Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wellesley A-B-C

Beautiful Day for the Annual Wellesley Apple Butter
and Cheese Festival!!!

I love to attend this, my home town, annual event
and today did not dissappoint.

It's a time to "come home", enjoy good food - all things apple
and cheese related plus much more, see many "old" friends,
enjoy a vintage car and tractor show, take a hayride tour
of local farms and the cider mill - of course, and
much much more!

I still park my car on the street I grew up on...this is
a picture of the old homestead as it looks today.
This is the place where our family always gathered on
ABC day - mother was prepared to welcome
us all home with may desserts and treats.
Many of us brought our in-laws and friends along too.
It seems that special family events and weddings
still happen on this, the last day of September!

  I have a brother and a sister
who each built their homes right next to the homestead
(where the gardens used to be) so it still feels like home!

Our church youth group has been selling hot English Toffee Syrup poured over
crisp apple slices for over 15 years now
and the apple flag gets featured on the evening news
almost every year!

I love all the creative art for sale that's displayed inside the arena "market"
and outside in the "midway"

Here is my sister and my nieces
showing off their purchases - at least
the ones purchased so far!

The horseshoe tournament is always a
highlight and started at the Festival's
beginnings over 25 years ago.
The famous international horseshoe champion
Elmer Hohl was from Wellesley!

It wouldn't be the same if the Greenwoods Hill Folk Band
didn't perform on the Steinman's porch!!

Nor would be the same without the "hit and miss" (as my
dad called it) motorized ice-cream machine.
It makes the best ice-cream ever!

Here is a view from the other side of the mill pond
where the boat regatta takes place much to
the delight of many as the tiny boats skim
across the water at high speeds!
The Canada Geese who normally hang out there
feel displaced and stressed on this day, however.

1/2 Pecks of  apples for sale!

The "naked lady" crocus bloomed brightly on main street.
My mother always said that it's 6 weeks till the first snow
when these flowers bloom!

Hmmm - looks like I have a bit of time to get my Fall yard work done.
It was so worth spending the day at the Festival.

Till next time......enjoy a Fall Festival where you live!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

More Wedding "Deets"

Helping to plan our daughter's wedding
was such a blessing to me.
I guess it made me feel "useful" and 
even though not all went as planned - is showed me
how very capable, resourceful and professional she is.

The barn wedding that they wanted was not meant to be.
There are many beautiful barns in our area
that have been used for weddings and gatherings in the past.
However, right around the time that venues
were being explored - we learned that the 
township had "closed down" all such venues!!
These lovely buildings are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Rather than allowing owners to refurbish and repurpose
them, their barn doors are being slammed shut!!
Shame on you Wilmot Township!!! Don't get me started.....
That's another story!

In spite of all that, Becky and Patrick chose a lovely
Inn that sets up a permanent marquee, for the 
summer months, on its grounds for weddings and such!
This was the perfect location and besides,
they have a great chef and events coordinator.
The out of province and guests from a distance
were able to reserve rooms at the Inn and everything, 
including the service, was held right there.
How convenient!

A country/rustic yet elegant theme emerged:

"Mom - what about making small jars of
zucchini relish as wedding favours?
And Patrick's mom could make her famous
jam as well!"

"Let's cover some straw bales and use them for extra seating
and what about using the old 
galvanized tubs as "coffee tables" amongst the bale seating?"
The tubs were a bit rusty but a sprinkle of straw
covered that and a little fall plant inside spruced it up.
A round of plexiglass topped them off.
Perfect for the wee cigar bar on the terrace!
"Small pails stuffed with flowers to
line the aisle"
She had her florist order the flowers 
and we found the pails at Dollarama!
It looked so nice ....

"Mason jars to hold the bridal
party's bouquets on the tables"

We "tinted" them in blue and this is how they 
turned out......

"let's use the old rustic cedar easel and that
antique window frame you plucked from the
Wellesley Mill's renovation garbage heap, for the 
guest's table assignments"

"Where can we use the tall ditch grass?"
As a back drop to 
the memory table!

"We don't want a traditional wedding cake,
we just want pie!"
That was easy and delicious.

"We need an old suitcase or something to 
contain the wedding cards, some dancing shoes, and 
the guest's pictures"

Here is one of three vintage suitcases....
It worked great!

Well, that's a little peek into some of the "wedding deets (aka details)"
and ideas that were used!!!

Have I mentioned how much fun this was????

Till next time ................ still waiting for the wedding pictures to come so I can share some with you!

P.S.  I'm showing the "word verification" on my comments for now because I've been getting some horrid spam lately.  Anyone else having the same problem?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Roasted Tomato Soup

This makes the perfect soup for a cool Fall evening dinner and uses up those last few tomatoes in the garden before the frost hits!

This recipe is adapted from a guest post on That Skinny Chick Can Bake blog!  The soup is absolutely delicious and so satisfying.

Serve it with the Dutch Oven No Knead Bread and voila - you have some great comfort food after a couple of whirlwind weeks before and after a special wedding!!!!

Here is the recipe:

2 - 2 1/2 lbs. fresh tomatoes - peeled and quartered
1 yellow onion - quartered
1 jalapeno pepper - seeded and halved - I used a Habenaro pepper
4 cloves garlic
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano - I also added a few sprigs of fresh oregano and some fresh parsley from my herb garden
sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 Cups chicken stock - I used Organic Chicken Stock
Fresh Basil - chopped to garnish
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese to garnish

Place prepared vegetables in a glass baking dish, season, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a preheated to 450 degree oven for 30 - 35 minutes, till vegetables look caramelized.

Add roasted veggies to a stock pot, add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Cool slightly and puree mixture in the blender (blending 1/2 at a time).  Use your immersion blender if you are lucky enough to have one (I have to remember to put this on my Christmas wish list!).

Serve with grated Parmesan Cheese and a garnish of chopped fresh Basil.

The farmer wasn't home for supper so I refrigerated the soup overnight and served it the next evening with the fresh baked bread.  Ultimate comfort food!!!!

Thanks Lizzy for this link!  Be sure to check out her blog - it's always packed with goodness......

Till next time.........enjoy the Golden Days of Fall!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012


The Happy Couple - Becky and Patrick
Photo credit - Uncle Merlin

It's the first weekend of Autumn and
it's been a week now, since the big day occurred!
I am finally able to take a few
moments hours to reminisce and post a few
pictures and thoughts.....
You'd think that planning a wedding FROM A DISTANCE
(as in 3 provinces away)
could be an overwhelming challenge,
however, the Bride to Be was very organized
and full of great and creative ideas!
Many, many emails went back and forth between
us and I was always so impressed how she waited
to respond until she had a chance to speak to her groom about
any major decisions.
I was always so happy when they gave me a "job" to do
and at times may have reacted too quickly.
I was keenly aware that by the end of June (which was a full and very
busy month) that I would have to buckle down
and start getting things together.
Somehow July and August seemed to be just as busy,
but I kept going ahead with the wedding
plans as much as I could.
Following are some things I jumped on embraced as soon as I knew
what they wanted.

The Table Decor:
Vintage tins for the fresh flowers.....
I sorted through my own little collection and had a blast
hunting through the antique markets and second
hand stores to find the rest - we needed 26!
As it turned out the groom's Grandma Grace
had some wonderful ones that we used
as well ....
This is how one of them turned out in my mom's old honey pail!
They were all beautiful and unique.
Burlap runners......
I found a whole bolt of the perfect burlap
at Len's Mills - an amazing fabric and mill end
store in our area.
It just needed to be cut in half and to the required lengths.
The burlap scent was quite strong so I hung them
on my washline to air - with the shadow of the
pear tree it looked like oriental art - maybe that's a stretch??
Wood slabs .....
This involved cutting down a tree behind
the drive-in shed and making slices and stumps
which were then dried on the straw floor of the barn.

The flat slabs were used as centrepieces which anchored
the vintage tins stuffed with fresh flowers,
a vase filled with wheat and oats from
the "home" dairy farm just down the road,
and a lace covered mason jar
with a tea light candle inside!

The Pie Table!
Photo by Carolyn B

The "stumps" were used to elevate the pies to various levels
 on the pie table!
This worked out nicely and allowed for many pies to be put out at the same time.
The delicious pies were baked by
Anna Mae's Bakery in Millbank, ON - the best!

Photo by Carolyn B.
Photo by Carolyn B.
Photo by Carolyn B.

The Table Favours ......
Becky knew what she wanted for table favours
as long ago as last summer when the engagement was
announced..... it was small jars of zucchini relish
made by your's truly and jam made by her future 
mother-in-law all wrapped in various fabrics
for that chic country look - Done!!!

Just one more thing that I added
to the Bride and Groom's Table
and to our table .......
My mom always had one of these made
for our wedding tables and I just had to do it!
It was so much fun and sometime I'll
show you how it's done - so easy.

Carved Butter Lamb
Photo credit - Carolyn B

Well, that's all for this post on the wedding tables
Can you tell that I loved every minute of this???

Stay tuned for some more "tidbits", stories and pictures ........
sorry if this was too much information
for one post!
 I just can't help myself.

Thanks to my friend Carolyn who took lots and lots of pictures at the wedding, also to my brothers-in-law Merlin Leis and Murray Leis - the photographers pictures are yet to come - can't wait to see them all!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wedding B's

Beautiful Couple
Beautiful Wedding
Beautiful Day!!!

Our sweet Becky and her Beloved Patrick
Many blessings from above be upon you both!

“God, the best maker of all marriages,
Combine your hearts into one.”
~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Stay tuned,
Much more to come!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

She's Home!

It was as though she knew!
The Bride to Be was coming Home today.
She waited and waited patiently while
her den garage was being "cleaned"

This is the after shot - the before one
was just too embarrassing to post!
The spiders didn't know where to hide
and the trailer was filled with a
large load for the dump!!!
Oh, that feels good.

The very best part of cleaning the garage,
in my opinion,
was a new fridge!
I've always wanted a garage fridge
and now I am doing a happy dance!
It's going to be a life-saver this coming week.
There's nothing like a wedding
to get me motivated to do some major

She made it........and Poppy is so happy
as are the farmer and the mom!
I love the energy that she brings into
this house!

Within the hour her bestie arrived and
the wedding fun was in full swing!

Let the fun begin..........we're in for a wonderful week
in September!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Veggies en Papillote

This really isn't a recipe. It's just a fancy name for "roasted vegetables in a foil package".

We often make this on the bbq or in the oven along side chicken, sausage or any meat of your choice.

Simply make a foil package (or parchment paper package when roasting in the oven).

Use fresh ingredients such as sliced potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms and a sprig of rosemary - that's our favourite combo.

Drizzle with Olive Oil or better still - use dollops of butter.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Double seal the edges.

This generally takes about 30 minutes. You can tell when it's done by the way the foil puffs up and the meal is sizzling inside the package.

I think the first time I ever had a "foil package meal" was when I was a camper. We would put a paddy of hamburger in the bottom and pile veggies on top. These were then tossed onto the hot coals of the camp fire.  What a treat they were!

Puffed up package after 20-30 minutes.

Till next time ............. making simple meals like this and "staying calm and carrying on"!!!!

11 days.............but who is counting????


  Our blue eyed sweet boy turns 5 today! A fun day celebrating with his school buddies at  "Your Way to Play" Today - we will see ...