Spring is slowly springing forth


My goodness, Spring is slow this year. So much rain and cold, cloudy days. Still, I know it is Spring-time because my allergies tell me so! When the sun shines, the temperatures go to around 13 or 14 degrees Celsius but it has been a rare occurrence. With the exception of one day of garden clean up, I haven't done any gardening yet. I saw my first bumble bee in my garden just two days ago when walking around making mental plans. I had to take pictures with my new iphone which has an amazing camera on it.



Despite the cold dreary weather a few things are in bloom and signs of life popping up from the ground.






The main focus of my time was spent inside continuing to knit on the blanket (which is almost done), working on my crochet curtains (one panel is done), stitching (finished one wip), some baking and always cooking of course.






Soups have been a main staple lately. I love soups. Almost every Sunday, I roast a chicken and I had many carcasses in the freezer. My roast chicken suppers have a lot of herbs and spices so they make great stock flavours to begin with. It was time again to make chicken soup base. I like to freeze the chicken soup stock with just the meat now. This way the vegetables don't get mushy from being frozen. I'll add broken up linguini pasta and the fresh veggies in at the time we're ready to eat it. I always put two carcasses in at a time in a big pot and boil it all day with herbs and spices.


I'll pick the meat off the next day, season to taste again and then ladle pre measured portions in freezer bags for later use.


While my chicken soup base isn't quite a bone broth, it's close. It simmers for at least 10 hours if not more sometimes. Technically a bone broth simmers for at least 12 hours. I personally feel my soup contains all the nutrients of a bone broth. I recommend making your own chicken soup base. So much healthier than store bought and you get more bang for your buck out of that chicken!


My other staple soup which reminds me of Spring even though I make it year round, is leek and potato soup. I love this soup. You can download the recipe here on my website.





I made a delicious carrot cake for Easter. Not my original recipe but I recommend this recipe for a nice moist cake!




I also made Madelaines which were quite yummy. Here is the recipe I used. I am on the look out for an almond flavoured Madelaine recipe next!






With all this kitchen work, my handmade dish cloths began to stink again. I love using my hand made cloths but they do get stinky over time. It was time to take care of this situation as it is a necessary care routine for handmade cloths.


First I put enough water to cover the dish cloths in a big pot. I add a good cup of white vinegar, a 1/2-1 cup of baking soda. Be careful as this creates a frothy reaction! I take all my cloths and put them in the pot and boil.


You have to keep an eye on it because the vinegar and baking soda will froth up quickly. If this happens stir and turn down the heat to the point it's still boiling but not boiling over. I boiled them for about 1/2 hour. Emptied the pot into the sink and then washed the cloths in the washing machine on the hot water setting. They don't stink anymore!


I plan on having dish cloths and home made sponges in the shop at some point. I just need to test out the home made sponge first to see how well it holds up. I love the idea of having reusable sponges and cloths. It's not difficult to maintain them and it's less garbage in land fills! I have lots of ideas for the shop, I am just needing the time to create them. Once I finish my big projects and the renos are done I'll get to work in earnest on shop items.


Speaking of shop...I had my first customer for a pair of hand knit socks!


I offer to mend the socks for free for as long as possible if the customer sends me the socks with a return label. I think it is a great way to preserve clothing. We often don't mend things anymore, do we? It's too easy to throw out clothing and to buy a replacement for cheap but the land fills can't keep up with the disgusting amount of clothing we throw out. Let alone how polluting the garment industry is in the process of making the clothing. I wear my clothing to death for the most part. Mainly because I hate clothes shopping! I have started sewing clothing for myself again. I am not overly confident with sewing clothes but I had one great success and now I'm hooked. These are fabrics for two dresses I hope to make.





It's been a busy month or so but still nothing on the reno side of things...so frustrating! Well maybe next time I'll have news on that front. Here's hoping!


Wishing you peace and grace until next time,



Trish









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