January 24, 2009

Fermented Bean Paste

I've been having more fun with fermentation lately and made this jar of fermented bean paste from a recipe I found in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Basically, it's like a bean dip with whey that you leave on the counter for a few days to ferment before refrigerating. So far, it looks kind of disgusting - I'll taste it in a few days.

January 21, 2009


It may come as a shock that I am not a hand bread kneader. I rely on my 10 year old stand mixer, which also drives my grain grinder and flaker. A month ago, the mixer started making crunchy noises and shortly after quit altogether. I brought it to the appliance repair shop where it was diagnosed with bad gears. I happily had the repair done given the alternative of chucking it in the garbage. Yesterday was the big day when I somewhat less happily paid the hundred and fifty bucks to retrieve the mixer. Last night I cracked some oats for porridge and I was thrilled to have the mixer back. This morning, while trying to grind some wheat for bread, I got 10 seconds of joy until the mixer made a horrible noise and stopped grinding....gears obviously gone bad.

Sigh. The good news is that there's a 90 day parts and labour warranty on the repair. And hand kneading isn't so bad.

January 4, 2009

Winter in the garden

These dark days of suspended animation in the garden are a real challenge for me. I feel like I'm holding my breath until spring. Soon the seed orders will be placed and seeds will start arriving in the mail. I'll try to resist the temptation to start too many seeds too early as seedlings get lanky and pale when they spend too much time indoors and spring is too unreliable here to chance planting out early. My little hoop houses didn't get built in the fall, but I'll try to have a couple ready for first thing in the spring to act as cold frames.

January 3, 2009


We've been invited to a neighbourhood post-holiday potluck, so I baked some of M's ginger cookie dough and made a pasta salad. I have only actually spoken with a couple of our neighbours since we moved here 6 months ago, so it feels a little weird preparing food for strangers. I'm glad to have the opportunity to meet the neighbours because I am essentially a shy person and can always find something else to do besides reaching out to people I don't know. I love the idea of a potluck as sharing food with people is a great way to make a connection.

January 2, 2009

Sprout garden

I have two of these little sprouting gadgets. I gave them to myself for Christmas. So far, they work as advertised and they are easier to manage than the upside down jar on the counter arrangement. I started a brassica seed mix yesterday and have some sprouted beans in the fridge. I have to learn to incorporate them into our meals a little better as we are new to sprouts and don't always think of using them. But, what a great way to get some fresh, local (the 1 metre diet?) food in the depths of winter.

January 1, 2009

2009 garden plan

The first day of the year found me with seed catalogues and garden plans spread out over the dining room table. I have to figure out what I'm going to plant so I can figure out what varieties to order later this month. My resolution for 2009 is to not procrastinate too long to start all my transplants this year. So far so good.