Chelsea Buns

Tank is now officially a tank! The power steering is not working at all. I was just out running an errand in town and my wrists are killing me. It was so hard to turn that steering wheel.

Tank is not working well at the moment, hasn’t been since we first took her in to the garage when the engine light flashed on. They didn’t know how to fix her, charged us $4,500, and had her there working on her for weeks. Then we took her in to our regular garage, he did some work, charged us $500 and it made no difference at all. The money is gone now, there is no more where that came from, and Tank is limping along. The dash lights are coming on, and no one has the skill to diagnose the problem. I am interacting on forums and we are slowly trying to work out what is wrong. From what I gather on the forums, dealerships don’t know either, and her problems are not unusual for her make, model, and year. So it is, for now, a matter of working through all the different possibilities, in hope of hitting on the issue that is causing the problems. We have a code reader coming via Amazon, so that is where we will start.

Since Saturday saw cold rain and snow, it was a day that needed some comfort. Comfort food always seems to make a dreary day a little more cheerful. Attila cooked a turkey dinner, and this time we will only eat leftovers for three days, having diced and frozen the rest of the turkey meat for use in quick Instant Pot meals.

It was a busy day in the kitchen, as I baked bread and muffins in the oven, and cooked three meals worth of kidney beans in the Instant Pot, which were frozen for future meals.

I have been craving Chelsea Buns ever since I discovered the wonder of fresh milled flour. So when Sunday presented itself as cold and windy, it was time to cancel out winter’s last gasps. Out came the recipe book, and I set to work. I didn’t skimp on much in the way of ingredients, reducing only the salt (1/4 teaspoon instead of 1 1/2 teaspoons), and substituting low-sodium margarine for butter. By late afternoon the aroma in the house was simply amazing. Attila was reveling in the garden, and I was tempted, when the Chelsea Buns came out of the oven, to wait for him to come in… but NO, I did not wait. The first one was so delicious that I ate another, then another. When Attila decided to work out in the garden until darkness fell, I ate two more! That was my lunch and my dinner. Attila ate leftovers, and then had a Chelsea Bun for dessert. That left four Chelsea Buns! Two went into the freezer, wrapped for Attila’s lunches, and two were left out for me. Guess what I had for breakfast this morning.

I probably won’t bake Chelsea Buns again until late October or early November, to celebrate the end of harvest and canning season. By then I will be craving them again. But for now, well, lets just say my craving for Chelsea Buns is completely gone.

P.S. and note to self, I milled flour today, 11 cups of wheat berries to equal 16 cups of whole wheat flour.

Worldly

Weather

8°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Monday 29 April 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 7.5°C
Dew point: -4.8°C
Humidity: 41%
Wind: SE 17 gust 27 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Food is the most primitive form of comfort.”
Sheilah Graham
1904 – 1988

On the Cheap

These images are to share a couple of budget wise finds that were recently made, on the cheap, so to speak.

Pyrex Bowl
When out collecting garbage from the creek at the Camp, this bowl was found with other discarded items. The other items were indeed garbage, but this little bowl cleaned up well, I thought.
This handy little bowl was free for the finding, just a bit of effort was needed to get rid of the accumulation of silt and leaves.
chain mail scrubber
This stainless steel chain mail scrubber works as advertised! I cleaned the cast iron skillet with it, and then removed some burnt food from the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. It cleans both cast iron and stainless steel. I have been using steel wool, but it always tears up my fingernails, and even cuts my fingers on the really tough jobs. This scrubber has no effect on my fingernails or my skin. It is a winner. This item was described on the internet, where I heard about it for the first time, so the internet comes in handy for some things. It was $13.90 plus tax on Amazon, free delivery with Prime, and worth every penny. There were none available at the local stores.

Worldly

Weather

6°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Wednesday 24 April 2019
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 5.5°C
Dew point: 2.6°C
Humidity: 81%
Wind: WNW 26 gust 39 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.”
Edith Sitwell
1887 – 1964

Just watch the popular channels on youtube for a while, proof of point.




Open Windows

I made it, the windows are open in April! Yes, it is the last day of April, and yes I am wearing a sweater indoors to keep warm, but all of the windows on the main floor of the house are wide open and the breeze is blowing through. It is the last day April and the universe sent sunny, relatively mild weather so that I could open these windows. Somebody up there likes me.

Other than enjoying sitting in the living room, watching the wandering breeze flutter the curtains, I’ve had a busy day.

I had washed Iris the trailer during the last brief series of days when the sun shone, and so I was keen to get back to the task today. After removing the lichen, black spots remained all over the roof, and required a lot of elbow grease to remove. I opted to use 30 Seconds solution, which I purchased at Canadian Tire. I added it to the sprayer and up the ladder I went, soaking the entire roof with the solution. And work it did, the black spots dissolved, and what little remained came off easily with a small brush. To rinse the roof I had to carry bucket after bucket of cold water up the ladder, to dump it on the roof. This was very tedious, as the outdoor taps has not been turned on for the summer, so a trip up and down the stairs to the kitchen sink was required for each bucketful. I got my exercise for today.

I found it interesting that the 30 Seconds solution splashed onto my pants and my shirt, and where it landed the fabric has corroded into brown spots that are almost transparent. I believe that 30 Seconds is a very strong bleaching agent. Luckily I was wearing my work clothes, which I removed immediately after finishing the job, and soaked in a sink full of cold clear water. Then I hung the wet clothes on the clothesline across the back porch. That is another first today, the first time I’ve hung laundry to dry outside in 2018, and managed it in April to boot.

Before I sprayed the 30 Seconds on the roof I had to temporarily protect the failing patch on the roof. This I did with aluminum duct tape, placing a round piece of paper against the sticky side, so that the paper would protect the patch from the adhesive, and would not be damaged when the tape is removed.

I shared the driveway with a parade of wasps. They would land on the trailer, on my ladder, on the front door, on the door to the garage. I killed every single one I ran into. I hate wasps around the doors and outdoor activity areas. Attila is allergic to their sting, and although I am not allergic, I know what a wasp sting feels like and I am not keen on the experience.

The robins are hopping all over the back yard, and are so much fun to watch. They stare me down if they see me looking at them out of the window, or today as I stood on the back porch. Early mornings I see two to three rabbits nibbling on our lawn (which is really a well manicured weed field). They are very cute, with red fur on their legs and ears, and a patch of red fur on their backs. Their tales are fluffy white, and they look as if they have been sitting on balls of cotton.

There is nothing like a sunny day to bring cheer into a day.

Well, I am off to make dinner, cauliflower, sweet potato, and Coconut Lime Fish. The windows are still open!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Monday 30 April 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 18.6°C
Dew point: -2.0°C
Humidity: 24%
Wind: NNW 20 gust 41 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman
1819 – 1892

Mug Cake

Sometimes I just want to eat something sweet. This morning was one of those times. I love Danish Pastry, and that is what I craved. But the only store bought pastries that work for me, with comprehensive labels, come in packages of four or six. I cannot purchase in individual pastry. Herein lies the problem. If I buy four, I will eat four. If I buy six, I will eat six. If I buy one, I will eat one. I only want to buy one, which I cannot do. So instead, I found a recipe for a mug cake, skipped the Nutella, added a dollop of peanut butter, and a dollop of raspberry jam, then sprinkled chocolate chips over it, and baked it in the microwave. It hit the spot, scratched the itch, quenched my craving.

I am careful of sugar laden treats, as I feel sugar contributes significantly to my high blood pressure. I’m not sure it works this way for everyone, but I certainly found it to be the case, after monitoring my diet and my blood pressure daily, for more than a year. I love sugar, but it is something I have to be very careful with. My mug cake had a total of two tablespoons, or six teaspoons, of sugar in it. That is my daily quota! So today I am over quota, because I also added a teaspoon of maple syrup to my morning coffee. I enjoyed that cake, and won’t need to bake another for a while.

It is raining today, providing the newly washed Iris The Trailer with a thorough rinse. The weather reports say that next week we will see sunshine again, and then I will be up there on the ladder, scrubbing away to remove the black dots left by the lichen. When the surfaces are clean, marine wax will be applied and buffed. Slow but sure, that’s me.

Green, a very welcome colour. The day gets greener as the rain falls. Sometimes it is wonderful to live in the universe’s colouring book.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

11°C
Date: 11:00 AM EDT Wednesday 25 April 2018
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 10.5°C
Dew point: 9.7°C
Humidity: 95%
Wind: ENE 17 km/h
Visibility: 5 km

Quote

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.”
Robert Fritz

Very Strange

Just now an older man, over 70, stiff gait, came to my door, after parking his very large, very new, tan coloured SUV in my driveway. He knocked, and I got up immediately to answer the door. He had tried to open the screen door, which was locked. I hate that, people trying to open doors to houses that don’t belong to them. Anyway, he was heading back to his car lickety-split when I got the door open. He knocked and wasn’t waiting for anyone to answer the door, the first bit of strangeness.

He asked me if I was Michelle, who did hairdressing and nails. Nope. And you know what, no one on this street is Michelle who does hairdressing and nails. He said he was sorry to bother me, and then left quickly, getting in his SUV and driving away. He left our street. I got his license number, sent it to a friend to keep a record of it. Very, very strange.

Yesterday the weather was lovely, and this morning it was lovely again! The sky has clouded over now, and rain is predicted for this evening.

Wanting to spend time out of doors during these first few days of lovely weather, I got out my bucket and ladder and began the process of washing the exterior of Iris the trailer. The top of the Iris is covered in lichens, which when washed disintegrate to leave stubborn black polka dots. The sides of Iris sported significant patches of green algae. Yesterday the sides were washed with a mixture of Dawn detergent and 1/4 cup of bleach in a bucket of water. This morning the roof was tackled. The first pass was completed, removing chunks of lichen, that left behind large black dots that need a lot of scrubbing to get off. Most of the black dots were removed from perimeter of the roof that was easy to reach. The rest were scrubbed with a brush, then rinsed. It will take another few days of elbow grease to remove all of the black dots. After that task is completed, a marine wax will be applied. This whole process will take more than a week of sunny days to complete.

The lichen, (Foliose Lichen), comes from the ash tree branches, that hang high above Iris, and has been accumulating since she arrived in our driveway. Hopefully a good coating of marine wax will prevent this from happening again!

Yesterday evening I sat out on the back porch for the first time in 2018. Attila joined me and we spent a pleasant half hour soaking in the setting sun. But we were not alone. Mosquitoes! Those little biting buddies are back. Sitting out on the porch was wonderful, despite having to share it with small and sneaky companions.

After a bit of a break, dinner preparations will begin. Tonight’s meal will consist of Coconut Lime Fish, rice, and two vegetables.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

11°C
Date: 1:00 PM EDT Tuesday 24 April 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 11.3°C
Dew point: 2.2°C
Humidity: 54%
Wind: SSW 18 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Silence is a text easy to misread.”
A. A. Attanasio