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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Concrete, counters, and canines.

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Perhaps you noticed my absence this week from the market, and the blog? I was away for good reason, I swear! Well, I spent the week over at Cruzan Gardens, helping people choose from a vast array of plant choices for their offices, interior decor, and outdoor landscaping projects. It was nice to get away from my own projects for a few extra days, so that I may now return, somewhat invigorated, to carving the Nid doors, plumbing the kitchen, and weeding the vast gardens…a seemingly endless task!

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Just one set of pretty faces at Cruzan Gardens that could grace your own trees.

Meanwhile, the Ameraucana hens have started laying, and given a couple more weeks should be giving us a steady 10 eggs per day – lots of egg recipes coming up! I’ve been practicing my pasta technique, and my homemade fettuccine is coming out quite fabulous, with or without fresh garden herbs, paired with browned butter and garlic, or a zesty tomato sauce. I absolutely insist on hand rolling and cutting the pasta, cherishing the slight variations in width and length that give it such a rustic feel. The texture of fresh, hand made pasta is so exquisite, leaving me wondering why I have ever bothered to buy (let alone eat) the commercially produced, packaged, dried, and chemical-strewn stuff that has always been a mainstay of many kitchens, including my own. So, soon my freezer will be well stocked with a variety of pastas for quick-and-easy dinners, taking one more step away from packaged foods. You may note that in the following images of my freshly-poured concrete counter top there is an ample space on the left-hand side for rolling out such delightful comestibles!

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The eggs vary in shade from the different colour hens.

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The counter form ready for the pour.

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Pouring the concrete.

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Leveling the concrete and the initial smoothing.

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Polishing mostly done, and the edge former removed.

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Edge detail – insufficient vibration of the form resulted in air pockets along the edge, these will need to be filled at a later time.

Back I go to play with plunge routers for carving the Nid doors! Sounds fun, huh?

I will be back to regular baking this week, with a special batch of granola along with the sourdough bread in white, whole grain, and caraway rye. Be sure to get your orders in by Tuesday at 6pm!

Till next week, cheers!

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Edwin got into plenty of trouble this week with his cohort, Macho.

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

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Sunlit rock pool on the West End beach.

It’s been a rough week (or two?) with the Chikungunya, trudging through, trying to get things done. So here are some photos of random things and little accomplishments!

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Garden pickings: Red okra, green okra, and several varieties of seasoning pepper.

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Very first shelf up!

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Shelf at night – old kerosene lamp for bathroom lighting.

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Fun at the beach!

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Did you get to try the special Herb Boule last week? Don’t worry, it’ll come around again.

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Using the great Maslin pan to make a batch of jam. This special pot helps with even heating and circulation, meaning less stirring and faster gelling!

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Special flambeed-banana jam with our homestead-grown bananas and sour oranges, and locally produced Cruzan Rum. Pretty yummy.

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Plywood for the kitchen counter form.

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Installing section 1.

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Fitting the sink.

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Lime tree seedlings!

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Sometimes I get bored with bread. That’s when things like this happen. Cheesy caraway rye garlic bread, ready to be wrapped up and thrown in the coals. Try it! Just cut the bread (almost through) length-wise, then slice (almost through) along the loaf. Smear with 1/4C butter mixed with 3-4 minced garlic cloves, then open it out a little to pack in a cup or so of grated cheese. Wrap in foil, bake or roast for 15-20min. – I forgot to take an “after” photo, for it disappeared so quickly!

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Flowering Red Amaranth – the leaves and seeds are both edible and are highly nutritious. Also, it grows like a weed during the winter months here.

Hope you enjoyed the photos – next week I hope to be able to brag about the pouring of my concrete kitchen counter-top! Don’t forget to order your bread for this week and next week, or stop by the Blue Mutt on Thursday evening to say Hi and grab a loaf of sourdough. We won’t be baking on the 21st, so make sure you get your fill this week!