I was green with envy at my sister-in-law’s house on the weekend when she showed me her new-to her freezer. It is just a normal apartment sized freezer, plugged into their system and it works. Apparently, once cold, it only uses 2 amps. It would be so nice to have that extra freezer space for frozen berries in the winter. We have a 16 cu ft. Unique fridge which includes a 4.8 upper freezer which runs on solar power but it is full of meat and fish. I don’t mind canning but it would be so nice to buy fruit in season at Emma Lee’s farm in Ladner and just throw it into the freezer for winter smoothies. We have way more solar power than that particular sister and brother in law, so you can imagine how the conversation kind of went on the drive home from their house.
Our current method for deciding on the dinner menu is to open the freezer door. Whatever falls out on to the floor is for dinner. Yesterday, a huge leg of lamb fell out. It has been in the freezer, waiting for the company we won’t be having, since last winter. E made a gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, lamb stew. Full of potatoes, onions, garlic, thyme, tomato paste, and carrots, all of which were grown in our garden. It simmered all day with tender chunks of meat in our home made wine and will probably feed us for the week.
One of my sister in laws (I have a few) told me about Nadiya Bakes on Net Flix when we wanted something to watch in which no one was murdered. We gave it a try and after enjoying her few shows we learned that she once won a season of the Great British Bake Off. E downloaded that season for us to watch. Then we were addicted, so he downloaded all of the seasons and we are working our way through them. It isn’t quite as fattening to eat the goodies if you are only watching bakers make them on TV. We quite happily dream about the day when we can try some of the recipes ourselves and maybe bake for our friends. As we mopped up the gravy of our lamb stew we watched the contestants make savory meat pasties. Cue the light bulb going off. Tomorrow, my goal is to try to make pasties with the left over lamb stew. Surely, I can fit a few wee pasties into the freezer as a future dinner option.
It might come as no surprise where the idea then came from that I would like to make Christmas fruit cake this year. After many readers submitted pictures of old family recipes, we decided on the recipe from our island neighbour. The basics of all of the different family recipes were pretty similar and only remarkable in that all were well worn and covered in years of fruit juice stains. Obviously well loved. In preparation, I soaked all the necessary dried fruit for three days in brandy. Today, I tried my first attempt at baking fruit cake or, as I have now learned to call it, the most expensive cake you can make. It is out of the oven and looks like Christmas cake. Now, I need to baste it in rum regularly until Christmas. As I understand it Barrie, Sue, E and I are the only ones on the island who like dark fruit cake, so even if it isn’t as good as Sue’s Mom made, it will get eaten, even if it takes us all year.
My greenhouse is full. Lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, hot peppers are thriving. Even the peas are up. If I can eat any of them fresh in October I will be a happy woman.
The rains over the last 40 hours have provided hours of entertainment. Yesterday, the pump went off four times. Our little green light is busier than the goal light at a Canucks game in May. It means 1000 more gallons are sitting in the tanks up top than were there on Friday. E will check the tank levels at the end of the month, ‘cause I know you all are waiting with bated breath for our levels.
At the same time, we are still getting tons of sun between the rain clouds. We haven’t had to have the generator on as the solar power is still plentiful. We gathered 6.5 kwh today. The temperature in the living room is 25 degrees and I need the window open behind me for fresh air. So with lots of rain and lots of sun it is no wonder I love this time of year.
I have paid to be able to include videos in future blog posts. I don’t think they will work on your iphone. Probably need your laptop to see them. This is one of the two hummingbirds who have opted to spend the winter with us. They will be as happy as we will be when the wasps are gone.
This is how the conversation home from dinner at my sister in law’s went.
Me: Did you see their new freezer?
Me: How come they can have a cheap normal, non solar powered freezer on their deck and we can’t.
Me: What are your thoughts on trying a normal apartment type freezer next summer on our system before berry season.
I won’t mention it again. He will think about it and next year, I am guessing, some how, there will be a freezer hooked
into our system