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Teri Carter's Library

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3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He…

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The Fox had a Meal

The long anticipated year 2012 has begun. With temperatures that remind of an early spring with ice and rain, hardly any snow.

I just bought three beautiful and sweet ducks from Sue – Silver Appleyards – a rare breed. I had them move in with the tree black Ameraucana chicken. They quake quake quaked joyfully for 2 or 3 days and veryone was happy.

The dogs had this habit of barking every evening as soon as is became dark until early morning since many weeks already … It hadn’t been like this the winter before. A bad habit, or was there something? There surely was: last evening the dogs barked and the ducks quaked … we went outside, it was pitch dark one duck was  somewhere outside, but instead of coming back, we heard it leaving further and further away.

Must have been a fox I was told, they take their prey alive. The male duck gone, the two females were standing around in silence today all day, waiting somehow. This evening no dog’s barking… obviously that beast had eaten enough for another night and obviously that beast had been luring around the house all fall already.

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This farm-year has passed in a hurry…. lots of events,less good ones, better ones and really good ones.

After one year of living on this farm I know, that we have some abundance: lots of stones… lots of so called weeds… lots of wild apple trees with good apples (for juice and jelly!)…lots of cedar wood to be ‘harvested’ (for building fences and sheds)… lots of potential (for hay, and animals grazing)… and looooots of work…

Left over from this year’s harvest are: jars with apple jelly, grape jelly,  apple sauce, bottles with dandelion wine and hawthorn wine, dried herbs, pesto in ice cubes, baskets full of potatoes, red, purple and white, a big basket with garlic, baskets full of butternut pumpkins, and red and white cabbage… and, oh yeah, there is a lamb in the freezer (we still need to decide if we’ll eat our own animals, or if we better become vegetarians again…)

And there are lots of pictures I have taken!

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One of my ‘wishes come true’ on our farm are the old apple trees. They’re spread across the property, close to hedges, in corners, four around our little lake, some amidst pastures…  They were blooming beautifully in spring as if they wanted to show us where we could find them. We set up two benches underneath the one apple tree close to the house to sit beneath his branches and to look through his leaves and flowers onto the lake, and then later the branches loaded with apples hung down almost to the ground…

Then there came the cow, chewed branches and apples as high as a cow can reach and left some cow dung as a thank you. I jumped up to the sky a couple of times, called Markus who is now the owner of that beast, and finally calmed down, what else could I do…? Just some words about the cow: She ran away when the sixty two head of cattle got loaded to go to their new owner. She’d lived a solitary life in our corn fields during winter, Trevor bought her, but never could catch her, she knows every corner of this land. In summer she got a calf.  Markus bought her from Trevor and bought also a steer to lure her to the stable with his mooing. The steer, weak and skinny as if he had escaped a concentration camp, does not say one moo. He’s happy, enjoys food space and peace and doesn’t say one moo!

I am making apple jelly from the fallen apples. The green unripe ones have the most pectin and the jelly tastes heavenly. The cow and I are now competing for the apples. She has all night, I have the day… but today I tought I could pick ’em up later … later they were gone!

Lesson to learn: Take the apples as they fall, otherwise the cow’ll eat ’em all!

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Our first spring on this farm has arrived. A spring full of flowers, colours, scents, tadpoles, mosquitos, birds song, mosquitos, blooming trees, whistling frogs, loud voiced toads and rain, rain, mosquitos, some sunshine and then rain again. I wished nature wouldn’t be in such a hurry. I wished the grass didn’t grow so hastily, the weeds wouldn’t  overwhelm the vegetable patch almost over night and  the wind wouldn’t blow off the flower petals of the apple trees in such a fury.  I was lucky to have taken pictures of apple trees in full bloom. Will do now my best with pruning, cleaning and treating them with Biowash to rejuvenate them.

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For the love of greens and flowers…  As Canadian winters are long and mostly white outside, I always kept leafy and flowering plants to enliven rooms and window sills. One of my favorites and rare to find is Hoya. I used to have one in a sunny window until I found out they don’t like full sun. Later I ordered six different ones online… they came very small with about 2 to 3 leaves each and took about a year to think about the business of sprouting the one or the other additional leave… now after two years they are speeding up growing and  climbing and some already started to bloom hesitantly.  The kitchen in our  farm has cathedral ceiling and beams across and when we moved in, surprise, surprise, there was a huge old Hoya climbing and blooming, next to some leafy climbers and a plant, that does it’s best to reach from the floor up to the ceiling and requests its space where in nowadays kitchens would be the island… In awe I counted the Hoya flowers, 16 in the beginning… the smell in the evenings is indescribable with an almost narcotic sweetness. 

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Recipes

Kaiserschmarrn with Apples  (this is basically a pancake in pieces)

I mix flour, a bit salt, and 5 to 7 of eggs with my hand mixer, then add lots of already finely sliced apples (the yellow ones seem to have finer peels and don’t need to be peeled) and spoon them under the dough. In a frying pan I poor a half inch layer of the mix, fry on one side, then turn and while the other side fries I start to divide the pancake into apr. 1 inch size pieces. Then scoop the pieces onto a large plate and pour maple syrup or sprinkle brown sugar or sugar/cinnamon on top. The next patch of pancake, when baked comes on top of the first with another layer of sweetening. And so on until all is done.

To be eaten hot or warm. With coffee or tea.

Pumpkin Soup

The pumpkin soup is created with all fresh ingredients. I cut the pumpkin in pieces (without the peel of course) cook them together with onion, garlic, ginger and some apples for sweetness of taste in chicken or vegetable broth until tender. I add salt to taste, nutmeg, curry powder and turmeric (very healthy, gives a great yellow colour, but take care for white table cloths or clothing… stains of yellow colour are hard to wash out!) The soup gets pureed in the blender and served. Topped with a doll up of sour cream and sprinkled with parsley or chives or both… mouthwatering!

I usually make large portions which store well. I also have bags full of pumpkin cubes in my freezer, ready to use.


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