Monday, January 24, 2011

Goal accomplished

I did it. I made bread. I don't know how making bread became such a terrifying culinary roadblock for me. Maybe it was the movies that portrayed women endlessly kneading dough, toiling in the kitchen all in effort for a loaf. Or the fact that there's such an invention as a bread machine. That in itself tells you that it's too difficult and time consuming to make bread by hand.
I think I came to a pretty good compromise between endlessly kneading and a bread machine. Amelia ( sent me this link:

It's a no knead bread recipe. It was easy and turned out tasty. Here's my bread journey...
Saturday evening I made this:

Oh I love thee

Sunday morning while my kid was in front of the 'babysitter', I let the dough rise...

(In all fairness...they did say to generously coat the towel in flour. I was doing what I was told.)
Then baked it...

And it turned out like this!

I brought some to work today and before I could tell them that I had made it they asked where I bought the bread from.
I'm just sayin'. Amy, if you were in town, we'd be going into the bread business.
Give the recipe a try, you'll love it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's Here! It's Here!

Well, it finally arrived last Friday. 'The Joy of Keeping Chickens' by Jennifer Megyesi. I can't say enough about this book. Outside of the beautiful photos of chickens (I never thought of chickens as beautiful creatures but they are stunning in this book), it is full of useful information that the small scale chicken enthusiast needs to know. For example, did you know that chickens are omnivores? They eat just about anything. Sour milk, excess veggies, bugs and mice (if they can catch one). Amazing! Plus their droppings are nitrogen rich so they fertilize your land and compost pile making it black gold for your garden. So many benefits beyond eggs and meat.
On the coup front, it's looking good for the Eglu. Turns out I know somebody who knows somebody.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Holy Snow Batman!

It's been snowing here I'm learning to love the winter season all over again through the eyes of my three year old. I had forgotten how much fun tobogganing, skating and building a snowman was. Even shoveling the driveway isn't as bad as I remember it. Just don't tell my husband that or shoveling will be added to my side of the 'domestic chores' list.

It's nap time in our house and I'm the only one awake. Even the dog has gone for a siesta. I'm sitting by our living room window, sipping on a cup of chai tea, daydreaming about spring/summer 2011 and all of my fruitful plans. I've started thinking about the vegetable goodness that I want to attempt to grow. I even bought some organic seeds from Needles In The Hay last weekend.            

 Let's just hope I can grow them. If you saw the two poinsettias in my house, you'd be doubting me too.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Trying to accomplish all my goals (see below), I need to do some research. As I've said, I have very little experience doing any of the projects that I've set to complete this year. Well, with the exception of making bread. I've eaten a lot of bread in my lifetime...that makes me a little more experienced in that area. And I once borrowed my mother's breadmaker only to return it after one failed loaf. That may give you an idea of my persistence level...
I digress.
So for my research, I went to Chapters to buy some books. See photo. The first, "The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 10th Edition" by Carla Emery is seriously an enclyclopedia. It covers everything from buying farm land, giving birth by yourself, money management to shooting a pig. I feel everything I need to know about my little adventure will be in here. This book is going to be well worn by the end of the harvest season. The other book in the photo is, "City Farmer" by Lorraine Johnson. She lives in Toronto and she has chickens in her backyard. That's why I'm reading that one! I'm only 93 pages in so I'll keep you posted.
Other than books I have been browsing the world wide web. There are a ton of websites dedicated to keeping urban chickens.  I've decided that the first thing I need to do is decide on a coop. This has been more difficult than I thought. Not only do I have to look at price, I have to see if my husband will help me put it together - which he says he's not really interested in doing (can't hold that against him...this is my project after all). So that means a pre-fab coop. Omlet makes a great one. And yes, that is the company's name. And get this...their coops are called 'Eglu's'. Ha! Go to to take a look. Not only are they stylish but they have great reviews. The wrench however is that there is no Canadian distributor and the distributor in the USA does not....I repeat, does not ship to Canada. Yes, you read that right. In this day and age and decades after the free trade agreement, I cannot buy a chicken coop in the US and have it shipped here to Canada.
Time to get crafty...

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Goals:

Someone once said that if you put your dreams/desires 'out there' (I'm pretty sure they didn't mean cyberspace, but it's still the universe nonetheless right?), they will come true...well, here we go. These are in no particular order.
1. Get chickens
a. Buy/build coop
b. Order chickens
c. Figure out how to keep them alive
d. Eat their delicious eggs

2. Build a garden
a. Convince husband, friends and family to help
b. Choose seeds
c. Convince friend with a lot of sun to sew them indoors for me
d. Decide on a garden plan (that should probably be a.)
e. Plant said garden and reap the rewards!!

3. Learn how to make bread (without a bread maker)
4. Learn how to make cheese
5. Not only stay married but happily married! (this may be a good time to tell you that my dear husband isn't really loving all my 'big ideas'...)

There, it's out there. your magic!
NOTE: although I call myself 'naive', I do realize that it's going to take a lot of work on my part to accomplish these. I doubt the universe is going to pick up a shovel or clean chicken poop.