Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Feathery Addition

Our family is pleased to annouce the addition of three hens to our Not So Pioneer Life!

I have been toying with the idea of owning chickens since we moved. After doing my research I got everyone on board (it wasn't hard to convince the kids) we finally committed.

A coop was built (or rather a castle for chickens), food was purchased. I am now the proud  owner of a frequent chicken feed card. Buy 10 bags of feed and get the 11th free! Now all the was left were the chickens!

We purchased our 5 month old hens from Kricklewood Farm in Brockville Ontario.  I have to say a big thank you to Dale Horeczy for all of his advice and help and support in getting me started. I will put his website at the bottom of this blog for anyone who is interested in checking out his farm.

I was so excited when Anthony and my Dad came home with the hens! It was like Christmas!

Bringing home chickens is far from bringing home a puppy. There are no kisses and tail wagging, no furry friend to pet and snuggle with. It's more like feathers and clucking.  It was hard for the kids (and me) to just leave the chickens alone and allow them to get settled but we did.

The next morning everyone got their boots on and headed out to the coop only to find a beautiful egg waiting for us.

It was hard to contain my eggcitement! We all held the egg and Max smelled it, like he smells everything. The egg was approved and then made into an omlette. For some reason it was strange to eat an egg directly from a chicken, I'm not sure why. It tasted like an egg. Probably because it was one, probably just me.

Since our first egg we have had two more and now production has seemed to stop.  Chickens are finicky things.

We've had the chickens for a week now and although they aren't your regular house pet they are fun. The come when I call them and make the sweetest bawking noises. They like pecking around in the garden and having dust baths.  I could honestly sit and watch them for hours.

So without further ado I would like to introduce Captain Henway,  Padmegg Amadala and Princess Layalot!

Please check out  www.Kricklewoodfarm.com

Thursday, 9 October 2014


Tonight was the dinner to end all dinners! Maybe I shouldn't say end, it's more like a beginning.

A couple of years ago Anthony and I started trying to pay more attention to the preservatives and other nasties that go into our food that we eat.

I would like to make it clear though that 3 out of 4 of the people in our family are extremely picky eaters so we don't shy away from McDonald's here and there, no one runs for the veggie platter at a party (except Anthony) and heaven forbid we run out of potato chips!

Tonight's dinner menu began at 11:00am when I sprinkled 4 teaspoons of yeast over a small bowl of warm sugar water. Over the day, with a few more ingredients and some elbow grease we would have french bread with dinner. At about 2:00pm I cracked open 2 cans of whole tomatoes,  blended them, added some spices, onion and oil and let our tomato sauce simmer down. What came next though was the best part.

It's my birthday on Saturday, and for my birthday my Dad bought me a pasta maker! I love all things pasta and now that I get to make on my own I don't know what I am going to do with myself!

I'm sure you've all seen how pasta is made be it in your mother or grandmother's kitchen or on the food network.  It's so easy! Two cups of flour and 3 eggs is all it takes!

Once I got through the technical part, kneeding the dough and letting it rest, it was time to break out the pasta maker. Oh it was so much fun! I do have to say, it's easier with four hands then two, as my recipe book so kindly told me, and luckily I had a few hands to help. The best was Jack who pretended to be the dough and said 'Ahhh...I'm being squished' as he rolled it through the cutter!

I didn't know you had to dry the pasta before you cooked it so I had to turn my quilt rack into a pasta dryer. It actually worked perfectly.  Thankfully the cats weren't around, because hanging spaghetti can tend to look like string!

Now we've come to dinner. I've spent small parts of the day building up to this moment. The bread has proofed, been shaped, proofed again and baked. The tomatoes have simmered down to a beautiful  thick rich red sauce and the pasta has dried and been cooked.

As we all sat down and began eating I waited for the 'I don't like this' or the 'mommy I'm not hungry' but it never came. It was silent and silent at our dinner table means the food is good.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The tale of a bedside table

I like shopping just as much as the next person but lately I'm finding that up cycling is just a bit more gratifying.

I was in need of a small bedside table. Nothing fancy, just somewhere to put my lip balm a book, lotion and water. A ledge to push my alarm clock off of.  You know, the stuff every girl needs beside her bed.

Now I said that I like shopping but having two boys means I don't get any time to look at anything. It would seem though, that I have all the time in the world to sand and spray paint things! Who doesn't want to spray paint things?!

My Dad has a collection of random old furniture that isn't really antique but not that new. So when I found what would be the perfect table I was given his blessing to do with it as I saw fit.  I just needed to find the right colour.

I am not really ever fancy about the things I up cycle and since my head is always going a million miles an hour I usually make hasty decisions because if I think about something too much I won't make a decision.

So there I was in Rashotte Home Building Centre in Tweed walking past the spray paint. I knew I had to pick a colour because who knew when I would be there again. The first colour that I saw I bought, but there were so many colours to choose from.

Excited to arrive home, I  got startes sanding down the table a wee bit (thank heavens for power sanders) and proceeded to spray.  I took on this project in August which meant it was very humid outside. After the first coat of paint, I put the table in the small barn we have. The next morning I went out only to find it covered with stupid flying ants that just had to land on my creation in progress and get stuck. Oh and there was a curious footprint that could have only belonged a racoon.

Despite the minor set backs I sprayed on, of course after picking off the bugs. I brought the table into the house to finish drying and to keep it  away from said nusences only to wake up the next morning to find cat prints on the table!

After all was said and done my beside table turned out beautifully even though you can still make out a print or two and that it took forever to dry in the humid weather.

I love my table and it's being put to good use!