Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tis the season for... berry-picking!

Good morning bears and not-a-bears! It is 6:30 am and I've been told that we are on a beary important mission. Mama has been scoping out the situation and it is officially... the start of blackberry season!

Yes indeedy... the first of the luscious blackberries are ready to pick.

It didn't take long to get 1/4 of the bucket filled... but we need some more.

 This looks like a good branch! I... of course... do not touch blackberries except to have them fed to me (like someone fed grapes to Cleopatra)... blackberries are super juicy and I don't think juice stains would come off my fur beary well!

While we were picking... I noticed some chicory plants. This is a European weed that's been introduced to North America. Apparently you can use the roots to make a coffee substitute... but... the reason I was interested in them was...

Do you see it???

The bees love chicory too - see that bee in the one flower? They were moving around so fast though it was hard to get a good picture.

 Anyhow... there we go... a bucket of blackberries. Admittedly it is not a huge bucket - only 1/2 gallon I think. But in the afternoon Mama and her partner went picking again and came away with 2.5 gallons... Freezing all of these! Except... of course... for the ones that got eaten during the picking. Quality control you know!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blue Lake

Hullo... today we are going to the lake!! Oh excellent... it has been beary hot out and I'm looking forward to being by the water.

Ahhhh... so calm and peaceful...

Isn't that water a beautiful blue-green?

What's a little bear to do except lie back on some moss and admire the cloudless sky...

And maybe some thimbleberry bushes...

But then Mama asked if I wanted to go boating?? Cool!!! Let's go! Did we bring the kayak or the inflatable thingie?

Eh? What's this?? This is a Rubbermaid container... where's the boat.

What... do... you... mean... THIS... is... the... boat???????

Ahhhh!!!! No lifejacket?? No nothing?? Bear overboard! This thing is not balanced!

Yeah... see... this is what happens!

Honestly... doesn't everyone know that little bears are top heavy?

Oh sure... like this is going to work?

I don't have a good feeling about this!

Thanks for the back rest but the waves are... pushing me....

I can feel myself tipping!!!

Even wetter...

Whose idea was this??? Oh sure... Mama points at her partner. Like I believe that. Do other stuffies have this problem??

Hmmph... at least it's sunny.... I should dry out quickly... I hope!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hanging out with Spooky

Spooky loves boxes (like all cats)... and this banana box was boring until we turned it upside down and cut a hole in it... now it's Spook's favourite hangout!

Do you think I could come hang-out in your box-fort???

You know... ***squirm... wiggle.... grunt***... I am pretty small...

Boy it sure is tight in here...

Hi!!! I think I'm going to be covered in cat hair by the end of this little adventure!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mail and....The MOST Delicious Plums... Ever!

Hullo! First up... I got some mail from Little Fox today! He's been touring Colorado and having a marvelous time. The mountains and wildflowers look amazing. Thanks Little Fox

Now... I thought I would introduce you to one of our fruit trees today! This is a beary old tree and it has some issues (like dying limbs) but it produces... seriously... the most delicious, mouth-watering, juicy, sweet plums... ever.

Here are a batch that Mama picked a few days ago...

 And here is the tree... It is big and a bit hard to reach in places. It's also been beary windy the last few days which means...

Some ripe plums have landed on the ground.

This one is a lost cause - too many splits and too squished. We'll leave it for the bees... mmm.... plum juice honey!

 But some of the ones that land on the ground are OK... once you brush off a few ants and wash them...

Mmm.... soooo good... and sooo juicy...

OK... someone needs to wash their hands before they handle a little bear!

Some of the plums are low down within reach... but most are high up.

Mama thought she could send me up into the tree and I would pick plums and toss them down to her. But this idea that bear like to climb trees is based in mythology... ummm... can someone help me down??

Even the ladder is a bit much for a little bear!

But with a bit of help... there's a nice plum just ripe for the picking...

And there's that one over there... but you know what...

I think I'll just supervise from down here and guard the plums from any marauding bees or ants!!

Wow... that didn't take long!!!

And more!!! Bonanza!!! I would send some out to my stuffie pals but... these are not shippable plums - not ripe off the tree. There is nothing like them...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hazelnut Butter and... something Special!

Hullo. Today we have a beary exciting day on Sandy's Cooking Show. I think I've showed you how to make home-made peanut butter... yes? Well...

Today, we are going to make home-made hazelnut butter!! It has one added step. Because filberts/hazelnuts have a fairly thick skin, you need to roast the nuts for about 15 minutes in the oven.

 Then you put them in a tea-towel, make a lump of them and rub them against each other. The skins come off...

And we then poured them into a colander to try to get rid of more skins.

Leaving us with naked hazelnuts... which went into the food processor!

There we go... now you just turn it on...

And wait.. they get ground up to powder...

And eventually the oil comes out...

And you get a smooth creamy butter whipping around the bottom....

Leaving us with home-made hazelnut butter. Beary yummy!!!

But now we are going to step it up a notch and make... something else... Can you guess what it might be???

Oh yes... and we have our trusty assistant here to help us!

Hmmm... the food processor is not THAT loud is it?

A bit of cocoa powder... and a bit of sugar...

And we have home-made chocolate hazelnut butter - sort of a Nutella substitute!! It was beary yummy!!!