Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

IMG_9347When our dear neighbour died many years ago, his daughters asked us to have a look and see if there was anything in the barn that we would be able to use. They’d rather us have it to use on our adjacent property, than selling it in bits and pieces to others. Our cows had run in a mixed herd with his for many years, and we’d managed them together. At some point, we purchased his animals from him, and started leasing the land. Calves were born on both properties, and grew up into producing cows on the same land.

After his death, the property was sold to a new family, and they planned on using the land for an equestrian center. For many years, our cows would walk the property line, looking for any break, or loosening of wire to get through to their known range. Finally in 2015, our herd is young enough that all were born and raised only on our side of the fence. Rarely is there an issue of a fence breach to “the other side”. Walking to check the herd takes half the time, as does fixing fences, but I still get nostalgic for the old days.

Here’s the recipe for muffins that I made to share over at the barn the day that we went through it, finding old treasures, useful bales of barbed wire, a red sickle bar mower, enough split rails to fence a large yard, and memories. Continue reading

Hot & Sour Soup

IMG_8778One of our family’s favourite soups is Hot & Sour Soup, slightly spicy, sweet & sour with just a few ingredients; this is perfect for a light meal. There are some additions that do make it more authentic, but even this very basic version makes for a very happy meal. I can remember many busy school nights when this was served, always leaving us satisfied! Continue reading

Butternut Squares

IMG_9052This recipe dates back at least 50 years for me. I’m pretty sure it was one of the first things I ever baked from start to finish without help. An easy bar to make, with ingredients that are usually on hand, this is perfect for when you’re short of time. Regardless of how long ago the recipe became part of my mother’s repertoire, it still stands well today as part of a cookie & bar file. Continue reading

Gingered Carrots

IMG_8681Our first truck was a ’47 Ford 1 Ton. Dark green with gold detailing, and very much a work truck. In the early eighties, with my hair in braids, wearing a down vest, and gum boots, I loved being the one that would go to town to pick up supplies, whether it was feed or fence posts. Even though the truck was 9 years my senior, we were good friends. It could hold so much, and anytime I pulled into a yard the staff was excited to see the truck; consequently I always got speedy service.

There was an inherently farm feel about picking up 50# burlap sacks of potatoes, onions and carrots for us, while 50# sacks of barley and oats were thrown in for the horses and pigs. These sacks of vegetables would sit in the cold room in our barn, and feed us through the winter (this sounds like the olden days, but really it was the eighties). They were the mainstay of our diet, supplemented with our own meat & squash, and winter hardy greens from the farmers market. Some of the carrots where oddly shaped, resembling the human form in many variations. Some would make us blush, while others would have us laughing outright.

Eating the same veg day after day, made us try lots of different recipes. A pan with all three tossed with a bit of oil, and seasoned with salt & pepper, then roasted is still one of my favourites. Glazing some carrots always made those dinners seem fancier. I used to do a brown sugar, butter & ginger glaze, by just draining the carrots and adding the three additions back with the carrots into the pot, to heat for 5 minutes or so before serving. Years went by, and I started to gently sauté the ginger before adding, and then I bought the Silver Palate cookbook. Well. They added in caraway, a whole new flavour to elevate my simple glazed carrots. While their recipe uses ground ginger & golden sugar, I still like to use minced ginger & brown sugar. But it’s all about innovating, so with a bit of this and a bit of that, here’s the Silver Palate enhanced version of my simple Gingered Carrot recipe. Enjoy, while you remember that it really is okay to eat the same thing most days, as long as it’s good for you! Continue reading