Okay, it has been a while since I’ve said anything… What has everyone been up to since January?!?
We are slowly settling into our new neighbourhood. We still don’t really know our neighbours, so I thought I’d let them know I’m a bit of a nut by participating in International Yarn Bombing Day today. Also, I’ve been wanting to do this since before we had our own property, and this lamppost has been looking forlorn since we got here.
I went out at 1:00 this afternoon and crocheted this scarf around the post
I think it’s a much prettier addition to the scenery than all the camper vans that have suddenly appeared.
You may have noticed that I missed posting yesterday’s baking. That’s because it didn’t quite turn out. I was reluctant to share our failed attempt, but then I realised that mistakes are good to talk about too. Here’s what happened:
I thought it would be a good day to attempt bread. D and I talked about the options and we decided that this recipe from Joy of Cooking (which I usually LOVE and do not (completely) blame for what came next) would be a good one to try. It’s the first bread recipe in the book, and it makes two loaves so we figured on plain and one with stuff in it, like dried fruit or herbs.
They say quite clearly that this is a classic recipe. It looked pretty straight-forward.
I had my reservations about all the heating and mixing, but D asked for the oven mitts and went right to it!
I don’t know if I misread the instructions or if it’s super extra dry in my house or what, but we didn’t even add the full amount of flour and it was too much by far. I tried to add some more warm milk, but the dough just got more tough.
After letting it try to rise twice, I figured I’d see if it would bake off at all. I tried to roll it flat, but it refused.
It rose a little in the oven, to a slightly puffier but still very dense blob.
We both tasted the ‘bread’ and it was pretty good. A few bites are incredibly filling! We’ll have to try bread another time, with perhaps a different recipe, different flour, and different yeast.
Both of these suggest using the oven to make the glitter. For safety and impatience considerations, I used the microwave. First, we gathered our ingredients:
You will need: a microwavable bowl, sugar, food colouring, something to stir with, something to protect your hands from the hot bowl. You might want a measuring cup.
D was eager to add the colour, so he got some blue in while I was reaching for the camera. He said this was “many” drops, which usually means 4 – 5. We stirred thoroughly with a fork and then popped it in the microwave for about 90 seconds.
Spread the glitter on wax paper and leave it to cool before putting in in resealable containers.
As you can see, we played around with amounts of sugar and D mixed his own colours.
We also did this later with salt, which makes a shinier sparkle, but doesn’t taste as good. Either way, we still had to set up a toy bath to clean those hands!
Last week we went to a grocery store that actually had a good-looking fish section. I normally don’t buy fish from the grocery store, but I haven’t found a fishmonger in Barrie yet. (If anyone knows of one, please tell me where it is!) It took me a while to be comfortable cooking fresh fish – especially since it can be so expensive. And smelly. It turns out that wrapped in parchment paper is the easiest thing ever. Here’s how I like to do it:
Lay a large piece of parchment paper on the tray. Place the fillet on top. Decide how you’d like to flavour it. I often like maple syrup or honey with a fruit or vegetable. This time I chose mandarin oranges because we had some leftover.
I like to cut the peel off both ends and two sides. If you’re leaving any peel on, wash it thoroughly first.
Brush the syrup on, then lay the orange slices on top of the fillet (notice that it is skin-side-down). Next, pull the parchment paper around and tuck it in, forming a kind of envelope. Place it in the oven at about 425 C for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick your fish is.
Monday is always a sad day in this house. It’s the day that D’s best friend of all (Daddy) has to go back to work. Generally, we encounter a few sad moments through the day when D especially misses Daddy. A couple weeks ago I found a brilliant way to help combat this. Monday has now become Baking Day! After all, D loves to help cook and we sure do love to eat in this house – especially if we can work in local ingredients.
I’d like to start making all of our own bread, but figured we ought to ease into it. This scone recipe was easy to follow, and delicious.
Follow the directions carefully. Then:
Gently place balls of dough on the baking sheets
Add raisins. You might prefer to stir them in. D decided to poke them onto the tops.
Of course, he had to stop and taste a few, just to make sure.
When they were done, we stood and watched them cool enough to eat.
Well, not really quiet in my house – we’ve been moving! We from our beloved High Park neighbourhood in Toronto, which inspired me every day:
High Park Ave, almost at the subway station
We would have loved to stay in Toronto forever, but it became a choice between living on a shoestring forever, or moving away. So… We bought a house! In Barrie! Closer to D’s Gramma and other family favourites, complete with a snow-filled winter:
D and Daddy play in the snow
Now that we’re a little more moved in, I’ll be looking around Barrie to share with you what local living here has to offer. Stay tuned!
I love everything to do with autumn. Even these rainy grey days which inspire me to drink more tea and think of indoor crafts to do with my son. So earlier this week when I heard about the Harvest Festival at Scadding Court Community Centre happening tomorrow (Sept 22), I put it on our adventure list for this weekend. Then I learned that they were looking for vendors. Well! Perfect!
I’ve rented a table and I’ll be bringing along a lot of my sale items as well as some new goodies that aren’t available online yet. I also plan to bring a Make ‘N Take. Or maybe two, depending on how the rest of today goes…
If you stop by my table and say that you saw this post, I’ll even give you an extra present!
One of the things I love about Toronto is that we are embracing alternative currencies, such as bartering items and time. You may be familiar with and using Freecycle (and if you’re not, click here ) which is widely used throughout North America. If you are in Toronto, you probably also know about Swapsity which I spoke about in conjunction with the LiveGreen Toronto Festival a while back.
Here’s something new to Toronto, although it’s been spreading through the world over the past couple years:
Toronto Trade School is a place where people agree to host workshops at various locations around the city and instead of being paid in cash, they have a list of items or skills that they would like students to bring. There is a HUGE variety of workshops available, and this is only the first time it’s being tried out! The classes will be held Sept 29 – Oct 3. More Info Here.
I’m already signed up to attend the Intro to Bookmaking class which looks very exciting!
I am sitting out on teaching a class, at least this time around, because I will be participating in Culture Days which is also that weekend. Here’s the link for the all-ages handsewing program I’ll be doing at Wise Daughters’. We’ll be making brooches. Like this little guy. For FREE!!!
I’ve been keeping everyone in suspense (or trying to) about my new path, and I’m finally ready to share! On Wednesday evening I put my new work on display at Café Novo which is just up the street from me: 1986 Bloor St W. The owner and staff are always friendly and they are the only café in the area with a high chair! D and I like to go there when we need a (fair trade, organic) treat and a break. So here’s what I’ve been up to:
My fabric story art, on the back wall. Each piece comes with a story, usually written on the back and displayed here under/beside.
Close-up of Morning picture
Back of Morning picture
Each picture is made using rescued fabric scraps. It has been a lot of fun incorporating other non-fabric elements too. These blinds are made using newspaper strapping.
Another awesome local artist is also on display at Novo. My fuzzy picture really does not do justice to his work. It is beautiful and complex, and you want to look at it for hours to discover all the little hidden details: