3 days. 3 restaurants.

A work conference in Scarborough and a 50th birthday celebration in Kitchener provided the opportunity to do some long overdue shopping and to visit a few of my favourite restaurants. On Saturday I went to the Kitchener Market then headed across the street to Pho Dau Bo. I’ve eaten at a bunch of Vietnamese restaurants and PDB in Kitchener is the best one I’ve ever been to outside of a street stall in Hanoi. So good.

It had been a long time since I’d visited the Kitchener Market. I’m glad I stopped in but I much prefer my Combermere market now. Real farmers and real food win the day every time.

On Sunday I went to Dumpling House in China Town East in Toronto. Scott and I  had been there before and it was OK.  Dill dumplings.  Braised beef noodle soup. Roasted eggplant and potatoes. Overall pretty good but not outstanding.

And then,  my special treat. Saravanaa Bhavan is my favourite restaurant (of all time, bar none) and I ordered my favourite meal. The thali comes with 10 small dishes,  the rasam  and the sambar are outstanding. And papad,  poori,  and pickle. I love it.  I used to go to the one in Mississauga regularly and I miss it. It was a special treat.

Trips to southern Ontario are a necessary evil from time to time. Thankfully there are restaurants to make it all worthwhile.  🙂


Garden Chores

I haven’t written much about my garden this year, mainly because it was a big weedy out of control mess for much of the season. I was so busy in June and July that I couldn’t keep ahead of the weeds. There’s my confession. Judge if you want. I still got a bunch of food out of it.

I spent this morning putting the garden to bed for the winter. I spent about 2 hours with the rototiller, turning over the soil and expanding it a little. It now measures 20 X 27 feet. Then I planted the garlic in the main garden rather than at the back of the garage. I planted about 100 this year. 

After the garlic was planted I mulched with straw. It was a bonus to find nice clean seed-free straw for sale. The past few years I’ve used hay out of necessity and that always leads to weeds for me. Five bales covered the bed and another bale on the bed at the back of the garage. Next year I plan to plant my tomatoes up there. It’s good to move things around.

The pile of green in the bottom right corner of the pic is Brussels sprouts,  still on the stem. Once I took them off and cleaned them I had about 4 litres of sprouts. They should last a while.  This clump of green still in the garden are my prolific kale plants. I’ll be eating it for another month or so I hope.

Molly seems quite pleased that I’ve made her a cushy bed where the garlic used to live. 

Jerusalem artichokes waiting to be harvested

And now I  can start to plan next year’s garden. And I  promise myself that I will do a better job of weed control.

A rare treat

Evenings alone at the cottage are few and far between. And it was a perfect day. After a swim, fishing (and catching!) seemed like the right thing to do. And then an evening of spinning.


Aftermarket Breakfast

Much to my amazement, it’s September! Off to a chilly start with frost warnings and cool winds. Today they call for 21 and sunny. Perhaps  a day for a swim.

I got a good haul at the market. Corn and potatoes from David, carrots, beets, and lettuce from Joanne, and an Oh sooo good apple fritter from some guy that’s been there the last couple of weeks. 

Under Molly’s close supervision I managed to knit a pair of socks with some of the wool I spun and dyed on my vacation.

And a friend of mine donated a beautiful old double-drive spinning wheel to me and my work. It’s been tuned up and it spins like a dream. I look forward to creating some beautiful yarn on it – maybe for a sweater project in cooking up.

Today I plan  to visit a fibre friend at Madonna House to see what she’s been up to and to visit my pig-raising buddy in Rockingham to say goodbye as he heads out on his horse on a 2 year trek to South America. You should check out his webpage at  https://5000milesofhope.org/

And I plan to card, blend, and spin some wool and Alpaca from my stash to see what I can come up with. It’s a bit of an experiment inspired by a book I just read but if my early sampling is a good indication, I’m well on my way to some lovely yarn, and maybe some luxe socks.

Happy Labour Day! Happy New Year!

How I spent my summer vacation

Back to work tomorrow. It’s been a great couple of weeks. Spin, ply, dye, and a little bit of knitting.

And cook, eat, swim, fish, teach, read, visit, and relax.  Amd i didn’t check my email once!  


Dye Job

I had a random bag of Coopworth roving in my stash, not quite sure where it came from. Coopworth is the breed of sheep and roving means that it had been prepared for woolen spinning on a carder. It definitely wasn’t as soft and luxurious as the Polwarth I had spun before it but the write-ups on the net described it as spinning up lustrous with good stitch definition and a halo. Strangely, this language actually means something to me now as I learn more and more about spinning. 

It did spin up nicely. I ended up with 265 yards of a mid-weight 2-ply yarn. After my dyeing adventures earlier in the week it looked like a blank canvas just waiting for colour. 

I wanted to try to dye it 3 colours so that it would produce a verigated stripey effect when it knit up. I hadn’t done this before so I did a couple of experiments on small bits of yarn to see how it would work. I first mixed some orange dye in a mason jar by adding yellow and red food colour and vinegar to hot water and then submerged 1/3 of the skein of yarn in it. The microwave added the heat and vinegar helped the dye set in the yarn. When it was as orange as I wanted, I took it out and dipped the next third of the skein into the same jar. There was enough goldy-yellow dye left in the water to colour the yarn a nice soft creamy yellow. For the final step, I mixed a new batch of soft purple dye by combining red and blue and repeated the microwave process.  

It’s currently hanging in the breeze on the front deck drying. I can hardly wait to knit it.

I think it worked out pretty well, considering that i started with a bag of random sheep hair and hardly any experience dyeing:) The 2 dye tests were definitely beneficial, I’ll try to remember to do that for future projects. And I’ll try to remember to post a pic of whatever I end up knitting with it.

And she said “that was live.” BAHAHAHAHA

Spent the entire day today spinning at Taste of the Valley Market in Barry’s Bay.  So much fun. Here’s a link to a live Facebook video with our MP Cheryl Galant. (Clearly unedited  lol)