Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Golden Gate City

A wonderful opportunity to visit
San Francisco came to us
via - the farmer's work conference.

What an interesting and beautiful city!

The first day there, after checking in to the incredible Fairmont Hotel,

and a quick trolly car ride

Yes this is a fake picture but we really "did" ride the trolley - smile!

We were privileged to have a group wine tour to the Nappa Valley!

The wine was delicious, the scenery was beautiful, in spite of the devastating and long drought they are experiencing there.

New friends were made ...

First time on a "party bus"!!!!

Our beautiful fearless leader!

While our spouses went to "work"shops, we went on several
city tours - what fun!

The first one was an architectural tour of the city - amazing...
the tour guide was so interesting as he pointed out many, many famous buildings and sites.

Can you spot the famous Painted Ladies?

The next day we ventured over the bridge and spent a few hours in Sausalito.
Sooo pretty!

And then on to hike the Marin Headlands ...

The evenings were spent with incredible conference sponsored dinners with our 
spouses and representatives ....... not the least of these, a dinner cruise to

This included a tour of the prison followed by a delicious dinner while cruising back
to Fisherman's Wharf.

The last "bonus" day in San Fran was spent at Fisherman's Wharf where we tasted the famous Ghirardelli chocolate and ice-cream, and browsed through the Boudin bakery where they serve up their famous sourdough bread bowls filled with delicious chowder!!!

And last, but certainly not least, the farmer convinced me that we MUST take 
a Segway tour. After a quick lesson, off we went with a guide zipping through traffic on the 
Streets of San Francisco!!!  I still can't believe we did this.

It was wonderful to be home again ....
the front porch mums were blooming at their peek

And it was time to get back to sensible eating!!!!

Thus, the overnight steel-cut oats for waking us up in the morning ....

This easy recipe is so rewarding to wake up to ...
2 apples diced
1 1/2 Cups Almond Milk (or Cow's milk)
1 1/2 Cups water
1 Cup Steel-Cut Oats
2 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter cut into 5-6 pieces
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1/4 tsp. sea salt
handful of dried cranberries

Grease the inside of your crockpot (I used coconut oil)
Place all the ingredients into pot and stir.
Set your timer for 7 hours and cook on low.
Go to bed and wake up to the aroma of delicious oatmeal for breakfast!

Garnish with nuts, maple syrup, and more almond milk.
Definitely worth the bit of effort the night before.

Till next time .......... getting back on track, resting our weary legs from climbing the hills of San Francisco, and enjoying the memories of a fantastic and privileged week.

P.S. If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair lots of layers (it get's unexpectedly cold there sometimes)!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Rooted" in Family

Me - "I don't think I'll make turnip this year for Thanksgiving.
The Farmer - "What!!! No turnip!!"

I was feeling lazy and remembered how much work it is to
peel and chop those hard rutabaga heads.
But not to disappoint - off I went and thought "I'll just buy the frozen chopped ones".

Not one bag of frozen chopped turnips to be found in any of our local grocery stores.
Green Giant - where are you when I need you?
Sigh - there they were - beautifully waxed and round rutabaga roots in the produce bin ...
O.K. - I can do this.

The best way to peel them is with a vegetable peeler (a paring knife works too but a tad dangerous in my case). 
I like to peel them on some newspaper or paper towel, thus avoiding the wax from getting onto my cutting board.
Why do they wax them so heavily?

Chop, chop - here we go!

Seasoned with some salt and pepper - water added and boiled gently till soft and mashable.

Now I will cool them, refrigerate till Thanksgiving Sunday (tomorrow) and make my Mom's casserole recipe. I love recipes with do-ahead possibilities.

My Mom's Turnip Casserole recipe goes something like this:

Add to one boiled and slightly mashed turnip:
1 beaten egg
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 Cup cream
1/4 Cup unsweetened apple sauce 
Turn into a buttered casserole dish and top with:
1/2 Cup bread crumbs moistened with a few Tbsps. of melted butter
Bake at 350F for 1 hour or till hot.

The other roots that will be appearing on my Thanksgiving Table are these beauties right from my garden:

Rinsed and ready to roast

They have been roasted and diced. Tomorrow I'll simply reheat and butter them before serving.

A medley of yellow, candy cane, and red beets, roasted and ready to be added to the Thanksgiving table.

I'll let you know how it all turned out.
Hope our family likes these roots!

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours on this Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend!

God is Good!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

September's Best - 2015

September has been a whirlwind month!
When I glanced over my photo stream and albums on my computer
I realized what a fabulous month it was ...

The "bestest" part was a very sweet baby and her Mommy came for a nice long visit
with some serious cuddle time and lots of visitors.
That darling baby has captured our hearts so completely!

September stayed warm and lovely and there were even some baths outdoors at her other
Gramma's house!

She even got to meet some of her Mommy's dear friends and her future play mates (one that was brand new) ...

These gals have been friends forever!!!
In the meantime, the farmer and I packed in a few other fun things this month.

A warm evening cruise encountering "Goats on the Roof" here in Ontario! Not exactly like the one on Coombs, BC!

We did a wee bit of camping and attended a Fibre Glass RV Rally in Niagara Falls.
All sorts of adorable little campers - I liked the Coca Cola one the best!

Friends invited us to bike some of the gorgeous trails near the Blue Mountain skiing area in Collingwood - it was a beautiful, humid free, fall day and perfect for hours and hours of biking!

Thanks to Ed and Louise for a fun day!

And of course, the annual Apple Butter and Cheese Festival in my home town!

The old homestead, our youth group selling apples with hot English Toffee for the 20th year, my friend's darling granddaughter enjoying a dill pickle on a stick! A fun homecoming day once again!

The trailer, the boat, the old Land Cruiser, etc.
were tucked away in the barn.

Hopefully the RV will reappear sometime this winter!!!

The tractor has a great view!

It is also time to start with some Fall decor ..... 

Now that September has gone - we hold on to the memories and enjoy almost daily pictures from Alberta where snow flakes have touched a baby's nose already!!!

Our little love.

Till next time ...... here's to October!!!!

Monday's Mood

  Today my mood matches the weather! Might it be because it is Monday, dreary, rainy and cold? Is it because the "naked lady'' ...