Attila took a log nap when he got home from work yesterday, 40 minutes. I had thawed some stewing beef, organic grass fed beef purchased many years ago when we lived at the Country House, before we bought Mist Cottage. It turned into a lovely stew in the Instant Pot, and was ready when Attila got up from his nap. After eating, he changed into his work clothes, and out he went to work on the garage roof.

Yesterday it rained hard, for a quite a long time. In the morning I had ventured into the garage and placed tarps over all the water vulnerable items. Attila felt the unfinished roof might leak where the nails held down the waterproof sheeting. At noon, during his lunch break, Attila called to see how the garage roof was holding up. The tarps were dry, dry, dry. It put his mind at rest, and mine. No extra clean up needed!

Last night’s efforts on the roof saw the metal trim installed, and two of the nine metal panels installed. The trim and the panels look beautiful! It is very pleasing that the colour we chose is so very close to the colour of the trim on the house, which we did not realize until the metal panels were in place. Bonus.

Two metal roof panels installed.
Two metal roof panels installed.

Attila is beginning to grow weary. This morning his alarm went off for twenty minutes, wakening me from time to time, until I finally realized he wasn’t getting up to turn it off. When I woke him up he was in a deep sleep. I am so glad that the roof panels are finally going on, which I hope he finishes tonight. Once the roof panels are on, the roof will be reliably waterproof, and the rest of the project can proceed at a slower pace. It might be time then, for Attila to take a few days off the project!

The Instant Pot cooked my breakfast yesterday, a Bread Pudding. Another Bread Pudding was pressure cooked this morning. This time I used very low-sodium homemade bread and added diced apple. The apple added so much volume that my appetite was fully sated by eating just half of the pudding. The other half is safely stashed away in the refrigerator, a quick breakfast for tomorrow morning.

Bread Pudding in the Instant Pot!
Bread Pudding in the Instant Pot!

When I made the Beef Stew in the Instant Pot last night, I sautéed half of the stewing beef, removed it from the pot, and refrigerated it for tonight’s dinner. The Beef Stew was such a big hit with Attila that I will make another one tonight. I don’t care much for beef, although I can enjoy a bit of hamburger from time to time, if it is well browned. Attila likes beef, sometimes he craves it, so I try to take as little of it in my portion of the stew as possible, since I don’t enjoy it, and leave the rest to Attila.

Apparently a heat wave, high heat and high humidity, is fast approaching. I hope Attila gets all of the metal roof panels installed tonight, so that he won’t be on the roof in the extreme heat. There is still a lot of work to be done on the walls, installing the window, the cleanup, and then organization, all of which can be done in a leisurely fashion, slowly, in the shade. It is a long weekend, Monday is a statutory holiday. It would be ideal if Attila allows himself to slow down once the roof panels are safely secured into place.

The faux Cabana Curtains I created out of old white flat sheets are working very well. The afternoon sun no longer turns the back porch into an oven. With the Cabana Curtains drawn, the back porch remains at ambient temperature. The back porch will be hot during the heat wave, but no more so than sitting in the shade under a tree.

When it started to rain yesterday, I ran out into the yard and removed the cover on the rain barrel under the drip line of the back porch. This is kept covered during fair weather, to prevent mosquito reproduction, and to prevent loss due to evaporation. Much water will be needed to water the gardens during the heat wave, and now the rain barrels are full and ready for action. So far this season, intermittent rain has minimized the need to water the gardens. Even so, the rain barrels have been emptied several times, only to be refilled by the heavens.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:00 PM EDT Thursday 28 June 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.8 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 22.4°C
Dew point: 20.2°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: SSW 10 km/h
Humidex: 30
Visibility: 24 km


“The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty-five years ago. The second best time is today.”
James Carville
1944 –


  1. I love the way the iPot makes beef stew. I had two steaks thawed out and I had cooked a 3rd one recently that was so touch I couldn’t eat it (NOT in the Pot)… so I took the other 2 and cut them up into chunks and added carrots and potatoes in equal size chunks and water and some spices and herbs including beef bouillon… and ran it for 60 mins. It was so delicious and the beef was melting in our mouths. That’s the kind of beef I enjoy eating.

  2. Bex, it sounds lovely! 60 minutes, I think I only ran mine for 20 minutes and the meat could have been more tender… 60 minutes tonight! I am going to throw all kinds of things in tonight, onions, potatoes, garlic scapes, pureed Blue Hubbard Squash, carrots, peas, corn, green beans, herbs, maybe a tomatoe powder (made from dehydrated skins and seeds compliments of the food mill).

    I have a thing about beef… harks back to the the days when I loved our milk cow on the farm, then suddenly found her dead on my plate at dinner time… shock and horror.

  3. WendyNC

    The more i read about the Instant Pot and all you make in it, the more I see one of those in our future. Thanks for all the great ideas for it.

  4. Joan, some people, when they grow up on a farm where the animals are slaughtered for meat, do not react negatively to the process. I am not one of those people, I loved the animals.

    The roof is happening!

  5. Wendy, I love the Instant Pot, and am learning a lot about pressure cooking while making up my own recipes. There are certain requirements for recipes, such as adequate liquid to create steam, which I failed to take into account with tonight’s beef stew. I am learning from my mistakes, and Attila eats the mistakes so all is not lost. 🙂

    I had no issues following recipes that I found on the Instant Pot web site and on other sites, the only issues I’ve had are with my own recipe, back to the drawing board.

  6. Teri

    Your bread pudding pic had me craving!

    I guess I don’t understand how the InstaPot works. It appears you have a container inside the InstaPot, holding the bread pudding. So you don’t always cook directly in the pot?

    I hope Attila finishes the roof tonight. It’ll be hot enough as it is. The weekend will not be a time to be up on the roof, with the temps and humidity being extreme.

    We’re off to the cottage this weekend. We have an interior air conditioning unit for the bedroom and another that was left behind by the previous owner. I guess we’ll find out of the one left behind works to help keep the temp down in the rest of the cottage.

    This weekend we intend to order the gravel for around the firepit, to have it delivered perhaps next Friday. DH works full days next weekend but we now have internet and he can do it from the cottage. And with working both days he gets the Friday and the Monday off, so 4 days at the cottage next weekend even though he works. This weekend, 3 days at the cottage.

  7. Teri, the Instant Pot consists of the cooker, and the inner pot, much like a crock put had a shell and an inner crock that fits into it. Food is placed in the inner pot in various ways. Some foods need to be steamed rather than cooked directly in the pot, the steaming is done on a steamer, or in a bowl or other container on a trivet, above water in the bottom of the pot.

    The weather hasn’t been terrible for this roofing project, but it has slowed things down at different points, we are at another of those points!

    Enjoy your weekend at the cottage! I think the heat wave is supposed to dissipate by the end of next week, much nicer for spreading gravel!

  8. Ava, it is amazing how long meat will last in a deep freeze. The chest freezer is very cold, and although the quality of meat deteriorates over long periods of time while it is frozen, it is still quite edible, even delicious. The essential factor is to not let the item thaw, or expose it to room temperature or warm air. If an item were to partially thaw, it would be cooked immediately and thoroughly.

    This would not work in a refrigerator freezer. The door is opened relatively frequently, and the door opening is verticle, that so warm air rushes in as cold air pours out at the bottom. Also, a refrigerator freezer is usually frost-free these days, which will dehydrate the contents of the freezer over time.

    I also make sure that foods that have been frozen for a very long time are thoroughly cooked, which is very important.

    The reccommended times for freezing foods are good guides for best quality results.

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