Healthy living, healthy parenting, healthy gardening. One Family's approach to off grid living.

Posts tagged “cooking by heart

Early Fall Photo Gallery

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Late Summer Photo Gallery 2

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September spun by with a cool breeze and warm sun. This morning was first frost. A light one, but definitely a frost. My green tomatoes hang heavy with my first bumper crop, I think I wasn’t aggressive enough in pruning them back this year and they became quite the jungle. Towards fall when I was worrying about this day coming I started ripping off new blooms and excess growth. I did this twice earlier in the summer as well. The compost alone I’ve gained from all the tomato greens has certainly paid for the transplants. I am looking forward to ‘harvesting’ my compost in the spring. I must tell you that the compostable chip bags do not compost in 18 months and made last years compost unready this spring.

The kids and I are heading off hopefully this weekend for a few blissful weeks of water and central heat and fun city things to do. We will be in internet zone for almost a month, so hopefully I can get back in the swing of blogging.

Mr.T is going to juggle some building work for us and for a neighbour and we will come home when our laundryroom/family closet/bathroom is built. I’ll warn you, it’s gonna be rustic.

We will be back in the Kootenays for November for sure since I am having the following surgeries- Laparoscopy, Bilateral Salpungectomy, Hysterosypy, Ablation and possible removal of endo/hysterectomy.  I’m planning on watching the surgeries on You Tube, but haven’t gotten the chance yet.  If you’ve been through any of these and are feeling chatty- fill me in.  So far, the big question for me is “Is that going to make my belly button hurt?”

Oddly, the Gyno told me that that isn’t what most women ask, they are usually more worried about the scraping down/removal of internal organs. I however am pretty darn excited about missing out on 30 more years of menses!

Coach Rapper is enjoying school.  He is in love with his teacher who he describes as “slim and beautiful with long blond hair”.  It’s true, she is lovely, and very sweet.  I met her today and the adoration is mutual. We are having a few little hiccups along the way as my little man works out the big bad world of social dynamics of the school bus, including a marshmallow gun going off right into his eye with some nasty swelling and our nieghbour and his little friend deciding he is “bored” of sitting with him.  He is rolling with the punches though and comes home happy with his day, and lots of questions.

Well, I better be going home right away, it’s almost 11pm!

“Just pull it in half and suck on it”; Ginger Beef with Curried Veggies

And so I did.  Tentatively at first. Nothing.  I filled my lungs and sucked for all I was worth, afraid my throat would fill with a choking gush.  I pulled away.  Nothing.   Then.  There. It. Was.

Water.  My water.  Sweet, clear, cold, quick water.  I laughed at the cleverness of myself.

I have scars for this water, don’t give me water?  I’ll find my own dam water! I crowed to myself.  I was beginning to think my survival instincts were a little more fine tuned than I had previously thought.  My pond is doubling, tripling in size.  My garden is erupting around it. Water drips down newly exposed rocks and roots washing away clay and pebbles to the pond below.  Unpretentiously moss blooms puddled gently among the stones.

Later the same day the water is still not flowing.  I can’t get the gravity fed to work properly, even though everything looks the same to me as when Mr.T sets it up.  I admit it is the third time I have taken it out.  I like to dig.  What can I say?

I am making a public promise to not take out the water line so I can dig there.  There are lots of other places to dig.

Dammit, and I was feeling soooo goooood and sooo cocky about my mad water skillz.

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BBQing last night was an epic fail.  I made a propane fire in the BBQ.  After I had burned off the grill I returned to find the third knob blown off the BBQ and opened it to find one of the burners had dropped down, I am assuming from the heat?  And fire was pouring out of it because it was stuck ON.  I ran up the hill calling calmly for Mr.T to run down and fix things.

Later he asked what the first thing to do when having a problem with a gas sourced appliance.


No.  I did not turn off the propane tank when I ran away worried it might explode.

I should complain about him less.  He is pretty useful.

I’ve enclosed some shots of the Yurt on the day we arrived.  Things are looking pretty different now, I’ve moved the kitchen around and it’s much greener.  I’ll post new pics as soon as I pick up the box of stuff we left behind when we moved from the Bus Station in Nelson.

The cool of the morning is now respite from the heat of the day.  It takes until mid afternoon for the Yurt to heat up, and then the warmth of the hot afternoon sun is a gift for the cold mountain night.  This morning I could see my breath in bed.  This afternoon I sunburned my shoulders.

Despite having just a single burner on a Coleman stove right now (need to go harass Wild Bill soon) and a cooler I feel like I’ve been making fantastic food.

Ginger Beef

1lb cooked roast beef cut into thin strips.

Pan fry in a 2tbsp butter until well browned.

Add a couple knuckles of finely grated ginger; I use a rasp.

2 good sloshes of Tamari.  A glop of honey.

Serve to admiring crowd.  Everybody (as in all 3 kids too!) loved this.

Curried Veggies

Again, 2 tbsp of butter in the frying pan with a bit of grated ginger to make the air fragrant.

2tbsp Thai Kitchen Mild Green Curry Paste (hey, busy mama here!)

1 family sized sweet potato- peeled and sliced in rounds- pan fry in the butter, ginger and curry paste until toasty brown.  Flip.

top with 1/2 a large cauliflower, cut into pieces

cook until veg’s soften, turn heat down

add a dash of Tamari, 2tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Top with chopped fresh cilantro.

Mmm.  His Lordship, whom by formal request will henceforth be known as The Evil Wizard (way more fitting anyway) wouldn’t try it but Coach Rapper and #3 loved it.

I added cashews, but those were not well received by my taste testers.

Cooking by Heart.

It’s 10am and I haven’t sent Coach Rapper to school?  Why?  Well, it’s snowing and I am making pancakes.

Am I a bad mother?  No.  Am I a neglectful mother?  No.  Do I fully value the free Education my kid gets?  Yes, I think that I actually do.  Should I be homeschooling?  Maybe- but not me, not now.

As a wise girlfriend recently told me she needs her kids to go to public school, but she has a lot to teach them at home too.

I feel guilty about this though, both my parents were teachers.  If I am going to send my kids to school, I want them to take it seriously.  But, honestly, I was supposed to go to school like it was a job, and *I* didn’t take school seriously.  Will approaching it differently yeild the same result?  Not sure?

Is it okay to keep your kids home from school just because you wanted another Saturday?  Is it okay to keep your kids home from school because you feel happy, you love them and you want to be with them?  I don’t really know.

The boys, full of pancakes and happiness are playing lego and imagination games.  In 3 days my parents will be back.  It’s been 15 days since Jesse left.  You know what?  I am doing really well.  I am happy.  I am enjoying the kids.  Things are going well.

In between this sun soaked optimism I have fear,  it crawls up my neck.  A spider in the dark. 

Yesterday around 10 am sitting at the kitchen table A-frame vomited all over me.  Luckily, he had only had water that morning.  But my jacket and both sets of our clothes needing washing.  This hair raising fear of mine is….LAUNDRY.  Last summer/fall we used the laundrymat and I think this in and of itself is enough to put ANY woman in the psych ward!

Visions of carrying load after load of heavy stinky dirty kid clothes/bedding…shudder

It was good timing.  I had just talked to Mr. T and was fantasizing about going home and breaking ground for spring gardens.

I don’t want to go home before there is water in the yard.  I’ll probably go home before there is water in the yard.  I need to not go home before there is water.  I need to go home before there is water.  This is my small song, playing in the background of the moment.

Pancakes for his Lordship Ali, since I dread the grocery store- we are out of milk- so I had to get creative.  As usual, I made the recipe up as I went along.  I call it Cooking by Heart.

2 cups of spelt flour. 1/4 cup of powdered milk, 2/3 cup strawberry yogurt, 2/3 cup water, 2 eggs, 1 tbsp baking powder, 2 tbsp of canola oil.

Mix until mixed, very slightly lumpy- like pancake batter is supposed to look.

Cook in an ungreased, no stick frying pan with a chair and a cup of coffee beside the stove so you can browse the intraweb without burning them.  Hold baby hostage in highchair with secret first pancake.  Feed school age child eggs so you don’t feel guilty about his brain food.  Let school age child eat 2 single serve fruit on the bottom strawberry yogurts and feel gleeful that you’ve succeeding in getting rid of the nasty flavour.  I mean really- who actually likes the strawberry flavour?

Now before you get your panties all in a knot about me buying sugar yogurt (Ahem, Mum and Mr. T) for the baby and I we are just eating the top part- not the jam part, and I swear it has less sugar than letting the big boys use maple syrup AND it was 24 for $7.99.  24 for $7.99!!!

So, on with the recipe.  Use medium heat.  Do not put pancake in fry pan until water jumps when you throw a few drops.

The water should jump up and down crying in a tiny high pitched voice “Damn Mama, that’s hot!!!”

I used my 2/3 cup measuring cup, because obviously, if you’ve been following along, it’s already dirty.

Flip that cake once it is dry at the edges with tiny bubbles in the middle.  Cook until you remember about it When the pancake lifts easily and is browned on both sides it will be done.  I estimate 2-3 minutes first side, 90 seconds second side.

I tried to get a picture of the leftover stack, but little hands kept sneaking in there.