Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Beautiful Bounty of Wild Blueberries

Recently we discovered that our acreage is home to quite a few wild blueberry bushes, quite a few is probably a bit of an understatement. These sweet and plentiful berries are a lovely addition to our self-sufficient lifestyle.

Wild and Free

After a recent hot and humid  pick I made a simple but satisfying pudding -

Blueberry Grunt -
4 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of runny honey
1/2 cup of water
2 cups of flour
2 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 to 1/2 cups of milk

In a pan gently heat the blueberries, water and honey until there is lots of juice and the blueberries start to break down.
Pour into a large cooking dish
Mix the butter into the flour until it resembles course breadcrumbs, add sugar and baking powder and then enough milk to form a soft dropable dough (it will fall of a spoon!)
Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto the hot blueberry mix and bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.
Serve hot!

The fruits of our labour!

Pending New Arrivals

In a few weeks time we we be welcoming an 8 year old Dexter cow and her 6 week old heifer calf to our homestead. She will be our future source of delicious milk with which we will make an abundance of tasty goodies.
She is currently awaiting the romance of a Durham bull, so we can be assured cross fingers she will produce a good beef calf next Spring and we will have a good milk supply. We are all excited about the prospects of finally becoming free of purchasing dairy products from the store!
Watch this space for further updates!

Mookie and Summer

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Garlic Scape Pesto and Broccoli

Recently on my sister Facebook page (link on here) I penned a small article about bolted broccoli. Sadly bolted broccoli seems to end up on the compost heap or garbage, and fed to livestock which is fine but I prefer to use it in the kitchen. Folk seem to be afraid of those longer stems and yellow flowers but we are a hardy bunch and don't mind a bit of extra chew in our broccoli.
I made a delicious and simple pesto which was gently heated in a large frying pan, then the bolted broccoli was stir fried until just tender.

Pesto -
1 large handful of garlic scapes
1 small handful of nuts (I used cashews but walnuts work well too as do other nuts, experiment)
Extra virgin olive oil, enough to allow easy blending
A squeeze f fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

This pesto is also very good with crackers and cheese, especially for those raw garlic lovers!

Served here with turmeric roast potatoes and carrots

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fish Pie

We are overwhelmed here on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, our new province and new home by the variety and cheaper cost of the most freshest fish and seafood we have seen for a very long time. It is a fish and seafood lovers dream!
We enjoyed a fish pie for mealtime the other night, it was a frugal and inexpensive dish that lasted two meals.
The bottom of the pie was a simple white sauce made with softened onions, garlic, flour, butter and milk. I cooked a piece of cod, haddock and striped bass until just tender and flaked it into the white sauce. This fishy mixture was put into a square cooking dish and topped with a mashy mix of potato, swede and cauliflower. The swede and cauliflower was a little past its best but was good in the mash. The final touch before baking was a generous sprinkle of cheese and once cooked a scattering of fresh parsley.
A fresh, fishy and frugal meal in itself :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Starting from scratch

It is hard to leave a garden that has sustained you and your family so well for many years to start over again with literally a blank canvas, in our case pasture. However, it is also a great and exiting challenge to start over in a new Province. Here in Nova Scotia we have a much friendlier climate and the opportunity to grow more delicate crops is there for us. We have big plans for our acreage, and with a small start already made progress will be steady.

Small Scale

It is a huge job digging the pasture for a garden but we have made a start, we have planted an area of blueberries and honey berries too. 

Work to do! 

Just a small section of what we have to work with. With a lot of hard work we will transform this into a productive garden, orchard, herb and soft fruit paradise.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Not so rusty fishing rods!

During our eight years in Manitoba and to our disappointment our fishing rods saw little action and our fishing tackle box was rarely opened. We have been in our new Province of Nova Scotia for three weeks now and we are amazed how much fishing we have done. Both freshwater and saltwater fish have joined us for supper on regular occasions. Caught, cleaned and cooked within a short time of being caught. Fresh wonderful fish!

Twelve Mackerel ready to cook

Frying in a cast iron pan on a camping stove near the beach

There was nothing better than eating these wonderful fresh fish sitting with the smell of sea air in our nostrils. Absolutely delicious served with homemade buns!