Caramelised Sugar Apple and Sultana Pie filling..

It arrived in my mail box and I went.. ohh. the I read her post and went.. o this must be shared..

Pop on over to read jamsanpans post on her version of Carmelised Suger Apple and Sultana Pie Filling to can up and use for yummy pies and tarts.. it looks so good!

via Caramelised Sugar Apple and Sultana Pie filling..

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No Buy November -Week 1-Part 2

Nov 5th

Monday, its a new day (its raining again LOL). Woke up to yet another grey day and yet my mood was uplifted! The radio was lively with way to much information, I listened and then I put on some music to lift up my voice and spirit as I danced my way though a number of chores..

When I say that that I am slogging mud, I am not kidding, its sink your boots in six inches deep..

We have moved from the wheel barrel to the winter sled as we can not push it though the mud, some year, I swear I will get that a whole load of gravel dumped and spread in that area! We have to move the hay though and to a clean area on the pasture for eating and re-seeding the pastures

The day itself was smooth and the muffins turned out very nicely! Blueberry muffins are one of hubbies favorites.. the fact that I added oatmeal/bran/ginger and cut back on the sugar made me happy 🙂

Monday evening was spent as most are, with a group of dear friends, we used to meet in person but babies/farms mean that we meet on skype and do our live board game playing from the comfort of our homes 🙂 Sometimes modern tec is so useful.

Nov 6th

Will it surprise you to find out that its raining lol.. but we have a storm warning, with possible very heavy rain and wind coming.. they are warning about possible power outages, so we are making preps just in case of a power outage. (that would be our 7th in 2018 if it happens)

I had promised you a better photo of River kitten on my cat pride post for national cat day and here it is.. she loves to follow us about on the farm during chores and she loves her Dez.  She has grown up and filled out so much since her spay this spring.. She also caught a big old rat and gifted it to us.. ah.. thanks?

Spent some time outside this afternoon and the wind is bad! Not nearly as bad as other areas of the province is getting but still it is battering the farm.. Amazing Sunset!

The rest of the day just flew by, hubby was working late again, so I held supper and then went to bed early, watched a new movie to me called Hold the Dark.. It was very different and I think I should read the book, as it left me many unanswered questions. I  can not buy the book till after Nov so I put it on my wish list and will pick it up later and see if I can figure out a few of the missing pieces in the movie that way..

Nov 7th

Woke up with a very sore throat and ears this morning.. to much wind yesterday I guess.. within a short matter of being up, the headache started.. Not fun.. I am taking my elderberry x4, I am salt water gargling x 4 and I even did my sinus’s a clean out as they have a lot of pressure in them..

I am having a quiet day, hubby is home and being the darling he is, has taken over the morning chores so I can hide from the winds this morning, despite our preps, the winds got strong enough that they blew off tarps last night and had to be put back up this morning. .

Had a nice visit with my mom, she is still sick with her cold.. hopefully she will feel better soon. After lunch bundled up tight with my strapped down ear flaps and gave hubby a helping hand for an hour on an outside project, came in.just in time to beat the hail that was coming, we timed the break in the weather perfectly!

Made a batch of dill crackers and then was whooped.. went to bed!

Hubby woke me up for dinner, nose started running as soon as I stood up, bad fever so thankful for showers and extra clean sheets and I know we do not say it enough but sure a blessing to have washer and dryer in the house. I have lived without them and I never take them for granted.

Hubby is making little wee stairs for paris, so she can get on and off the bed lol on her own, I guess I will need to do some sanding and painting soon 🙂 He has been saving strap bits of wood from different projects

Nov 8th

Sick most of the night, woke up with full blown cold in effect.. yuck.. I can not seem to shake this falls colds, they are running though work at hubbies and though town. Still I would like to see the end of it soon.

Bless my hubby he got up earlier then normal and did all my outside morning chores so I didn’t need to go out in the winds. Such a sweetheart!  The sun is shining this morning! Its so nice to see it and everyone in the living room that is four legged is napping in sun warmed spots 🙂

The sprout trays are doing well, looking forward to having the mung beans and the sprouts in the house. I want to get back to eating one tray of fresh sprouts daily.  You really do notice when you move over to all pantry/freezer foods and there is a huge reduce in fresh foods in your diet

Need to water all the plants in the house today, putter on dishes and laundry, keep the house critters loved and looked after and otherwise, I expect I am having a PJ day and a sick day..

Tomorrow starts a new day for week 2..  We have kept to our week well..



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Buttery Crispy Dill Crackers

Baked Buttery Crispy Dill Crackers are so easy to make at home.

I had a craving for crackers and when I went to the pantry quickly figured out that other then soup crackers I did not have any in the house. Time to get baking!

This is a small batch it made me about 18 to 24 crackers

Dill Crackers

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4th cup of dill
  • Up to 1/4th a cup of cold water

Preheat your oven at 375. In a bowl cut your cold butter into your flour/salt/dill, once its fully blended in, add half of your water and mix it together, add more water one tablespoon at a time.. you want the dough to come together but not be wet in any way.

Split your dough in half and roll it out thin on a well floured board, you want it thin so that when it bakes it will puff up and create layers in the cracker.  So it should be thin on the board but “just” thick enough that it can be picked up with your lifter to move it to a ungreased cookie tray.  Repeat with the your second ball until all the crackers are cut out and moved over.

Bake 10 min on one side, flip over and bake another 4 to 6 minutes, should be golden brown edged and on the bottoms.  Cool on a wire tray and enjoy..

They are lightly dill flavoured but mainly buttery and crispy.



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How to make Venison Stew

How to make an amazing Fall Style Venison Stew

This stew is full of healthy fall veggies with a lovely tomato base and the key is slow simmer it.  You could make it in a crock pot, in the oven or like I did in a lovely cast iron pot on the stove. This makes a large pot of stew.  It made 12 big bowl servings

  • 2 pounds of cubed Venison
  • 2 large onions, peeled, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled and diced
  • 12 cups of beef broth
  • 2 cups of corn kernels
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 small turnip (winter) peeled and diced
  • 3 cups of diced tomato (1 quart or large can)
  • 4 oz of tomato paste
  • Salt, Pepper to taste 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. of Montreal Steak Spice.

Now I love Venison but some folks can find its fuller flavour a challenge, This stew was served for company and seconds were requested all round.

Its not a fast dish, so make it on a day that you have the time to do so.. it will be worth it!

Put a touch of oil in your pan and cook your onion, garlic till clear with brown edges, then add your meat and brown it on both sides, add stock and bay leaves and simmer at low-med heat for at least a hour.

Then add everything else on the list and slower the heat and let it simmer together for an hour but two is even better..  Mine took a total of four hours of slow simmer before it was served with fluffy Baking Powder Biscuits.



Posted in Soups and Stews | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Lets hit the books : Planned Coming Book Reviews!

I have a lovely selection of different food related cookbooks that will be reviewed over the winter months 🙂 Recipes will be selected and tried and shared here on the blog.

These books were gotten at the local second-hand shop and cost me .50 cents each.. they are in great condition and are the more coffee book type with lots and lots of fancy photos.

These two were bought at full price at Chapters and worth their weight to do so.. I love the substitution bible.. it’s the frugal cooks best friend.. it’s also a pantry challenges best friend.. ran out of this.. but want to make a certain dish.. check the book and voila

Now I had to admit that I have not used the sauces book nearly enough but I am hoping that this will change after I do a review and recipes out of it on its month.

These lovely both made the Canada short list for the best new cookbooks in Canada for 2018 and both are full of stories.. They both came as birthday gifts to me.. (thank you dear friends). They are as different as you can get..

Feast is two ladies on a road trip across Canada, all modern and fancy slick photos with one little recipe taking a whole page..  Its got recipes in it that make me go.. HUH on that’s considered Canadian food 🙂

Out of old Ontario kitchens is something I have been waiting for! I have been following it coming on my Canadian Culinary History board.. and even a quick glance as shown me that we are going to have fun with this one.. can’t wait to try some old fashion recipes.

If you have one that you really want to go first in Nov, let me know.  I will be starting on the first book next week.. o and if you have a book that you think should be reviews, let me know and I will see what I can do 🙂

I will be switching over in the spring garden/farm books in spring/summer 2019 and canning/preserving books for the fall/early winter of 2019.

Posted in Blogging, Book Reviews | 2 Comments

Oatmeal Ginger Bluebery Muffins Recipe

Oatmeal Ginger Blueberry Muffins

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 3/4th cup of Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup of water (or milk your choice)
  • 1/2 a cup of quick oats
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour (or white is fine)
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of baking powder
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries

This recipe will make 12 standard muffins.  Cream your butter and sugar together, then add eggs and beat again, then mix in your water. Add your dry on top of wet.. put oatmeal, then flour, then sprinkle salt, ginger and baking powder over the flour..

Mix quickly, stir till batter is just mixed together (do not over stir) then sprinkle the cup of frozen blueberries (you might want to cut it down to 3/4th a cup if you are using the small wild blueberries, as the volume of them changes depending on how they pack into your measuring cup)

Gently fold your blueberries in, then put into a greased steel muffin tin or if you use them, non-stick muffin tins. Bake 18 to 20 min in a 350 pre-heated oven.

Allow to sit in the muffin tin for a few min and then take them out and place on a cooling wire rack.. This is required for these muffins as the blueberries will make the muffin moist and can be a touch wet if you leave in the tins.. to keep that nice firmer crisp to the muffin, get them out and cooling properly 🙂

A lovely muffin, that ginger added a depth of flavour to them and the blueberry gives a burst of fruit with the oatmeal adding in some extra fiber.


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No Buy November 2018- Week One

Oct 31st

Hubby was home with a cold today but that did not stop me from heading out to get extra things done while I had the car to do so.  I did a stop by to where I buy my hay/straw and had a lovely little chat. Then off to the feed store, a quick stop at bulk barn, I was on the hunt for a Christmas present (but they didn’t have what I needed) and despite Halloween candy being 50% off, I headed out the door with just a small amount of a spice that I wanted to add to the cupboard.

Then I headed to Walmart, now that’s a store I have very mixed feels on.. but hubby needed new winter work to and from boots and they carry a Canadian made brand made in montreal with real leather that is around a 1/3rd of the price if I get the same type at the only other local shoe store.  Hubby did wear the last pair right into the ground, so they really needed to be replaced.  I did not buy a single piece of candy, but I did get one thing out of the Halloween area..  they had spider plants on sale..

I love these plants and have been looking for them for a bit as they are really good air cleaning plants and I wanted to add them to collect of plants in the house to help keep the indoor winter air cleaned.

Gas was at 1.09 a liter or 4.36 a gallon Canadian, weds tend to be the lowest days of the week to fill up the car, so that’s just what I did.

It rained pretty much steady all day long.. that’s day 3 of rain and more rain 🙂

Spending * : 6.29

this was money spent over my standard budget that I would be allowed for my standard week before the No Buy November started.  The rest of the things gotten are all in the critter/farm/work related

*means spending that counts per the challenge rules.

Nov 1st

Woke up to heavy fog but its not raining! It was deep mud to work out there to get the hay hauled out and the hounds were mud up to their elbows but they do love their morning run time, they didn’t much like the mini leg baths quite as much.

Today is a catch up day, all about getting the regular things done, housework and figuring out how to redo the living room as I have brought up the kitty condo tower so that kitten can be trained to go to bed at night. It is just a good idea for house breaking training and it means I can go to sleep knowing she is safe.

Got a lovely card in the mail from a dear friend of mine.. Its so nice when we get personal mail, even a card with a little note can just bring such a lifting of the spirits in our day.

She did a reading for me for the coming new year and pulled the Two of Wands 🙂

I thought I would share with you.. I have to agree, I do feel that I have some choices to make this year that will effect which path forward I will take.

Spending – 0

Nov 2nd

Its Friday and its raining, we have hit the point that the ground can take no more and we are now getting puddles and laying water.. thankfully most of it is being directed down into my rain garden area and collecting there.

I am loving this little tiny cast iron soap dish I got for my birthday, it’s so cute. I am using it for my scrubby for doing dishes. Made us a treat.. puffed wheat squares

Spending – 0

Nov 3rd

Pouring rain, the mud is brutal on the farm today. still got hay delivered and covered up tight, We did a trip to town with just two things on the list, the feed that they did not have earlier this week at the other feed store and something we were not to get till later.. our big xmas present.. the issue was that it went on super sale this week.. it was 500 off regular price

I am big on following the rules on my challenges but I am also frugal! 500 saved is enough to make me get flexable!

This afternoon was taken up with working in the croft and barns, this was needed given that farm work still needed to be done despite the rain but with both hubby and I still having slight colds, it made sense to keep our rain/damp to a limit.   The only thing still liking the rain is the geese and ducks.

Today is a great day to get out the smaller seed starting set up with grow lights and get out the seed sprouting trays for winter..

Nov 4th

Despite knowing that we needed to fall back a hour, we still forgot to change the alarm clock which went off at 6am (instead of 7am), we had company coming and we needed to get all the morning chores done and the extra do it just before folks come..

I made a lovely venison stew with baking powder biscuits and banana bread for dessert..  We had a lovely visit and the kitten kept the Miss K busy, us adults headed outside and got started on building our new strawberry bed. Our big bed got taken out in the main garden with the farm reno’s, some might come back but we had saved about 3 dozen plants and potted them up and they needed to be planted out into a bed to overwinter.


Its totally the wrong time of year to split them out and plant them proper, I will let them dry back fully and then cover with straw cover and in the spring, when the soil is workable, I will split out the plants and properly space them out, they are quite root bound at the moment and its totally the wrong time to be pulling the plants apart..

We had a lovely fire, it was one of the last great weather days.. the yard was so nice and dry as the storm garden did its job really well in regards to collecting the water from five days of rain! I loved finishing the day as the sun went down with a warm coal bank in the fire pit.

The other thing I noticed on Sunday was how fast my fridge got empty..  To a point this should not have surprised me, I was eating of our gardens/yard for as much of oct as possible so we did not buy much in the way of “fresh” and I only got my normal basic’s.

Still, when I did the tidy on Sunday, I went hmm.. the outside gardens are done, forage is done, we are down to Cellar, Pantry, Freezers etc..  While we have fresh eggs coming in daily, we have no dairy coming in..  We have a one sour cream, half a tube of plain yogurt and I have a bit of canned milk in the one jar..

The fridge reflects it, so many jars.. jars of fruit, jars of relish, jars of jam/jelly, jars of canned meat and sauces.

Well, I am getting right chatty on my Nov No Buy Diary, I am going to split this week at least into two posts.. I think it will just be to long to read if I don’t lol

So the poll results are in! Everyone said.. GO to the movie 🙂 but no extras! Thank you everyone that votes or wrote your thoughts!

I just looked up.. its snowing lol.. Itty bitty tiny snow flakes..


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Happy 8th Birthday! To the Living my dream life on the farm blog!

Today is the blogs 8th birthday..  Its amazing to me that I have been on this writing journey for that long.. so many words, so many photo’s, friendships made and stories told..  Recipes shared, joy and sorrow shared.. the day to day moving of the farm though the season’s..

I had to hit the stats a little for you..

In the past 8 years, I have written 3004 posts

There have been 11,547 amazing comments on the blog!

And wait for it.. I have written 1, 098, 222 words.. 

That is according to my darling hubby, using a standard average.. 22 books worth of words.

Thank you to everyone! Without you! the blog would just not be the same…. Lifting a glass to the start of year 9 on the blog today! Upward and onward!


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Pumpkin Cranberry Compote Recipe

Are you looking for a new way to use up your leftover pumpkin, Thanksgiving is coming, what a combo.. Pumpkin and Cranberries.. its bright and colorful for the table..

Just another Day on the Farm


Pumpkin Compote

  • 5 cups of cubed (1/2 inch by 1/2 inch) pumpkin
  • 1 whole  peeled, cored cubed pinnapple or 1 large can of pinnapple tidbits
  • 2 cups of whole dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of diced dried apricots
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Put the sugar over the pumpkin cubes and let it sit for an hour or two to draw out water, then add the rest and Cook them all together in a large steel pot, bring to a boil then simmer till everything soften’s, stirring now and again, remove the cinnamon sticks, pack the hot pumpkin mixture into pint jars, then top with the hot juice, Hot water Process for 25 min.

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Posted in Life moves on daily | 1 Comment

Little found, A little bit don’t where I am…

Half your life you struggle
Half your life you fly
Half your life makin’ trouble
Half your life makin’ it right
One day I’m the exception
Most days I’m just like most
Some days I’m headed in the right direction
And some days I ain’t even close
I’m a little bit steady but still little bit rollin’ stone
I’m a little bit heaven but still a little bit flesh-and-bone
Little found, little don’t-know-where-I-am
I’m a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man yeah
I always loved the highway
I just don’t run it as fast
I still go wherever the wind blows me
But I always find my way back
I still don’t get it right sometimes
I just don’t get it as wrong
I still go a little bit crazy sometimes
Yeah, but now I don’t stay near as long
I’m a little bit steady but still little bit rollin’ stone
I’m a little bit heaven but still a little bit flesh-and-bone
Little found, little don’t-know-where-I-am
I’m a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man
Still just a burn, burn, burning man
Just a burning man, uh
Maybe I’ll go to the desert
Find myself in the Joshua Tree
If we pass in the night then just hand me a light
And tell me you burned just like me
I’m a little bit steady but still little bit rollin’ stone
I’m a little bit heaven but still a little bit flesh-and-bone
Little found, little don’t-know-where-I-am
I’m a little bit holy water but still a little bit burning man
Burning man
Still just a burn, burn, burning man
Just a burning man
Uh uh
Burning man

This song speaks to me in so many ways!

I am very excited to announce that thanks to a dear friend who is going to come farm sit for us. Dear Hubby and I for the first time in 19 years and what will be 15 years on the farm are planning both a off-farm holiday TOGETHER which we are declaring our belated honeymoon..

We will being going on our Honeymoon on the year of our 20 years anniversary.

We have so many things up in the air yet but we know it will be after the gardens are in and in the late spring/early summer 2019. We know that we want to go some place that we have never been before!  We are planning on staying in Canada

So much excitement in the figuring and planning, so much to do to get ready for our big “Road Trip 2019”

We are maybe thinking east coast nova scotia, have you been? if so where must you go? we are more nature, trails, water, fossils, old mines, geological type things then we are city, fine dining or museums.




Posted in Road Trips | 17 Comments