Bannock

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BANNOCK

This primitive sort of bread was introduced into the west by the Selkirk settlers. It has become a favorite of northern fur trappers.

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup shortening (I use butter)

3/4 cup water

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course bread crumbs. Add water and mix quickly to a soft dough. Turn out on floored board, kneed lightly for 30 seconds and pat into a 10 inch round. Cook in lightly greased frypan over medium heat till brown. (about 15 minutes per side) Serve warm. Yeild: 1  10-inch bannock.

Note: I never mess up my counter… just knead quickly in bowl and flatten into pan or make smaller ‘patties’ in your hands for quicker cooking and individual servings. My 10 yr old daughter really enjoys making these for the family. She prefers to pat the dough into small biscuit sizes and fry them up like that. I’ll be the first to admit, they turn out better than mine. They are made with love and a sense of confidence that I admire, mine are always rushed and usually a last minute addition. She sure knows how to slow things down and really enjoy her time in the kitchen. So these are officially hers to make now. And because she has mastered this simple recipe and rarely asks for help, I truly love working the kitchen with her.

On a side note: we usually cook these in a dry non oiled skillet, whether it be non stick or coated cast iron.

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Fabric Easter Eggs

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http://retro-mama.blogspot.ca/2009/03/easter-is-in-air.html?m=1

This is way too cute not to share!  Happy Easter weekend everyone! I am sewing these up as we speak. I’m hoping to surprise the girls with them in a couple days.  Maybe they will learn to juggle?! Cause we all know they won’t be sitting pretty on a shelf at my place.  They will be played with…. hopefully lovingly 😆😉

I didn’t print out the pattern because I’m in my studio and got too excited and just scribbled out a template. After a few tweaks and having to use old t shirt strips for stuffing…till I get home to my real stuffing…. this is a good test for my improvised pattern. 

Okay… now follow Retro Mamas link and go make these! ! Now!…. go. Don’t worry,  you got time.  If I can pull this off..lol You definitely can! 

Finding Strength in Bed Rest 

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It’s at your weakest that you become stongest.

I took a tumble 3 and half weeks ago. Tobagganing with a not so small child. ..not the best idea!  As you may know… GT racers have a steel frame😕. I was sitting on one at the top of the run about to go down for the second time.  At this point my youngest daughter hopped on behind me.  I didn’t feel very good about the idea as I pulled myself as forward as possible,  cramming my feet into the curve of frame.  Despite a little pre run nausea, down we went. At the bottom we crashed. With a strong forward momentum I skidded on my face and knew right away that I had twisted my leg pretty bad. Possibly to the point of breaking. I was scooped up off the lake and taken home to bed. There I stayed for the better part of 3 days, refusing to go to the hospital.

Not sure about the whole laying still idea, I picked up my crochet hook and started making hats.  I made 4 baby hats on the first full day and continued making hats till I had 10 done in a week and a half,  including a men’s hat that Mr. Evolving requested. My forearms were burning but I kept on, out of pure enjoyment! The baby hats turned out so cute!

So since my leg was now out of commission and my back starting to stiffen in desperate need of a work out…I took to the floor.  I decided that there was no reason I couldn’t work my arms and stretch my back.  I went from 3 pitiful push-ups to 15 in no time. This is a big deal because I’ve had tendinitis in both wrists..got to love a colicky baby 😉Ha! One day in the midst all of this new found focus, I was peeling potatoes and realized I had peeled at least 5 with no pain! Said “baby” peeled the other half and then I sliced all of them with absolutely no issues. I sat back in awe when I realized what I had just done! I can usually only peel 2 before I need a break! Let alone slice them! ! So between my crochet marathon and all of those push-ups. .. guess what!?? I strengthened my wrists 😊! After struggling with this for over 8 years, I’m beyond excited! I just love when our bodies surprise us and rise to a challenge but on the same hand it’s so disheartening when it lets us down.

Our bodies are meant to move. They’re meant to work. Sometimes we get hurt but there again, we are meant to heal. I pushed my body and stretched it everyday. I limped for over 2 weeks. But I healed! My body did not break. I was torn on how much to baby it and how much to work through it. I suppose I alternated and it worked for me.

My body is REALLY good at letting me know when I’ve been too lazy!  I don’t want that to happen any more.  So work whatever body part is still functional! Lol You’ll be happy you did 😊
UPDATE…. its been 6 weeks since my crash and I have stayed committed! I do a short yoga session every night before bed and am sure to stretch and twist my hip and thigh as it is still stiffer than normal. I also reach and stretch all day when I think of it and have continued with the push ups. I am now able to do the plank pose on my hands instead of just my elbows. I’m excited to be toning up and look forward to a stronger body.

It’s amazing how far small consistent changes can take you.

Here’s to your evolving body 😊

Following Trends~Or Not

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Hello. Hello.

So, I’ve been on Instagram (IG) for a couple months now and quickly discovered something.  There is a huge Joanna Gaines following!  I don’t have t.v. or follow their show but I have heard of them over the years and recently jumped on YouTube to check out Fixer Upper. I’m not sure if the show has inspired this white on white on antique on chippy paint thing or if it is just a common design trend right now.  Either way I’m kind of digging the simplicity of it. Part of me wants to create colorful art pieces; and I have.  But I figured I should try making a simple black and white worded sign with stained trim. And since I had the exact trim pieces already cut (from the shop counters we made) and the exact stain color they(IG DIYers) were using…. it was natural that I give it a go.

I cut some square pieces of MDF that I had left over from building the shelving in the shop. Then I just free handed some lettering. My brush wasn’t very good and left trail marks, which I’ve decided I can overlook.  I made 2 signs and one ended up with the trim drying in an off kilter kind of way. So that one is in my home and we love it. The other one is at the shop greeting people as they walk in.


I later got my printer connected to my new lap top and was able to try printing out some stencils. I went into Word on the computer and did up a few simple fonts. After I printed it as big as possible I had to enlarge it a time or two, depending on the size of my sign. Then I used the pencil shading method to transfer the outline onto the board. This worked better than I expected.  I got some new brushes and went to work.  Working on the big signs was easy but as I got to the smaller mini size.  I again had trouble. 

I ended up using a nail to push the paint around into the corners of my “it’s so good to be home” mini sign. I also had issues with attaching the trim. This time I thought I’d nail the pieces on while the glue was still wet. Hahaha that’s where things got slippery! Nails were bent, bad words were spewed and all the while I was thinking about the brad nailer that was being used at my house at that very moment. (Borrowed from a friend)  BUT instead of taking it home and trying to do it the easy way, I persevered. It’s at my house now….  (Not good enough to sell) greeting us happily when we come home.


I have since seen women grab a brush and paint free hand in all these beautiful fonts. Just. Like. That. Perfect brush strokes. I’m left thinking that I either have to realize it’s not my thing or practice my cursive skills and my painting skills.  Oh and my trim skills. And then they package everything so pretty for shipping. Ahh!  They’re all so perfect… Wants to make me pull my hair out.

So I think my current conclusion is to stop trying to live up to. …which also translates into. ..stop copying what everyone else is doing and just do what YOU do. For ME?… I think I like abstract!  😂

So I ended up with a few cute signs. And maybe I’m the only one who sees the flaws. But for right now they serve as a great reminder of the old saying practice makes perfect. And of course the one about doing your own thing.  My favorite though, has to be the quote I chose for the back of my business card, which says “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein. Love that quote so much!!!!

So,  I will try everything and enjoy every aspect of the process.

Enjoy the journey!

Just create SOMETHING!

Reassessing priorities 

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Reassessing priorities 

Have you ever had a clear picture of where your life was going? But then in taking the steps to get there you realize that the journey took so long that you now have new interests?! Lol Or that the place you moved to, opened up a whole new world you never knew you could have? !

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. We moved to a small community and things are going well. I’m involved in a few things around town including my new craft business. But as we build a chicken coop and possibly a rabbit hutch, I can’t help but think about the other things I’d rather put my attention on.

We essentially live at the lake. So things like canoeing and camping are very real attainable things for us right now. I’m starting to feel like I should be fitting into my surrounding environment more. At least more than I had really expected to. I came in here with certain goals. But now reality is showing me something a little different. Different good.


I wrote in an earlier post about how generous people here have been. I have a list as long as my arm of the fruit and produce that we were given. I was so busy canning and chopping and freezing! I’m now realizing that this alleviates some of the pressure to produce ALL things for our selves. Maybe I can befriend someone who has eggs and we can barter.


**I really need to perfect my pie making skills so I have something to offer in return.**

Don’t forget I have a store to run!  I am planning to do craft classes for kids and putting together a bake sale table once a week. And I already have 2 part time jobs. So it’s been heavy on my mind that I may actually have little time and quite fankly, little interest in dealing with animals this summer.  This comes with some guilt but ultimately its a tiny piece of the puzzle.  We are also starting on our house as soon as the weather clears. Trees need to come down.  Not just for the house but for an orchard! We need to build a few garden beds and organize the yard and maybe start a fence. 

Making garden beds, creating an orchard, building a house, enjoying some summer…. these are the building blocks to creating a future in our new home. Some day there will be animals! This year may only produce kittens 🙂 and I’m fine with that! Our girls have never experienced the wonder of life. So I’m really excited for that.


I’m learning to go with the flow and take things as they come.  I’ve truly been living day to day this winter and rolling with the punches. The quickest way to be disappointed is to have high expectations. I am learning to be here and present for and with my family. Things happen when it’s time.

It’s not time for chickens of our own. We looked into it and did all the math.  It’s just not worth the trouble right now. Someday it’ll be worth the experience! And we will cherish every moment… when it’s time.

The season of goats

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Blender soaked pancakes 

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I know I’m a little too excited about this,  But I’ve never really cared for the traditional pancake. They were just too cake -like for me.  Too soft and fluffy?! Has anyone actually ever made that complaint!?! I always liked waffles better; but not too crunchy. I like that this recipe has a bit of chew to it and its good for you! ! I’m sure it’d be great as waffles too!

These pancakes are made with whole, wheat berries! It seems easy enough to find a heritage organic variety. And since I don’t have a way to grind my own flour; this is awesome!!!


I saw a video done by Stacy @humoroushomemaking. (She blogs about homemaking.) She made the full recipe, including some cooking tips. She sent us over to visit http://www.melskitchencafe.com to find the recipe. The link to the original is HERE. I have gone ahead and tweaked mine with yogurt because I never have buttermilk on hand or the cows milk to make my own. So here is what I’ve done….

In the blender add…

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1 cup yogurt (plain or flavored. Greek or otherwise)

Blend for 3 minutes. Add…

  •  1/2 cup milk (any kind -I used vanilla almond milk)

Blend for 2 more minutes and then add…

  • 2 lrg eggs
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar (any sweetener should work)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 cup of melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp ground flax

Blend till smooth.

Fry in oiled skillet as usual. Enjoy

 

Double chocolate-orange pudding cake

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 Filled with old-fashioned goodness, this dessert works well in a slow cooker. Orange zest and chocolate chips give it extra pizzazz.

I absolutely adore pudding cakes. This is by far the best I’ve had. I was never a big fan of orange and chocolate but this is delightful.

Makes 4-6 servings.

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar (I didn’t have any and used brown sugar instead)

1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)

3 tbsp butter, melted

1 tbsp grated orange zest

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 2/3 cups hot water

 

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, granulated sugar, 3 tbsp cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir n milk, butter, orange zest and chocolate chips. Turn into 3 1/2 quart electric slow cooker.


In another bowl, mix together the brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa until well blended. Sprinkle over the batter. Gently pour the water evenly over all: do not stir.

Cover and cook on high setting for 1 3/4 hrs-2 hrs. Do not cook on low setting for a longer time.


Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with whipped cream.

Rolled Oat Cake

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If using leftover porridge omit fresh oats and water. Use about 1 1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal.

1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)

1 1/2 cups boiling water

Combine and let stand till cool.

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup dates, chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream butter & sugar – beat in oats & vanilla.

Stir dry ingredients & add to first mixture with dates and walnuts.

Beat & blend well.

Bake in 9″ pan @ 350 for 35 min.


Note… all ingredients can be mixed in the pot!

This a my sons favorite! Last time we added chocolate chips for a totally different taste. In these pictures, I’ve added slivered almonds and sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on top.