Friday, April 30, 2010

WD-40 and mites

One of our chickens has mites. We can tell because a few of her scales on her legs are lifting which we found out is a sure sign of mites and if one chicken has them they all have them.

We spoke to the person we purchased our chickens from as well as another farmer and both said the same thing...WD-40.

Art caught the chickens, no easy task, and sprayed their legs while holding them upside down so the spray has a chance to roll under the scales. They are squawking and running and none too happy. But they are all sprayed, their coop is clean and agricultural lime and DE is sprinkled on their perch, nesting boxes and the floor.

I'm sure they will be happy chickens in the very near future.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baking soda

I have been using baking soda as my shampoo and underarm deodorant for some time now. I have not used commercial shampoo for about a year and commercial antiperspirant for about 6 months. I switched to a healthier, greener and cheaper option...baking soda.

I use baking soda and water as my shampoo. My best guesstimate for the mixture is about 1 part baking soda to 6 parts water, I place the liquid in a bottle and when I take a shower I give the bottle a shake, pour some on my hair and gently massage my scalp for a minute or two. I end up with clean, shiny, soft hair.

Now for the deodorant, I use straight baking soda that I place in a salt shaker. I shake some baking soda in my hand and lightly rub my underarm with it. If you have sensitive skin you might want to cut the baking soda with some corn starch. Start with a fifty fifty ratio of baking soda and corn starch and increase or decrease each as it suits.

Just remember that the baking soda does not stop your body from sweating, it just stops the odor, it's really quite amazing.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fresh strawberry pie

My local grocery store had not so local strawberries on sale, .99 per package. I purchased two.

I immediately thought of fresh strawberry pie. The recipe....One baked pie shell. I used some pastry I had in the freezer which was not really enough for the bottom shell but this is an experiment after all so I didn't care too much about the look.

Fresh strawberries...

1 cup white sugar, 3 tablespoons of corn starch and 3/4 cup water.

Finely chop about 1/3 of the strawberries, add the sugar, corn starch and water and place in a pan. Turn the heat to med low and stirring constantly bring to a boil, continue boiling and stirring for a minute.

Let the syrup stand until it reaches room temperature. Then add the rest of the strawberries and place the whole thing in the baked pie shell. Refrigerate until set...about 2 hours. Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Oh my this is a delicious pie.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another unexpected gift

This time from my youngest sister Iolanda. These cute little pegs are perfect for keeping the orders in place at the diner, all Art had to do was string up some wire.

Thanks Iolanda, it works like a charm.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Black gold

Do you compost? I started when I moved here two years ago, you see garbage pick up is not included in our house tax and every bag I leave at the curb costs $2.00. Not much but it adds up and with big gardening plans composting made sense.

I don't follow any one rule, I throw everything in but protein, like meat and cheese, that goes to the chickens and the dog.

I save all the veggie peels and coffee grinds from the diner and if I think about it I throw in the paper towels I use to dry my hands, it all goes home with me every day and into the compost pile. To that I add garden cuttings, some weeds, cut grass, leaves and the used wood shavings from the chicken coop.

I have three compost areas next to each other, one was an existing large box. Art made two more compost areas from wood pallets that he got for free from a large box store. I fill each compost area and if all goes well I should have ready to use compost from the first box I filled. Once I empty that box I start filling it up again by the time it's full the second box should have ready to use compost.

The compost pile has to get pretty hot to kill the weeds and break down all the green, leaves and paper so we sometimes cover it with black plastic...again Art got it for free from a large box store, that really gets it cooking and during summer we might wet it a little bit because if it gets too dry it may not "cook" very well.

You might think the compost is stinky but it's not, it just has an earthy dirt smell which is not all that unpleasant, so there you have it, pretty easy and a great way to keep garbage out of the landfill. When the compost is ready I rototil it into my garden beds in the spring and top dress my veggie patch during the summer.

The finished compost is full of big fat worms and is ready for my veggie garden.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My favorite place on earth is....

Our float cabin on Powell Lake.

My ride to the cabin.

Right side of the log boom that breaks the big waves before they hit the cabin.

A fire, hot chocolate, a blanket and a starry starry night, can you picture it?

Our neighbours across the lake.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Perfect neeeeiiiiighbours

Look who moved into the yard behind us?

Art and I got the camera and two carrots but we could not get these beautiful creatures to come any closer. It seems the grass is greener and tastier on the other side of the fence.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blueberry muffins

These are by far the best blueberry muffins ever. I sell them at the diner and they are a huge hit.

The blueberry muffin recipe as well some of other muffins of note such as chocolate chocolate chip and banana nut muffins can be found in the Joy of Baking website. I also made a delicious plum coffee cake from the same website which is superb.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The downstairs pantry...

The food I processed last year is almost done, a few jars to go but for the most part the 2009 bounty is done. I had cherries and pears in syrup that we enjoyed over ice cream and in our baking. The jam was used at home and at my diner and all the frozen tomatoes, Swiss chard and plums are gone. Time to plan for next winter...
Lots of empty spaces on shelves that were packed full of goodies.

And an empty freezer that also needs to be cleaned out.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I received a gift today

Don't you just love receiving unexpected packages in the mail? Well it happened to me today.

My sisters came for a working holiday a few weeks ago and with that visit came some much needed opinions and observations to make my diner work a little more efficiently. My sister Liz absolutely wanted teapots, I was just using mugs. A butter scoop for pancakes and French toast, I was filling little paper cups, and an icing sugar duster, I've been using a small sieve which I store in a bowl and continually tip over getting icing sugar everywhere...not good when I'm busy.

We looked all over Powell River for these three items but only managed to buy teapots and I quickly forgot about the scoop and the icing sugar duster ( probably has a proper name but I don't know it) until yesterday.

Thanks Liz, I love them.