Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In the sewing room

The weather was terrible this morning, a little sun followed by dark clouds with heavy, heavy rains, then back to some sun, the the dark get the picture. Definitely not a good day to spend in the garden doing battle with the weeds. second favorite sewing room, this is for Mia, my grandaughter, a cat dress.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Broad beans

Ever had'm? Not me, this will be a first. I was chatting with a customer some time ago about gardening and he told me he had broad beans in the ground, in Feb. I was a tad jealous. I had every intention of getting out there in early March because broad beans like it cool but for one reason or another the beans made into the ground on Wednesday..almost the end of March.

I thought I might be too late but we are still cool enough so in about 4 months I hope to be eating and serving fresh broad beans.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Divide and conquer

I have a pretty big yard, not a farm, not a hobby farm, not even a full acre...but big enough. There is lots of space to fill, I have about one third of the yard dedicated to veggies, another small postage stamp goes to my chickens and the rest??? Well if and when I get to it I have plans...big plans, a pond, trees and shrubs to outling the property, a meandering path, places to sit...Where to start? And how do I keep the costs low, better yet, free.

I have a lovely white lilac but it sends up suckers, lots and lots of suckers. I usually cut them back but yesterday I had a lightbulb aha moment. Why not dig the suckers and plant them around the yard? I divide my perenials, why not the lilac??? And best of all it's free.
See all the suckers?

See the transplant?

Will it work? I sure hope so.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Living life

Are you living every day to the fullest? Do you enjoy your life? I thought of this when my sister asked me "but when are you going to enjoy life?" A comment she made to me regarding how hard I work in the restaurant. We all view life differently and what might be enjoyable to me might be a total waste of time to someone else.

I truly believe that I live every day...well almost everyday to the fullest. Do I enjoy every day? Almost...

Yesterday my husband wanted to talk to someone about cell phones...and as he left I yelled at him " don't sign any contracts" he came back home without a phone. He explained all the different options given to him and for the most part all included a two year contract.

What will I, we be doing in the next two years? I don't know, I hope I'm living one of my many dreams, living life to the fullest, and enjoying almost every day of it.

Right now, having the diner is my dream. Something I always wanted to do and if I stay healthy I will likely be doing this for quite some time. But...what if I start hating it? Art and I could sell everything, buy WW bus and travel to the tip of South America. Or maybe live on our float cabin full time, have a float garden like my friend Margy and add a floating chicken house...maybe move in with my kids...hehe!!!

Are you living every day as if it's your last one?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Plum Sauce

This is a yellow plum tree, it was here when we bought our home so I'm not sure what the proper name is. But to us it's the yellow plum tree. And I know it seems really early to talk about processing but these plums made great plum sauce and if you have a plum tree and you don't know what to do with all those plums then plan ahead and try this out.

Plum Sauce

2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped seed green chili pepper, like a jalapeno or Anaheim or poblano
3 tbs mustard seeds
1tbsp salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger root
10cups finely chopped pitted plums

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan combine all the ingredients except the plums and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add plums and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, about 1 3/4 hours.

2. Meanwhile prepare canner, jars and lids. If you need more information please click here.

3. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubble and adjust headspace, if needed, by adding more sauce. Wipe rim, place lid on jar and screw bank to fingertip tight.
4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water and bring to a boil. Process for 20 minutes. Remove lid and wait 5 minutes, remove jars, cool and store.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tea cozy

I came across a Bernat pattern book with a reduced price. The pattern included most favorite flower so I could not pass it up.

The pattern was for a round teapot so I had to improvise..I don't know what made me think I could improvise when I can hardly read a pattern, I had to look up each coded stitch on YouTube..I didn't know even one, sheesh!!! But I made this...doesn't fit all that well but I still love it, it's a daisy after all.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Finally a nice day, well on the West Coast that would be a dry day, the sun isn't out...I'm able to finally put my rhubarb down. Turning over the dirt, pulling weeds, actually calendula, AKA weeds. They reseed very well, so well that I consider them a weed now.

As I dig the dirt I can't help but notice the big fat worms which I know the chickens will like...I need some company so in they come.

Seiko would love to give chase...

With a tummy full of worms and some cutworms, the chickens are ready for a dirt bath and some rest.

What's happening in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Help arrives

I's been a long time since my last post but my sisters came to Powell River for a working holiday.


Off to work we go.

Liz is flying in the kitchen.

Julie??? Not so much

And a well deserved break.

My youngest sister, Iolanda (standing) also came along but with a new baby and a toddler, working at the restaurant was not an option but coming in for a meal sure was.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I need some inspiration????

I'm really struggling these days and need some inspiration. Does anyone have any good blogs to recommend? Anything to do with crafts, gardening, simplicity, living a good life?

My day off today, not sure what I'll be doing but tonight I'll be heading to the local Kale Force meeting. Everyone brings some food to share, always more than enough, and we talk about growing food, the upcoming eat local food challenge, the edible garden tour and almost anything food related. If you live in Powell River and want to get involved please make sure you drop by tonight at the Community Resource Center on Joyce at 5:00pm.

I still have oodles of hazelnuts to shell... this time I'll try a hammer, it might be faster than the nutcracker I used last time. They are so good roasted, better than peanuts, really.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rhubarb and strawberries

Really is there a better partnership??? Well for the first time ever...I'm planting both. Their new home will be with the blueberry plants I recently planted. Not sure if I'll see any berries or rhubarb this year but...fingers crossed I'll have plenty for next year.

Monday, March 8, 2010


The first Camellia in my yard but the Camellias at my local library flowered long ago, in fact they are already finished for the season. Just shows how beneficial a protected south facing wall can be to plants, it's a little micro-climate within a much larger planting zone. I do love the flower but they don't really last long and they die a horrible death. The petals turn brown and decay very fast and before you know it your Camellia tree is looking quite tired. My Camellia tree is front and center in my garden but I'm thinking of moving it to a less special spot...still thinking about it...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clean sheet day

Don't you love getting into a bed with clean sheets? I wish I could have clean sheets every day but that's just not going to happen. I have to settle for clean sheets once a week but what about the rest of the week? I like a well made bed. I don't like wrinkles in it, I don't like the bottom of the sheet coming undone and I like the top sheet to be tight and snug when I get into bed every night. Hey...I work hard, and I want to sleep well so I make up my bed every day just the way I like it.

Bedside lamp, some of my favorite books, warm flannel sheets for winter, crisp cool cotton sheets for summer...heavenly.

Really try it...fluff up your bed, make it just the way you like, you will be surprised how well you will sleep.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It's my Friday night. Kids are coming over for salmon with all the fixings...feels almost like a normal night and best of all no leftover soup tonight. And while I'm getting dinner together?
A beautiful rainbow develops just outside my front door.

And all this while sipping on a delicious martini.