Monday, May 30, 2011

Mouthwatering Rhubarb Pie ~ Recipe

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb season is in full swing and there is no shortage of it around here! We've been eating it in muffins, cakes and now pie :) The tartness of the rhubarb mixed with a good dose of sugar makes for a mouth watering combination. If you're not crazy about a sweet pie then a warm slice of rhubarb pie might change your mind. The tart bite of the rhubarb counteracts the sweet and melds together perfectly.


Pull out your food processor and start feeding in fresh stalks from your rhubarb plant. The amount of sliced rhubarb you need will depend on the size of your pie plate so pull out an empty pie plate and start filling it with your sliced rhubarb until you have a really heaping dish full. It will shrink as it cooks so more is better than not enough!

I have quite a deep pie plate so I used about 10 cups of sliced rhubarb while my mom can only squeeze about 8 cups into hers so using your pie plate will give you the perfect amount :)

Rhubarb Pie

Once you have all of your rhubarb sliced and measured out put it into a large bowl and add:

1 1/2 cups sugar
6 heaping Tbsp. minute tapioca
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 egg lightly beaten

and mix all of it thoroughly together. If you are worried that it's to much sugar, don't. You could cut it back a bit but I wouldn't take away to much. You need that sweet to keep you from puckering up to much when you take that first bite *grin*.

I know that lots of people use flour as a thickener in their pies to help all of those juices set but I really like to use tapioca because you don't have to worry about getting any lumps. It's just that easy!

Now that you have your rhubarb all mixed up, pour it into your pie plate that is lined with an unbaked pastry shell for the bottom of your pie.

Rhubarb Pie

Tuck a few dabs of unsalted butter on top of your rhubarb filling and cover with another sheet of your pastry. Pinch, roll, or tuck the ends of your pastry tightly together to help seal in all of that rhubarb goodness and to finish it off you can sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the top of your pastry. I also like to take a sharp knife and cut in a few slits across the center of my pastry to let steam escape as it cooks.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for the first 15 minutes and then turn your oven down to 350 degrees fahrenheit after that and continue cooking for another hour.

Sticky Goodness

Mmm, mmm!

You will know your pie is good and ready to come out of the oven when your pastry has browned up, you can hear it bubbling and some of the juices are starting to escape :)

It's always a good idea to put a sheet of foil or parchment paper underneath your pie as it cooks because more often than not there will be a little bit of delicious sweetness that escapes and drips out of your pie. This makes clean up a cinch!

If you can keep yourself from cutting into your rhubarb pie while it's hot it will set up beautifully and the pieces will come out nice and solid. Of course we couldn't help but dip into our pie while it was still hot so we made a bit of a mess of ours but it was so worth it *grin*.


PS. Looking for more yummy recipes?? Check out this week's Hearth and Soul blog hop

Saturday, May 28, 2011

To Market We Go

Farmers Market
{photo by cleber via flickr}

The children and I had a lovely day today with an outing to the farmer's market. The sun seemed to shine just for us as we headed off down island :)

I never know what we might find at the market and actually had no plans to really purchase anything except for a few cookies for the kids as we wandered around the field checking out all of the vendors but I just couldn't resist all of the lush tomato plants that greeted us as we entered *grin*. I ended up with two bushy little heirloom polish paste starts that I just had to have because they are the exact variety that are giving me a really hard time here at home. For some reason those ones just won't grow for me so of course these would be the perfect replacements *grin*.

There were oodles of fresh greens, baked breads, jams, meats and more. I found some lovely red peppers and long english cucumbers grown not far from where we live and had to get a few of each. The ones in the supermarket have been from Mexico lately so it is such a wonderful treat each spring to find so many different vegetables grown right here on the island. I love it!

Just when I thought we had seen about everything I found a small table full of the softest alpaca fleece you had ever touched in hues of creams and browns :) I just wanted to take it all home with me *grin*. Thankfully my wallet wouldn't allow a purchase today but I did take a business card and she has given me a good price on a pound of uncarded fleece that I can process myself. I will have to put away a little bit of money so that I can get it the next time we are down. I can't wait to spin it!

I've been reading Sara's journey this spring over at farmama of how she has taken the raw fleece from her own sheep and scoured them, picked, carded, spun and then knit it into clothing for her family and this is something that I've longed to do for quite some time. Hubby and I are planning to build a lean to for the cows this year and I think I'm going to have to put on a space for a few sheep... I haven't told him yet but he knows I'm crazy for farm animals LOL.

On the topic of Hubby, I know some of you asked me to update you on how he's doing but I actually haven't heard from him since we spoke late Thursday night. I know he's surrounded with lots of help so he's in good hands. I just have to try and wait patiently for him to get phone service again so I can find out what's happening now :)


Friday, May 27, 2011

Rapids of Disaster


I hadn't heard from Hubby since he left Monday morning until he phoned me late last night to let me know that he was okay.

There's an old saying that tugboating is hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror! Well Hubby had his moment. He spends a lot of his time working further north in Seymour Inlet and taking his log tows through the Nakwakto Rapids which have the fastest navigable currents in the whole world (according to the Guinness World Book of Records) and it just happened that the gear in his boat blew there. He had no control and had to cut his tow loose, watch it disappear and smash into pieces. Luckily they could throw down the anchor to hold them from heading into the rapids themselves.

I think I was in a bit of shock when he told me. They had been floating there for over 30 hours already and since phone service is sporadic at best it had been the first chance he could call to tell me what was happening. The other guys from the company were up there with them collecting bundles and working on rebuilding the tow and sometime this weekend they'll tow him back home. I am just so thankful that he is safe!

In 2007 another local tug company towing a barge through the rapids had a mishap when they were overtaken by the barge they were pulling and their tug was completely sunk. They managed to scramble aboard the barge as it hung off of the sunken boat and thankfully they were all found safe but what a scare!

I can't wait for him to come back home :)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Green Pastures and Rainy Days

Bovine Love

I can't believe how green everything is getting around here. It just seems like the fields grew knee high overnight! We've moved our personal lawn mower up closer to the house to *grin*. Before we take Bee down to the bottom field he's making the rounds around my house. I love waking up to him mooing in the morning and having him close so we can scratch his ears and of course try and avoid those licks he loves to slather us with :)


Our baby chicks are growing at lightening speed to. Believe it or not I haven't taken any photos of them lately. I must be slipping! They've pretty much got all of their feathers now and are quite the lively bunch :) I'm still getting the kids to pick them up and hold them as much as possible to keep them from becoming to skittish around us. My plan is that as they grow bigger we'll be able to take a few of them each day out to the garden with us this summer to let them scratch around and eat bugs :)

While the chicks are thriving, my garden could use some work. I feel like I'm terribly behind all of a sudden. I know that planting time for us has just begun but for some reason I just can't get it together *grin*. The soil is tilled and ready to go but we spent our week of sunny weather camping and now it's raining again :( I can just see my dad shaking his head and saying you never waste a sunny day! Travel and visiting is best saved for those rainy days *grin*. Wise words but I guess I could use hearing them again since I just did the complete opposite LOL.

I guess I'm just going to have to put on my boots and get ready to be soaked!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Fabulous Vegetable Fritters ~ Recipe

Vegetable Fritters

I have been dying to try making some vegetable fritters after running across a recipe for zucchini ones. I LOVE zucchini but why stop at that? I had to throw in peppers, carrots, herbs, and why you could even use beets. I hadn't thought of that! Now I know what I'm going to put in next time *grin*.

So much fresh goodness with a little bit of heat from the garlic and chili sauce.... mmm, they are so good that it left all of us wanting more :)

Vegetable Fritters

You will need:

1 medium sized zucchini grated (about 1 pound)
1/2 a red pepper diced
2 large carrots grated
3 scallions finely sliced
A big handful of fresh parsley chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
6 heaping Tbsp all purpose flour
1-2 tsp. hot garlic chili sauce
2 eggs
1 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
Sea salt and pepper to taste


Start by slicing, dicing, and grating all of your vegetables. Any method of grating will do. I actually used my food processor for the zucchini since the larger shreds of zucchini it produces will cook quickly in the hot pan, while I hand grated the carrot to get it nice and fine as I knew the carrot would take longer to cook them than the zucchini and I thought this might even out the cooking times. It worked out well :)

Fresh from the garden

For the rest of the vegetables I sliced and diced everything rather fine just to keep it all nice and compact without to many really large and chunky pieces. My mom has a huge patch of parsley growing in her greenhouse so I picked myself a really big bouquet of it to use. I'm guessing that by the time I was done chopping it up it was close to half a cup but you could definitely use less if you don't have that much fresh on hand.

Did you know that fresh parsley keeps really well in a vase of water? It does! I like to keep a big bouquet of it on the kitchen windowsill and just cut off chunks as I need it. Just keep topping up the water supply each day and it can last there for a good couple of weeks :)

Grated Vegetables

So with all of your vegetables ready, in a large bowl mix in the garlic, egg, chili sauce, flour, a couple good grinds of your sea salt and pepper...

Parmigiano Reggiano

and finally mix in your parmigiano reggiano. I love this cheese! Its salty taste and firm texture are perfect for this recipe as it doesn't melt down into a sloppy gooey mess when it heats up like some of the softer cheeses. Feta would also be a good substitution if you don't have any of the parmigiano reggiano.

Now that all of your ingredients are mixed together you will notice that it starts to weep a bit and some of the juices from the zucchini and peppers come out. Don't worry! Let the whole mixture rest for about 20 minutes and the liquid will settle to the bottom of the bowl. You can use the waiting time to clean up some of the dishes and heat up a large stainless steel frying pan over medium heat with enough olive oil or butter to thoroughly grease the pan but not to much that your fritters end up swimming in it :)

Veggie Fritters

Once your pan is nice and hot drop heaping tablespoons of your fritter mix in and flatten them down slightly. I like to use two tablespoons to do this. One to scoop and the other to push it off the first spoon and into the frying pan. Keeps my hands clean *grin*.

Everything will start to sizzle and cook and you don't want to turn them until they have gone a nice golden brown. They will be to soft to turn easily if you don't wait for them to brown and firm up on the bottom half. Flip and continue to cook until golden on both sides and they are delicious served hot with a little bit of a yogurt dill dip :)

We all loved these and what a fantastic way to get more vegetables into your diet. A plus if your kids love them as much as mine did. You can hide any vegetables you want in these if you chop them fine enough! LOL.

Enjoy :)

PS. Looking for more yummy recipes?? Check out this week's Hearth and Soul blog hop and La Bella Vita's weekend recipe round up

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Once Was Not Enough!

Our Home Away From Home

Well we're at it again!
Right after I shared with you photos of our trip to Loveland Bay we ran out the door to do some more camping *grin*. We made the quick pit stop home to do some laundry, shower, download the photos and off we went to another forestry campground :)

Winding along the cliff

This time we made our way out to Pye Lake. It's another hidden spot about thirty minutes off road. This stretch on the logging road out to the lake winds along a rock cliff and a very steep drop off into the lake waaay below. To make it a little on the scary side it is barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass side by side let alone two truck and trailers like ours.

Unfortunately for us we met someone on it on our way home and as I looked out the passenger window and couldn't see the shoulder of the road below I was wishing desperately that I was on the rocky side rather than the cliff side *grin*.

Pye Beach

When we arrived at the lake we couldn't believe our luck! The best spot right in front of the beach was open and there was only one other camper there. We thought for sure it was going to be busier with the long weekend going on :)

Pye Lake

The good weather was still with us and the sun was shining good and hot so the kids got to head down to the beach for some fun.

Fun in the Sun

I love this spot. There is a really nice sandy beach and it is shallow for a long way so you can wander out into the lake and not worry about any drop offs unlike some of the other spots we camp at. It definitely puts any mama worries to rest!


K found the water guns in the toy bag and a full on water fight began :)


They must have played in the water for most of the afternoon which was lucky for them as the weather turned the next day and we got a mix of cloud, wind and rainy drizzle. Not enough to make us want to go home but enough to keep them out of the water for the rest of our trip.

Our Home Away From Home

It has been like a mini holiday!

Mmm, dinner :)

One whole week camping, hanging out with friends, playing in the lakes and yummy barbecued dinners, breakfasts & lunches *grin*. I don't know what day summer officially starts but I think it's happening here :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

First Camping Trip of the Season

If you go out in the woods today...

We finally got to go on our very first camping trip of the year :)
One of my good friends that we get together with quite a bit also homeschools so we thought it would be great if we could arrange to go camping together just before the long weekend this week.

Side View

So Hubby asked for a few days off about a month ago and on Monday we packed up, hooked on our travel trailer and hit the back roads. One of the perks to homeschooling is camping during the week! Gotta love getting a great campsite while everyone else is working or in school *grin*.

Loveland Bay

It must have been just about dinner time by the time we made it out to our destination, Loveland Bay. The sun was starting to set behind the mountains and we took a few laps around the campground trying to decide which spots would be the best for us. Originally we thought one of the double sites would be great but by the time we pulled our trailer in beside one of the picnic tables we realized that our friend's trailer and awning would then be right behind the backside of ours and they wouldn't have access to their picnic table because of how they have those sites set up with the tables around the perimeter. So out we pulled again and settled on two single sites side by side :) We had never been here before and since we had never camped with them before we wanted to make sure that we got a spot that they would be able to enjoy just as much as us. Plus we went a day before they were due to arrive so we had to make all of the decisions on our own :)


The kids were so excited when they could finally bail out of the truck and the first place they raced off to was the water. The wind was blowing and it was cloudy so they looked on from the water's edge hoping that maybe the next day it would be nice enough to venture in!


Oh was it nice to sit around the blazing campfire when the sun went down. Normally we head north for our first trip and it is so cold that you nearly want to sit on the fire to keep warm so this was a nice change... chilly but enjoyable with the toasty warmth :)


To our surprise the next morning was sunny and every morning after that!!

Loveland Bay

This was the view that greeted my each morning as I dragged my chair to the beach where I could sip my coffee and read a book :)

Making a Raft

When the other children arrived on Tuesday the fun really began for the kids and the boys started making a raft.

Water Play

Even though the water was chilly no one could keep out. Check out the socks! LOL

Testing out the Raft

There were a few trial versions of the raft and finally they had one that they could both stand on and it didn't sink or fall apart *grin*.

Skivvy Flag

Of course every raft has to have a flag so an old pair of skivvies were found and proudly hoisted up on the stick LOL. Oh my goodness was it funny to watch them!


Our friends had brought along a canoe and the youngest two couldn't get enough of it. Her husband was so great about it and took them around the lake quite a few times and I think we're definitely going to have to get one :)

Loveland Bay

It was a great week with good friends, good food and good times :) We're definitely going to have to do this again!

Happy Weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2011



Rhubarb season is finally here and those bright red and juicy stalks are beckoning me *grin*.

Rhubarb Bloom

The extended cool and wet weather we have had this spring has really allowed them to burst from the ground with gusto and I found a giant bloom on one of my plants!

Rhubarb Bloom

Rhubarb blooms are really pretty when they open but I want my plants to continue to produce for a little while longer so I broke it off. The kids brought it into the house and we'll see if we can force it to open in a jar of water :)

Rhubarb Leaf

The leaves of the plants are poisonous so you can't eat them but they make a wonderful natural insect repellent for deterring cabbage worms, aphids and other things. Just throw a bunch of leaves into a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Pour the strained liquid into a spray bottle and treat any plants that have buggy problems!


I think for now we'll just enjoy some of the raw stalks dipped in a little bit of sugar. A yummy way to enjoy this tart treat :)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekend Blooms


More and more of the spring flowers are starting to bloom and it is such a treat to see them when I wander out the front yard. It was especially nice to see the bergenia this afternoon as I attempted to dig up the gravel pathway by the front door to get all of the grass and dandelions out that had made the rocks their new home. A little bit of beauty in a sea of weediness :)


The cowslip primula is one of my all time favorites with their big droopy clusters of yellow flowers and the smell is amazing. All you have to do is touch them and their sweet fragrance fills the air.


I have no idea what the name of this peony is but it pops up every spring. My mom planted it here nearly 30 years ago and it returns faithfully every year :)

Double Primrose

A pretty little pink double primrose. This one is a volunteer that popped up in the driveway :)

Therese Bugnet

And finally Therese Bugnet. I know there aren't any flowers on it yet but it won't be long and there will be masses of deep pink roses all over. She's super hardy to! You can really expose her to some harsh elements and it comes back just as full as the year before :)

Happy blooming Sundy *grin*


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let The Construction Begin

Greenhouse Plans

It's really coming true!
The building of my greenhouse has officially begun and I feel like I need to pinch myself just to make sure I'm not dreaming it all up *grin*. Hubby finished drawing up the final plans with all of the measurements and how he plans to frame in the windows and today he started to lay the brick down.

Greenhouse Foundation

We wanted to keep the wooden frame of the greenhouse from sitting in standing water that collects during the rainy months on our concrete porch so hubby cemented down heavy cinder blocks all around the perimeter and the walls will then be built on top of them. To make sure that everything will be rock solid he also sank anchor bolts into the wet cement so that the walls can be bolted down tight to the concrete.

He ran out of sand though so tomorrow he'll have to grab some more and finish cementing down the last couple of bricks and then he can start framing up the walls. So exciting! Now I just hope the rain holds off. It sprinkled a little today but if it pours down like the forecast is calling for the cementing will have to wait for a drier day. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed *grin*.