Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chef Sandy makes Peanut Butter

Now, most of you probably know about peanut butter - it used to be a staple ingredient in kids' lunchboxes for decades (before peanut allergies went wild).There are many brands of peanut butter and I myself have been partial to the Two Bears brand....

Mostly because the little bears look soooo cute... but... last year, while we were traveling in Vietnam...

We came across home-made peanut butter! It was... to put it mildly... absolutely scrumptious! Possibly because we were in peanut butter withdrawals... but mostly because it was delicious.

Soooo... I thought I would try my hand at making home made peanut butter. You see, the Two Bear brand just doesn't taste good anymore... not at all... I thought making the home-made stuff would be hard but... it is simple.

All you need are dry-roasted peanuts... we got the un-salted variety.

Then you need a food processor with one of those sharp blades...

Poor peanuts into food processor... put lid on (beary important) and turn on...

First you make peanut crumbs...

Then the crumbs start to glom onto the sides of the bowl and you need to scrape them back down.

Then there is a period where it's just sort of rumbling around the bottom.

But then... you start to see smoothness appearing!!!

Oh yeah... it is starting to look a bit like peanut butter!

And now even more so... is this really working???

What??!!! Done already??? But that wasn't even 10 minutes!

Oh boy... that looks just about ready.

Is that really all it takes to make peanut butter?

You're kidding???

Oh yummmmm!!!! It's a bit warm because it's been around the food processor a few times...

Now... we did add a titch of salt - but you could add honey if you were so inclined (like.... if you were a certain bear named Jerry!). And there you go... home-made on the left... Two Bear brand on the right.

I did do an impromptu taste test with Mama's partner who did like the home-made one better (good answer!)... So now you just pop this in the fridge and it keeps for about 30 days or so... I see PB & J sandwiches in my future! Have you ever tried making home-made nut butters?

P.S. I thought the oil might separate out but after I put it in the fridge and stirred it a bit, it hasn't done that - beary interesting... and it firmed up to regular peanut butter texture...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Rainy Day Boredom

Hullo... yesterday was a beary, beary rainy day. Which is good for the garden, but not so good for little bears.

I was resigning myself to a day of couch potato boredom when Mama said she had found a couple of new items for my wardrobe!!

First... a sun hat for the garden!!!

I'm not toooooo sure about the ribbon though... what do you all think?

As you know, one of my alter egos is Sherlock Sandy and he had a blue dressing gown (a.k.a. house-coat)... and Mama found one!!! It is super-soft fleece...

And comes with a hood!!

I'm not too sure about the roses on it though...

Sherlock Sandy is ready for action!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Garden Update

Hullo blogger pals! I know some of my stuffie friends have been posting updates on their gardens, so I thought I'd do the same. We had a beary busy weekend.

Meet our turnips... we are a tad confused about these... they were planted in the spring but didn't really do much all summer and now they are poofing out big-time. Perhaps they are a cold weather crop? We will be leaving them in the ground over the winter to see how they do.

This bed is technically an herb bed with a few nasturtiums and marigolds thrown in for good measure. There is some basil, rosemary, thyme and right in front, a big bushy sage - which is beary good with chicken.

Back here, we have some of our accidental tomato plants and some basil that we planted from seed. Both are doing amazingly well! The tomato plants came out of our compost bin where they were trying to make a living - we put them in some beds and...

...they are making tomatoes! Whether we will get to harvest them before the first frost sets in is another matter.We have some regular looking tomatoes and some of the grape tomatoes. We gave them all a serious haircut and cut off the extraneous flowers because we want the plants to put all their energy into making the existing tomatoes turn red!

Let's see... and here we have... something green...

Can you see it at the base there?

They are radishes!! Yummm...

Quite a few radishes too... but we are learning that leaving things in the ground longer isn't necessarily better... some of these were a bit woody but some others were scrumptious!

There... thinned it out a bit... leaving the little ones in for a bit longer.

And some more marigolds - the more traditional form. For some weird reason the slugs have not touched these ones... beary strange.

Now.. remember the basil plants from a few pictures a go - with big leaves and nice and green... well... here we have some shrimpy ones that were put into the ground at the same time - and they have done nothing! Two issues... this was the garlic bed before and maybe basil and garlic don't mix (except in a pesto...) - or...

We are suspecting that the fibre cloth in this bed is somehow hampering growth. All of our beds were built on pre-existing lawn and over the year we tried various ways of dealing with the grass. Our first method was to put cardboard down on the grass and then filter cloth in the bed. That method is not working beary well. Plants like to put down seriously deep roots - even spinach. Our second method, which we recommend, although it means more work up front - is stitch out the grass and don't use filter cloth. The plants are way happier! More later!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Sad Duty

Hello blogger pals. Today something beary sad happened.

A little sparrow bird hit one of the house windows and broke its neck.

 It was a cute little bird with a bit of yellow on his head.

I told Mama that I would dig the grave for the little bird.

We have a bit of a memorial garden in our back yard... and I thought I would bury it beneath the heart-shaped stone. That way the neighbourhood cats can't dig it up!

Whew... digging grave holes is hard work.

There we go little bird...

And there's the headstone...

Of course, you say a little prayer for the bird as well.

And I scratched a rough R.I.P. into the rock to...