Thursday Doors – January 25, 2018

….thanks to Norm for hosting Thursday Doors

On Wednesday of this week I went on a little road trip with my husband to Collingwood. He had an appointment with a client and he invited me come along to keep him company on the two hour drive there and then home again. It was a beautiful day and the drive was easy.

As we got further north the countryside was almost magical. It looked like they had a dusting of fresh snow that coated all the trees and the snow itself was still pristine white. Luckily the roads had been cleared and driving was pretty uneventful.

Collingwood is very much a tourist town, with cottagers in the summer and skiing in the winter. The population is only about 18 000. The Main Street is where most of the shopping and restaurants are but I’m sure that somewhere in Collingwood there are malls and box stores and fast-food restaurants. I was happy to be dropped off on the Main Street while my husband drove to his appointment.

I spent most of my time browsing through the stores, checking out the art gallery, photographing the store fronts and enjoying a coffee at one of the local coffee shops. The downtown area has been designated provincially as a historic site and many of the storefronts have maintained it’s original architectural features. Two of the older buildings house the municipal offices and federal government offices.

Many of the stores still had some Christmas decorations in the windows and on the sidewalk. I loved the art on the exterior walls and I can imagine that in the summer when the trees are adorned with their leaves that walking along here is very pleasant.

I met my husband in a lovely coffee shop called the Espresso Post. While I waited I enjoyed a flat white and sketched in my drawing book. I loved the feel of the place with it’s heavy sturdy tables and chairs and high ceilings. When my husband arrived he also ordered a flat white and then we walked down the street to a restaurant called Sol Kitchen. It was recommended to me by the ladies who owned the art gallery called Butter Art Gallery. It was a great recommendation. The food was excellent and there was art on all the walls from local painters. My kind of place.

WPC – Temporary

….this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is temporary

Often photos of precious moments or beautiful sunsets, fall colours or fields of wildflowers are fleeting. Bonfires, midways, cloud formations, celebratory sweets and all living things are temporary.

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Share Your World – October 9, 2017

…..thanks Cee for hosting Share Your World

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

My most perfect food would have to be grilled salmon and oven roasted vegetables. Not only is it healthy but it is also one of my favourite meals. For comfort food I would go with homemade macaroni and cheese but I tend to eat too much of it and any health benefits go right out the window.

Are you focused on today or tomorrow?

Since tomorrow never comes I’d have to say I tend to focus on today. That’s not to say that I don’t think about tomorrow but if I focused on it all the time I’d never get anything done.

If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

My great-great grandparents were born between 1828 and 1838 and died between 1908 and 1917. After more research I discovered the names of 8 great-great-great-grandparents. These were only the ancestors on my grandmother’s side. I know very little about my grandfather. These ancestors lived from 1789 to 1895.

I’m very fortunate to have photographs of my great-great-grandparents and I found one photo of my great-great-great-grandmother Karoline (nee Witte) Mewes. Karoline was born in 1814 and died 1895. The photo I have of her is with her adult son Walter Mewes (born 1840 and died 1917). It appears to have been taken when Walter was in his 30s or 40s. I’m assuming the family had money by how well they were dressed and the number of professional photos they had taken of the family. Walter was a very distinguished looking man, always with a cigar in hand. His mother, Karoline appears quite stern and dressed in somber dark clothes. She bore 6 children.

If I could interview Karoline I would ask her about her past and if she had help raising her six children. I would also ask her if she ever had any desire to have a career.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This past week I appreciate being able to get six family members together to celebrate their birthdays which all take place from Oct. 2nd to Oct. 17th. The birthdays span 89 years; the oldest being my father who turned 91 and my granddaughter who is two later this week. The other birthdays include my husband, my cousin, my son-in-law and his brother. P1040676

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

….celebrating with a Southern flair

This year we substituted turkey and stuffing with deep fried chicken, BBQ ribs and macaroni and cheese. We started the meal with curried pumpkin soup, served in the pumpkin shell and freshly baked corn bread. Our daughter hosted the meal and because there were 14 of us we decided to share the work with a pot luck meal. I brought the soup and bread and plum cake. Gaelan and Brendan cooked the meats and the mac and cheese. Other contributions included roasted potatoes, pasta salad, coleslaw, wine and meat and cheese platters as appetizers.

As you can see from the photos our granddaughter loved the pumpkin but she loved the soup just as much. Even my Dad who normally dislikes pumpkin pie enjoyed this soup.

The recipe came from a cookbook that my friend Janice gave me as a gift last Christmas. Her church, St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, collected soup recipes from friends and members of the church and created the book It All Begins With Soup and sold the cookbook as a fundraiser. This recipe is dead simple.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

1 large can of pumpkin puree

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic

3 cups of chicken broth

1 Tbsp curry paste (more if you like spicy)

1/4 tsp. coriander, salt and pepper (adjust seasoning to your taste)

3/4 cup coconut milk (1/4 cup for swirls in the serving bowls)

Saute the onions and garlic in the coconut oil. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, paste and seasonings. Stir and cook until boiling. Cover and continue to boil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pumpkin puree and coconut milk. Whisk until smooth. Cook for a final 5 minutes before you puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Serve warm with a swirl of coconut milk in a bowl.

  • if you are vegan you can substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth
  • I doubled the recipe to serve 14 people – the bowls were small but some people had seconds
  • my pumpkin was way to big – the soup filled just over half the pumpkin

Food at the C.N.E.

….every year the C.N.E. features some wildly delicious food

The food vendors get very creative every year at the Canadian National Exhibition. This year was no exception. The crazier the better just to get to get your food dollars. If you only attend the C.N.E. once you have to pick and choose carefully or you’ll end up with a massive tummy ache.

The first thing that my daughter, daughter-in-law and I did was venture into the Food building and make our menu choices. The girls had decided ahead of time to check out the Japanese Street Food booth. An order of Dirty Fries and a Samurai burger didn’t disappoint.

If there was one common and unusual ingredient this year it had to be activated charcoal. I chose a slice of pizza called Carbone. The crust was light and airy and delicious.IMG_2975

For dessert the girls lead me through the midway to find the vendor that sold a soft ice-cream made from grape and charcoal and served on a slice of watermelon; also very delicious. IMG_2977

Thanks Andrea and Josie for a great day!

New Baby, an Anniversary, a Book Launch and a Pedicure with Dad

….what an exciting week

My middle sister became a grandmother for the first time. Her daughter had a little baby boy on August 15th. Mom, Dad and Baby Jale (pronounce Jah-lay) are all doing well. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we’ll make the four hour drive to the farm to welcome the new little guy into our family.

On the 16th my husband and I celebrated our 42nd anniversary. We opted to celebrate with a special lunch. Being on a Wednesday we didn’t think that we’d need reservations but when we got to our first choice we couldn’t even find a place to park. We quickly decided to go to our second pick which was closer to home and luckily it wasn’t busy. We love this restaurant, Pulcinella, and the only reason it wasn’t our first choice was because we wanted something other than Italian food. In the end we decided that it was the perfect choice. We had wonderful service and the food was amazing.

The next day, quite by accident I discovered that a friend from long ago had written a book about the CNE and she was having a book launch in a bar just up the street from where I live. I was walking the dog at the time so I couldn’t go inside but I went home, dropped off the dog, grabbed my wallet and walked back up the street to support Lee. It was nice meeting some people that I had lost contact with and meeting some new people. One of the people that I met was a former editor of Canadian Living magazine. I knew of her and where she lived which surprised her. In the end we exchanged phone numbers and addresses and I should be getting a call in November to help with make-up for the Lakeshore Santa Claus parade. I guess this is how it starts. When people know you’re retired they quickly recruit you to do volunteer work.

Earlier that day Dad and I went to my favourite salon for nails and we both had pedicures done. It’s very interesting sitting next to your ninety year old father while having your feet worked on.  The owner of the salon worked on Dad and she was wonderful with him but we couldn’t convince him to paint his nails purple. Of course we were only teasing him. He laughed but firmly said no to colour.

One Final Get Together and Kite Flying With Opa

…..the family all came together to spend the day Brendan and Azadeh 

Last Saturday was the day that my son and daughter-in-law were flying back to London, England. The flight wasn’t until the evening so our son’s wish was to spend his last day in Canada with his parents, sisters, brother-in-law, niece and Opa.

We spent the morning shopping for and organizing the food. We prepared ribs, done two different ways, an Italian bread salad and bowtie pasta with homemade pesto sauce. IMG_2755

Winnie and Uncle Brendan mixing together the bread salad. It was yummy.

After our feast Opa wanted to show off his kite so the whole gang, minus my husband, made their way to the park down the street. Everyone had to take a turn flying the kite until the last person landed it in a tree. Fortunately we were able to rescue the pink beauty. Now Dad is talking about buying another kite, bigger and better than the one he has so that we can both go out together and each have our own kite. Hmmm!!!