Sunday, December 26, 2010

Creekside Farm

Magpie's diner, my tiny restaurant, has been quite successful with a simple business plan. No secret, I just serve good sized portions, with most of the food made from scratch using local ingredients. It's a simple plan and it works!

I buy my eggs from Creekside farm, here in Powell River. The owners, Kathy and Alan, have about 100 chickens that supply all my egg needs. In addition, they have cattle, pigs, ducks and turkeys. I purchased a turkey from them for Christmas, I can't for the life of me remember the name of the turkey, but it's very close to a wild turkey. The breast is not as white as commercial turkeys, and the dark meat is much darker. The taste was fabulous and the meat was very juicy.

Their 6 pigs all gave birth over the last month or so with the last litter born just a few weeks ago. I picked up my turkey last week and was able to see the little piglets, oh my are they ever cute.

This little guy is the runt of the litter and had a tough start when his mom stepped on his ear and tore it. Al and Kathy were not at all convinced he would make it but they hand fed him for the first 24 hours and tied his ears so the gash could heal. Although smaller than his litter mates, he is full of life and wrestles and plays with the rest of the piglet crew!

Interested in eating local in Powell River? Give Kathy and Al a call at 604-485-7737, they offer free run eggs, fresh and frozen, free range turkeys, chickens and ducks.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And today the days...

..start getting a little longer..just a minute or two...

I start to think about the garden, what will I grow this year? How will I lay out my veggies? I take a look at my favorite seed catalogs, and

Do I have time to add a new flower bed? Probably! Will I have time to maintain it? Probably not!

Do I have time to plant one rose? Probably! Will I have time to maintain it? Probably!

So I won't make a new flower bed but I'll plant a new rose. I adore roses, and want to get a rose garden started, one rose at a time. Not sure yet what kind I'll plant this year, but it will have to bloom continuously, be fragrant, and disease resistant, am I asking too much?

But...two things I look forward to the most...
Time on the lake with friends and family.

and backyard barbecues under the grapevine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas at my house...

Lights are up!

Tree is up!

Rudolph is here! My boys made these in Cub Scouts 25 years ago.

This angel has topped 31 trees from Christmas past!

This manger has also been with me for 31 years!

Some new, some old decorations.

The baking? Well it's a work in progress.

So am I ready for Christmas??? Absolutely, can't wait.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Brown Sugar

Have you ever started baking only to find out you have run out of an ingredient? Now don't tell me...I know already! I should have all my ingredients ready before I start baking to avoid this very problem. Well smart I'm not so that explains that!

Anyway I was reading one of my many favorite blogs, Simple, Green, Frugal Co-Op and read a post about making brown sugar, it's dead simple! I made only enough for some butter tart squares and it turned our really well.

I added 2 tablespoons of molasses to a cup of sugar. Next time I'll only use 1 tablespoon, it came out quite dark.

Then I mixed it with a fork, which didn't work very well, so I used the best tools I have, my hands, and a bigger bowl, mixed for a few minutes, and there it is, brown sugar.

Give it try, it's really very simple and tastes just like brown sugar, actually better, it has more flavour.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fire in the sky

Today I decided to walk the Wildwood clear cut. I don't know the story behind the clear cut but for the most part all the evergreen trees were cut down and now the clear cut is growing alders, tall grasses, salal, blackberries and other plants that I'm not familiar with. Now you may think ugh!!! a clear cut, not very pretty, but the clear cut now allows for beautiful views of the ocean, Vancouver Island and some smaller islands. Daylight was quickly dwindling so I could not make my way to my very favorite spot, that picture will have to wait for longer days but I was able to catch a beautiful sunset.

The start of the clear cut area.

Small tree grove with beautiful views just beyond it.

Just a little further.

Ah, here we are!

Savary Island off in the distance.

And finally, fire in the sky!

To see more beautiful pictures of the sky from around the world please visit the Skywatch website.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

The beast....

Is loose in my house and dropping clumps of fur!!!!!

And doesn't he look sorry for himself?

Brushing him every day, vacuuming every day but Art came up with a good plan. We will wrap this little gal with tape, sticky side out, and let her loose on the floor...

Problem solved!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa was here!!!!

Psst!!!! Mia, Santa is coming?

This is my first Christmas nonna, who's Santa?

Wait, you will see him soon! But first let's enjoy the Powell River Santa parade.

And here is the big man himself, yeah Santa!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Need some pants....

I purchased some jean material at my favorite fabric, yarn and craft store, Dressew on one of my Vancouver trips. Finally I have a chance to get started and so far they are cut, zig zagged, and inside seams sewn...almost there!

I'll post pictures when finished...but only if the pants fit and look decent!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A break in the storm...

Sunset is about an hour away and there is a break in the storm as I look across Malaspina Strait from Powell River towards Comox.

Today is Skywatch Friday, for pictures of the sky from around the world please click here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Great dad!

Look at what my dad can do? This is almost like show and tell. Anyway...I never, ever thought my dad had an artsy streak in him but turns out he does. When he retired he struggled for a bit, after all, he worked many, many years and then to find himself with nothing to do was difficult. He dabbled in a little bit of this, a little bit of that, a gardener he was not, nor did he like to fix or reno the house, he did what he had to do but he never had any grand plans. Nope, taking down walls, refinishing the beautiful wood floors under the carpet, painting ... that was not for him.

He built a cement pond with underwater lights and fountains...but then what? He put together a huge train set, with villages, trees, people, fauna and flora, but once done then what?

I'm not sure how he got onto it but he began making wood toys and gadgets and selling them at Christmas craft fairs. He started off with little wood cars and trains, wall hangings, moved onto little bigger toys like wood planes made to scale, and then graduated to the big stuff... rocking horses. Well here it is...the rocking horse!

I never thought to take a picture of my dad's other art pieces, but you can see part of the scooters he makes on the top left hand of the below picture.

Now my mom???? She can make something out of nothing, but that story has to wait for another post...