Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Look at what I found in the cupboard above the fridge!!

How in God's name did I not know I had these!!

Look at what I found in the cupboard above the fridge. The three bowls on the right were nested in the cupboard. I needed to make room for a canning jar of Kombucha.
First the backstory. I used to have a set of Gripstand bowls. They were accidentally given away during a move, oh about 34 years ago. Gripstand bowls were made by a company called TG Green. I LOVED them. My mom had one and I just loved using it. I learned to cook using that bowl. I grew up, bought two for myself and you know what happened to them. See above.

I bought myself another one about the size of my mother's about 30 years ago. My husband accidentally dropped something into it and broke it. At that time I just couldn't afford another. So I bought a knockoff. It developed a lot of fine cracks so it needed replaced. So after last thanksgiving I went on the hunt. Turns out, sadly, they aren't made anymore. ARGGGGHHHHH. I went online and looked for TG Green Gripstand bowls. There are some on eBay, but OMG they're crazy. One in mint condition is about 100.00. I looked everywhere for a knockoff...there just aren't any. So I started researching. I read about Mason Cash bowls. Amazing bowls but they don't have my beloved gripstand feature. {update: Mason Cash now makes a Gripstand Bowl. You can get it in Canada at Lee Valley} So I went to my favorite kitchen store in the world!! Muffet and Louisa in Sidney BC. I bought myself two Mason Cash bowls. One large, one smaller.
That brings us to today. I had to make room in the cupboard above the fridge for the Kombucha. I opened the door. I actually let out an "OH MY GOD", so loud my husband asked if I was okay. There were three very neatly nested gripstand bowls. The smallest is an actual TG Green. The other two are Cloverleaf. I've done a bit of research and I think Cloverleaf is the same company as TG Green. I'm in nirvana.
So I have one TG Green, two Mason Cash and two Cloverleaf Pottery/TG Green. Okay, confession time. I also have two vintage Pyrex bowls. A yellow and a green from the 50's, and of course my 35 year old Tupperware mixing bowls. Can you say 'overkill'?
Vintage Pyrex
Well, as I said to my husband tonight. I definitely have enough bowls to last me the rest of my life.
Mason Cash and Tupperware
As people who follow my blog know, I am suddenly on a decluttering and de-pack-ratting my house. I am spending hours a day doing it. I cannot believe what a gift these bowls are. I wonder how many other little treasures have been squirreled away that I have no memory of.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Trying to make my own Kombucha 'Scoby'. First step in making Kombucha.

Purchased this bottle of Kombucha
I really like the taste of Kombucha and LOVE the health benefits. So, I went on the hunt for a bottle of raw organic Kombucha that had a trace of Scoby or Mother. I found one!! It had a small Scoby about two inches across in total. I rinsed a clean one litre canning jar with vinegar. Poured a fresh cup of black organic caffeinated tea and added about two TBSP of sugar. Stirred it in and let the tea cool. I poured it into the canning jar. I added the bottle of Kombucha. Then covered the jar with a clean cloth, secured it with a rubber band and put it where it will not be disturbed. The rubber band is to keep out any flies that may lay eggs. Apparently that's pretty gross.
Making the sweet black tea
When I have a full grown Scoby, I will move on to making Kombucha. Stay tuned.
If you look closely, you can see the baby Scoby floating there.

*One can purchase a Scoby, but I really wanted to try to make one myself.
**I am also going to do a post about what I found in the upper cupboard when I went to make room for the Kombucha. I am so glad that I am cleaning and decluttering.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

What to do with all the veggies I'll grow this year....how about fermenting?

My favorite local independent bookstore Tanners Books in Sidney is having its annual customer appreciation sale. All books are 25% off. I noticed a lot of bustle as I walked by so I went in to check it out. It was like the week before Christmas in Tanners. It was awesome...packed with people!! The recession has really impacted business in our lovely little seaside town.

I had a bit of time before I needed to be back in my own store, so I strolled around just enjoying the noise, people and books. I just had to check out the food and garden sections. I was getting ready to leave and on the lowest shelf, furthest right side, Wild Fermentation. That's right. Wild Fermentation. I am a healthy food nut as well as garden nut. I read a lot of food blogs in addition to the garden blogs that I love so much. Wild Fermentation is considered the bible of fermenting books. And it was on sale. So guess what I'll be reading this weekend? I am dying to try fermenting. I will blog my progress this year.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Very little gardening, while I work on this....

I have spent every available moment purging my house of 'stuff'. Please note the picture. That is not actually a before picture, rather a during picture. So far I have taken about ten boxes out for thrift shops and a bit of stuff from my store that never made it out of the bags. I had to stop today because my Pathfinder is full.

On the gardening front, I've been harvesting lettuce and have had a few lovely salads. I've missed them. Things are coming up all over the garden, that probably shouldn't be yet. I'm seeing tiny little leaves on most bushes and trees. My West Coast seed order has been shipped so I'll get it this week, which will let me get the peppers seeded next weekend. I saw neighbour Judy out today. It was the first time we've stumbled on each other in about a month. It felt like spring.

I baked my one Peanut Pumpkin today because I need purée to make my flax muffins. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I am like a pioneer woman. Pioneer Woman. I like that!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Westcoast Seed Order...placed and waiting

I got my Westcoast Seed Order placed. I had Yukon Gold potatoes on the list but decided to wait until closer to planting time. As you can see I got larger packages of lettuce seed this time. I am able to grow lettuce almost year round, so I've just taken a small mason jar and mix the seeds up in it. I'm well set for the next year at least. Next week is the date I have for starting the pepper seeds, so I really wanted those Orange Sun Pepper seeds. Bring on spring.

SP713A Spinach>Monstrueux de viroflay 5 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
SQ761A Squash>Waltham butternut 1 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
BN120A Beans dry>Borlotti 50 g 1 $ 3.49 CA
BN142A Beans dry>Orca 50 g 1 $ 3.39 CA
BT162A Beets>Winterkeeper lutz green leaf 5 g 1 $ 3.25 CA
CF306A Cauliflower>Amazing 0.1 g 1 $ 3.29 CA
LT460B Lettuce>Salad bowl 5 g 1 $ 3.99 CA
LT481B Lettuce>Freckles 5 g 1 $ 4.95 CA
LT478B Lettuce>Rouge dhiver 5 g 1 $ 3.99 CA
PP649A Peppers>Orange sun 0.2 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
SQ735A Squash>Spaghetti squash 3 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
TM786A Tomato seeds>Sungold 1 g 1 $ 4.99 CA
HR1037A Borage>Borage 2 g 1 $ 2.99 CA
HR1085B Dill>Long island mammoth 5 g 1 $ 3.95 CA
FL3454A Wildflowers>Alternative lawn wildflower blend 5 g 1 $ 5.99 CA

*The order came in this week. Yayyy. The Waltham Butternut Squash and Long Island Mammoth Dill back ordered. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

Allow me to direct you to a very cool catchment/water barrel set up.

I am planning to add water collection to my garden priority list. I saw this post today and it looks very doable. I need to find some totes to attach this way. Here is a link to the full post.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I need to pick a new fruit tree or two...oh yay.

For Christmas, my sister gave me the best gifts ever. She wrote me a letter. She told me what I mean to her. I don't think I've ever been in tears on Christmas Day before. She is beautiful. Then when I opened the framed picture of my Grandmother, the most beautiful human that ever lived on this planet, I was really sniffling up a storm.
She also gave me money. She knows how passionate I am about gardening and about food. She gave me the money to purchase a plant. Maybe a tree or bush. Something perennial. She wants to help me plant it so that I will think of her every time I see it. If you knew how close we are, this would make perfect sense.
I am thinking of another citrus or semi-tropical fruit. I have emailed my fruit tree supplier to see want they will have available for spring.
On New Years Eve my husband asked me to make him a Moscow Mule. They are so delicious. I squeeze fresh lime into them. I said, 'I don't have any limes.....but I do have lemons that look almost ripe in the greenhouse'. I put on my pink flowered boots, grabbed my ultra cool tiny flashlight and went out and picked a Meyer Lemon. It was delicious, but limes really are better in this drink. So I'm thinking, maybe a lime tree. What do you think?