Fall

Found these little guys hanging out in a sunny window in a barn at the Pumpkin Farm last weekend.

October 16, 2011 at 5:16 am Leave a comment

Squash Bakes (not fries)

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing colour, and squash is filling the stands at the Farmer’s Market. It is squash season. I am happy. By February, I will be over squash and craving fresh spring greens, but right now I am all about squash. Here is a quick and easy squash side dish we enjoyed this week and a couple photos from the pumpkin farm.

Little Butternut Squash Bakes

Hot and spicy from the chilli powder, sweet from the butternut squash, and a hint of salty, these little guys will wake up all of your taste buds. I created these little bakes because I wanted squash chilli but I like to slow cook my chilli and I didn’t have the time. 

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and but into ½ inch squares
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Preheat oven to 400Fdegrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss the prepared squash, spices, salt and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread the seasoned squash on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, flip the squash and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

October 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm Leave a comment

Horseradish… super sinus relief

I have always loved horseradish. I have some growing in my garden, but I have it in a giant container and it isn’t doing too well. It will have to go in the new garden when it is ready. My root is quite young, so I bought some at that Farmer’s Market. Grating the horseradish will provide sinus relief if you happen to be suffering a cold.

Simple Horseradish

  • 1 generous cup of horseradish root, grated
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Mix together and eat on your favourite sandwich, with a bison roast, with your favourite burger, or even with roasted sweet potato fries. I keep this in the fridge for a week (if it lasts that long).

October 5, 2011 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

Beekeeping

Beekeeping teaches you to appreciate a simple, yet complex creature that we tend to take for granted; you will practice patience – you will be calm (or you will get stung); you will meet new people and make new friends; and if you are good to your bees, you will eat honey.

Bees know exactly what they are doing. The most important lesson that I learned from a seasoned beekeeper… if you don’t know what you are doing, don’t do anything.

The experts couldn’t tell us why our bees swarmed, but one expert pointed out our new queen for us, so we knew our hive was going to be okay. We lost half our hive when they swarmed, but our bees still produced about 60 pounds of golden, sweet, sweet honey.

There are a good many resources on bees and beekeeping. We read a lot of them, watched a lot of YouTube videos, joined and attended a local beekeeping society, but a book I just happened upon at our local library’s book sale is the perfect resource for anyone interested in learning more about bees and beekeeping. The Honey Makers is undoubtedly my favourite bee keeping reference book. Sure, it’s a children’s book, but it is a good one. (I also have my Gramps’ beekeeping book, for the harder questions.)

Anyone who has kept bees will tell you it is a lot of work. You need to visit them often, assess their health at each visit, harvest the honey, prepare them for winter, and hope for the best.

I have so many plans for my share of the liquid gold, but right now I am eating it by the spoonful with a touch of cinnamon to stave off a cold.

Thank you bees.

September 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

True Story

We have a barn on our urban property with a unique situation; we share it with our neighbour. We are doing some work on the barn and our dog now has access to the neighbour's yard. Riley, our old lovable dog, has made new friends. He has been trained to knock on the door instead of barking. He knocked on the neighbour's back door, one of the girls answered and Riley curled up with the girls on the floor and watched some TV before heading home. I guess that is what it means to be old and lovable.

September 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

Making Pumpkin Muffins (gluten-free) because…

…someone peed in my cornflakes.

I am a realist. Some people call me a pessimist. I’m not. I’ve had this conversation with my friend Annie once. People thought she was a pessimist as well, but we concluded that we were realists. We are the type of people that do not put all of our eggs in one basket, we don’t hope for the best, we set our goals on what can realistically be achieved, and that is what keeps our lives and everything around us positive. We avoid conflict, but you’ll know when we are not happy. And most of all, when someone pees in our cornflakes, we sit quietly and busy ourselves with other projects – like I did today. I enjoyed the ballet and then I baked some seasonally divine gluten-free pumpkin muffins (and tried desperately to put the last two days behind me).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten-free)

Chocolate chips and fresh pumpkin make these muffins magic.

I’ve recently switched to a gluten-free diet due to some health concerns; big ones. I’ll have to share these when they make more sense. Until then, you can enjoy some gluten-free recipes. I’ve made these muffins twice. Once with potato starch and once with arrowroot starch. I liked the arrowroot better, but play with them and let me know which ones you like better. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure your chocolate chips and vanilla extract are gluten-free. If you can’t find sorghum flour use brown rice flour instead. Canned pumpkin may not be as moist as fresh pumpkin; you can always add a bit of unsweetened apple sauce if need be. Makes 12 muffins.

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chia seed, ground
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (I used local fresh, steamed pumpkin)
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted)
  • 3/4 cup organic palm sugar (or brown sugar if you must)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)
  • 2 large organic free-range eggs
Preheat your oven to 375degreesF. Line a muffin tray and set aside.
Sift the dry ingredients together (first seven ingredients) and set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate chips together. Add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and stir until smooth. The batter should be thicker than cake batter. If it is too thick add a bit of apple sauce (see head note above). Mix in the chocolate chips and spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tray. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack. I freeze these for gluten-free goodness whenever the mood strikes, like today.

September 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm Leave a comment

one potato, two potato…

I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to see what what my potato plants were doing under the dirt. I dug some up on the weekend and ate them straight away. I scrubbed, sliced and steamed them and sauteed them in a little butter and onions.

September 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm Leave a comment

All that glitters

Sometimes when things just don’t seem to be going well… you are presented with the unexpected. My daughter decided to give a fall leaf new life.

Glitter glue + fall leaf = an easy and fun craft.

September 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

Bye-bye Summer

What a summer it was. I’m not sure how I feel about it really; happy it’s over, but sad at the same time, and feeling a bit guilty because I really do love summer, but I’m happier it’s over more than sad. A lot has transpired in our home and our house. The house has undergone so much transformation that I can’t even begin to describe it. My yard has been an eyesore for too long now, but I’m certain it won’t take long to get back together and it has to be done before the snow flies. The piles of stuff have killed the grass on the sunny side of the house, which has now presented itself as an opportunity to create a large vegetable garden… or at least that is what we are thinking. I’m worried about too large a garden even though I dream of growing enough organic roma tomatoes to make a slew of pasta sauce because this summer I learned that I have a fracture on my spine that will be with me for the rest of my days. I’m working to strengthen my back so that I can continue to garden, but my back needs time to heal and grow stronger. I’ll probably put the garden in anyway and cut back on other things, but not the bees.

We are getting ready to harvest our second batch of honey and then we will be helping the hive prepare for winter. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they make it through the winter. Keeping bees has been a unique learning experience… our hive was healthy – too healthy, it swarmed, the remaining bees that were left behind created a brand new, healthy queen. Despite the swarm which meant a three week lull in honey production while the new queen hatched, mated and started laying brood (essentially starting over), we managed to extract about 40 pounds of honey so far. I suspect there is another 20 pounds still available for us… with enough left for the bees.

 

I planted a few more wild flowers in my flower beds this summer for the local bees (mine live too far away to forage at my house) and butterflies. 

I made a giant batch of dill pickles with my mom and sister. We had quite the system going and were done in record time. Unfortunately, I we made the pickles at the peak of my back issues and was in agony for two days after, but I have a lot of pickles to show for it. Maybe this is something I can cut back on next year… but I still want to make sauce… dilemma.

We took a short trip to NYC. My husband had to go for work so we tagged along and I saw NCY through the eyes of a 4 year old. I highly recommend this.

 

We grew some veggies. We did some crafting. We started Jr. Kindergarten. We started university. We baked. We installed central air.

 

Now that summer is almost over, I’m happy autumn is almost here. I have a lot of fun projects and outings planned provided my back lets me. We may even finish the hallway… 

September 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

Garlic

Garlic from my garden.

September 5, 2011 at 6:15 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Categories

Archive Posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2 other followers