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Sunday, 23 June 2013


We just spent the last 2 nights at Birkenhead Provincial Park 

where the facilities are rustic,

the mosquitoes drill through denim,

but the scenery makes up for it all.

The vegetation around the campsite:

Strange creatures wandering about

Okay, that is Vesper and she did actually have a fabulous time:

And there were 2 fantastic trails!

Here’s the Goat Path:

Halfway up!  Taking a break and looking back down . . .

Huff, huff, huff!  Made it . . . to the . . . TOP!

 A ledge for the daring to dangle their legs over . . .

And the view. . . 

All that exercise means you need lots of good food.  For the first day in camp, you can prepare something ahead of time – like a good, hearty stew.

I’d been saving Marlene Severson’s recipe for quite some time  (clipped from a magazine) but I didn’t plan on blogging it so I didn’t take a picture at the campsite.

My daughter REALLY liked it, however, so here’s one of the extra jars I had put into the freezer!


2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tbsp cooking oil
3 cups water (or vegetable stock)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp  rosemary powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
2 bay leaves
1 small can tomato paste  (6 ounces)
2 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups sliced carrots
1 green pepper, cut in 1 inch squares
1 cup chopped frozen green beans
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
7 mushrooms, cut in quarters
3 small tomatoes, chopped

·        Brown meat (one pound at a time) over high heat.
·        Add water, onion, seasonings, and tomato paste.  Cover and simmer for one hour.  Stir occasionally or it will stick at the bottom.
·        Add potatoes, carrots, and green pepper.  Simmer 20 minutes until potatoes are done.
·        Add beans, peas, corn, mushrooms, and tomatoes.  Cook 5 minutes.

Serves 8 to 10.
My favorite spot on the second trail

Sunday, 16 June 2013

LISA’S trip continued . . . KENORA, ONTARIO & the TWISTED PEROGY


Intriguing name!

Wild menu!  a Poutine Perogy????

Outdoor seating – nice.

The Traditional Perogy?  Lisa said they were "pretty good".

Time to go!

Above Kenora

And I thought I was being innovative with my Lemon and Goat Cheese Perogies. (  


Wishing a Happy Father’s Day to Everybody!

I’m thinking especially of

My lovely old dad

Kepler’s amazing young dad

And one fantastic middle-aged dad!

For all of you, here’s the best BUTTER CAKE I’ve ever made

From Fabulous Desserts by Johna Blinn

1 cup softened butter
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ¼ cups buttermilk

And your favorite icing

1.     Grease and flour a 13x9 baking pan.
2.     Preheat oven to 350.
3.      Beat butter with the sugars.
4.     Beat in eggs and vanilla.
5.     In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
6.     Beat in flour alternately with buttermilk.
7.     Turn batter into pan and bake 40 minutes.

Keep sledding Dads!

Saturday, 15 June 2013


Diana’s friend, Helen, gave Diana a crock pot as a Housewarming Gift so Diana’s ambition is to develop a repertoire of delicious Crock Pot Dinners.  “It’s fun chopping up all kinds of things and throwing them in the crock pot in the morning when you’re feeling energetic,” she said. 

Diana is certainly off to a great start.

Her Crockpot Refried Beans were delicious with tortilla chips and Bryan’s margaritas. 

Diana brought the bean appetizer for dinner when Serge, Daniela, and Andrew were visiting.

Then, on Friday, Diana served Bryan and me a smoky tasting Bacon Potato Chicken Crockpot Soup.

All I have to say is:

Go Diana and Crockpot Cooking!

Monday, 10 June 2013


In 1989, Mom wrote:  “It did rain Sunday June 11th but it’s very dry as we seem to be missed all the time.  Hoping for one good rain.

Whereas, here on the coast, we congratulate ourselves on every dry day.  .  .

and, luckily, we have been blessed with great weather for the last few days,

which is great because we’ve been enjoying company --

Sergei, Daniela, and amazing little Andrew. . .

zooming around at 11 months now -- he started walking at 8 months!

Bryan went sightseeing on Saturday with Serge, Daniela, and Andrew.  They visited Stanley Park and the suspension bridge at Capilano which terrified Daniela.

Meanwhile, I made an appetizer to take to Nestor’s.  It was olives and cheese rolled up in pie pastry and baked until golden.

Nestor made a big BBQ dinner for all of us.

my nephew Steven

Anastasia complimented me on the pastry in the appetizers. It was Mom’s recipe.


Mary Stadnyk’s PIE CRUST 
        (this will make one double crust pie)

Put a tablespoon of vinegar into a measuring cup.  Then add just enough cold water to make it ¼ cup of liquid.

1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup lard

·        Rub the lard into the flour with your fingers until all the flour is taken up.

·      Using a fork, lightly mix in the water and vinegar.

·        Divide the dough into 2 portions.  (Take a larger portion for the bottom crust.) R

·        Roll out thinly.  

·        Check to see that the crust will be big enough to go up the sides of the pan.

·        Slide a spatula under the crust to loosen it.

Fold the crust in 4 before placing it in the pie plate. 

Mom’s pie!

P.S.  Daniela says that Andrew’s new wooden dog has been named after Vesper!