Friday, May 6, 2022

Greenhouse, Sister, Allergies, and Cinco de Mayo

 Finally after our long winter I am able to get into the GH and get a few plantings and transferring done.

 Spring has not been kind to us either. It has been cold and wet and gray.  I have to say the month of April was not good for my mental health. With upheaval in Ukraine and questioning getting out in the public again I have had a tough time. Of course with the gray days it did nothing to lift my spirit. Yes the Ukraine and Covid questioning are still uppermost on my mind but the days are starting to get sunnier and getting outside has helped my bummer mood intensely. 

And I am excited for my sister to visit the end of the month. I've been busy planning meals and excursions. She's here for 6 days but we will pack in lots. I have put in my request for wonderful weather so fingers crossed. We want to sit on the patio with a wee drink in hand. It will make day trips more fun too.

Anyone else experiencing intense allergy symptoms this year. My allergies of choice are boxelder, maple , and cedar. I will give you 3 guesses what grows in abundance around us and the first 2 do not count. Mine are through the roof. Even though my meds are drowsy free they are not and by mid afternoon I am ready to call it a day. My other symptom is an already dry eye syndrome that is much more and  doesn't seem any amount of drops lubes them. 

Cinco de Mayo just happened and I love a good theme supper.  Margaritas on the patio enjoying the wonderful sunshine and 18 *C. 

Then inside for a plate of  chicken enchiladas and guacamole and southwestern salad.

So there's a glimpse of the first week in May at the Raspberry Patch

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Happy Pancake/Shrove Tuesday

 Happy Pancake Tuesday !!    

Altho around here pancakes are an absolute staple when grand children visit but how wonderful to have a day to celebrate the delicious little griddle cake. I have tried umpteen and that is a lot of pancake recipes. We do have vegans in the family and I have tried almost as many recipes for them. Here are two of my go to recipes right now.  Just press on the link .....


Vegan Pancakes

Always served with lots of strawberries and bananas and the requisite whipped cream (coconut cream for my vegans). And for my meat loving grandson always bacon or sausages.

And eat them like a boss!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Robbie Burns Day

 In the past and by past I mean 2 years ago we would have a few friends in to celebrate Scotland's Bard. We would dress as tartany as we could and sip Robbie Burns cocktails. Followed by my version of a Scottish meal. No Haggis at the Raspberry Patch.  This year and last as well we are in Stage 2 of a lockdown. That means no more than 5 people in your home so another year of no dinner party. We didn't celebrate last year but this year we are. The table is set with plaid and white with jeweled napkin holders. 

They remind me of a neck brooch my Scottish mother in law would wear. This day reminds me of my in laws even more than usual . My very proud Scottish MIL and my English honourary Scottish FIL who could recite Burns poetry better than anyone.

Robbie Burns Cocktail

2 ounces Scotch whiskey

1/4 ounce sweet vermouth

1 dash orange bitter or a slice of orange zest

Pour ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Do your best Tom Cruise (Cocktail 1988) . Pour into chilled cocktail glass.   Slainte!!

Salmon Wellington  For 2

There are lots of recipes on line. I did my own thing and collaborated a few recipes together. Hey it's salmon and puff pastry how can it go wrong?

Roasted root vegetables

Scottish trifle     The thing that makes it Scottish rather than English? I used Cardu Scotch LOL

Wishng you all a wonderful Bard day!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Covid and Snow Storms

 Covid finally hit our little families. And hit them hard.  My poor G daughter R was pretty much out of it for 2 days straight.  Four days of being knocked on asses. G son M showed no symptoms whatsoever despite being in close contact with them. Undoubtedly he was asymptomatic. He has had one vax but R has had none .... What a terrible feeling of helplessness not being to help with too much other than bringing groceries and fresh baked muffins. Of course we were exposed to this virus over Christmas. I managed to make it through with only a 4 day headache and being extremely tired. I called to book a test only to be informed since I was doubly vaxxed and only had mild symptoms to assume it "was" and isolate for 5 days.   Of course all this put a stop to any other family celebrations. 

Sleepovers are few and far between these days but we managed to arrange one with D and F. Finally after 2 weeks we were able to have Christmas with them. here was lots to make up for ----- crafts, baking, games, and cuddles.

 We were in the middle of a polar vortex so no outside this time. It was all fun and games until the next afternoon when we were informed our SIL had tested positive.  A few days later my daughter was hit by it. It has been 5 days and the kids seem fine. Delivered groceries, cat food, baked beans, and a couple of books.

Monday the kids were supposed to go back to school after being off from school from December 20th. We got walloped by 47.5 cm of snow. 

It has been a long long time since we got hit by that much snow all at once. Everything was shut down ---- shops, buses, and schools. Iain and I were out 3 or 4 times topping feeders and clearing snow. It took so long for clearing up the school buses were cancelled the next day too. It is still pretty ugly out there and now tonight were are supposed to get more snow, big temp plummet, and freezing rain. 

So as expected today is pretty chilly. -21C with a wind chill of -30C. I received yarn yesterday to start a new project so I will be caking that up. Maybe finish off a few letters.

Happy Cheese Lover's Day!!

Friday, December 31, 2021

A wee .. very wee wrapup

 I am planning to take a day to myself today and try not to think of all the things I could be doing today. Although I complained on Instagram about being in the the kitchen for the past 4 days I baked muffins this morning. 

I had to remove a container of frozen pumpkin puree to fit the turkeys in the freezer so pumpkin oatmeal muffins it is 😍  

I don't think it is the prepping or the cooking or the baking ---- it's the cleaning.Well no more cleaning up today and supper is YOYO (you're on your own). We seem to have tons of leftovers .

I am feeling a bit down today because we we're supposed to have the family (all 10 of us) here for a Christmas celly. Unfortunately Nick (Holly's partner) wasn't feeling good and bowed out of Christmas day and is now waiting to be tested. Now this morning Holly is having some symptoms. Good or bad we did celebrate with Holly and the kiddos for Christmas day. At the time we said what the hell but now I'm thinking it wasn't such a great idea. We had a fantastic day and I know the kids really enjoyed themselves. When HB shopped for turkey he couldn't find one good sized one so he got 2 small ones. lots of turkey and both households got carcasses for stock.

Didn't do a ton of knitting this year year for gifts. As a matter of fact I only knitted a pair of fingerless gloves for my friend Monique  and headbands for my daughters. 

I am still slugging away on the sweater for HB ---- sleeves are done and I have about 4 inches done on the body . Then there is the shawl I started when I was in Nova Scotia in October. I've found a pattern for ear flap hats to make for the kids from Purl Soho using bulky Yarn ......  :-)

Tried my hand at baked doughnuts. 

We were invited for lunch at my daughter's ,Siobhan , Christmas eve and I have a really hard time not bringing something sweet. It's a recipe I found It is a vegan recipe and is delicious. I SHALL be making these again!! The Arnprior kiddlys approve.

The Carleton Place Christmas bird count is over for another year. 

Seems to have been heavy on the gold finch front this year. Traditionally  we have tortiere for supper that night.

 I say traditionally cuz we have been doing this for about 10 years . And now that I have discovered I have French roots it seems more of a tradition. I use the Processer Pastry recipe from Canadian Living and the Tortiere recipe from them as well.  The pastry is my go to and turns out every time .... every time. 

So Happy New Year cuz I am posting this new year's eve🍾🥂

And I hope you are all well and happy!! Ciao to 2021 ..... bring on 2022..... 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

 Seems we are in a straight on gallop to Christmas. i have come to a few decisions that are easing up the pressure to make everything perfect. One thing is the baking. every year I bake and bake and bake and by the time the season is over the squirrels are having a lovely party with all the leftover cookies. This year I have scaled the baking down. Of course there are shortbread cookies, 

What is Christmas in a mostly Anglo Saxon family without those crumbly melt in the mouth goodies? There is fudge to put in the gift bags as well. And yes there are marshmallows 

to put in the hot chocolate prezzies for neighbourhood kiddos and my hair stylist's kids. The rest of my baking is heavy on vegan sweets Chocolate Crinkle cookies  and Vegan Pffernause... the whole family can eat those and they are delicious. Of course there is Tortiere ( a wee nod to my French heritage) for the Bird count day supper (December 27th th). Geesh reading back over this it still seems like a lot but believe me compared to other years it is not. Making Jamie Oliver's get ahead gravy this week. Over the years I have put my own tweaks to it so its's probably Zaza's get ahead gravy now with a wuz up nod to Jamie 

Last weekend was the annual lunch and cookie decorating. 


I feel it may be becoming less and less interesting for Miles and Riley who are 10 but going on 20. I may have to go back to houses and see how that goes. All this started with houses and then morphed into cookies but I'm thinking houses may hold more interest. It was a fun day just the same with all of us together. It is quite a house full and now with Holly's new beau , Nick, makes us 10. 

There is evidence in the snow that we may have a homeless kitty or 2 around. 


We have also seen a big ole Tom cat scurrying through the backyard. I have picked up a box of "crunchies"  to put a bit of sustenance out there. I also have a bird bath heater in the shed that I may try to drag out. May be quite the task cuz the shed is pretty full of summer things ---- packed to the gunnels as they say.

I have started making my winter suet for the birds ( which I posted about last time)which they seem to enjoy immensely. I thought I would bougie it up a bit and pick up safflower seeds. Well I think our birds are not bougie enough  and will not touch them at all. Give them good ole black sunflower seeds and some millet and they are in heaven. The finches are enjoying the nyger in the feeder altho they seem to be quite happy with the white millet. I guess this is good cuz it won't break the bank. If you want the suet recipe type suet recipe in the search bar above. Duhhhhhh!!! Hahahaha.


Check the highlighted cookie names. Links to recipe.


Friday, December 10, 2021

 December 6th 

Feeling a little under the weather today. Nothing serious probably just need to take a slower day. Perfect day for it as it is freezing rain this morning and then rain this afternoon but mild 9*. Of course tomorrow it is -9 so everything will be a sheet of ice 😱

Feeders are topped and new suet is made.

So at least the birds are taken care of.

Well where did those 4 days go. Here it is December 10th. 

Lots of things have been happening at the Raspberry Patch.  I just haven't taken the time to write about any of it.   A bit of baking . A bit of entertaining. Some shopping. Always cleaning and the never ending laundry saga. The weather is crazy pants these last couple weeks. It's been cold and snowy. And mild and raining. 

A few outside decorations. Is it just my little town or does it seem more people are decorating their outside. I've also noticed how fast lights and decorations have sold in the stores.

Well there we go a little wrap up of the last few days. This weekend is our annual family lunch and cookie decorating.  And next week will be busy with more baking, wrapping, and dropping off friends prezzies.  

Til then stay safe and enjoy the season.🤶

Sunday, December 5, 2021

 So yesterday was a busy one and by the time I was ready to chill that's what I wanted to do.  A glass of wine, Iain's pizza, and a hockey game and that was my evening. 

It was a heavy kitchen day yesterday. I have been very inspired by a few IG profiles of late. One being Jo-Anna at a pretty life . She also has a blog. I have lusted after a spritz cookie  press for quite a few years and finally bought myself the Oxo one. My first foray into this adventure was not terribly successful--- sticky dough, and flavourless cookies. I was not deterred and tried Jo-Anna's recipe. A lot more success although I still have work to do. I will not be embarrassed to give these wee cookies as gifts or serve them on a cookie tray.

Norman approves 👨‍🍳

I definitely have to work on the heart shape 🤣❤🤣

Next weekend is our annual family Christmas lunch and cookie decorating.  Of course last year we couldn't all be together altho we managed to fit kid sleepovers and decorating between lockdowns. This is the best vegan gingerbread cookie dough I have found. I must admit I haven't tried any other cuz this one works a charm. I have put the dough in the freezer and will bake the cookies off next Saturday. 

Well that's it for now. 🤶

Oh ya and it snowed yesterday. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

December 3rd

 Starting to get the house in the spirit of the season.

Hot chocolate station is ready to go

Tree is up and decorated. I thought of getting a new one this year but this little guy or as Fox calls it --- Nona's baby tree -- does the trick. Norman likes hanging out underneath. It's so much fun bringing out ornaments that I have collected over the years and received from family and friends. 

House is clean and tidied up for the weekend. I plan on doing a bit of baking and the never ending battle with laundry. 

Snow is in the forecast.  🤶