Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chef Nick, watch your back...


"Psssst, Chef Nick, the hens and me, we've been talking. In Sicily, chicks are more dangerous than shotguns. But the girls and me, we kinda like you, even though you dishonour us by talking about turning us into tikka masala or potpie or Buffalo wings. So Nick, cuz we like you, we're givin' you a little warning. Watch your back! It's not personal. It's business.

"Ya remember Happy Wombat Boy? What did we ever do to make him treat us so disrespectfully? If he'd come to us in friendship, then that scum that ruined his omelette would be suffering this very day. Instead, the Happy Wombat Boy, he laughed at us. He joked about how tasty the girls and me would be served up as kebabs with tzatziki sauce. He debated with you the merits of charmoula sauce atop fresh poultry. We liked the Happy Wombat Boy, but he just didn't know when to stop..."

" we stopped him. Dead."

"If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone. Especially if there are eleven of you with sharp claws and beaks. Remember that, Chef Nicky!"

"Happy Wombat Boy was coming to da farm for a visit, and I said to Charlotte, I said 'Hey, listen, I want somebody good - and I mean very good - to plant that gun. I don't want my sister coming out of that coop with just a duck in her hands, alright?'"

"I spent my whole life trying not to be careless. Chefs and children can be careless. But not hens."

Now somebody wipe dat dusty footprint off Wombat Boy's shirt before the FBI finds it."

"As you can see, the Happy Wombat Boy, he got his just desserts, so to speak. I don't like violence, Nick. I'm a layin' hen; blood is a big expense. But sometimes a hen's gotta do what a hen's gotta do."

"It's a sad thing. The Happy Wombat Boy, he could be a very nice man. He makes a mean meringue. But he just wouldn't stop with da chicken jokes. Now Happy Wombat Boy sleeps with the fishes.

"Henrietta, is it true? Did you have Happy Wombat Boy murdered?"

"Don't ask me about my business, Daddy-Gordon! What's the matter with you? Is this what you've become, some Hollywood finnochio that cries like a woman just because your friend was pecked to death by chickens?"

"We like you, Chef Nick. Watch your back. We don't want this to happen to you!"

"Henrietta,whatsa matter with you? I think your brain's goin' soft. … Never tell anybody outside the family what you're thinking again.
Nobody here but us chickens!"

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Today we had our monthly Artist Trading Cards meet. Inspired by my recent trip to Mexico, I came up with "Day of the Dead" Chickens (as opposed to "Day of the Dead Chickens", which Chef Nick, Willie and Happy Wombat Boy would celebrate with a stewpot!)


Friday, February 26, 2010

Cats rule, dogs drool, take 893

It's not enough she's stolen a dog bed and stunk it up with her catly presence and feathered wand toy. She's leaning against Sophie's (dog) precious beaver toy!

Meanwhile, Tristan politely waits on the hard floor for seven pound of furry feline to vacate his bed, even though he eats groundhogs bigger than Naomi!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Canadian winter 1, big brown truck 0

I really like my UPS delivery guy, much as I despise UPS. Today he decided to tackle our laneway, which is about 300 feet long. The weather has been icky since yesterday, with snow turning to rain turning to snow and back to rain again. By mid-morning today, our laneway was a slippery mess. My UPS guy made it up to our house, but then he got stuck outside the garage. I snuck of picture of him patiently waiting for a tow truck!

Rural deliveries have got to be a challenge in winter around here. I very much appreciated him braving the slush so that I could get my hands on my new Mac system software!'

A bit decadent for a scone!

I tried this recipe today from The Complete Canadian Living Baking Book. I am very fond of Canadian Living recipes, as they are reliable, not to mention tasty. These are Walnut Chocolate Fudge scones:

I haven't tried one yet, but as soon as the tea is ready, there will be eleven scones, not twelve.

Walnut Chocolate Fudge Scones

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chopped toasted walnut halves

1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp milk (approx)
1 tsp vanilla

-Line large rimless baking sheet with parchment paper or dust with flour; set aside.

-In large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly. In separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg and vanilla; pour over flour mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts; stir with fork to make soft ragged dough.

- With lightly floured hands, press dough into ball. On floured surface, knead gently 10 times. Pat out into 10- x 7-inch rectangle; trim edges to straighten.

-Cut rectangle into 6 squares; cut each diagonally in half. Place on prepared pan. Bake in centre of 400F oven until tops are firm to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to rack; let cool.

Fudge Icing:

-In small bowl, sift sugar with cocoa. Add milk and vanilla; whisk until smooth adding up to 1 tsp more milk if necessary to make spreadable. Spread over scones; let stand until set, about 1 hour.

Yield 12 scones. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to one day or wrap each in plastic wrap and freeze in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ready fo some more..

I like it when Gordon brings home empty egg cartons and I find notes like this inside:

It seems like only yesterday that our little egg-goddesses looked like this:

July 2009

Then they turned into gangly teenagers:

August 2009

And now they are full-grown layers, with distinct personalities and plenty of attitude:

February 2010

I love our girls!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Naomi says...

...the only thing better than a cozy cat bed is a cozy cat bed on a heat vent blasting out hot air, in a house that is currently 26C/79F because someone didn't pay attention to the mild outside temps when she loaded the wood furnace today. The cats are drugged on heat, the dogs are outside cooling off in the snow. Meow!

On the other hand, I feel like I'm back in Mexico. Ahhhhhhh!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Winter wanderings

We've had a pretty mild winter overall, with not a lot of snow, but as you can see we've got enough to cover the ground, and I snowshoe with the dogs most days. Here are a few pics.

Tristan says, "What are you sniffing, Sophie?"

"Hmm... I'll check it out myself." Sophie likes to hunt meadow voles under the snow. Fortunately she doesn't catch them too often!

Two happy canines wandering through the woodlot.

Animals tracks through the woods (not from the dogs!)

Bracket fungi on a stump.

I wonder who lives down the hole at the base of this tree?

And who has been using THIS hole in the snow?

My friend Ronna has been following the bunny action (get your mind out of the gutter! I'm talking lagomorphs, not pin-ups!) in her woods and has a nice post on her blog about that. It's a bunny-rich year (including snowshoe hares), which explains the increased sighting of coyotes, not to mention my sighting of that freaking moronic coyote-hunter in my woodlot.

Has somebody been using this brush pile for shelter?

Ronna was also talking to me about how their diet makes for bright orange bunny-urine. I found lots of that, and lots of bunny poops!

And on that note, I leave you to your weekend. Have a good one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's spring somewhere in Canada...

To show me the folly of my ways for leaving the west coast, my friend Michelle sent me this photo, taken yesterday in her garden in British Columbia:

Beautiful, is it not? I remember the year we moved to BC, I saw cherry blossoms in January and could not believe my eyes. I think you can see why they're having the "summer" Olympics out in Vancouver right now.

Meanwhile, here's my backyard:

Oh where, oh where have my little flowers gone, oh where, oh where can they be?

Nope, I don't see no steenkin' flowers, just snowmobile tracks from the freaking yahoo who was shooting coyotes from his snowmobile, with his five hounds in pursuit, in OUR woodlot on OUR land when I was walking the dogs in there last week. It's idiots like that who give all hunters a bad name, and it's unfortunate, because there are some very respectful hunters out there who ask us permission to use our property. We don't want people hunting on our land, but we do let some hunters walk over land to get to adjacent hunting sites. Last year we received a venison meat pie from a pair of duck hunters who would never be in my woods shooting off a rifle without permission!! They are far too responsible for that, and THOSE are the kind of hunters I have respect for. If I ever see the yahoo again, I am calling the cops immediately. Two hours after I told him to leave, he was still on our farm. I have nothing against responsible hunting (so long as I continue to eat meat!), I just don't like trophy hunting and we don't want hunting on our land because we walk it almost every day. Also, I detest Skidoos.

"No hunting" signs and barricades have since been erected, and luckily neither I nor my dogs were shot. Oh dear, I've lost the peaceful feeling I had from looking at Michelle's pretty flower! Time for chocolate therapy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The last of Mexico, sniff, sniff...

A few last photos from our Mexico trip. Here's a view of the National Palace, with two snow-covered volcanoes in the background:

Gordon went out on his own in the early evening and took a few photos. Here's his stealth shot of two policemen taking a smoke break on their horses!

There were lots of street performers out on Saturday night. Here's a group of guys who jump rope:

Old and new architecture:

A metro entrance, clearly channelling a Parisien influence:

Jugos Canada, where you can get juice, hamburgers and tortas!

But in my opinion, juice in Mexico is way better than juice in Canada!

I think this guy is selling corn on the cob...

I forget what this place is! I'll ask Gordon later...

Traditional dancers, viewed from a lovely sixth-floor terrace restaurant:

We spent our stay in Mexico City at the Hampton Inn Suites near the Zocalo. Not only was the hotel a total deal at $70 US/night, it was beautiful:

The interior ceiling:

Feet on TV, feet on the bed... just a weird photo!

"Take the damn picture already!"

All the rooms overlook the atrium. So pretty!

Recovering from eating pastries and climbing pyramids:

The side of the Cathedral at night. Right before I took this, the lady in pink sat in front of me!

The beautiful Cathedral, being repaired:

One of the smaller chapels in the cathedral, late in the evening:

I have travelled in variations of these three-wheeled bikes (and motorcycle versions in Sri Lanka) all over the world, but this is the COOLEST EVER:

Bye bye Mexico!

Hello frigid Canada! (That's the St. Lawrence River, somewhere between Ottawa and Montreal. I think we were still flying over eastern Ontario at that point.)

I'm ready for my next holiday!