Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's warm up here

We were thinking about getting some more heat in the house but didn'tn count on so many BTU's.

Today was the Grey Cup football match and once again Montreal Allouettes beat out the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and we had David and Tim, our big friends  on the island round for pizza and the game.

We started the fire to burn off the fumes from the paint on the fireplace at about 11am and then fanned the place out for a few hours till they arrived. This system is  whole palava but certainly does the trick for heat.

We had delicious pizza and watched the Rough Riders lose to the Allouettes by a hairs breadth but a miss is as good as a mile as they say. We were very hot as the hot box is very very efficient at heating up the's rated to do 1400sq feetand we also have the big open fireplace in the living room big hot heat was the order of the day.

Ok so this post is a total screw up .........who knows why except "Blogger" but even so I'll just post it and to hell with the crap!!

We are now ready for the terrible Winter that is early upon us and I am very happy so far.......even tempted to put in another hot box in the dining room too. But that is another whole renovation story that Greg is freaking about.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The first snowstorm of the Winter

The 22nd of November is usually the bang on date for the first snow storm round these parts but since this year is supposed to be the worst, coldest, most horrible and scary Winter in 50 years because of the La Nina combining with a periodic shift in the North Pacific oceanic oscillation it was no surprise that we were whacked with a big one almost a week early.

A small but strong low pressure system sat off the Vancouver Island coast pulling in lots of precipitation and a large high pressure system sat over the interior of BC. This high pressure system caused an outflow of cold air through Howe Sound and across the Straits of Georgia. When the two systems met just over the East coast of Vancouver island and the Gulf Islands the normally heavy rain turned to a big dump of snow.

Friday downtown Ganges was the usual presnow pandemonium with people buying up the stores as if there would never be food again. I don't know what the story is here but maybe some people don't store much food at home. My main concern is having enough beer!!

The snow arrived as predicted on Friday night and at about 3am there was a short power failure. I got up at about 5.30 and there was a big blue flash down the valley and all the lights went out. BC Hydro phone help said they expected the power to be on again at midnight Sunday so I was stomping mad and pissed off since they charge New York prices for their service and treat us like we're in Rwanda......a small wind storm and the lights go out..a snowstorm and we can be sitting around for days without power. It's like they can never sort out the weak link in the chain. Well we sat around all day, I got my photo montage project done, studied a bunch of mushroom propagation stuff for my Mycelium course in May and then started drinking lots of beer. Greg plowed the driveway and I shovelled a bunch of snow off the decks. All in all we got a foot of wet heavy snow.

The sunset was very pretty with a full moon coming up creamy in the pink and blue sky. This got me dancing in a wild and drunken fashion out on the deck to Florence and the Machine. Then I slipped on the ice and fell on my face. I injured my shoulder and that was the end of the fun and I had to sit next to the fire for the rest of the night while Greg cooked up some supper. The lights went on at about 7pm so that made it over 24hours earlier than BC Hydro said. For that we are supposed to be grateful.

Today I am hung over and sore and the snow has started again......the cars are still stuck at the top of the drive but I don't care since I have two more days off and enough beer to get drunk again ..........I think I'll make some Minestroni soup and post it here. This is a fabulous soup that is just the best thing for Winter snowy days.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Homer's Canned Caramelised Onions with a Canadian twist

Today was a quiet and cool Canadian West Coast day so I decided to bake a ton of bread and also try out Homer's caramelised onions ( albeit with a few West Coast Canadian variations. Homer is a Tucson archeologist who's blog I have followed for a number of years now and since he lives in the hot  Southwest of the USA where the sun is hot and intense and the light is demanding on the eye, so his recipes reflect this environment. His recipe here called for lots more sugar and vinegar and a little less onion but I adapted it to our more subtle light and super healthy Westcoast lifestyle. That said I would probably use at least a third less sweetness I used and maybe a quarter more onions next time. Even that said I think this is extremely tasty and a must for burgers and if you eat meat stuff it is a super taste enhancer. Thank you Homer.

Take 18 onions (next time use 24) and  slice them up. Put them in a heavy bottomed  pot with 3/4's cup of water, 3 teaspoons of Himalayan rock salt (otherwise just regular cooking salt), 1 cup of Maple Syrup and 1 cup of Demmarra brown sugar (use 1/2 cup next time).

Boil the lot with the lid on for at least 20 minutes. Then take the lid off and reduce for ages till the bunch is very reduced. Add 2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar and reduce further till very very thick.

Canned onions with Walnut and Hemp Seed bread and Pumpkin and Hemp Seed Ciabatta Rolls.
Prepare the canning jars, fill them and process for about 15 minutes. Tighten the lids and there you are.......ready to spoon onto vege burgers of various sorts, vege hotdogs, cheese crackers or if you are a disgusting meat eater your choice of dead animal.
Onion topping for black bean burgers with fried eggs and Mache, Pomegranate and sprout salad.