Monday, January 28, 2008

This morning it was -33c with a wind chill of -43c. Brrrr its cold!

How convenient that two seed catalogues arrived in the mail. One from Terra Edibles and one from Heritage Harvest Seed.

Husband has this week off work so that we can try to get most of the new house finished. He is working on installing the laminate flooring which should be finished tomorrow. The kitchen cabinet guy was there, the glass installer measured for the shower door, and the electrician showed up to finished putting in the lights. I have been painting the baseboards and casings in the mornings, and then running off to my office for the afternoon.

It seems so close, yet so far away. I just can't wait to move! Once the kitchen cabinets are in, I will begin bringing over some of the kitchen items. I really have been too busy to begin packing much... in fact I have felt a little overwhelmed with the prospect.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Saturday's Green Tip

Pull out the bag liner from your empty cereal boxes. Recycle the box and use the bag as a large freezer bag.
BAN Terminator Seeds!

1.4 billion people around the world depend on farmer-saved seeds for their survival. The right to save seeds is a crucial part of the human right to food.

But this basic right is threatened by Terminator technology which genetically engineers plants to produce sterile seeds after first harvest and, if introduced, would force farmers to purchase seeds every year from transnational seed corporations.

If allowed to proceed, Terminator technology, would transfer control over the world’s seed supply from the hands of farmers to the monopoly control of large corporations. It would also threaten the biodiversity of agriculture and the health of the planet’s food supply.

Read more here and here

Write to Prime Minister Harper here

Monday, January 21, 2008

Though we have approximately 4 feet of snow on the ground, I am dreaming of gardening. I plan to find a small space to start a garden this year... even if we only get a few vegetables in the ground. This spring not only will we be moving to the new property, we also have to renovate the current house for sale.

I spent the morning ordering seed catalogues. I perused the internet to find companies that specialized in organic heritage seeds, as that's what I am interested in planting at Carpe Diem. I like the history that goes with the seeds and think we need to preserve them. Not everything new is good.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Today is a gorgeous sunny day and -10c. This morning I baked "No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread" from a recipe found in Mother Earth News and turned out great! In fact it is the first time that I have had a recipe look like what was pictured. It was easy, crusty on the outside and delicously fluffy on the inside.

No Knead, Dutch Oven Bread

1⁄4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1⁄2 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. You may use white, whole wheat or a combination of the two. ( I used 2 cups all-purpose and 1 cups whole wheat)
1 1⁄2 tsp salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran for dusting

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the flour and salt, stirring until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at least 8 hours, preferably 12 to 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

The dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it. Sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface or to your fingers, gently shape it into a ball. Generously coat a clean dish towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal. Put the seam side of the dough down on the towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another towel and let rise for about 1 to 2 hours. When it’s ready, the dough will have doubled in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

At least 20 minutes before the dough is ready, heat oven to 475 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in the oven as it heats. When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven and lift off the lid. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot, seam side up. The dough will lose its shape a bit in the process, but that’s OK. Give the pan a firm shake or two to help distribute the dough evenly, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect; it will straighten out as it bakes.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the loaf is beautifully browned. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and let it cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Yield: One 1 1⁄2-pound loaf.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday's Green Tip

Recycled aluminum saves 95% energy vs virgin aluminum. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday's Green Tip

Reuse those jam and pickle jars for storing leftover food instead of buying plastic containers.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Cold and sunny this morning -15c. I got to the house at 8:30am and waited for the electrician, kitchen installer and flooy layers. I left at 10:30am when everyone arrived, except the electrician who never did show up.

The kids and I returned to the house after school and Son became very excited after spotting a large puffed up grouse sitting in the alder tree. I had to explain that ti wasn't really that large, rather it was puffed up to trap air between it's feathers to stay warm.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It became very warm again today, +6c! We went to the house to some cleaning up. Husband began the laminate floors and almost has Daughter's room finished.

Son spend the afternoon building the bird house kit he received for Christmas. He did a very good job putting it together. Now he just needs to paint it, and find a place outside his window for a permanent home.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The kitchen is coming along fantastic! We did have some minor glitches in the design, but were able to work through them with the help of the help of the installer. The wine rack above the fridge now sits higher than the rest of the upper cabinets, but it looks very good that way.

The floor layers were back to begin on the tile floors in the bathrooms and front entrance.

It was warm today, up to +3c, and the snow was melting off the roof.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The floor layers work fast! The kitchen, laundry and powder room vinyl floors were completed today.

Other good news: the kitchen will be coming tomorrow for installation instead of on January 7, and the electrical system and lights will be installed on Monday.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

In our excitement to move into our new house, we spend New Year's Eve here.

My parents and Son's friend joined us in our celebration to herald in the new year. It was a little like camping due to no toilets, sleeping on the floor, and having to bring our own cooking facilities. We felt it was worth the effort as we had originally hoped to have been moved in by now. At least we could spend one important night here before the actual move takes place.

A fine snow greeted us in the morning, and I packed all items from last night's fastivities and brought them home. Husband stayed to put down the proboard in preparation for the floor layers who will arrive tomorrow.