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Monday, 31 August 2015


While we waited for the Head Table to arrive . . .

We also wandered about a bit ‘getting the lay of the land’.

                            Even the toilet stalls were decorated!

I ogled the magnificent dessert table – a lot of it the product of Shannon’s mom!

                Wow! a little table of special treats for the kids.

                        I took special note of the cheesecakes. 

Later on, the cherry cheesecake almost blew my mind.

Who could resist a little nibble of the fudge that was beside everyone's plate ?

                            Bet you can't wait to see what's for dinner!

Sunday, 30 August 2015



Shannon and her father, Ed  

“You cannot hide light or love.”    

Wealth begins with a wife.”   . . .  another Ukrainian proverb


Super special events must be matched with super special food:



1 pound mushrooms
1 onion
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill

½ pound broad egg noodles (dried)
2 eggs

·        Finely julienne or grate mushrooms (not in food processor).
·        Finely chop onion.
·        Fry onions and mushroom in butter for 10 minutes.
·        Add salt, pepper, and chopped dill.
·        Cook noodles.   Let cool.
·        Stir mushroom mixture into the noodles.
·        Separate eggs.  Beat egg whites until frothy.  Then beat yolks in a different bowl.
·        Stir yolks and then egg whites into the mushroom/noodles.
·        Stuff duck loosely.

“Best stuffing ever,” declared my dinner guests.


Dude!  Outtake.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

“LOVE is IMPATIENT” . . . and a Ukrainian Tomato Salad

Aline and Chay

Bonnie (Shannon’s mom) and Logan (Shannon’s nephew)

One of the Candle Lighters

Kacy  (Shannon’s friend and co-worker)
Ariana (Shannon’s niece)
Dum dum da dum



 Tomati pid Maionezom : from Bohdan Zahny’s THE BEST OF UKRAINIAN CUISINE

4 or 5 tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh basil
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp canola oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

·        Cut tomatoes into bite sized pieces.

·        Chop basil and add to tomatoes.
·        Stir together mayonnaise, oil, salt, and pepper.

·        Stir into tomatoes. 

Sooooo GOOD . . . especially since the tomatoes came from Donald's garden!

Friday, 28 August 2015

EVERYBODY'S WAITING . . . and a Ukrainian Side Dish

 Shannon’s parents have a huge, beautiful backyard – the perfect setting.   

Clayton (Lorne’s brother), Sabrina (Clayton’s wife), Chris (DJ’s fiancé), Djamal

Wedding program

List of Who’s Who in the Wedding Party

Tired of waiting? . . .  Lemonade!

It was raining on and off all day, but not at all throughout the ceremony.  Just in case, however, Shannon’s father had set up a tent.

Here come the guys!

Nick (Lorne’s youngest brother)

Lee (second youngest brother)

Paul (Shannon’s brother)


 Oh my goodness . . .  SHE's coming soon.



        From Bohdan Zahny’s THE BEST OF UKRAINIAN CUISINE

1 ½ lbs beets
¼ cup canola oil (plus 2 tbsp for the onions)
1 ½ lbs onions
½ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
¾ tsp salt

·        Chop onions.  Sauté in 2 tbsp oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Then stir constantly for another 10 minutes to brown.
·        Peel beets and julienne in slivers.  Sauté in ¼ cup oil for 5 minutes.  Stir in the browned onions, tomato paste, salt, sugar, and pepper and take off the heat.

* Bohdan serves the beets cold but they are DELICIOUS hot, as well.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

EVE of the WEDDING . . . and Ukrainian Stew

Nooo . . . no pictures of the bride and groom this night . . . even though we did get together with them for a drink in the hotel lounge.

Diana, Bryan, and I  all enjoyed meeting Shannon for the first time. 

Shannon works as an Activities Director with seniors and really impressed us when she said, “Many of them don’t have visitors and so I try really hard to put some fun into their days.”

Chay (Lorne’s nephew) and Lee (Lorne’s brother)

Aline (Lorne’s mother) and DJ (Lorne’s niece)

Chay, Lee, Diana, Eleanor, Bryan, Djamal, Aline


Ukrainian Stew, ZHYTOMYR-STYLE
(Svinina Zhitormirska)

A lovely things about Ukrainian food is how delicious it is even though the ingredients are simple.

        From:  THE BEST OF UKRAINIAN CUISINE by Bohdan Zahny

1 ½ lbs pork
3 tbsp butter
2 cups water
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 lb potatoes
1 large carrot

·        Cut pork into bite sized pieces.
·        Chop onion finely.
·        Start oven preheating to 350.
·        Divide pork into 3 batches in large frying pan.  Use 1 tbsp butter to brown each batch over high heat.
·        Transfer browned pork to a Dutch oven.
·        Add water to frying pan and scrape up the browned bits.  Pour water over the pork.
·        Stir in chopped onions, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.
·        Cover and cook in oven for one hour.
·        Slice or quarter mushrooms.
·        Peel carrot and chop into short logs.
·        Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces.
·        Add mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes to stew.  Cover and cook 30 more minutes.

*After it’s done, you can turn off the oven and leave the stew in for another hour before serving.  It will be hot and yummy! 

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Wedding Invitation!

Bringing out the suitcases!

At Bryan’s and my wedding, Lorne was just a boy, but he did one of the  readings at the church .

Baking a wedding cake was a snap for my mom because every year she made several fruit cakes for Christmas.  She wanted to make a traditional three-layer cake but I insisted on only one layer because the reception was only a very small gathering of relatives and friends. 

Mom was worried about decorating the cake, however, so the icing was added by a professional baker.   I had found the design in a Cordon Bleu magazine. 

MARY’S DARK FRUIT CAKE (for Christmas or Weddings)

Mary’s Dark Fruit Cake (for Christmas or Weddings)
1 cup butter                                                 ½ cup citron
1 cup brown sugar                                                1 and ½ cup flour
3 eggs                                                            ¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup sour cream                                       ½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup raisins                                                 ½ tsp. cloves
½ cup slivered almonds                            1 tsp. allspice
1 cup currants                                             ¾ tsp. baking powder
1 cup chopped dates                                 ¼ cup orange juice

Bake in slow oven (250 to 300 degrees) until done.

               This recipe is more detailed than most of Mom’s recipes.  Old-tyme cooks didn’t use precise measurements: as Mom put it, they did it ‘by gosh or by golly’, adding things like flour until the dough felt right.  And they cooked in a woodstove which meant the heat was hard to regulate – not to mention that the temperature gauge on the front was always broken so the cook also had to judge when the oven was ready, once again using that old ‘by gosh and by golly’.
            I had to quantify many recipes by watching Mom and writing things down as she breezed through some complicated procedures.  So, when you see the numbers by the recipes, you should know that those weren’t ever put there by the Mary.  But, if you like things a little more systematic, like me, here are a few more instructions for that cake: 

1.  Grease a 9x9 cake pan and line it with 2 thicknesses of parchment or waxed paper.  Butter the top layer of paper.
2.  Chop the dates, mixing them with a little of the flour.
3.  Add the rest of the fruit, again mixing in a little flour to separate the pieces.
4.  Add the almonds to this mixture.
5.   Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
6.  Mix the spices, baking powder, and baking soda into remaining flour.
7.  Cream the butter and sugar well.
8.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
9.  Add orange juice and sour cream.  Beat.
10. Stir in the flour and spice mixture.
11.  Stir in the fruit and nut mixture.
12.  Bake for 3 to 3 ½ hours.  If the top of the cake browns too rapidly, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.   
Test by pressing the surface lightly with a fingertip.  If the cake feels firm and no finger imprint is left, the cake is done.
13.  Invert on a wire cake cooler for a few minutes before removing the baking tin. 

P.S.  Did you know the Queen loves a good, dark, heavy fruitcake?

Monday, 10 August 2015

A Great Sense of Humour . . . and a Great Breakfast

Nicole figured it out early . . .

This isn't fun,

this is!

Soon Nicole began making me laugh.

As Bryan says, she has a “way with the woids”.

When Nicole was almost two, we were having spaghetti and she wanted help twirling it.  “Wiggle, wiggle,” she said, holding her fork up. 

When Nicole was 2 years and 9 months and her room was a jumble of toys, I exclaimed, “What a girl!”
“What a I!” she responded, smiling.   Then she corrected herself, “What a me!”   

Now, Nicole’s Facebook keeps me laughing.

Her yard got wildly overgrown when she was away from home for a while.
There were bags and bags of grass clippings.

Nicole’s comment:  I hope my neighbours don't think I'm a mass murderer..

                                          And now here's Nicole’s son. 

We're all destined to die laughing.


I  had planned to make this when Nicole and Kepler were here because Nicole loves Eggs Benedict, but I ran out of time, and, maybe, courage because the ingredients do sound iffey.  

Turns out, this egg dish is REALLY GOOD and I will definitely make it for you sometime, Nicole.


            From:  MARY MEADE’S SAUSAGE COOKBOOK, c1967

·        Easy to make and less stressful than Eggs Benedict because the muffins and sausage patties go into the oven to reheat before being topped with an egg.
·        Plan on serving 1 or 2 eggs per person.  There is enough tomato sauce and chicken soup sauce for 8 to 10 servings so just increase the number of sausage patties, cheese slices, and muffin halves.
½ pound (250 g) pork sausage rounds  (or 6 patties)
3 English muffins
6 tbsp tomato sauce (or pizza sauce)
½ tsp oregano
6 slices Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
¾ cup milk
6 eggs
1 tbsp chopped green onions (or chives)

·        Preheat oven to 350 F.
·        Set your table.
·        Chop green onions or chives and set aside on your plate on the table (so you won’t forget to garnish).
·        Cook sausages by following directions on package (about 4 minutes per side).
·        Toast and butter split muffins.
·        Set muffins on baking sheet or in a pan.
·        Start heating water in your poaching pan.  Bring it just to a simmer and turn down to minimum.
·        Stir milk and soup together in a saucepan and set over low heat.
·        Stir oregano into tomato sauce.
·         Spoon 1 tbsp tomato sauce onto each muffin half.
·        Top each muffin piece with a sausage and a slice of cheese.  (I trimmed the cheese slices a bit.
·        Put muffin halves into oven and bake for 10 minutes.
·        Meanwhile, poach eggs and take out of poaching pan. 
·        Top each muffin with an egg.  Pour over some of the hot soup mixture.
·        Garnish with onions or chives.  All done!

Roasted or fried potato chunks go great with this . . . or some leftover Vegetables Passe-Partout.  Add a salad and you’ve got a super light supper.