Sunday, November 2, 2014

Creme de la Creme

Will's cream separator arrived. I absolutely love heavy, metal, industrial equipment. This one is bright red and made in Russia, which I find curiously awesome. (The bowl of cabbage in the background is unrelated to the creme separator. A different project.) 

We processed a lot of apples this fall too, but I don't know what happened to it all. Did we really eat that much apple product? Scary thought!

apple peeling in progress

And just to add to the feeling of general chaos....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The leaves are down, the sky is grey, the air is cold in Eastern Ontario. Here were some of the bright spots from this past Fall

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cape Breton Sweater

The day cannot be postponed. It is time to show off the Cape Breton shore sweater.

I am so proud of this sweater because I made it by eyeball. Rafe once had a cute little thrift shop sweater made of polyester yarn. I wanted to duplicated with yarn I like, but I couldn't find the pattern for the life of me. So I drew some pictures, counted stitches, and learned a few new stitch patterns. My gauge was off—intentionally off, mind you—so voila, it fits him at a hefty age three, with room to grow. The hood I invented as I went. I think I would do it differently next time as it is voluminous...

....But serviceable! With the kind of wet, windy, sea air you find at the ocean, a small hood is unthinkable!

And besides, no self-respecting hobbit goes anywhere without his hood.

It is a sea-side sweater, no doubt about it. The branching pattern is called "tree of life" and reminds me of the evergreen forests that touch the rocky shores of the North Atlantic. The cables suggest Cape Breton's Celtic culture, and it has the incomparable warmth of sheep's wool. The colours are kind of rocky/foresty too. So in honour of a beloved place, I've named it the Cape Breton Shore.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cape Breton

So we have been perusing Cape Breton. It was our first holiday in ten years, our first time renting a cottage like "normal" grown ups, and for the children, the first time at the sea! We swam every day—the Northwest coast is the warmest waters north of the Carolinas, and definitely the warmest water we've swum in all summer! 

Oh to be battered around by waves!

We also drove the dizzying heights of the Cabot Trail...
In short, we were smitten.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wild Fermentation

New exciting pickles and a bowl of monstrous beets which are stumping me. Maybe I'll channel my Russian roots and make kvass.

By now you've probably heard of Sandor Ellix Katz's Wild Fermentation and his new encyclopedic The Art of Fermentation. It's been our bedside reading for a couple years now and I'm finally starting some kitchen science. Burdock, dandelion, garlic scapes, carrot, and some hot dried peppers, brine pickled.

Curious to see how the burdock comes out. It feels woody so far. No one, not even the internet, can tell me when is the best time to harvest burdock root. I was so dazzled by their huge size, but I suspect they're too old for eating as the plants had already gone to seed. If you know the answer, message me urgently.

I'm a little bit frustrated by the lack of exact measurements in any recipe book or website. It seems that fermenting, like bread making and so many other kitchen arts, are a bit secret and magical. You learn by doing and then you teach by word of mouth like a gnostic cult. It's a little bit exciting.