Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Curing: Homemade Bacon!

I made bacon.

Let me give you a moment to pause and ponder my awesomeness...


I had 3-4 lbs of pork belly in my freezer, waiting for me to get up the nerve. I rubbed it with a mixture of 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup maple syrup. I turned it in the brine each day for 7 (maybe 8?) days. Then I smoked it in my electric smoker using applewood chips. This piece above went into the freezer, and the other three pieces came to the Island with us.

Oh. My.

The first morning we had a feast with Graham and Kyla. I filled a sheet pan with slices of the meatiest bacon, and we roasted (baked?) it. It tasted like bacon candy. That, along with potato scones, and scrambled local eggs, and shredded Brussels sprouts sautéed in bacon fat, was Breakfast. Super Breakfast.

After that, we added cubed bacon to everything. The fattier pieces were thrown into cast iron pots and pans, rendered of their fat, and then we sizzled whatever we were going to cook in the flavourful awesomeness while Kyla ate the crispy fat bits. I can't even remember all the wonderful things we ate over those five days together but I'm pretty sure that bacon was part of every meal. We have been eating vegetarian meals since arriving back home to compensate for the abundance! 

I was so happy to remember that I had one more piece at home in the freezer. It's thawing now, and I believe it will star in baked beans tomorrow.

Can't wait. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Breathing: Spring Break on the Island

Inhale. Exhale. 

Time to do some deep breathing on Vancouver Island. Oh we needed it. 
This time my brother, Graham, and Kyla joined us for 4 nights. It was fun to show them the places that mean so much to us. 


On this day, it was just the five of us. At one of our very favourite places. I'm so thankful that my whole family feels the same way about this place as I do...

On their last night with us, my brother set up his fancy-pants iPad and projector and stereo sound system combo, and we watched a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones. Jay got right into it, but after the emotional angst of reading the novels, I don't know if I'm able to go back and now watch it all...
It was fun to watch a big screen in the little house though!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gardening: Beginning of March

First Garden Clean Up of 2012. 
A Nice, Clean Slate. 
Oh, the possibilities in March!

Good morning Garden!

Oh, hello Garlic!

Nice to see you, Tayberries! I hope you like your new bed between Golden Raspberries and Thornless Blackberries. They've promised to be nice.

Rise and shine, Roses!

Oh, hello chives! I see you and your brothers and sisters are all coming out to play!

Nearly time to wake up, Patch-Of-Soil-That-Will-Soon-Be-Asparagus! (oh please, Asparagus, don't play hard to get this year!)

I'm down to my last 4 heads of garlic so this is a wonderful sight to see.

Seeing all this green returning has inspired me to start digging out the hoarded food frozen last Fall. We've been enjoying Garlic Scape Pesto, Spinach Pesto, and some Basil Pesto this week! So Green! So Good!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Celebrating: Maya is a Teenager!

We are celebrating my niece's 13th birthday today! 

Her birth was the first I witnessed. Before I had even heard of the word "doula", let alone become one. What a long birth it was, too, only one birth in my doula career matched it! We set up shop at the hospital and it was a place of celebration. The whole family filled the waiting room, friends too. My mother-in-law brought us a picnic for the birthing room. I still cannot listen to this song without getting choked up. We listened to it all throughout that birth. (re: the link...I love that she is singing it at the Grammy's a few days before Maya's birth!)

 My sister's pregnancy was not planned, and was...hmmm...controversial in my family, shall we say? But this babe was meant to be with us. We all raised this girl in her early years. She taught me how to be a Mama before I became one. She taught my sister a whole lot too. Dare I say she changed the course of her life. 

Now Maya is an amazing big sister,  giving Brynn all the love and attention and care that we lavished on her all those years ago. She's such a great kid. I cannot believe she is a Teenager!!

at the Folk Fest with us this past summer...

I made her a cheesecake. The mother of all cheesecakes, by way of The Barefoot Contessa. That woman knows her way around a dessert! 2 1/2 pounds of cream cheese, a boatload of organic sugar and eggs,  and frozen raspberries from our garden. And love, of course. She deserves it.

We love you, Maya Papaya!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Knitting: Fuyu Cowl

Love this cowl. 


I knit a beautiful hat with this Malabrigo Worsted. The colour way is Autumn Forest, and it was intended to be my Lynn Valley hiking hat this winter. 

It looked not-so-good on me and my short hair. My sister and her long hair got it for Christmas. 

 All was not lost though, when a mom at Isla's preschool (we're a knitterly bunch this year!) introduced me to the Fuyu cowl! I love how warm and squishy it is. I want mittens in this yarn for next winter (I refuse to think about needing mittens once March hits Vancouver)