LIVING OFF GRID

This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Monday, 3 December 2018

CASTLES

Owen has a vivid imagination and loves to build things from stuff around the house. When we arrived last Friday we had to see his "Castle"

It's big enough to get inside, well Owen can get inside, I have to be content to view it from the couch.

Grandpa had to help add some openings for windows but Owen drew them where needed and the size and shape he wanted. It's been a while since I got down on my stomach to play on the floor; brought back a lot of memories.

Later we moved the castle to the playroom in the basement ready for the next attack from knights using nerf guns. When you are six it's OK to mix modern technologies with the middle-ages.

We are already looking forward to our next visit and the attack with our "Nerf Guns"

Sunday, 2 December 2018

THE TREE IS DONE

Yesterday we were busy decorating the Christmas tree.




Kate was very focused on placing her ornament to her satisfaction.














While we worked on the tree, Owen was busy writing his list for Santa.

















When we were done Kate was pleased and expected presents to be under the tree when she got up this morning.














Owen was content to sit back, relax and enjoy the moment.

Owen took this picture and I thought he did a good job; tree doesn't look too bad either.

After breakfast Oma had to help at the Lego table.

It was a wonderful weekend that disappeared too quickly.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

A NEW TRADITION

Yesterday we left Bancroft with a tree tied to our back. We have slippery roads and lots of snow up there;  but here in the GTA green grass is all we see


Our tree looked so magnificent standing in the forest but rather anemic strapped to the truck. Next summer when Owen is up I think we will get him to slect and tag a better looking tree for next year.



Regardless, Owen and Kate were delighted and we had to get it inside as quickly as possible. Here Owen is helping his Mom place towels under the tree; the floor needed protection from the melting snow.












Before leaving home Mary made "gummie bears" for Owen. These are little fruit flavoured gelatin treats full of vitamins that Owen and Kate have each morning.  Hopefully these little critters help the kids fight colds this winter.

Today we will watch the kids decorate the tree; a "new tradition" for us.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

SOURDOUGH ROUND TWO

We decided to add roasted walnuts to this batch of sourdough bread. This enhances the flavour of the nuts and adds a richness to the loaf.

Mary lets the sourdough sit in these proofing baskets overnight in the fridge.

The skin of the dough in sliced with a blade (razor-blade works best) before baking. This allows the dough to rise and expand unhindered.

Next step is to simply fold the parchment paper so you can easily lift the bread dough into the pot.

We use cast-iron pots with lids and preheat them to 450 *F before placing the dough inside. Once the lid is on, the pot goes back into the oven to be baked according to the recipe.

In about an hour two beautiful loaves emerge ready to cool and enjoy.

These loaves are made from a variety of grains Mary first sprouted before grinding into flour. Still high in carbohydrates but healthier than loaf of white bread from the store. Now if I could just learn to refrain from eating them in one day.

Time for another delicious slice covered in butter.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

SEARCHING for the PERFECT TREE

Yesterday we went searching for potential Christmas trees.

With the fresh snow everything looking "Winter Wonderland" perfect.



Here is one possibility but it looks a little thin and maybe needs a few more years of growth.

















We live in a remarkable age  where we can chat on the phone way back in the bush, send pictures to everyone and stay connected in a way  my grandmother didn't even dream about.












Still searching and we will look some more today but now it's time to head inside for homemade soup.

Safe travels everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

KOMBUCHA TEA

Mary usually has 4-5 projects on the go at once. Besides quilting, making sourdough bread, cutting trees for Christmas she has been busy experimenting with Kombucha.



If you've never tried kombucha it is a healthy drink made from fermented tea. It is thought to have originated in Manchuria or Russia but no one is certain.













That round "cookie" you see floating at the top is called a SCOBY, which is the yeast/bacterial culture that creates the kombucha tea.


Mary used blueberries and ginger to flavour this batch but I think you could use whatever fruit you prefer.

This will be our morning drink throughout the winter.

There is plenty of information on the internet if you are interested in making your own.

Enjoy!!!

CARBOHYDRATES


Mary has been busy baking. She finally got a sourdough mix growing properly thanks to our friend Carol. Every attempt Mary made on her own just didn't work.


I know I'm to avoid carbs but with the bread just out of the oven and the house full of that delicious sourdough smell my resistance was "0" The first loaf didn't survive an hour.

Now it's off to cut wood and burn some extra calories.

Enjoy the day and thanks for stopping by.