Sunday, August 24, 2014

Music in the Fields

What a fantastic venue for a weekend of

The skies threatened but held off
as performers such as Gord Bamford, Brett Kissel, Tim Hicks,
Lindsay Ell, The Road Hammers, River Junction Band,
Whitney Rose, and my favourites High Valley and Dierks Bentley,
belted out their top songs to an enthusiastic crowd of 
some 7,000 fans!

The camping was literally in the adjacent fields,
with crowded camp sites of tents, trailers, busses, and
all sorts and sizes of RV vehicles!
Most of the time the "fields were alive with the sound of generators" - ugh!
We did feel a little smug with our wee Escape trailer
that required no hydro or generator to function for this event.

The solar panel and propane
provided all our needs for
lights, pumping water, refrigeration and cooking.
It worked beautifully!

delicious and made for a 
quick meal between sets.

The evening performances went well past midnight but we
"old folks" persevered and enjoyed the coolness of these last
summer nights.
After all, we had a cozy warm bed waiting for us in the field....

Till next time, what was your weekend like?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Early Bird gets a Cream Bun

Recently while camping we were
told about a wonderful bakery in the nearby town of
Goderich that makes homemade Cream Buns 
(I think they actually call them Cream Puffs).
They are famous and you must arrive 
early, before 10 a.m., if you want to score
any of these little gems from Culbert's Bakery.

Needless to say, we weren't early birds
on the day we took a quick trip into town.
(We were on holidays and didn't move too quickly
in the mornings.)
We did, however, enjoy the delicious tarts that are
also made there.

While making pizza dough for our Sunday Supper
I had a craving for Cream Buns, sparked by that
recent close encounter .... why not make them since I've
got the yeast out anyway?

As my pizza dough proofed I set to work to find the ultimate
Cream Bun Recipe.  I found a New Zealand style recipe online
which I slightly modified....

As you can tell, I need to practice
making consistent rounded buns!
This recipe makes 12 rather large
buns - I think 24 smaller ones would
be perfect - next time I'll try that!

For a rookie cream bun maker,
they turned out not too bad!
They aren't Culberts but
the farmer was heard muttering,
"one isn't enough" as he 
came into the kitchen for a 
second helping.
He suggested holding the icing sugar - not a fan!

Note - the pretty T-Towels
I used for this photo. They were a
sweet gift from dear Kathy from
delivery! Bev - thanks again!

Here's the recipe in case you'd like to try making these sometime.
I'll keep practicing to get them just right  ... trouble is - who will eat them???

Cream Buns – New Zealand style

This makes 1 dozen large buns 
2 tsp. yeast
½ Cup lukewarm water
1/3 Cup plus ½ tsp. sugar, divided
½ Cup warm milk
1/3 Cup melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Egg – slightly beaten
Approx. 4 Cups all purpose or bread flour
Glaze – Equal amounts of sugar and water (I used 1 oz. of each)
Freshly whipped cream (unsweetened) – for filling
(I ended up sweetening mine slightly with sugar and adding a bit of vanilla and 2 Tbsp. of vanilla instant pudding to stabilize the cream)
Icing sugar for dusting and jam for garnishing
Stir together the warm water, yeast, ½ tsp. sugar. Let stand till yeast begins to get bubbly.
Mix the milk, melted butter, and egg together and then add it to the yeast mixture. Add the 1/3 Cup sugar, salt and 1 Cup flour. Mix, adding the remaining flour ½ Cup at a time. Knead till smooth (may be slightly sticky). Let rise till double in bulk.
Punch down and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into 12 equal pieces – rolling in hands to make nice round buns. Place them onto a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise for approx. ½ hour or until doubled in bulk. Once doubled, preheat oven to 350F and bake for approx. 20 minutes or till golden brown. While they are baking, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar and water in a sauce pan – heat to boil and remove. Brush glaze onto warm baked buns – cool. 
Cut the buns almost through on an angle, fill with whipped cream and dust with icing sugar and garnish with a dollop of jam – ENJOY!

Next time you're in Goderich check out this bakery 
and, oh yes - go early!!!!

Thanks again Kathy for these lovely T-towels! I always think of you when I use them.

Till next time .......... join me with a cuppa' and a cream bun.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


A week "off the grid"
was a wonderful break!

We loaded up the Escape and went on the lamb
to one of our favourite Great Lakes - Huron!

It didn't take us long to
settle in, get out the books,
build a fire, put on our
camping hats and
enjoy our surroundings.

The bikes were unloaded 
and ready to ride!

Our first meal is typically
a marinated steak.
We had to try out our new
BBQ and it worked 
The roasted potatoes and 
beans from our garden were
also cooked on the grill
as was the lightly roasted
romaine lettuce - thanks to Lovella

The skewer dinner was
also a hit! 
The chicken thighs were marinaded
while we biked, hiked, and relaxed.
Easy and delicious Marinade:
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
4 cloves garlic - minced
2 tsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
(I used half this recipe for 6 thighs)

One evening we served a 
simple wieners and chili
with guacamole - everything
tastes extra delicious when you dine 
outside on the picnic table!
I noticed that the food even
photographs better outside.

Can you tell by now that
the camping meals were
the "main" event???

There were high winds resulting
in roaring waves, much to
the delight of some brave
wind surfers!

Our evenings were long and relaxing
with beautiful sunsets and campfires......

The warm glow of those 
campfires is what's getting me
through these cool Fallish days
of late since we are
back home - sigh!

We sure feel privileged to have spent some down time
by the lake in our sweet
little Escape!

We are truly blessed.......

Back home on the farm there are lawns to mow, gardens and veggies to attend to,
a new baby great nephew to meet and many more blessings to come!!!

Now that I'm back "on the grid", I need to catch up with all of you!

Till next time - how are you enjoying these last few weeks of summa'?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Cloud Bursts and Fried Green Tomatoes

We've had SO much rain lately but I finally had a day
that I could get into the garden to do some much needed weeding.
The sun shone warmly, the humidity was high and I enjoyed
pulling the weeds and seeing the garden's progress!

As I was happily weeding,
the skies turned dark
and thunder was heard in the distance!
Ugh .... not again! 
We've been experiencing torrential rains
once a day or so for the past few weeks.

Within minutes - the clouds
opened up and it literally drowned
my freshly weeded garden.

The tomatoes are
so heavy that they are bending
the cages.
Since they are not quite ripe
I decided to pick a few 
and try making
Fried Green Tomatoes!
I was inspired to do so after 
reading one of my favourite
bloggers where she had
tasted some of these on a recent
vacation to South Carolina.

While the farmer
barbecued the steak (our reward for a busy and productive Saturday)
I set to work to make these
tasty treats!
It was easier than I expected!

I simply dredged the slices in
seasoned flour, then dipped them into a whisked egg and finally coated them in Panko bread crumbs.
It only took a minute or two on each side to fry them in vegetable oil - so yummy!

Now, back to my soggy garden ....
I actually got stuck almost lost my flip flops while taking the pictures of the green tomatoes!

Thank goodness for the rain barrel to wash my feet ...

Have you ever had or made Fried Green Tomatoes?
They really are worth the effort .....

Till next time .......... happy Civic Holiday Weekend to my Canadian friends and families.

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