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Beginning of Christmas baking

December 9, 2011

The other day we played with our new cookie press, to practice before we start making them to give away.


Kitchen pics

December 1, 2011

I don’t think I have put up pictures of the kitchen!    It’s still not perfect – things need to be moved, or repaired or replaced, and the walls need painting, but I’m pleased with how it is going.

Winter vegetables

December 1, 2011

Winter veg is going quite well for me – at least the plants we have good netting over.  I will need to plan to do more winter plants next year.

Kale is growing well, but I don’t think we will like kale an awful lot – it is rather bitter.   However, in smaller amounts, pureed, in soups, will add a good deal of nutrition, I think.  Perhaps stir-fried will be as good as people say it is.   I’ll have to try it.

Anyway, this afternoon I went out to my “garden larder” to get the next to last leek (will have to plant more of those, too) and some kale:

My brussels sprouts are still very small – I guess come Christmas they will still be mild and tender!   The area they are in gets very little

A story of harvest

November 30, 2011

Last July farmers in Ontario gave of themselves, their time and their equipment to raise funds for hunger relief.   Here is a moving account of that event, from a Christian perspective.

A Harvest of Hope

Nearly there

November 15, 2011


… with this stage of doing the kitchen, that is.   The receipt of the much-desired and now loved range, has been a bit of a “if you give a mouse a cookie” experience.     Having the range meant that my husband had to take out some kitchen units.  That meant less storage.  So we bought a dresser to replace the lost storage places.    I decided I’d paint it.

Then I decided that as there was now nothing there where the old oven used to be, and the dresser was not in its place yet, that we ought to paint that area, so we wouldn’t have to unload the dresser and move it when we eventually painted the kitchen (which really needs some sprucing up).    Hopefully that will be done today by my oldest son.

The dresser is just about done, except for a tiny area that needs touching up, and taking off the masking tape, and installing the new drawer pulls (which haven’t arrived yet).       I’m really looking forward to getting it all in place.    I know that I probably won’t fit everything in (especially as a big drawer in the kitchen broke – too bad it wasn’t the unit dear husband took out to make space for the range! )  but perhaps I don’t need so many cooking and baking dishes anyway. I can put some in boxes for the older children to take with them when they move out, or keep for when we get a bigger house.

I will be glad when the front room is no longer dominated by the dresser (it’s the only place I could paint it) and the dining area is no longer covered by kitchen equipment.

Here are some pictures of things as they are today.  I apologise for the poor quality, at this time of year it’s very hard to get decent photographs indoors, even though to my eyes it’s fairly light in here.

Bottom of dresser:

Bottom of dresser

Top of dresser, with its drawers sitting on top

This is the space where the dresser will go – – the shelf unit will be moved along with all the other things.  Our house is like one of those tile puzzles where you have to move pieces around and out of the way before you can move the piece you really want to move into position!

Where oven used to be, and where dresser will go


For the Fallen

November 11, 2011

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon, “For the Fallen” 1914

Larder recipe – Pineapple Pudding

November 2, 2011

This is an easy recipe.  It sounds like it would be perfectly awful, but it is really good.  It has a texture rather like rice pudding, but there is no rice in it.   I see fancier versions on some Indian food websites.   This is a quick and easy version, perfect for busy and tired parents, or for a child to do.  It’s also a good because it uses ingredients that are often in food storage (or plain old fashioned larders).

Take one largish tin of crushed pineapple.   Pineapple pieces or chunks can be used  if you whizz them in the blender or food processor.   If they are in syrup instead of natural juice, you need to pour the syrup away otherwise it will not work.  In fact I prefer to pour some of the juice away although not all of it.   (The juice can be drunk or used in some other drink or food.)

Mix the pineapple bits with one normal tin of evaporated milk.   Stir it well, the reaction will happen as you mix it.   It does not curdle (which is what most people would think it would do) but it does thicken.

You can top this with maraschino cherries or crushed nuts.   Or leave plain.

Please let me know if you try this!

Pineapple Pudding - Larder recipe