Mo’ Than Just a Moustache

Whoa.  I had to surface from my batcave for something other than sorting clothes.  What a job that is, I’ve been sitting in the Daughters’ bathroom sorting, folding and packing their clothes to pass on to their cousins this Friday.  It’s a good problem to have but just tiring as hell to deal with every six months.

With fall already here (and winter fast approaching) ’tis the season for switching out clothes.  Also?  Facial hair.  That infamous month for growing a ridiculous moustache in support of a worthy and under-publicized cause is coming up too.  You got it, I’m talking about Movember, that time of the year when the Farmer is congratulated for looking like a porn star for the entire month.

Last week I picked up my mail and sorted past bills, flyers, bills, and bills to find this beauty.  A VIP invitation to the 4th Annual Mo Sista Edmonton Soiree!  I was invited by a friend who sits on the Mo Sistas Edmonton board and whose husband is BIG into Mo’s.

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Pretty slammin’ right?  I’m pumped.

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So do you know what Movember is all about?  If you said no, you need to educate yourself.  It’s not just about the parties, snazzy t-shirts and finger tattoos.  Movember has helped bring awareness to prostate and testicular cancer as well as mens health and mens mental health issues since it was established in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia.  It’s now become a global epidemic and over 3 million men and women from 21 countries worldwide participate.

In 2012, 1.1 million people joined the Movember movement and raised over 146.6 million dollars; 42.6 million of that came from Canada alone.  In Canada, those funds went towards programs encompassing awareness and education, staying mentally healthy and living with mental illness, living with [and beyond] cancer and research.  According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, in 2011 prostate cancer accounted for 27% of all mens cancers that were diagnosed; it is the most common cancer affecting men so all those dollars are going towards raising awareness for a worthy cause.

In addition to being the highest rate of cancer in men, Miss Mo’ also informed me that farmers are actually more prone to being diagnosed with prostate or testicular cancer because of their increased exposure to chemical fertilizers so I decided to look into that a little deeper.

According to Environment News Service, “exposure to a chemical called Methyl Bromide…found prostate cancer risks were two to four times higher among pesticide applicators than among men who were not exposed to methyl bromide.”  Methyl bromide is a gas used to protect crops from soil-abiding pests and it’s also used to fumigate grain bins and other agricultural storage areas.  The study sample was done in 2003 in North Carolina and Iowa and included 55 332 men who were followed for 4.3 years and were classified as either private pesticide applicators (92%) or commercial pesticide applicators (8%).  The results of the study concluded these men were at a 14 percent greater risk for developing prostate cancer than men that were not exposed to methyl bromide.

Coming from a family of farmers, these are shaky statistics but Movember isn’t just about the Mo’ Bros, it’s all about Mo Sista’s too.  Us ladies do everything the men do except without the moustache.  Anyone that wants to participate needs to check out www.movember.com, read the rules and REGISTER.  You may think it’s just about putting on the grow but there’s stipulations you need to follow to make it legit so whether you want to do it on your own, sign up a team or join an existing team JUST DO IT.  Mo’s unite!

If you’d like to come to the Soiree, you’re welcome to drop in.  Mo Sistas will be gathering at 7pm and Mo Bros can join the party at 9pm.  It’s at Vacancy Hall in E-Town, 10363-104 Street, and you NEED to purchase a ticket in order to attend.  Visit the Mo Sistas Facebook Event Page to get the link.

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Get educated, get involved and as of November 1, shave it off and get growing.  Happiness to you all, Kim.

My Parallel Universe. And Pickles.

Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting yourself?  I have.  In fact, I receive text messages from myself, see myself on Facebook occasionally and if I’m lucky, I get to hang out with myself every now and then.

The other me is tall, dark and has naturally curly hair too.  She’s also addicted to online shopping and is married to the Farmer’s cousin who, coincidentally, has the same name as the Farmer’s youngest brother.  AND her hubs is a farmer too.  Crazy right?!  We’re sisters from another mister – welcome to our parallel universe.  Now guess what her name is?  You know it, Kim Ducherer.

I mean, how fun is this to see?

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We’re tight with each other, I love our relationship.  We talk about walk-in closets, egg white face masks, cutting back on cussing, chasing jailbreak cattle, online purchases we stash from our Farmer husbands.  It’s seriously just like talking to myself.

One night, she sends me this pickle recipe and says it tastes just like Klassen’s and I’m thinking, “what the eff are Klassen’s?” But I didn’t actually say that to her otherwise I knew she’d mock me because that’s exactly what I’d do to myself.  When you’re dealing with your alter-ego it’s like being one step ahead in chess, you always know your next move.  So I played it cool and was like “that’s awesome! I’m so going to try these!” then went directly to Google to find out what Klassen’s were.

Turns out they’re Claussen’s and they’re the Grey Poupon of pickles.  Who knew?!  Growing up in the country if there’s one thing I don’t know anything about it’s storebought jam and pickles.  There was always plenty of that stuff homemade in our cold room thanks to Nana.

Start out washing your cucumbers and then sterilizing your jars.

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I just boil the jars and lids in the canner for about 5 minutes and take them out and let them air dry while I stuff the jars and make the brine.

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Put two heads of dill and two cloves of garlic in each jar.  Once that’s done it’s time to start jamming cucs in there.  This is like playing cucumber tetris.  Since this was my third batch of pickles, these cucs were getting to be the rejects from the end of the season so they’re all shapes and sizes.  Sometimes I have to cut them to fit them in but it doesn’t change the taste at all.

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 Add the water, vinegar, pickling salt and pickling spice to a large pot and boil 5 minutes.  I didn’t have any cheesecloth in the house when I decided to make these because, really, who has cheesecloth at the ready?  So I improvised.  I love loose tea every now and then so I took down my tea dipper (I have no idea what the formal name is for it) and put the spice in there.

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Then I dangled it into my dutch oven over a spoon.  Ingenious (I’m not just all looks, you know).

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Once you get that boiled and after you have Tetris’d your jars, pour the brine overtop until they’re full.  Seal with the sterilized lids (make sure the rim of the jar is dry or they won’t seal) and drop into the canner for about 10 minutes.  Once they’re done, take them out and set them on the counter until they’re room temp then throw them in the fridge for at least 3 days.  After that I just shelved them and they seem to be fine but my alter-ego was told to keep them in the fridge so try either way.

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And I can say with definite certainty that although I have never digested a Claussen pickle these pickles taste EXACTLY like the deep fried pickles we get from the Canadian Brewhouse when we eat there.  This weekend there’s a bunch of us going camping for out last hurrah before we winterize our units and my alter-ego will be there!  We’ll be a deep-frying pickles Friday night and I can’t wait to get them in my gut.  I’ve perfected the most amazing dill dipping sauce to go along…  If you’re lucky, I’ll share.

Thanks so much to my faithful followers, I truly appreciate your support!  Feel free to share with your trusted BFF’s, I love all the feedback.

Pickles by Kim Squared
(Recipe covers 12 one quart jars)
14 cups water
2 cups vinegar
1 cup coarse salt
1 tbsp. pickling spice wrapped in cheesecloth
2 heads of dill, 2 cloves of garlic per jar

Much pickle love to you, Kim.

I Love This Car…

I love this car, it’s my kind of race.  Just driving through these big gates puts a big smile on my face.  It ain’t too far…come as you aaaaaaare.  Mmmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm, I love this car.  Okay, okay it’s not quite Toby Keith but it’s pretty clever.

Every year the Pops makes the trek to the Columbia Valley Classics show in Radium, BC with his pals to witness pure awesomeness on wheels.  Last year I started coming with him and this year there were four of us that came down together all with kickass, unique vehicles to show off; The Body Man (aka Budd), Pops, The Metal Man and me.

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Friday morning we got up and prepped ourselves for a ride.  To heaven.  How can you do anything but smile ear-to-ear when you’re looking at this scenery?!  Blue skies, sunshine, cool breeze, good tunes – life is good.

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Saturday morning we woke up to some heavy fog but that didn’t deter.  Up and in line by 7am, we were waiting with another 300 cars to get onto the driving range.  By 10am there were another 650 cars lined up and by the time all the cars arrived there were around 1000 entries again this year.

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There were so many different cars to look at and enjoy and one of our group even took home a Top Ten in Show award.  Can you guess who?

If you guessed the Ogre, you’re right.  The Metal Man custom built this 1955 Chevrolet LCF, which stands for Low Cab Forward, and from the doors forward it’s the original body.  All weekend we heard “it’s gotta be electric” because it’s got a mid-engine inside the cab and all you see under the hood is the radiator.  It’s super entertaining to watch and listen to what people have to say about it.  It’s set on a 1996 Chev one ton chassis with dual rear wheels and it has a 2006 Duramax diesel engine.  The license plate says OHGERRR because it is A BEAST.  It’s truly an amazing truck to see and all weekend long the Metal Man had a fan club following him around asking about it.  He’s a very kind, generous man and a great sport because he answers the same questions over and over and over again always with a smile on his face.

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With countless man hours put into it by not only himself but also the Pops, Budd, and a few others it definitely deserved to win that Top Ten in Show award.

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The Ogre even met his younger, bigger brother there!  This 1959 LCF belongs to Sundre Contracting; it was very rare to see two at the same show!

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The Body Man (aka Budd) brought along his 1946 Chevrolet Fleetmaster.  Budd’s wife, the Smoke Show was giving us all lessons on how to polish this weekend – it’s her specialty along with smoking meat on the back of her food truck.  She’s an amazing cook!  Watch for her truck in summer 2014 in and around Sherwood Park and Edmonton; her apricot glazed smoked chicken wings are worth the drive to wherever she is!

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This Fleetmaster has a 1995 Camaro LT1 engine, original whitewall tires and wool seat interior and (not surprisingly) an immaculate black paint job.

1946 Fleetmaster

Three of the four of the rods that came with us have been worked on by Budd; he’s THE GUY you need to see if you need a paint job.  His talent is clearly evident in Harriet’s cowl stripes.  You see, I love lace and I had this CRAZY IDEA one night after watching a rod show with the Pops when I was in Arizona that I wanted to get a lace paint job on my roof.  After talking about it with Pops over and over and researching how to do it, we finally decided it would look amazing if we got it in the cowl stripes instead and Budd made that dream a reality for me.  Remember the Wedding post from a few weeks ago where I told you about the vinyl wall art I sell?  That’s what he used as a stencil to paint the design so it’s mirrored perfectly. It is flawless and suits me and my personality exactly.

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 I’ve had Harriet since I was 16 and besides her killer new paint job, I put new rims on her this summer too so she is looking extra sexy.  She’s runs on a 350 small block, has a functioning cowl, dual exhaust, a lot of rock chips (what the Pops likes to call “road knowledge”) and a kickass amount of curb appeal.  Just a few of the reasons I LOVE THIS CAR.  Plus, this particular make and model of car has a special place in Papa’s heart which means a lot to me.

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So you’ve heard about the Ogre, Budd’s Fleetmaster and Harriet now the only one left is the Golden ’53.  I like to call this the Trojan Horse of hot rods because on the outside it looks like a 1953 Golden Anniversary Mercury M-350 but underneath that hood and beneath that frame, it’s all Chevrolet and Papa wouldn’t have built it any other way.  It’s on a 1991 Chev chassis and runs on a 502 cubic inch engine.  It has a 9 foot grain box which is also really rare to see these days since most M-350’s you come across only have the 8 foot long box.  What’s the most kickass part about this truck?  It’s a 4×4.  Why?  Because it can be.  These hot rods are bitchin’ because they’re all custom built by their owners and they do some of the most unreal things to them just for the fun of it all.

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Because this is a Golden Anniversary M-350, all the knobs on the interior are gold plated and before Pops put on his Boss Mags, he also had gold plated center caps on his wheels.  This truck has a special place in my heart too.  It lived in Papa’s shop for years before it was able to hit the road and when it finally hit the road for the first time, we drove it in primer for the first five years.  I can remember coming home from school, finishing my homework, eating supper and heading to the shop to help him work on it.  I was twelve, thirteen, fourteen years old and I had a pair of coveralls that were seven sizes too big but pair of hands that were able to fit into the tiny spots Papa’s hands couldn’t; the time I got to spend with him down there is time I will never forget.  I loved every minute of it and am so happy we shared it together.  Going to this car show now means so much to me because it’s the common bond we have as Father and Daughter and brings me back to the days we spent in the shop.  How many brides do you know that danced with their Daddy to “Drive” by Alan Jackson for their wedding?  It’s our kind of love and I love that too.

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It gets redundant but all these rods are so unique in their own way, they’re each worth checking out to see.  These are only 0.5% of the cars that were there this weekend so it takes a long time to walk through each one and listen to the stories about what makes them each so different.  Back in the days of film cameras you’d need to bring 7 rolls to get all the pics you’d like of everything there.

It truly is an amazing show to check out, the members of the Columbia Valley Classics club do a fantastic job of putting it on every year and since this year was the 24th show, that means next year is THE BIG 2-5!  It’s going to be incredible so if you’re available, you need to check it out.  Even in the rain the spirits of the majority of these car enthusiasts were not dampened but hopefully the sun will be shining at next years event.

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Until next year, Tess (my sleepy, neck pillow road companion) and I are homeward bound; welcome back Alberta, see you next September Radium.

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Love to you in all you do.  For me it’s the smell of burnt rubber and the sound and touch of a classic engine rumbling, XO, Kim.

Do you like Pina Colada’s?

I do.  I love them.  Especially when they’re made the right way with coconut milk and fresh pineapple juice.  Preferably on a hot beach somewhere too but you can’t win them all.

So how about Pina Colada Bread?  Good chance that’ll go well too.  I made some with (surprise, surprise) MORE ZUCCHINI.  The first person to comment on this post after reading it will get a zucchini DELIVERED to make this loaf with – that’s how much I like it (and how much I want to get rid of another zucchini).

Nana planted green and yellow zucchini this year and didn’t even know it until they were growing.  If you’ve never had the yellow ones, they’re delicious fried with butter and pep.  Buuuuuuuut I’ve had enough of that so I’ve had to find other uses for them and this is an amazing one.

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I doubled the recipe to make two loaves because I was opening a can of pineapple anyway and I had the zucchini so I wasn’t doing it for one loaf.  My big sis calls this “crackbread” because once she starts eating it, it’s like crack and she’s addicted.

Start with your eggs, sugar, oil and applesauce and blend them in the mixer in medium for a few minutes.  Add the zucchini, pineapple and REAL MEXICAN vanilla and mix for another minute or so.

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Mix your dry ingredients in another bowl and fold into the wet mixture.

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Add to two greased loaf pans and bake at 350F for an hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Then dive in and fuel your addiction.

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Zucchini Pina Colada Loaf

4 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini

4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup shredded coconut

Much love and happiness to you all – let me know if you need an intervention, Kim.

Sloppy Seconds

So the other night the Farmer comes home and completely massacres my amazing MeatBALLS.  Apparently we don’t share the same love for balls so he obliterated them into the sauce.  I guess he’s more of a sauce guy…who knew?

Anyway, he ate all the noodles I’d cooked because he’s a beast.  He gets mad hungry after being out in the tractor all day so I had some sauce avec mashed meatballs left over.  It went in the fridge and today I ended up being the beast who was mad hungry so I made something SUPER EASY and delicious to get rid of my hunger pains.

Remember that family reunion I mentioned in my Stains post?  At that same reunion the kind, considerate and generous Farmer Sr. bid and bought me a huge basket of fresh garden veg that his cousin picked and put into the live auction.  Among other things, in it was a monster spaghetti squash that I have had sitting as a fixture on my counter for almost a month.  Until this afternoon that is!

Have you ever had spaghetti squash?  It’s amazingly satisfyingly delightful.  You halve them, clean them out, add a little butter, salt and pep, cover with foil and bake for around an hour.  Then when it’s done you dive in and it falls apart just like noodles; it’s natures spaghetti.

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I decided I wanted that for lunch today so I cut it in half, cleaned out the seeds and was about to put in my butter, salt and pep when I realised I had that container of amazing sauce leftover in the fridge!  BOOM!  Oh yah, it happened.  I scooped the sauce into each half and covered them with foil.

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I then threw it in the oven at 350F for an hour to await its fate.

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Once it was done, I peeled back the foil and just smelled the awesomeness.  It was so amazingly good I ate both halves for lunch.  I told you I was hungry like a beast today (although that’s not too uncommon of a meal size for me).

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I couldn’t quite convince the youngest Daughter to eat it but the eldest packed it back and loved it.

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Leftovers used up?  Check.  Squash eaten?  Check.  Hunger diverted?  Check.  Mission accomplished.  Short and simple is the new black.  Appetite suppression and hugs to you all, Kim.

Stains – My Nemesis.

Anyone that knows me knows how much I cherish my wardrobe; I can’t help it, I’m incredibly vain.  I take care of it better than I take care of the Farmer somedays because if there’s one thing I love to be, it’s fashionable (not to be confused with fashionably late, which I also am a lot).  I have two different sets of clothes and have had since I was a small girl; “school clothes” and “around home clothes”.

Obviously my school clothes have transitioned into “going-out clothes” since I’m not longer in school but I still take care of them immaculately and I HATE GETTING DIRTY IN THEM.  Don’t confuse this with the statement I HATE GETTING DIRTY, they are two different statements altogether.  As seen below, here I am in Mud Hero with my BFF.  This was at the end of the race and I will say that when we crossed the finish line I was told by two separate people I was the cleanest dirty person that had gone through there that day!

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See?  If I’m in the proper attire, I don’t mind getting dirty at all but when I get dirty in my going-out clothes there’s a foul on the play or as the Farmer’s youngest bro would say “here comes an EMAIL!”

Because of this need to keep things in pristine condition, I also dislike it when the Daughters get their going-out clothes dirty and since they get dirty a lot, they wear a lot of sweatpants.  These two are so precious they’d make a potato sack look good so it doesn’t matter at all but I always figure, why would I put them in a perfect little dress when they’re just going to ruin it in the muck?  They’d look less than perfect in 27 seconds (which doesn’t bother me when they’re in the right attire) so for my own sanity they’re in their around home clothes a lot.  They’re both just starting their preschool days this year and they do wear their fancier duds there so I know this will change as they get older.  But my aversion to stains will not.

Can you imagine what my blood pressure was like when I came across this little monkey at the Farmer’s fam jam reunion this past August?!  AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

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This is the youngest Daughter and she found a dirt pile.  And sat in it.  Then poured water in it.  Then rolled in it.  OH MAN.  This is what I did when I found her.  My body language says it all.

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Her older sister had a mud fight with a cousin too so for the rest of the weekend, I thought about how I was going to get their clothes clean and luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve in that department.

For regular stains I will dab on a bit of Shout and let the clothes sit for a few hours but the last time I went looking for it I couldn’t find it so I had to get Resolve Oxi-Action, it seems to be working just as well as Shout so I’m happy there.

And for “Farmer’s fam jam reunion” stains, I soaked the clothes overnight in a bucket of super hot water and…

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One Sunlight Oxi-Action dishwashing detergent puck!  Get real, right?!  No, seriously, this has taken out 99.9% of my stains.  The only one I’ve had trouble with lately is grease.  The youngest Daughter (again) dunked her sleeve in a pail of oil when she was working outside with the Farmer and after soaking it with a Sunlight puck overnight, draining, soaking overnight with another puck again, draining and putting through the wash I got most of it out but there’s still a small grey streak left on the shirt sleeve.  But for those stains you got from last night’s Spaghetti and MeatBALLS post, this did the trick!

Take care of your things and they will last you their money’s worth!  Prosperity, cleanliness and much luck in the laundry room to you all!  Kim.

Spaghetti and MeatBALLS

So remember that laundry tip post I mentioned a few days ago on the MHTF Facebook wall?  I promise it will go up next because you’re going to need it after you make this supper.  Since the Daughters are adverse to using napkins I have to be stellar good at laundry around this place or a lot of clothes would end up in the trash.

I have always always always been a lover of spaghetti and meatballs.  Not meatsauce, meatballs.  I don’t know what it is but I just really love the twirling, the slurping and the ball part of meatBALLS as opposed to the sauce part of it.  This would have also been an amazing recipe to use of a bunch more of those fresh garden veg, zucchini, carrots, onions, peas, HOWEVER the Farmer is totally opposed to all of those veggies except onions so ours was sans-veg today.

As much as I wanted to make this sauce from scratch, I was feeling a touch lazy today and there was a Costco size jar of Prego in the fridge I had to use up so I just doctored up that sauce a bit and it was actually better than delicious.  Forever I have always liked my spaghetti sauce a little on the sweeter side so I just added a bit of brown sugar, half an onion and a clove of the Farmer’s BFF’s HOME GROWN GARLIC.

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If you have never had home grown garlic you do not know what you are missing; store bought garlic is a joke compared to this delicacy.  It has so much flavour and aroma you can’t even bring you hands near your face after putting it through the press otherwise the tears will be a-flowin’.  Look at how much different it looks from that store bought junk too, it’s not even the same colour!  Hit a farmers market or two in your area and look for it then buy 10 bulbs because it keeps a long time too.  We are truly lucky to have such great friends that share their bounty with us every year because if there’s one thing I am incredibly poor at it’s growing plants.  My green thumb is actually black.

So anyway, I put one clove of this garlic through the press and into the sauce with the brown sugar and the onion, turned it on medium and started making my meatballs.

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We always pack our meat in larger than normal bags because we have larger than normal appetites.  Ours are about 1.5 pounds per bag so if it looks like there’s more meat than normal in these pics, there is.  I added 3 eggs (one for each half pound of meat) and some crushed up crackers (because I was out of breadcrumbs), salt and pepper and got to mixing with my hands.

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Once the meatballs were formed I dropped them into the sauce (which was already at a slow rolling boil), put the lid on and let them cook for another 25 minutes.  This method of cooking the meatballs will seriously make you THE BEST SAUCE ever.  It is so delightfully good when you cook the meat in with it and NO, you don’t get poisoned by doing so.  Look at how amazing it looks!

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Lastly, I threw on my pot of boiling salt water and added the noodles.  As much as I love spaghetti with my meatballs, I love clean children more so for the next few years we are eating rotini and fusili instead of spaghetti and linguine.

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Spaghetti and MeatBALLS

Sauce

1L jarred sauce (like Prego or Classico)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove fresh garlic
1/2 large onion, chopped

Meatballs

1 pound ground beef, thawed
2 eggs
10 crushed soda crackers or 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

Once everything is done, GET IT IN YOUR GUT!  I will expect to see your notes of thanks in the comments.  Smiles!  Kim.

Once upon a time…

…there was this wedding.   Because these are two people I love very much, they’ve agreed to allow me to share with you some details of their special day.  Today’s posts are all about feeling the love – can you feel it?  Can.  You.  FEEL IT?!

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All these pictures are (once again) courtesy of my BFF Ashlee at Love and Laugh Photography.  If you’re having a wedding or a baby or trying to tackle your Farmer for family photos like I have to, you NEED to call her and book yourself an appointment; she is absolutely wonderful.  And you better do it fast because she’s almost booked up to the end of October!

I love weddings.  I love weddings so much I kind of just take them over from whoever will let me.  This kind and beautiful bride let me take over WITH VIRTUALLY FREE REIGN.   That could have been dangerous but I’m also very frugal so it was all under control.  Except when it came to the flowers…the flowers got me.  I get crazy around flowers because they’re SO PRETTY and there were so many kinds and I just couldn’t choose!  So I got all of them and made larger than necessary bouquets and had enough left over to make about 27 boutonnieres for all the other special guests in attendance.  Plus flowers for the tables.  Plus flowers for the venue.  Okay, I went flower crazy, it’s my weakness.  Like the bouquets?  I love them but I’m totally biased.

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Burlap is something I love using.  It’s cheap and it’s totally my style (and luckily it was theirs too!)  You can get it by the roll at the hardware store for about $10.  We used it all around the reception area as well as for the aisle and I saved the little scraps I had cut off for the boutonnieres and bouquets to tie it all together.  Completely Country Chic.

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They wanted this small scale wedding until I got involved (haha suckers!)  It was still small scale but there was enough happiness there to fill a room the size of a hockey arena so the beautiful setting was just a bonus.  Because it was at the Farmer Sr.’s place, we got to have it outside in the gazebo and in order to house all 40 guests, we had to decorate their garage.  Yep, you heard me, this is their garage.  If you knew how many oil changes and engine repairs have been done in there you’d be surprised it looked like this too.  It was definitely the story of the ugly duckling and the beautiful swan.

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And what do Farmers eat when they celebrate?  Roast pig, of course.  Among many other talents, the Farmer knows his way around meat and is a kickass, self-taught meat cutter.  We always roast pigs for functions and they’re always a hit.  The Farmer Sr. even designed and built this custom barbeque to cook them in!

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This special sign was a great addition as well.  I made it out of an old picture frame that I painted and some vinyl wall art from WordPlay Designs.  I’ve been an Independent Consultant with them for the past five plus years and absolutely LOVE everything about the company, its owner and the product.  It is the most versatile, affordable and beautiful accessory you can utilize around your home.  If you want more information on it feel free to email me at kim@wordplaydesigns.net.

Wordart

I dug out some Christmas lights and strung them around the ceiling along with a whole lot of paper balloons I got CHEAP from someone that was getting rid of them from their wedding.

D&L wedding-3_new

I also found a large bin of glass containers the Farmer’s Mum kept for making candles and lined them up on the tables with all white candles between bowls of fresh flowers.  I love recycling, making something beautiful for pennies is the best feeling ever!  In the centre of all the tables was one jar filled with sparklers and if anyone wanted the happy couple to kiss they had to stand, tell a story and light up the night with a sparkler.

D&L wedding-2_new

The groom’s son set up a sound system and we all rotated our phones through the DJ position into the early hours of the morning.  You know it’s a good party when there’s a slurpee machine and a popcorn maker in attendance PLUS CUPCAKES!  I’m IN LOVE with this photo.  I went to one of my favourite places, Ikea, and got a few different styles and sizes of white plates.  Then I bought a box of six wine glasses for $4.99 (yes, really), got out my hot glue gun and VOILA, a 5-tier cake stand for under $30!

Cupcake

It truly was the time of their lives and I was so blessed to be one of the lucky ones in attendance. I am proud to share with you two people the Farmer, the Daughters’ and I love very dearly; introducing Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.  All my love you two, Kim.

dancing_new

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, but are felt in the heart.

Look at their faces, you can see the beginning, the middle and the end of their story in that one look.  What comes next is happily ever after.  Forever and ever.  The End.

Get Yourself a BFF

As much as we all love our Farmers, we all need girlfriends too.  You may have noticed I use the term BFF when talking about my girlfriends regardless of which one it is.  You may think I use this term lightly but you could not be farther from the truth.  I actually don’t even like the term BFF all that much (I almost dislike it as much as I dislike LOL, the most overly used, misunderstood techronym in the decade) but as much as I dislike it, I use it because it’s all truth.

I have a few handfuls of BFF’s and yes, I know what you’re thinking.  “WOW, if she’s got handfuls BFF’s, how many FF’s does she have?!”  The answer is zero.  I don’t have many friendly acquaintances because I think if you’re going to choose a friend, why not make it THE BEST FRIEND you can find?

I’ll explain it like this.  If you’ve been dieting for six months and you’re right on track, no cheating the entire time, at the end of the six months when you reach your goal weight are you going to waste your very first morning celebration on a stale donut and a coffee with non-fat creamer?!  (If you said yes, you’re messed up).  My answer is a resounding NO.  I would head to the baked good section and choose a cinnamon bun because they’re just how I like my best girl friends; spicy, warm, sweet and fresh!

I’m not going to turn this into one of those lame chain emails that says you’ll have 19 years of bad luck, kill a puppy on your way home and gain 12 pounds if you don’t forward it, I just want to give you a small piece of life advice that took me a lot of years to figure out on my own so pay attention.

Life is all about choices and if you choose to surround yourself with happy, kind, generous people who you will continually learn and grow from and most importantly appreciate, you WILL go far (and PS – don’t just surround yourself with people like that, BE REAL, LEARN from them and BE THAT PERSON TOO).  Not only will you go far, you will go farther than you ever could alone because sometimes they will be that tall, handsome, stud-like lumberjack that will throw you over their shoulder and carry you across the finish line when you don’t think you can make it anymore.  Except it might be more like dragging you across that finish line and they might bitch and moan a little if you’ve eaten too many cinnamon buns lately.

They’ll invite you for late night guacamole and wine over an episode of BB or ask you to get drunk with them on Christmas Eve when they know they have to cook dinner for 30 people the next morning at 7.  They encourage you to stop “shaving the cat” when you can’t seem to find your motivation.  They’ll scheme about vandalizing a fire hydrant or pour out 32 stale cans of beer so you can take the empties back and get another 12 pack.  When you’re ugly crying during The Hunger Games, they’ll pity cry with you.  They’ll take a little road trip even though you know they hate them or go with you to that doc appointment you just can’t do alone.  They will be that person you know you can count on to show up in the middle of the night with bleach, a shovel and a bottle of vodka when you call them and say “help”; THAT is a true BFF.

The best thing I ever did was start listening to that little voice inside me that would pipe up every now and then when I wasn’t being true to who I was and what I really wanted.  When you’re true to yourself the people around you either accept and embrace you or critique and assimilate you; it’s your choice who you keep around.  Which way is your happy?

WhichWayIsHappy?

WIth love, kindness and respect, Kim.