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Monthly Archives: February 2012

TODAY’S THEME………………..GLOW

I took this picture fairly late the other evening on my way back from my buddy’s house.

He just got a new puppy and he’s called Marley….looks JUST like the one in the book/movie.

In any case the wires were coated with a sort of hoar frost not really ice but it was VERY thick as you can see from the shot.I guess sometimes life isn’t dreary enough on those sunless afternoons when it wants to snow but won’t and so made it worse with the ALMOST black & white style of processing.

I guess I was in that kind of mood and it did seem to suit it at that time.

Anyway it certainly DOES have a mood and tone to it…like it or not.

It should certainly go a long way to depressing a bunch of people….although that’s not what I had intended……sorry about that.

I hope you enjoy it for what it is  regardless.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………….Homemade

Today’s theme of homemade is based on a homemade food I have eaten and loved since my hippie days…..hummus.

In those years it was a strange and new middle eastern delicacy impossible to buy and without the internet, pretty hard to find a good authentic recipe….but we did the best we could.

Since then I have come to love both the delicate flavours AND the now obvious healthiness of it.

Consisting mostly of legumes….which are considered today as being an essential to good health the other ingredients are simple, easy to find and cheap.

Below is a picture of the ingredients I use….and many people would leave some out…..not me.

I’ve decided to include a basic recipe with the pictures in case anyone wants to make it that has never made it before.

It is SIMPLE to make and is done in about 10 minutes…start to finish and durties only 2 things….a food processor and a bowl.

To start open and drain 1 can of chick peas or garbanzo beans as they are sometimes called.

The next step is, in my version ESSENTIAL for a smooth and spreadable hummus.

Take the can of chick peas and put them in a large low pan…like a deep frying pan.

Then gently ‘massage’ the peas with a circular motion, pressing them against the bottom until they release their skins.

You may need to drain the skins and add more water and do it several times but PLEASE do it until as many of the skins as you can remove are gone.

I save them for soup or feed them to the dogs….but in the hummus they will only detract from the texture making it grainy and course.

Now…the easy part…put the cleaned peas in a food processor and have at it adding a LITTLE garlic ( optional & not usually found in authentic hummus but..)..if you like garlic…and I do….maybe 1/2 clove to start as it will become more pronounced as it is chilled.

By the way ALL the ingredients can be added at once and processed together except for the olive oil which will be explained later on.

Then add 2-4 tablespoons of fresh or bottled lemon juice….more later if you want a more pronounced acidic flavour ( which I do ).

Next 2 tablespoons of tahina or if you don’t have any smooth peanut butter will work quite well.

I add as well a few drops of sesame oil but it’s not at all necessary.

Lastly, as it’s blending  add bit by bit some olive oil….the best you can buy …. in this case a new ( to me anyway ) olive oil made and pressed in……wait for it…..AUSTRALIA!!!!

GOOD LORD….who’s a thunk?

It’s the BEST olive oil I have ever had and I will now buy no other except for general cooking but in salads and other areas where I will taste the difference that choice  now belongs to the Aussies.

The olive oil is added ONLY to achieve the texture you want….I like mine smooth and the same texture as warm peanut butter so it sometimes takes a few tablespoons but it’s completely up to your taste.

Lastly season with salt & pepper to your taste but USUALLY it requires a bit of salt since the canning salt is lost with the skin removal.

I hope someone who has NEVER made hummus will take the plunge and give it a go.

It’s SO EASY you cannot fail and final adjustments are easy with salt/pepper/lemon juice.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME…………………….ALONE

I took this picture the other day and although it doesn’t REALLY show exactly what the tracks are from I KNOW it was a moose.

They always travel alone unless it is a mum and babies but a mature males always travel alone.

These tracks could not possibly be anything else as Whitetail don’t leave tracks like this…single large footprints….they tend to ‘jump’ if the snow is deep and from this distance NOTHING else would show this large except a Moose.

I tried to see if I could trace them back to the road if he had crossed but it seems not.

He must have just strayed from the bush and headed off to destinations unknown.

I apologize for the unexciting nature of this theme shot but I had a busy day here and scrambled as I had no time to go out shooting today.

I’ll try and do better   :-(

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME………………………Sharp

Today’s theme is inspired by a knife that I received as a gift for Christmas.

This is the FIRST ceramic knife I have owned although I have had occasion to use one before and loved them.

The FIRST thing to say about it is that it is EXTREMELY sharp!

I hesitate to say it is sharper than the best Henckels knives I have but if it isn’t….it’s darn close AND it’s VERY thin so it’s superb  for thin slicing fragile things like tomatoes.

The blade is obviously  more fragile than it’s steel counterpart but that being said I understand they are quite robust.

One downside is that these knives CANNOT be sharpened….but OF COURSE I’ll try anyway!

As a bit of side interest as this knife was imported into Canada and as we are officially bilingual French/English there had to be the same cautions in French with the knife as there are in English.

The English caution is simple enough…”BLADE IS EXTREMELY SHARP.”

Not much ambiguity there.

The French caution however consists of  a total of 64 words.

I am ‘functionally’ bilingual so without boring you with a literal translation it says almost the same thing with warnings about keeping it in it’s sheath and not handling the blade with your hands or fingers…blah blah.

So what’s going on?

Is our government ruled by ‘overkill’ or do they think French people incapable of understanding “Blade is extremely sharp”…in French?

P.S. The actual blade itself is about 5 inches long and the handle VERY comfortable and well balanced…………..I LIKE IT!

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TODAY’S THEME…………………….Rural

This picture is just about as rural as it gets.

The horse belongs to my neighbour’s brother who lives on my way to see my fishing buddy.

This horse works during the winter for the farmer who uses him to pull a sled with which he brings his firewood to the house for next year.

Winter is both the best time to cut trees AND the easiest time to transport them….gliding as they do smoothly with an old wooden sled with steel runners.

I’ll see if I can get a picture of him bringing a load of wood one of these days.

The mini-barn is well stocked with hay but when the weather is warm enough for the grass to peek through he would MUCH RATHER eat some of that!

As this is Julien’s only animal he DOTES on it, lavishing a brisk combing quite often and feeding it only the finest hay he can find.

At least once a winter ( at night ), it gets out of it’s paddock and roams the road we both live on and someone wakes Julien up in the middle of the night to inform  him.

I know because I have been the late-night knocker at least 2 times!

I think he’s a Percheron so it’s no wonder he isn’t hit…..ANY car would pay more than the horse I think.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME……………….Tiny

This little beauty was just sitting on the side of my bushroad path and with no new snow in a few days and the usual occasional strong winds there is a small amount of tree-borne debris that falls…in this case a tiny Pine cone.

The Pines around here don’t get monstrous like on the west coast but still over 100 feet and I have several on the back of my property more than 4 feet in diameter.

This little cone however was only still on the tree because the tree was short, young and protected from the wind somewhat.

Obviously there are cones much larger…usually 6-8 inches around here and MUCH smaller but these small ones are usually not open yet and this one was.

Not too exciting but up here we find it where we find it as the skyscrapers and rock bands are few and far between.

By the way the White Pine is the Provincial tree of Ontario……so there!

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TODAY’S THEME…………………..Big and Small

Today’s theme is partially inspired by tonight’s event in the nearest big city.

We scored ( no pun intended ) some front row tickets to a semi-pro hockey game.

A hockey game with players JUST under the quality of the NHL and where most teams recruit from.

With it is a picture I took a few days ago with a glance at what REAL hockey means up here in the north country.

The same style that I played MANY years ago as a child……backyard hockey on an ice surface cleaned from whatever previously water-covered surface  was available.

In my case, and in the case of my kids it was the top of the driveway flooded on the COLDEST nights by dad and cleaned of snow when it snowed by the kids….IF they were interested in playing.

In this case the ‘rink’ is a low naturally water-filled spot in a farmer’s field plowed by the kids themselves who live nearby.

Usually, but not always the goalposts are sticks nailed to a flat piece of wood but here they have upgraded to better posts AND a net!!!

Brings back some wonderful memories and it’s heartwarming to see that SOME things NEVER change.

I hope it ALSO brings back memories to others….be it hockey or whatever.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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