Saturday, November 26, 2011

Xmas baking

With winter firmly here, Jess and I have turned out attention to some holiday baking. We have a long list of things to make for various friends and family.

First up was some short bread. In the past we've put a large chocolate chip in the middle of the short-bread cookie but this year we made a thumb print and dropped in some raspberry jam. There was some skepticism when I suggested we modify this family favourite but the outcome is fantastic!

We also baked some gingerbread this afternoon--a mix of gingerbread men and trees. I think next on my list are some peanut butter rum balls, although I wonder if all of the rum has been used in the fruitcake we've been aging in the cupboard.

In exciting news, as I was rummaging around for Christmas-themed cookie cutters this afternoon, I found a lone paper bag of red potatoes in the storage cupboard. They look great (about four months of storage) so I expect they will be part of dinner tomorrow night. Perhaps mashed with some bakes beans while we watch the Grey Cup?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas lights

With the snow finally here, I'm excited that Jess is now old enough to shovel snow! Although her enthusiasm has waned now taht the temp has dropped below -20... .

We were also featured in the Edmonton Journal in a piece about folks who put up their Christmas lights early.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last push before the snow

With the first real snowfall of the year predicted for this evening, I decided to put a day off to good use. I knocked the ice out of the rain barrel and inverted it. The pattern on the inside was quite amazing.

I then went and planted some left over spinach seeds in a sunny southern bed for some early spring greens. Not sure what the neighbours thought of this late-year gardening--mostly they just look away when I start!

I've also been collating my notes on this year. For next year, we're going to grow more russet and red potatoes in the old vegetable bed. This is on the north edge of the property and has a nice southern exposure. It doesn't look like much but it is six feet deep by about 20 feet long and I dug it down more than a foot this fall. In the foreground you can see the strawberry patch.

Out front we'll be doing tomatoes (cherry and early girl), celery, beets, lettuce, zucchini, broccoli and peppers. The back beds will be beans (pinto, bush) and beets with more pinto beans and carrots in the big bed below the deck. Somewhere we also need to work in an herb garden--again, perhaps out back.

We've also been trying to do some walking in the valley before the snow flies. What we've found is a huge number of wild asparagus plants. I've noted these locations so we can go poke around in the spring and see if any spears can be found. Our own plants will take a few years to mature and this might be a fun way to collect some local wild food.

If I find the energy, I'm going to try my hand at making buns this afternoon. I think I have a good handle on bread--we've been eating basically only home-made bread since the summer--but buns might be a fun challenge.