Archive for category farmlife

Pork jowl

I like buying a pork jowl now and again and curing it with some salt, a touch of sugar, and thyme. In the fridge like that for a week or so then tied up and left for maybe a month. Italian name is guanciale.

Some sexy kitchen bondage video, about as interesting as those wood fire videos or Norwegian slow tv.

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Sheesh, spring already?

I know most of Canada does not follow the same schedule as we do here on southern Vancouver Island, but for goodness sake, this is too soon.




Good friend Dave remembered me saying that I’d take an octopus if his commercial prawn fishing friend had any to spare (a by-catch that is frozen and used as halibut bait) and brought over 8 of them – frozen. I’ve never cooked a Pacific Giant Octopus before, and all the recipes I have, and that I could find on the net, were for cooking smaller octopus. I gave one method a try and I took pics along the way.

The octopus, not fully thawed, in the sink. The slime on the skin rinses off easily and after rinsing I cut the tentacles off. Forgive me, but for this first go I didn’t use the head.

In the stock pot.

Water, onions, pepper corns, bay leaf. Simmered for an hour or so, scum removed as best I could.

As I said, about an hour or so or until paring knife could poke into a tentacle. Pot dumped into colander and at this point I was disappointed to see not only the skin but the suckers falling off.

And this was the result. Lots of shrinkage and with no skin or suckers, it really didn’t look at all like what I wanted.

I made a provencal style tomato sauce (onion, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, capers, olives, etc) and popped the cut up tentacles in at the end, just to heat them up.


It wasn’t bad, but not great. I’m going to try again, different approach.

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Garlic and shallots

The larger ones hung individually are the main crop (hard and soft necked). The bundled small bulbed ones are volunteers from another part of garden. The volunteers are nice tasting purple hard necks we planted years ago. Next season we will give some of them a better chance.

Some shallots hanging up there too.


Pat Bay at its best

Mike and Stu setting of in the old CL-11.


Foals and chicks

We have a few hens who have escaped their confines and have been hatching chicks here and there. This is the last brood, October 9. Plus a couple of pics of foals and mare.

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Giant Burdock

Last fall I threw some Giant Burdock burrs down on the front garden. It may seem crazy, but I like the plants but I won’t let them spread. The flower stalks haven’t appeared yet but the leaves are huge. Edit – I didn’t know this, “Burdock has the little known yet precise designation monocarpic herb. This means a seedling grows for a varying period of years, usually two to four, until its root has stored enough energy to produce a flower stem. The plant dies only after flowering. In a shady, dry location Burdock must wait a long time. Rich soil, well-bathed in sunshine, lets Burdock send up its huge flower stem in its second year of growth. Other monocarpic herbs are Angelica and Giant Hogweed.” More info here.

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