For many years we’ve grown copious amounts of green beans, sweet peppers, and tomatoes in our garden to store in our deep-freeze. A small taste of summer makes the dreariest February day a little brighter. But even with our best efforts at manual vacuum packing (sucking the air out of a zipper locked bag using a drinking straw) we inevitably lost some produce to freezer burn.
Well, in this week’s flyer from Costco I saw a food saver on sale, as well as the required storage bags. Huzzah! No more freezer burn! We can also use it when we buy freezer orders of beef, pork and chicken – a fabulous way to save money. (I’d say we could freeze cookies for long-term storage but I don’t think the food saver works on baked goods…and who am I kidding? Cookies never last that long in our house.)
Now let’s see if we can leave the store with only the food saver in our shopping cart. Ha!
Oh, and since we’ll be in the big city we’ll swing by IKEA and scope out closet innards to furnish our new walk-in. One more item to check off our to-do list.
Bruno living dangerously in his favourite evening perch.
What are you up to this weekend? Do you shop at a big wholesale club store? Do you ever stick to your list?
A very important weekend starts right now! You might be glancing at the calendar on your wall or desk and be thinking “okay, the autumnal equinox is today at 5:02 PM (Atlantic Daylight Time) in the Northern Hemisphere, big whoop”.
Which would be an understandable reaction unless you were part of my family because this is a big weekend for birthdays. Son2 celebrates his. As do I. As does my brother.
I know of people who celebrate a birthday month. And my friend Janet celebrates birthday week – part of which is eating cake for breakfast the day following the big day.
Brilliant! That’s a tradition I’m starting this weekend.
Here’s the recipe for birthday cake in my family.
Aunt Hilda’s Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
¾ cup sour milk (milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cocoa, dissolved in 1 cup very hot water
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and dust with cocoa a Bundt pan, tube pan, or two 9-inch layer pans.
Sift together flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk and cocoa water. Mix until well blended (mixture will be very wet).
Pour into pan, or pans, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes. (25 - 30 minutes for layer pans). Tester inserted near centre should come out clean.
Cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.
Use the frosting or icing of your choice. Son2 prefers chocolate butter cream frosting. Brother enjoys coffee flavoured icing. I like vanilla. Or as an occasional change of pace, orange flavoured frosting. It captures that chocolate-orange combination that’s a slice of perfection.
We’re readying for another expedition into the wilds of Keji. This time it’ll be just the two of us, with a kayak each. And we’ll be going to a site we haven’t been to before, on a lake we’ve not explored.
Lots of firsts in this trip. We’ll discover just how much we can cream into the fore and aft bulkheads. How easy it is to portage (we’ll need to do three portages – each way). Luckily we have a set of wheels (similar to these)– my gift to hubby a few Father’s Days ago. Additionally we’ll see just how much we enjoy dehydrated food – ha! I’ll be giving my new mummy sleeping bag a proper tryout too, now that we’re approaching frost season.
I’ve been monitoring the long-range weather forecast. As of this writing it’s a bit iffy. Crossed fingers that it improves by Monday otherwise my rain suit will get a good tryout too. <grin>
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Whee! The weekend is near!
I have nothing terribly exciting on my schedule – same old, same old. I’m madly revising and editing the next book in my series, titled Love & Redemption. (The first in the series is Love & Mayhem, available now. And the second, recently contracted, is Love & Turmoil)
Love & Redemption is set in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1885. I’m having tons of fun doing the research, consulting old maps to determine which streets existed back then, looking at archives to see who lived where.
The character of neighbourhoods change over the years, as I’m sure you’ve witnessed in your neck of the woods. My story is located in what is called the North End. In 1885 it was an area of large homes occupied by successful businessmen and their families. When I was a child in the <cough>1970’s the area had fallen on hard times. Those large homes had been divided into flats, or become boarding houses. Businesses had closed or moved out to the newly expanding suburbs. I was warned to stay away from that part of the city.
Now there’s been a resurgence and the North End is a desired neighbourhood in which to live. New construction has replaced derelict buildings, old homes have been renovated, and the streets are bustling with new businesses, corner coffee shops, and fun restaurants and pubs.
I often wonder what the folks from 1885 would think if they saw their old stomping grounds now.
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