Clay Bread Baker

For Xmas Sean and Catherine gifted us this beautiful Sassafras clay pot for baking bread. I used it for the first time this morning and my batard turned out beautifully. The crust is just amazing. Thank you both so much…I just love it!

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2021 Resolution COVID Style

Every New Year’s morning we participate in the Running Room’s 5k Resolution Run…that is until this year. We decided to try and keep the tradition alive and do our own virtual resolution. Today is also the start of the 10th Annual Iron Paws Stage Race

Brodie was just happy to get out with us.

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Good bye 2020

Having wine and a steaming soak in the hot tub. Don’t know if we will make it to midnight so….Happy New Year everyone!

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You VS 2020 Wrap Up

We did it! When I initially signed up for the Under Armour You VS 2020 challenge I never thought we would actually cover the 1020km. I was just using it for a goal to motivate me to get out with the dogs and move. Then came COVID-19 and everything changed. Getting out with the dogs was the only thing I could do. All dog sports were cancelled and social gatherings were prohibited. We ended up completing 2392km, more than doubling the goal of the challenge. We finished in the top 2% of the 322,797 people who registered.

I just signed up for 2021.

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Fermented Goodness

Tried a new recipe for Christmas morning breakfast. Fermented sourdough pumpkin roll. So good! It is made with sourdough starter and then the batter itself is long fermented before baking.

What are the main reasons that people are turning to sourdough? Because it contains the same friendly cultures as homemade yoghurt and these work chemically on the whole grains during the fermentation process to make the most of flavours and nutrients, and make it much easier for the body to digest. Thus sourdough promotes gut and metabolic health, keeps you fuller for longer, and lasts longer in the bread bin too. A win-win-win situation.

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Blanket of Love Finished

I am so pleased that my Blanket of Love is finished and dropped off. As much as I cursed the design I chose, I’m really pleased with the final look. I could see myself making one for curling up on the couch and reading a book or watching TV.

Under the longarm
Close up of free motion quilting

Here it is all lovely and crinkled after getting washed.

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Brodie Got Mail

Brodie got his medal and $50 cheque today for coming in 2nd place at the Boneyard Challenge (scent detection) He thinks that the cheque should have been made out in his name so that he could decide what to spend it on.

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Filed under Brodie, Nosework, Scent Detection, SDDA, Sporting Detection, Sporting Detection Dog Association

Art Classes

I’ve started a 6 week online art quilt class. The idea is to use fabric, paint, fibre, beads, whatever tickles your fancy, to make a small art quilt. We were tasked with going through our photos to come up with an idea for our quilt. I found 50 images that I was drawn to and thought would make good subjects. Turns out everything I picked was too complicated for a beginner. I decided to just jump in and give it a try anyway. My thought was that I am here to learn techniques and get motivated by my fellow students. I picked 2 photos that called to me. I don’t expect any masterpieces but I do hope to learn things that I can put into practice as I hopefully grow and improve.

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Winter Wonderland

We have been blessed with the most wonderful, mild winter temperatures for the last week…..sadly that is about to end. We took advantage of the winter reprieve to get out as much as possible with the dogs.

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Blankets of Love Week 1

A week into my quilting project and I don’t have as many blocks made as I would like to. I am my own worse enemy. Why did I pick such a time consuming fiddly block when I have so many to make. Sixteen completed … so, so many more to go 😩😳

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Beautiful Greens

Rainbow Chard

Every time I walk into the kitchen my eyes are blessed with the beautiful colours of my rainbow chard. I love it when I accidentally brush up against the mint or basil and breathe in that wonderful aroma. All this gorgeous greenery is good for my soul when it is cold and dreary outside.

Fragrant Mint
First Tomato 🍅

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Cranberry Explosion

I’ve been in the mood for cranberries lately. I may have gone a tad overboard. First there was sourdough cranberry orange muffins. They were so good that I made a second batch 3 days later.

Then it was Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread. OMG was that amazing. I made a boule and a batard. After I inhaled my 4th giant slice from the boule I felt compelled to contact a friend and ask her to do a porch pickup of the batard to save me from myself.

And last but not least it was cranberry apple crisp. We polished that off in two days and I never even had a chance to take a picture of it before we tucked in. Yikes!

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Blankets of Love

COVID-19 has taken it’s toll emotionally on so many people. I’ve decided to make and donate a quilt to the Foundation of Mental Health’s Blankets of Love Program. I have challenged myself to only use fabrics from my current overflowing stash. It is going to be a combination of neutrals in the background with punches of colour. Hopefully it will provide warmth and comfort to someone in need.

First block is done….only 79 more to go 😉😂

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You VS 2020 November Update

I haven’t been posting my updates regularly……blame it on COVID fatigue. My mileage has dropped this past month due to the cold, snow and icy sidewalks. I still walk most days, just not as far. It is hard to believe that my mileage is in the top 2% considering there are almost 315,000 people in the challenge.

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Sourdough Bread Again

This morning I made my second attempt at Sourdough bread. I used a different recipe that takes 3 days instead of 2.

I couldn’t find my large cast iron pot so I cooked them in my Tagine instead. I also tried my hand at some artwork on the top. I was like a big kid waiting with excitement to see how the loaves would look when I took the lid off. My artwork could be better but I’m still thrilled with the end result.

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Morning Glory Muffins

I’ve been in a bit of a Covid funk for the last few weeks. This morning I gave myself a kick in the butt and put my big girl panties back on.

Years ago we used to enjoy delicious Morning Glory Muffins that were made fresh every morning in our office Canteen. I was searching for ideas to use up my sourdough discard and I found one for these muffins. I’m really enjoying finding new and delicious ways to use my discard..

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Pizza

Tonight I used my discard to make a beautiful thin crust pizza dough. I slathered it with homemade pesto (made from basil grown in my tower garden) and grilled chicken. It was wonderful. The recipe made enough dough for 2 crusts so I have one frozen for another day.

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Sourdough Soup Bowls

I think this is my favourite sourdough discard recipe so far. Sourdough pretzel bun bowls filled with steaming Irish Beer Cheese Soup. Delicious 😋

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Sourdough Dutch Baby

This morning I used our discard to make this delicious sourdough Dutch baby with mixed berries. I think next time I will try a savoury one and have it for supper.

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Bagels

Did some more experimenting with my sourdough discard. How about sourdough everything bagels? OMG they taste amazing with the garlic forward “everything” spice mix on top. They lost their hole in the last rise so aesthetically they aren’t great but they have the sourdough flavour I really love.

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Last swim?

We went out to a local man made lake for what could possibly be our last swim before it gets too cold. Brodie just loves the water.

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My First Boule

Ready to go into boule overnight

I did it!!! I finally used my sourdough starter for its intended purpose. The dough rested in the fridge overnight and I popped it into the oven at 6am this morning. Isn’t he cute? How can something so silly give me such pleasure. The recipe says it has to cool for 6-7 hours before cutting it. That was never going to happen. As soon as I finished walking the dog’s I grabbed my trusty bread knife, some unsalted butter, my jug of Maldon and tucked in. It was amazing. Lovely crunchy crust and that soft, airy and sour inside. Thank you Cathie Allan for sharing your starter with me.

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Great Harvest

We sure had a great harvest of peppers this year. Last year I got lazy and never transplanted all of peppers so a few of them hung out in the greenhouse for the summer. Sometimes it pays to procrastinate…..leaving them in the greenhouse gave me the most peppers I’ve ever had. This year I didn’t even bother putting any in the garden. Not only did I get tons of peppers but this is the first time I have had them ripen enough to turn any colour other than green.

I can’t believe that it is September 30th and we haven’t even had a light frost yet never mind a killing frost. Came close this morning, it was 1 degree when I walked the dogs. This is the first time since I moved to Alberta that I can remember not having a frost in September.

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She’s a Tracker

This morning Spirit and I participated in a CKC Tracking Dog test put on by Wild Rose Tracking Club. I am over the moon proud of my big, black hairy girl. Out of all of her titles and ribbons, this one means the most to me. She is just shy of her 6th birthday so that makes it even more special for a breed with a average lifespan of 8 years. We were very lucky and had first draw but I pulled track #6….the last one. The weather forecast was for a cool, very dry and windy day with gusts up to 50km….the later the track the stronger the winds.

Only two of the 5 teams before us were successful so I was pretty nervous at the start. Spirit started well but about 80 metres into our track her head came up with her muzzle up high obviously air scenting, her body went stiff and she started racing back and forth in front of me. It clearly wasn’t a loss of track/turn indication, she was anxious about something that she smelled in the air. It took a while but I got her focused and back on track. From then on it was a blur. She was head down and pulling like crazy. I had to run most of the way just to try and keep up with her. She did a beautiful down on her leather and just like that….it was all over.

Big thanks to Wild Rose Tracking Club, their track layers, volunteers and Judge Greg Martin.

This is how Spirit likes to celebrate her titles:

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C-WAGS Back 2 School Trial

We had fun today at See Spot Run Doggy Daycare & Training Inc’s Back to School C-WAGS Nosework Trial. Thanks to Anneli Hilton and Judges Robbi Bitner, Deb Proc and Christina. Both dogs Q’d in Ranger 1 and Ranger 2 and Don Ho made his debut as a timer.

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More fun with Sourdough Starter

Although I haven’t actually made a loaf of sourdough bread yet, I’m still having fun using up the discard rather than just throwing it out. Today we got to enjoy organic whole wheat/spelt sourdough raisin nut banana 🍌 bread. Mmmmm

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What a Difference a Week Makes

Last Thursday (Sep 10th) I moved my seedlings to my Tower Garden. It is now 7 days later and there has been some growing going on.

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Wildrose Urban Tracking Tests

Leslie and Abbey UTD

For the second year in a row I was privileged to be a track layer for the Wild Rose Tracking Club’s urban tracking tests. Donna Brinkworth graciously made last minute plans to substitute for an out of province judge who had to cancel. It is so rewarding to work for a Judge like a Donna who’s love and dedication to Tracking is so obvious. I learn so much from her by studying her tracks, why she chose them and then getting to see a team run the track. On Saturday, 3 of the 4 UTD teams were successful but sadly all 3 UTDX teams struggled from the start flag and were quickly disqualified. Sunday was a day of success for almost everyone. 2/2 UTD and 2/3 UTDX with one team earning their Tracking Championship.

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Covid Sourdough Craze

I have to admit I am a late comer to the Sourdough bread phenomenon that has developed out of COVID-19 quarantine. I’m a big lover of sourdough bread but I only indulge a few times a year because carbs are not my friend. Cathie generously shared some of her starter with me. I spent a couple of days feeding “George” making sure that he was happy and bubbly in his new home. Each time I fed him I had to discard part of the starter. I collected the discards and used them to make a delicious organic sourdough chocolate cake. The recipe that inspired this cake called for 1 cup of maple syrup. I was worried it was going to be too sweet but it turned out perfect for me.

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Ready for the Tower

Just two weeks after seeding, my cute little seedlings have roots poking through the grow cubes so that means they are ready to move into the tower.

I just love the vibrant colours of the rainbow chard stems and how the tiny Merlot lettuce leaves are already turning red.

All the seedlings are now in the tower and hopefully they will produce delicious greens throughout the fall and winter

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