Monthly Archives: October 2016

Whole Wheat Flax Bread

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A FAVORITE AMONG THE MASSES =45% whole wheat.

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This original recipe makes about 70% whole wheat. I decided to make it less; about 45%. This makes for a happy medium for everyone in the house.

My husband often goes for groceries without me. This last time, he brought home traditional yeast. So I add it to the warm water till frothy. I am going to type out the recipe as written, even though I have never added the yeast to flour. So please adjust to suit your preferences.

 

WHOLE WHEAT FLAX BREAD

MAKE 4 LOAVES       BAKE AT 375 FOR 25-30 MINUTES.

Put in large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve:

1/4 cup oil (canola, grapeseed or olive)

3 tsp. salt

1/4 cup sugar (white, brown or honey)

2 cups hot water

Add: 2 cups cold water to cool down mixture

Stir in:

4 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flax

2 tbsp. yeast

Stir in: 2 cups whole wheat flour (this is where I just used white)

Then slowly work in: 3 cups white flour

Dough will be sticky.

Let rise  hour.

Punch down and let rise again.

Punch down and separate into 4 pieces.

Flatten dough into a rectangle and roll up into loaf shape.

Place in bread pan seam side down.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 min.

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Rich Beet Chocolate Cake

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I’m guessing a lot of you have fresh garden beets this time of year. I was given a sack of huge beets and needed to make something other than beet borscht. I found this simple cake from Anna Olson at the food network. Find the full recipe here.

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The cake calls for cooked shredded beets. So I shredded the beets on the small side of my box grater and then covered with water in a pot and boiled gently for awhile. I then strained the water in a measuring cup and added enough water to make the amount of water it called for. Then I measured out the beets I needed. I think thats why my cake has so much more color than hers. That is of course up to you. Maybe you already have cooked beets in the fridge. Then just shred them and use water like she says.

It bakes up fudgy and quite yummy. We added a thin layer of icing and topped it with cooked beets and coconut for color.

Enjoy. My family did.
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My daughter spreading the icing she made 🙂

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Camper life musings

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I came across this post I wrote over 3 years ago. We had committed to living in an RV for one year. Our plan was to be debt free and explore other parts of the country on our own terms. By that, I mean NOT renting a house or having utility bills! So, how did it go? … let’s find out…

Our one year commitment
(written June 2013)

Last June (2012) we sold our house and decided to give living in a travel trailer a go for a year.
Of course, one year includes a winter! How would one accomplish the survival of this??!! With advice from a couple who have lived in their fifth wheel since 1998 and just trying what we thought might work. That’s How!

Insulated tarps, solid Styrofoam and electric heaters underneath, covered windows and slides. (ugly and alarmingly orange, but cheap and effective!) We had absolutely no problems! Broom the snow off the roof, make sure you always have power to your heat tape which is wrapped around the water hose going in and the gray water/black water coming out. We did have that pipe freeze up once, but with some brainstorming the boy and I came up with a plan and executed it beautifully. Someone was so impressed with us that he brought home pizza after work.
Things went better than expected. Five of us in a 31 ft. camper just required a little grace. When daddy is using the kitchen, it’s best to just sit off to the side out of the way. When the boy seems to be spending far too much time in his bed reading; you have to realize that there really isn’t anywhere else for him to sit or anything much to do right now. (should have taught him to knit sooner than March)
But each new move brings new people to meet and share stories with and new playgrounds to try out. We visit every new library and museum we come across. Learning the areas history and meeting some locals is all part of the experience. Living this way has certainly brought us closer as a family! That was probably the most surprising and pleasing development. Because we don’t have a ton of housework, home improvements, and yard maintenance taking up all of our time we were able to explore the communities and what they had to offer. Also; we were within 20 minutes of most things at most places we stayed. Unlike our hour drive into the city from our house and no interesting nature places to explore.

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squishing through the river mud

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Small town museum.

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Well, that was a year in a nutshell. We learned how very different two cities can be. Living in an oilfield city is great for making money, living in a camper is great for saving money and watching how others spend theirs was interesting. Owning brand new jacked up trucks is how the young guys show off their riches. The older business men seem to show theirs by owning horses and getting involved in chuck wagon racing. I suppose this is just our opinion and observations, please do not take offense! Such a contrast to what we see only one province over.

As emotional and stressful as downsizing and selling most of what you own can be, it is very freeing! People hold on to things and acquire more things all the time. I have learned to purge what we don’t use, need or love. Making that choice at the store and saying no to things you really like can be hard at first. And wanting to bring home something because it’s just so darn cute, doesn’t usually fly when you live in a camper. Unless of course you plan on purging each season and before any trip you take, due to weight restrictions. I tend to get rid of the old when something new comes in. So I don’t like the thought of investing in something brand new that I know I will have to get rid of sooner than later. I always have a bag for donations in my truck but lately my daughter and I have been cutting up old clothes to braid into a rug.

It’s been quite an experience! One that we may continue….

Granny Stripe Crochet

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Granny Stripe Crochet

This is such a fun and easy pattern to follow. I love all the color changes. It really keeps things interesting. For me; this is important.

So this  is the inspiration for the many items I have created with this pattern in mind.

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I made this rainbow scarf for each of the girls for Christmas. They absolutely loved them!

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Then I made this lap blanket while watching Netflix last winter. I played around with the color patterns and widths of each stripe because I thought I would get bored. 🙂

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I’m working on this one right now. I’m using up a bunch of my old colors so I can justify buying some new ones. haha I’ll add the finished product pic, soon I hope.

So give it a go; I’d love to see what else can be done with this cool pattern. Once again. here is the link.

 

It’s that deleted post!

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Look what I found in the archives… It’s that post that I deleted; about the land we bought! I wrote this 3 years ago but deleted it out of frustration, among other things. I wrote more about that in a recent homesteading post. You can find it here.

Well summer has come and gone. Life got a little crazy for us as we traveled across the country to see the land we purchase. We had made a bold decision to buy land site unseen. An even bolder decision? To go live on it! 18 acres of untouched bush and trees on the east coast. Close to the highway and to town. Sounded do-able… Maybe I could have a market garden and all the animals I could handle. Too many big dreams…

Which came crashing down the minute we turned off the highway. Although beautiful and quaint, hillbilly would be the word that first come to mind. Then came the sight of our sloping land that we were unsure of how to even get onto. Renting a skid-steer seemed the quickest way to make a dent. I was excited to break ground and ‘smell’ our land. (out west I am accustomed to that rich, deep earthy scent that invades your whole head) Well that didn’t happen here… the moist black organic matter that I expected to see from the tree roots and plant mass that had decomposed year after year turned out to be dry red soil that didn’t smell like anything but a bad investment.

Having cleared a path and a ‘yard’ space; we bounced our camper into place and hunkered down…. for the weekend ;p

The deer flies were so bad, that I just knew I couldn’t raise my babies here. We were all covered in deep itchy bites.

So between the bad soil, the bad kind of neighbors, bad bugs, and a general bad feeling about the whole thing….

We met with the Realtor first thing Monday morning.

We didn’t want to have driven all that way for nothing and thought we should give it a solid go. So we looked into renting a place in town (which we had come to love). People were renting out pieces of their house for far too much and there were no jobs to speak of. One guy told my husband “there are lots of jobs, there were 8 last week!” Ha.. not quite what we were used to.

So after much thought and discussion we realized that where we left actually felt like home after all. That was a great realization. Because where we grew up no longer felt like home. And feeling lost as adults and unsure of where to put down roots for your family is very unsettling. So we are back to the exact place we left in spring and it feels right. -for now 😉

Editors note: That place was great for a while but we still ached to have something of our own. And after researching many areas, we finally moved back to our home province….where the dirt is black. 🙂

Say Yay to Gray!

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When we moved six months ago I found myself in a camping situation and dying my hair would prove to be tricky. Disposing of the resulting dye in the rinse water was an issue. It just so happened that a family friend was growing out her gray hair and her boyfriend kept encouraging me to do the same. I wasn’t sure if I was ready and dyed my hair a couple more times anyway. I went with a lighter color than usual, hoping to tame my black locks.

As my hair grew out, the more the strip of brown dye was noticeable and stressing me out! I had a box of black under my sink and decided to streak it in. It worked wonderfully!

If I had to do it all over… I would forget about the brown and just streak in the black to blend the gray out better.

My temples were pretty white.  I realized quickly that pulling my bangs back showed less gray than having the extra strip of white in the part. But I wore a headband across the bang part for a while.

My braids are still black which is kind of cool if I decide to wear a hat and knock off a few years. Lol

I crocheted an extra wide headband to cover everything and I really like it!

Cause the skinny one wasnt covering anything anymore!  Lol

They’re cute tho, right?

So here’s me today….

It’s a journey that’s for sure. An emotional one,  at that.  I’m not even 40 yet. But being stressed about your roots and putting that chemical on your head every 4 to 6 weeks gets really really old. I used to push it as long as I could.  Wear a certain hat or do your hair a certain way or hide at home. Lol just kidding.. please tell me you are not hiding at home because of your hair! I won’t judge…I’ve done it. Far too often. But it has to stop! And with the new trend of everyone wanting to dye their hair grey!? Hello… perfect timing!! And guess what? !! It’s winter…where I live anyway.  Jeez I was going to celebrate hat season with you. Hope you can join in. It’s actually quite exciting! And you’ll save money and the environment and your brain!  Can you even imagine the brain damage?  Jk…won’t go there 🙂

#sayyaytogray

Moist Banana Bread *

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Whether you prefer a big ‘ol slice of banana loaf slathered in butter or a sophisticated piece of coffee cake; I’ll show you how this recipe can please both your moods.

This is a favorite recipe among the dwellers of my home. But because of the small RV oven and the very long cooking time, which is not conducive to cooking with propane;  its hard to do the traditional big loaf. Since I’m a huge fan of cake, this is our solution.

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You’ll need

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 7 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 or 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup walnuts or chocolate chips, optional
  1. Mix sugar, eggs and sour cream together.
  2. Mix baking soda and flour.  Add to wet ingredients.
  3. Mash banana and add in.
  4. Add Walnuts,  if desired; mix all together.
  5. Put in loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 70 minutes.

This is the original recipe and it is delicious. If you’d like to try it coffee cake style…

Spread 1/2 the mixture into an 8×11 pan or similar size. Then make a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle over. Then drop the rest of the batter over top.  You can add walnuts in the mix or sprinkle on top. If you (or your kids)prefer chocolate chips, just mix them into the batter for a nice cake.  

I have 2 daughters and they each made one in the same week using the 2 different ways.  We actually used yogurt for one of the recipes. But the sour cream makes the cake more moist.

So there you have it… Sometimes some simple changes are helpful when you don’t have a full kitchen at your disposal. I’ve also made plenty of cakes and muffins in an electric oven… Also called a turkey roaster. This actually browns the cake, so be careful. You’d be far more likely to burn a cake in there than in your RV oven.

Happy baking everyone! Don’t forget to share your tips in the comments!