Getting Steamed

We got to try out the new bamboo steamers last night, and these are the results!

First up; pork and mushroom bao.

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I was sure I’d bought some frozen bao, but I looked at so many things, I think I actually bought the in-house made bao at the same counter I got the dumplings. Either that or the buns were completely thawed out by the time we got home. Since the other frozen food wasn’t, that seems unlikely.

They were the first things my daughter prepared in the steamer. The instructions I found suggested putting something as a liner in the steamer, such as cabbage leaves or parchment paper, so food wouldn’t stick. These already had their own little parchment papers under them, so no extra liner was needed.

The dough was satiny soft and tender, and they were delicious. They did tend to stick a tiny bit to their papers, which is much better that than sticking to the steamer tray! 🙂

The variety tray of dumplings I got had so many that, even with 3 steamer trays holding 5 dumplings each, they had to be cooked in batches. These also did not need anything to line the trays, since they are each wrapped in their own little cabbage leaf.

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The first batch was pork dumplings.

Definitely my favourites. I realize these are just “grocery story” dumplings, and I’m sure purists would be quite unimpressed, but boy did they ever hit the spot. Meaty and juicy and full of flavour!

The tray also included seafood dumplings; about half as many as the pork ones.

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Personally, I found them too strongly fishy in taste; something my daughters did not find at all. There isn’t a lot of seafood I like, so the girls happily ate the rest of my share! 😀 They preferred these to the pork ones. The dumplings were big, heavy and dense with seafood. No skimping, here!

The store we got these at have other varieties that were not included in the mixed tray I got, and we look forward to trying others the next time we shop there!

Now that we’ve broken the steamers in and have an idea of how to use them, it’s time to break out some of my cook books. I have dim sum recipes that I would love to try out!

The Re-Farmer

On Ice

I took this video a few days ago, while my daughter and I were out playing Pokemon Go (Clamperl is adorable!). We were parked by the lake, which was busier than usual.

Yes, that is open water at the front! There is a storm drain where the open water reaches the shore. Just up the street behind us, there was a major water main break, so lots of flowing water at a time of year when there is normally none. The side of the street, completely engulfing what is normally the parking lane, was a river of water stretching the length of the block. No surprise that much water did this to the ice.

This is also where vehicle access to the ice, with an ice road to the ice fishing shacks, is. It was blocked today, for an event. A track is cleared on the ice, and people get to learn how, or practice, driving on ice.

The ice fishers don’t have much season left. The official word is that it all has be cleared off by March 10. Counting today, they’ve got just 12 days left. With the bitter cold we’ve had this winter, I would not be surprised if the ice were still safe to drive on, even after that, except for the fact that they will be going out with ice breakers after the 10th. This lake is big enough for tides. Without breaking up the ice first, as it weakens and rots in warmer weather, the tide will break it up and push it in, damaging docks (the permanent parts that don’t get taken ashore in the fall) in the process.

The Re-Farmer

All Stocked up – and trying something new

One of the nice things about February being such a short month is, pay comes in a bit early. Which meant we got to do our monthly shop before we started running out of too many things!

The trip to the city wasn’t quite uneventful. Not far from our driveway, there are open fields on both sides of the road. We’ve had some very high winds for the past couple of days, but not a lot of snow, so I wasn’t expecting to hit several small drifts across the road in a row.

Then we reached the big drifts.

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Mystery solved

I’m certainly glad I got the snow blowing around the house when I did! A bitter wind has reached us. When checking the weather early this morning, the temperature was a very mild -9C, but the wind chill was -32C!!! While doing my rounds, sections of the paths I’d made were already drifted over, and the deer feed I put out was soon covered as well. Most alarmingly were the sounds of creaking that I was able to narrow down to the willows in the south yard – the ones we need to cut away from the power lines.

I’m going to be very relieved, once we finally get those trees cut back!!!

Today, we even got severe weather warnings, due to expected wind chills tonight reaching -40C to -43C. The actual temperatures are only supposed to drop to about -28C tonight.

I’m really looking forward to this winter being over.

While we’ve been happily staying indoors and out of the wind, we had a bit of a mystery that we weren’t sure was even a mystery, solved!

We have another outside cat.

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