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Sunday, 25 December 2016

Heading SOUTH . . . and Ukrainian Buckwheat Varenyky

Bye, Vesper.  Stay warm, sweetie.  

Good-bye, Snow.    

Along the way, we'll be reading some history . . . recommended by Nestor. . .

and more history . . .

and this . . . recommended by Kathy. . . 

and some 19th century English lit . . .

and, at the end of a long day of driving, for sheer comic relief, this . . . 



BUCKWHEAT VARENIKI are traditional so I tried making them this year

     based on:  

This dough has 2 cups of buckwheat flour and 1 cup of white.   

Another recipe called for just buckwheat flour in the dough.   I'm glad I tried it, but I have to say I prefer regular pyrohi.

Helen says, however, that her mother often
made buckwheat perogies.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A CHRISTMAS Past, Trees, and Bryan's EGGNOG

Trivia Question from one of Kathy's party crackers:  Which was the first country to issue a Christmas stamp?




2016:  Bryan's version of

1 oz   brandy
1 oz   Madiera wine
⅔ oz  dark rum
1 oz simple syrup
1 egg
4 oz light cream
4 oz whole milk
¼ tsp vanilla

1.   Multiply amounts by number of servings
2.   Separate egg yolk from egg white
3.   Beat egg white until frothy
4.   Beat yolk until creamy; gradually add simple syrup and vanilla
5.   Mix white and yolk together
6.   Stir in cream and milk
7.   Slowly add brandy, wine and rum while stirring ingredients
8.   Chill
9.   Serve in a punch glass with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top


Answer to Trivia Question:  The first country to issue a Christmas stamp was Canada!

Monday, 19 December 2016

Amazing Anastasia in her Eighties! . . . and Blueberry Cobbler

"Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist.  Give me leave to do my utmost."
(Isak Dinesen)

When I invited her for Easter dinner, Anastasia offered to bring something.  I suggested a salad and she replied, “Is that all?”

Drizzled with raspberry dressing, her contribution was a masterpiece!


Thank you, Anastasia, for the gift of blueberries which you picked!

Bryan loved this!

The recipe is on p. 26 of 250 Best Cobblers . . .  


1 cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup milk

1 tsp vanilla


3 cups fresh blueberries (about one pound)
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp butter

1.  Start oven preheating to 350.

2.  Prepare topping:  Stir together blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Set aside.

 3. Prepare dough:  
       * In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
       * In a small bowl, whisk egg, melted butter, milk, and vanilla.
       * Combine liquid and dry ingredients.  Don't over mix.
       * Spread dough in baking dish.  
        *Top with blueberries. 
        * Dot with the tablespoon of butter.
        * Bake for 45 to 50 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.  Yum!


Anastasia's birthday is on December 26.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

British Romantic Comedy . . . and a CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST FRUIT SALAD

Bryan and I just watched this.  We both loved it!

Also, I'm reading this really good book that Bryan recommended to me.


In the food department . . . 

I served this in July as a side dish with Indian food, and we all liked it.  One comment was, “This would be a good way to include citrus in a Christmas breakfast!”


      From 500 SENSATIONAL SALADS, edited by Julia Canning, p 244



San Antonio River Walk, Dec 2015  




more pre-CHRISTMAS . . . TREATS!

Back in the ‘70s, when I was the teacher-librarian at River Heights School in Saskatoon, 

 one of our parent volunteers brought in heritage Christmas cookies. 

Thank you, Mrs. Wiebe, for sharing your recipe.  

I thought I’d make the cookies once, but our daughters wanted “bullets” every Christmas after that.  

This year, Bryan made them!   

Half the recipe filled this jar and we still have dough in the freezer!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

All in Dad's day . . . and Eggplant Casserole

 It had to be BIG before anyone went to a doctor in the old days.

Even though it happened more than 50 years ago, I still remember Dad coming in once, much the worse for wear.   

The horse(s) had stampeded and Dad must have pitched forward because a rake like this one went over him.   Mom doctored him up and that was that.


  Dad’s birthday was on December 13, 1901. 


Dad would have enjoyed this delicious dinner of sautéed liver, new potatoes,  and . . .   


1 large eggplant
5 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 ounces onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
5 fresh plum tomatoes
1 bunch spinach
¼ cup sundried tomatoes (in oil)
¼ cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried rosemary (not powdered)
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup sliced green olives
¼ cup raisins
1 ¼ tsps. Salt
Parmesan, freshly grated

1.     Cut the eggplant in half length-wise.  Score the cut surfaces so they will absorb oil.
2.     Thinly slice the onion.  Set aside.
3.     Mince the garlic.  Set aside.
4.     Coarsely chop the spinach.  Set aside.
5.     Finely chop the Roma (plum) tomatoes.  Set aside. 
6.     Slice the olives.  Set aside.
7.     Measure the sundried tomatoes and raisins.  Set aside.
8.     Chop the parsley.  Set aside. 
9.     Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized or small frying pan over medium heat.  Put in both eggplant halves, skin side down.  Cook 5 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.
10.Turn heat to low or minimum.  Add 1 tbsp oil and put one of the eggplant halves in, cut side down.  Cook 5 minutes to brown.  Remove.
11.Add another tbsp. oil and put in the other eggplant half.  Brown for 5 minutes.  Remove.
12. In a large frying pan or Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium low heat.  Add onions and cook for 4 minutes until softened. 
13. Add garlic and stir for one minute.  Add sundried tomatoes, olives, raisins, spices, spinach, Roma tomatoes, salt, and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes. 
14.  Take off heat.  Stir in parsley.
15.  Chop up eggplant into 2 inch cubes.  Put these in the bottom of a Pyrex or corning ware casserole dish.  (9 inch square or 10 inch square)
16. Spoon the rest of the ingredients on top.


*Preheat oven to 350.
*Cover casserole and bake 30 minutes.
*Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan before serving.