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Nyleve Baar

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    Millbrook, Ontario

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  1. Pumpkin

    I have always started my annual pumpkin pies with a whole pumpkin. It just seems like the right thing to do - especially if I'm only going to make 2 pumpkin pies a year. I also use honey for the sweetener, which is really delicious (and comes from my own personal bees). And I use just the bare minimum spice - cinnamon, ginger, maybe a little nutmeg but NO CLOVES. This is happening this weekend as it's Canadian Thanksgiving. Then it's all over until next year - no more pumpkin anything.
  2. Urban honey

    No idea if it would kill ants, but somehow I doubt it. They have multiple entries to their tunnels, I think. So it would be trickier to close them off.
  3. Urban honey

    So here's how to kill a whole nest of the idiots without poisoning the neighbourhood. Soak a rag in gasoline or kerosene and place it beside the hole where the yellow jackets live. Take a large glass or plastic bowl or container and place it over the hole (and the rag). Wait a week or 2. That's it. The colony will be dead. I can't remember what the logic is to the glass bowl - something about the yellowjackets seeing the light and coming out and being killed by the fumes, I think. But the fumes also penetrate down the hole to exterminate the whole gang of them. I've done this so many times that I now have a dedicated bowl that I use for just this purpose. Probably best to do this in the evening when everyone has gone into the nest because the yellow jackets that are still out will get really MAD when they can't get back into their hole.
  4. Urban honey

    You're right, of course. I guess I'm being species-ist. We do have our native pollinators but honey bees, as we know them, are European. BUT THEY'RE NOT JERKS.
  5. Urban honey

    From what I understand they don't make honey. Bees store up the honey in order to survive the winter as a colony, albeit reduced in size. Wasps and yellow jackets don't overwinter. The only one that survives the winter is the queen - I assume she hibernates or something. Yellow jackets are an invasive species in North America. I don't even think they're pollinators.They're just jerks.
  6. Urban honey

    Oh I can imagine! My husband got attacked by my bees when he disregarded my warnings against mowing the grass near the hive. The grass got flung up against the side and the bees came roaring out! He has never done that again.
  7. Urban honey

    I keep bees myself and there is a LOT of misunderstanding about these creatures. First of all, most people can't distinguish between bees and everything else that flies around - like wasps and yellowjackets. It's almost always a wasp or a yellowjacket that is the culprit when someone gets stung, yet everyone says they were stung by a bee! My honeybees are reasonably docile and can't be bothered to sting unless provoked. Yellowjackets and ground hornets will sting for no damn reason at all - you're just walking past and boom! Last year I got badly attacked by ground hornets just because I walked past their hole. On the other hand, I might get no more than one or two stings a year from my own bees, and I'm right in their hive messing with their stuff. They have work to do and unless you get them upset, they mind their own business. Urban bees are not a menace to anyone. They forage in gardens and park spaces and are important for the ecosystem. You'd be surprised at how much there is for a bee to do even in a city environment - look around and you'll see all kinds of flowering stuff everywhere. I don't know what the local by-laws are, but many municipalities do permit beehives on private property as long as they're situated a certain distance from the property line. If anyone gets stung, I imagine it would be a difficult thing to prove where, exactly, that creature came from - a domestic hive or a wild colony. And as I said, most of the time it would have been something other than a bee anyway.
  8. What is available in the US may not be here in Canada. But weirdly enough, I think the dollar store has some thicker napkins in the party section. Some of them are fairly heavily printed, but some may be what you're looking for. We switched to cloth a few years ago and I have come to hate paper napkins - especially those thin, crinkly ones - for anything but a picnic. Had to fight my husband about this - he refused to use the cloth napkins because he said it felt wasteful to make more laundry. We argued. I won.
  9. This morning - 50 cents at a garage sale. Small Peugeot salt and pepper. Needs a bit of TLC but otherwise perfect!
  10. Thank you so much for this amazing account. You are so much more knowledgeable about Vietnamese food that I was before our trip - I do wish I'd known more about what to look for. We ate so well on our trip but your experiences are awesome. Of all the places where I've travelled, I think Vietnam was in my top 2. The food, the people, the beauty and the history. I was born in the US and was at the right age for protesting the Vietnam war when it was on, so the names of the cities and regions were familiar from news reports and friends who had to go there to fight. I loved that we could go there and see a the country in peacetime. So many echoes of that difficult history wherever you look.
  11. The weather was generally lovely. In the north (Hanoi) it was almost chilly, but in the Mekong delta it was very hot. There was a little rain here and there - but it didn't hold us back much. We started in Saigon, travelled all the way up to Hanoi, then flew to Siem Riep in Cambodia and got back to Saigon mostly by various types of boat. The food was so great everywhere and so insanely cheap it was almost embarassing. Even the nicest "touristy" places that we sometimes ended up in were so inexpensive that we would be shocked at our bill at the end of the meal. I remember thinking if we ever broke $10 per person for a meal we were going totally crazy! And that usually included beer or wine. Which...now that I mention it...did you ever get a chance to try the Dalat wine? They do pride themselves on it and we found it nearly undrinkable.
  12. Such a great report - thank you very much. We spent a month in Vietnam a couple of years ago and visited many of the spots you did. Also ate at some of the same places. Looking at your pictures now I remember what a fantastic trip that was and how wonderful the food was. We were there in January/February, so probably quite a bit cooler but otherwise just as lush and gorgeous.
  13. The Findlay cast iron pan was no doubt made by the same Findlay company that made cast iron wood stoves. We used to have one of the original Findlay Oval cook stoves in my kitchen. We were forced to remove it because our (stupid) insurance company wouldn't cover it. But the good news is that Findlay sold all their molds to Elmira Stove Works who have been making reproduction stoves that meet fire code. I was able to replace the old stove with a newer Elmira one that looks virtually identical. I somehow doubt they sold the molds for the cast iron cookware, though, so you have a collectors item.
  14. No photo but 4 nice Emile Henry salad plates - blue - for $8. Those are exactly my everyday dishes!