Elk Amble

Elk AmbleTaking the bikes to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area seemed like a good idea at the time.  Go farther, faster.  It did not work that way.  I am out of shape and pushing the pedals took a good deal of effort and a lot of walking in between.

We took the Elk Amble on the north side of the Highway.  The paths are rough with rocks and then smooth out to grass.  Both made biking difficult.

Elk Amble is a 3 hour walk. Forking off of the Marsh Trail and continuing north of Highway 3 you will access a myriad of ponds and our 2 story viewing tower. (https://www.crestonwildlife.ca/recreation/trails)

5HomesteadWe came across this old “homestead” about 1/2 way round a dry pond.  On the right far in the distance is my sweetheart.  It was an easy ride for him.  Just beyond you can see the Viewing Tower and lunch stop!

Turtle OtterWe saw some wildlife on this trip.

The Western Painted Turtle hiding in his shell and a few Otters snacking out on a fish.

We saw three Great Blue Herons but I was not fast enough with my camera.

7 6Here are a couple of shots from the Tower.  It was a great spot to stop for lunch and to admire the view.

It was a wonderful day and even out of shape it was a good ride.  Next time, however, I think I will walk.

Riding

Apple Goodness!

Years ago, a dear neighbour had an aluminum juice extractor that she would lend to me to do our giant crab apple tree.  It was an old and kind of beat up extractor but it worked like a charm.  I have been keeping my eye out for one ever since.Steamer2I found it on Amazon and I was so excited to get this baby in the mail.  The stainless steel were a bit more expensive, but with doing fruits and veggies that contain acid I felt it was a better choice.  Amazon US also has one with a spigot, but it was considerable more expensive.  This is perfect for me.40lbs Apples sink full

My handyman went out to a local orchard and purchased 40 lbs of apples, they were approximately half of the cost of apples in the grocery store. We got busy and produced our first batch of apple juice.

With a Steamer/Extractor you do not need to core your apples.  Cut them in quarters and toss them in the basket.  With crabapples you do not even have to do that.  Just wash and pile them in.pot fullWe had a glass, still warm from the steamer.  Wow, can it get any better than that.apple juiceWhat is your favourite preserve?

Wordless Wednesday

At the Chamber of Commerce

At the Chamber of Commerce Creston, BC

How To Remove Wallpaper

I vow, here and now, never to wallpaper my home!  In terms of labour intensive renovations you would think taking wall paper down would be easy.  Do not believe it!

The home we bought was built in 1965 appx.  Wallpaper was pretty big back then.  This house had wallpaper in the dining, kitchen and two of the three bedrooms.  And not just any old wallpaper.  Oh no.  This wallpaper was of a high quality vinyl, glued on type!  It has a woven backing that would adhere to the glue better.  Oh good.2nd Bdrm Dining (2) kitchen More Kitchen Room 1

I did not know all this good stuff before I started and it is probably juremoving wallpaper9st as well.  Iremoving wallpaper8 started in the back bedrooms by pulling the paper off.  Just loosen a corner on the top or bottom and pull, it should come off easy.  I believe they call it “dry strip-able”.  The kitchen was a real gem.  The cupboards and silicone were put on Over Top of the wallpaper.

To remove the glue and sometimes the woven backing I used a product called ZINSSER DIF WALLPAPER STRIPPER.  It was ok but I had to wash the walls about 4 times to get it off.  One to cover the wall; one to remove the paste; one to remove the residue and one to clean.  Too many.  When I ran out of this wallpaper stripper I tried just hot water.  Worked so much better I think.  I had to do it in smaller batches but when it came off the wall was clean.  Sometimes I used a scraper.  That was a really gooey mess.removing wallpaper2 removing wallpaper3 removing wallpaper5

  1.  Pull off paper or as much as you can
  2.  Wipe down with hot water a patch big enough to reach comfortably.  Work from the top down.
  3.   If the glue is particularly thick you can use a scraper to take some off.  Wipe it into the old paper or onto a paper towel.
  4.  When you have cleaned the patch of wall you are working on, use the water to start softening the next square patch.
  5.  Refresh your hot water.
  6.   Quickly wipe over the previous patch of wall and then move on to the next where you softened the glue and start removing.
  7. Repeat until clean.

Take the pledge today, future generations will love you!

I will not wallpaper my home.

Kootenay Brew Stew

Fall is all around us now.  The hills are covered in colour as the trees turn red and yellow.  There is a nip in the air in the mornings.  Time has come for some warm comfort food.  In my home, growing up, it was always a hearty stew with fresh bread that signaled the start of Autumn.

Of course, I grew up in the Yukon so Fall started much sooner than it does down in the sunny climes of the Creston Valley.  Still it was time.

Kootenay Brew Stew

Kootenay Brew Stew

I started out with fresh vegetables from the local market.  Nothing fancy just carrots, potatoes, onion and zucchini.

Local grown Veg

Local grown Veg

I also wanted to use a local brew in my concoction and chose a dark ale made at the Nelson Brewery.

Nelson Brewing Company

Nelson Brewing Company

Here’s how it was done.

KOOTENAY BREW STEW

Ingredients

500 g quality diced stewing beef

3-4 carrots

1/2 large onion

1 small-med zucchini

1 can dark ale

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp steak spice

1 tsp sea salt

pepper to taste

2 tbsp. oil

2 tbsp. flour

Oven – 350 for 2-3 hours

In a heavy cast iron pot, brown the stew meat in oil. and add seasonings.   You can add the flour two different ways, either way works. You can add it directly to the oil , meat and seasonings, or mix/shake in a tightly closed container with 1/4-1/2 cup water and stir in. after you have added the beer.

Cast Iron Cooking

Cast Iron Cooking

Chop your veggies in chunks of a size that will fit on a spoon and add to the pot **except the zucchini. Poor in a full can of dark beer. If a little short of liquid you can add a 1/2 cup more of water.KBS3

Cook for appx 3 hours. removing the lid for the final half hour. The **zucchini should be added at this point and stirred in.  Water can also be added at this time if the stew is getting too thick, 1/2-1 cup more.  Check to see if you need to add a bit more salt or pepper. When your stew is done the meat should be tender and very tasty.

Serve with fresh sourdough bread.

Kootenay Brew Stew

Kootenay Brew Stew

What is your favourite Fall food or comfort food?

Wordless Wednesday

Fall Apples

Fall Apples

Great Friends and Good Wine

There is nothing so fine as good wine shared with great friends.  When we got a call from some dear friends in Alberta saying they would be coming by for a short visit, our first thoughts were – “the house is a disaster!”  “where can we eat?” and “what can we show them of Creston?”

The house part was not a problem as we were going to eat out.  The eating part was fairly easy as there are several good restaurants and coffee shops.  I talked to a couple of locals and Jimmy’s Pub on Canyon Street was recommended.  The last answer came easy as well.  Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard which is very close to our home.

Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard

Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard

The Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard,  has been a family operated winery since 2007.  Owners, Al and Marlene Hoag, planted and grew the vineyard and use all their own grapes in the beautiful wines we tried.  A couple of the specialty wines also use apples or cherries from the neighbouring orchards.

Susan runs the Tasting Bar and offers a plethora of knowledge on the estate grown handcrafted Kootney wines that the Skimmerhorn Winery offers.  Tours are also available June through September.  The Tasting Bar is open April to December.  Times are listed on their web page at www.skimmerhorn.ca

What a gorgeous day too!  Be sure to bring your camera to capture the amazing views.

old machinerywhat a view

When we arrived we found Susan busy cleaning up walnuts after the wind in the morning had shaken the big tree out front.  She let us pick some too.  Imagine that, Walnuts.  We have to let them dry in a warm place for 3-4 weeks before eating.

Walnuts

Walnuts

Picking fallen Walnuts

Picking fallen Walnuts

The wine tasting was in the cozy Tasting Room.

cozy Don’t forget to sign the guest book!

winesThe little room also has a big wood fireplace, perfect to curl up with a nice glass of wine and warm conversation.  It leads  to the outdoor patio and spectacular views of the Percell Mountains and Creston Valley.

patio with a view

Some of the Awards they have earned this year were Gold Medal for 2014 Gewürztraminer and Gold Medal for 2014 Autumn Tryst at the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition 2015 (Michigan)

more awards awards

Raising a toast and enjoying a glass!

bring friends

Enjoy!

Dreaming of a White Christmas, but if the White runs out Red is good too!

clink cheers

These are a few favourites of mine.  If you have been to the Skimmerhorn Winery I would love to know what ones you chose.

The following information can be found on the Skimmerhorn Winery web page found  here.

favourites2

2014 Autumn Tryst

The 2014 Autumn Tryst:   The scent of orange blossom and peach is followed by a striking peach and watermelon palate. The superbly balanced sweetness and acidity create a smooth and lingering finish. Enjoy this distinct wine on its own or with pork and chicken dishes.  Sweetness Code 3

favourites1

2014 Kootenay Crush

The 2014 Kootenay Crush “Kootenay Crush” is an unusual blend of Pinot Noir, Ortega and Gewurztraminer. This wine delivers the stunning aroma of rose petal and lychee fruit. The fruity palate has notes of pear, peach and mandarin orange giving way to a crisp and lingering finish.

favourites3

Old Koot

The Old Koot  This garnet-coloured, fortified port-style wine has dark chocolate and cherry aromas with smooth, velvety flavours of sweet plum, black current and cherry. A classic after-dinner drink that pairs well with robust cheeses and rich chocolate desserts.

All in all this was a wonderful visit and we all thoroughly enjoyed the winery.  I highly recommend a visit to Skimmerhorn, if you are a connoisseur of good wine or just starting out on your wine journey.  It was a warm and welcoming place, full of information, stunning views, and tasty wines.  Next time I would love to go on the tour.  You can find more information on the Skimmerhorn Winery & Vineyard web page.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.   Be sure to follow and like their page and tell them your favouite Skimmerhorn Wine.

Five Minutes Away

October already!  We have been living in our new home for over three months.  Some days I stop and gaze around not quite believing we are actually here.

The other day we took a break from renovations to go for a walk and within five minutes of our street we were here.

Five Minutes Away

Five Minutes Away

What a beautiful walk.  It ran down into a gully and then back up the other side where we found the railroad tracks.

5 min walk 2 5 min walkWe did not explore the gully very much as there have been reports of bears in the area.  They are looking for fruit left on the ground or in the trees from the Orchards.

rr going south

Coming up top we arrived at the tracks.  These head south and then east.  I’m not sure we should be walking along them but we did, keeping an ear out for the long low whistle of the train.

rr going northHeading North we had a Cherry Orchard to our right and the town ahead.  It probably took all of an hour to go up hill and down dale to arrive back in town not far from the Kootney Beer Brewery.  A short walk home and back to Renovations.  It was a wonderful break.

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Archway

Autumn Archway

DIY Sachet Bags

This is a simple and easy way to make a Sachet for your closet, or anywhere else that needs a boost of nice scent.Organza bagsI started with an Organza bag.  These can be purchased at a craft or dollar store: often two or three in a package and in different sizes .  The one I used is 9.5 x 5.5 inches.

A package of dried petals or an old potpourri you have lying around works perfectly for the filler.  I love the look of potpourri but find it loses it scent rapidly so ends up getting tossed out or tucked away somewhere “safe” until you forgot what you were keeping it for.PotpourriPotpourri can also be made from all those beautiful roses your sweetheart buys you.  When they have lost their freshness, hang them upside down until they are thoroughly dry.  Carefully take the petals and leaves off and separate them.  Add in some small dry seed pods or cones to fill it out.

Take approximately 1 cup of your potpourri and fill the organza bag.  Next add in a small amount of Downy Unstoppables, very small amount as these are highly scented.  Pull the ties tight on the bag and hang in your closet.  These will last for many weeks maybe even many months.  When the scent gets low, throw in a few more Downy Unstoppables.  SachetWhere would you hang your Sachet Bag?

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