You Say Sates, I Say Meat On A Stick



Can you tell that Minty picked the Australian cookbook from a selection of cookbooks from our friendly friends?  It’s been Australian delight around here ever since.  Lunch started with the archaeological find of some bamboo sticks in a bag.  “What are these?”  she says and soon a lunch to follow.



Minty made lunch.  She chose Sates ( or Satay or to me ‘ meat on a stick ‘ ).



A HUGE kid hit.  Fun to make.  Fun to grill. Fun to eat.  I only wish we made more.



Saucy covered meaty bits, Minty loaded them on a stick.  We did mostly chicken and a bit of lamb.



Having never done this before, I was very draconian in my ways.  Thankfully, Brent stepped in to show us how to grill these beauties.



Things picked up.  Meat was cooking.  Kids were swarming.  It all smelled and looked fascinating.  Just the right start before the big Eurovision final.  Oh, time to flip.



Served with three-veg-in-a-jar, we have some happy kiddies.



Minty suggested serving in my new-used pepper sharcoochie ( charcuterie ) platter.



Otto totally approves and counts sticks.



Z has a discussion with Brent about the necessity and various other uses of the bamboo skewer.  It turns out, it is also useful for pea and potato pick-up.  A skill I was taught as a young lad while waiting for dinner.

Me: Is dinner ready yet?

Mom: No, here are some kidney beans and a toothpick

Me: Oh cool!

She knew that I was but a bowl of kidney beans and a toothpick away from nagging her again.


Lamington Season

Long-story-short, these coconut Australian beauties offered many parenting opportunities.  Minty held the recipe.  Lucy holds the power, the culinary skills  and the coconut.  Minty withheld the recipe for bureaucratic reasons, good on her, while Lucy yelled about the unfairness and general crappiness of it all.  Two days later, some sibling cooperation and lovely, hens laying well, we have Lamingtons.  Oh and they were lovely.
A simple sponge.



A chocolate melty.




Dip and dip and voila, an Australian yum yum.

Some Cuddles From The Girls … and Siamese



Crazy daze with vacation.  Zèlie’s nap has gone away.  She naps at school, but not at home.  So she “hits the wall”  at various times of day.  Today’s crash was around dinner time.  Brent quickly volunteered to be that parent.  The one who cuddled a warm bub while she drifted off to nap turn bed-time.  Minty and Bug helped.



She knows when I snap a photo.

Also today, I spent a rare ten minutes sitting on an old tractor tire.  Absorbing warm sun, supporting Brent while he moved the herd and tagged a calf.  I thought, “hey! I’ll paint my toenails badly!”  Thankfully, my husband only loves me from head to ankle.



Bug got out. Bug got back in.  The sun is on, but it is still a bit chilly.



Dolphin potatoes.



Purple and yellow carrots!  Our neighbor handed over their fresh stuff while they enjoy their holiday.  We enjoyed these cuties in butter, salt, pep, honey and a spot of pork hoob-a-joob



And some pork chops.  A good day today.


Burger, Hold The Bun


Our kids LOVE the burgers.  Burgers are so quick and easy and yummy.  The weather here right now is sunny and inspiring, you can’t wait to fry up something outside.  Smell the lilacs.  Feel the breeze.  Make sure the herd is in.  Make sure the pupple is behaving.


We had a great time at a barbecue last Sunday.  Hamburgers and amazing salads were up for grabs.  The kids seem to love eating the hamburgers. These were proper hamburgers with buns and cheese and sauce. The bun is the magic.  I rarely bun because my buns need some work.  I have yet to make a proper hamburger bun.

Today, we had burgers without the bun. It all worked well. The flavor is there. The kids seem connected to that flavor.

Note to selfie, you cannot say “hamburger” to Zèlie. She will correct you sternly with the fact that there is no “ham” in “hamburgers.” Ham is a completely different dish. This here, is a burger.

The Great Escrape


Brent bought this scraper dealio.  He’s now arrived at a moment to use it.  I remember him buying it.  I remember Kevin assembling it like a new Lego Battle Pack ( but a tad bit harder and a tad bit heavier ).  It sat for awhile, not because we didn’t love it.  No, because at last, we can scrape hay, poo, what have you across a field that needs that extra boost


Soon to follow will be seed broadcast with green broadcast machine.

With the pasture Brent was planning to seed, he worked it hard with the bovines.   They did a great job preparing the field.  After, Brent scraped the bits and bobs to make a fertile seeding ground.


More awesomely, we finally found Brent’s lost sunglasses.  They rested in Yukon for two years getting ready for the amazing seeding this year.  Two years looking for those babies and at last found.  Thankfully, the sun is on.

And then we did the great honey taste off.

Acacia, Bruyère, Bourdaine, Printemps

all different.  all local.  all, I wish you were here.


We are not only into local.  We are into local bacteria.  Honey seems to grab that life and make it work for all those folk who consume it.

I Love It When Guests Come and Then F Off


I love living here. When people come out to visit, I love that they love being here. It’s not that it justifies our lifestyle. No. It’s that they can sit back and relax. Listen to the birds. Be a little cold. Pee in a blue toilet that is slightly broken. Try to find cellphone coverage and fail. Love the cheese. Love the beef. Go for a run. Think. Enjoy the sun.


It’s calf central at the moment. The little guys are coming in steady and healthy. Brent and guest, we’ll call him “Josh,” went to move the cows. All is well, but they are double checking the calf count. An important part of raising cattle that may not come up at a meeting about software. Though sometimes you need to search for a problem and you can’t find it. With cows, mama will call for baby. Baby will come running. In software, you could be there for days searching for things. There is no Mama code mooing it all in. Unless, of course, you write in mama moo code.

More importantly, the retrievers have a veau pied frozen ( too get those extra moments of chew ). The sun is shining. I sat a lot today and I’m totally bragging about that. I think I shall sit some more and then make omelettes.


This poor guest doesn’t realize that it’s time to chop the crap out of the blackberries in Emerson. The kids are back to school tomorrow, so it’s time to get back to project infrastructure. I think a lunch out is in order and a few tears shed missing the bubbles that have made noise for two weeks. Tomorrow, they will be off to school.

A Day For Haggis

born in robot

Underneath this CURTIS lies a CAMPBELL ( great, there goes Otto’s password recovery ).  My Scottish heritage began in Scotland.  After that, I think a lot of them swam over to Nova Scotia, Canada.  There probably was a war or something with France.  Then the Scottish people started having babies, watching the tide wave in and making lobster rolls.  Or something like that.  We have a few Scottishy things that made its way to our family.  Oat cakes, shortbread, bagpipes, tartan.  Haggis never made it. I’ve only ever heard of Haggis from story telling around the bon fire on the beaches of San Diego.  You bury it.  You hunt it down.  You never leave it alone or it may corner itself with nothing but a laptop, a fast internet connection and a valid credit card.  I’ve definitely never had the opportunity to taste it.  Until today.

Thanks to our authentic Scottish neighbor ( sorry, “neighbour” ), we got “in the know” of a Scottish holiday involving haggis. haggis

The suspense was exhilarating. We received real-time tweets after she shot and bagged the haggis.

“If it appears edible, then I shall bring some over later!”

“It’s looking good, tastes okay, just needs a bit longer for the oatmeal to relax.”

“Going to eat some, see if it kills us. If not, we’ll send some your way. Here’s hoping….”

Edible?! If it kills us?!?!  Here’s hoping! I can’t wait!

Then the haggis arrived.  With sauce.

haggis pot and sauce

Evidently you talk to your haggis before you eat it.  Thankfully we had a script.  Thankfully, it came translated.

lucy reads haggis poem

Lucy read the required reading. otto unsure Otto was not amused. tosca mumble haggis mumble calorie Tosca heard some rumor about a Scottish calorie and waited patiently for the rest of the words to finish. otto bored with haggis poem It turns out the Scottish pre-haggis poem is a bit wordy.  Otto sighed, “this is going to take forever.”  I was enjoying it. otto done with the haggis poem Otto took a bite mid-poem then offered  feedback as an eight-year-old food critic, “eck.”  Eck is not bad.  I’ve had much lower ratings for something as simple as pork chops. brent haggis Brent had some haggis, but I’m not sure if  it was after the poem … hopefully this counts.  I really enjoyed it.  I loved the sauce and texture.

Haggis is an awesome name for a sausage.  I’m glad we had the opportunity to try it.  I’m not sure what they say on haggis day, so I can offer this ” So long! and thanks for all the haggis!”

Get Your Frites On

Sweet Potato and Potato Fries

I had some other HILARIOUS paronomasia on frites and / or sweet frites, but was completely distracted by Brent’s frites song of which I forgot. I’m sure it wasn’t “Get Your Frites On,” but it may as well have been.  He’s pretty good with music and random French cuisine.

beef bavette

We’re steak fingering our bavettes this evening and OH they shall be scrumptious. A bavette can be fried in animal fat with salt and pepper and enjoyed in a tender, tasty sort of way. I’ve also seen recipes that chuck an entire Saint-Marcellin cheese ball on top of a bavetter for kicks.  I’ve done that.  It tastes great!

I’d love to follow up with fluffed finish shots, but 1) I’m hungry and 2) I want to push that sappy kid post I did.  I totally said that out loud.




Mince! Ground Beef! Friday the 13th


Beef sale this Friday!

No superstitions held here.  I learned quickly that most superstitions are tales by mothers to get your kids to behave and be healthy.

  • “shoes on the table will bring bad luck”

Yes, it  is also very dirty to have shoes on the table.  Please, dear, don’t do that.

  • “breaking a mirror will bring seven years bad luck”

And, my love, you will not clean up …. so I will have to.  I’ve cleaned up enough today.  So don’t break the mirror.  Can you post on facebook instead?

  • “open an umbrella in the house is bad luck”

Please use the umbrella when it is raining.  If it is not raining, you are playing with it and therefore will break it and I need to buy a new umbrella.  I don’t have the budget for this, thank you.

  • “garlic protects from evil”

Garlic also helps you keep away from cold and flu.  Cold and flu are evil.  We use it liberally with mince and the rest during these cold months.

  • “blowing out all the candles in one breath will bring you good luck”

Blow them out!  It means your lungs are healthy and I’m happy.

  • “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”

Eating seasonally, apples seem to do the trick when the colds set in.

  • “A sailor wearing an earring cannot drown”

Uh, yeah … uh, if he eats grass-fed mince, even more safer.  Go sailor!
So many ways to go with ground beef.  I’m excited to get cooking!

I should also add that, making a meatball in the month of December brings good luck!