Our one acre of privacy is surrounded by larger acreages. Some have horses, many are hobby farms. Personally I don’t want any other animals to take care of as our dog is the hardest one to look after lately. He’s getting old and it makes me sad. But I want to talk about our neighborhood instead of our puppers.
Wandering around our neighborhood there are a few little stands set up. One is from a couple little kids. They are selling a variety of zucchini and squash. It’s really cute that they are trying to be entrepreneurs. Pretty sure they got “backing” from mom and dad. As in harvesting their vegetables.
The other type of stands that are around are for “Free Range Eggs”. We have a couple of these in our neighborhood. I have not purchased from them. My wife has in the past and was not thrilled with the color of the yolks. I won’t go into detail, but store bought eggs are more reliable in her opinion.
There is also an herb stand around the corner as well as a few small businesses. Such as a Christmas tree farm, a turkey farm, and a few vegetable greenhouses. Having these nearby is unique and pleasing. I do enjoy the freshness of the vegetables as well as the luxury of having these places nearby.
Are you more city or country? Perhaps you love the suburbs.
We are two days into January and my wife and I had our first date of the year. We went for breakfast in Abbotsford at a place called Brambles Bistro at Tanglebank. It was a quiet location with only two other patrons inside.
Besides having great company (my wife!) we enjoyed some local farm fresh meals.
I ordered the Short Rib Skillet: Braised short ribs, au jus, roasted potatoes, smoked cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, apples and two poached eggs. It looked like it wasn’t going to be a very large meal, but by the end I was definitely satisfied and full.
My wife ordered Huevos Rancheros. It contained smoked yams, charred corn and beans, smoked cheddar and two sunny side up eggs. It was served with avocado, pico, lime, and cilantro. A fantastic mix of sweet and spicy.
We savored our breakfasts then wandered around the shop. I could see how this place would be busier in the summer as the bistro is a part of the nursery and garden. I’m surprised that this was our first visit here since the Bistro has been open since 2012 and the Nursery since the mid-nineties.
As I love supporting small businesses, this is another one that I’d recommend to everyone.
Today I made waffles. I used a cake mix because they turn out amazing. Everyone in my family loves when I use a chocolate cake mix, but today I opted for lemon cake instead. Using lemon cake mix as a waffle batter is something I decided to try out a couple of years ago. The waffles turn out fluffy on the inside with a slight crust on the outside. The aroma of lemon as it bakes in the waffle iron filled our home with a fresh scent that caused the taste buds to salivate.
Just before making the waffles, I drove up the road (literally one minute away) to the local berry farm to pick up some fresh strawberries & raspberries for our toppings. So fresh in fact that the employees had picked them only moments before & didn’t even have time to get the berries onto the shelves. I got the berries home and proceeded to clean and hull the strawberries with the help of a friend.
Thank you Google!
She did the trick of using a straw to remove the stem, and it worked perfectly. I decided to do a Google search about the best way to clean the raspberries. Having internet access at the palm of your hand is now something most people take for granted. Here I am looking up how to clean a raspberry- a knowledge that should have been passed down from my parents and their parents and so on- but it is completely unnecessary in this day and age.
Topping off our waffles was a scoop of fresh made whipped cream. Earlier this week we went to the store and almost bought one of those spray cans. It was in my cart until I actually read the label-“Whipped Topping”. Nowhere in the label did it make any mention of cream. I may be using a store bought cake mix, but I add the oil, milk & eggs to complete it. Super fresh fruit was going to go on the waffles, so I couldn’t sully the final product with complete artificial-ness. I put the petroleum whipped topping back and grabbed a carton of cream.
I’ve never made whipped cream before today. Even though I looked up online how to clean raspberries a few minutes earlier, I decided to make whipped cream based on what I imagined it to taste like. I poured the cream into the mixer and started the beater up on a medium speed. I sprinkled some icing sugar into it and added a few drops of vanilla extract. It looked like milk just spinning around. I watched for a moment and became impatient, so I cranked up the speed. Within seconds it thickened so I stopped the mixer & put the bowl of cream into the fridge. I didn’t even bother to taste test it, it just looked and smelled perfect. (BTW it turned out it was!)
This is the view of my backyard. I’m grateful for it.
Breakfast was served. Coffee and juice was to accompany our meal as we sat outside and lived the weekend country life. Breakfast among the trees, birds, rising sun and a gentle breeze made this morning one of the best reasons to just get out of bed. However, I am ready for my mid-morning nap now…