Thursday, May 30, 2013

Opening Week!

It's Opening Week at the 
Stratford Festival Theatre!!

When I worked there
I remember seeing the Opening Night Flower Arrangements
that were delivered to the stage door
to congratulate special recipients.
They were all so beautiful  and
many of them had Bachelor Buttons
in the mix.
The river gardens surrounding the Avon River
in Stratford
have huge patches of these beautiful flowers.
My perennial garden also has a patch
(they are also called Bee Balm)
and when they bloom
I always think of Opening Week
and feel the excitement in the air!




There are some other flowers that bloom
on this special week too.

Solomon's Seal and Cleome
are two that typically show their beauty
in my garden
on opening week.





















The Festival Opened with:
Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
Measure for Measure by Shakespeare
Tommy by Pete Townshend 
Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller
The Three Musketeers by Peter Raby
Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward

Still to Open throughout the Season:
The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare
Othello by Shakespeare
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Taking Shakespeare by John Murrell
The Thrill by Judith Thompson

This world class theatre with it's
famous actors and
four stages is worth the trip
to Stratford!



Can you tell that I love live Theatre??

So far, we've been privileged to see the musical
Fiddler on the Roof.
It was fabulous - I'm no critic but I LOVED it!
I laughed, cried, and cheered
and was challenged to honour the 
value of "traditions" in my own life.

Tommy opens tonight and 
Pete Townshend is in the house!

Congratulations on Stratford's 
2013 Playbill.

Do you have your tickets?


Till next time ......... break a leg Stratford!











Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"These are a few of my Favourite Things"

This Victoria Day Week has been filled 
with some of my favourite things!

I gardened hard,
as though I was young and
it all had to be done in
one day.
My stiff back and sore muscles can attest to this!

End of May is when our farm
looks the prettiest ..... oh, but then
there is June and September and - well, every season
when I really think about it.
We've been here for almost 34 years and counting.


Apple orchard in full bloom















Purple tulips in front bed
Parrot Tulips in back bed
















Frilly variegated Lilac bush by the rail fence


Fragrant Heritage Lilac in front of the drive shed





White Lilac on the Barn Hill

Can you tell that I really like lilacs?



Within a few days, the Peonies,
Poppys, Iris, Bachelor Buttons,
and Columbine will open their
swollen buds.

This really is such a wonderful time of year.

We are thankful for
the corn and bean crops that are planted
and for the warm weather
and refreshing rains.

These are just a few of my favourite things.....








Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Pie for May






May's Pie of the Month
has to be Rhubarb!

My patch is at the right stage
for the pickin'



I tried a new recipe this time,
one with a "lid"
and I wasn't disappointed
even though I still 
love my favourite rhubarb pie recipe the best.






Old Fashioned Covered Rhubarb Pie

1 unbaked pie crust plus enough pastry for a lid
4 Cups chopped fresh rhubarb
1 Cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. orange zest
6 Tbsp. flour
A good knob (2 Tbsp.) butter
Preheat oven to 450F.
Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon and orange zest
Put 1/4 of mixture into the bottom of pie shell
Top with the chopped rhubarb
Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour mixture
Dot with the butter
(do this before you put the lid on so you don't have to peel back your carefully placed pastry because you forgot - don't ask me how I know this :-)
Cover with top pastry and seal the edges

Bake at 450F for 15 minutes and then lower heat to 350F for another 40 to 45 minutes.
Serve warm or cold with ice cream or custard.



His - he really liked it!






















Her's - she was wishing for ice-cream to go with it.


























Till next time ...... I can hear the Rhubarb growing !!






Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blossoms and The Oriole







The old apple trees are in
full bloom,
the Oriole has arrived
as he always does
when the blossoms are out.
He sits at the very top of the tree.
It's been said that an Oriole
sings like a Robin who's had
voice lessons - 'tis true!

Listen for yourself......




video



Till next time .... enjoying the long weekend and gardening to my heart's content!





Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Brunch


Mother's Day Brunch
was another fun get-together
for our clan!

It was pot-luck and everyone,
as always, 
brought the most
delicious food!

It snowed off and on all day - such a change in weather
from last weekend but reminiscent of
29 years ago on my first Mother's Day as a new Mom!
A long distance call came from
that beautiful daughter - just in time for dinner.


We had Blueberry Stratta with Blueberry Sauce,
Ham and Cheese Stratta with Maple Syrup,
Breakfast sausages,
Hash Brown casserole
Fresh Asparagus Salad,
Fresh Fruit platter with Fruit Dip, 
Cheese and crackers,
Swiss Muesli with Rhubarb Topping,
And then there were the desserts!!
Blueberry muffins,
Lemon Cupcakes,
Rhubarb Crunch,
Coffee Cake,
Monkey Bread, and Cinnamon buns - oh my!!!




Swiss Muesli



Swiss Muesli "pudding" was one of the items
that I made this year.
I first had it while travelling in Europe and then
again at a local fund raising brunch sponsored
by some of the wonderful Swiss Farmers
here in our area.  Here is their recipe:

This makes 4 servings:
1/2 Cup Minute Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup boiling water
1 Cup low fat yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1/4 Cup raisins
1/4 Cup craisins (dryed cranberries)
2 Tbsp. natural bran
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
2 Tbsp. oat bran
2 Tbsp. coarsely ground flax seed
2 Tbsp. honey
Fresh fruit (i.e. blueberries, raspberries, banana, etc.)
Pour boiling water over rolled oats and let sit for 20 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and all the other ingredients except the fresh fruit.  Cover and refrigerate overnight and up to 3 days. Just before serving add the fresh fruit.



This is delicious served in parfait glasses,
topped with fresh stewed rhubarb
and a spoonful of crunchy granola!









Hope everyone had a most wonderful
Mother's Day!



Till next time ............. counting my many blessings!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pinch me!

I was so honoured to meet
Lovella and Anneliese,
two of the authors of
The Mennonite Girls Can Cook
Celebrations book
which was launched
at Ten Thousand Villages in Waterloo!




What a thrill!





The celebrations for this beautiful
book started on the weekend in
the Abbotsford, British Columbia area.

Grab a cup of tea, find a cozy chair and
just to mention a few.....

Oh my!!!  I agree with Lovella "The Best Book Launch Ever!"


In addition to the busy weekend
These two beautiful ladies made a two day whirlwind
book signing tour in Ontario 
as well as being on Canada AM on Tuesday 
and taped an interview early this morning
on 100 Huntley Street
which will be aired on Friday, May 10th!

This was all done with such grace and joyfulness!

THANK YOU all for the beautiful flowers,
all of your signatures for my book,
and the kind words and hugs.

My cup is full and overflowing as I celebrate with you!!!!!







The flowers brightened my work space all day 
today and I'm still smiling!!!


Thank you Ruth for coming with me and taking pictures.  Should have taken one of you too!


Till next time ...... still pinching myself and feeling very blessed!!!






Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spring to Summer in one week!

Spring finally came
last weekend
This weekend,
Summer arrived!!!!!
Wow, what a difference a few 
nice warm days makes....

Suddenly
the lawn needed mowing, 
the fiddle heads began unfurling,
the back deck was converted
into the "summer" room,
the farmer is happy to be "on the land",
the trees are showing a hint of light green,
there are fragrant flowers everywhere,
the patio furniture is out!

Love this time of year.

How's your Spring Summa' going???






Friday, May 3, 2013

Baking with MGCC



Today I baked some delicious
healthy bread!
Have I mentioned how much I love baking
bread of late?
This recipe comes from one of my favourite
cookbooks....Mennonite Girls Can Cook!
It's on Page 140.

Sunflower, Flaxseed Bread by Judy!
I even threw in a handful of Pumpkin Seeds.

This will be the perfect bread to compliment
the venison summer sausage that one 
of our "hunter" neighbours gifted us with this week!

That is, if there's any bread left by supper time.



Spring has finally arrived - the trees are budding,
the birds are earnestly nesting, the Spring
flowers are blooming and the rhubarb looks
promising!

Old fashioned Lungwort from my friend Ruth!


Spring has sprung when these beauties bloom!


Rhubarb - my favourite plant!


Today The Mennonite Girls that Can Cook
 are launching their beautiful
new book 
and early next week right here in Ontario!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

I can't wait to try making some of the 
recipes from their new book.



Till next time ...... hanging out the wash and smelling the bread.....smilin'
Happy Birthday to some special people today!