Nana’s Clam Chowder

It was raining today.  RAINING IN JANUARY.  We live in on the Canadian prairies, it’s not supposed to rain in the middle of winter.  All the roads are literal skating rinks right now.  Seriously.  Take me down to the paradise city, G&R.  #WTF.

On top of the ridiculous weather, I have a super sore throat.  Mama don’t got NO TIME for this – NO TIME – because the last few months I’ve been working on something super, super exciting.  It’s been keeping me up late so I likely got run down but I’m about to ninja kick it in the face and in the next week I’ll have a super new launch to share with everyone.  There’s another site and more awesome than you can handle so please stay tuned and remember, sharing is caring.

Tonight, however, I needed some warm soup, hot tea, a bath and snuggly bed so I made Nana’s Clam Chowder for supper.

Nana'sClamChowder

Ever since the beginning of time, Nana has made the best clam chowder; it’s as epic as her Arizona Lemon Pie.  We always have clam chowder on Christmas Eve with fresh, homemade buns and it’s so filling and tasty #nomnomnom.  I don’t make it often but when I do it’s usually because a) I feel like crap, b) I miss Nana, c) it’s cold out, or d) all of the above.  Tonight was an all-of-the-above kind of night.

Nana’s Clam Chowder
Yield: 6-8 servings

1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (284g)  baby clams, NOT DRAINED
1 can (184g) crabmeat, DRAINED (optional)
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, sliced in coins
2 large potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, diced
8 cups liquid (I used 6 cups chicken stock and 2 cups milk)

1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Get out a dutch oven and preheat it on the stove.  Throw in the bacon, onions, celery and garlic and fry it all until the onions are clear and the bacon is cooked and quasi-crispy.

Add the clams WITH LIQUID and the crabmeat WITHOUT liquid.  Let it simmer on the stove on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.  Add the rest of the vegetables and the remainder of the liquid and bring to a boil.

Shake or whisk flour and water together so it’s not lumpy.  Once chowder is boiling, add the flour/water mixture and stir to thicken.  If it’s not thick enough, add another flour water mixture.  Add the salt and pepper to your taste liking.

Serve it with crackers or FRESH BREAD.  I have the best fresh bread recipe.  It takes at least 4 hours to make but it’s worth every second.  I promise I’ll post it soon, it’s my ace-in-the-hole and I know as soon as you all get it you’ll drop me like a hot ostrich so I’m clutching onto it until you rebel.

Nana'sClamChowder

Enjoy your evening, I’m off to self-medicate myself and hit the sack.  Until next time, Kim.

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New Year, New Staircase

Happy New Year loyal followers!  I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas break and are enjoying the first few days of this, the middle year of the decade.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything but I’m happy to be back in the swing again.  I love to take time off around Christmas to be with my loved ones, decorate, bake and create but the new year always brings about minimalist feelings for me as well as the urge to change up what I’ve looked at forever.

This is my staircase.  The photo is meant to showcase my Christmas decorations on my banister but you can see the framed prints in the background as well and that’s what I’m wanting to point out.

Christmas staircase

I bought these two prints from HomeSense in March 2007.  I saw them and fell in love knowing they would look wonderful hanging along my staircase once our house was done.  When we moved in in October 2007 I hung them and they’ve been there since.  Until two weeks ago when I walked by them and decided they’d had a good run and needed to come down.

I don’t change things up often but every now and then I get an urge and stuff gets moved around.  Never as bad as the Farmer’s Mum who moves cups, dishes and all her kitchen tools around so often I need to flip through 3 cupboards before I can find a water glass.  And it’s not just me because I know the Farmer Sr. has a hard time finding stuff too and he lives there!

Anyways, I digress.  I walked by those prints and decided they needed to come down so I took them down and patched the holes and was left with a blank canvas to work with.

Christmas staircase

It was empty like that for about a week while I decided what to hang there.  I was on Pinterest everyday looking for ideas and inspiration.  I found some neat collages using old barn windows (which I have a collection of), photo canvases, barn wood, vinyl art, and even yarn but nothing that was really jumping out at me.

We don’t have a lot of wall space in our house because we have a bunch of angled walls and a lot (and I mean a lot) of windows; there’s 16 just on our main floor.  There’s been small things hanging in small spaces all around my main floor all these years too so I decided to collect them all and see what it would look like.  Turns out, they all fit together perfectly and I made a large collage with them.

Staircase decor

There’s photos from our family photo shoot last fall, our trip to BC this summer, candids of the four of us from special weddings and events we’ve been a part of, the Farmer with his elk Norman, me with Harriet and Tess on my way back from Radium, our old barn, and special trinkets like our John Deere licences plates, what I like to call the “Farmer’s Creed” sign, and a few old boards with sayings I’ve collected throughout the years.  Oh and my super cool rustic star I bought from a silent auction this Christmas – love that star.  The only thing I’m missing is a large “D” to hang under the photo of the Farmer and Norman and I just haven’t had a chance to head into town to take a look for the right one yet.

I laid everything out on the floor first and moved things around as I needed to then started by hanging the Farmer’s Creed in the centre of the staircase and worked my way out from there.  I used a variety of colours, shapes and styles of frames and items that I collected from around the house which made it so easy to put together.

I’m sure there will be people out there that will look at that photo and say “what was she thinking?! That arrangement looks horrible!” but to me, it’s us.  It’s our family.  It’s our adventure.  It tells the story of our lives and I love walking by it everyday and enjoying all the memories displayed there.

What a wonderful year 2015 is going to be for me and our family.  Lots of exciting things on the horizon for my brand and for our farm plus we’re finishing our basement so there’s a lot of DIY in my future!  I can’t wait to make even more memories to post on my gallery wall and I wish for all of you the very same.

Make the most of this new year.  It’s a fresh canvas waiting for you to paint, don’t waste a day!  Set measurable realistic goals for yourself and work towards them everyday.  Eleanor Roosevelt said “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” and I couldn’t agree more.  Life is so much more exciting when you’re working with a purpose, enjoy!

Best regards for a happy, healthy 2015 from My Husband The Farmer and our family!  Kim.