Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Rocks and Loaves

On the weekend our curling club held it's annual
Valentine Bonspiel.
The roads were horrid but that didn't stop us ...

It was a fun day and the food, as always, was delicious and
beautifully presented by some of the club member's spouses and families.

This is a day we all look forward to each winter.

Today the weather has turned to icy rain - ugh!

So what's a gal to do on a rainy, icy February day?
Perfect timing to bake some bread ... right!?

Two loaves of our forever favourite "Miriam Bread"
(I looked back in my blog recipes and couldn't believe
that I had never posted this delicious bread)

My cousin Miriam makes this bread recipe all the time
and generously shares it with our church family and friends
at potlucks, family reunions, and such.
She even bakes many, many loaves to distribute to her neighbours
and friends on Hallowe'en along with the children's treats!
Can I say, she is almost famous for this yummy bread.

And why not make a savoury kringle bread as well!
You will see a past post on this bread if you click the above link.

This time I changed up the filling a tad (since I didn't have any fresh herbs on hand to use this time).

2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Seed
1 Tbsp. Poppy Seeds
1 large garlic clove - minced
1 Tbsp. chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
Before baking I sprinkled the dough with some coarse salt and sesame seeds.

Some baking to warm the hearth and home.

Now I might bake a carrot cake - just because I've been craving it.

Till next time ... stay safe where you are - so many storms passing through these past few days!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Butter Tarts and Celebrations

In celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday Year,
I've been gathering up some of my "uniquely Canadian" recipes.

Butter Tarts are quintessentially Canadian - right? eh?
As much as they are also considered a Canadian Mennonite tradition.

This is my attempt at making some butter tarts.

I will also try to make my sister Evelyn's butter tart recipe next time,
which is quite different from this one.

One can never have too many butter tart recipes!

Aunt Sarah’s Butter Tarts

Aunt Sarah (Gerber) Leis – Dad’s youngest sister, who just passed away in June of 2016. These were my favourites and I remember having these at Aunt Sarah’s while hanging out there with my cousin Doreen. The pastry is unusual, rich and almost cookie like made with brown sugar. My Mom had this recipe written out on a scrap piece of paper as “Tarts from Sarah L”.

Cream together ¾ Cup Lard and ½ Cup Brown Sugar. 
Add 1 egg and ¼ Cup Sour Milk
Mix into 2 ½ Cups Flour, ½ tsp. baking soda, and ¼ tsp. salt
Roll out and line tart tins – approx. 2 doz.
½ Cup melted butter
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup corn syrup or maple syrup
2 eggs
Mix in order given. Fill tart shell and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F for another 15-20 minutes.
“She puts some raisins and pecans in each shell and then fills with filling”

Hint: I rolled the dough (which is quite hard to handle) into two logs and then refrigerated them for a good 1/2 hour. I was then able to cut each log into 12 equal parts/disks for easier rolling and handling. The shells were cut with a glass bowl which is 4 1/2 inches in diameter and it worked out well with less handling and waste.
The filling only filled 20 of the 24 shells? I have an idea that Aunt Sarah's tart tins were not quite as deep as mine.
I made them plain - without any raisins or nuts.

Another very Canadian celebration happened a few weeks ago.

Our friend Ali became a Canadian citizen!!
We felt so privileged to take part in this special ceremony and  it
made us so thankful to be a citizen of this fine country.
Ali was thrilled and had worked so hard to achieve this special reward!

This past weekend
a fancy customer appreciation dinner for the farmer's 
branch office was held at the beautiful
Langdon Hall in Cambridge - what a treat!
Well done Oak Tree Financial ...

Our menu included amazing beef tenderloin, trout, flavourful squash soup and the most interesting chocolate mousse dessert!
The appetizers were so pretty - dips for beet chips and veggies
and a cheese tray with piles of raw nuts and dried fruit - so delicious.
Canadian Cuisine at it's best!

I think there will be many more Canadian celebrations to come
during this special year 2017.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Till next time ...... do you have a favourite butter tart recipe?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sew Blah ....

The January Blahs have set in ...

Instead of bright snowy days over here, we have been having
unusually dreary, mild and muddy weather!

"Sew" why not do some sewing ...

There were a few unfinished projects calling my name in my sewing stash!

Finished this "quilt as you go" project that I started last May - eek!

I think it will be great as an extra blanket in the RV trailer and also
as a wrap on cool summer evenings on our back deck.

It took about 3 spools of thread but the great thing is that it's completely
quilted when it's done.

Even before the quilt was done I was already planning my next project.
I need to learn to actually finish things before my mind wanders to the next one.

My nephew and his wife just had a sweet baby girl a few weeks ago
and I could hardly wait to start this flannelette rag quilt for little Kate!

It only took a few days and was so much fun to make - again a quilt as you go project.
Hope she likes it.

O.K. one more project to finish - I've almost forgotten how dreary and blah it is outside.

This is a free snowman table runner
pattern and fabric from a local
"shop hop"
before Christmas which also needs to be finished,
even tho' Christmas is long over.

It isn't finished yet - I'm experimenting with
free-hand machine quilting - a technique I'd love to master.

Clearly, as you can see, much more
practice is needed.
Question is - will this get finished
before next Christmas???
Time will tell.

Needless to say, I have a package of beautiful fabric that 
was recently delivered with a quilt or two in mind ....

Maybe the January Blahs aren't so blah after all.

Till next time - what projects are you finishing, starting or hoping to do this Winter?