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Sunday, 29 June 2014

JOURNEY . . . or . . . CRISIS

Outside McDONALD’S Today

Even during the winter, I like to sit on the patio, outside our McDonalds, coffee in hand and just gaze out onto the road, watching the cars go by.
Now, on sunny days, every table is taken outside.  This morning, however, was cloudy and cool.  Only an older woman, with long, curly red hair pulled back beneath a knitted cap, lounged on one side of the entry doors with her feet up on a chair.

Leaving the guys to read their newspapers indoors, I parked myself at a table on the other side of the doors, ready for my quiet time. 
 “We’re the pariahs, I guess,” she opened. 

I looked over and, in explanation, she raised her cigarette.  “Filthy habit,” she said.  

“It doesn’t bother me,” I responded.  “I was raised in a family of smokers.”  I looked away, over at the trees on the other side of the road.

“Really?” she said.  “I’ve got four grown kids, but I’m the only smoker in the house.  I’m glad of that.”

Clearly, she needed to talk.  I took a better look at her.  She was in her late 50s for sure, if not older, but very good-looking with a lovely, straight, delicate nose.  Her warm, olive, down-filled vest and slim jeans were fine, given the weather, but her high, laced-up leather boots appeared to be fur-lined.

“Are you hiking?” I asked.

“No,” she half-laughed.  “But I’m on a journey . . . to find myself. . . or maybe it’s a mid-life crisis.”

She doesn’t know at all where she’s going.   She spent the last 2 nights in a car.  “I didn’t mind that,” she said, but she’ll stay in motels when they’re handy.

The guys came out and I left her sitting there.

Good luck, Smoking Lady.  I hope you find your way. 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

SHARING: a Letter from Mom ... and a Recipe from Me

June 21st 1982  

Today is a lazy day for me so I thought I will write.  I should have washed but I didn’t want to tire myself as we going to kill the rest of the roasters on Wed, there be about 30 to do so it’s a big job.  We killed last Tues 30 and I was very tired the rest of the week.  We would be doing them by lot fewer  but on the count of water George has to bring from home. 

Dad went fishing with Donald yesterday but didn’t get any.

The Ukrainian dancing group put on pyrogie supper yesterday in hall to raise funds for dancing teacher and they made $700.00, it was a big turn out as it cost only $2.50 and they could eat all they want, they had salad and cakes. 
Shirley helped making pyrogies and yesterday she helped with serving and

Karen took a cake and helped with serving.

Dad went to auction sale today but didn’t buy anything, he went to get garden fence but he didn’t see any, I guess he wasn’t looking hard.  I wanted it to fence up the goslings, I have 38 goslings already and three geese are setting but there will not be many as there is not many eggs after Dad candled them.

Diana wants a purple color cushion, I would need purple mauve and lilac or at least purple mauve and I have white but I can’t get here, there was in one store mauve & lilac, it would have done but it was very fine, I didn’t mind that, I could double it but it $3.25 a ball about 2 oz. so I left it, if you could get in worsted wool I would pay for it.  It would be 3 or 4 ply. 

Diana hasn’t been down yet, they always go to the lake.

I have finished with the incubator,  last hatch was chick hatch out 115 chicks, George took them all, he said he will give few hens in fall.
George bought 10 pheasants and Dad two so George took them all.  He will give us ours in fall.

George & Matt
 are bulldozing on Lornie’s and

Donald is spraying yet, he been at a long time, I thought he was finished.  

Lornie just came in and asked us to the graduation.  I will talk it over with Dad, I think we should go but I don’t know how Dad feels, he always don’t want to go to anything.  Lornie is working on cultivator,  after school he comes as far as his place by school bus.

Dad has cultivated the potatoes, he keeps it clean with Matt’s cultivator.

I am going get my hair done on Thurs.  Ukrainian Women’s Association from Oakburn are taking all members for Chinese dinner on June 29 and they asked me to go but if we go to Lornie’s grad I won’t be able as it’s the same evening.

Dad pulled out all the radishes as they are good and will put in more seeds tomorrow.  I will close with best of luck, give my love to all.  

I am now the proud owner of two more COOKBOOKS J.

I have already dipped into Cooking for Less: Ground Beef and   feel totally justified in my purchase.  (This cookbook, if you’re interested, is available online for the huge cost of $0.01.)

Smokey Chili with Pasta (from Cooking for Less: Ground Beef):  Yum!  It                    actually has 2 tablespoons of cocoa in it!
Green Leafy Salad
Spoon Bread

I’m not a huge fan of other Corn Breads so I’m going to share this recipe because it’s my not dry and crunchy.  It’s really good with Tomato Soup as well as with a Chili.

175 ml cornmeal
1 cup boiling water

175 ml flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda

3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp softened butter

·        Grease a 9x9 pan.
·        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
·        Pour boiling water over cornmeal and set aside.
·        Stir together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.
·        Separate eggs into 2 large bowls.
·        Beat egg whites until stiff.  Set aside.
·        Beat together eggs, buttermilk, and butter in largest bowl.
·        Stir cornmeal into the egg mixture.
·        Stir in the flour.
·        Fold in egg whites.
·        Pour into baking pan.
·        Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes.  Test.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Camping at HICKS LAKE and CYPRIOT Potatoes

 A pretty lake, sunny weather, and almost no mosquitoes – we were pretty much in Camping Heaven this past weekend.

All tuckered out after a long hike . . .

But the sun filtered through the tall trees 

and a Happy Hour selection of wine and beer hit the table  

 Accompanied by snacks . . .   Mexican Pepperoni and . . .

Cypriot  Antinasso Potatoes
        From Lindsay Bareham’s IN PRAISE of the POTATO
2 lbs small, new potatoes
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup dry red wine
2 tsp ground coriander
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

*Wash and dry the potatoes. 
*Cut the larger ones in half.
*Heat oil in large frying pan over high heat.
*Stir fry for 10 minutes over high heat until browned.
*Remove potatoes from pan.
*Turn heat down to minimum.
*Drain off most of the oil, leaving about a tablespoon.
*Return potatoes to pan, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and coriander.
*Add wine and stir.
*Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until all the wine is gone.
*Turn off heat but leave pan on element for 5 to 10 more minutes until potatoes are tender.
*You serve them at room temperature so they’re great for camping.  Just make them ahead and pop them into your cooler.  J

Hot Dogs at day’s end

and Hot Chocolate before bed.

Ahh, Summer!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

My Dad

When company came, Mom always had to do most of the entertaining.  With his twinkling eyes and smile, though, Dad made people feel welcome, too.

Another thing he did when we were kids was make us feel important.   At a wedding, he would beckon us over, put an arm around us, and say proudly, “These ones are mine.”

Once, when we were in town, a friend told me to ask Dad for a dime so we could share a bag of potato chips.  I didn’t want to do it, but Dad gave us a quarter!

If you asked to see a barn kitten, look what happened J

Mom said that when I was coming home from Ottawa on the train, Dad wouldn’t let anyone else go to the station in St. Lazare to meet me.  There he was at 2 or 3 am.  I kissed his leathery cheek and we drove home in companionable silence.


Here’s a spicy recipe I’m sure my Dad would have liked.   


            Thank you to Eileen Larson of Saskatoon for sharing this recipe.

8 oz mushrooms
2 small to medium onions  (this will look like a lot but it cooks down)
4 slices bacon
5 to 6 lean pork chops
1 tbsp canola oil
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 ½ tbsp. paprika
1 cup boiling water (or vegetable broth)
1 bouillon cube
½ cup cream
2 tbsp ketchup
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp cayenne
Salt to taste

·        Slice mushrooms and set aside.
·        Chop onions and set aside. 
·        Cut bacon into small pieces and set aside.
·        Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

·        Heat oil over high heat in large frying pan.  Add pork chops in a single layer and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Brown on both sides.  Take pan off heat and transfer pork chops to a large  (at least 13x9) baking dish.
·        Distribute mushrooms over the pork chops.

·        Lower heat.  Add onion and bacon to frying pan.  Fry slowly for 10 minutes.
·        Sprinkle with paprika and flour.
·        Add cream and bouillon gradually, stirring until smooth.
·        Simmer for 5 minutes.
·        Stir in catsup, ¼ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp pepper.  
·        Pour over chops and mushrooms.
·        Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
*Serve with a green vegetable as the sauce is quite reddish.

Monday, 9 June 2014


Denton is a university town with lots of fun antique stores,

a great ice cream parlor across from the Courthouse,

and a wonderful used bookstore called RECYCLED BOOKS.

The Motel 6 has surprisingly nice rooms . . .
and a great pool.

What I enjoyed most about Denton, however, was meeting some of James’ family.

PawPaw David with Kepler 

Nana Fran and Kepler

 I've only been home for a few days but already I'm feeling nostalgic so I'm feeling like doing some Tex-Mex cooking. 

My immediate reaction when I see recipes that involve making little meat pastries is, ‘That looks yummy but way too much work and the pastry would probably end up tough.’ 

But it turns out, the pastry was a cinch!  And delicious!  So I decided I had to type up the recipe because I really liked the technique for putting the empanadas together.  Instead of pinching the dough edges together, you pull the bottom edge up and over.  This holds in the filling so much better!

(The filling was good, too, but took a lot time to prepare and there was double the amount needed for 8 empanadas.   The good thing about that is that I making another batch of empanadas and freezing them.  The next time I make empanadas, however, I will make a different filling so I didn’t type up the Hello filling recipe.)   


        From HELLO MAGAZINE;  April 7, 2014

1 ¼ cups flour
one-half tsp salt  
½ cup lard (4 oz)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp cold water

·        Put flour and salt into food processor.  Pulse to mix.
·        Add lard.  Pulse to mix well.
·        Turn mixture into a bowl.
·        In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, vinegar, and water.
·        Stir into flour with a fork. 
·        Turn dough out onto counter and knead into a smooth ball.
·        Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
·        Roll each piece into a ball in your hands and flatten with the palm of your hand.
·        With rolling pin, roll pieces dough out on counter into 6 inch circles.
·        Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
·        Prepare egg wash by beating another egg yolk with a tablespoon of water.

·       Brush one of the dough circles all around the edge with egg wash.
·        Place a large spoonful of filling inside the circle.

·      Fold one side of the dough (A) over the filling so that it is about a half inch away from the other edge.

·        Pull the other edge of the dough up over the filling and over the dough.
·        Tuck it down a bit to seal but you don’t have to pinch or anything.
·        Transfer to baking sheet and make the other empanadas.

·        Brush the tops with egg wash.
·        Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.

*To reheat, place in 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve 2 per person with a salad on the side.

Sunday, 8 June 2014


 Quaint Fredericksburg was built by German settlers about 1870.  The larger old houses now are B&B’s and the small ones can be reserved like hotel rooms by the tourists who flock to the little town.

 We were just about a block from downtown in “Liedchin”, our little home away from home.

The wineries just outside the town are a major attraction so, at the pubs we made a point of sampling the local wines.
Kepler was more interested in the window blinds.

 Of course, Fredericksburg is also a great place to drink beer and enjoy platters of German sausages and sauerkraut.  We got there early,  but the patio filled up soon after.

At night, Kepler was into the live music at the pubs.  Here we are at Hondo's.

We spent a very pleasant day visiting some of the wineries. 

There was live music and we enjoyed drifting about the lawns with our wine glasses.

Once again, Kepler headed for the dance floor

where he got rounded up!

Yee Haw, Fredericksburg!