Friday, July 26, 2013

A New Workout!

     So, I do not like "working out". Not in the - go to the gym, lift some weights, go for a run type anyways. I also don't like to "watch what I eat" in terms of counting calories and searching out low fat foods. If I did I think I'd feel pretty guilty after devouring an entire bag of chips (really though, a bag of chips does not have near as many chips as it used to). However, I do like getting a workout from doing things for a purpose, like walking the dog, or carrying Penelope (seriously the best weight training for your arms), and I do find that the more real the food the tastier! Which means most of the foods I like are already lower in fat and healthier anyways. Add in my care for the environment and desire to search out sustainable and local foods and BAM! I'm making flour!    
    I have been fortunate enough to borrow a Country Living grain mill (a pricey piece of equipment that I'm not ready to pay for myself). It's a manual mill which I was warned took quite the effort to produce minimal results. Which is true; it does take time and can get you working up a sweat, but it was still faster and less effort than I thought it was going to be.

Country Living Grain Mill

     Next you need wheat berries. Tasty cooked up all on there own, we had never tried wheat berries until I got some for grinding into flour. There's this great place near Tavistock,  Oak Manor, that sources their products locally and organically. My sister Ashley stopped in on her way for a visit from their home in Waterloo and picked us up a giant bag to split.

Wheat Berries
     So then I needed to test out the tastiness of my own ground flour. I decided on regular chocolate chip cookies which turned out to be not so regular seeing as I also made bean flour to add to the mix and used honey and molasses instead of sugar, but they tasted like regular chocolate chip cookies, therefore, good! Then since the oven was already hot and I had some fresh zucchinis to use up, zucchini loaf and chocolate, chocolate chip zucchini muffins followed.

       So it was a workout with a purpose. Altogether it was a little over 5 cups of flour ground for these treats. Also a little healthier and environmentally friendly using organic, local, minimally processed flour (and eggs, and honey, and zucchini). It really didn't take too long either. I started grinding the flour when I put Penelope down for a nap and everything was done by the time she woke up.


How Quickly Things Change...

    One of my favourite places to go for a walk is Danceland road. As one of the highest points around, this gravel road has beautiful sunrises, breathtaking sunsets, and views over fields with rolling hills sloping down to the lake. There are no houses (not on the stretch that I like to walk anyways) and the edge is lined with fruit trees including many different types of apples, some pear, and some cherry. Seeing as it's the first side road out of town it's also convenient for taking the dog to run.
    Recently we've had a few good (and by good I mean bad) storms go through which quickly changed the scenery...

Isaac in the healthy corn
Cherries, growing wild
It was very overcast that day as it was about to rain. Still beautiful though! 

Two weeks later and this view is a little different... 

Corn destroyed in a storm by large hail and strong winds
 The fruit's still looking good but not quite ready for eating. 


It's a good place for a walk and some time spent together. 

Monday, July 08, 2013

Into Summer

     Silly to think that my last blog post was way back in April and still has photos of that cold white stuff. Especially since we are already making it part way through summer! Well it's been a busy time since then, as this time of year always is. Fuzz is back to working long hours doing landscaping, while I had the pleasure of babysitting two super cute little girls for a few days a week. Farmer's markets have started up again and we spend many Saturday mornings serving up hot coffee and fresh roasted beans at the Goderich Farmers Market (if you haven't checked it out you really should! Local fruits and veggies, honey, soaps, breads, meats, and a chance to talk to the people who grow, raise and make it). Even in the busyness we've been able to get away for a couple days camping.

    Inverhuron is a Provincial Park on Lake Huron near Tiverton, Ontario. It's fairly small in comparison with some other parks but it's worth the visit.

Brother Isaac and Hunter walking out on the rocks.
Isaac and I thought that the water was deep here. He jumped in and discovered that it wasn't.
Little crevices along the rock.


Every so often you come across Inukshuks at Inverhuron. Isaac and Fuzz built this giant one. It took a while and the rocks were really heavy.
Inukshuk at Inverhuron

Ok so maybe they didn't build a giant one. Just a fun camera trick. Really it was just a small one and they didn't build it. But Fuzz did build this one.
Penelope liked camping too. 

There were lots of flowers blooming around the park as well. 


Then Dad took me took me on a bike ride to an old pioneer cemetery that's in the park. It was really neat to read all the names and see the dates marked on the headstones. Finding them is part of the fun too. They aren't lined in nice neat rows, but all over the place, some hidden deep behind over grown branches, others covered by sand over time. 
Pioneer cemetery at Inverhuron
Fence around the cemetery
Weathered headstone.
There is a very nice trail for walking or biking that surrounds the park.

Even though a thunderstorm went through over night and the fog rolled in, it was a good time camping.

Fog at Inverhuron

Lake Huron Sunset
     In all it was a fun weekend. A good way to start off the summer. I'm looking forward to more summertime adventures ahead, getting outdoors and enjoying the warm weather while it last!