All posts by stacey

The Dead Raccoon; the Final Chapter

The final chapter in the dead raccoon saga. The raccoon moves on.

On the dead raccoon; after coming home and finding there was still a large dead raccoon in my driveway I realized that it was time for action.

Dead Raccoon
Dead Raccoon

In the morning at 0630hr I called the 24 hour Emergency Services for Water, Sewer and Roads. Ryan was the happy voice of our city who had the pleasure of taking my call.

In a very stern voice I simply said, “Ryan. I justed wanted to let you know there is a large dead raccoon on the side of the road in front of my house. (Notice I did not say “in my driveway”) My address is Blah-Blah-Blah Crescent. There are no outward signs of trauma on the raccoon and he is not bleeding out. But he is definitely dead. Will you let your people know so they can come and get it? Thanks.”

When I got home from work the raccoon had moved on.

However, shortly after that call, I was sitting and looking out the window watching the rain falling and wondering about the raccoon’s life when a teenage male came slouching up the street, head down, hoodie up. He got to within three feet of the raccoon before he saw the dead beast.

Now I have to admit, the raccoon was quite fierce looking. He had all his teeth bared and his little feet with claws exposed were rather ominous. He appeared ready to rip someone or something to shreds.

When the teenager got to within three feet of that coon he made eye contact with it. And once he made eye contact you knew he was not going to make any physical contact. He turned around as quick as a wink and ran, arms flailing, fists pumping, legs taking massive, awkward strides while his coat and hoodie flew off his head. He was more like a cartoon figure than any cartoon figure I have ever seen.

Shit, it was the funniest thing I have ever seen.

The Dead Raccoon

This is one of the most popular blog posts I have ever written. It is actually a three part series, so here is the first part of the dead raccoon saga.

So I have very large and very dead raccoon laying in my driveway and I have no idea what to do about it.

Dead Raccoon
Dead Raccoon

Just for the record, the large rock near the dead raccoon’s head was placed there as a warning to other beasts (and crows) of what might befall them if they come too close. It was in no way involved in his death.

Being the kind of guy who likes to take care of things like this as soon as possible, I raced back in the house and told my Sweetheart to do something about the dead raccoon in our driveway.

My Sweetheart is also the kind of person who likes to take care of things like dead raccoons right away so she phoned the SPCA. When they heard we lived in the suburbs they just said, “We don’t come out there.” They said call someone in your own city.

Sweetheart calls City of Coquitlam Animal Shelter. “We don’t deal with stuff like that. Just put on double rubber gloves and a hazmat suit that is impermeable to claws, in case he comes alive, and double bag him in a garbage bag then put him in your trash can.”

Well I’m not letting my Sweetheart do something as dangerous as that. No way. So I told her to keep calling other agencies while I Googled what to do with dead raccoons in your driveway.

BC Wildlife was the next call. As soon as they heard it was dead they lost all interest. I suppose they didn’t hear me in the background saying, “It’s not dead yet, it’s just sleeping!” They didn’t care. All I heard was a “click.”

Thankfully it is not too warm outside or he might be getting kind of stinky. Tomorrow I will load him into a cardboard box and take him down to Coquitlam City Hall to get the definitive answer of what I am supposed to do with him.

Updates tomorrow I suppose.

Gaining Pinterest Followers

Against my better judgement I have entered a friendly competition with another blogger to see who can gain the most Pinterest followers.

At the start of the competition we both had about 50 Pinterest followers. She-who-I will-not-name now has 70 followers and I have 66 Pinterest followers. Clearly, she has taken an early lead.

My Pinterest feed is primarily about food with some stuff about teaching and some about leather working. But the good stuff…lots on that!!

Can you help a guy out? If you are on Pinterest, give me a follow? If you want to find me, I  am Stacey Robinsmith at Pinterest.

My First Vlog Entry on Word Choice

I did it. I have a vlog entry. And for those who do not know, a vlog is a blog where the content (blog post) is done by video. So instead of me trying to type up all the words about word choice and using italics and bold font and all that stuff to add emphasis, I did a vlog and you can see my facial expressions to understand what I am saying!

Let me know what you think because I have another vlog entry in development.

French Fries Without the Fryer

My kids love French fries. But I don’t want to give them deep fried food, plus I don’t like using a deep fryer at home!

French Fries

So rather than deep frying potatoes, I have been experimenting with oven baking potatoes. Today I decided to go for a Jenga-inspired oven baked French fries.

And it worked really well! The heat was able to get around the potato slices quite nicely so they cooked quickly. And of course the best part? All the kids loved the oven-baked French fries.

Cabin-Cooking; Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

On the long weekend just passed, I decided to head out of town to the cabin. As well as making bread at the cabin, I also needed something substantial for my dinner so of course I visited Meat Craft, my local butcher in Port Moody.

Bone-in Prime Rib Steak
Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

Greg the Butcher set me up with a beauty of Bone-in Prime Rib Steak. At 22 ounces, it was a relatively large steak but, it was my intention to share the steak with my daughter. I do find it quite funny that the cow that the steak came from lived its life in the Nicola Valley and I go to Meat Craft in Port Moody to purchase it and then take it back to the Southern Interior to cook and eat it.

Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

As I like to do, I sprinkled both sides of the steak with a dry rub and let it rest on the paper while I let the cast iron pan warm up in the oven under the broiler.
Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

Then, once the pan was hot enough to make a dollop of butter sizzle and begin to brown, I set the steak into the pan.

Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

I set my timer for 5 minutes and then slid the pan with the steak into the oven under the broiler.

Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

The moment the timer sounded I pulled the pan out of the oven and flipped the steak over.

Back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

And then, as nearly everyone has said in the comments on my YouTube videos of me cooking a steak – I let the meat rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into it. Yes, I let it rest!!

When I did cut into the steak, it was cooked just the way I like it – on the rare side of medium rare.

Bone-in Prime Rib Steak

Of course as I said, at 22 ounces that’s a large steak. So as you can see in the picture above, I did share the steak with my daughter.

Bottom line, at nearly $30, this was an expensive steak. But really, I only buy a steak like this once every couple of months and I enjoy the process of choosing it, watching Greg cut the steak, and then preparing the steak. It is a treat for myself.

 

 

 

Cabin Cooking; the Bread Making Edition 

Family Day is the newest stat holiday in BC so I did my usual routine and got out of the city. I headed up the Fraser Canyon to the cabin.

And as I usually do at the cabin, I got into experimenting in the kitchen. Seeing as I had one of my daughters with me and they are in a phase in which they love to use my iPhone as a video camera – we decided to make a video of me trying out a new bread recipe.

I do apologize in advance for the shaky video. As I said, the camera operator was my daughter.

The ingredients for my cabin bread:

  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 3/4 Cups of water

I first mixed together the dry ingredients and then added the egg, beat that into the dry mix. I then cut the butter into the mixture before adding the water. I stirred it all together for a couple of minutes using a rubber spatula and then plopped the lump of dough into the already hot cast iron pan.

Into the oven for 35 minutes. Out of the oven onto the cooling rack to let it rest, and then sliced bread with butter.

That’s it. Try it.

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Evergreen Cultural Centre

Last night I took my young daughters down to the Evergreen Cultural Centre for the Monster Theatre presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

evergreen cultural centre

The production was geared towards children and it was cool to see how readily kids broke through the fourth wall that traditionally separates the players on the stage from the audience.

As a “seasoned” theatre goer, I tend to see the fourth wall as an impenetrable wall. So that even when the players on the stage look into the audience and ask a question, I realize I am not to reply. Nor is anyone in the theatre to reply. Unless you are a kid at a Monster Theatre presentation.

Last night, the players on the stage called into the audience and the kids replied. It was a somewhat risky move that worked well.

The kids replied when expected and became quiet observers for the other parts of the show.

As for the play, it is worth noting that it was not actually a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream but a play about the play of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Confusing? It wasn’t. It was actually really neat. Although not a “tight” performance, it was a very entertaining performance.

The performance had two women and one man on the stage. These three people were able to change from one character to another in a blink of the eye. One second she was Demetruis and then Hermia and then Lysander and then Helena.

The characters changed personas with a simple twist of the wrist to change the mask but more importantly, it was not just the mask that changed. The voice, the demeanour, and the body movements were also changed instantaneously. It was really amusing to see the characters changing so quickly. The best part was how the quick role changes kept the kids in the audience transfixed. As was I!!

I will definitely be taking my kids to check out more of the Monster Theatre productions. Especially if they come back to my local theatre, the Evergreen Cultural Centre.