Freezing Carrots

Posted: November 16, 2014 in 101 Tasks
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One of the tasks on my 101 in 1001 days list is to grow and freeze my own produce.  Back in the spring, I had planted: peas, yellow bean, beets, carrots, spinach and tomatoes.  It was a pretty uneventful year for the garden with the exception of the carrots.  I decided that I would freeze some of them.  Here are the pictures of the process.  After a quick Google search for some  how to , and a purchase of a new pot, I was ready to go.  It really wasn’t a difficult process and I have since eaten some of the frozen ones and they are pretty darn good.

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Fresh from the garden. Loonies for scale.

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Peeling and slicing

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Let the blanching process begin. Long enough but not too long.

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Second phase of blanching — an ice water dip to stop the cooking process.

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All bagged and frozen.

 

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Last year at this time I was about to enter the first blog of my year off.  It has been a great year.  Just a glimpse back at some of my posts, I am having a hard time putting the whole year into words.  This year I had the opportunity to dive with the sharks on the Great Barrier Reef, see some amazing sites in Australia, stand along the side of a volcano in Nicaragua, help build a school for children, travel to Cuba on a family vacation, celebrating  my 40th in Chicago with a great friend, among other great adventures.  As it is now Labour Day, I am sitting here doing some reflecting and thinking how lucky I am to have experienced what the past 12 months have held. It would not have been possible without the language in my collective agreement that allows me to defer a percentage of my salary each year leading up to the year off.  I will say that if you have the opportunity at your job, and can make it work financially, then it is worth it for sure.  I have already started thinking and vaguely planning for my next adventure which will hopefully start in September of 2017.  Here are a selection of photos from this year.

First Day of What?

First Day of What?

Trained for and completed the Colours 5k run in Bancroft.

Trained for and completed the Colours 5k run in Bancroft.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Opera House.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Opera House.

Koala

Koala

Holding a baby wallaby

Holding a baby wallaby

Sydney Harbour Bridge at Night

Sydney Harbour Bridge at Night

At the wax museum in Sydney

At the wax museum in Sydney

Great Barrier Diving

Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Rafting the Tulley River

Rafting the Tulley River

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Random Beach in the Daintree Rainforest

Hiking in the Outback

Hiking in the Outback

Meeting new wild friends in Tasmania

Meeting new wild friends in Tasmania

Diving in Cuba

Diving in Cuba

Relaxing on the beach in Cuba

Relaxing on the beach in Cuba

Volcano in Nicaragua

Volcano in Nicaragua

At the school build in Jardines de Apoyo Nicaragua

At the school build in Jardines de Apoyo Nicaragua

Celebrating the start of a new school in Nicaragua

Celebrating the start of a new school in Nicaragua

Being a Cupper (yes an actual title) tasting coffee right from the plantation.

Being a Cupper (yes an actual title) tasting coffee right from the plantation.

Fun with Shelly in Chicago

Fun with Shelly in Chicago

Sears Tower Chicago

Sears Tower Chicago

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Watching the sun go down. Final weekend of my leave.

Watching the sun go down. Final weekend of my leave.

At the last minute I decided that I would squeeze in one last trip for my year off.  It was the Thursday before the long weekend when I decided that I would try to head camping for some if not all of the long weekend.  As it turned out, there were not any close sites in Algonquin’s back country available for 2 or more nights.  I could have had one site on Booth Lake for just the Friday night, but nothing was available for the Saturday that would be within a relaxing paced trip distance.  So I decided to try one of Ontario’s newest provincial parks, Kawartha Highlands Signature Series Park, near Apsley.  They had one site within reasonable paddling distance, but again for just one night.  I decided that it would be better than nothing.  So I took the site and headed out Friday morning to this new park.  I stayed on site 301 at Wolf Lake.  Wolf Lake is easily accessible and  has many cottages on it, but the 2 sites seem to be afforded sufficient privacy.  I headed back out on Saturday mid morning and explored the lake a little.  The other site on the lake (300) seems like a nice flat airy site with a lot of space.  I will be checking this park out again.  It also seems to have relatively short portages to reach different lakes and parts of the park.  I also took the opportunity to experiment a little bit with my camera.  It would have been a perfect night to take some pictures of the star trails had I not forgot my remote shutter release at home.

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Posted: June 27, 2014 in 101 Tasks
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One of my favourite summer fruits is now ready to be picked.  I decided that I would head out on a Friday morning to the berry patch.  They are all cleaned and some are ready for the freezer, the rest ready to eat.  This also knocks another task off of my 101 in 1001 Day list.

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