Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en!

I'm not sure how many kids we will have at the door tonight now that we live in the country, but I am prepared with some candy.

Daughter carved two of the three pumpkins last night. Unfortunately, Son is ill after receiving his Grade 9 vaccinations and I imagine he will carve his later today.

The garage floor is being poured with concrete today... Yeah! We can finally use the back door as our main entrance now, plus park the cars inside. Just in time for snow season!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Getting Colder

Which has gotten me into 'nesting' mode. The last few mornings have been in the freezing range and I have had to scrape the car windshield. Our garage is not quite finished and were are parking our vehicles outside.

Last night it rained very heavily and the water actually came in through my kitchen door. Once the gutters are up that shouldn't happen any more. This morning is very sunny and if it warms up more I'll get outside and finish cleaning the windows which I began the other day.

This colder weather always makes me want to bake, read, knit and do home type things.

Both Daughter and I have started knitting again. I have completed the first my Kennewick socks. I usually name the socks I make based on which road trip they were knitted on. These were started on our trip to Kennewick, Washington.

Lately I have been seeing a lot about the "Little House" series of books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder on websites and even magazines. These were books that I never read as a child, so I borrowed "Little House in the Big Woods" from the library. What a fascinating read! Even though it is written for children, it has amazing accounts of what life was like in the 1860/70's and the things that the Ingalls family had to do to survive - from hunting and storing meat, making cheese to making their own straw hats. It was very interesting and I'm actually looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Christmas is Coming

I've begun on my Christmas baking. Only because I love a very rummy fruitcake and to achieve this I have to start it now.

Old World Fruit Cake (makes 2 loaves)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup melted butter
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup cold black coffee
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups raisins
2 cups mixed fruit
2 cups whole blanched almonds
1/2 cup rum

8 Tbsp butter
1 cup rum
1 cup sugar

  1. Mix the melted butter, eggs, rum and coffee together.
  2. Add brown sugar and mix well.
  3. Add rest of dry ingredients and place in a buttered loaf pan. (Line the bottom with parchment paper as I have had a problem with the bottom sticking)
  4. Bake at 300F or 150C for 2 hours or until done (it will separate from the sides of the pan)
  5. Make the glaze when almost completely baked. Melt butter and add rum and sugar. Stir by hand.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and pan and pour half of the glaze over the loaf. Let it cool for 25 minutes and then turn over and pour the remaining glaze on the other side.
  7. When cool, wrap in parchment paper.
  8. Sprinkle a bit of rum on the loaves every few weeks if desired.

My parchment wrapped fruitcakes. I love the old fashioned look of them all wrapped up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend

The weekend was spent with Husband, Son and a family friend cutting up logs that were temporarily moved out of the way so we could build the house.

The original plan was to sell the wood to the mill, but then the prices dropped so much there was no use. Our friends heat their home with an outdoor wood burning furnace so they can use the wood and I feel better that it won't go to waste. There is enough wood to keep them warm all winter.

We need to get the logs out as they were placed in the spot were we want to make our garden next year. Since we have so much clay in our area, we would like to start some preparation before the snow flys (and stays!) which will be soon.

Here I am picking up all the left over sticks and putting them on the burn pile. Not fun work, but I kept thinking "every stick picked up leads to a better garden". Daughter was not too impressed with the work and I kept telling her that we will have a great garden next year and we will be able to feed our family from it. Her response was "Yah, I know and we're already in a global food crisis." It was kind of scary hearing that from a 12 year old... What have I been teaching her? Hopefully not to be frightened, but to be prepared.

I did cook a wonderful turkey dinner for Sunday evening. During kitchen duty, I realized that I had run out of laundry detergent so I whipped up some homemade detergent while the turkey was in the oven.

I have been making my own for a couple of months now, and I am really happy with the results. Clean clothes, no perfumey smell, and it works great in my front loading washer.

Grate 3 bars of Ivory soap in the food processor.

Remove soap and put on the chopping blade, put soap back in and chop until it becomes coarse granules.

Add 3 cups of Washing Soda and 3 cups of Borax and continue to chop.

When it looks like regular dry detergent it is ready.

Use 1/4 cup per load for a front loading washing machine.

It has been so long since I've blogged and we have been busy working around the property. Husband build a proper compost bin for me... though the fox is still visits occasionally for a meal.

He also built a bridge over the ditch/swail complete with solar lights. This allows us access to the compost, lagoon and eventual garden.

We have also added to our family a few weeks ago.... His name is Kaiser!

It is so wonderful having a boxer in the house again. Though I forgot how busy puppies are! Can't wait until the housebreaking kicks in.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Summer Was Way Toooo Short...

and with that I can report that we had our first snowfall today. Thankfully it didn't stay!

I have been so busy with work that I haven't had much time to put away all our gardening items (let alone blog ha ha). Luckily Husband is more on the ball and has gotten the hoses and most of the flower baskets etc put away.