Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Easy Apple Crisp

Living where we do, (high altitude with lots of snow and freezing temperatures all winter) it is a real challenge to grow things. Fruit trees are pretty much impossible. I have a hard time just getting plants that are hardy enough to last out a winter here. But, lucky for us, we live very close to the Okanagon, which is the fruit growing area in BC. We have easy access to peaches, cherries, and apricots, plus other fresh from the tree fruits. Well, during the summer anyways. In the winter though, we can still get our hands on apples. In a small town about an hour from us, we can grab a 20kg. bag of apples for $10! We picked up a couple of bags just last week. While eating them right off the core is great, we love them baked up in a crisp best!
The first one I made lasted 1/2 a day! Poor Zac went to the fridge the next morning thinking he would have some crisp with milk for breakfast. Nope! Trev had finished it off the night before. Needless to say, Mama whipped him up a fresh one. They are so easy to make and so delicious! We usually pour some milk over top when it's hot out of the oven, add some ice-cream for a dessert, and eat it cold for a snack. Anytime is crisp time!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Pump Up Your Porridge!

In this day and age of fast food breakfasts picked up from a drive thru window while you're rushing so as not to be late for work, school or an appointment, it's sometimes difficult to imagine breakfast any other way. In our fast paced world we sometimes forget that 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day'. A bowl of cold cereal and toast is probably standard for a lot of us. It's certainly better than what is being handed out that window! But, what about the old fashioned day starters?  When was the last time you cooked up a pot of porridge? Oatmeal or mush, it's all about the grains. This was how our ancestors ate their grains. Way before bread was even thought of,  people were cooking up a pot.  It was originally served as a savoury dish with meat and veggies. I can't quite get around to trying that, but the Americans do have a great love for their 'grits',  which is served with savoury foods or has savoury things added to it.

Friday, January 29, 2016

More Basement Renos!!

As promised, I'm back to share some of the work that we've been doing in the basement since our contractor friend helped us get started last spring. Here' a link to that post, in case you missed it.
Right after he left, we had to pack up for our spring trip to the trapline cabin. Then, our next grandchild was about to arrive and we were on the Island staying in our RV for that. Then, we had a family reunion in Alberta to go to, and then decided while we were there, we would spend a few weeks travelling around. We got home at the beginning of August and were eager to get back to the basement renos! Yay!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Basement Renovations on the Go!!

Hello? Is there anybody out there??
I know I've been absent from this blog for quite some time....and I apologize profusely!  Life got somewhat crazy last spring with house renos, travelling, a beautiful little addition to our family arriving (grand baby #4!) and time spent on our trapline....And now, with life slowing down a wee bit after Christmas, it seemed like a good time to reconnect.
The biggest change happening here at the Little Shack, and one I've been dying to crow the magic that has been happening in the basement!!  After 8 long years, it's finally getting done!  It is beautiful!!   If you've read past posts, you will know that our Little Shack has been a project right from the get-go. A few years ago, we hired a guy to come in and build 2 bedrooms in the basement for our still-at-home kids. The kids and I went away to work in a tree planting camp for the summer,  while hubby stayed at home to work and take care of the critters, and we had the 2 bedrooms done while we were gone. It was so exciting to come home and have these 2 rooms ready for the kids to move into. Goodbye temporary walls, cement floors and open cobwebby ceilings! Hello beautiful bedrooms with closets, flooring, ceilings, light fixtures and doors! You can take a look at them here.
Now, I get to share some of the stuff that has been happening downstairs recently!
Last spring, we decided to use some of the money hubby got when he retired (early at age 50!) to hire a contractor friend of ours to help get the basement finished. Hubby and I were the 'gophers'....well, I was more the gopher, coffee lady, lunch preparer, clean up the sawdust and wood  person, passer of tools and screws, reloader of nail get the picture. Hubby dealt with wiring, cutting wood, heavy lifting and was part of the 'harass Susan' club. I spent 2 weeks being the brunt of jokes, teased and poked fun at. Boys will be boys. It was fine...really...I just smiled and kept reminding myself  that the basement was GETTING DONE!!!!
So, now the unveiling! Well, obviously there is still work to be done. We are currently laying floor down and will be doing some more finishing after that.  But, I couldn't wait to share these pictures any longer!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Simple Herb Garden

With spring's arrival, I, like so many others, get the urge to get out in the garden and start digging, planting, growing.... Living in an RV, in an RV park, kinda changes that. I still want to get growing...but, I have no garden of my own to work in here. The park we are staying in has meticulously maintained gardens. Over the windy, wet and surprisingly sunny winter their gardens have been kept up nicely, and are now in the  process of being dug, weeded, planted and made ready for the multitude of summer vacationers who will soon be filling all the empty sites.  We won't be here then, as we move out in a month and head for the Little Shack.  Back to my own little patch of earth which has been hibernating under piles of snow all winter. I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty and adding a few new perennials to my garden.

In the meantime, I thought I'd put together a little herb garden for my daughter, Jordan's, birthday. She will be celebrating it in early June, but we will be away then and I wanted to give it to her early.
While perusing the aisles of a 2nd hand store, I found they had a huge bunch of white coffee mugs, in different shapes and sizes.  And that's when I had my inspiration moment!

I chose 5 mugs in different styles and then picked up 5 herb plants. I had leftover soil from my Fairy Garden so that was already taken care of.  I also picked up a Sharpie marker to finish off the project.
Each herb went into a separate mug. I then labelled each mug using the Sharpie marker.
I feel so much better now, having satisfied my spring gardening urge!
How about you? Do you also get that "gotta go out and dig in the dirt' urge in the spring? Are you a gardener? I'd love to hear about your spring plant plans!