Side tracked

Tis the season to entertain which usually leads me to clean the house deeply. Which in turn lead me to finally finish cleaning up the last of the garden. You can only move or hide things for so long before you need to deal with them. That applies to important shit and the beans from the garden.

So should it be #meatlessMonday or seeds for the actual bean plants next spring?

These lovely big purple ones are the big red scarlet runner beans I grew on a trellis in the old wagon. I’ll keep them for seeds. The little white and purple ones are called Jacobs Cattle or so says the bag they came from.

These brown beans seem to be two different kinds and must be the common bush plant that I grow every year.

I will combine them with a bag of kidney and brown ones that were my starter kit last year and do a pot of beans for supper Monday night. I’ve wanted to try making real beans from scratch for a while. Wish me luck or send me tips. Meanwhile I really have to go finish cleaning. Bernie

Grasslands National Park

I am extremely excited to bring you the first GUEST BLOG POST about our National Parks. For me it’s like a triple win; a Saskatchewan park, the wide open prairies (my spiritual space) and written by an inspiring young woman who is a mover and a shaker. Someone I am lucky enough to call my friend and who, with only a tiny bit of encouragement dove into writing about her Parks Canada experience. Continue reading

Piecaken 

I had a request from my son for a special birthday cake. I was so pumped it wasn’t an angel food cake (see previous posts about how much I dislike making, icing and eating this “cake”) that I instantly said yes to the challenge.

He wanted a piecaken. Never heard of it?  You know the turkey stuffed with the duck stuffed with the chicken. I think it was created by the same crazy person who invented turducken. It could also have been invented by someone who just couldn’t decide if pie or cake was their favourite for dessert. Obviously we live in a world of over indulgence.


So the flavours chosen were raspberry and chocolate. Works for me as I have lots of garden raspberries and make a killer chocolate cake. I did do a little bit of internet research about creating one of these. Retrospectively not enough! 

We made a small pie it had to fit into the 9″ springform with space along the sides. It cooked up well and the parchment paper meant it was going to slide into the cake easily.

Chocolate cake is like one on my signature dishes. So the next part of making the cake is easy. Until you get to the part where you marry them together. There are no photos of the actual process because all hands were kind of busy.


So that was the tough part right? Now to pop it in the oven, pull it out and ice it. Or so it seemed. But if you have ever cooked a cake you know it can be tricky to get it cooked perfectly. If you over bake it then it’s dry, too little and it will fall and be gooey. So I checked it several times in assorted places. All seemed to be cooked so I left it too cool in the oven. The hash tag on Instagram was #whatcouldgowrong. Ah yes well…



It was interesting to note that the middle and outside were cooked and the ring of the pastry was gooey. Hm. Not good. We cut the top off, patched the hole with cake from the top and put on the ganache toping. The theory we worked off of — we’ve all eaten raw cake batter off the spoon.


The verdict was that it tasted good but more work is required to get it perfected. I suspect strongly that my next dessert club offering will be a piecaken. More research is a prerequisite to the next attempt though. If you’ve successfully made a piecaken please share your tips with me. If you want to come for left overs of this one let me know!

Bernie