Monday, August 26, 2013

Meat hand, trees and harvest

Despite my last post where I extolled my own culinary skills, I managed to turn my pinkie finger into ground beef while, of all things, frying an onion. I wasn't actually frying the onion at the time, I was putting the onion in very hot oil when it decided to leap from the pan and disfigure my sixth favourite digit.

Prolonged ice bath and kisses from our new roommate did nothing to stop the blister and subsequent blood and ensuing goo. It actually doesn't hurt that much as third degree burns are so bad they burn off the nerve endings so there is nothing to sense the pain. Gross.
And I STILL haven't heard back from MasterChef Canada yet. I know people who were declined have been told 'no' and that they've invited people back for the Top 50 category so I think I'm in limbo land on a "maybe" list. Time will tell.

My damaged digit got little rest this weekend at Lonsdale. As I rounded the corner of the house heading for the front door, I found a 60 foot tree sprawled across the front lawn. Silver lining, it had fallen away from the house and didn't even hit the downspout. It came a little too close for comfort and an arborist will soon visit to inspect the rest of the trees.

Ever efficient IronGirl was on it like a tick on a june bug and with the help of the chainsaw, we had that timber sliced, diced and moved in about 4 hours. As we made like a termites, we checked out pintrest and have decided to make a side table, with a fierce whitewash, out of one of the chunks.

And on a less destructive note, the tomatoes are in! 7 pounds of cherry sized ruby jewels of goodness are on their way to giving me my first canker of the season. Can't wait!

Now that we've finally got some heat, they are starting to ripen but the cool dry weather also made them deliciously sweet. Fine soup and pasta sauces are on the way.

Monday, August 12, 2013

D46 Master Baker - hee hee.

No, that does not mean you sank my battle ship but it does mean I cook a mean pie!

It was a long exhausting weekend and as I promised mother I would blog about it, I best get on that.

It all started last Thursday when IronMan sent me the following link with the subject heading "you should do this". With no time to prepare and a busy weekend of Scottish Festival (beer drinking) ahead I thought, much like Alfred in the BirdCage who didn't have time to wax, I didn't have time to prepare.

But, around rolled Friday night, and halfway through a bottle of red, I found myself donning an apron and busting out the flour. Two hours later I had my blue ribbon winning pear and ginger pie cooling on a rack and was flittering about getting china dishes, silver serving utensils and my to-die-for picnic basket ready for a 7:00 AM open casting call.

Confident no one in their right mind would actually be at the Inter-Continnental at such an early hour, I left at 6:45. My heart sank as I ordered IronMan out of the car to reserve a spot in the massive line that snaked around the corner.

Luckily, I got the spot I did. I met my new besty from Ottawa, Carrie, and her support group of two - Jenn and Jan. All, fabulous. I thought I'd get there, they'd say "nice pie" and "go home" and I'd be done by 9:00. Well, I was done by 9:00, but it was in the PM, not the AM. That's right.... I was there for 14 hours.

It was mostly sitting and waiting but that's because I continued to move through the various stages! That's right, suck it other lady with PBF two rows in front of me that also brought pie! HA!

After waiting for HOURS, I got my competitor # - D46. Carrie was D45 and we rocked it bitches. Once we were in the 'tasting room' you had 3 minutes to plate your creation. As mine was pie, a dusting of icing sugar and three blueberries, I was done in about 30 seconds. Then, more waiting...

First, someone asked us why we made what we made, if you made sweet, did you also make savoury (and vic versa) etc. Then came the taste test and more questions. I don't remember all my answers but I made sure to play up the queer-beekeeping-gun-toting-fall-fair-winning-Lonsdale owner at every turn. guessed it, more waiting. But it was worth the wait! Of the 62 "D" people, 15 or so of us asked to go through one exit while the others were told to keep on cooking and thanked for their time.

At this point, text my brother so he could tell my mother I had entered a baking contest and was doing better than I thought. She expected me about noon. Oooooops.

There was then 3 hours of the iPhone version of head bands, I taught a table of 8 how to do Anna Kendricks "cups". IronMan had gone to work and Carrie's cheerleaders had gone to see a Jays game and we was still waiting when they got back.

Finally, I, and the camera, were ready for my close-up. Lights, camera and a mystery box later it was 8:30 and I was done. For the day. I wasn't gone 45 minutes when I got a call-back! What?????? Of course with my cell phone habits, I missed the call. Genius! Helen and I played phone tag but I now have to go back for more screening. Eeeeeeeeeeeee! So excited, I'll keep you posted.

This was followed by a drive to Fergus for the Scottish Festival and games. If I was smart, something I do not claim to be, I would have gone right to bed. But no, CJ and most of her family, my brother, one of his best friends and his dad were all up watching the MudMen and as I will attend the opening of an envelope, I sinched on my kilt and toddled up the hill for one beer.

And four beers later, I came back to a very restful sleep on an air mattress. Good times. Mom was up at 6:00 AM, opening her pocket door, making coffee all while trying, I'm sure, to be quiet. "Are you ready to run?" she asked at 6:12.

I would be if I could sleep for two more hours! But that was not to be. Despite these less than ideal circumstances I still ran the 10 km race in 49:58!!!! That's right, suck it again! BAM.

My good friend Beeton Betty was there for the third year as were Fauntleroy (who ran an AMAZING 45:something) and CJ with family in tow.

Apres brunch and a desperately needed nap, it was a three hour drive to Lonsdale where I fought the darkness to get the grass cut. My day there included dropping a paint ladened roller down the stairs and phase one of the fireplace upgrade. More will follow on both of these as my dogs are barkin' and I need some zzzzzzzzz.