29 March 2009

Last year's carrots

I dug up last year's carrots. I didn't plant them till late in the season last year as I was just figuring stuff out all last year. So when I tried digging them up at the end of the season last year they were still skinnier than pencils so I didn't bother. Well they're slightly bigger now but not much. They tasted alright - kind of just like bad carrots. I will make sure to get my carrots in early this year and hopefully get an actual yield.
Yes that is the entire harvest. I think I remember there was some confusion about which were carrots and which were weeds at some point.


Today while I was in the garage painting my adirondack chair I heard a duck quacking on the driveway. Some of our neighbours have ducks in their yard all teh time but we never do so it was exciting. The two ducks came to eat the birdseed that had fallen under the birdfeeder. I tried giving them some apple to eat since our neighbour told us he fed them apples but of course that just scared them away. Maybe they will come back later to eat the apple that's now on our driveway.

Hot Cross Buns

In anticipation of Easter coming up in just 2 weeks I made hot cross buns. They turned out very very good! I used Delia Smith's recipe (http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/hot-cross-buns,1419,RC.html) knowing that it would be good. I will make another batch just in time for Good Friday.

A weekend in the garden

Well, a good Friday, Saturday in the garden anyway. I woke up this Sunday morning and it's rainy.
On Friday the dirt I had ordered for the front garden arrived. The front garden got completely dug up when we had our geothermal heating system installed so we have to start all over and try to make something nice out of it. I shoveled the dirt and did some other spring gardening while Kevin worked on putting our patio stone path back beside the driveway. This was a very tough job that I could never do because I'm not enough of a perfectionist. I'd have them in wobbly and crooked and insist that it was good enough but Kevin actually did a good job.

On Saturday we spent just about the entire day outside. We did some more gardening. I brought out some of the dirt that we had piled up round the side of the house last year when we were ripping up grass; the grass has now all composted out of it and it looks like pretty nice soil. I could only do some of it because in the middle of the piles the dirt was still frozen, guess I'll have to be patient.
We also rehung our tire swing - this time as an actual swing instead of just a hanging tire. It was easy to do now that we have a drill. Last year we just had to pound and pound with a nail and a hammer to make one small drainage hole. The new swing is much more comfortable.

I also got to hang some clothes on the line. And we had a lovely walk to uptown and bought Kevin's mom's birthday present at a craft show there. On our way home we saw a HUGE turtle on the side of the creek. We see muskrats, rabbits, chipmunks, hawks, herons, woodpeckers, and millions of ducks in our neighbourhood but never anything that cool. It was over a foot long and just sitting there. I had to get to just a foot away from it before it even moved.

Here's what our front garden looks like now. You can see the nice black soil is the stuff I bought, the dark brown is from the side of the house, and the light coloured stuff is the horrible mix of sand and clay that was left after the digging for geothermal. The old owner told me that it was very hard to get anything to grow there because of the huge pine tree so I am trying not be too ambitious. I bought some clover seeds and I know I want to put an apple tree in to perfect my view from my living room window.

23 March 2009

Scroll Saw

Today I bought the scroll saw that was on sale at Canadian Tire. And Kevin and I have started making toys. Just little 2-D barnyard animals. So far we have a cow and a little pig. And a pig that came out too big that we will turn into a puzzle. I am also working on a toy wooden car that is currently being glued. I need to go out and buy paint for all of these. Making the toys is so fun and easy. And so far I've only been using scraps of wood from school. There's so much stuff I want to make now.

22 March 2009

Kev's Birthday Weekend

Today is Kevin's 25th Birthday. We had his cake yesterday with my mum. Today I made cinnamon buns for breakfast and will make vindaloo with naan bread for dinner. I even bought some beef to put in it for a birthday treat. Today we also went for a walk along the Grand River down in Kitchener. It was near Pioneer Tower and was the nicest part of the Grand River Trail we have been on.

16 March 2009

First day of gardening! And eating outside!

Another lovely spring day today. So I put my boots on and did some gardening. Just finishing some stuff I didn't get round to in the fall. Finishing up a stone path and trying to dig to even out the dirt. I couldn't do as much digging asI wanted though because a lot of the ground is still frozen. But it was exciting to be out gardening.

And then I brought up I brought up the patio table so we could eat our fajita dinner outside. It was a bit chilly but it was so nice relaxing outside. Kevin took this picture of a cardinal after dinner. And I started making a more detailed gardening plan - this time trying to come up with how many plants of each I want and have room for - will be helpful for planting seedlings.

15 March 2009

Warm Day!

Today we had a really nice warm spring day! We took full advantage of it of course. Well except for sleeping in till close to 11. [Didn't stay up late the night before or anything, we just both love a good sleep-in.] We took Kevin's bike in for a quick repair and walked around the nice houses part of Uptown while we waited. Then we rode our bikes to Kiwanis Park and had a picnic by the river and then walked a bit of the grand river trail. It was really nice.

When we got home we moved our 3 seater swing out of the garage into the backyard for the season and sat there reading. Later we brought out sangria and chips and salsa and bean dip. It was so nice to be spending time relaxing outdoors again! I also hung up my bird house. I've included a picture of the first snowdrop poking up out of the ground and of the birdhouse and the swing.

04 March 2009

THE Chair

Well I finally finished the big woodworking project we've been doing at school. It isn't actually the most time consuming or most difficult thing we've done but it is definitely the most awesome. It turned out really well and I love it.

03 March 2009

Birdhouse #1

I made a birdhouse. I started it on the weekend and finished it today. I followed instructions from a book from the library. It is supposed to be a "folk art tit house". I couldn't find what the book said to use for the top hinge type thing so I cut up a Guinness can, hope it holds up alright. Can't wait for some nice weather so I can find a place for it in the backyard.

Leftover Porcini Mushrooms

Today I used the porcini mushrooms the were left over from Valentine's to make a creamy pasta. The only porcini mushroom dish we had had before was a creamy pasta that Kevin's mom made a few times and we loved. So I was hoping it would turn out like that. I think it did. Kevin and I both agreed it was really really good. I've made a bunch of different recipes for vegan creamy pasta and I've always liked them but Kevin never has - so finding one he likees is a kind of big deal. I read through a bunch of recipes and tried to pick one that wasn't too nutrional yeast-y (because Kevin wouldn't like that) and not too tofu-y (because Kevin wouldn't like that) and this one was good. I did add a teaspoon of nutritional yeast in the end just because I think nutritional yeast is good in cheese-like recipes even if Kevin doesn't think so.