One More Christmas Celebration

….just when I thought I was done

I mentioned in one of my recent posts about Christmas that a very good friend of ours who almost always spends Christmas Eve with us couldn’t come over this past year. My daughter arranged for the three of us to get together last week for lunch.

I packed up all the gifts that I had for her, put them in my car and then headed out for Montgomery’s Inn where I volunteered to help put up an art show. I’ve never done a professional exhibit before and I found it exciting helping the artist decide where and how to hang her work. The artist’s name is Sharon McManus and I will probably share more about her work after the official opening this Saturday.IMG-0021
IMG-0022

When we finished hanging all the pieces I made my way to Arlene’s place. We met in her condo where she still had up all her Christmas decorations, including her white tree that she’s had since the 60s.

IMG-0039

Andrea arrived soon after and we all went down the street to the local Sushi restaurant. We toasted in the New Year with a little saki and warmed our tummies with a bowl of ramen.

When we went back to the condo and Arlene opened her gifts. She loves Henkel Trocken and it’s become a tradition to place a bottle in her Christmas stocking. IMG-0036
IMG-0042

Before we left she made us coffee and we shared a muffin and some cookies. Andrea also taught her how to use her camera on her phone so we played around posing for pictures.

fullsizeoutput-7617
IMG-0041

I think this is pretty much the end of our Christmas season, although my niece and her husband celebrated Orthodox Christmas a couple of days ago.

There are still a few remnants of Christmas around the neighbourhoods and some of the lights will stay up well past Valentine’s Day but for the most part the decorations are starting to come down and the greenery is starting to whither. Some people are sad that the holiday season is now over. As for me I’m looking forward to some rest and returning to a more normal routine of eating. How about you?IMG-0106
IMG-0107

Christmas at the Inn

….popcorn chains, Scrooge, Christmas cake and the Winter Witch

When the staff at Montgomery’s Inn put on a Christmas market they go all out. Weeks in advance the volunteers have been making Christmas cakes and gingerbread cookies. The walls were adorned with original paintings of Christmas Past, Present and Future and strings of popcorn  and evergreen boughs were lovingly placed in the window wells and over the hearth of the fireplace.

On the day of the market the vendors set up their tables with more Christmas decorations and the Inn’s Winter Witch handed out cookies to the children. It’s a wonderful market and the community came out by the hundreds to support their local heritage museum.IMG-9689
IMG-9690
IMG-9691
IMG-9692
IMG-9693
IMG-9694
IMG-9695
IMG-9696

IMG-9698
IMG-9700
IMG-9806
IMG-9807
IMG-9808
IMG-9835IMG-9809
IMG-9810

Baking Bread Outside in the Winter

….actually all year round

The biggest difference between baking bread now and in the summer is the weather. In the summer we can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine while the bread bakes in the outdoor wood fired oven but in the winter the sun may shine but the wind and the cold drive us indoors to wait out the baking time.

Today it was a beautiful sunny day but when the wind picks up and we can’t all stand in front of the oven door to keep warm we headed inside. It was a busy market day because it was also the Christmas market. We had to work quickly so that the vendors could set up but we also made more product because we knew that there would be twice as many people coming today. We experimented with a new recipe and made some mini panettone. The first five loaves sold in a matter of minutes and I’m sure that the remaining three didn’t hang around for long.IMG-9688
IMG-9800
IMG-9801
IMG-9802
IMG-9804
fullsizeoutput-754b

Which Way Photo Challenge – Sept 7, 2018

…thanks to Son of a Beach for continuing the Which Way Photo Challenge

Walking from one volunteer job in the west end of Toronto to another in the downtown area (I took the subway in between).
IMG_1993
IMG_4135
IMG_4136
IMG_4137
IMG_4138
IMG_4502
IMG_4503
IMG_4504
IMG_4505
IMG_4506

An Old Fashion Corn Roast

As some of you know I’ve taken up bread baking at Montgomery’s Inn here in the west end of Toronto. The inn is an historical site and museum and depends on the generosity of time given by numerous volunteers. Every year the inn hosts a community corn roast.

IMG_4120

This was the first one I’ve ever attended and I was there as a volunteer. I helped roast the corn in the outdoor wood fired oven that we use for our bread baking every week. In the kitchen the volunteers cooked the sausages and more volunteers manned the tables where tickets were sold, food distributed and where coffee and tea were served. Down the hill there was an activity area for the children and under the tent there was live entertainment.IMG_4121

On the other side of the building several historical organizations set up booths to display information about their group and quite a few people were dressed in period costumes. Later in the evening the ukulele class that performs the first Thursday of every month also gave an impromptu performance for the community in attendance. I’ve been playing with the group off and on since January and I was happy to be there again after a bit of an absence. When you haven’t played for awhile three hours of singing and playing  can be hard on the fingers but wonderful for the soul.IMG_4122

For more information about the museum and list of events check out the website.