March 25, 2015

More food.




A big jar of yogurt! Now that I have finally found the best recipe for making yogurt, I make a jar full each week or so. We like to mix a bit of honey into it, or use it in smoothies. I cannot tell you how happy I am about this! 


Glorious pumpkin pie! I always make them in twos or fours, as out Jarrahdale pumpkins are so large that just ONE is enough for FOUR pies! Sometimes I make two pies and a huge pot of soup, though. 
We still have five or six of them here in the kitchen ~ Grown in our garden last summer, they have certainly lasted well! The pie recipe has somehow disappeared from the website I found it on (Good thing I scribbled it on a piece of paper and tucked it in my kitchen drawer!), and the gluten free pie crust recipe I found here.


Chicken pot pie ~ Gluten free, of course! Made with our own free range chickens and broth, this is one delicious and healthy meal. Jude was kind enough to help decorate the top by adding a sunshine above my chicken. He quickly made it and snuck it on there when my back was turned (:


A gluten free birthday cake! We drove down to stay with my parents last weekend to celebrate my Mom's birthday, and since her cake was indeed not of the gluten free variety, I baked one just for Jude and Ollie to eat and brought it along. They had a blast decorating it, and it was actually quite yummy!

It's funny, I never liked cooking. I loved to bake and make homemade bread when I first dabbled in the culinary world, but never did I have the patience for more elaborate meals. I am still that way, but with so many mouths to feed, I just have to cook-cook-cook anyway! And the gluten free aspect of our lives really forces me to wake up and get creative! Without the convenience of bread, one must come at meal preparation from an entirely new place but I'm getting there. I look immensely forward to summer when our scrumptious vegetable gardens are working their magic and fresh food tastes good again! I fondly remember Jude and Ollie plucking little tomatoes, cucumbers and cucamelons off of their plants and eating them in the sun.

March 16, 2015

I made these!


Aren't they beautiful!?

I made Lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread made from mashed potatoes mixed with flour.
My version was gluten free of course, and much thicker than the traditional sort. We have to be very careful around here as our five year old has celiac, so our home - and life - is free of gluten. These were quite good. Everyone ate them all up! Bella had peanut butter and jam on hers, Ollie had butter, Jason and Jude had almond/cashew butter and jam, and I had almond/cashew butter with super thin apple slices. Next time, we'll go the savory route and try something more like a taco or burrito, or cheese and veggies!






March 14, 2015

winter food










Roasted garlic for soup, gluten free pancakes, pizza, and garlic-parmesan noodles with kale and egg...

Food is so important in the winter, especially when you live deep in the woods and far from any semblance of an actual town, the mountains of snow on either side of your driveway are 6 feet tall and your winter is of the Canadian variety: six months long and ruthless!
I'm not complaining. I really am not. This past winter has been full of newness and blessings, warmth and love. I have fared well, sitting in that rocking chair before the fire with a pile of wool on my lap and a basket of felting supplies beside me, the kiddos playing and playing and playing around me. This house is so warm and wonderful, I am just completely in love with it. 

As for the food aspect of our hibernation, well, once I emerged from that post-traumatic-moving-stress business, I kicked right into baking/cooking mode, and I think we have been doing pretty good. Jason, Jude and I did have a 24-hour flu last week and Bella had one a few weeks back, but the recuperation happened swiftly so I think our immune systems are doing well. We seem to eat a lot of kale, spinach and garlic in the winter, so that is a good thing. I really miss the overwhelming collection of eggs piling up in baskets on the counter from years past - we had all our chickens processed before moving here, as both a means to uncomplicate the move (if that was even possible!) and get ourselves off to a good start with a freezer full of our own free range chickens - and while we will be picking up a new brood of peeping chicks next month - it will still be quite some time until we have those wonderful, delicious eggs again! I think fresh chicken eggs have been one of the truly greatest joys in my life. I pondered this as I walked back from the barn this morning, a bucket in my hand and my fingers covered with lanolin from petting Noble and Teapot, who so love to snuggle once they've finished their breakfast. Apparently I am very simple, and so are my joys! The eggs, and my beautiful sheep. These two things are so wonderful, so miraculous to me in their natural beauty and goodness, that they bring me back to a place of center when I am struggling with my purpose on the planet, my reason for living, how to cope with being such a sensitive being in an overwhelming world...etc etc etc.

March 8, 2015

Late-winter creativity!



I drew a quick collection of our sheep for Ollie to play with. He enjoyed that quite a lot.



Jude made a super awesome comic book! He is such an amazing artist!


Daddy and Jude made apple-head dolls. Here they are drying by the woodstove.


My boy Jude, drawing in the sun.


Making a cardboard room for Ollie to play with.


Same sunny spot, different day. This time Jude is making his own version of a pinata, out of cut paper that has been coloured, decorated and stapled. 

March is an interesting month. We know that spring is soon to arrive, but still the snow falls and the wind blows. Here, it seems that we are faring much better than last winter, likely because we are in a new house. The boys do squabble a bit, but they are doing great considering they are together all day, every day, inside the house. Ollie is 3 and Jude is 5 and a half now, so they are big boys enough to work through their disagreements with a semblance of manners and consideration (-; We do a lot of creative projects, although nothing extremely innovative. Jude keeps himself busy drawing off and on every day; wondrous detailed illustrations of machines, houses, pirate boats and robot costumes. His imagination helps him through any bored moments! Ollie is a really easy going fellow, adapting easily to pretty much anything and entertaining himself for great lengths of time with little more than his own fingers to play with (seriously! He pretends they are little people, police men, pirates, elves, you name it, having adventures and facing perilous situations but always making it out alive in the end!). He isn't artistically creative yet, aside from painting the odd picture here or there, but his imagination keeps him entertained constantly. Small children are amazing, they really are, and I really wish I could be that free and expressive and uninhibited.
So, until the snow breaks and the sun flares warm enough to melt the mountains of snow, we will keep our hands and minds busy by drawing, painting, playing (and sewing and felting for me!). 

March 5, 2015

My favourite!



Aside from the barn chores, the cold winter days have pretty much kept us inside this entire winter.
Mostly, we all fight over the rocking chair that directly faces the wood stove, and when I am lucky enough to claim it, I work away at my needle felting in that cozy, wonderful spot. With tea, of course! Winter does have its perks! 
I actually found the rocking chair in the barn, and it is already quite rickety and well-loved, so we'll be fixing it up in the springtime, but for the time being it is helping all of us to make the most of this extremely frigid winter. Jude draws there, and Isabella knits and reads books there. Ollie asks me to sit there when he is upset, and I will rock and cuddle him until he is his usual cheery self again. I of course indulge in needle felting while sitting in that spot, but I also seem to sit there every morning after the flurry of breakfast has settled to drink my first cup of tea (:

March 1, 2015

New line of Chicken Aprons!





I have designed a new line of Chicken Aprons and they are now for sale in my shop.

Available in small, medium and large sizes, they will fit any chicken (:

Please visit www.pipodoll.etsy.com to check out my sets of 3 or five aprons, as well as individual ones!

February 21, 2015

Snow cave


We have had tons of snow this year!
The snow plow has gone by our driveway so many times that we ended up with a snow mountain, so Jason hollowed it out for the kids. Good times!



February 16, 2015

A visit!

 On the wall of my parent's kitchen..


Jude discovered Grandma-Jude's old roller skates and put them to good use!



Jude loves to draw wherever he goes. Grandma-Jude gifted him with a great big sketchbook and he filled so many pages while we were visiting there!
Jude decided he was going to sleep beside the orange in the picture come nighttime. He thought he was so clever and funny to do such a thing! Ollie copies everything his big brother does, so naturally he conceived to bring a clementine to bed the following night (-;



A simple breakfast of rye toast with cheese, applesauce and tea in a place where I had no early morning freezing-cold barn chores to do! This in itself was quite a treat for me.


I taught my Mom how to needle felt, and we sat for the entire morning doing so. It was very peaceful.


This is My Mom's cat Sumo. She is really quite the character. Amarook the dog always seems to evade the camera!



I made this little sheep and then gifted it to a good friend later that day (:


It has been quite a time since we made the trek down to my parents' house for a weekend visit. Now that we have moved, it takes two and a quarter hours to drive there but for some reason it didn't feel unpleasant or boring on the trip there or back. The boys were remarkably well behaved both times, thank goodness! We don't have a lot of car-ride perks, Just some gluten-free crackers and a bag of books!
For some reason, Ollie didn't make it into any of the pictures. He does seem to be running fast all of the time, rarely settling in one spot for very long. Poor Bella caught a 24-hour flu and so had to stay home with Jason who is working on some paintings. Such a talented artist he is! I will post some pictures soon (:

February 11, 2015

The past two weeks.


Isabella has been knitting! She first learned when she was eight years old, but lost interest shortly thereafter. Now that she is 14, she has picked up right where she left off and has been knitting herself some slouchy hats, and also secret presents for an upcoming birthday. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see her engaged so devotedly in handwork again! Creativity in all aspects seemed to wane the longer she attended traditional school, but something wonderful has happened since moving to this new house of ours; We have all been confronted with newness, uprootedness and change of course, but with the newness comes a sort of freshness. A new start. And so she knits! And my mama self rejoices!


This is our squirrel-friend who shares the suet cakes we hang for the birds. He has a huge scar across his body; who can know the trials he has endured? In that vein of thinking, we are glad he found his way to our bird suet to help him get through this brutally cold, dark and snowy winter.


Ollie, sitting by the window in the late afternoon winter light.


Jude, sitting by the window in the late afternoon winter light.



Jude made this 3D town/highway by drawing cars, roads, trees, buildings and cutting them all out while remembering to leave tabs at the bottom for gluing. Jason did the actual gluing part. Jude was very proud of his creation (:


Jude's very favourite activity in the whole world right now is sitting in my rocking chair by the fire and drawing inventions in his sketchbook. It is the first thing he goes to after waking in the morning and the last thing he does before bed..I remember having the same unsatiable creative hunger when I was a child. It's so beautiful to watch your children unfold.


This would be our muscovy drake with the very worst luck. A week or 2 ago he somehow managed to snap off five bloodfeathers from his wing so we brought him inside the house, gave him a bath and then Jason pulled out the remaining feather shafts. We are new to ducks but we learn fast. We have to! Injured animals don't wait until you are are actually prepared to pull their injury stunts! 
I strolled out to the barn a few mornings ago to do my (normally) calm chores and found the same drake with five broken bloodfeathers on his tail this time. The duck house looked like there had been a bloodbath in there and the other 10 ducks were covered! Not the most pleasant way to begin my day, I can assure you. Jason wasn't home this time, so I brought the drake inside and put him in the bathtub while I gathered my supplies (pliers, towels and cornstarch to stop bleeding). I sat down on the floor, wrapped him in a towel, pinned him under my arm and then pulled the remaining feather shafts out. The poor guy. Like the time before, I let him rest on the bathroom floor for an hour or two after that ordeal and brought him back to his friends in the barn when he appeared to be his perky self again.


Spanish omelettes in the making. I have a dear friend who was born and grew up in the Basque region of Spain and she taught me how to make these wonderful and delicious omelettes. Her husband's grandfather lived to be 100 years old and ate a spanish omelette every single day for lunch!



Gluten free sugar cinnamon buttermilk donuts! These were SO good!


Jude and Ollie, being themselves in our cozy, warm living room (:


Little boys in rocking chairs (:


I knitted a quick hat for Jude. I made the broomcorn broom behind him as well, come to think of it. I guess it's pretty apparent which colours I am loving right now!


This was amazing. And it looked delicious after it was baked, but sadly it didn't last long enough for me to take a picture! At any rate, it's a gluten free deep-dish chocolate chip cookie cake, baked in a cast iron frying pan. You need things like this to help you stay cheery and sane when locked into a Canadian winter for 6 or 7 months, believe me (-;


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