Still here and eating

I just stopped writing about it but have tried to remain creative. Culturelle yogurt continues to produce from my first batch. I make fresh ricotta regularly. The garden suffered from the storm but I replanted arugula and greens and, overall, it seems ok. Sloppy joes are my comfort food and we have them periodically.

My biggest coup is I figured out how to make fig newtons and they are delicious. I found a recipe online and improvised with the mixed dried fruit I have on hand. Just what I was hoping for.


The food stores have held up fine. Our days are numbered here with a possible departure next Wednesday so we have some serious eating and stout drinking to do before then.


Taking stock

What I can report is the Culturelle yogurt is replicating beautifully. It’s almost foolproof and makes a creamy batch of yogurt every time. I’m still working off the first capsule so it’s also very economical. You just need milk.

I tried a batch of raisin bars. I was shooting for fig newtons or a flat raisin bar but it came out more cakey. Ah well. Back to the drawing board.

I’ve been cooking with cabbage. We were left a head by the last group of visitors and it is ready to harvest from the garden. I made my first ever stuffed cabbage rolls, and they were delicious. I had some frozen tomato soup from earlier, and leftover brown rice to use in the stuffing. I’ll definitely add this to my repertoire.

Last night I added cabbage to a sausage sauce I made for pasta and it was delicious. I’ve been a cole slaw gal until now. Now I’ll be tossing cabbage into a lot of dishes the next few weeks.

I also tried to make potato rolls for hamburger buns. I used a recipe I received in my email from Cooks Illustrated. They didn’t come out as light as I expected but held a tuna sandwich pretty well yesterday. First you make mashed potatoes and it is the primary wet ingredient in the bread dough, plus an egg and a little water. Interesting.

The garden may recover. The spinach was yanked out by its roots, the arugula wilted from the sea spray, the tomatoes died and I lost a couple of pea plants. But overall, the windbreak helped protect it from much worse damage during the 90 mph winds. I’ve replanted spinach, arugula, and mustard greens. Oddly enough, several green bean plants I thought were post-menopausal seemed to love the storm and have some new flowers blossoming. Go figure.20150517-181250.jpg20150517-181323.jpg

I winged a recipe for seed tapioca when the internet was down. Seed tapioca is made from sago and apparently may benefit from pre-soaking or at least more water. I also tried to make it without eggs as we are down to our last two dozen. So it came out very thick with a little crunch. But it was still tasty.

I tried a recipe for potatoes cooked in vinegar and then fried in butter and salt. It was too acidic for young Tim. But we like salt and vinegar potato chips so why not?

I think our stores are holding up well. We have too much jam and brown rice. There were a lot of condiments left here when we arrived so I haven’t even opened some of mine. And the meat stores seem fine. Feeling good.

Meals 175 – 186, including Mother’s Day dessert for dinner

And the storm blows on. It calls for warm, hearty food. I continue to make yogurt from the Culturelle, probiotic starter, and it just keeps getting better, thick and creamy. I used some to make a batch of ice cream from the Friends of Deal Island Lighthouse cookbook. I could live off the recipes in this cookbook. The ice cream doesn’t need any special equipment and I enhanced it with strawberry jam and chocolate chips.

I made a batch of ricotta from the book for cheese blintzes. I scalded 2 liters of powdered milk, added about 1/6 cup of lemon juice, let it sit for 20 minutes, then drained off the whey. It was yummy and worked beautifully as filling for the blintzes. I see calzones in Tim’s future.

Saturday, May 9: the usual for breakfast. Pizza for lunch and sausage with chick peas and kale, with angel hair pasta for dinner with ice cream for dessert.

Sunday, May 10: steak and eggs with toast, yellow pea soup, cheese blintzes with fresh ricotta and apples sauteed in butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Monday, May 11: the gale continues. We had the usual for breakfast, I made a batch of bagels, no-knead bread and cream cheese from yogurt. I scooped some yogurt into a tea towel and let it drain for about an hour. Lunch was leftover sausage and kale. Dinner was pork chops cooked with apples and onions ( maybe substituting apple cider vinegar for apple cider took things too far), with couscous salad. Tim had ice cream for dessert.

Tuesday, May 12: should be the last day of the gale and we had 70 knot winds and a tree fell down in the compound and just missed the water tank. We had bagels and cream cheese and yogurt for breakfast. I had pizza for lunch, Tim finished the pork chops. For dinner we had chicken tikka masala with brown rice and peas. Tim finished the ice cream.


Whoops, nearly a week of meals, meals 157 – 174

And I haven’t caught any rabbits since my last post.
The most interesting and delicious things I made during this time were toffee, potato chips, rice pudding, apple pie and a whole bunch of chicken. Plus a few loaves of bread and yogurt made from a Culturelle capsule. We’ve had stormy weather for the past five days, with more to come. Winds in excess of 50 knots are wreaking havoc with my garden. It doesn’t look like we’ll be feasting on arugula for the rest of our stay and some of the green beans have been damaged by sea salt. Time will tell. I’ve set up barriers as best I can. The broccoli has started to produce and I prop it back up when it falls over.


So where to begin? When I thought we might run out of yogurt packets if I didn’t perfect making more yogurt from an existing batch, the thought struck me that I might be able to use Culturelle. 20150508-211847.jpgI recommend it to patients when they need to replenish “good” bacteria, lactobacillus acidophilus, after antibiotics or as a boost. Yogurt contains some live cultures but Culturelle contains more. So I gave it a shot. I wrote about it here.

I made a batch of “toffee” because we received some leftover saltine crackers from the last group of visitors. So easy. I make 1/2 recipe, because I knew we would devour the whole thing.


I make potato chips at home in the microwave with a special mandolin and silicon sheet. Here I used a vegetable peeler and a plastic cake plate with ridges and it worked.

So what did we eat?

Sunday, May 3: the usual for breakfast; I finished the rabbit for lunch; dinner was grilled lamb, peas and frozen gnocchi, and chocolate cake.

Monday , May 4: the usual; tomato soup for lunch; hamburgers, carrot -raisin salad, green peas, green salad, and rice pudding for dessert. I made two loaves of bread.

Tuesday, May 5, the day the gale began with 50 knot winds: oatmeal with nuts and raisins for breakfast; tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch; and angel hair pasta with meat sauce, salad, and apple pie. I made toffee during the day.

Wednesday, May 6, the gale and rain continues: poached egg and toast for breakfast; BLT and tomato soup for lunch with potato chips; br />
20150509-174644.jpgand grilled chicken with salad, peas, beetroot, and apple pie for dessert. I did not cook but saved the chicken breasts for the next meal and made stock with the rest.

Thursday, May 7, the wind is still blowing: oatmeal for breakfast; chicken soup for lunch with toffee; and chicken Parmesan with pasta, spinach salad, apple pie for Tim and rice pudding for me.

Friday, May 8, still stormy and windy: French toast; chicken soup and leftovers; grilled steak, salad, roasted potatoes, roasted tomatoes ( I finally have one small bowl of tomatoes left),and we finished the apple pie.<

148 – 156, why diet diaries fail

Diet diaries typically underreport what you eat. So do I. I don’t write down the meals as we eat them, cannot rely on internet every day, and have to rely in my recollection. So the meals accumulate. Bound to have problems. I am sure I have missed at least a day.

Things we eat and I don’t always report: We have at least one square of dark chocolate every day; we often have morning tea, or a coffee break, accompanied by a snack – scones, donuts, cookies, pie; we snack on roasted cashews most days; I munch on granola while I cook. The calories add up.

So what do I remember we ate the last three days? Let’s see.

My yogurt has been outstanding and we had “the usual” with toast, and canned peaches on Thursday.

My morning was traumatic because I trapped rabbits and field dressed and brined one of them. I actually found an excellent Australian video that showed me exactly what to do. I trained as a surgeon, so I am OK with it, but usually didn’t have to skin my patients.

I was in mild shock, so I don’t remember what we had for lunch.

Dinner was grilled pork chops, marinated in apricot jam and mustard, cole slaw, applesauce and a begetable medley – steamed carrots, green beans and radishes. Dessert was creme brulee, sans the caramel crust, so it was really a custard. Sometime during the day, I made a batch of scones for our underreported snacks.

Friday we had the usual for breakfast. Lunch was pizza with chicken, sun dried tomatoes, feta, mozzarella and parmesan. Yum.


Dinner was rabbit cacciatore. 20150502-080106.jpg

The rabbit was much easier to work with once it looked like a chicken. It was good. Tim was too skeeved to real enjoy it and kept referring to it as bunny so you can see how that went. I found the recipe from Lidia’s website. We had a green salad and beans and more custard for dessert.

Saturday was truly our first day alone because our last visitors weighed anchor in the morning.

I made two loaves of bread, a batch of yogurt and ginger beer. In the afternoon, I baked a chocolate cake with problems. I have generally been cutting cake recipes in half because a full cake would (should) get old before we could finish it. I think I miscalculated the butter, so it turned out like a crumbled, but delicious brownie. I decided not to waste more butter or icing sugar on a frosting.

Breakfast was the usual. Lunch was leftovers, fried tofu, garlic roasted potatoes, chicken sandwich and coleslaw. Dinner was easy peasey. Tim requested eggs, easy over, bacon and fresh toast. We had the crumbled chocolate cake for dessert. And that’s three days, to the best of my recollection.

Meals 142 – 147


We said goodbye to the working bee at sunrise . James on the Strait Lady arrived to pick them up with a box of …..OMG…tomatoes for us! He also brought kale, banana passion fruit, which reminds me of a pomegranate – a little pulp around a big seed -, lettuce seedlings for the garden and either shallots or garlic to plant. Also jerusalem artichokes, which I have never had, but one of the bees said it’s also known as fartichoke so I’m a tad reluctant.

We got to glean as the bees packed up the visitor house. Some lettuce, chile sauce, hummus and crackers. No tomatoes.

We worked on the lighthouse road and had a picnic lunch.

So we had the usual for breakfast with english muffins, i had PB&J on country, no knead bread, Tim had chicken, we both had an apple and chocolate.

Dinner wad fried tofu with peanut sauce, egg rolls with previously gleaned rice wraps, chicken, silverbeet and chile sauce, basmati rice and a salad. Tim had self saucing pudding for dessert. I had hot chocolate.

Today we worked around the compound and had lunch at home.
Breakfast was the usual with english muffin and country bread. Lunch was lasagna, hummus, rice crackers, carrots snd feta cheese.

Dinner was chicken tetrazzini, I had to substitute white wine vinegar for white wine but it still tasted good. Green beens with sauteed cashew nuts, rice and salad. Dessert will be the same as yesterday.

Meals 136 – 141, gardening and baking


I collected another bounty from the garden. Silver beet, radishes, green beans, broccoli , and yes, we still have tomatoes! I thinned and transplanted spinach, tomato and carrot seedlings.

Maybe we’ll have rabbit. I’ve set snares around the compound.

We had the usual for breakfast with yummy yogurt. I’ve been stirring in a little jam for my sweet tooth.

Lunch was lasagna.

Dinner was grilled chicken, rubbed with garam masala and marinated in yogurt. It was served with a vegetable medley, and scalloped potatoes. Dessert was apple pie with the last of the ice cream.


Today (Sunday) I made english muffins for breakfast and made another batch of yogurt.

Lunch was a chicken sandwich with cucumbers for me. Tim had lasagna again. Tonight we had grilled steak with caramelized (slightly burnt and sweet) carrots with the leftover potatoes. Tim had pie for dessert.