September 28, 2011

olden day dreaming plus a great series


I spotted this beaut of an old shack on my travels.
It was some family's home no doubt... 

Its made of hand hewn logs and a home made concrete! 

Is it that simple?

you can see the axe marks from 
when they were hewing the logs by hand

 This is what they saw when they walked out of their home! 

(kinda-probably more trees back then...)

Pretty river view.

I would give anything to see what the world was like back when this house was built!

What people were like. 

what their conversations were about. 
putting food by?
wood cutting?

what did they do for fun? 
go on walks? 
have picnics?  
play cards? 

I can't help but feel that the olden way is the best way - although i know that is not the case for many things such as racism, sexism...  It just seems that people were friendlier back then?  

The main thing I long for from the past is the strong communities that the times built. 

You HAD to be good to your neighbor because you needed them and they needed you.
 (we still really need each other)
It was all about survival. 

that's what I miss about a time I never 

who walked through that door daily...

This is a really neat series they filmed in Manitoba where 2 couples were put on some land in with limited resources (a cow, a couple horses, an axe, coffee...), had to wear and  use gear from the 1900's, no power or running water, no phones or tvs...
  and had to live for a year!  
That includes building a house and barn!
I'd LOVE to do this.
my heart is pumping just thinking about it...

September 27, 2011

saving more seeds, spinach seeds and pea seeds

Look at how many seeds mother nature gives us from just one plant.

blue lake beans

Bounty Peas

bloomsdale spinach

 dry them really well,

 label, date and store in an envelope or bag.

September 24, 2011

How to save tomato seeds (and cucumber seeds)

 I have just noticed that it is full on AUTUMN! 
loving it. 
The gardening task for now is to save seeds for next year.

Ever wondered how to save tomato and cucumber seeds? 
Its not as simple as beans, peas or spinach. 
 Here's how:
Find a really ripe tomato.
 I get right in there with my hands!
(a more civilized way would include a knife to cut it in half and a scooper type utensil)
Get the seedy goop out of the tomato with your preferred method...

place the seeds in a cup or bowl with a couple tbsps of water,
cover loosely - allow a bit of air in.

Let this sit for 3-7 days in a warmish location (in a sunny windowsill). It needs to ferment!

When it has fermented, there will be a scummy layer on top. carefully remove this.

Rinse the seeds very well in a fine sieve.

lay them out on a screen/ board/ paper coffee filter... to dry.

Allow them 1-3 weeks to dry.

Now label and date your little envelope and store till spring!

I have a sister who has done this process a gazillion times at her work, so she filled me in on some of the details.

 Cucumbers go by the same fermenting process.
Let the cuke ripen fully on the vine. 
then let it ripen a bit more on the counter.

Let it sit for 3-5 days.

rinse really well with a sieve:

cuke seeds:

now dry them on a screen/ coffee filter/ board 
for about 3 weeks, until a seed will easily snap right in half.

store in an envelope, label and date, wait!

Mother Nature gives us SO many seeds within just one fruit.

It feels really good to take that gift and use it.
happy seed saving!

September 21, 2011

grandma's borsht recipe!

 There's a time in the season where your garden gives you all the ingredients for Borsht!

My Grandmother, of Russian decent, has passed down THE recipe.
It is possibly my favorite recipe...
ANd here it is for you!
Its vegetarian and can easily be vegan as well by substituting.

Cabbage Borsht

 5-7 potatoes                         1 can stewed tomatoes
 5-10 carrots                          (or 5 medium sized tomatoes blended)
 1 onion                                 1 can chicken stock (or veggie)
 1/2 cabbage                          1-3 tbsp dill (fresh garden is BEST)
 3 tbsp butter                         1 cup of cream

Cut potatoes and carrots into bigger than bite sized pieces and boil in a large pot.    Chop cabbage and onion quite fine and fry in butter until browned.      Add tomatoes to frying pan.  Remove potatoes and carrots before they are too soft.     Mash/blend Half of the potatoes. Then mix everything together in the big pot.    Add the cream and Dill (fresh is the best!) Simmer for a while and then enjoy!

 Choppie chop!



Blending the potatoes with a bit of water and the boullion cube: 

 Freshest dill

Here's how I do my tomatoes:

then add to the cabbage and onions
(this step smells wonderful)


now blend all the ingredients.

finished product.  yum! 
with some nice whole grain bread and butter...

To make BEET borscht: 
-boil whole beets for 15 mins to remove skins
- grate
- add to soup in the final stages 
- bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 15 mins
-don't boil too long or they will loose their color!

(Listening to Lucinda Williams - Concrete and Barbwire)

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