Sunday, November 4, 2018

October Days - Here and Gone

I seem to recall a while ago mentioning that I hoped the month of October
would co-operate and slow down!
Well - it didn't, of course!


I can't even believe how fast it went and how busy it was.
Not to mention, my new and stressful learning curve of trying to get used to
a new upgraded version on my MacBook Pro
(mine is considered a "vintage" laptop according to the Apple Genius - ugh)
It's a 2011!!! That's pretty new in my books - huh!
And I thought "dog years" were bad ...


It all started when I tried to upload my photo book project
which is no longer supported by my ancient upgrades.
Thankfully, my dear daughter walked me through the process,
even taking over my computer just like the pros and making
this photo book happen.

Well, back to October - here is how it went down ...












The Leis Family Thanksgiving Dinner
at a nephew's beautiful new home.








Complete with delicious fancy desserts!
Rachael's cakes are becoming famous during these family gatherings!



The annual church Beef BBQ (and pie) which helped us "raise the roof" repairs
money in the amount of over $10,000!!!!!













There was some soup and grilled cheese lunches with Papa ...













... and the first snow fall 

I caught my breath as I looked out the window to see her in her mommy's
1980's snow suit. It totally caught me off-guard and my heart skipped a few beats!










There was an 8 plus hour power outage.
Unplugged and quiet - such a pleasure (except for a wee chill in the house till the wood stove got fired up).






And then THIS happened!!!!!
How can he be 6 months already?








Aunt Viola's 88th birthday and painting party!
She is my mom's youngest remaining sister and we had such fun painting small "barn" quilts facilitated by my cousin in her studio shed!









Here I am with two of my sisters and our quilts ...
We missed you Marilyn!



Last Tuesday was a beauty and the "cornbine" as Noa called it
finally came .... much to the relief of the farmer!




We scooped up some of the spilled kernels and she played with them all afternoon!




The next day she was transformed into "Skye"
her favourite Paw Patrol character
complete with a Paw Patrol bucket!



October was good!!!! Busy, but good!



Till next time ..... here comes November!!! Oops - it's already Nov. 4th and dark at 5 p.m.





Saturday, October 6, 2018

Root vegetables for Thanksgiving

My friend Anita's daughter, Melanie, just posted this 
yummy root vegetable recipe on facebook.

I had to try it! All the ingredients were in my fridge.
I made a small batch for the farmer and I today and
it did not disappoint. So flavourful and pretty.





Adapted from Melanie's recipe:

2 medium parsnips - chopped
2 medium carrots - chopped
½ turnip – chopped
1 large onion – chopped
3 stalks celery – chopped

Cook above in pot with 1-2 cups of water for 10 minutes till tender (turning down to simmer after it begins to boil).
Drain and save ½ Cup liquid in a small dish (I used my 2 cup glass measuring cup)
Put veggies into a buttered casserole dish

Add to the liquid:
½ Cup sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. salt
½ Tbsp. corn starch
1 tsp. nutmeg
Several grinds of pepper
Boil/microwave till thick and pour over veggies

Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Melanie notes - she always doubles this recipe but not the sauce. She makes this ahead and then reheats it in a crockpot for their family's camping Thanksgiving Dinner! Yum....

This may well become a new tradition for Thanksgiving Dinner
for our family too. I will make this again for sure.

Now, the other new thing I made this week was a Ricotta Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Unfortunately it cracked!



Hoping it tastes better than it looks.
In hind sight it probably cracked
because I took it out of the oven too soon and it cooled too quickly?

Who knew?

I may also have baked it a tad too long.  Other hints on line are that you should bake it in a water bath to prevent cracking.
Have you ever made a Ricotta Cheesecake?




I hope this fix will do the trick ....

Pumpkin whipping cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice.
(extra topping saved for tomorrow morning's pumpkin latte)


Tomorrow our extended family will gather for a Thanksgiving Dinner/Feast.
My small contribution - homemade bread, pumpkin cheesecake, and 

We have SO MUCH to be thankful for ....


Till next time - Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family









Monday, October 1, 2018

And that was September!

A quick peek of the last bit of this busy month ...

The annual fibre glass trailers weekend rally in Niagara.
Always a fun time.



A quick and slightly chilly fishing trip with long time friends.
Nothing like a feast of fresh caught Northern Pike!


The scenery was stunning!




And, there was a brief but beautiful harvest moon reflection moment
that had us running outside to the dock to catch a glimpse ...


The month was ended with the annual Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival.
23rd year for Crosshill Mennonite Church's Apples with hot English Toffee Topping
fundraising booth!
It's always such a fun day in the village where I grew up ...


And of course, gearing up for Thanksgiving Weekend with some pumpkin.



Oh, and one more thing. 
The "naked lady" crocus bloomed on September 17th
6 weeks till snow??? - eek!




Till next time ...... Praying today for a cousin's granddaughter undergoing neurological surgery.
       May the Lord protect you Cassie and guide the surgeons hands during this procedure!
       
       

Thursday, September 20, 2018

September's Beet Goes On

September has been such a busy month - every week has been full of events.
There was a root canal - ouch, big girl bed, a week of camping, a weekend of camping,
a cousin's wedding, a mid-week dinner party, etc. etc.
We are truly blessed!

The Fall garden has exploded.
This week we pulled the vines and best crop of weeds ever
to find at least a bushel of candy cane beets, spaghetti squash,
the last dig of potatoes and last picking of tomatoes!
Still more weeding and tilling to do.



I'm not at all sure what to do with all the beets, especially since
I discovered that the farmer really doesn't even like beets!

I've been experimenting with some recipes for this abundant vegetable
but need to give away as many as I can as they can not be stored too long.
Beware your porch stoop my friends, neighbours and family!

Lunch today was stir fried spiralized beets

My newest kitchen gadget ...
The Cuisinart Spiralizer
BTW, I am not paid for this post by Cuisinart. In fact,
I picked up this sweet little slicer at a local liquidation store for a mere $8 - shhhh








I used 
1 candy cane beet - peeled and spiralized
1 yellow beet -peeled and spiralized
a small chunk of cabbage - shredded
1 clove garlic - crushed
a few slices of red onion - sliced
1/2 carrot - peeled and spiralized













Any combination of veggies would work.
Zucchini would be great!









Stir fry the vegetables in 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil for approx. 10 minutes.

Seasoning - salt and pepper to taste,
1/4 tsp. curry, 1/4 tsp. chili powder.

I added some sliced (left-over) steak to the mix and it was delicious.












It was more than I could eat but very tasty.
I think the secret ingredient is using
coconut oil - it gives such a nice flavour to the stir fry.



September 2018

Crib to bed for big girl. Cradle to crib for growing baby.  Nammie's big girl bed with pool noodle "rail".
They are growing too fast!

Labour Day Weekend camping on Lake Huron. Visitors from home and watching the Monarch Butterflies head South!

An exciting win (red asym Eternelle sweater) from Shepherd's Fashions in Ottawa -one of my favourite stores!
Want to visit there some day. In the meantime, mail order works well too.

Meanwhile back at the ranch farm, we bake bread and enjoy the simple things in life!

She shaped the loaf all by herself!

September has one more week and we will be busy every day - whew, I'm ready for
a less busy month in October - or is it???

Till next time ..... make these last few days of Summer 2018 count!




Saturday, September 1, 2018

Campbell River and Victoria BC

Our cruise ship landed safely in Vancouver.
We disembarked, said our goodbyes to Ralph and Yvonne,
and caught a taxi to the BC Ferries Terminal
for a transfer to Nanaimo.



One night spent there with a lovely harbour walk -
getting our sea legs back!

Our rented van comfortably carried us to 
Campbell River, BC - our destination for the next few days.

A fishing excursion here was SO much fun
(us gals didn't even think we wanted to do this when planning the trip,
however, we loved it!)
Thankfully it was calm and not nearly as chilly as we had anticipated.

Sunrise - an early start to the day!





Only one fish was caught
and they didn't seem to be biting so Dan, our captain, took us on a 
whale watching tour.

Spectacular sightings of hump backs, seals, and sea lions.









We returned to the fishing spot and low and behold ....
wait for it ...

We EACH caught some lovely salmon!!!

Beautiful Chinook!!! Biggest of the day.




Yep, this is no fish story! We each caught one ...
3 Chinook Salmon and mine was a nice Coho Salmon.
We are looking forward to receiving a shipment of these beauties
smoked and canned.

The next day we headed to Courtenay, BC, just down the road,
for a bicycle tour throughout the countryside and city.
My sea legs hadn't turned into cycle legs but I did my best to keep up.

This was so much fun. We toured a cider brewery, an amazing
blueberry field, a farmer's market along the way, and



Later that afternoon we went to explore the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge.






Dwarfed by these huge, ancient trees, and the sound of distant
rushing water made me feel peaceful
and in awe of my Creator as we hiked toward the bridge.







No words ...






Another remarkable bridge ... the historic Kinsole Trestle Bridge
was well worth the hike in to see it!



Our final destination ... Victoria BC






We stayed at Abigail's - a beautiful B & B hotel
well located in the city.
They served incredibly delicious full breakfasts
and at 4:30 p.m. hors d'oeuvres spread
not to be missed!

Some of their delicious recipes (i.e.
the yummy oatmeal cookies and their
quinoa salad can be found on their website:
Abigail's Hotel










On our first evening we were thrilled to take in the city's BC Day celebrations.
After a delicious fish and chips dinner at fisherman's wharf,
we sat on the parliament building steps and enjoyed the evening!
Symphony Splash, bagpipe bands marching about, and fireworks - a perfect night!







A fun activity and great way to see part of this serene city
was by segway!


They made us wear funny helmets but that was all part of the fun!

We walked downtown to Beacon Hill Park.
It was tinder dry all around but still so beautiful.





A lovely way to end our vacation.

We were ready and eager to be home to see our loved ones
and get back into routine .... nuff said!
Thanks for coming along.



Till next time ......... here's to September 2018.

October Days - Here and Gone

I seem to recall a while ago mentioning that I hoped the month of October would co-operate and slow down! Well - it didn't, of cour...