Observations and notes

I have read recently that most white,  processed sugar is made from GMO sugar beets.  And we all know that everything is made with sugar. 
So my new favourite brand is Sweet Source.   Pure (if over processed) cane sugar.  They also  make raw sugar and brown sugar.
Did you know that most table salt is made with sugar? Because it cuts the salty taste.   And you use more.


Sales prices and bone broth

A few weeks ago I was channel surfing and happened upon a cooking show.  It was one of “known” chefs, Rachel Ray, or Jamie Oliver, or that blond bastard… I don’t remember.  What I do remember was that they were making chicken stock as an ingredient for  a risotto type dish.  From boneless skinless chicken breasts, fresh carrots, celery and onions.  And BOUILLON! 

Then they said to strain the broth and throw everything solid in the garbage.  The broth should be clear.  WHAT?!  I didn’t bother watching the rest of the show, they were clearly idiots.

I love bone broth, or as my grandmother used to call it; broth.  See, it wasn’t that long ago that people were more cautious with their money, and their food.  Nothing was thrown away.  Unlike the fancy chefs of today, my grandmother would never have tried to make stock from chicken breasts, fresh veggies and bouillon cubes!  Nor would she have even considered throwing the solids away after boiling the broth.

The bones add calcium and agar to your broth, very very good for you.  The breasts add… well, something.  Not flavour, not calcium.

Every bone and meat scrap went into a bag in the freezer.  Veggie peels, onion skins, celery leaves… all went into another bag.  And when they were full, we made stock.

Now, I make about 80% of my own stock. (I occasionally buy beef stock or the cream stuff)  I use bones and meat scraps, sometimes from a single animal, like chickens, sometimes a mix.  Depends on what we’re eating and what I want it for.  I just don’t understand paying $2.50-$4 for a litre of chemicalized broth when you can make 4 litres for FREE from scraps!

I don’t usually use veggie scraps, those are composted and end up in the garden.  But I use broth in everything.  I make one or two pots a week, and just freeze 2 cup portions in bags.  They are flat, take up little room in the freezer and I always know how much I have.

Instructions:  Collect meat scraps and bones for 2-3 days, keep in the fridge or freezer.

Put all your bones and scraps (including veggies if adding them) into a big pot.  Add 4-5 litres of water and boil.  For hours.  Like… 6 hours.  Add more water if needed.  It should end up between 2 and 4 litres, cloudy, brown or golden coloured, and smell delicious!

Cool, package and freeze.  Or pressure can.  NOTE: this can NOT be Water Bath canned.

That’s it.  Broth.  Massively cheaper, better tasting and more nutritious than store bought. And none of the animal is wasted.  Food from scraps, how magical is that? 

Hm, I should check the broth I have on the stove….  it’s a mixed batch, chicken and BBQ rib bones.  Should be lovely in a risotto type dish.  😉

Sales this week are sparse.  But here goes:

Giant Tiger has Iogo yogurt for $2.  Eith 4 lunch sized or one family size.

No Frills has Palmolive dish soap 1.1 litres for $2.  No Name canned veggies 3/ $2, Unico tomato paste 5/$2, Beatrice sour cream 500ml/ $1, Clic chickpeas or kidney beans 796ml/ $1, family size Astro yogurt $2, and Red Rose tea $2/ 72 bags.

Weekly sales, and Friday #gladitudes

Friday ‪#‎gladitude‬… late…
A GF restaurant that makes cupcakes!
My dying kitty still being cuddly and purring. Not too sad, she’s very old, and frail, but may outlive us all. I’ve been prepared to lose her any minute for over a year.
Old friends popping by out of nowhere, and guess what? They just got into the same shit you’ve gotten into since you last saw them!  (permaculture, nothing illegal)
Foggy mornings where the fog freezes to the tree branches making a world of carved crystal.
My editor having only 3 comments on my novel, one of which was…”more?”



No Frills:  Grace canned coconut milk 400ml/ $1, NN frozen peas or corn 750g/ $1, Beatrice sour cream 500ml/ $1, Maple Leaf flakes of ham 156g/ $1, Del Monte canned fruit 398ml/ $1, Pork 1/2 loin, seasoned $1/lb, WHEAT all purpose flour 2kg/ $1, Empire Apples $1/kg

Giant Tiger: Campbell’s condensed soup $.50 each (limit 6), Quaker 1-minute oatmeal $2.50/ kg, Carver’ Choice bacon $2/ 375g, Giant Value canned tomatoes 796ml/ $.88, Pampers Baby Dry diaper, sizes 1-6, 65-112/ pack $19.97

Sales this week; Jan 10-17, 2014

No Frills: chicken leg, back attached $1/ lb, bags of 3-4 legs.  Get these, seriously!

Giant Tiger: 3 lbs of Mackintosh apples for $1.88

That’s about it, this week.  Most sales are on crap food.

Since I hate posting only a couple of lines, I am feeling free to wax on about the permaculture course I’m taking online.  I mean, it is my blog, after all. 

I am taking a free 72 hour (plus hands on design work) online course through the Regenerative Institute.  All of the lectures are free (if a bit boring) but the certification costs about $500.  Mind you, you don’t need to be certified to design and build your own permaculture paradise.

I also want to get my herbalism degree/ chartered whats-it.  And build my spice, herb and salve business.  I’m sure you see this coming?  A permacultured happy little farm with perennial food crops, an edible forest and a medicinal meadow!  A plant it once and mostly not have to fuss over it, self sustaining business. 

Which reminds me, I must get the workshop finished so that I can make a few gallons of herbal oils for my salves and creams.

Preparing for the new year; 2014

So, looking back over 2013 I see a lot of good things, but they are almost outweighed (in my mind) by my demons; Distraction and Procrastination. 

Let’s start with the demons.

They are powerful, my demons.  I set up to write, and nothing gets done.  They sit on my keyboard, or legs dangling over the edge of my monitor.  They mutter and whimper and tempt me to do other things… any other things, than write.

And yet, I have other voices, clamouring to be written down.  Stories, ideas, visuals, scenes, plots, characters…..

So why in bloody blue hell don’t I write?!  My demons know every single weak point.  And they are loud!

So, I have been trying to set myself up for better in 2014.  I took a 30 day writing challenge to improve my understanding of why I’m procrastinating.  I spent much of it telling my inner critic to shut up, And going “yes, yes, I know!” to the results of the exercises.

So, I have great hopes for starting the new year armed with new writing tools, and a greater understanding of the demons who sit beyond me, interfering with my writing.  And I have a prioritized list of tings which must be done.  I like lists, they make it easier to get stuff done.  They remember things, remind me of things, and give me guilt when I procrastinate on things.

So this year I will write.  Scripts, novels, short stories…  and in my spare time, I hope to edit.  🙂

Yule & Christmas

Well its Christmas day, and we’re with the hubby’s family.
Presents have been opened, champagne has been drunk.  Now that’s a good tradition, champagne for breakfast!
This year I got a deck of voodoo and tarot crossover cards, real pearls, and wasabe chocolate.  Woot!
I made a joke about the pearls being really cool beads.  “I suppose if I say Yay, beads!, you’ll take them away from me.”  “really fast.”
The nieces brought their boyfriends, so it was patently obvious that time is moving on.  Their gift have changed from my little pony to electric mixers and cast iron.


My mom is away for 4 months, my family is scattered from NS to Toronto, and I spent 4 days on my feet baking.  This will be a sitting with wine kind of yule. 
So happy holidays, merry Christmas, happy kwanzaa, happy hannukah, and have a cool yule!