Tag Archives: vegetables


11 Jul

We are currently in a level 1 drought.  If we don’t get significant rainfall in the next 24 hours, it will be a level 2 drought.  This is pretty significant for our area, since there are many farms which rely on the rain to water their crops.  Some lucky ones have permits to take irrigation water from nearby lakes, but not all.  And, not us.  Not to say that our little garden is on the same scale, but, you know…

What does happen though, is that our teeny tiny 10 foot, dug well can’t keep up with our water needs, and that’s when Bruce gets creative.

Some things Bruce has suggested to conserve water:

  • No showers.

Ok, he’ll allow showers, but only 2 minute ones.  And you have to turn off the water while you lather.  And it is preferable to have a second person in the shower with you, so one can rinse while the other lathers… so as not to waste water!

  • All water run from the tap, if not being used, should be collected in receptacles from which we can water plants and dogs.
  • Since the rain barrels are now depleted, he and my brother-in-law have headed to the river to collect stream water to keep our garden alive.  Apparently it’s legal to take water from a lake if you keep it under 50 000 L.  I’ll take his word for it.
  • No laundry- all clothes are to be worn until soiled.
  • Dishwasher once a day max… our Hydro bill is going to be awesome!
  • The old adage “When it’s yellow, let it mellow; when it’s brown, flush it down” is in full effect.  If you don’t know what that means, Google it.

And finally, in an effort to conserve as much water as possible, he’s decreed that he and Eric will do their part by switching to drinking beer.

Bronwyn, in the spirit of the moment, came up with her own solution.  After finishing her ice-cream sandwich, she held out her hands to the dogs to lick clean.  She then dried them on a towel and proudly announced that her hands were clean, and she didn’t even use any water!



Healthy Choices

3 Oct

We”ll just skip the “where have you been” and the “why haven’t you been posting” and other such whining and just acknowledge that sometimes I don’t feel like writing.  After my determination to write one post a day for a month, which I thought would kick start me into a better habit, I realized that being forced into writing only produces sloppy and boring work.  Besides, I write this blog to remember events, and update a few followers, and give an outlet to my creativity.  So, this is the last time I will mention a gap between posts.  Let’s continue…

Last night we were invited to a house-warming party at some friends’ house.  By the time I got all the details, and looked through my cupboards, the only thing I could think of to bring was a chocolate zucchini cake.*

While we were there, someone commented on the cake, and how moist it was etc.   And I replied that it was the zucchini that made it so moist.  He looked at me a little funny, and replied that he didn’t even realize that there was zucchini in there.  And then he asked me if I did it as a way to sneak in vegetables into my kids’ diet.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I have no qualms about sneaking veggies or anything else into other foods, but I also don’t shy away from just, you know, giving them those foods too.  Kids will never learn that they like a certain food, if they only eat it unknowingly.

I like to drink smoothies, and lately I have been throwing a handful of spinach in with the other fruits.  Bronwyn looked at hers one day and asked me, very suspiciously, if there was SPINACH in her smoothie.  I mustered up all my courage, and boldly declared that there was.  She looked thoughtful for a minute, then announced, “I think you have found a way I like spinach”.

So, if I am not throwing random vegetables into sugary treats because I can’t get my kids to eat them otherwise, then why bother?

I just find that adding extra ingredients doesn’t alter the taste or texture (negatively anyway) and adds extra fiber, nutrients, and variety that would be missing otherwise.  So, I guess my question is, why wouldn’t you add vegetables to your baked goods?

Here are my favourite ways to “sneak” veggies into foods:

Add pureed pumpkin, beets, squash, avocado, apples, mangoes etc to a boxed cake mix.  Half the other ingredients.  Bake as directed.  I would advise using chocolate for most of those as it disguises the colour and flavour perfectly.

You can substitute plain unsweetened applesauce for cooking oil in baking.

Automatically use half the amount of sugar called for in a recipe.  I bet you won’t even notice.

Use spelt flour instead of all purpose.  Except for a slightly nutty flavour, you will not notice.

Go ahead.  Give it a try.  And let me know how it goes!

* Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 C butter, softened (or marg)
1 3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1/2 C cooking oil (feel free to sub equal parts applesauce instead)
1/2 C sour milk (or 1 T vinegar plus milk to equal 1/2 C)
1 t vanilla
2 C grated zucchini with peel (but not seeds)
2 1/2 C flour (I used spelt)
1/3 C cocoa pwd
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking pwd
1/2 t cinnamon (do not omit!)
1/2 t salt

3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Mix in oil, sour milk, vanilla and zucchini.

Mix dry ingredients (not choc chips). Add to wet. Stir to moisten. Spread in a greased 9×13 pan

Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 35 min or until done.



18 Mar

Tonight we decided to use up some leftovers to make supper.  We are still at the Whitman’s, and to make things easier, I suggested we make my favourite “leftovers” recipe.  Ingredients?  Stovetop stuffing (cornbread), leftover meat, leftover vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs.

“Do you have the recipe?” asks Nicole.

“Check the back of the box.”

We mix everything together, place it in the oven, and take the kids to the pond.  We see two ducks, zero swans, one earthworm, and a whole lot of dirt.

When we return, supper is ready and so are the kids.  Holly inhales her first plate and asks for seconds.  Claire eats with no complaints.  Anna declares she doesn’t know what she likes… “what do I like?!”  Josselyn eats her plate of ham, broccoli and peaches.  And Bronwyn stalls.  Like usual.  Everyone was almost finished when she finally put a piece in her mouth:

“This is AMAZING!  Mom, you have to make this at home!”

“I have made this at home.”

“Nicole, can you give my mom this recipe, she needs to make this for us at our house.”


“Nicole, maybe you could email it to her so she doesn’t leave without it, could you do that?  Because this is so delicious that I ate the whole thing and maybe if she made food like this at home I would eat more often.”