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Colour Me Happy

I’ve found a new food love.

{Kumquats}

Oh, they are exquisite.  I had heard of them, even seen them in the store, but have never tried one.  I brought home a little jewel box of them for the family to try.  Generally, we are adventurous eaters.  We enjoy trying unusual foods – particularly those that can be found in the produce department of our local grocery.  Andrew Zimmern would be so proud.

Sunday night, to accompany Brian’s homemade chicken quesadillas, I offered each to eat of those glowing egg-shaped baubles of citrus-y glory.

Did you know that you are supposed to eat them skin and all?  And it makes all the difference in the world.  The bitter sweetness of the rind is followed by an eruption of sourness from the flesh.  As you feast upon this ellipse of pure sunshine, the sweet perfume of the peel completely envelopes your senses, swirling around and around, growing sweeter all the time.

Mercy.

I am being romantic about it.  As I said, I am totally in love. Consider all of the possibilities:: pickling, candying, slicing onto salads or desserts, making a marmalade from. I weep to think that they are only available for such a short time each year.

There are other opinions, however.  Most of the family were rather nonplussed by the kumquat experience.  But Sophie said that they taste like having a nightmare.

That simply leaves more for me to enjoy.

 

Abiding…

We haven’t been fasting from blogging during Lent.  At least, not intentionally.  We have been poring over books, catalogues, websites…  We have been exchanging telephone calls, emails, and papers.  We have been traveling to and fro to check prices and to procure this thing and that.  And we have been waiting.  Waiting for officialdom to do what it must, waiting for word on the arrival of new life, waiting to share all that we are about to experience, waiting for spring.  Waiting…

Spring is making a valiant effort to arrive.  We had a beautiful week of near-60 degree temperatures followed by two weeks of quite cold weather and a return of snow.  She is late, this Spring. We hope that she gets here soon — there is a houseful of Gadbois children who are desperate for long days spent running, jumping, climbing, creating.

Mama and Papa are every bit as anxious for the soft weather.  Soon, the farm we have been hoping, praying and working for these six years, will officially be ours.  There is a considerable amount of spring-time clean up to do – trees to be felled, shrubs to be beaten back, fields to be reclaimed, fences to be built…  There are animals to welcome to their new home, chickens, turkeys and geese… goats, sheep, and hopefully some hogs.  And new dogs to be trained up to guard our herd and flock.  And bunnies.  We promised a little girl some angora bunnies.

We are also joyfully anticipating the restoration of a farmhouse.  There is an awful lot to be done, but we have the help of a wonderful contractor and his crew.  He has gamely agreed to work out a way for us to incorporate a fair amount of our own labour, and materials.  As well as the help of family (in all its varied guises).  With so many loving hands, and all of the things affectionately collected for her adornment – since before we even knew her – we will have that dignified old lady looking like the empress she is, shining from the crest of her hilltop throne, overlooking her lovely domain of rolling hills and green pastures.

We can hardly wait to share the journey with you.

Saint Brigid’s Blessing

Barmbrack in the oven and candles being made can only mean that it is the Feast of St. Brigid.

Long-time readers will remember how special she is to our family.  She is my spiritual midwife; and she watches over our babes with her prayerful attention.  She has been my constant companion through sleepless nights with new babes, children who are ill, and worrisome moments during my pregnancies.

This blessing sums up what I wish for my children.

St. Brigid’s Blessing

St. Brigid doll available from CatholicFolkToys.com

Through her holy intercession
With our Father in Heaven,
May St. Brigid bless you and make you
Generous in your giving,
Pleasant in your greeting,
Honest in your speaking,
Loyal in your loving,
Clear in your thinking,
Strong in your working,
And joyful in your living
And when it’s time
For your homecoming,
May there be peace in
Your passing and a warm
Welcome in heaven.

~Amen


Blessed Feast to you and yours!

Inside there are rainbows

It seems that this will be the winter to measure all other winters by.  We had about three feet of snow on the ground last night before we tucked up in bed.  By the time my eyes opened this morning, there was already another 2 inches of fresh snow.  The forecast is for up to 20 inches of snow over the course of the next couple of days.  We may also get a layer of ice over that.  That should make for some beautiful photographs once the sun shows its face again.

While winter blankets all things outdoors, we’re snugged up in the house.  Inside there are rainbows.

You can make your own using the instructions in Feltcraft and some beautifully coloured wool felt.

Family Centered Friday

Something new for our family.  I have loved participating in Amanda’s {this moment}, so much so that I found I wanted to share more.  I will continue to participate in Amanda’s weekly offering of special memories.  In addition to sharing a special moment (or moments) from the previous week, I’d like to also share our plans for the weekend, or the coming week. It’s evolving.  Once I’ve got it all worked out, maybe you’ll want to share your Family Centered Friday thoughts with us and our readers, too.  For now, here are a couple of pictures from our week::

and

Josie gets a smooch from big brother Louis.

This weekend Brian and I will be attending the NOFA Mass Winter Conference for a little inspiration as we wait for the State to issue their final approval on the farm.  And there is sure to be LOTS of time spent in the newly fallen snow in the yard – snowfamilies, forts, and who-knows-what other creations.  And playing in the snow always means hot cocoa on the stove.  Here’s our recipe::

  • 1 c. good quality cocoa powder
  • 2 c. organic sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 c. boiling water
  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • Combine cocoa powder, sugar and salt and pour into a very large heavy-bottomed pot.  Add boiling water and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  Slowly add the milk, stirring all the time.  Heat through, add vanilla.  Serve in special mugs and pass the marshmallows!

**you can substitute orange or mint extracts, or drop in a cinnamon stick for a change of flavour.  Or add a little peppermint schnapps or coffee liqueur for a grown-up treat!**

Have a beautiful weekend with your precious family!

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