SEARCH THE BLOG

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Aug 25, 2017

Spanish Tile-Style Steel Roof

This post probably doesn't need a whole lot of explanation. Our roof was in REALLY bad shape - we've had quite a few wind storms this last year and we were starting to lose shingles every time the wind blew. Tom was pushing pretty hard for a steel roof. I was against it, until I saw the different styles available. It's not all flat barn roofs anymore (thank goodness).

This picture is from about a year ago - it had gotten much worse recently:
steel roof replacement - before

The roofing company we hired was Green Metal Roofing. I can't say enough good things about this company. The sales rep we met with is one of the owners - and a former roofer - so he knew a lot about the product and the process, and there was no hard push to sign. He sent us so many links to roofs they had done, as well as roofs that were done badly by other companies that they had been called in to fix.

The installers were really great, too - they stayed late the first day, working in the rain, so that they could get it all done in two days. And they loved our dogs (always a plus with us!)

The style we went with is called "Venice" and it's made to look like rows of Spanish tile instead of just one big sheet of steel. The colour we chose was charcoal.


steel roof - greenmetal.ca - venice tile - charcoal

They started by removing all of the old shingles, replacing any damaged plywood, and then building a framework for the steel tiles to lay on. This allows airflow between the steel and the house, to prevent ice forming in winter and to help cool the roof in the summer. It also gives a flat, straight surface for them to "build on". We drove around to see some roofs in person, and the companies that don't use a framework had obvious "ripples" in the roof.

steel roof - greenmetal.ca - venice tile - charcoal

steel roof - greenmetal.ca - venice tile - charcoal

Even though a steel roof is very expensive, and we probably won't get full use of the "lifetime warranty" (a silly selling point since people rarely stay in the same house for 50 years), it's comforting to know that we don't have to worry about it ever again, and that it will add to the overall value of the house if/when we do decide to sell.

steel roof - greenmetal.ca - venice tile - charcoal - before & after

steel roof - greenmetal.ca - venice tile - charcoal

steel roof - greenmetal.ca - venice tile - charcoal

Aug 15, 2017

Tree Planting


Exciting title, isn't it? But that's what we did this past weekend - we planted trees along the southern property line. There are already a few trees there - older maples and apple trees - but we wanted to fill it in a bit, both to define the property and to liven up the mostly bare landscape.

tree planting Ontario
tree planting Ontario

Driving home - and unloading them - were the best parts. :-)

tree planting Ontario
tree planting Ontario

And yes, I certainly did drive the skid-steer!



We chose Princeton Gold Norway maple, Jacquemontii birch, and two types of pear trees.

I'm the most excited about the maple trees. The employee at the garden centre told me that he has the same trees and the first year you hardly noticed them, but by the second year they were so striking that people were stopping their cars to take pictures. The leaves will be light green around the outside of the tree and bright chartreuse in the middle.

Princeton Gold Norway Maple

Tom pushed for the pear trees. They won't be edible pears, but the blossoms are so very pretty, and the leaves turn to purple in the fall. You can see a few are already changing.

Bradford Pear
Chanticleer Pear

Birch trees are my absolute favourite. We have quite a bit of old growth birch at the back of our property and I just love walking through it in the winter. We chose a variation that has very white bark right from the start. I can't wait to see how they look in a few years.

White Birch (Jacquemontii)

We also bought a white hydrangea for the front yard. We're going to relocate the beech tree near the road to add some white to the abundance of burgundy (cherry trees, another beech tree, and the smoke bush) we already have.

White Hydrangea
Tree Planting Ontario
Tree Planting Ontario





Jul 25, 2017

Shoofly Cake

Many, many years ago (15 maybe?) Tom and I took a trip from Ontario to Nova Scotia, dipping down through the northern US on our way. One night we stayed at a bed and breakfast in southern Vermont that was owned by a couple who had Pennsylvania Dutch relations in their family. The lady of the house served shoofly pie at breakfast, and Tom immediately fell in love (with the pie...he was already in love with me. 😊)

Neither one of us had even heard of it before so we had no idea that this shoofly pie was different than most. When we got home Tom asked his mom to make one for him and it was definitely not the same. The standard shoofly pie is like a sugar pie or pecan pie, dense and sweet, but made with molasses instead of corn or maple syrup. The one we were served at the B&B was more like a cake - high and fluffy with a crumble on top.

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake

Ever since then I've been trying to replicate that elusive formula without much to go on. And this past weekend, I think I did it. I combined the standard elements of the pie - molasses, baking soda, and boiling water - with that of a yellow cake batter.

I didn't tell Tom what I was making as I wanted to see if I'd even come close. He took a bite, I asked him what it was, and he immediately knew it was shoofly pie. Winner, Winner!

Since it turned out so well, I'm feeling confident enough to share it with you, too.

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake


Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake


Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake

What I really liked about this, besides how moist it was, was that the molasses flavour wasn't overpowering - and the cake wasn't too sweet. Next time I might add just a little bit more sugar and some butter to the topping so that it gets crispy in the oven.

Last night we had some more with vanilla bean ice cream on the side. Perfect!

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Cake