Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Mom's Strawberry Shortcake

The patch is old, the berries are small but plentiful,
the mosquitoes are hungry but a stiff breeze is keeping them at bay today!

The birds are getting their fair share but we are too.
It's strawberry season over here - yay!

It's time to make the annual batch of Mom's Strawberry Shortcakes.
Always a treat!

This is how she wrote the recipe and I copied it onto the back of an October, 1975 calendar page
while sitting at her kitchen table - oh the memories!
Tried and true, this recipe!

2 Cups flour – good and full
4 tsp. heaping baking powder
¼ Cup Lard (yes lard - the real deal)
½ Cup Butter
2 Tbsp. full sugar
Salt - 1/2 tsp.
1 Cup milk – I’ve used buttermilk as well with good results

Mix dry ingredients and cut in the lard and butter.
Gradually mix in the milk with a spoon.
Spoon into ungreased tart tins and bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter - an important step for that special flavour!
Serve warm and topped with sweetened strawberries and vanilla ice-cream.
Makes approx. 1 dozen.

Bake till slightly browned 
and crispy.
Brush the melted butter on the hot
shortcakes to soften the tops
and make them taste extra good.

The official taste tester!

And then this happened today ... our little schnigglefritz graduated!

Milverton Nursery School 2018/2019

Well done ........... Noa!!!

Till next time ......... savouring the strawberries while they last and spending the day with our graduate.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Silver Linings

Soggy and Sluggish - this Spring of 2019!!!

It's been awhile since my last post - perhaps the sluggishness 
has settled in far too deep?

It's been the wettest and coolest Spring that I can remember
and just last evening the farmer finally was able to plant his fields.
I don't think it's ever been this late here on this farm!
He is relieved - to say the least.

My vegetable garden remains seedless and ironically this was the summer
we decided to stay home to do some serious gardening - sigh.

All is not lost, however ...
It's been a busy time in spite of the rains and there have been many
bright days with Silver Linings...

We have been blessed with an unusual number of orioles, red breasted 
gross beaks, and beautiful finches.
What a joy to watch them and to hear their happy singing.

Fresh Oranges and Welch's Grape Jelly are their favourites

Then off to our nation's capital, Ottawa, for the annual tulip festival.
Except that not many tulips were blooming yet.
We did find some early blooming varieties and enjoyed biking 
along the Rideau Canal.
Ottawa is a beautiful city any time of year or weather!

A great way to spend Mother's Day
with dear friends on the bike trail.

The raging Ottawa River - many floods along its way this Spring!
If you could zoom in closely you would see the bottom path that
goes around the back of the parliament buildings, was completely under water.

Historical Byward Market area in the city.
"Maman" in front of the National Gallery of Canada
Silver Linings?

When it's sprinkling outside,
one must put on an apron
and do some sprinkling on cookies!!!

And during the sunny breaks - do some perennial transplanting ...

Mr. Sun did come out to play at times.

The annual Mennonite Relief Sale saw a few peeks of sunshine
before the down pours ... but the rhubarb booth sold out
and oh, the quilts!!!!!! 

How I wish I had more time to sit and watch them all sold.
So many gorgeous and stunning pieces of fabric art.

The Silver Lining to this day was when the crowd stands to sing,
"Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow" in four part harmony!!!
A long standing tradition just before the 125th quilt is sold - it brings tears to my eyes
every time!

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny Spring day (with a cool breeze) for our
Family Picnic in Stratford's Upper Queen's Park.

Sisters ...
And, this little sweetheart!
Then June arrived and so did my fragrant Lily of the Valley.
One of my all time favourite Spring flowers!
A Silver Lining to any dreary day...

In my Mom's vase. She always used it for this flower!
Today, June 13, would have been her 103rd birthday.

Then, the best part of all - my youngest niece's wedding day.
It was a beautiful day - we felt SO blessed.
Each and every one of my siblings and their spouses were in attendance
(a rare occasion indeed as one of my sisters lives in Northern Ontario and
doesn't make it to the South West very often).

I can't wait to see all the pictures ... here is a sneak peek of that 
beautiful sunshiny day:

My "baby" sister Evelyn and my BIL Richard, walking our youngest niece Elysia, down the grassy aisle!
Picture credit - our Becky.  God is Good!!!!

Our Becky!!
A commissioned butter lamb made the picture. It's a tradition and it's on Mom's bread plate!

Everything was perfect!

A Gerber Family Favourite - anytime, even after a huge wedding banquet!

Congratulations Elysia and Robbie!
We are all SO happy for you.
May God bless you in every way.

And so today, the rain has returned with gusto, 
leaving puddles and swollen rivers once again.

But, we will not fret, for many Silver Linings are sure to be in store.
Summer is just around the corner - right?

Till next time - enjoying each day - rain or shine!
And ------ WTG Raptors - history is made!!!! Talk about Silver Linings!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Spring Joy!

Our sweet boy, Sullivan James
turns ONE today!!

The time has gone by so quickly.

Sully you are a joy and you delight our hearts every day.

We thank the Lord each day for you and for your amazing big sister, Noa.
How did we even ever deserve this? God is so good!

We love your sunny disposition,
your warm snuggles,
your sparkling blue eyes,
and everything about you!

May God bless you and keep you - we love you Sully Bear!

Photo credits go to Sully's Daddy!!!

Till next time ..... Counting our blessings and wishing you much Spring Joy!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Maple Surple Time

Spring is in the air.
We know this:
Because it's Maple Sugaring time!

One of our favourite producers
here in our neck of the maple woods!

Apparently this has been an exceptional year
 (due to the extra warm and long summer of 2018 and perfect mild days and frozen nights this Spring?).

Because the Stratford Swans have been "piped"
and marched down to the Avon River!

Guided to the water by their elderly "keeper". A wonderful annual Spring ritual!

Best Swan Parade viewing spot!

Because the Pussy Willows are in bloom!

The farmer picked a huge bouquet for me.

Because the chives have grown an inch in the last
two days!

Because there's an urge to make Mom's special Fett Kucha (donuts) to dunk into that sweet maple syrup!
(A Swiss Mennonite Easter traditional treat - at least it was in our family)
My sister's picture is below ... she has inherited Mom's good cooking genes!

Fett Kucha by Evelyn

Because Easter preparations are underway!
Onion skins are being collected to colour the "bunny eggs".
Dinner plans for the Easter Ham menu.
Family gathering plans.
Our hearts are being prepared for this very special upcoming Holy Week.

Because the butter lamb carving needs to be put on the to do list!

The 2017 Easter lamb!

and oh so many other signs of Spring!
Even though, the temperatures are still staying quite cool
and the weather forecaster has threatened more possible snow flurries on the way.

Till next time ...... how are your Easter preparations coming along? What are some of your family's traditions? Has Spring arrived where you are?

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Lambs and Lions

March slipped in like a lamb ...
and is roaring out like a lion!!!
It seems true what they say - the farmer's Almanac that is.

During all that "Marching" - so much has happened here on this old farm.
The month literally slipped by SO quickly and Spring is on our doorstep.
I have been totally unsuccessful in slowing down time.

Baby Sully turned 11 months old - what!!!!??
He's so sweet, cuddly, and loves to feed himself - with a good appetite I might add!

Always "dressed for dinner" in his tux bib!

We love him to bits.

Noa is growing like a weed and lights up our days with her delightful
stories, love of bird watching, playfulness, and sweet manner.

She can identify so many birds and loves to sit by the window watching them at the feeders.

"Cardnails" are her favourite!

We planted some Tomatillo and Ground Cherry Seeds.
That's what you do in March right?
The Tomatillos sprouted very quickly and have become long a leggy - not sure they will survive till planting time but at least we tried.

Hoping to grow some so we can make the special green sauce we learned to make in Mexico last month.

My baby sister Evelyn's baby girl Elysia is getting married so we had fun
showering her last weekend.
She is the youngest of 24 nieces and nephews.

It was a beautiful day and the room was filled with love and family!
Sisters, sister-in-laws, daughters, nieces and great nieces
Congratulations to the happy couple.
(Elysia is in the middle of the bottom right picture of the collage)

L-R My niece Chrissy, my sister Marie (wearing red and tan top), flanked by her two granddaughters and daughter-in-law, my youngest sister Evelyn (mother of the bride), and Ruby (mother of the groom) - watching the opening of the gifts.

The snacks and nibbles were delicious but the star of the table was
the "Mennonite Girls Can Cook"  party sandwich loaf.
It was posted quite some time ago - click on this link
and I've made it several times!
I adore the recipes and the ladies who have posted them on their blog website
and in their much treasured cookbooks!

Another sure sign of Spring was the sighting of a flock of migrating Tundra Swans in a 
field just down the road.

Today, I write this summary of March whilst waiting for a batch of
Mom's Coffee Cake dough to rise.
Hope it turns out - her's was the best.

Trying to chase the Lion part of March away - it's raining and threatening to snow.
The farmer has a nice warm fire glowing and we're staying in tonight.
All is well.

Till next time ... how is your Spring springing?

Mom's Strawberry Shortcake

The patch is old, the berries are small but plentiful, the mosquitoes are hungry but a stiff breeze is keeping them at bay today! ...