow my own food etc. If I listen to my heart, we’re going as soon as I can arrange things. If I listen to my head, that money goes to pay off debt and get us on the road to self sufficiency. Decisions, decisions.

I still don’t know how I will answer that question. I tend to be a logical person who dreams of being a free spirit. I know that once we get our property and animals, leaving on a trip will be significantly more difficult. But as each days goes by, my need to get out of the city grows. I guess we’ll leave that bridge until we have to cross it.

In the meantime, enjoy the spring. Get out and get your body moving and focus your thoughts on good things, and try some new things! HUGS

Advertisements

Barefoot in the Garden

Betcha thought I was going to write barefoot and pregnant. Naw, sorry to disappoint, but I’ve spent enough years doing that, its time to branch out. I love being barefoot in my garden and feeling the damp soil squishing up between my toes. My feet are about the only thing I can stand to have touching the grass. I even walked- ok ran cause it was pouring rain and I was in my band uniform, kilt and all ( wet wool is not conducive to a comfortable rest of the day)- through a crowded field in Scotland. It was not the thing to do, neither was it ok to take ones very uncomfortable gilli shoes off and put on flip flops. Who knew? No one ever looked at me strange here in Canada, in fact many of us do it, but I guess, over the pond, its not cool. Tough.

Got the grass raked and the garden beds mostly cleaned out. Now I just need for it to get a bit warmer to be able to start planting! Visualize me rubbing my hands together in glee here. I am super excited ( I’m sure you couldn’t tell) to see how much I can produce for us this year!

As I type, I have some veggies roasting to take to Easter dinner. I also tried Avocado hummus, and I’ve also tried making Paleo crackers! I have a paleo blueberry coffee cake recipe for breakfast tomorrow. I watched an amazing series on Netflix called “Cooked” with Michael Pollan. It involved the elements of fire, water, air and earth that affect how we eat food.  It made me super hungry, like I wanted to go make a stir fry. Not a great thing at 8 o’clock at night. But it did inspire me to do some braising ( like I need an excuse!) and sourdough. I also got a recipe to start a sourdough starter. So next weekend, I should be able to say how my first loaf of sourdough bread was 🙂 I am also obtaining a SCOBY tomorrow to try my hand at kombucha again. Last time I left it too long and it was very vinegary- not pleasant to drink.

What new things have you tried lately?

That’s it for me, nothing terribly earth shattering this week. Oh! except that I started a new book series! This one, while I don’t plan on complete X rating, will have a few steamier scenes I believe. Only have the first chapter of the first book written, but I can tell based on the characters that they’ll have a hard time resisting each other.

Menu time!!!

Saturday we had tribal dinner with our peeps

Sunday- dinner at my parents

Monday- braised beef!

Tuesday- chicken tournados, salad

Wednesday- Roasted Pork on the BBQ with salad and potatoes

Thursday- Pasta with pesto

Friday- no idea

Have a splendid week and check back next week for an update on the sourdough. HUGS!

 

Made it!

Yes! I made it through January. It wasn’t looking good. There were many days when I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry and sleep. I questioned everything, from does my husband still love me to do my kids still need me. It was rough. But I made it! This is all part of my life now, this anxiety and the messes it makes in my mind. It often wants to ruin things, but I fight back.

I went to a party with my hubby. There were about 4 maybe 5 couples I knew, the rest I didn’t. It was loud, awkward and …. too much. After over an hour, we bailed and headed for home. Not because we didn’t want to stay and visit, or meet new people, but because it was just too much. Those of you with anxiety will understand and those of you who don’t, won’t and that’s ok.

On a more positive note, I read an awesome book called ‘You can buy Happiness and it’s Cheap’, by Tammy Strobel.https://www.amazon.ca/You-Can-Buy-Happiness-Cheap-ebook/dp/B0090RVGPW.

What amazing insight she has. I will say she is a proponent of tiny living and downsizing and minimalizing, and all those things that make most people shudder. But not me. The simplicity calls to me. From the time I first read ‘Little House on the Prairie’, I have been fascinated with living in a small cabin in the woods. I hope someday in the not too distant future to be able to realize that dream. In the meantime, I’ve gotten caught up in the ‘stuff’of life.

Do you have extra stuff? I can guarantee it, because its just a part of life that we’ve learned to live with. It represents status, wealth, prosperity and all those other things that we have been lead to believe matter. They don’t. Ask someone who’s survived a fire how much their stuff mattered versus surviving it. Sure you’ll miss those baby photos and your favourite things, but in the end, you’re glad you all made it safe. It’s the people around you – your wife/husband, kids, pets, friends ie people you have relationships with, that matter the most. Sure there are days I want to run away and hide, but I never want to do it alone, I want my hubby and my kids with me!

The other thing she mentioned that challenged me, was the idea of getting out of debt and staying out- thus the tiny house idea. I LOVE the idea of no longer being indebted to a big bank and forking out our paychecks to a big corporation. But how realistic is that? Very. Yes this book is American, but the principle is the same. Don’t spend money you don’t have. Our ancestors certainly had to deal with this reality. The harsher side of it is that people died from not having money to pay for Doctors, or Food or due to the elements. But what if the world didn’t work that way? That is a very big pipe dream, but all dreams have to start somewhere. So what if everyone started on a small scale buy not living beyond their means and getting themselves out of debt? Well, that is a very hard thing indeed. But it has become a goal for me.

Another thing she mentioned was having meaningful work. I do the work I do, because I have 4 children still at home, a mortgage to pay and bills and debt and food and all the myriad of other things that go along with life. But what would it be like to do what I love doing? I have spent some time this week thinking about that. What do I want to do with my life? The sad thing is, I have no idea exactly what I’d like to do. I have some ideas, but how they would manifest themselves into work, I don’t know. I love food! I love eating the things I’ve created, and serving it to people, and teaching them how to nourish themselves properly. I like making soup for my friends when they’re sick ( ask them about my green soup ) and I love the idea of spending my winters knitting, sewing and writing around a wood stove while a blizzard rages outside, and then a nice walk in the fresh snow. I love the idea of having a big garden that I use to feed us through the winter with some left over to help those who might need it.

I would love to have a place where people come to get rest and fresh air and a ready ear to listen, while I fill them with food. But none of those things top my desire to be the best mom ever. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Do I do it perfectly, heck no. But my goal still stands and I hope that when I’m gone, my kids will have the knowledge and hold it close and never wonder whether they were loved, or wanted, and that those I’ve helped will be able to offer them comfort because I gave comfort to them. The world is a very harsh place, but I want my place to be a place of refuge, and warmth and caring for all who come here.

This year, my husband and I will celebrate 25 years of marriage. We have been a couple for 30 years. I was 17 when I met him and just past 18 when we moved in together against our family’s wishes. We’ve struggled, and fought, but most of all we’ve loved. There were many long days and nights when we were all each other had, and I think that made us stronger. There are countless days that I wouldn’t be able to get through if I didn’t have my wonderful hubby to lean on. There are often days when I choose to love him even though he’s pissed me off (less for him I’m sure 😉 ). But we’ve stuck together through it all and I can’t wait to see what the next 25 years will bring us.

I’m sure there will be many more challenges, but there’s no one I’d rather have at my side.

Alright, now one to some nitty-gritty. The all important menu!!!

Last night ( Saturday) :we enjoyed a Rosemary and Thyme roast of pork with boiled potatoes, stir-fried leeks with mushrooms and a lovely salad made by my daughter.

Sunday:  Spanish rice with beans and salad

Monday: Stew and cornbread

Tuesday: Tuna patties on lettuce with veggies

Wednesday: Chick peas and veggies in Butter Chicken sauce served over Rice Vermicelli

Thursday: come on, you can all answer this one by now (lolol) PASTA!!!

Friday: Leftovers if there are some, or hot dogs, or pizza- something will get served, just not sure what yet.

Enjoy your week! Stay tuned for more exciting events as I delve more into my ‘stuff’ and get rid of things I don’t need and venture forth on doing some things I do need- like more writing!!!

Peace!

In the kitchen

I do a lot of things in my kitchen. It’s where I make food ( obviously), where I soap and chat with my kids. I keep saying that I need to find a way to hook up my computer to voice recognition software so that while my hands are busy, my mind could spit out stories. Yes, I know there are programs out there, but the free ones aren’t great, and I can’t afford the ones that are. So, I guess I will just keep plugging away with my notepaper.

Ok, so on the soap and homemade topic, I tried a recipe to make mustache wax, and beard oil as my man has a good one going and has started twirling the stache. Some of you will say ew, but I grew up with a man who had facial hair, albeit not quite as much as my man, but still. I think it looks good on him! So, those recipes worked out great and he is happy with my creations. Yah!!! I will add that they smell damned good, which my man says is a good thing and it makes me want to sniff his face, which leads to kissing and so on :P. I also tried a new formulation for hair pomade. It too smells awesome! Boys seem to be happy with it and no ones’ hair is falling in their eyes, which I’m told is a good thing. I also, with the help of the girl, made 3 batches of soap using some new ingredients that we ordered from Candor Soaps out of London. We diligently wrote down our recipes and made some notes about scent and texture etc for future reference.

On the food front, I have spent some time trying some new recipes as I told you last time. I wanted to send you over to 84th and 3rd and let you peruse her wonderful creations. Spend some time lingering over the chocolate cake and frosting. Be amazed at the contents, and then don’t be squeamish about trying it. I even snuck it past my FIL and he loved it! Then when you have leftover icing, which you may have, bring some for lunch , or mid morning break, or afternoon break- just bring all the leftovers, you know you’ll eat it anyway, and besides, its all veggies!!! Ok so go check it out! Here’s the link http://84thand3rd.com/?s=chocolate+cake.

Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

The garden will be put to bed this coming weekend ( I think I said that a couple of weeks ago- but I clearly never got to it). This year we’re going to start our own seed ( not sure if I said that already too?). I have cleared off a shelf and it awaits trays of containers. Still trying to decide on growing greens through the winter. I know we could do it, but is it worth the trouble? We’re a larger family so we might and its a big might, have enough for one salad every two weeks or so. The man says I may not turn the whole main floor into a greenhouse ( bugger nuggets 😦 ) so will have to decide soon how that’s going to go.

I have a few testers for the beard oil and shaving soap ( yes I know I already talked about that and now I’m jumping topics and confusing you-deal with it- this is how my mind works). When I get some feedback, I will need to decide if I will make a business out of it. I was kinda waiting to see the lay of the land etc, but I think that I should just jump on it. For me, though, that’s a scary prospect. I don’t like to fail, and I would be taking a real risk putting myself and my product out there. I will ponder some more and see what the gut says after feedback.

We have gone back to regular dishwasher detergent. This particular batch just didn’t seem to be making the cut. We may revisit it later, but I went with a green product, so I don’t feel as bad about using it.

I would normally put up the menu plan, but its already Wednesday and you’ve probably already made yours. I will tell you that I’m going to upset our usual pattern tomorrow and we won’t- yes you read that right- won’t be having pasta tomorrow! Hold onto your hats!! We’ll be enjoying baked potatoes with chilli on them. Not sure if the world will end, but we made it through not having soup on Monday with no catastrophe’s so I’m hopeful!!!

Have a great couple of weeks! Be kind . No ripping people’s heads off. No foot stomping temper-tantrums. No snide comments , just send out good energy and see what happens. HUGS

 

Brrrr

We had one scorching week a couple of weeks ago, and now we’re back to fall, flannel, fires and soup! Good grief!

Oh, and you know I was saying how much I was disappointed in the dishwasher detergent I made, well it turns out it was my dishwasher, not the soap. Our dishwasher died, and our son was nice enough to purchase us a new one ( I say he just didn’t like the prospect of having to handwash the dishes- the boys don’t appreciate the aromatherapy the same way I do). Anyhow, I made a powdered version and we are back to sparkling clean dishes! Yah!!!

We are also getting low on shampoo soap, so I made a new batch this weekend. I tried a new combo, so we’ll see how it works in a few weeks when I can try it. I also tried some herbal infusions – in this case lavender buds- for a batch of soap. I was a bit disappointed that the smell didn’t carry through to the soap, nor did it have an even remotely purple colour. I will have to do some more research on that.

Got to meet a couple of new people- coworkers of my hubby, who are moving back east. Laura does glass art jewelry and they are amazing! Here is the link if you are interested: https://www.facebook.com/laurapenneyglass/ . I also have a good friend who carves and has her own side business doing graphic design stuff which I hope to take her up on. Her name is Fiona and you can find her here: https://www.facebook.com/fiona.plunkett.

As for writing, I will apologize as I have done nothing towards getting book #3 ready to publish 😦 I have been cycling to work, which is good, and I’m sure my body will thank me, once its done swearing at me, but its meant that I have had no time to write in the mornings, and none in the evenings. I have hope that once my body adjusts to this new routine,  that I will be able to stay awake past 9 pm and get some work done. For now, I am done beating myself up over not being able to do it.

Be kind to one another today, even that jerk who has to pass you on the blind corner and who’s wheels are super skinny and who’s bike could probably be picked up with one hand. Spread good karma my friends!