The Last Day of Summer..

The whole family spent the last day of summer in the veggie garden.

..and I mean the whole family.

Found a very cute baby pumpkin.

happy acorns with cute bonnets.

gourds gourds gourds - about 300. 
Anyone needs any gourds!

Have a great weekend everyone.

Kale Chip Recipe..

I should have known better and shared this in the last post. 
I never ate kale till I tried these.
Now, two/three bunches a week is a breeze.

I buy organic kale - but that is my choice.
Wash, dry and tear from the stem - two bunches of kale.
(you can leave the stems on, as I did, but you will find they are very hard.  They do make a nifty handle for your chip though, and can be discarded after you nibble off the leafy part)

This is the original recipe I found on the internet.  I'm sorry, I don't remember where.
You can try this one, or..if you don't want the onions and garlic, omit them.
I love garlic and onion, but for some reason, liked the chips without it.
Nutrtional yeast was a bit tricky to find.  But health food stores will have it, or Whole Foods.
It's apparently a good cheese substitute.  Don't confuse with Brewer's Yeast.
Not the same!

I used:
3/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the kale and toss so they are coated.
Don't over do the coating - the first time I did this, the kale chips were far to saturated in the sauce.
Still good, but I knew they would be better with less.

I have a dehydrator, and the two bunches filled the five trays.
Be sure and lay the kale flat - not folded over.  They will dry better flat.

Six hours later..
Kale Chips.
They should be very dry and brittle.  They will just crumble in your mouth.
If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use the oven.
115 degrees for 6 hours (says the recipe). 
I'd use parchment under them on a cookie tray.

Signs of Fall...

This past week has been full of canning, dehydrating, making soup and being with family and friends. 
Today, I found signs of fall.

Hidden under the mint..

My favourite flower - Japanese Anemone

The grapes are alomost ready.

Fuzzy quince bottoms.

Inside the house.. 20 jars of organic peaches.

..and my new obsession - dehydrated kale chips.
I've never eaten so much kale in my life.

Random Thoughts..

Like I'm sure so many of you did this week..I sat in the car with a knot in my stomach and slight burning in my eyes.  I had left the building - step one. I drove to Starbucks, grabbed a frap - step two.  I then drove back to the parking lot, outside the building.
And I waited.  But not for long.  I went back in the building and sat on a wee chair not meant for my ass, and I waited some more.
It was the first day of pre-school.
In one moment, I felt ill, sad, and excited at the possibility of free time.

She's just two - well.. three in November. 
Where did time go.  Today, she pulled up a chair, and started cracking open the black beans we grew.
I didn't ask her to do this.  And, clearly, she took it seriously.

 She was working really hard - and well, she was doing a lot of them.  Personally, I didn't find it as enjoyable as she seems to.  Plus, lets face it, she was focused and quiet.
I offered much praise!


Just this morning I was cursing these damn beans. 
Honestly, who would sit for hours pulling out little beans.  Oh, wait... - other than my daughter?
It only takes 3.7 seconds to pull the lever at the bulk bean bin.
Is there a better way?

While she shucked beans, I focused on another issue.
Fruit flies in the kitchen.
The most annoying thing on the planet in the summer.
I've discovered the best way to get them.  At first, I thought it was all about getting your hands wet before you crushed them with a viscious clap.  Momentarily rewarding, but there is another way..
The vacuum.
Remove the head and attack with the nozzle. 
They cannot escape the suction - this is their weakness, this is their downfall.
How long should I let her do those beans for? 

Weekend Peek..

We took a little camping trip on the lake..

Camping is never complete without scrabble...or rum.

The ducks are now roaming free on the farm.
Though, I think they are overwhelmed by the feast before them.

Soon they will learn there is more than one slug.

and Mabel has warmed up to me.
I do believe she is smiling for the camera.

What I've Learnt Today...

What I learnt today:
- Mean girls will always be mean. 
- Ducks will follow you any where
if you take their kiddie pool with you.
- I think I'm a farmer.
- and I don't know what the hell is going
on in my vegetable garden this year.
Quinoa - honestly - does anyone know about this stuff?
I've got watermelon growing - never planted it.  I've got crazy gourds growing everywhere - never planted them either.  No carrots due to a massive dill takeover, and I've just stewed some rhubarb.
That's right folks, it's September, and the rhubarb is fine.

And now this!
We went out to pick some beans today.
I planted black beans this year to harvest, dry and cook with.
Seemed like a fun idea and more glamorous than a pole bean.

But I ended up with a giant basket of colour.
Pretty yes, but 'What?'

All of these from the same plant.

And, what I also learnt today,
was that inside all of these colourful pods, was a black bean.
I know nothing about gardening.

Something I have always known:
ice cream for dinner is most excellent - but especially so 
when the family goes to the in-laws and you stay home.
(because the ducks need me)

Fowl Weather...

We spent the last four days building a duck coop and getting to know the girls.
Today, the weather took a turn.

And the girls are the only ones enjoying this 'fowl' weather.

Rainy days = comfort food.
What can be more comforting than a giant dish of white bread..
Sugar, eggs and cream mixed in to a giant dish of white bread.

Baked French Toast
Oven to 350
1.  tear up a loaf of french bread - throw into a greased casserole dish.
2. Crach 8 eggs into a bowl

3.  Add to the eggs:
2 cups milk (2% or whole)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar

..and two tablespoons of vanilla.
Mix well and pour over torn bread.

4.  In a separate bowl:
Take one stick of butter (1 cup) and cut with a pastry cutter.

5.  Add 1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
cut with your pastry cutter to make little pea size bits.
sprinkle on top of bread and egg mixture.


Bake for 45 minutes.
I'm feeling very comforted...are you.

What's Up Duck..

Meet the girls.  From top to bottom:

Three Indian Runner ducks. New members of our family.
New members of the September clean up crew here at the farm.

They are 13 weeks old.

And just a wee bit leery of us.