Posts filed under ‘Coffee Break’

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

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

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

We’re melting

This is the temperature on the main floor of our house (85degreesF) at 9:00pm... This does not include the humidity, which is killing us and our poor, old dog.

Tomorrow it is going to be 38degreesC but will feel like 48degreesC   with the humidity. I think the house might melt too.

 

 

July 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

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