Friday, July 20, 2012

Good Food

It's the time of year when I get way more excited about food.  The garden has surprised me again by its abundance that seems to come all at once.  How fun today for Kellen to decide we should have kale chips for lunch and take off to gather it himself.  Of course, he couldn't help but pick some peas, beets, and carrots too.  He even wanted to pick onions, which made me laugh since he hates them.  (Maybe I'll get him to like onions this season!)

Every once in a while, I think I should start including more here about food, having the dietitian's perpective and all.  But, when I think about changing what I do here, that usually leads me to thinking about why I blog and what purpose it serves.  Which in the end leads me no where, since I'm not sure what is really my purpose at times, other than it makes me happy to reflect and remember all the blessings.

Since its all about making me happy :) and lately good food has been making me smile....
 If its true you are what you eat, we may turn into black beans around here soon.  Is there a better bean?  I don't think you could argue there is.  If you want to include more beans in your diet, load up on black beans, mmm.. Neve's tray often has a few black beans even at snack time and she gobbles them up.
 We'll have to figure out how to get some of this unique specialty spice from Texas when this runs out, cause we use it and LOVE it on everything! It was awesome in some mashed up black beans for our tortillas.
 With fresh spinach and black beans rolled up together, how can everyone at the table not be happy??!!
 Neve gets her's deconstructed and her corn on the cob cut up on the side.

Black beans even went on the pizza tonight.  Have you tried grilling pizza?  It's going to be my new obsession.  Mix up your pizza dough, throw it on the hot grill for 2 minutes to get a super crisp bottom and a light and fluffy top. Add your toppings and throw it back on the grill to melt your cheese (cook your toppings, like onions first).  Tonight there was also my first batch of pesto added to the pizza and sauted garden onions.  So very, very delicious.  If you haven't, you MUST try to grill a pizza.
 We've even gotten a few cucumbers and I'm so excited to add in cold avacado and cucumber soup to the menu more often.  There's been a lot of swiss chard and potato soup too (I was thankful for those cool rainy days so I could make it again :)
Chick peas, orzo and veggies - just another of the many summer salads I am looking forward to this wonderful garden season!

Don't you love summer food?

If I were a "real" blogger, I would probably take the time to give you some links to recipes.  If I were a "real" cook, I might have recipes to share, but I find I use recipes rarely these days.

What summer foods do you love?  Are you more food inspired (or hungry) now? ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Happenings: beaching and farming

Well, with the heat and lack of A/C at this house, the beach has been the place to be often.  But, I do love quiet days at home and slowly unpacking more boxes.  Feels like I'm really getting somewhere on the stuff.

 We've had a house guest that needed lots of tending (and one that needed trapping, but thats another story...).  Kellen wanted to save the baby robin, I hope we did, but had to put him outside since we weren't going to be able to feed him while I was working for a couple of days.  We put him close to where another mama and baby were.  He was almost flying out of the tall rubbermaid we contained him in, so I'm hoping he's out there doing great now.  Lanelle has been saying with a sad face how much she misses Kellen's bird.  So cute.
 But the bird wasn't so cute at 5 am chirping for food.  It's not easy getting food right in such a little mouth, it took some patience.  I don't say quite so sadly that I miss him.
 These other birds of ours are also doing amazing.  Out in their fenced yard now.
 Snow seemed a little too curious at first.  After jumping in once, creating havoc and getting yelled at, he stays on the appropriate side of the gate.
 Kellen kept trying to pick up a chicken, but of course they would have none of it.  He wasn't brave enough to really make it happen.  But, he announced he has found his Buddy.  He was over the moon excited about picking up this calm, content chicken.
 The next morning, he was pretty concerned that he might not be able to identify His Buddy.
 So he got a blue marker and once he thought he had the right one, he made sure he would easily identify his friend.
 Of course, Lanelle had to get a buddy too, so there is also a purple chicken.  *Just a note: the markers are washable crayolas and the chickens didn't seem to mind :)
 I have weeded like crazy in this mess of a garden, so I decided we needed to lay down some cardboard where the weeds had already won and start some lasagna layering.  I'm hoping to go to a no till garden, which I'm learning about, we'll see..
 This picture makes me laugh.  You know its a hot day when... you let baby wander around naked and you use the campstove outside to cook supper.
Auntie Andrea, this ones for you, way over in Estonia at the moment.  Look what I finally did with my Nova Scotia rocks!  It was a quick little naptime project that gave me a little bit of happy accomplishment during these days.
 And there was a late night project of lotion bars and deoderant, which I am loving both of. 
 Little lotion bars on the bathroom counter make me smile and make Lanelle repeatedly sniff and ooh and awe.  I don't like using the term homesteader, although its quite popular these days.  I did kind of feel like a homesteader, oh, but wait, all I had to do was go to the local health food store (and pottery store, but again, that's another story...)  I used Ian's fancy battery operated scale to weigh my ingredients.  Turned a knob to have heat.  Poured my concoctions into silicon moulds.  Perhaps I'm not quite so hard done by as the real homesteaders.
 Getting ready to move to the next step after chick starter feed, we are blessed to inherit Bill's hammer mill and feed mixer.  Not so hard done by, us "homesteaders", eh?
 This is the face I see all the time looking up at me.  "Hold me!" she lets me know in her own voice.
 Clinging to me if I'm not holding her.  Sheesh.  I love you, Nevey, but really?!
 Only happy in my arms, sometimes the swing, and generally if outside, which she demands by saying, with raised eyebrows, "shees" and a big smile when I pull her little pink shoes off the shelf.  Soon she will be feeling better from these blisters in her mouth and I hope she returns slightly more laid back old self.
 The big kids aren't much fazed by this hand, foot, mouth disease except at the table when they don't want to finish eating.  Kellen's already recovered and I am thankful for these healthy kids who bounce back amazingly.  Off they go to try catch more chickens...
How's that for a random, rushed, disjointed update of happenings on our Back Forty?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing and Going

Some days they don't seem to grow up fast enough
When they whine and they're needy
And I just want to have some peace
It sounds ugly, but its just the truth, that there are hard days
 But when I peek in on them sleeping and reflect in the peaceful quiet
I am in awe of how fast they are growing
Such long legs sticking out of blankets
Little sister helping littlest sister fall asleep quietly
laying beside her crib.
My heart melts.

Tonight there is one less in their shared room
As Kellen is sleeping in a bunk bed at camp.
I can't believe we let him go,
I can't believe how much he begged to go,
even though he didn't know anyone else.
What a brave adventurous little lad he is.
And it makes me wonder about all the places he will go.
I am already looking forward anxiously until Friday at 7pm...

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Celebrate Growth

They were so excited for the parade.
We talk about Canada Day,
to try help them see it is more than just about candy.
 But I think they celebrated candy more than Canada.
(Kellen insisted a bag was necessary to haul his loot)
 We took them to the fireworks
And I'm sure they will never forget the grass fire that started
Or the cute vintage little town's firetruck that raced by us to put it out.
 Sometimes we just see what is right in front of us
And forget the meaning behind what we see
 I wonder what kind of flowering bush this is in our yard
But did it make me stop to think about the Creator who has given us this gift of beauty
 Sometimes we just see the hurt in front of us
and the teaching that should be done
 But do we see the love learned and growing through it
 There is often beauty after the storm, isn't there?
My patience and perspective were tested today.
I didn't really think to consider that at the end of the day,
I would see that I had been stretched a little more
ready to love and appreciate more tomorrow.