March 11th and little has been cooked

the smoked salmon was enjoyed with my loft tenants  – they came over to pay rent and we ate fresh bread and smoked salmon.  I think I was wanting dryer smoked, however it was delicious and moist and not too smoky.  Fresh bread and butter and salmon?  YUM.

The smoked chicken, however, is another matter.  Oversmoked (small pieces is the issue) and tough (roosters is the issue).  I did take some to work on Monday with a sweet chili sauce and some rice.  Chewing on rubber bands, it was.  disappointing.  I put the remaining chicken into a pressure cooker and cooked them for 30 minutes, we tried them on the 10th (I pulled the meat off the bones) but it wasn’t a real success.  I think I would prefer, in future, to smoke a younger bird whole, then pressure cook it for at least 40 or more minutes to get it tender….  the issue with raising our own heritage roosters is that they have to grow for so long they get really tough..

#1 Son is here right now, and for dinner on the 9th we had macaroni and cheese for #1 daughter, and bunny for #1 son and Mr. P. and a big spicy stirfry.  I have a  plethora of cabbagy things in the fridge so #1 Son chopped and spiced.   Daughter not a fan of spicy, however she did eat some Macaroni and also high-graded the broccoli from the stirfry.   Bit of a challenge to have a spice lover visting and have a bland eater living here, how many options do we create?

Planning our holiday trip – we are going to take up mostly pantry items, just need to co-ordinate so I am packed when I want to leave.   got some lists together.  I would like to make another couple of loaves of bread, it is popular and tasty and easy and – for me – really satisfying to make….  I do have some in the freezers but want to take some fresh, as well..   Making bread is a simple pleasure for me.

Have to feed the current sourdough, I have two batches on the counter with a lot of ‘liquor’ on top,  they should be reduced and then fed.  maybe I will make a sourdough flavoured but yeast fed bread so I get the bread faster and don’t waste the sourdough.  off to research.





Good heavens, it is March 6

ok, so we ate out, errrr  a week ago. And.. well, there has been a lot of sourdough bread baked, today I made a lovely Milk based bread from my beloved Laurel’s kitchen bread book – if I can get sourdough to pop, I certainly can get regular yeast bread to pop.  It was an early start for the bread, rose, shaped, placed in pans.  then I went for a LONNNNNNGGGGGG nap.  Came down to find bread all over the place.  I tore it out of the pans, and reshaped it, and let it rise, and put it into a coolish oven to oven proof as the oven came to heat.  ended up with REALLY PRETTY loaves risen over 2/3 above the edges – soft and lovely bread.  wiped it all over with butter and wrapped in cloth to cool. Awesome bread.
Today was also the smoking day.  yesterday we thawed a couple of roosters and three salmon.  Pablo filleted the salmon and I chopped the birds – I froze the breasts, again, and took out a package of rooster wings.   We brined all of the fillets and rooster bits, this morning they were set out to dry and Pablo smoked them in our smoker.  The salmon is now back in the freezer – smoked and portioned.  the chicken – well, some went into the oven to finish cooking, and some was mixed with chili sauce to cook as wings…

We have eaten rice, and cabbage, and eggs.  a mish-mash.  more to come.



Feb 27th

Dinner last night at the Community Supported Restaurant?  Beyond awesome.  I never can eat it all so we conspire to put half of the first and maincoursese into a take home, Mr. N. thinks that this is awesome.  Before dinner I went to the grocery to get milk and crackers, got some sales items and few hugs.  Hotdogs for 97 cents for 4….  friends I haven’t seen for a while.   milk and some other basics… classic shopping.    N and M had hotdogs for supper, and were quite content.  Mr. P and I had fish cakes, Duck confit and a Panna cotta for supper – also quite content.  Actually,  I think I raved a bit more than was particularly polite… and MAN IT WAS A GOOD MEAL.   Got home and started the 24 hour sourdough.  At 4 when I was awake I put it into pans.   Placed into a cold oven at 9 this morning and let it oven proof as the oven warmed = with a bit of milk spread on top to give colour.  One loaf is out, the other in the oven.  yum….

there is marmelade on the counter waiting to be labeled and taken downstairs.   Fridge has lots of winter veggies so we will have stirfry tonight.  life is good!



Feb 26th… how did that happen

Well, it has been a month of folk unwell, leftovers, company, and  a turkey dispatch (sob).  We’ve been through a few nasty bugs which reduced the use of pantry, as well as kept some folk from school and work.  a general overview of things eaten out of the shelves:  Garbanzo beans spiced and toasted in the oven for snacks.  Tomato sauces and Rotel reduced for spaghetti sauce.   Prawns from the freezer with homemade Thai chili sauce (YUMMEEE) and rice.   More rice – brown jasmine – Miz M likes that.  Stirfry veggies in quantites with either rice or noodles.  Mr. P has eaten some lamb and some rabbit from the freezer.  we pressure cooked a chicken and used it in a few mixed meals.  I think I am going to miss baked chicken, though.   Enjoyed some cheeses with various meals.  Were gifted with a super stinky sourdough and have had numerous breads, those are popular!!!.   Marmelade was made with the February oranges… finally, I got it to set.  first try had it runny in the jars, I rewashed the lids, reboiled the marmelade and now it is a beautiful set with that lovely bitter marmelade flavour.  pretty awesome with the sourdough bread, if I do say so myself.

There is sliced cabbage and carrot slaw – no dressing – in the fridge downstairs.  making this ahead of time and not dressing it means it lasts for at least a week, and means we can choose the dressing we prefer.  Cabbage is inexpensive these days.  we have some chinese style cabbage and recipes, I need to find the courage to try Kimchi….  Loft people have made some that is delicious, so it has to be possible….

I have chosen to not purchase pre-made dried cereals for the kids, yet have taught Miz M. how to make oatmeal.  I suspect her sugar intake equals that from the packaged cereals, however I know that our dollar outflow for cereal has dropped by 75%.   She is content to make a bowl of oatmeal with sugar and milk – I know that the ingredients are better and the cost is much lower. Took me a long time to find a ‘junk food’ that she could make for herself.

Today, we have to make more sourdough – that is almost a 24 hour job, so am going to make a double batch and freeze half of it.   try the kimchi and perhaps something else yummy.  we are booked for a dinner out tonight and the kids need something healthy to eat…..




Feb 7th part one

started some bread dough.   Added turmeric as per #1 son.  and some sunflower seed, some pumpkin seed, some oats and onion and herbs and poppy seed.  dig through the pantry and find leftover this and that.  add it.  let it rise.  take a nap.  Form two big loaves and a lot of small buns (rolls, if you are my american friends).  let them rise for MUCH longer than the recipes say..    Wrap the buns/rolls around cheese to make life even better on a holiday monday.   wait wait wait.   reset the timer.  double the projected rising time.  then add another half hour.  not quite ready to cook but feeling good about the wait.  hungry, but good….


ANDDD then I read all these totally full of themselves posts about heating ovens and getting things pre heated and I laugh.  sorry … the buns wrapped around cheese are in the oven ( I DID preheat) and the two loaves wait until there is room.  this mamby pamby heat and spray and spray andheat and stand on your head bread cooking – not a fan






Feb 5th and 6th

The onion soup made a great start for a black (and other) bean chili.  Earlier in the week, I had pressure canned some beans and one jar had cracked – it still was sealed, but the base of the jar was cracked.
I decided to put it in the fridge to wait for a chili night.  There also were some remainder beans that hadn’t fit into the pressure canners, waiting in a fridge downstairs.  I put those beans and some water into one of our smaller pressure cookers and cooked down for 40 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, I pulled up a jar of tomato sauce, and one of rotel, and a jar of our celery, opened the jar of black beans, and chopped up some carrots.  found some chili powder and garlic powder and added a good cup and a half of the caramelized onions.  put it on low once it had boiled, and added the pressure cooked beans once they were done and de-pressurized.   Found 3 cups of frozen corn from last summer – put two cups into the chili and saved the remainder for the cornmeal muffins.

Made my mom’s johnnycake recipe with the usual twists – I prefer to use yogurt or crema to milk, and add chili powder.  The frozen corn was mixed with the dry ingredients and the oil and egg etc was measured.  #2 son was coming home before work on Friday, I didn’t know when I needed to feed him but knew it would be an early dinner.  in the end, we had eaten by 4:30 and he was at work at 4:45 – and I was in bed by 5:30 …. too many things on my list to do and not enough sleep.  #1 son got #2 when his shift was done.

On Saturday the 6th #1 got up early and drove the van to a friend’s house.  They filled the van with people, and a bike, and #1 succeeded in getting himself to Victoria, my friend had a Van big enough to provide the ride, and it was a win-win.   Mr. P. took a lamb roast out of the freezer and put it to thaw, we have invited the loft couple for dinner as they will eat lamb (Miz M. and I will not).   Mr. P. also succeeded in fixing his barbeque, as Lamb may not be cooked within my house without marital strife.  (not opposed to lamb for any emotional reason, just can’t be near it when it cooks without wanting to throw up).

Loft kids came over and we had a very joyous dinner of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, roasted potatoes (two ways), cheese, chili, lamb, cabbage and carrot salad – and laughter. Was a good nigh.  Not too much lamb leftover for Mr. P’s dinner tonight, I will do something creative with the chili, most of the johnnycake (cornbread) muffins are gone (well, ONE is left)  and so the fridge is a bit emptier.  I did bring up some corn salsa and pickled beans, they were delicious.   the shelves still groan and yet every day of 2 or 3 jars less is a good day!!!!


Feb 4th early morning

Oh, dear, I have Got to stop emulating my lovely Aunti, who apparently also wakes in the middle of the just is difficult to sleep through a night.  At least I feel better knowing that she gets up for a few hours to read or think, most nights…

Anyway, we DID have French Onion Soup Teri-style on Feb 3rd.  I ended up having to find a jar of mystery broth (likely turkey) to thin out my onions, there wasn’t enough of the current chicken broth to make it soupy.  The crock pot, on its own, turned those white-white-white onions into caramelized almost black onion goodness.  I did a grocery store run to buy soft white bread (decadent) and lucked out in seeing some beloved friends ===folk I miss terribly, we used to have dinners once every two months, now we barely see each other.   A dinner is planned.  Lovely to see them.

Got some swiss cheese (Canadian version – much less expensive) for Pablo and #1 and #2 sons) as well.  Came home, did some research, toasted the bread, filled the bowls with hot onion soup, put toast on top, cheese on top and then broiled.   The soup and bready/cheese was delish.

I had purchased some tortilini on SERIOUS discount a few days ago, so cooked those up as well. I reduced a couple of jars of my tomato sauce on the stove, then I remembered a jar of alfredo sauce that was just over date limit.  I heated that too.  Dinner was french onion soup and tortilini with your choice of sauce.  Funny, that – the Alfredo was the choice (and afterwards we likely all regreted it, not really that good)….

This gives us some onion soup for tonight, if we wish, and some reduced tomato sauce (and I have black beans in a jar that did wierd things when I was pressure canning – so we may have Chili tonight, or spaghetti)


Feb 3rd early morning…


the stuffed Potatoes became the go-to snack for #2 son.  The Butter Pecan cake with Easy Penuche icing disappeared in under two days (Happy Birthday, #2!)  we had tortillas with Pulled chicken rice and a home-canned jar of beans plus various salsas on the 30th.  all very yummy.

31st Pablo cooked Dahl all day – the house smelled awesome.  I pulled out the leftover pizza dough but bailed on it – too old.  whipped up some new Naan dough and made some Naan, we had Dahl, Naan, leftover rice, some beans, some this and that…  I chopped up cabbage and carrots into a container – they last for days.   and I baked a cauliflower – NOTE TO SELF  – Steam the darn thing first, it never will get soft – we didn’t eat it and saved it for the next day

1st  was a total leftover meal.   #1 son is home and worked with the Loft Husband, they joined us for a dinner of this and that and that and this – beans and rice and dahl and chicken and cabbage salad and that rock hard (and still uneaten) cauliflower and reheated steamed soft cauliflower and salsas and sauces and more Naan and tortillas.  a feast of yummy and Loft Husband took home to his lovely wife a plate full of good things.  Another cake had been made and iced with Chocolate icing.  it was also enjoyed

2nd.  Mixed supper, again.  More leftovers, they seem to be popular.  The last of the naan dough was put into service. I had big pots on the stove pressure canning beans so only had a small frying pan space, had to make smaller Naan.  Even when they are small, they disappear – peanut butter showed up on the table at one point.  Mr. P. made a simple soup with leftover tomato sauce and a bag of prawns we had in the freezer – we left each soup-eater to peel their own prawns, a much simpler process for the cooks, I can tell you!.  again, more Dahl (thank you Loft Husband for coming to eat leftovers before I get bored with them and Loft wife came home early from work so joined us late in the last of the Naan eating. )    more beans and rice and we finally tackled that sad re-heated cauliflower, who STILL was hard.   tasty, but hard.   cabbage salad.  sauces.

3rd – well, it is still early morning.  one thing I did yesterday when I was prepping supper was bring up a big pot full of onions – I had purchased a 50 pound sack in the fall when we were running out of our own onions so I thought I should do something with some of them.  Pulled out one of my machines and pushed through halved and cleaned onions to make onion slices.  Mr. P. used some in his soup, of course, and the rest I piled to the brim of my slow cooker.  It is 5 in the morning and the house smells like caramelized onions – the slow cooker magically turned them into light brown lovely things.  I have turned them back on as they are still not quite tender, but this is the way to start french onion soup!!!!!  I might have stirred them 3 times, otherwise ignored.   I have some chicken broth leftover from my chicken adventures, shall use that rather than beef broth to make the soup.  I think it will be delicious….  soup and salad and bread for supper tonight, I think…..




Jan 30th – Chicken, leftovers


Early (really early) on the morning of the 30th I got up, as usual (don’t ask me about sleeping patterns, it is a mess).  I pulled out a rooster from our recent freezer camp experience, added some onion and garlic into the crockpot, a bit of water and put it on high.  the roo wasn’t really fitting, the lid was skewed, however several hours later I was able to chop the legs and nestle the whole thing in.  I just ( 6 hours later ) have pulled out the chicken and the broth, letting the chicken cool and i will shred it for a taco supper.

** Update ***  I pulled the chicken apart but didn’t shred yet, put it back into a stewpot with the crockpot broth, and put it back on the stove for a while.  it wasn’t really shreddy yet.  Took all the bone bits and skin bits and filled another smaller pot with those plus water, and put it on to boil for more broth.   Then went for a nap.  someone turned it off after an hour (thank you timer) and I have turned it back on.  it is a long slow cooking day.  House has amazing chicken smells throughout.  ****

For dinner on the 29th we had leftover broccoli and cauliflower (and new stuff, too) as well as our carrots.  heated up some leftover macaroni, Miz M. wouldn’t let me share that with the chickens.  #2 son helped me tto prepare some leftover potatoes – we pulled out their innards, mixed with mayo and cheese (Including cheddar and leftover parmesan from yesterday)  and re-stuffed them, sprinkled with cheese then baked them.   They were delicious.  cheese and potatoes, yummy!   The chicken legs from the 28th were torn apart and re=heated some of us had them on the potatoes and some had separate, and of course I brought out the sunflower seeds because they are awesome on potatoes and chicken.

on the 28th I had pulled some chicken drumsticks out of the freezer, and scrubbed some of our roasting potatoes.  we had roasted chicken, baked potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower and carrots (our own carrots), and the last of the romaine lettuce in a salad.  I have been watching the sales for salad dressings so we had a nice caesar with the romaine.  and some grated parmesan

feeling good about what we are eating out of the freezer and pantry.  Still using fresh veggies from the grocery as well as our own supplies.   each meal using our own protein or veggies is a great thing.  I intend to have all of the canning jars empty by July… HA


Jan 27 – what have we been eating

let’s see.

On the 23rd, after baking the bread, I started a dough for pizza.   our Lofties were coming over to discuss the farm work, so I dug around for ingredients then headed to the Old Farm Market for veggies.  We have some stuff but I am craving fresh veggies.  I snagged some mushrooms and some yellow peppers (cheaper by far than the red or green), a cabbage, and some citrus (orange and grapefruit).  stopped by Scoops to replace our almond supply – however they are very expensive so I only picked up a few.

Came home, started the pizza dough, opened a can of tomato, onion and celery sauce (note to self, make much more of this mix, I use it a LOT), a can of Rotel (homemade – spicier than plain tomato sauce, adds flavour) and in the end a small can of plain tomato sauce, plus some oregano, and garlic powder, and something else that I forget (you know, pizza flavours) and put them all into my jam pot that is so good for reducing, then put a spatter guard on top and let it go for close to an hour.  I ended up with a nice thick flavourful sauce for the pizzas.

Loft Girl brought over some salami, and Mr. P brought up some of his home cured meat, I opened a jar of artichoke hearts, and everyone made their own pizzas..  We had a super meeting, too!.

Monday Jan 24 – I was craving chinese, but our local chinese place is both expensive and not so tasty – however, they do have ‘OK’  almond chicken and (sigh) Sweet and sour Chicken Balls.  SO, I chopped up some chow mein veggies – onions, carrots and cabbage, boiled up some noodles, and got the chow mein ready to assemble, then ran off for the greasy stuff.  we had a super supper of some takeout but much better home-made chow mein

Monday Jan 25 was easy – leftover pizza, and all the other leftovers were pulled out too.  Potatoes, squash, etc.  Mr. P had a plate of Veggies, Maggie and I dealt with pizza.  I am tired of having so many leftovers, thank heavens for the chickens

Tuesday Jan 26 – time to cook.  I put together a casserole of homemade Mac and Cheese, and cut up some broccoli and cauliflower.  Mr. P. prepared some of our lovely carrots (they need a bit of attention, there are a lot in the fridge) and when the M&C was ready I cooked up the veggies.  Everyone had a nice feast

Wednesday -Jan 27 – thank heavens for more leftovers but healthy ones.  Almost all of the Mac and Cheese got eaten, we finished the leftover broccoli and cauliflower and carrots, and we all had a big salad of some romaine hearts that have been staring at me each time I open the fridge.

Leftovers still won, but are now in the chicken pile.  we have some lovely fresh veggies (winter types – cabbage and broccoli and cauliflower and carrots and onions, as well as squash and potatoes (white and sweet)) – to plan around, and are going to do a bit more work on the calendar and freezers so we have plans each week to use a bit of this and a bit of that…..