Thursday, 22 September 2016

I can, you can! We all can!!

This is one of my favorite summer rituals!  You know when it's finally summer.  And our local, mom 'n pop ice-cream shop opens up!

One scoop of coconut, chocolate-chip please!

I can't deny that the temperatures are getting a little cooler at night.  Plus we have these guys carbing up for their migration south.  

Lucky so-and-so's!  The rest of us have to buy a plane ticket!!

The head goose wasn't happy.
I backed away....slowly.

Summer was a bountiful one this year.  A co-worker let me harvest rhubarb from her property.  When I was done, I couldn't see the car for the rhubarb!


The rhubarb was spectacularly tall and thick (almost as tall as I!)

Trim the leaves off, they're poisonous, eh?  Give the stalks a wash.

Chop, chop, chop.

Just add some strawberries.  And a bit of honey.

Throw everything in the pot.  I finally perfected stewing rhubarb.  The key is to add a little water and keep stirring until rhubarb breaks apart into chunks of threads.  Then add the strawberries.  You can skim off the foam if you want.

Canning kettle and preserves, on the go!

Here's the first batch.  I used too much liquid, but the vacuum is good - this will be tasty!!

Second batch!

Peaches and tomatoes were on sale.  I got a few looks from fellow shoppers.  One of the store clerks stopped to chat with me - I think he thought I planned to eat these myself, ha!

These 3 litre baskets of Ontario peaches were on sale for $2.99.  I bought about 12 baskets.  The crate of Roma tomatoes were $8.99.

I carefully sorted through the fruit - most of the fruit needed a day or two to ripen.  When the fruit was ready for canning, the kitchen became a busy place indeed!!

Soak and a gentle wash.

Lots of slicing...I leave the skins on.

I tried a new recipe.  4 cups of sliced peaces, 1 diced mango, 4 diced jalapenos, 2 tablespoons of diced ginger, bit of salt, 2 cups of diced onion, balsamic vinnegar, lemon juice and sugar.  All the ingredients for peach/mango chutney!

Get ready for delicious!

Batch  #1

Batch #2

I also tried canning plums.  These are purple plums.  

I added mangoes and sugar and kept mixing until I had delicious, tangy plum preservers.  The plums and mangoes cooked into a yummy looking red.

I tried my hand at peach/pepper preserves.  The jury is still out, let's just say it's a taste sensation.

Peaches with ginger.

Batch #3 of Peach Chutney!!  It's delicious with chicken!!

The tomatoes are ready!!

Wash, slice and dice.  I kept the skins on again, I'm a rebel that way :)

I made a crock-pot marinara sauce.  It turned out more like a stewed tomato with oregano, basil and parsley.

I also made was delicious!!

With all cooking and heat, the pears I bought ripened early.  So I canned them with a few apples.  I also threw in a diced jalapeno, ginger and cinnamon in a light syrup.  Haven't tasted it yet...I'm daring that way!!

It was the last batch!  After 2 weeks of slicing, dicing and sticky kitchen floors, I was done with canning.  The best part of canning is carefully fishing the jars out of the kettle, laying them on a towel, and listening for the gentle "thwucking" sound of the vacuum sucking the lid in.  

Onto other projects.  I'm trying to plow through some sewing projects.

This material came from a dress, which I bought second hand for $3.  

I wanted to DIY the cotton dress into drawstring shorts. 

The first pair of shorts were far too small - hopefully the second pair will be better :)  If at first you don't win, try, try again.

Onto the outfits!!  I have been feeling very lazy lately.  Anything with an elastic waistband is good. 

The necklaces and purse were thrifted.

I love this thrifted, maxi-skirt!!  

I thrifted some fabulous dresses.  Two sweater dresses, one denim dress and one camisole dress.  All four dresses were $5 each.

High humidity makes for rosy checks and frazzled hair!

I won't show you the rest of the dresses until the humidity subsides, you're welcome :)

happy thrifting!

Monday, 5 September 2016

Summer trip to Ottawa Part 2 National Gallery, white dresses and an eerie resemblance!!

Hello friends!  Welcome to our summer trip to Ottawa, part deux.

Here we are at the Apple store in the Rideau Centre.  These are the perks of visiting a large city.  We don't have an Apple store in Thunder Bay, so most discerning stylist brought her glitchy iPad along to see if it could be repaired.

Thank goodness!  There is wifi!!

I like the Apple store, it reminds me of grown-up kindergarten.  Plus there is a bevy of talented nerds, eager to help and instruct on the wonders of iOS.

Sadly, stylist's iPad wasn't damaged, and thus wasn't eligible to be repaired. It was just old.  And slow.

So we purchased a pair of ear plugs, as the cats had absconded with the previous pair and moved on.

The next day we visited the National Gallery of Canada.

The big spider (look left) is out front.  I think it's sister is in San Francisco.

The architecture is amazing!

View from the restaurant.

The exhibit was Vigee Le Brun, the portraitist of Marie Antoinette.

It was breathtaking!  The luminous colors seemed to float through the air.

And there was an interactive DRESS UP ROOM!!

You heard me people, I said DRESS UP!!

Back to the architecture.

White dresses.

Shoes to match.

Stylist and I wandered through the gallery all day.  There were so many interesting things to see!!

Due to the age of the paintings, some of the hallways were quite dark and gloomy.  Imagine our surprise when we turned into a secluded corner and found this lady.

Portrait of a Lady, Antonis Mor van Dashorst

She reminds me of someone...I just can't think of who.

Back to the Ottawa skyline.  It's lousy with old edifices!

The Chateau Laurier.

The Parliament.

These historic landmarks were clearly visible from the Gallery, as parts of it are floor to ceiling windows.

Yours truly in a thrifted dress and purse.

Here are some snapshots we took on the way back to mom's.

The Chateau Laurier (again).

Random government building?

Old train station?

The eyes have it.

Back at mom's, heading out for dinner!

Heading home again!  There is no place like home!!

Waiting for our plane to arrive.

happy thrifting ;)