Sunday, August 30, 2009

Organic Greens....

In the winter I buy organic greens for my family - but are they organic? How organic is organic? I just finished "Omnivore's Dilemma" and it did not disappoint. (ok ok I didn't finish it - the last section was "hunter/gatherer" and since my hubby and mother hunt and my mother gathers oh 100 or so pounds of chanterelles a year...I'm pretty sure I get what goes into that type of meal!) The book delves into Joel Salatin and sustainability and "Industrial Organics" and it is all a huge eye opener. It takes an astronomical amount of fossil fuel to produce 1 pound of organic salad greens. ASTRONOMICAL. I get it. Now. Everyone should. I feel quite like a born again christian, a born again eater. I should be singing from the rooftops, preaching to everyone I meet, writing to the editor.....but alas, I suspect the bright ones have been doing so for years to no avail. I didn't hear them. In fact in some ways I was encouraged to ignore them and the message. Cheap food means computers, ipods, xbox, mobile phones...disposable income. Why do we not see the true cost of our food system. I will be trying to plant a "winter" garden this year for our winter greens. Unfortunately we are at 500 feet in the snow zone, so it will be a challenge. What is going to happen when the cost of fossil fuels start to skyrocket? Then the other side of the coin, the cheap corn based food, the feedlots, the many derivitives at corn, that are cheap at the grocery store but cost SO MUCH IN HEALTH CARE - diabetes, heart disease, obesity.....And the "cheap" corn is SUBSIDIZED by the american government and yet irony is that it ends up costing SO MUCH MORE. And what on earth will happen when food costs start going crazy???
Now I'm reading "In Defense of Food" also by Michael Pollan. Eyeopener!!!

Rock On!

The excitement started building when we were in our room across the street from BC Place...we could hear the sound checks. We could see a constant river of people flowing towards the entrances. We joined the stream and entered the building. As we walked closer and closer to the stage I couldn't help but to start crying....pretty silly eh? I understand the beatles fans standing there weeping with excitement. We were in the 11th row, 5 people from the centre stage.....and ACDC rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I cried more before the concert than when we had our kids ;) We could see BJ eyes and the sweat dripping from Angus Young....and that guy is INCREDIBLE!!! I had my 10 seconds of fame during Dirty Deeds - upon hubby's shoulders I was on the jumbo tron rocking....lucky for the crowd I didn't flash my boobies! Didn't even know I was up there til it was just over.....
I'm not so shallow really, the best part of the weekend was coming home to my boys!
PS Ok we just found me, it's during "The Jack" (honest I wasn't too far gone!) and we even found a youtube video....I'm at the 1 minute mark....(NOT the embarrassed blond at the start!!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My wagon runneth over....

See the is the supersize little tykes one.....and I unloaded all the monsters in to the pig pen. Yep. Don't go camping for 3 days when your zuchinis are ready......
What to do..... what to do?

Zuchini chips!!!! YOWZA!!! Dehydrators rock! And one never needs to feel somewhat guilty about eating dip when it's on a zuke chip!!! Trust me they taste GREEEAAAAAAATTTTTTTT!!! (echos of the kellogs frosted guy....)

The ear, well, one always finds suprises on the camera when its accessible by the kiddos!
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Time Warp, and not the B52 Kind.....

Corn. King Corn. Agribusiness. diabetes. processed foods. carbon footprint. fossil fuels. plastic. Chemical fertilizers. Mother Earth.
I feel like I'm in some kind of wonky time warp and I missed out on some important information at some point in my life. How come I'm almost 40 *wink* and I only now know what is going on. Does everyone know and choose to ignore it? I'm reading Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemna right now and I find myself gasping at almost every paragraph at the complete and utter destruction we (the royal "humans" we) are causing to our planet. I don't think his message is new - just in a new form, his book. Do people realize it costs 2 calories (in fossil fuels) to farm every 1 calorie of corn? It used to be the other way around. It should be the other way around. Do big business and our governments control our media so much that we are not alarmed or have I chosen to not see what seems to be right in front of me all the time now.
I was telling some friends today about this Wacky Hippy Guy that came to our farm for a tour. Hubby did a small tour that went out and showed our pigs frolicking around our old strawberry patch, the heritage fodder beets (manglewurzles, really) we are growing to feed them, our fields planted with cover crops including legumes to fix nitrogen, our new plantings of strawberries and of course our 1 and 2 year old fields.....a cycle. The Wacky Hippy Guy was a cool guy and started talking about how a big change was coming, soon, and we all better be ready, and we weren't and there was going to be a big big wake up call when it happened. 'It' being when the price of fossil fuel went up. Way up. The taste of which we all felt last year. Kind of a modern doomsday premonition kind of pronouncement. I agreed with him, but didn't REALLY get what he meant. I do now. At the same time there are a bunch of lights on in my house. My dishwasher is on washing bottles to can my organic peaches. I'm sitting at my puter, again. My kids love pokemon and want more more more cards (ok, I love the vocab....and I haven't read Affluenza, yet) It seems we're all really a bunch of hypocrites who will be slapped in the face and mad at our governments for not telling us of what is to come and who will be to blame???
does this muddlement make sense? does anyone get what I'm yapping about?
PS As I finish canning my peaches I taste one. I wish I didn't. The 'organic' peach brought to me here in BC all the way from California tastes NOTHING like the peach hubby brought in from our own tree - the one I couldn't stop eating - the one of three peaches one of our trees produced this year. ARGH!!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Ok, after writing an article for a local blog here about choosing curriculum I went ahead and ordered MATHUSEE for my kids. It arrived and I knew almost immediately it was a mistake. We have the PRIMER already and Sawyer seems to like it - and August said he wants the same one - so I ordered alpha, beta and gamma. The books are huge - and look like workbooks. They are workbooks. There is a whole book for single digit addition. Don called out to Sawyer "What's 5+2?" the answer was yelled back. I have to trust trust trust my own philosophy and trust that the kids will learn what they need to on their own time. Why do I have this urge to order stuff? It's going back. (Of course they won't take the DVD and the teacher book back - it's conveniently not shrink wrapped - so even though it hasn't even been taken out of the box I have to keep them) Did I mention hubby is P!ssed at me for not following my own intuition about their learning, you know, the stuff I've been yakking at him about for the last 5 years??
August wrote a book this week. Yep, dictated it to me. A "One to One Mystery" - We've been reading AtoZ mysteries all summer and are at N. The boys LOVE them. The stories are short, the mysteries interesting and solutions not always obvious. So now he wrote about an apple thief stealing apples from our tree and how he figured out the clues to catch the thief. Needless to say I am thrilled. We went to Ron Roy's website and August dictated a letter to me for him. AND WE GOT AN ANSWER. August was thrilled.

Zuchini Muffins

I forget where I found this recipe. I made 2 batches today and there are 4 yes FOUR left. Each recipe makes 24!!!

3 cups grated zuchini (I was generous and probably did closer to 4 cups, I'm desparate)
2/3 cup butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 large farm eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
2 teaspoons cinamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raisons

OK I had no cinamon so I grated up about 2 teaspoons of nutmeg instead and I loved the flavour it gave!
Cook at 350 for 24 minutes
24 muffins!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Zuke and Scape Stirfry

YUM! Fry chopped garlic and onion in butter. Add soya 1-2 T, then add garlic scapes cut into 1.5 inch pieces, fry for some time. Add 1 teaspoon honey, and throw in sliced zukes for a short time. Serve over rice or on it's own! Delicious! I use the same basic recipe for stir frying green beans, squash and other veggies. I sometimes add a couple of drops of fish sauce to change it up.
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chocolate Zuke Cake

YUM! Decorated with Zuke flowers! It was moist and delicious and I didn't bake it - kate did. Will try and track down the recipe!
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Our corn is not quite ready, and I'm not sure it will ever be ready....two little boys keep stealing it all and eating on the sly "It tastes like candy mummy!"

We have 2 new kitties - Jasper and Tri, Tri is a little monkey that has already used 2 of her 9 lives....I fear for her. Jazzy is a cuddle monkey - both have lots of character and the boys spend hours playing with them! Their mother is part siamese and the meowling that goes on around her proves it!
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Pickling Cukes

Did I mention we have UPICK pickling cukes here as well? Here is a 200 lb order we had last week....don't they look awesome! (AND how in the heck do you pickle 200 pounds of pickles!!
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Stuffed zuch!

Ground Pork and Ground Moose 1:2, 1 tablespoon each of oregano, rosemary and thyme , slat and pepper, leftover brown rice. I scooped out seeds and piled it in with some leftover Gazpacho poured over top.......cooked for an hour at 400. It was delicious! (Ignore the burned liquid on the bottom, I got it out just before it was scorched!) Ok that description goes with the bottom photo.

The top photo is stuffed giant (left too long on the vine) patapan or "flying saucer zukes" that my mum made us. Her's is delicious and includes turmeric, more salt than me and other ingredients to be pried out of her......

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Too Much Birthday!

Ok, much to my surprise my birthday boy *did* break down at his party. Too much build up excitement games etc. He finally broke down and cried. We planned as many cooperative games as we could - here's the kids doing the scavanger hunt.....and eating the hanging apple with no hands!
It's become common here to have two toonie parties. That is one toonie goes to the kid to pick a gift out and one toonie goes to a charity. I love it. Instead of a pile of "Made in china crap plastic gifts" my kids can choose something they want...and hopefully the charity thing sinks in a little. Surpriseingly some people can NOT come to a party without a gift. To those I said ONE and only ONE hotwheel car, always a hit. Of course to that person it meant one package. of five. Another family brought a "new for him" gift, chosen from unused toys. Ok by me. Of course a big battery driven dinosaur wouldn't be my first choice. :) Another gift, a big hit, was a homemade beaded key chain which was carried around in it's gold case like a treasure all day. It now holds a place of honour on his water backpack. When I asked at bedtime what his favourite part of the day was it was the "opening gifts" *sigh*

We went to the two children's shops downtown yesterday to try and spend his part of the toonies - both reputable shops. Both full of crap. Couldn't find anything worth buying. My kids have way too much. He picked out a plastic wind up froggy thing that swims iin the bathtup and didn't even argue when I explained it was a piece of plastic made in china crap that he didn't need. He just wanted to choose something. I suggested he hold on to his money until something hit him. The store clerk pointed out that playmobile was made in malta (oops I guess she heard me) and that the #*%& was wooden. I said we have enough lego, I don't need playmobile too.....I was pretty bummed at the crap in the shop. I'm becoming jaded. We are ruining our planet with our "Affluenza" and so so so many toys....that kids don't doesn't help that my mother is a garage sale queen and has filled my house withSO MANY TOYS it is crazy.....must simplify soon.

Later Sawyer realized he wanted "twistables" so we'll go pick them up.....

So today, a friend whose kid didn't make it to the party shows up with a gift. A made in china bought at liquidation world plastic piece of crap 4 c battery piece of crap gift. Did I mention these drive me crazy? I couldn't even be half polite. And I tried. Did I mention that the last made in china bought at LW plastic piece of crap battery driven gift she bought that I reminded her not to as it was a 2 toonie party gift didn't even work and is now in the landfill???? ARGH!!

My party gifts were a notebook and pen. Useful. Made in china. Yes *hanging head in shame* bought at the DOllar store, cute yes. (sorry S forgot to give your girls one each)

Ok I'm a hypocrite.

I hate all the plastic throw out shuzbutt we now are expected to provide at parties.....

Are parties all about mom's competing with each other to have the "best" theme, the best party ever?

Even though I didn't try to my kid still had a meltdown.

I just want to make a cool cake.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

My big boy.

My big boy. So much like me. Looks like me. Doesn't like pickles and peanut butter. Loves books. Reminds me of me when I was his age. I see myself in so much he does. I see patterns of behaviors that I recognize from myself. How can he have picked them up already? Hopefully, patterns that I can talk about and change - wishful thinking maybe. He's probably too young to understand what I am talking about. For example: We had a bbq last week. The kids were running races. Eventually we had it set up so that the little kids had "handicaps" or head starts and then the big kids ran after them. Usually the kids finished about the same was a lot of fun and all the kids were having a ball. Not August. He had to win. When he couldn't he quit. It's a pattern - if he can't be the best or do well he quits (BMX). He doesn't want to keep trying and practising. He is good or he stops - somehow doesn't seem to see the "practice=more skill" connection. IF someone is better he stops. He doesn't seem to get enjoyment from the activity. I remember the feeling he is feeling as a child. I wish he wasn't like this. Is it inborn? I have been a proponent of cooperative games and encoragement from minute one. I don't use unnecessary or unauthentic praise and never have. He wants to play soccer. But one of his friends always steals the ball from him and now he doesn't want to join because he won't be as good. This friend goes to school and plays soccer or floor hockey every recess and lunch, it's a practice "time-in" issue. I want to encourage him to join for the joy of it, but don't want to have a huge fight on my hands every Saturday when it's time for soccer. Is it a first born thing? Do they have to be the best? I want him to get joy from doing not from being the best. I was so aware of patterns of behavior so I don't know how this evolved.....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Not your normal Toilet Roll Art

In my house it is always the "Mystery of the Missing Toilet Rolls" What happens to toilet rolls? There is a constant lack of them in my home......binocs, spyers (telescopes), art?? Yep, art.

My kids discovered that if you wet them you could unroll the cardboard. So they did. Then they discovered that if you laid them out flat they'd dry and stay that way. I love it!

Next, some folding, placement fun and gluing and painting, and VOILA! A totally mummyfree art project!! So cool!

Sawyer, makes these as gifts on a regular basis. He spends a LOT of time figuring out the new shape and then carefully gluing and painting them.
PS Wait until you see the one that appeared today - a huuuuuge airplane's still drying and being glued.....

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Zuke Borscht and Stirfry

I added them to my homemade Borscht today, zuchini eggplant stirfry (with onions and garlic from the garden - honey, soya and fish sauce). We had a true international dinner. Russion Borscht, cambodian stirfry and leftover italian zuke lasagne. A pretty picture :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zuke Lasagne

It's out of the oven, it's hot, it smells devine....did I follow a recipe? No...did I have something to guide me!? Yep! HERE Who gave me the idea? Kate, our new WOOF from Australia. She loves the idea of 30 days of Zuchini and has been helping with the baking and recipe generation!! (OK OK She made the cookies!) I'll take a photo when we start eating.....basically I made spaghetti sauce yesterday (with our tomatoes, minced moose and of course grated zukes) and today used the sauce in the lasagne. I layered tomato sauce, oven grilled zuke slices (salt pepper and olive oil brushed sliced zukes sliced on the funky doodle slicer my mum started buying years ago after a shopping mall demonstration - it's like a handheld food processor and I use it every day!) mozzarella, various odds and ends from my fridge and stuck it in the oven! I went out to the garden - harvested greens for a salad and now wait for 20 mins until we can dig into the lasagne!!! My mouth is watering....
Such a neat day. The kids had an "edible picnic" they picked a variety of stuff from the garden and then chowed down. The are loving the raw corn right now!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

cheery summer flowers

The sunflowers carefully transplanted one by one by my boys this spring are now blooming in full glory! So beautiful and such a wonderful border to my garden! (strawberry plants behind!)Posted by Picasa

Zuke Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Barbara Kingsolver is more than a writer of such books as The Poisonwood Bible, she's a cook and local foodie with a neat book out called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Her year of self sufficiency and eating locally....The website includes this yummy recipe in a printable pdf page - and they are delish!

350 for 15 mins

1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup butter
2 cups flour ( we use whole wheat; she used 1 cup of white 1 cup of whole wheat)
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

combine in large bowl with 1 cup shredded zuke (we used yellow) and 12 oz of chocolate chips.

Drop on cookie sheet with spoon and flatten.

They are YUMMERS!!! We made them with yellow zuchini - When Sawyer pulled a piece of the zuke out of the cookie he asked "Is this dandelion??" I had to laugh, remembering the dandelion donuts I made this spring!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Zuchini Bread - Recipe 2

Well I found a recipe HERE and here it is:

4 cups grated zukes
5 eggs
1 cup fat
2 cups sugar
4 cups flour
3 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt (I don't add if my butter has salt)
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup chopped walnuts is optional

I wish I'd added raisons.....


Preheat oven to 350°F.

  1. Grate the zucchini, and measure out four cups ( I used yellow zukes and 4+ cups -ACK so much zuchini so little time!). Add to large mixing bowl.

  2. Add eggs, fat, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, vanilla and sugar. Stir together well.

  3. Add flour to the mixture, a bit at a time. Stir until all ingredients are mixed. The mixture should resemble thick pancake batter. Add nuts, if desired.

  4. Lightly grease and flour your bread pans, or spray them with nonstick cooking spray. ( I used a mini loaf tin and a corning ware smaller sized casserole pan)

  5. Carefully spoon the mixture into bread pans, stopping when the mixture is about 3/4 of the way to the top. (ME careful??)

  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a golden brown. Take out loaves, and let them cool five minutes before removing the bread from the pans to finish cooling on a wire rack. (They got eaten before they were cool and got two thumbs up from the family!)

Couldn't resist adding an updated photo of my boys- Sawyer is 6!!!!

30 Days of Zuchini

I'm going to try and make a different zuchini recipe every day. I am completely overwhelmed with zukes here......

Parmesan Zukes in the Oven

quarter zukes lengthwise
brush with olive oil
sprinkle with pepper and garlic powder
grill at 350
after they are softened sprinkle grated parmesan on top
(we had zuke quarters touching so we didn`t `lose` any parmesan)
put back in oven to brown cheese
serve -
big hit at a bbq we had here!

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