Sunday 24 August 2014

Sometimes Life Is A Rose Garden

Today is a rose garden day, full of sweet scents and brilliant colours. ~

It is a day full of cheers and laughter and sharing with loved ones.

After months of threatening to come too soon, my newest grandchild was taking too long to arrive.  He's a boy who will set his own pace in life it seems.

Today was the day he decided to share his life with his adoring family.  He must have known that "the child that is born on the Sabbath day, is bonny and blithe and good and gay".

Welcome to the world little Leonardo! ~

Baby is not the baby of the family anymore.  She seems just fine with that! ~

I'm so grateful for everyone who has helped him get here.

A special thank you goes out to our favourite delinquent teenager.  Remember the girl that was sent here to the country to get a taste of real life? Somehow I don't think she really needed that.  She has spent a big chunk of her summer vacation caring for Baby so my daughter could rest.

I may not have been 'Promised A Rose Garden', as the song says, but I sure got one today!


Tuesday 19 August 2014

Time To Get Some Corn In The Freezer!

Some garden produce I freeze I'm so so about.  It's okay, but not great.  Corn does not fall into that category.  Farm fresh corn, blanched and frozen, tastes exactly like ... well, like ... corn on the cob! It's a 'must have' for the freezer for me each year.

All it it takes is the time to boil the water, six minutes to blanch and you are ready to cut those niblets off and bag 'em! ~

For the full instructions on how to blanch your own; click on  How Easy Is It To Freeze Corn?

The only mucky part of the business was cutting the corn off the cobs with a knife.  Not anymore!

This amazing Oxo Good Grips Corn Peeler made the job a breeze. ~

It took about 5 rows of corn off, neat as a pin, with each swipe.  You can tell I've been using it already by the bits stuck on the blade.  The niblets were nice and even and there was no cutting into the cob by accident.  Bit of a bumber for the chickens, who didn't get to pick off all at the corn bits that were left over as usual.  Don't go feeling all sorry for them and reporting me to the chicken branch of PETA!  I threw them a few cobs to make up for it.

My Oxo Good Grips Corn Peeler was a gift, but I'm so hot on it I went looking for it on It's $9.99 and shipping is free if you include it with another $35 order.  Amazon has a whole bunch of discounts on orders over $25, so it pays to look for the Add On labels when you are shopping on that site and combine orders with friends whenever you can.'

I'll be ordering one of these for all my organic food loving friends and any of the kids in the family who wear braces.  Yay, they can have corn on the cob again!

I feel ridiculously good at this time of year, when I see nature's bounty going into jars and freezer bags. ~

I have to put a little disclaimer here.  As of today, I'm an affiliate.  I'm not totally sure what that means, but my blogging friends told me to do it.  If you bought a gazillion of these things I might get rich, or at least make enough money to pay my blog hosting fees.

I sure hope this doesn't bother any of you and I promise never to link to a product that I haven't used and loved myself!

Monday 18 August 2014

Playing Hooky

It's been a very rainy, cold summer in Ontario and there haven't been nearly enough days for this.~

Yesterday was so cold you had to wear a jacket to go outside in the middle of the day.  So, when the sun shone bright and warm today and my sister and brother in law suggested we head out on the river, I was all for it!

Sure I meant to keep doing this, but the sun and waves were calling my name. ~

In fact, it looks like the whole village put down their sealer jars and headed out into the sun!

I thought you just might want to play hooky with us!

While most people like to go down to the busy end of the river, where all the camps are, you need traffic lights to negotiate the boat traffic.  ~

We're going to stay up at my end of the river where very few daytrippers venture. ~

I hope you brought a camera because it's teeming with wildlife up here.  Great blue herons watch us from the shoreline and the Grand River snapping turtles sun themselves on fallen logs, without bothering to turn their heads as we pass.

On the next dock over from mine, a neighbour baits his fishing rod. ~

I see his wife and daughters are taking time off for a little glide up stream. ~

Instead of chatting over the fence today, neighbour after neighbour waves from their dock or boat.  Not a lawn mower runs in the village.  Not a house has an industrious person working away inside.

The sun sets and I don't feel the least bit of guilt.

If ever there was a day to put in a gratitude journal, this would be it! ~

And, if it's sunny again tomorrow, I'll do it all over again!

I'm sharing the fun with:  Inspire Me Monday

Saturday 9 August 2014

Check Out This Paint Tip!

Who doesn't hate painting around door hardware?  It's way too much trouble to take the knob off or even loosen the plate to paint under it! ~

I was cutting little notches in Frog Tape so it would fit in a nice circle on the metal plate.  My friend, Wendy, couldn't see what I was doing and thought I was doing something altogether different.

She thought I was putting an elastic band around the plate.  Bingo!  Brilliant!  It works! ~

The elastic forms itself perfectly to the plate and is tight enough to make sure no paint bleeds underneath.  It's a breeze to remove and it's free with broccoli! ~

Thank you, Wendy, for that brilliant idea.  You saved me time, money and gave me a use for my elastic band hoarding habit!

Thursday 7 August 2014

And The Winner Of The Chicken Hunger Games Is .....

Today was merge the chickens with Kay and Anne day.  I dread this process because chickens can be very, very mean to each other.  I'm talking blood spraying, chickens screaming, me screaming and me screaming some more!

Anne has spent the last week fighting through the chain link fence with any of the new gals who ventured near it.  I swear she thinks she's a rooster.  That must be why she's never laid an egg in her life!

This is the beginning of a fight between a Rhode Island Red (Anne) and a New Hampshire Red (Josie).  Up go the feathers, the screaming match starts and the beaks go for blood. ~

Neither state won because Camryn came in with that huge beak and Anne had to call for a medic. In case you are wondering, I'm the medic. ~

If you get chickens, make sure you get some of this styptic powder.  You have to get the bleeding stopped or all the chickens will go after the injured one. Anne was wearing quite a bit of this stuff! ~

Kay has been getting mighty peeved at waiting for me to put her in the coop when she wants to lay an egg. Today, she told Anne to peck on the patio door and get me out there pronto. ~

I can't keep running out and shuffling chickens in and out of the coop all day so I decided it was time they all kissed and made up.  I was determined to stay calm.  Maybe they would catch my good vibes and stay calm as well.  Guess what?  It worked!

Kay pecked everyone on the butt if they came near the food or looked at her sideways.  A couple of the new girls took offence and tried to start a fight.  Kay looked at them with disdain and they gave it up.  She didn't have to worry because Anne ALWAYS has her back covered!

Josie, Vivian and Camryn are free for the first time in their lives. ~

They may have been a little surprised to look back a the quarantine coop, that has been their home this past week, and see what frequently naps on the roof. ~

As long as they don't go in the coop while Kay is laying an egg, we have peace and harmony once again. Kay can yell louder and longer than any chicken I've ever known.  She struts and paces and lets them all know just who is running the show around here.  Step out of line and you'll get a peck on the butt.

Yes, Kay is the winner of the chicken hunger games.

All's well that ends well!

Saturday 2 August 2014

Gourmet Herb Butter For Steak

This time of year I begin to make herb flavoured butters to store in the freezer.  They are so simple to make, freeze beautifully and are a wonderful way to enjoy some summer freshness in the middle of a cold, Canadian winter.

One of my favourites is a recipe copied from a local bistro that puts a little pat of herb butter on each steak as it is served. ~

To make your own, you will need -

     1/2 cup unsalted butter
     1 TBSP finely chopped parsley
     1/8 TSP freshly ground black pepper
     1 TSP salt  (I used Himalayan sea salt)
     1 TBSP lemon juice

Mix the butter, parsley, salt and pepper together until well blended.

You can do this by hand or be as lazy as I am and mix it all up in a little chopper. ~

Add the lemon juice slowly to the mixture.  I put it in in thirds and gave it a spin with each addition.

Let the butter sit for around 30 minutes to absorb the flavours.  Let the herb butter firm up in the fridge if you are serving now or freeze it for later use.

Sometimes, I will roll the butter in a plastic wrap tube for the freezer but today I've used a small, ceramic condiment dish for freezing.  ~

Once it was frozen, I set the dish in warm water to release the cake of butter, sliced it into individual pats and put them in a freezer bag for long term storage.

Now I can remove just as many pats as I need at a time. ~

While you are at it, you may as well do some chive herb butter and you are all set for a baked potato.

The thought of winter doesn't seem all that bad any more!