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December 23, 2010
Merry Christmas

 

Well it's christmas, here on the farm, and everywhere else. The last few weeks have seen us busy getting last minute orders together and attending family Christmas events:

There was the school band concert; Eben plays trombone in the senior band and Hannah plays flute in the beginner band. A Sunday School concert and a 4H Christmas Party. There was the commumity potluck we brought our smoked sausages and the garlic one too; they were well received by the way. Iprefer the garlicky ones to the smoked sausage. Maybe Santa will bring me a garlic press for Christmas and we can go into production. Tomorrow night will be our Centrelea Church carol service in the evening. It is a wonderful time that ends with us singing Silent Night while a candle's flame spreads through our congregation.

 In the meantime weare busy getting ready for the big day. No season is complete unless Eben sets up his Christmas Village:

christmasvillage.jpg

And we keep our Christmas lights up all year so that part is easy:

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But the part that reminds you you're definintely on a farm is when you look down at your feet after you've taken your picture and you see this:

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And of course I got all excited. Some of the strawberry plants that Danny and Jordan planted in the heat of August survived! If they survive the winter there will be strrawberry shortcake come June!

May the peace of Christmas find the hearts of you and your loved ones.

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tony

Dec-23 5:56pm

Merry Christmas Sandie, May you Danny and the kids have a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

lennie

Dec-24 12:31am

Merry Christmas Sandie, to you all - lovely Christmas village! Alexa, Carolyn, Krissy & I baked and decorated gingerbread today - having fun!

Kerry

Dec-25 8:05pm

Merry Christmas to you all. Thanks for being out there Sandie! xo


December 9, 2010
Charcuter What?

 

Several weeks ago a kind neighbour lent us several books on curing meat, smoking meat and making sausage. Danny has been reading through them most nights and whenever he comes to a recipe for an all beef sausage he writes it down. This week he had a lot of hamburger to grind and decided it was a great time to make a new sausage recipe. He sprung it on me Monday before I went to work. I was not impressed; I like to psyche up for things slowly - Danny is a man of action "Let's do it now" should be his mantra.

I looked through the recipes and on Wednesday, a day off, I started the morning grating 10 cloves of garlic with my dandy Lee Valley rasp. That's right 10 cloves and mind this is for only 5 lbs of sausage. I added salt and spices; including cayenne and pasted it up in a bowl:

sausage1.jpg

Chopped up a bunch of parsley very finely:

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Well maybe not as fine as I thought.Next I added some water:

 

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Actually adding the water was important. When you're making sausage you need to use some binding agents to help everything stay mixed together and incorporated. Water is a binder and so is sugar. Our recipe did not call for no sugar. I guess it's sort of like adding as egg to the hamburger when you're making meat loaf or meat balls or when you're baking cookies or tea breads and the recipe calls for eggs.

Now I was ready to start mixing it all up with the hamburger:

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In went my hands (this can be a very chilling part of the operation) and soon it was all mixed up;

sausage5.jpg

I showed it to Danny and we thought it looked pretty good. He suggested frying some of it for lunch. I was going to but then I thought: I am soooo redolent with garlic from having grated 10 cloves of the stuff I'll never be able to taste if it's good sausage or not. So I made a knowing statement sort of like "We need to let the flavours blend a bit dear; I'll fry some up for breakfast tomorrow" Fortunately he bought it. So this morning we sampled it:

sausage6.jpg

And it wasn't half bad. The cayenne was definitely noticeable. The garlic not so much. I must have still been quite redolent with the garlic myself because Danny said he could sure taste it. Maybe I should have waited another day before I tried it.

In the meantime the rest of the sausage has been tubed and we will cook it and take it to the Tupperville monthly potluck supper. Although the theme this month is german, this recipe is yugoslavian. We figure we'll get away with it because, well. it's sausage.

I'll let you know how the taste testing went. In the meantime be kind to one another.

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Kerry

Dec-9 6:55pm

That looks tasty and up to that point, fairly straightforward. Do you do all your cooking on wood heat?? Beautiful stove. Reminds of childhood at the cottage. So is tubing sausage a pain in the buttski? Your beef looks gorgeous, by the way.

Sandie

Dec-10 9:51am

The whole process was fairly straight forward actually although the thought of grating 2 cloves of garlic for each pound of sausage is somewhat daunting when one stops to think we normally make about 30 pounds a go. Tuing sausage can be a pain in the butt if you don't have the proper tools but luckily we have a lovely little machine that helps us squish out the sausages fairly quickly; once you get the knack it's not that hard. I don't cook on the woodstove that often anymore although it's the best for making slow, long cooking dishes like soups and stews; provided you don't let the pot get too hot and boil hard.

Kerry

Dec-17 7:03pm

Garlic press??<br />


December 2, 2010
Deck The Halls

 

Last Sunday we decided to spend some quality time to gether and go walk in the woods. At first the kids weren't that keen until Danny said we could look for a Christmas tree.

Of course Danny had soe last minute stuff to do and was late joining us...

WreathEbenandDanny.jpg

Soon however things went their normal way and I brought up the rear:

wreathWoodsWalk.jpg

Everyone wore hunter's orange to discourage all the hunters. Even I was forced to wear a hunter's orange tuque.

Sorry; no pictures of that. shudder

Anyhow we had a pleasant time walking along. Danny found me an alder tree to act as a Christmas tree at the Christmas Market we are doing next week. But no actual Christmas trees for the house. So we decided to bring some greens home anyway and later in the week I showed Hannah how to make a Christmas wreath.

Step 1; Get a metal clothes hanger

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Step 2 : Take your greens and start wiring them onto the hanger with twist ties

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Do this all the way around the hanger until your happy with your wreat. You can add pine cones, ribbon , berries or anything else you would like as a decoration.

Hang it up where you can enjoy it. I think ours came out with a bit of a Charlie Brown quality.

wreathhanger.jpg

wreath.jpg

So the holidays have begun here. May they be merry and bright!

 

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Dianne

Dec-2 6:58pm

Lovely wreath!

Kerry

Dec-3 6:52pm

Yes, it's a lovely wreath. I love the home made quality it has. Much more personality than store bought. And the rose table cloth is quite the find. Frenchy's? :)

Joanne Wright

Dec-4 5:00pm

nice blog. Hanna looks beautiful in the pics!

Sandie

Dec-5 6:41pm

thanks everybody! And Kerry however did you guess; I still love Frenchy's!




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