Monday, 30 July 2012

I was recently given an old hat my grandfather wore when fishing. It's not the one I remember him wearing, but I'm glad to have it. I also have his pocket knife, and a bible. The pocket knife especially is important to me, as it's one he probably took while we went fishing.

I remember him teaching me (very patiently) to tie a fishing knot, how to cast, how to tell one fish from another, and how to clean the fish. I don't remember a lot of what he actually taught me, but I remember him patiently teaching me. Taking the time to help dissect the fish, explain why the fish's heart was still beating after we were done, and walking along the shore as I tried in vane to catch a fish with my hands when they weren't biting.

I also remember him teaching me about electricity - about positive and return wires, and how ground worked, and about radio waves. Again - a lot of it was lost on someone as young as I was, but I remember how cool it was to be learning, and I remember him teaching me. I saw the greenboard and soldering iron he used to build his radio boards, and sat through the explanation on how transistors worked, why they were different than tubes, and how the color coding worked. He had a 40 foot radio tower in the back yard and he talked to people all over the world - it was facebook back when you had to be hardcore to use it.

I also remember him patiently explaining all of his medals to me time and again, every time I asked. I don't remember what they were, but I remember him telling me. I also remember the shrapnel he had pinned to the same board that had almost killed him, from a blast that killed some of his friends and bunkmates. He was a war hero, but he kept that, carefully mounted and framed, buried in the bottom right hand drawer of an old desk in his radio room.

The first thing in my life I remember taking apart and fixing for a reason other than curiosity was a doorknob. My Grandmother asked me to look at it because my Grandfather had been working on it all day and it was still broke. I took it apart and fixed it - my Grandfather was stunned, and seemed very proud of me. I was too young to know what alzheimer's disease was, but it was stealing him from me before I knew how much he meant to me.

I will number the hat, the knife, and the bible among my small treasures more important to me than just things. And they will be passed to my children with all the knowledge I can provide about the Great Grandfather who taught me to fish, patiently answered questions, and read to me whenever I asked.

I miss my Grandfather. I wish I'd realized who he was when I had the chance.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

This week is going to be crazy fun. Apple harvest for livestock food, painting, peach canning, and farm tours.

This week I will finish hanging artwork in the master bedroom, finish the wall paint, maybe start the detail work.

I will start the custom bedframes for the girls. One sunshine and one moonglow. Those two really are night and day. Fitting for their room, I think.

I will start the mural in their room too. Not on the wall, but in draft. So far the draft has a HUGE willow or hawthorn tree with one side night sky and one side sunrise. Plants and animals galore. It is a huge wall. The night side will have a moon, stars, fireflies, bats, owls, moon flowers, and roses....the day side will have a sun, birds, butterflies, wild flowers.......Not super detailed, but mural style. It should be cool. Geez I hope so.

Then on the opposite wall they will have dressers and their play kitchen.

Isaac's room will be next. It already has it's base colour. I'm not sure what he likes yet. We may just go with fish and maps but I might do something else.....maybe a rocket ship and planets?

The hall still needs to be finished too.

I wish it was not so freakishly hot.

Sweet Little Chickies

These are poulet rouge meat chickens. We hope to have 80 chickens for sale in late October! This breed is also called "naked neck" or "turkey chickens" because they have featherless necks. I think they are both adorable and delicious. The meat from poulet rouge chickens is deeply flavoured and perfect for roasts and broths.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Summer Soup

I had a LOT of things I didn't know what to do with in our CSA box this week. Eggplant for one. I always ruin eggplant. Shallots. Basil.

I had some items in the fridge that needed using up too. 1 lb of thawed hamburger. 3 quarts of homemade chicken broth. Baby carrots. 5 small red potatoes. I didn't have enough of any one thing to make it one its own.

So I made soup.

Basically I fried 3 large shallots chopped up in butter, added chopped potatoes (about 5 small red ones), a chopped up leek- fried until carmelized. Then added the chicken stock (3 pints.) and everything else chopped into bite sizes. Simmer for a couple hours.

5 red potatoes, skin on.
10 baby carrots
2 celery sticks
1 leek
3 shallots
1 lemon (juiced)
3 pints chicken stock
3 pints water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 bunch of fresh basil chopped fine
1 cup of tiny ziti pasta (add at the very end)
2 eggplants (add at the very end)

Beef I made into bite size meatballs and fried in a skillet. Once browned I added them and their juice to the soup.

The in goes the eggplant and pasta. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes more. Serve with asiago cheese on top and a good chewy and crusty bread. Serves 8.

It was all eaten before I even thought to take pictures!