Monday, August 30, 2010


I like dill pickles. I like baby carrots that way and many other types, but once a year I enjoy fermented dills.


I'm still developing the recipe and when it's settled down a bit I'll be happy to share. My primary document this year has helped to firm up some of the desirable salt concentrations and is this PDF from a school in Wisconsin, USA.

It relies on weight measures which are really good when accuracy counts. I wish I had more bread recipes written like that to nail that 60% hydration point. Two weeks to testing time!

If they don't go soft they should be ready for the big chicken pluck on the 18th. Yummy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Acorn glut

There was some talk earlier this month about just how parasitic the Virginia Creeper was to the ancient Burr Oak north of the house. The creeper makes for a spectacular splash of colour later on in the fall so it would be a shame to have to miss it.

Stress produces results, of that, I'm convinced. A pruning of the apple tree last year produced a bounty of crabs this summer.

When I went to attend to the humming bird feeder this morning I nearly went over on my ankle from the abundant acorns acting like ball bearings. They've been hitting the house like bullets for a week. I haven't been beaned yet, but the dogs make it clear that it's a possibility. They keep their distance from that tree.

I hope the oak isn't in a panic to reproduce because it's stressed. More homework is required.


Monday, August 23, 2010

More Riding Mountain images

More than once we were faced with rubber boot moments. Of course none of us had rubbers.



As I mentioned before, the meadows were spectacular.


Water was available, but the best drinking water came from these small fast moving tiny streams. We filtered our water. The park recommends that it be boiled so one should do something other than drink it raw.


It was not flat terrain.


Beauty and the beast.


Getting our feet above our hearts as a priority and always felt wonderful.


Fortunately we had lots of moleskin and medical tape. My last blister burst today and the scabs came off my toes yesterday. What some people call fun eh?


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tilson Lake Loop - Riding Mountain National Park

Had a great hike back into the west end of Riding Mountain National Park. Bonnie and myself along with Tyler and Trish made for a resourceful, resiliant and entertaining crew.


We took an inch of rain the first afternoon on the trail and the winds were gusting to 70km/hr. With the cool temperatures the early stages of hypothermia set in pretty quickly after we stopped walking and set to work to make camp. Trees were crashing around us, but we were all in good spirits.


By evening we were fed and the rain had stopped so we set to work to dry some of the gear out by the fire. Warmth was really popular.


Uncharateristically, our August seems to still be providing plenty of rain.


We saw lots of wild life and found this moose rack along the trail. We also saw an elk rack later on. The highlight, though, was Trish's filled request of the land to provide her with a birthday moose sighting. Apparently the land always provides her with a large male on her birthday. Go Trish!


The +18kg packs Boo and I were hauling were not as heavy as what the others were carrying. Everyone took the extra weight heavily on foot wear. I made the mistake of taking only my orthodics and quickly punched a couple of blisters into my arches. Shoulders and hips were bruised, but that's par for the course and there were no wimps aboard, that's for sure.


Tyler is fresh off a tour of the West Coast Trail so was well prepared for the task.


Getting our feet up at lunch was very popular.


The view from our camp on night two.


Much of day three was spend walking through groves like this. We also spent a lot of time walking down spectacular valleys filled with late season wild flower bloom in full swing. The weather cleared up nicely and the temperatures remained cool. Nobody missed the bugs.


Here I am at the end of the trail.


I hadn't been back in that end of the park in 25 years. I'm happy to report it's about as I remembered it. Lovely.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fridge, stove and freezer

All in one fell swoop we got three new appliances. There is nothing quite like deprivation to whet the appetite. I'm thrilled with the new additions.

They were installed today painlessly by young bucks built for that work. Brilliant!