A long and productive day

Today, the girls and I headed into the city for our monthly shop.

We took advantage of the trip to accomplish a few things, and ended up going to 5 different places covering half the city. It made for a long day, but we accomplished what we needed, and then some.

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All charged up

How weird it’s been lately!

A couple of nights ago, it got cold enough overnight for the furnace to turn on, only to hit highs in the 20’s, half a day later!

Yesterday was supposed to be my day to finally get the mower out – which required taking the snow blowers out first, taking out the riding mower, then moving the snow blowers to the back of the shed until winter. I also made room by taking out the two broken push mowers my brother had tested. I stuck them in another shed at the old hay yard. There used to be a tractor in there, but that is one of the things that disappeared before we moved in.

Once the mower was cleared, I topped up the oil, filled the gas tank, checked it over and…

… it wouldn’t start.

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Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas

Here is a really easy recipe for a healthy snack to satisfy those cravings for something crunchy!

Roasted chickpeas.

Roasted, Seasoned Chickpeas


  • canned chick peas
  • olive oil
  • seasonings to taste

I have found that a 9×13 baking tray fits 2 cans of chickpeas in a single layer very well.


  1. Turn oven to 400F.
  2. Drain the chickpeas into a colander and rinse well. Spread the wet chickpeas onto a baking tray and let the water dry off for a while.
  3. Put the dried chickpeas into a bowl large enough to toss them. Add olive oil and seasonings. (In our last batch, we used Scarborough Fair Garlic Salt and freshly ground pepper. You can use ordinary course salt and pepper, if you wish. It would be great with Rosemary Lemon Salt as well, or if you want to stay away from salt, use your favourite Mrs. Dash mix. )
  4. Toss the chick peas until well coated with olive oil and seasonings.
  5. Return the chick peas to the baking tray and spread into a single layer. Place on centre rack in pre-heated oven.
  6. Roast for about 20 minutes. Take the pan out and give it a shake to turn the chick peas. Return to oven and continue roasting to desired crunchiness, giving the pan another shake every now and then. (We like them extra crisp. With our oven, that takes more than an hour of roasting time. Our oven also has some cold spots, so when we give the chick peas a shake, we also turn the pan, to ensure even roasting. )
  7. When done, remove the pan and allow the chick peas to cool.
  8. Once cool, store in an air tight container.

These make a really excellent and healthy snack, and are downright addictive!


The Re-Farmer

The things I see

Posting is going to be a bit light over the next few days. Hopefully, I will be able to upgrade my WordPress account by this weekend, giving me more storage for photos. I am hoping to continue doing the before and after posts that I did while cleaning and clearing the yard last year. I will also be restarting the Critter of the Day posts – we’ve been seeing all sorts of new birds I’m excited to share with you!

It’s been a surprisingly chilly spring. It’s warm enough during the day, but even last night, we got another frost warning, and we’ve had our furnace turning on during the night!

Which leaves me feeling very behind on my work outside. I just hope this means we’ll have a longer fall to make up for it.

Meanwhile, here are some of the things I see as I do my usual routine.

Like when we open the garage.

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Guessing Game: here’s the answer

So, did you figure out what this is?

My hint was, it involves milk.

Here is more of what I found in the old kitchen.

These two basins were filled with all sorts of things, and it wasn’t until I finally got into this space to start cleaning that I discovered these parts and pieces.

The basin itself is set on top of the machine. There is a sort of tap that you can see inside the object in the foreground. You can see at the bottom of the basin on the left, where it goes. When milking, we would pour our pails of milk into the basin (which had a cloth across the top to act as a filter). When it was full enough, we’d turn that tap so line up the hole and allow the milk to pour out.

Below the basin, that pyramid shaped thing (on the far left) was placed onto a sort of peg (you can see an open one in the basin on the right). When the separator was turned on, it would turn, which would make the innards spin. The two spouts were mounted on top of this, directly under the tap, and the milk would pour over the float. As the fresh milk was spun, the cream would rise and go out the top spout, while the skim milk poured out the bottom, into the pails we had under the spouts. I remember an amazingly thick, dense layer of foam would form at the top of the milk.

This is what separates the cream from the milk. The raw milk pours through that opening in the top. It then gets spun through this pile of cones. Using the centrifuge principle, the lighter cream is separated, and both go out openings in the top that line up with the spouts.

One thing I did not find among the parts and pieces is a special key that fits into the holes of the ring that screws onto the top. You might be able to hand tighten it enough, but if you do, it’s very hard to unscrew it again without the key!

So what does that thing in the picture have to do with it?

It’s a tool for cleaning the separator cones.

If you look back at the first picture of the basins, check out the basin on the right. You can there is a hole in the cone. Each of the cones has three holes, and they all line up. The tool is opened, and the bar is slid through a row of holes in the entire stack. Once closed, you can hold it by the finger grips on the top bar, then dip the whole thing into water for washing and rinsing.

When I was a kid, I used to be fascinated by the whole process and, when it was time to clean the separator, my favourite part was cleaning the cones on that tool. Such fun to shake and rattle them like crazy on that thing! 😀

I am really happy to have found these. No idea what I’ll do with them yet, other than NOT put them into the storage shed. We found the manual separator base, and I think the electric one is still in the barn (hidden behind junk). It would be cool to clean them all up and get everything together again.

I wonder if that missing key is in the barn? Hmmm…

The Re-Farmer