Monday, August 26, 2013

One of "Those" Days

Do you ever have one of "those" days
when things just aren't going
as planned???

I have my fair share but today
was a corker!

Last week I was at a Norwex Party
where I was reminded that pillows
that haven't been washed for some time hold
up to double their weight in dust mites!!
O.K. this might be too much information
but I have to tell you, I was grossed out.

So, today, I stripped my bed linens,
pulled the "old and stained" etc. etc.
pillows from their cases and decided to go for it.
I've washed them before with good success
and vaguely remember reading somewhere that you
should carefully check all the seams to be sure they are
intact before laundering..... you know where this is going right?








Thank goodness for the old shop vac is all I can say....

My first load of laundry was old cleaning rags and a couple
of car blankets which were on the line to dry.
The skies turned black and the 
rain poured - sigh... for a second rinsing.

Oh, and I was rudely reminded by my machine
that it couldn't drain the next load
due to a clogged filter - go figure.
 (I had to get the manual out for that one)!



On the bright side,
my rain barrel has been refilled,
the hydro has remained on,
and my bread dough rose.

There is a huge spaghetti squash and
a meat loaf in the oven and
fresh bread for supper.
Life is good!





Have you had one of "those" days recently?


Till next time .......... planning a wee trip to the nearest Hutterite Colony for some new feather pillows.

Friday, August 23, 2013

August Garden Bounty


My August Garden
is in full production.

Note to self, if you ever want
to really garden and preserve - take holidays
for the month of mid-August to mid-September!

The beets need thinning
(should have done this a month ago)
and the parsnips are developing nicely.



The spaghetti squash are huge
and I can't wait to roast this one.



I planted these beets for my
favourite Beet Salad
(find the recipe on the above link)
This time I sprinkled it with roasted
pine nuts - so delicious.




Just add a juicy BBQ'd hamburger
and you have a great summer
evening meal.




Till next time .................... enjoying the harvest.









Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Savoury Zucchini Bread

As much as I love sweet things,
especially zucchini bread,
I decided to try a 
savoury version!

It did not disappoint
but
alas, it only used 1 Cup of Zucchini!!!

Maybe if I pick all the flowers
(which are edible AND very pretty)
I could control this prolific crop?
Thanks Jill, for the idea of stuffing 
and frying the blossoms.
You can find Jill's blog at:
You will love her amazing photography
and more!





Savoury Zucchini Bread
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2-3 Tbsp. of your favourite fresh herbs (I used Rosemary, Basil and Chives)
Substitute with 2-3 tsp. dried herbs
1 Cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 Eggs - lightly beaten
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Cup shredded Zucchini - drained
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.
Whisk together the dry ingredients.  Stir the fresh herbs and cheese into the flour mixture.
Combine the eggs, oil and milk in separate bowl.  Stir in the shredded zucchini and then pour the wet
into the dry ingredients - stir just until combined.  Turn into your prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing.


This recipe only used
1/4
of this beauty!!

I've been shredding and freezing the
left-over pieces.

Also, experimenting with refrigerater
pickled zucchini
(thanks Michelle for your inspiration)
and planning to make some
fritters!
Stay tuned....








Till the next zucchini experiment ......... enjoying the bounty of this season!



Monday, August 19, 2013

Tip Toeing Through the Zucchini

What was I thinking
to plant more than one Zucchini Plant?

The bountiful harvest is
keeping me on my toes!








It seems that each
time I check,
there are many more
than what I can
use .....













It's wonderful to
have such a great harvest.

I've been sharing them,
stir frying,
roasting on the BBQ,
baking them into
muffins, etc.






On the weekend I created a casserole!




It turned out pretty good......I had all the ingredients
on hand and the time to make it!


Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
Preheat oven to 350F
4 - 6 Cups Zucchini - sliced into 1/4" slices and halved
1 Tbsp. fresh Oregano - chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh Basil - chopped
1 shallot - chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 Cup sharp Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix the above ingredients in a bowl.  Spoon mixture into a greased 9 X 9 casserole dish and top with:
1 Cup Cooked Ham - diced
1/2 Cup Mozzarella and 1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded and mixed together)
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs moistened with 2 Tbsp. melted butter
Bake for 35-45 minutes until fork tender.

This casserole smelled amazing whilst baking and was a delicious meal served with a crisp salad.





Now what to do with the rest of these
monster zucchini??

I've been shredding, measuring into 
1 Cup piles and freezing them
for future baking.....




What would you do????


Till next time ..... thankful for the Zucchini harvest!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Reconnecting Time

We had such a great week
visiting with our friends from
Kentucky and Millbank!!

Debi and Larry visit each year when
they travel to our area for a week of
theatre at the Stratford Festival.

It's a wonderful time to catch up with 
each other and reconnect.
Our friends Jan and Dave join in 
with the festivities and fun!


Jan, Debi and me


We went broom shopping
in St. Jacobs

Did a bit of Mother
of the Bride shopping for Jan

Enjoyed a delicious
brunch at Schmidtsville
Restaurant






And had a  quick walk down
memory "path" which led us to my
old homestead.

As we stood in front of the 2 story
historic log house where I grew
up - I remembered that today would 
have been my Dad's 97th birthday!

So many wonderful memories
of him, the shop where he did 
his woodworking
and growing up in 
that old house!





It was so nice to revisit, reconnect, and
spend time with wonderful
life-long friends!



Till next time ..... are you enjoying some reconnecting this summer?




Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stooking Time!


It's a beautiful thing
to watch this production
of "stooking" the sheaves!!

I have been carrying my camera
with me to and from work
specifically for this
event.




I remember my Dad and Uncles
doing this and how it smelled
and how wonderful it all was.

It was SUMMER!




Hoping that your
summer is great and that
you have many memories of wonderful
summers past....



Till next time ........... take in the smells of summer!




Monday, August 5, 2013

Apple Saucin'



The "old apple tree" in our back
yard, that's been here for many
generations, yielded a good
crop of Transparent apples 
this year.
It only blooms every other
year and this is it!

So, I'm saucin' today ....







This tree gives such a wonderful
shade in summer and we almost
lost it a few years ago.
It split with the weight and wind
and the farmer put a bolt 
right through the large trunk
to hold it together and we hoped
for the best.
That was about 4 years ago and so 
far so good.




Transparent Apples (or Harvest Apples
as my Mom called them)
are a very old variety.
My mother always made apple sauce with
these tart tasting beauties.
Because of their thin skin and transparent
colour, there is no need to peel or 
core them before saucing.



Simply quarter and cut
out any bad spots or bruises.
Fill a large Dutch Oven pot
(mine is a 4 qt. pot)
Add 3/4 - 1 Cup of water.
Cook slowly, stirring often,
until the apples are soft 
and mushy (30-40 min.)






Put the cooked apples
through a sieve
pressing gently to
separate the skins and seeds
from the apple sauce.
Discard the skins and seeds.

Sweeten to taste (approx. 1/2 Cup Sugar)
or leave it unsweetened for
use in baking.





When I was growing up
Apple Sauce was
on the Table at each meal.

It was a nice additional side to
pork dinners, pancakes,
fried potatoes, or on it's
own as a dessert with
a generous sprinkle of
cinnamon.







Till next time ..... enjoying the remainder of this Civic Holiday Weekend.