Monthly Archives: December 2015

A Christmas Canoe Ride

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Pam and I went for a real half hour paddle today for Christmas. 

Seriously. 

A new pair of socks

The foot is an oddly shaped body part to make clothes for.

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After I finished knitting  the big sweater I needed a smaller project. Seeing all the beautiful socks that Jude had made inspired me so I picked up some Kroy Sock Yarn and a set of 5 bamboo needles.

I’ve only knit one pair of sock before so I’m still trying to figure out a method that works for me. The last pair were heavy work socks and I wear them every chance I get.

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The kroy yarn is much finer and blended with nylon to make them durable.  It also self patterns as you knit it.

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Using 5 short needles is way too fiddly for my big hands so for the second sock I used a method called magic loop.  Way way easier and I’ll never go back.

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I just ordered  a 60″ circular needle in anticipation of learning to knit two socks at once – maybe one inside the other.  It sounds like hocus pocus but it will be cool if I can figure out.

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This ball of yarn is up next. It’s 75% merino and 25% nylon in a colourway named tartan from Tanis Fibre Arts.

WTF

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How many different kinds of wrong is this? 4 “units” per package of “Grapple.” According to the label it “crunches like an apple and tastes like a grape.”  Imported all the way from Washington to be sold in Eganville Foodland.

The Eganville Freshmart up the street sells local Ottawa Valley apples.  At least we have choices.

Little City Farm: NEW Soap Workshops coming in 2016

http://littlecityfarm.blogspot.ca/2015/12/new-soap-workshops-coming-in-2016.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+LittleCityFarm+(Little+City+Farm)&m=1

Sign up quickly if you’re interested. The classes fill up in no time.  Totally worth it.

Shahi Mushroms and a local food rant.

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I visited Southern Ontario this past weekend to attend a family wedding and I took the opportunity to visit some of my old haunts. At the Kitchener Market I bumped into an old friend, Dean, who has just set up a booth to sell mushrooms there.   He’s been selling at the St Jacobs Market for years and decided to try his luck in Kitchener.

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I bought a pound of mixed mushrooms and he gifted me a pound of portobellos. Tonight they became dinner.

I’d been craving Indian food all day and a Google search turned up a recipe for Shahi Shrooms.

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Shahi means royal referring to the Imperial Court and generally refers to a luxury  food cooked with butter, tomatoes,  cream and spices. I had most of the ingredients in my cupboard.

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While the mushrooms slowly cooked down in the butter I roasted and ground up a Shahi masala mix. Cinnamon, pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, star anise, nutmeg and cardamom.

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When the time came I sautéed ginger, garlic, onions, chilies and curry leaves then added some more spices – turmeric, chili flakes and more cumin. Water and tomato puree turned it all into a sauce and tahini, cream, lime juice and the masala mix finished it off.

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After adding the mushrooms back in, I simmered it for 20 minutes while the rice cooked.

I’d absolutely make this again. The mushrooms were big and meaty and gave the dish a substantial feel and while the flavors were ‘loud ‘,  they worked perfectly together.

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And now for the shameless plug for my friend’s mushroom stall and a wee rant about saving the world.  If you find yourself in Kitchener on  a Saturday morning make the effort to go out and support your local market and Dean Nafziger’s mushroom stall. Markets survive and vendors return only when people buy things. If you find yourself somewhere else on the world on a Saturday, find out where your closest market is and shop there. This year I’ve been to markets in Killaloe, Barry’s Bay, Combermere, Lakefield, Cobden, Stafford, Maynooth, Ottawa, Kitchener, St Jacobs, Haliburton, Bancroft and Fort Myers.

Eating local food is probably the single biggest impact any of us can have on reducing our carbon footprint and impact on the environment.  Supporting local businesses builds community. And local food tastes better. Win-win – win.

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Support your local markets and save the world.

Making Soap

About 3 or 4 years ago I took a soap making workshop at Little City Farm in Kitchener. LCF is a brilliant collection of businesses run by Karin and her partner Greg – look them up online.

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They purchased an older home in the downtown core and are farming the entire property – a city lot. They offer courses and workshops and run a bed and breakfast and raise their family. She’s a knowledgeable herbalist and he is a skilled builder. They are into permaculture  They build community. Continue reading