Monthly Archives: October 2011

The restorative powers of fresh air. And bread.

Oh hey there!

Do you ever find yourself with a ton of blog ideas, but nowhere near a computer? (Reason number 98 that I need a smartphone…) That’s been me over the past few weeks.

I’m all, “I’ll write about this tonight!”
Then tonight comes and I’m all, “Zzzzzzz…..” instead.

So, a round-up:

I wrote a guest post over here at Mountain Mama Tales last week. That’s where you can read all about Sylvia’s first camping trip! (Spoiler alert: it was awesome). You can also browse Mountain Mama Tales for adventures in, you guessed it, the mountains, along with healthful recipes and chances to win outdoor-mama gear.

There was a provincial election. There were no great surprises, but I was brought back to an election 12 years ago when I was at what we thought was going to be a victory party. I remember the mood in the room building… building…building… then tanking. It was a peculiar feeling at the time, because I didn’t know the candidate personally, nor was I old enough to vote. Though I had a fairly good grasp on what it was all about, I was still on the fringes of the night. I remember walking home later, and loosing my sunglasses en route. (Damn, those were nice sunglasses – I found them several weeks later smashed to bits in the parking lot). I don’t know what I’ll remember in twelve years’ time from this election. Wasting my beer on the bar, soaking my notebook and threatening my camera? Driving between candidates’ headquarters as the results came in? Or spending mere minutes with Sylvia that day because I was too damn busy at work. Only time will tell.

Sylvia’s had the sniffles this week, so I stayed home with her on Wednesday. I was able to work form home, in between snuggles and nursing sessions. We took a couple walks outside, and by evening her runny nose was all cleared up.

I believe in the restorative powers of fresh air. And in dressing my daughter in as many colourful clashing patterns as possible.

Must dash. My bread needs to be punched down and divided into pans. We’re heading out on a family hike shortly. It is a beautiful fall day and I want fresh bread and squash soup to come home to.

The Sheds’ take on Those Cookies.

I have a new favourite cookie.

Those cookies.

They’re hard to beat.

They’ve got apple and cinnamon and nutmeg and oats and raisins and chocolate.

What’s not to love?

The original recipe is here.

But I’m given to understand that Mountain Mama left the original original recipe behind a while ago.

And I’ve re-purposed it again to suit The Sheds family’s particular tastes.

Those cookies

Do you see how the cooling rack has bowed under the weight of Those cookies? That means they’re dense, and a dense cookie is a good cookie in my books.

It’s a choose-your-own-adventure cookie! Play along and you’ll see what I mean.

Cream together:
3/4 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. blackstrap molasses
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 c. juice (any kind. I’ve squeezed an orange and lemon and used water to make up 2/3 c.)

Mix together:
2 1/4 c. flour (more at altitude, as Mountain Mama points out!)
3 1/2 c. oats (quick, old fashioned, kamut or spelt flakes… I’ve used them all. Or mix-and-match!)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Other optional dry ingredients:
Ground flax
Chia seeds
Hulled hemp seeds
Oat bran

(I’m a card-carrying member of the a little of this a little of that baking club.)

Add wet to dry, mix together.

Add:
1 chopped apple
1 c. raisins or raisin/dried cranberry/dried fruit combo
3 handfuls of chocolate chips/carob chips/chocolate chunks
1/2 c. chopped nuts (walnuts/pecans/almonds – I like sliced almonds, but when Travis comes home I’ll leave nuts out altogether, because SOMEBODY doesn’t think nuts belong in BELONG in baking. Whatever.)

Mix all the add-ins to the batter, drop by the tablespoonful onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes in my oven, but your oven may vary. Don’t overbake! Altitude may have something to do with baking time too. Check them after 8 min and err on the side of underdone.

Delicious.

Bonus points if you bake them while standing in a Lego minefield:

Sylvia is the definition of 'underfoot'

While I was writing this, I was tormented by a high-pitched squeak. I blamed it on the kitchen clock that’s been limping along on a low battery for months, so I finally changed the battery. The noise didn’t stop. Then I noticed the squirrel through the kitchen window.

He (she?) was dancing around our woodpile, I watched him shiver and shake and jump… almost as if he was afraid of something. But he allowed me close enough for this picture:

Not sure what he was up to, but he disappeared after 20 minutes or so. It’s the first time I’ve seen a squirrel near the house. The neighbours told me there’s a fox hanging around, so perhaps he was taking shelter from the predator.