Because it’s that time of year. Fresh off the cookie, chocolate, decadent, savory / sweet train. Aka: the holidays. As you may know, I am a firm subscriber to the mantra of moderation. Which means that when it’s the holidays? One indulges in (not vacuums up – but it happens), the treats. The fat-laden savoury goodness that is the celebratory, feast and entertainment cuisine of the season. G’won, go for it. I did. That and fatty mc-fatterson Bailey’s too.
Full on into the swing of things for Christmas over here. That’s right, Christmas. As many of you know – I’m a retailer of sorts. In that I am a full-time artisan who mostly sells on-line via my Etsy shop. Come the holiday season, the beginning of spring, mid-summer and fall, I do some shows. I’ve refined (shall we say), my involvement from the hot-mess of shows I did last year. Ah, I was such a newbie to the crafting world then! Still am in many ways – but know enough to surmise that the constant vending life is not for me. Not with 2 littles under 2.
So. I have a wish-list of shows that I want to do yearly, and that list is small. To be honest quite a few of the smaller, less organized shows (however amazing to be a part of from purely an artists’ perspective), are a lot of work with very little pay off. I have bills to pay, Continue reading →
Doing a big show this weekend. My first one. Talking in point form. Up all night (and no, nothing to do with that weak-ass new show – sorry peeps, meh. Looks like it could be good, but in fact – overall? It’s sucks monkey balls. In my humble opinion.)
Things are pure madness in this household right now…I know, how many times can I say that? But for reals. The new babe is due in a couple of months (Aug. 1) we’re still doing work on the new house, my Etsy Shop/Off-line sales are KA-booming, the new gig as Social Media Consultant for Borealis Records is not the new one anymore. I’ve just taken a contract with a *yet to be officially announced until i commence on June 1st* on-line parenting/news wire. Oh boy. How do I do it? Well, the WSL is in daycare 3 days per week, I have a pretty awesome man who helps out around the house (sometimes with a gentle prod, nibble or goose), great friends who really support me and help keep me sane.
But seriously – I am also sourcing out. Hiring a weekly cleaner for one. I’m posting a Craiglist & Kijiji job ad looking to hire a part-time/seasonal seamstress. This means creating a Policy & Procedure Manual, measurement & stitch flow charts and finishing some of my templates/patterns and the training that will ensue, but yes. In the long-run will cause me less stress, manic: holy-shit-I have-all-these-Etsy-orders-and-crap-I-have to-do-research-for-that-article-and-finish-writing-it-oh-and-the-laundry-mountain-is-growing-past-my-comfort-level-what’s for-dinner-ew-that-ring-around-the-tub-has-to-go-I-have-to-plant-my-garden-like-yesterday-get-on-hootsuite-and-stay-there-try-to-keep-up-to-date-on-all-things-indie/folk-music-industry/deadlines-tackle-mountain-of-admin-oy.-the-inbox-overfloweth-respond-to-people-now-lest-you-value-your-life-and…and, yea.
Less of that manic state more of; ahhh, I have time to breathe now and then. Time to play with my boy; endlessly read him stories, make Continue reading →
There was feasting and ceremony and treasure hunts and skype visits and flying chickadees, but above all glee. Glee to be gathered, but missing our beautiful kwe’s. They have been flying reindeer, making music and a documentary with Adjagas, (courtesy Big Soul Productions and a whack of other talented film peeps), some fabulous Sammi musicians of Norway. However, we were grateful for the miracles of the interwebs, in that Skype allowed them to be a part of our ceremony of re-birth and giving thanks.
I crafted and baked our gifts to wee ones, except for the chocolates for the hunt. Really now.
I cooked all day with some (missing a couple), of my coven and an exceptional young man home from B.C. Thank-you Nicholyn Farms phone in grocery order capabilities and local Barrie Farmers Market drop-off to pick up. That’s some 100 mile love right there.
apricot & dijon glazed ham, scalloped potatoes, mashed yams, lemon & thyme pickerel, honey & mint glazed carrots!
So I’m a quirky; trend-following, cloth diapering, hip-hippy, yuppy. Alright then. It’s a trend I’m proud to be a part of. What I don’t jive with, however, is the passive aggressive frost. It’s no breaking news bulletin that although women should stand united to support each-other in all of our vast/different ways of life, a majority of us, we don’t. We judge, we get our meow on. Even if we don’t say it, we think it. We label. Over GOOD things. Why? Hmph. Well, that’s a whole other post. Something to do with raging ego’s and a lot of other complicated things. I never thought that when I made the decision to cloth diaper that I would be ostracized for doing so and labeled all sorts of tom foolery. I read about it, I experience it in groups with other mommies…it’s everywhere! Continue reading →
Didn’t I just. Spend a hunk of cash on annuals that are freezing their little butts off outside, continuously. Oh potato plants, please survive! I love your bright green limey-ness and I’m sorry I didn’t get to plant you before Ms. Spring, she left us, wagging her finger – dontcha know, we’ve done gone and near ruined this place. Today I said no thank-you to a plastic bag at the fish market. Just like every other time and the, who-I-thought-to-be-very-nice elderly owner rants, Continue reading →
Winter is well out the door, yet we had this one lonely pack of stewing bison left in the freezer, a long awaited request for the recipe from my loverlie Baker Babe and well, the BSM loves him some stew. Not for the faint of heart, (see butter content), I usually I simmer this bad boy all day in the in the crock but the manling let me sleep in just enough to forgo that plan. I’m in ecstasy with the array of fresh; green, delectably available produce every-time I go to market these days, which will be the latter of what’s dished out around here.
So enjoy this rich, stick to your ribs goodness, you won’t be seeing the likes of it ’till the leaves change colour and start to fall. Horrid thought I know! Actually I love fall, but not yet. Give mama some spring and summer first! I use as much organic and or local ingredients as always when cooking for my family. Do what you want in your kitchen, it’s your choice. Why I choose local, drug-free and/or organic whenever possible is for another post, another day.
2 pounds bison meat, cubed
1/2 cup oilve oil
1 cup fresh churned butter
3/4 cup of flour (I’m a spelt lover)
1 cup yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 cup red onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 quarts water (recommended: Missouri River Water tee hee)
2 quarts of broth (I used veggie this time, as I did not have beef or chicken and it tasted just dandy. Homemade bone broth is always best!)
2 to 3 bay leaves
garlic clove it up (means however much you like, I dig 4-6 cloves)
3/4 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups halved baby white potatoes (keep it simple, keep it rustic)
1 can of stewed tomatoes (diced or dice them yourself)
2 cups chopped parsnip
1 1/2 pounds of shrooms (whatever you like, we favour portobello)
1/2 – 3/4 bag of frozen peas
vino or beer (1 can of guinness = yum. This time I used left-over wine. Half a bottle. Happens a lot these breastfeeding days.) Use some for deglazing onions, which cooks off the alcohol; the rest for stock.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Franks Hot Sauce, That Brown English Stuff (too lazy to look up spelling), red chili flakes to taste.
Note: Whenever I say to taste, I’m going on the fact that you can boil an egg, thus, season your own creations to your liking. Just don’t load up on it mmk? Let the beauty and taste of the produce and meat shine through.
Toss your lean, gorgeous chunkers in 2 tablespoons of spelt flour, a drizzling of olive oil and season with fresh ground pepper, salt and a wee bit of your thyme.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of your butter reserve (see up there?) in a Dutch oven or cast iron, (I use cast iron when using the crock and go dutch when going stove-top) pan over medium-high heat; brown the bison in oil, 2 to 3 minutes per side; remove bison and set aside.
Lets have another couple of dollops, (o, alright! Tablespoons!) oil and butter into the pan; cook and stir the onion till translucent, add your minced garlic and celery until soft, about 8 minutes. Maybe you had to see the kiddies, turn the laundry over, check your FB, whatever), and the heart of your stew started to crisp up and all your oil/butter is gone! Deglaze with vino! Yum. Stir in some of the broth to ensure you get all the flava flave when transferring to crock-pot (see step 4), finish. Since I went dutch oven, stove-top styles, that’s what’s first. Add your beautiful bison and thank it; remaining spices; carrots and parsnips, stock, water, salt, pepper, cloves, canned tomatoes, and the rest of wine or that can of guinness. Bring to a quick boil, stir and sing to it. Cover and turn down the heat to continue simmering for about an hour and a half. Go play/tend/nurture/vegetate. Come back. Add potatoes and peas, simmer for 45-ish minutes. Add roux (see below), simmer for 15-ish minutes. Serve it up with warm bread (we like ciabatta) and butter. Enjoy just as equally as you would have if it were born of crock descent. Don’t discriminate. I’ll be trying this action out to accompany my stew next time.
Crock Pot Finish: You’ve deglazed your garlic, onions and celery with vino. Add your bison and bless it. Add a bit of broth to make sure you loosen up all of the yummy stuff and pour into your crock. Then do everything the same as in step 3 except your cooking time is longer. Obviously. Add your peas in the last 1 hour of cooking (the total being around 4-6 hours). Also add your roux in the last hour. Dish & bliss-out.
Mother of All Key Ingredients To Everything That is Grand and Great…Roux
I’m not talkin’ the flour and water baloney. I don’t know what I thought I was doing before I met my songbird and began cooking with her. But it’s in her great tutelage that I discovered equal parts flour and butter. Hello! What on earth was I doing before? If you are not making your roux this way…or prefer to go for less fat; nonsense! Enjoy the naughty indulgences food has to offer and get your arse to the gym/track/mat. There’s a time and a place for healthier cooking. There will be plenty of that here too. Moderation and indulgence. It’s the key to NEVER dieting and just fessing up to the simple fact that diets DON’T WORK and make one miserable and obsessed. It’s called exercise and moderation. We all know that deep down, don’t we? But then, someone is buying all the fat-free this and that…
ANYHEW. The roux. This is where the rest of your flour and butter come in. Grab a small sauce-pan and whisk together, (always, never stopping, don’t want clumps!) equal parts butter and flour. Then slowly add in some siphoned stock from your stew into the roux, constantly whisking till thick and smooth. Now do what I said up there with it. Heaven.