Monday, July 30, 2012

Off with Their Ears!!!

It's that bountiful time of year again!
The earliest sweet corn (55 day Earlivee) variety is ready
to be harvested.
The farmer watches it closely for readiness
and goes to great lengths to make sure
the racoons don't let us know this fact!
Today is the day.

I like to do this just how my mom did it...
Husk and trim the corn outside
Set up the picnic table with a clean plastic table cloth
and all the necessary equipment.
Mom used a good sharp knife to cut the corn kernels from
their cobs
I cheat a little and use may "magic" mandolin slicer
It works like a charm.
I know that many people cook the corn right
on the cob before cutting off the kernels and
I'm sure that works well too.
I just like to work outside, leaving the messy
part of this job out of the hot kitchen.
I also use less energy by not needing to heat lots 
of boiling water.

I work in small batches in order to get the
optimal freshness from each picking
Once I have a full bowl of this golden goodness,
I immediately start the blanching process using
minimal water (1/2 to 1 Cup) stirring often
and making sure the corn is not sticking to pot. 

The blanching only takes about 10-15 minutes and then
it's important to plunge the pot of hot corn
into icy water to cool as quickly as possible
(it works well to put a bowl of ice right in the middle
of the pot as well)

When cooled - bag, label and freeze!!
It's that simple and oh so good.

In ten days the next variety (75 Day Honey and Cream)
will be ready. 
the last kind (80 days Big Jim - the farmer's namesake)
will be ripe

Guess what I'll be doing every Monday for the next few weeks - smile????

Till next time .......... enjoying some fresh home grown sweet corn (tis the season).

Friday, July 27, 2012


I was inspired this week by Ellen's Taco Casserole on the Mennonite Girl's Can Cook blog!  A Mexican theme meal idea was born and besides, I had 3 avocado's that were ripe and needed to be used.

I made the delicious casserole, pulled out my Mexican blanket for a table cloth, found my Mexican bowls and made some guacamole as an appetizer.  The only things missing were the margaritas and our friends Ev and Leonard (whom we met in Mexico last winter)!

The casserole is a winner recipe and here's my favourite "guac" recipe which makes a nice addition to the meal.


4 ripe Haas avocados – peeled and mashed with a fork
3 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
3 dashes Tabasco sauce - optional
½ Cup red onion (1 sm. onion) - chopped
1 lrg. Clove garlic – minced or a tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 medium tomato – seeded and chopped
Bacon Bits
Serve at room temperature with yellow or blue corn chips
*Hint – to keep guac dip from turning brown, keep an avocado pit in the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap until you are ready to serve it.  Don’t know if this actually works but I read it somewhere???

Till next time ................ enjoy some Guacamole this summer!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Donuts to Quilts!

On Saturday we went to the 
17th Annual Consignment Auction Sale
in our area 
which raises funds for the local 
Amish School Fund.
It's a massive sale, taking up acres and acres, 
with rows upon rows of antiques,
collectibles, household effects, furniture, 
trees, plants, pets and farm animals, horses,
machinery, and the oh so many beautiful quilts!!!
Not to mention the huge tent with
all homemade baking for sale, or the 
rows and rows of food booths.
It's a place to meet and greet your
neighbours and to purchase anything and
everything you can imagine!
Our intention was to get a coffee and one of
the famous donuts!

Many Mennonite groups were present at
this event - primarily the Amish who organize this annual sale
and every kind of Mennonite in between.
Of course, friends and neighbours came from far and wide
to enjoy and to shop!

Many auctioneers were kept busy as they 
simultaneously and methodically tackled this massive job!

Did I mention how amazing this sale is???

Rows and rows of things to sell!

"Racing" stripes on the buggy wheels

Beautiful Handiwork!

My favourite shot of the day!
Twin sisters enjoying the sunshine and bustle of the sale!
So great to see you Ruby and Ruth!
My neighbour Elmina checking out the quilt auction.
I wonder how many quilts she helped to make?

What a wonderful morning!
We had our coffee and donut
then ended up buying a quilt too!
The perfect wedding gift for a friend

Till next time ............another very successful Amish Sale - well done!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fresh from the Garden

Love this time of year!
Fresh veggies from the garden on this hot, hot Monday

Tonight's supper:
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat cheese
BBQ chicken
Boiled potatoes
Corn on the cob
Peaches and Ice-Cream

Can't wait till our dinner guests arrive,
starting a week of fun times with
Our dear friends from Kentucky!!!!

Till next thankful for Geothermal Air Conditioning - whew!
P.S. If the beet salad turns out I'll give you the recipe too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Best Day Ever!

There was much excitement and anticipation
as we arrived at the airport!
International arrivals area was quickly found
and the monitor indicated that
the flight from Damascus/Cairo/London had indeed arrived.

We made welcome signs
We waited .... 
the children played cheerfully
We waited some more ....
until we could hardly contain ourselves
Till at long last - there he was and in the words 
of his young nephew "best day ever"
came true!!
Our hearts were full and overflowing as we
simply looked on at this happy reunion.

This day had finally come for
brothers who have come through so much,
Generations of displacement
Loss of both their parents
Living in refugee camps for years
Painfully long separations ...
Now is
the beginning of a new life in Canada!

A "quick" long trip back to Kitchener
and a delicious "mid-night" snack Palestinian meal
all lovingly prepared by a beautiful young sister-in-law!
I don't think anyone in that household slept last night
What joy!!!!  Thanks be to our God (in whatever language it is said)
Amen .........

We look forward to interacting with these wonderful people
for many years to come, to learn about their culture and beliefs,
as they learn about ours too.

Till next time ........ sleep well Ali, rest and renew your strength for the days ahead!  God bless you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Generosity Plus

We are so incredibly thankful for the many generous people in our congregation and various others who have donated so many things, time, and money to furnish, cloth and feed our Palestinian refugee, Ali. We are also so thankful to have Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Stores in our area who sell gently used items at such reasonable prices.

Brothers in waiting!!

This morning, things were moved into the apartment.  The towels and bedding were put into the linen closet, the dishes, pots and pans, and utensils were put into the cupboard, the hangers were hung into the closet, a kitchen table was put together, the bed frame was put together, the mattress and box spring put into place, the sheets and pillow cases put on.  We’re almost ready!!!!

Ali arrives tonight at 9 p.m. EST at Toronto International.  This date 07-17-12 will long be remembered! 

We will be there to witness this amazing reunion with his family and the beginning of a new life in Canada!! We rejoice at the many answered prayers!!!

Have I mentioned how excited we all are????

Stay tuned for more pictures and stories ...............

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mom's Peach Pudding

Fresh peaches from the Niagara Region - the first of the season - are in the markets now!  I can remember as a child when my parents would take the trip to Vineland to pick up bushels and bushels of peaches.  Mom would can hundreds of jars of this delicious fruit and they were often served as dessert.  Even the smallest in the family knew where the "fruit cellar" was and felt proud to be summoned to get a jar of peaches for supper!

During the peach season, Mom often made this pudding - which she called "Tom Cake".  It's quick and easy and can also be made with apples later in the Fall.

Mom always made this pudding in her glass casserole dish.  I have one too and this is what I use when making this pudding as well.  This was eaten while still warm, often soaked in a bowl of milk.  Yummy Traditions!

Mom’s Peach Pudding Cake (Tom Cake)

1 or 2 eggs (I made this recipe cut in half so used 1 egg)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp. Cream of Tartar
½ tsp. Baking Powder
Beat above ingredients till mixed and smooth batter is formed.
Slice peaches (or substitute with apples) to cover bottom of greased cake pan.  Pour batter over fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Test with toothpick in centre of cake to see if baked.
Mom’s recipe reads:  “Round casserole  - cover bottom with fruit & 1 C brown sugar.  Simmer while you mix batter (could simmer in pot and pour into baking dish).  Pour batter over cooked fruit and bake as above”.  I melted a Tbsp. of butter in the casserole dish and then sliced the peaches into the dish, sprinkled the sugar, and placed it in the oven until the batter was ready to pour on. 

Till next time .......... be sure to enjoy some peaches!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Answered Prayers

Our prayers have been answered!  Ali will be arriving on Tuesday, July 17.  We are so thankful and are scurrying to get an apartment set up for him and his brother.

Click on the following reference - Refer to The Tent Mission's Supper.

We can't wait till he is finally and safely on the ground. In the arms of his waiting family!

Thank you to everyone who said a prayer for this young man and keep us in your prayers as we prepare for his arrival.

Stay tuned.  More deets to follow..........

Monday, July 9, 2012

Precious Water

Day 1:
First thing this morning I poured myself a cup of coffee with cream, took a few sips and realized - oh no, I'm off coffee this week - remember?????  Force of habit!

I need to retrain my brain to think "water" and drink lots this week.  It shouldn't be hard to think about water these days since I can't remember a time that it has been so dry and in need of rain!!  This reminds us of how precious water really is and to not waste a drop.

This water bottle will be a close companion this week!

Today is Day 1 of my raw food detox and I'm "fasting" till supper time (except for the few gulps of coffee by mistake this morning).  I know I can do it!  I have much to do today and hopefully this will keep me distracted!  There are many windows to wash, laundry to do, and general chores around the house that have been neglected all weekend. Oh, and I need to go for a nice long walk and drink lots of cool thirst quenching water too!

Suppertime will be 2-3 delicious apples and then I will prepare and pack my meals for Day 2.
  • Breakfast will be fruit - another apple for me
  • Lunch is a delicious smoothie and a zip lock bag filled with veggie picks
  • Dinner is a large green salad - for me it's spinach, cherry tomatoes, celery, red peppers, and cucumber dressed with a drizzle of EVO and a squeeze of lemon - any combo will do.
This, essentially will be my menu for the next 6 days.  I will mix up the order and probably have my smoothie in the morning because of convenience.  Also, after Day 2 I will have fruit plus veggie picks at my noon meal.  This tastes amazing and there are so many fresh local fruits and veggies available at the markets and in stores this time of year!

Join me and let me know how you are doing!  Marg - I've sent you an email on this - hope you got it.

Till next time ............. praying for rain.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rumtopf Cont'd.

We went to the St. Jacob's Farmer's Market today!  So wishing I had brought my camera to take some shots of the wide variety of fresh local grown fruits and vegetables!!!  The fruit is coming in and out of season so quickly this summer because of the hot weather, so I picked up some of the last bing cherries - a must have for the Rumtopf!

They were a bit pricey but I just chose a basket, opened my wallet and tried not to wince at the $12 price tag.  I also picked up some lovely blueberries before they are all gone too - another nice addition to the Rumtopf.

So now I needed to find the best way to pit those cherry jems.  I rummaged through my utensil drawer and found a dough hook attachment to an old mixer I used to have.  It has a blunt end and is the perfect size to punch the cherries through.  It worked quite well and on occasion I needed to use a straw to push the cherry pit out.

I knew there was a reason I kept that dough hook!

A couple things to keep in mind when pitting cherries:

  • Don't wear your good white shorts while doing this job!
  • Plan to do a pile of dishes afterwards to get your hands back to the right colour again or wear  gloves!

Now the sugaring and adding some rum to cover.  I think I overdid the cherries a bit because my crock is just about full.  I'll have to do the peaches and plums in a separate jar I guess??

Ellen - this is for you too!  I wish I had a nice big crock like you have.

Till next time .......... savouring the fresh local grown produce in ONTAREEAIREEAIREEO!!

Friday, July 6, 2012


A very warm and sultry summer evening - perfect for a stroll down our country road!

Walkies anyone?

Our niece's doggie Daisy leads the way with our senior Cairn, Poppy, bringing up the rear.

"The corn looks good in spite of the drought", says the farmer.

Doggie Camp isn't so bad after all!

I think I can, I think I can, whew - I wish I had longer legs!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

7 Days 101

It's time!!

I plan to do my "7 Day Raw Food Cleanse/Detox" to get back on track and this also happens to be my #101 post - Smile.

This weekend there is a church picnic potluck to enjoy and on Sunday evening I will start my 7 days of refreshing raw food, smooth skin, improved digestion, increased energy, and shedding a few of those lbs. - too many potlucks, BBQs and dinner parties!!!!  I am also vowing to get back to the gym (since I'm paying for my membership anyway) and do my walking regime!!!  One great thing about blogging about this, is that it will hold me accountable.  I mentioned this exercise in a couple of my past posts in January:

Hopefully I will feel like shopping for that Mother of the Bride dress.  Up till now I've just not been able to force myself to do this and it's time.

So, to prepare during this week:
  • Start cutting back on my caffeine intake (because for 7 days I will be going caffeine free - eek, and I know how it feels by about the 3rd day if I go "cold turkey")
  • Eat less meat over the next week to prepare for 7 days of meatless meals
  • Resist the "monster" cookies, fresh baked muffins, woopie pies, brownies, cinnamon buns, etc. that appear on the snack stand at work - sigh
  • Clean out the fridge and stock it with wonderful fresh vegetables and fruit - all so plentiful this time of year.
  • Dig out the smoothie maker and prominently display it on the cupboard
  • Gather up my yummy smoothie recipes
  • Eat less and drink more water
  • Weigh myself at the beginning of the fast and wait till the end to do so again
This will be 7 days of raw food (fresh fruit, vegetables, leafy greens, smoothies made from all fresh ingredients).  This excludes dairy products, meat and breads (my weaknesses).  Popcorn and chips are NOT raw food!!!  Sigh!

I'm going to start on Sunday evening by fasting over supper (that should be easy after the Sunday noon church potluck),  Monday morning and afternoon and then on Monday evening having my first "meal" of a mono fruit (I will eat several apples and they will taste amazing).

On Tuesday I will have an apple for breakfast, a green smoothie for lunch along with a bag full of raw veggies, and for supper a huge wonderful salad dressed with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of EVO.

The next 5 days after that will be the same three meals but I will add different kinds of fruit, lettuce wraps, and a variety of smoothies, alternating the order of meals.

Anyone want to join me????  I'll share some of my favourite smoothie recipes along the way.  We could commiserate encourage........

BTW - the farmer says he'll join me too "for the most part"!

Stay tuned for a healthy week ......

Monday, July 2, 2012

Holiday Monday

A productive day on the homestead
on this holiday Monday....
the garden got "scuffled" as the farmer calls it,
most of the weeds got pulled and hoed,
the tomatoes got caged and
now we can chillax with a fresh salad,
some left-over dessert from yesterday's dinner party,
and marvel at the full moon tonight!
Life is good.

It felt good to work hard on this 
very hot day.
The refreshing rains are much needed
but in spite of the drought
the flowers bloom, the vegetables and crops continue to grow,
and the birds chirp and sing!
Life is good.

I just noticed that this is my 100th blog post!!

Have a great "short" week
and a fabulous 4th of July.
Summer has arrived for certain!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day

I will be forever thankful
to live in this beautiful 
country and call it
my home.

We are privileged and blessed
beyond measure.

To my Canadian family and friends,
Happy Canada Day to you......enjoy the day!

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