Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I've been having computer problems lately so won't be posting until the New Year when I can get them fixed.  Living in a small town sometimes has its disadvantages (my computer guy is gone until after the New Year so I'll just limp along until then).  I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas, safe and healthy holidays and a very happy New Year!  See you in 2012.  Best wishes from Joan and Lulu  ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Indoor Grass

Since Lulu is mostly an indoor chicken during the winter, someone suggested I bring in some grass for her.  I think they may have been joking but I decided to give it a try.   

I got a plastic basin and went out into the yard and cut out a piece of sod large enough to fill the container.

I have it up on a shelf near a large south facing window.  I keep an old sheet there for Lulu to stand on so she doesn't slip.

Since she has been able to go out on days when it isn't so cold or snowy, the grass has had time to grow.

When I put Lulu up on the shelf, she really enjoys eating the grass.  She usually eats the longer blades near the edge, so when she is finished, I just turn the container around.  That way she keeps the grass from getting too long.

Usually she stands on her blanket eating the grass.  One day, however, she decided to jump up into the grass to take a closer look at it.

I think she was looking for some dirt to scratch, but the sod is in the container right to the edges so there is no loose soil.

There was not a great deal of room for her to move around.  She seemed to enjoy herself - on the lawn, in the sun and indoors out of the weather.

She managed a few nibbles and poked around for dirt with no success.

I haven't had to let her at the grass every day because we have had quite a nice winter so far and Lulu is able to go outside.

I noticed very tiny bugs crawling on many of the blades of grass and on the edges of the container.  Since this window is in the kitchen, I didn't want indoor bugs.  I made a spray of dish soap, oil and water and sprayed the grass and container.  I didn't let Lulu at the grass for awhile because I did not want her to get sick.  The bugs all died so I sprayed the grass with straight water to get rid of any residue before letting Lulu have another feast.

I don't know if the sod will last the winter or if it will go dormant like it does outdoors.  It isn't growing as fast as it did at the start so we will see what happens.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Doreen's Rice Pudding

I love rice pudding.  I usually make the regular rice pudding with raisins and cinnamon because it is quick and easy.  I don't make this recipe as often but it is extra delicious.  This is my mother-in-laws recipe.

cooked rice
500 ml whipping cream
can of mandarin oranges

I use leftover rice for my pudding so the amounts varies.  This time I used 3 to 4 cups cooked rice.  I added approx. 2 cups of milk and 1/4  to 1/2 cup sugar.

Cooked until all milk is absorbed.  Cool rice.

Beat until stiff peaks 500 ml whipped cream with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla.

Drain can of oranges and add to cooled rice.

Slice banana and add to rice.  (I usually cut the banana in half lengthwise and then slice it so the pieces aren't as large.

Mix well.

Fold in whipped cream.

Chill before serving.

Dish out, dig in and enjoy!  ;)

This pudding will last for several days.  By the third day the whipping cream is starting to droop.  But it will seldom last that long.  It did this time because I used 3 to 4 cups of rice and there were only two of us eating the pudding.  (But it is SOO good, we eat large bowls of it)

Monday, December 12, 2011

12 Foot Davis

When we were in Peace River, Alberta, Lulu and I visited the statue of 12 Foot Davis.

He got the nickname from filing a claim on a 12 foot piece of land between two other claims in the Caribou region of east central BC during the 1860s.

 "This park has a nice view, said Lulu.  "Grass, trees and the river."

"Boy, he sure is a tall one", said Lulu.  "And look at the size of his feet!" 

"Well, what are you standing around gawking for?  We've got places to see and grass to eat.  Come on, Mom, hurry up!" exclaimed Lulu. 

So that was our quick look at 12 Foot Davis.  Lulu doesn't always have a lot of patience.  ;) 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Salmon Patties

I first ate Salmon Patties at my dear aunt's dinner table years ago.  They were simple, quick and yet tasty.  She used canned sockeye salmon to make hers.  I have sometimes used canned salmon but this time we baked a whole salmon and had leftovers so I decided to make salmon patties.

Ingredients (since this is a throw-together recipe exact amounts aren't given)
salmon - canned sockeye or leftover cooked salmon
crackers - soda crackers or cheese Ritz crackers
onion, celery, green pepper or carrots
parsley and/or dill weed

If you don't start with canned salmon. you need to remove all the bones.

Mash the salmon with a fork.

I add a sprinkle of dried parsley and some dried dill weed.  You can also add pepper or other seasonings if you wish.

Auntie Ruby added finely chopped onion to her patties.  She also sometimes used finely chopped celery.  I have seen some recipes use chopped green pepper as well or instead of the onion and/or celery.  I decided to try grated carrots.  The choice is totally yours.

Add an egg or two depending on the amount of salmon you use.  Canned salmon usually is moister so you would only need one egg.

Add some crushed crumbs and mix together well.

I used regular soda cracker crumbs but you can also use cheese flavored Ritz crackers for a slightly different taste. 

Form the salmon mixture into patties.

Coat both sides with cracker crumbs, pressing slightly into the surface of the patty.

Fry in butter at medium to medium high heat.

Flip when browned.  Serve warm.

Since I have lots of carrots this year, I whipped up a quick carrot slaw.  To grated carrots add chopped apples and raisins.  In the past, I have also added chopped celery and/or nuts.  Again totally your choice.

Mix some mayo with a bit of milk and pour onto the slaw.  Stir until well coated.

We ate the salmon patties with a seafood cocktail sauce and carrot slaw.

Enjoy!  ;)

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Fountain

When we were in Calgary in October, we stopped at a greenhouse that usually has alot of neat items.  Since gardening season was over for the year, they had some nice sales.  So we purchased a huge 7 foot tall fountain/waterfall. 

We had them keep it for us until we could come by with the van to pick it up.  It finally came home a couple of weeks ago.  I thought it would not get set up until next year but when all the snow melted, we decided to set it in place.

We dug up the sod and moved it to some bare spots in the former chicken yard.  The area was leveled and we added some gravel.  Cement blocks were put in place and leveled.

We set it up in the corner of the front yard.

Since the weather was cooperating, we dragged out the hoses and filled the fountain.

It is larger than I remembered but looks and sounds lovely.  

Next year we will dig up more sod around it and add some rocks and plants.

I will add pics when more work is done to that area of the yard.  ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Weather

Our weather this month has been unusual to say the least.  Our first snowfall was a dump of 2 to 3 inches.  

It was cool and windy and it looked like winter was here to stay.

Then we got warm weather and the snow all melted. 

Lulu was happy because she hates the snow.  She doesn't like to step in it and get cold feet.

She was happy to be out and digging and scratching in the dirt around the sheds.  She did a pretty good job of moving the leaves around.

By looking at the back yard who would have guessed that a couple of days ago it was buried in snow.

Then Boom!  Another 2 to 3 inches of snow!

This time for sure it is here to stay.

But wait!  It rained hard over night and then got warm again.  AND the snow melted again.

I was able to get the rest of my leaves raked since the trees finally decided to drop them.

Lulu was as happy as a chicken could get.  No snow, lots of sunshine, warm weather, grass to nibble, and dirt to dig in - what more could she ask for.

She was ever helpful rearranging the leaves that I raked onto the flower beds.

She finally came is with a muddy beak and needed a long nap to recover from her strenuous activity.

So today, December 1, we have green grass and an absence of snow.  :)