February 2010


This afternoon I found my mind wondering about home and what makes your home a home. Your home can be a house, an apartment or anyplace you choose to hang your hat. But what makes it a home? The family it shelters, possessions, or something else? 

For me I look back about 10 years ago, we built a new home and at this time it was just my bride and me. Our current home was nice, it was cozy and warm,  a nice place to come home too and live, but something was lacking to make it feel like a home. So we bought an acre of land in the country and built our current home. But little less than 6 years ago our house changed into a home. The changed was made by the birth of our son and the first day we brought him home from the hospital.  And since then even when he is at school the feel is unmistakable. So what prompted this thinking for me today? Well today,since I am fortunate to work close to home, I came home for lunch as normal to a house that for lack of a better word, gave me a nice warm hug.  Isn’t that what a home should do? My sweet wife had just made a large pot of spaghetti sauce and it was simmering on the stove. The house was full of its wonderful smell. My wife had also spent the morning doing the laundry and the smell of clean clothes was also in the air. The house was warm and inviting and I was looking forward to a nice lunch of left over chicken enchiladas from Saturday.

So what makes your home a home?

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Pizza is one of my favourite foods to make, we love thin crust, and love-making our own flavour combinations, the added plus of home-made pizza is the ability to make special pizzas for people who are not fans of certain types of foods (like our son and veggies). This pizza evening was caused by a post by the  Pioneer Woman her pizza was the muse for this flavour combination and it is now one of our favorites.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomoto Pizza

She makes her own crust. We have made it like she has, or used this recipe for a great quick pizza crust, to premade fresh or frozen. Each are different some, are better than others, but for the most part the crust is a small part. It is to me the flavour combinations that make this a tasty meal. Two years ago I was doing some research into making a wood fired oven for pizza and other foods, during this research I read some interesting information that said the best pizza is limited to no more than 3 ingredients and for us personally that is the key… simple is much better. The other tip is to use a pizza stone  you can get different sizes and materials, we have a round 18″ stone, and they also work great on your BBQ.

Way to go Canada in women’s short track speed skating. Silver medal for Marianne St-Gelais and a fourth place showing for Jessica Gregg. 

 Okay not a Canadian but Shaun White was amazing to watch, this guy had it in the bag his first run, but that wasn’t good enough he throws down an even better run. He is a god in the half-pipe, so with such  a wild trick like the Double McTwist 1260, what the heck are they going to be doing at the next Olympics?  Because I can bet you that every one of those riders will be watching  and trying to pull off that move. Great job Justin Lamoureux to make it in that field with those guys, you are amazing.

So we finally did it, we purchased a deep fryer. Not a big deal I guess we could have used a pot and thermometer. But I have been super scared to buy one because I was worried that we would have a fire or get badly burned. This was reinforced about 17 years ago when a co-worker wife’s had her deep fryer melt and spill onto her hand and giving her 3 degree burns. But after some gentle pushing from my bride we decided to go ahead. It is surprising when you start looking how many different brands there are with different gizmos.  Since we are Canadian our choices seemed to be about half of what the US has. We read really good reviews about the T-Fal EZ-Clean  which we were sold on except it was freeking huge and took up half our counter space, so we settled on a little brand we hadn’t heard much about called Bravetti Professional . It was simple, easy to take a part and clean and smaller than the T-Fal not apples to apples comparison but a better fit for us, plus I  got it on sale for half off.

So you might wonder about what makes someone want to cook in fat? Good question I blame it on Pioneer Women, and a love of french truck fries, and battered chicken. This isn’t going to be a common cooking item in our home but for a treat every so often.

First twice Cooked Fries

 

So far we’ve made french fries and the Pioneer Woman’s doughnuts.  Next time we use it we will try sweet potato fries and fried chicken.

An important part of cooking with grease is know how to deal with a fire if you have one, here is a link from ehow on how to do it http://www.ehow.com/how_2064704_put-out-grease-fire.html also this youtube video if you are a visual person

And one last thing is “GO Canada GO”, have a nice day and happy frying.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics has really captivated me this year. I am so impressed on how well our Canadian athletes are doing and not just the medal count, but how well in general they are ranking among the elite of their sport.

And I sure am super excited that Alexandre Bilodeau got our first gold, and also the first gold on home soil ever. I am also happy that we  Jenn Heil and Mike Robertson got silver, and that Kristina Groves got bronze. But don’t forget when you look at the standings at the other Canadians and how they placed we should be proud of them also.

GO CANADA GO

The opening ceremony made me proud to be a Canadian. Some of it was a little over the top but for the most part it was memorable, different and gave the world a taste of what makes Canada. It was great to see the first nation people shown, and the highlighting of things that make us Canadian. There sometimes seems to be a stereotypical Canadian that the world  thinks of when asked about a Canada.  I bet they didn’t include a  fiddle playing punk rocker. I hope they see a country made up people who include their roots, and accept all cultures to make a Canadian.  I think for me the poem done by Shane Koyczan was one of the best ever ways of explaining who we are as country. Didn’t find any video from the ceremony but here he is, and I think he did a an amazing job.

All in all I’m proud as a Canadian of the opening ceremony, and looking forward to watching some of the ski racing, boarding and freestyle skiing.

Hard to believe that I’m thinking or typing the following.

I’m excited for spring to come this year, I blame it on our extremely rare year for snow. I have only blown the driv way once this year. So myself like other bloggers that have an interest in gardening are starting to think about what they want to grow, plans for more gardens, or trying something new. Well I have several plans for the spring but will have to see if time and energy can translate into success. Here are a couple of the plans for the new garden season:

  • Build two new raised beds. I now have a 20′ x 20′ raised bed that I made 10 years ago, but the problem I have is I’m running out of room. So this year I plan to make three smaller ones in the pioneer women style. I will use these for tomatoes, herbs, peppers and then the third I’m planning to give to my son to plant whatever he wants to. Then that will leave the bigger garden for things that need more room and more harvesting.
  • Potatoes in containers. I read about this last year so think I’m going to try experimenting  with container grown and traditional and see how they compare.
  • Waterline, this is a self serving item, I want to run a waterline in the ground to my garden that is 140 ft from my house. This will also allow for an easy method of using my rain barrel water in the garden with out making 100 plus trips with a watering can.
  • Irrigation, going to hopefully try this out as a method of watering some of my garden, kinda the reason for the waterline.
  • New compost, I have gotten better at composting but my current problem is that I need to add some more volume to my system. I now use a plastic store bough unit and a homemade polyboard one, both are full and need emptying and moving, but I want to make a third unit. I have some ideas but will need to plan that over the next couple of months.
  • Expand my compost tea, attempts from last season, I would like to try some more of this in the garden and flowers this year.
  • Research more environmentally friendly methods of weed control since we are out of the weed man frustration of 2009

Lastly spend more time in the garden with the boss.  

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