Sunday, February 28, 2010

Today is the day.......

Whatever happens today with THE hockey game Canadians everywhere know that we have done the best we have ever done. We have been inspired to be the Best we can Be. We have 13 GOLD METALS!
Canadian Patriotism has not been this high since 1967 when we all sang "C-A-N-A-D-A we love you."
Now we "Believe."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Getting ready for St David's Day......

WELSH CAKES: are a specialty of South Wales. Essentially they are griddle cakes (called a bake stone in Wales), but they can also be cooked in a heavy pan or skillet.
1 lb. (4 cups) plain flour ( I use Brodies self rising flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
10 oz. (1 and 1/4 cups) butter
6 oz. (3/4 cup) sugar
pinch of salt
6 oz. (1 and 1/2 cups) currants
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 egg
a little milk

Mix together the flour and baking powder with the salt, then cut in the butter with a pastry blender. Add the sugar, spice and currants. Mix in the beaten egg and just enough milk (about 3 tablespoons) to make it the same consistency as short-crust pastry. Turn out onto a floured board, roll out and cut into rounds about 3 in. across and about 1/2 inch thick. Cook over a medium heat (I use an electric griddle at about 275 degrees) in a very lightly greased pan or bake stone for about 3-4 minutes on each side. If they brown too quickly, lower the heat, for the inside must have time to cook thoroughly so that it has a brittle, sandy texture. Serve either hot or cold. Some people like them with butter, sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, jam or honey when they are a day old. Not that that ever happened in our house. Makes approximately 20 - 25. Welsh Cakes are called Pice ar y Maen in the Welsh language.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The week end looms.

Ever notice how long the weekend seems on Friday? Two days filled with possibilities, plans and ... laundry.
The knit together is tonight at Little Red Mitten and as much as I would like to go, I shouldn't. That's all there is to it. I will buy wool, more wool, lovely wool and they stock the yummiest. There is cotton on order from them now for the next table cloth.
I have to get back to Sophia's sweater. Actually I want to get back to it before the winter is over. Not that that appears to be anytime soon.
On the knitting front I have been busy with the Knitting Olympics. I could actually take an evening off as I am down to the last 2 rows and then the cast off. Go over to Nantyglo to see the latest progress.
Speaking of the Olympics I have to say the sight of all those reserved Canadians unashamedly decked out in red and white and flag waving has been a revelation. Almost American-like in our patriotism. So unlike us and about time too, I must say.
Carl came across this on YouTube. It is excellent and I would like to share it with you .

Thank you Tom and the P.M. is right we will probably apologize for our exuberance when all is said and done. A few more pictures in the summer when the temperature gets over 30C would have been a little more realistic.
A typical Canadianism is "Thank you" we say it all the time. I caught myself at the Tim Horton's drive thru. The conversation went like this:
:Welcome to Tim Horton's
me: I would like a medium steeped tea with milk and a tea biscuit.
: Will there be anything else?
me: no thank you
: that will be $2.08 please drive thru
me: thank you
at the window.
: passes me the tea
me: thank you
: passes me the the biscuit
me: thank you
: gives me the change
me: thank you
: Have a good day.
me: thank you
That's 6... SIX thank yous all for a cuppa tea. Shaking my head. I had no idea. I started listening at the check out at the grocery store. I am not the only one. Who knew? See we do have something else beside "eh" and I am not going to count the number of times I say THAT word in a day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Science Class 101

Yesterday, all day, I pondered the age old question: "What to have for supper? "Then it hit me. Pie, chips and beans.!! I thought about the flaky pastry, crisp golden chips and the steamy goodness of maple beans...I swoon. My man is Canadian to the core and I knew "Mr. Meat/Potato and Veg wouldn't be thrilled but he would survive.

Carl wasn't going to be home until about 7:30 pm so I calculated when to cook the pies, when to turn the chippy on and when to heat the beans. He was home right on time. The pies came out of the oven, the chips were simmering and the beans were hot. I was almost drowning in saliva and fainting from hunger. I prefer to eat much earlier.

After heating the beans, I turned the heat off the burner on our black cook top a few minutes before I got out the "Corell" dinner plates in preparation for dishing up this wonderful nosh. The pies slipped onto the plates I had put on top of the a fore said cook top. I dished out the beans, the mapley aroma wafted around my head. I was lifting the chips out of the oil when there was an ungodly BANG.
Carl came hurrying up the hall to see me standing frozen in front of the stove. There were chips and beans everywhere and shattered slivers of white glass. Nestled in the middle of this were 2 beautiful "sparkling with shattered glass" meat pies.

Herein lies the science class: Untempered glass will shatter when applied to direct heat. Corell dishes are glass. Cook tops are still hot even when they are no longer glowing red. Give me a gas cooker anytime.

Back to the story: I only wept a little as we threw everything into the rubbish. Corell may not break if you drop it but believe me when it shatters there was glass everywhere even in the hot oil of the chippy. It is a marvel that I wasn't cut as the dinner plate had split into wicked shards of glass. Not only was the cook top covered in glass but it had exploded across the counter top and across the kitchen floor.

About 45 minutes later, after we had vacuumed up glass, dumped the oil, washed counters, rounded up the chips that had flown into the air when the plate exploded and disposed of the remnants of glass and the dinner, I threw together a cesaer salad and thawed and heated up some leftovers from the freezer. Then I had heartburn.

Canada did win a gold medal right before this fiasco so the evening wasn't a total loss.
Tonight it is going to be "take away" I am on strike!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mary Grace's Red Velvet Cake

This recipe came from my friend Jacqueline in the mid 1970's.
I used to make this cake in heart shaped pans every Valentine's Day. My children loved it. So here you go........
Thoroughly cream 1/2 cup Crisco ( vegetable shortening) and 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar.
Add to above: 1 small bottle (2 oz) red food colouring and 2 well beaten eggs. Beat together.
In a separate bowl mix together 2 cups (Brodie's) cake flour and one tablespoon cocoa.
Add the flour mixture to the cream mixture alternately with 1 cup of butter milk.
Mix in 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar.
Bake in 2 - 8" round pans (greased and floured) 350F for 30 to 35 minutes. Frost as desired. Enjoy with someone you love. I daresay that this cake will find a whole new following with the "Twilight" crowd.

You are not alone...

Dear readers south of the 49th you are not alone. Today it is snowing London. I tried to take a picture but it doesn't do it justice. The flakes are the size of teacups. Then it stops only to start again. Now they look like thimbles.
The Olympics have started and I can't ever remember such a campaign of national pride. The "I Believe" commercials must have been written by the guys who came up with the "I AM CANADIAN" ads. They are very effective. How some ever, how many of us cringed in our chairs when the cauldron malfunctioned?????? Oh crap! Not a good sign in the wake of the horrendous accident with the young luge athlete. Frankly I did not need to see that news clip replayed.
I walked into the room just as it was being played the first time. It was terrible and I hope we never become so jaded that we are not affected by such a tragedy.
I have signed up for the Yarn Harlot's "Knitting Olympics." See "other" blog.
I have to go out grocery shopping...spit..on Saturday yet. EEE I hate the crowds. I will go knit now shop later.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I'm baack...

This has been the worse couple of weeks. Minus the escape to Mexico, of course. As wonderful as that break was the reality when we got home was worse than the usual post holiday slump.

I have been on an emotional see saw.

So I had a think and I asked myself, "What would make me feel better?" I grabbed the yellow pages and called up a cleaning service and hired a couple of girls to spring clean the house.

They clean like I knit. I ooo and ahhh over wool and they rejoice in a shiny tap and sparkling grout. This is a match made in heaven.

They will be back every Monday until the whole house is done. They even wash walls and windows! No, I am not giving out their names I am keeping them to myself. When the whole house is done I am going to have them come in every other week to do the big stuff. This is the best gift I have ever given myself. It means I am on a "wool fast" but hey Lent is coming anyway.

Only in Canada would we truck snow to a venue! The Olympics start on Friday and there isn't enough snow in Vancouver. Hello?? Vancouver?? I could have told them that. They should have picked Timmins. Lots of snow in northern Ontario.
I got an email this week from a friend I had lost touch with. I had put a post on Lost Trekkers People Search well over a year ago. Just for the fun of it she googles her name and there was my post. It has been 15 years since we have been in contact! Wow, time does go a lot faster when you are older. It was good to touch base with her and find out what has happened in the intervening years. We have both had a rocky time of it. She made me laugh when she said she kept reading the Best Seller's list looking for my name.
I missed Sandy's birthday in January. Sandy who never forgets my birthday or Christmas AND is always there to encourage me. Mea Culpa.

My concentration has gone south but I am knitting Teddies for Tragedies. I am on my third one now. It is mindless garter stitch for the most part and I am using up left overs from Michael's Vest. I did, however, have to go out and buy some more "bear" colour. That was before my cleaning Diva's. I will be knitting out of the stash for a while, no problem with that.

Mom always said, "If I go in my sleep don't mourn me." She would also tell me to pull myself together and get on with my life. I am really trying but some days it is just too much to ask.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

to abbeysmum

Thank you for the recommendation for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was a great "on the beach book" and I have already thanked someone else for the suggestion....sigh Then I looked back in the comments and found you. I have gone out and purchased the hard back copy of the next one.

Tomorrow is Friday....TGIF....I am emotionally worn out this week. .

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Today has been a hard day...

Oh my, I have had a hard day preceded by a hard weekend.
How many times did I go to the phone this weekend to let Mom know we were home safe? How many times did I think, "Oh I have to show Mom the pictures from Mexico?"
Today is the 2nd of the month and I have been weepy all day. Then Carl called me at work to say he will be away on a charter trip this weekend. I immediately thought," Oh I will go see Mom."...sigh. So I am a wreck, all over again. My ankle is better but today everything hurt and my concentration at work was completely off.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Back to the real world.

Sigh...It was wonderful and now it is not just a memory but a plan to return. We were at the Las Brisas Resort, Huatulco, Mexico, the Pacific side, south of Acapulco.
Click on the pictures for a better view!

The little flower in the centre is a ...gardenia. I almost fell over when I saw it. My first thought was, "wait till I tell Mom." That happened a lot. The flowers were beautiful and I found the huge shrubs, next to the squash courts, covered in gardenia blooms.
This the view of the snorkel beach from the Mexicana Restaurant. We had planned on going snorkeling but had to fore go that plan. I There was no way I could wear next time though.....
I even got Carl into a "Guayabera" a traditional Mexican shirt. This was taken about 6 pm in the evening it was 30C.
He took me to the "Kasbah"...but we weren't impressed with the meal. The atmosphere was wonderful however.
Right hand side of the Manzanilla Beach.
This foot ended up in that ocean. I took this picture the first day. It was a chore but Carl got me down to the waters edge.
Can you see the iguana? there were a couple on the resort and they would appear in the darnedest places.
When I had enough of the saltwater there was the pool. The deep end was 6'8". The pool is higher than the ocean level. That is Tangolunda Bay beyond.
The greatest disadvantage of the resort were the stairs. They do say they are not suitable for anyone with mobility issues. I had 2 good feet when we paid for the holiday.
Another shot of the bay.
View from our room.
Sun rise the last morning.
Waiting for my return.
There are more pictures over on the face book link and a 360 degree video of the beach.

We are planning a 2 week holiday next year. We may try one of the other resorts. Lots of time to decide. The food in the Buffet restaurant was wonderful. The selection was mind boggling. The a la carte restaurants were a little more disappointing. The weather was perfect and I feel rested. My nose is burnt, my foot is much improved and my grief not quite so painful.

Back to work today and I know I will be busy. There will be a mountain of paper on my desk. Carl just left all bundled up in his pork pie hat, leather coat and gloves. Big difference from his Panama jack hat and
I brought home a bag of sand, some shells and coral from the beach that I am going to put in a jar on my desk I want to savour this holiday for a while yet.