Saturday, January 28, 2017

Butter Tarts and Celebrations

In celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday Year,
I've been gathering up some of my "uniquely Canadian" recipes.

Butter Tarts are quintessentially Canadian - right? eh?
As much as they are also considered a Canadian Mennonite tradition.

This is my attempt at making some butter tarts.

I will also try to make my sister Evelyn's butter tart recipe next time,
which is quite different from this one.

One can never have too many butter tart recipes!

Aunt Sarah’s Butter Tarts

Aunt Sarah (Gerber) Leis – Dad’s youngest sister, who just passed away in June of 2016. These were my favourites and I remember having these at Aunt Sarah’s while hanging out there with my cousin Doreen. The pastry is unusual, rich and almost cookie like made with brown sugar. My Mom had this recipe written out on a scrap piece of paper as “Tarts from Sarah L”.

Cream together ¾ Cup Lard and ½ Cup Brown Sugar. 
Add 1 egg and ¼ Cup Sour Milk
Mix into 2 ½ Cups Flour, ½ tsp. baking soda, and ¼ tsp. salt
Roll out and line tart tins – approx. 2 doz.
½ Cup melted butter
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup corn syrup or maple syrup
2 eggs
Mix in order given. Fill tart shell and bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F for another 15-20 minutes.
“She puts some raisins and pecans in each shell and then fills with filling”

Hint: I rolled the dough (which is quite hard to handle) into two logs and then refrigerated them for a good 1/2 hour. I was then able to cut each log into 12 equal parts/disks for easier rolling and handling. The shells were cut with a glass bowl which is 4 1/2 inches in diameter and it worked out well with less handling and waste.
The filling only filled 20 of the 24 shells? I have an idea that Aunt Sarah's tart tins were not quite as deep as mine.
I made them plain - without any raisins or nuts.

Another very Canadian celebration happened a few weeks ago.

Our friend Ali became a Canadian citizen!!
We felt so privileged to take part in this special ceremony and  it
made us so thankful to be a citizen of this fine country.
Ali was thrilled and had worked so hard to achieve this special reward!

This past weekend
a fancy customer appreciation dinner for the farmer's 
branch office was held at the beautiful
Langdon Hall in Cambridge - what a treat!
Well done Oak Tree Financial ...

Our menu included amazing beef tenderloin, trout, flavourful squash soup and the most interesting chocolate mousse dessert!
The appetizers were so pretty - dips for beet chips and veggies
and a cheese tray with piles of raw nuts and dried fruit - so delicious.
Canadian Cuisine at it's best!

I think there will be many more Canadian celebrations to come
during this special year 2017.

Happy Birthday Canada!

Till next time ...... do you have a favourite butter tart recipe?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sew Blah ....

The January Blahs have set in ...

Instead of bright snowy days over here, we have been having
unusually dreary, mild and muddy weather!

"Sew" why not do some sewing ...

There were a few unfinished projects calling my name in my sewing stash!

Finished this "quilt as you go" project that I started last May - eek!

I think it will be great as an extra blanket in the RV trailer and also
as a wrap on cool summer evenings on our back deck.

It took about 3 spools of thread but the great thing is that it's completely
quilted when it's done.

Even before the quilt was done I was already planning my next project.
I need to learn to actually finish things before my mind wanders to the next one.

My nephew and his wife just had a sweet baby girl a few weeks ago
and I could hardly wait to start this flannelette rag quilt for little Kate!

It only took a few days and was so much fun to make - again a quilt as you go project.
Hope she likes it.

O.K. one more project to finish - I've almost forgotten how dreary and blah it is outside.

This is a free snowman table runner
pattern and fabric from a local
"shop hop"
before Christmas which also needs to be finished,
even tho' Christmas is long over.

It isn't finished yet - I'm experimenting with
free-hand machine quilting - a technique I'd love to master.

Clearly, as you can see, much more
practice is needed.
Question is - will this get finished
before next Christmas???
Time will tell.

Needless to say, I have a package of beautiful fabric that 
was recently delivered with a quilt or two in mind ....

Maybe the January Blahs aren't so blah after all.

Till next time - what projects are you finishing, starting or hoping to do this Winter?

Friday, January 6, 2017

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls.
Something I've been wanting to try for some time.

I first read about these yummy looking rolls on an interesting
Suzanne is a homesteader deep in the rural West Virginia countryside,
milking her own cows, raising goats, horses, etc.,
and of course free ranging chickens!
I so enjoy reading about her farm activities and am always
impressed with her daily farm photos and her delicious recipes.

The first batch I made just didn't quite turn out like they should.
I rolled them incorrectly and let them rise a bit too long, thus causing
large gaps and bubbles in the dough.

I know what she means by practicing to perfect these rolls.
I love that she puts chopped pepperoni, some cheese, and garlic right into the dough
as well as for a filling!
I'm sure that I will be making these again and again.

They taste delicious dipped into pizza sauce.

Christmas 2016 has come and gone - it was wonderful!
The jig saw puzzle has been completed,
most of the decorations have been tucked away,
and lovely memories were made.

Flashback to 1957 when these pictures were taken of my family (siblings)

There was a Christmas Tree behind my tall brother!
Check out the bold oil cloth flooring and fern wall paper - Cool!

I was 5 (almost 6) years old and am third youngest (wearing plaid jumper)
My sister Marilyn and I were holding our baby sister Evelyn!
The china cabinet now lives in my dining room.

I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters.
We have a very large family and many, many wonderful nieces and nephews
who now too are busy raising their beautiful families. 

Another birthday has come and gone - not sure what I think of this one - eek!
The best part was that my daughter and granddaughter took the time to
treat me to breakfast at the "famous" local Anna Mae's Restaurant!

Grammie turns 65!!!

My dear farmer drove a distance during a horrid snow storm the next day
to fetch my gift - a set of golf clubs!
I guess there is hope that at 65 years young, I might take up this
sport of leisure? Time will tell.

Right now we are under a beautiful blanket of white stuff again 
with temperatures to set your teeth a chattering.

It is ever so pretty and especially when we spotted our Amish
neighbours heading to the skating pond with the horses and sleigh.

Snapped this with my iPhone through the windshield - lucky snap!

Oh, how I long for Spring - and maybe even some golfing!

In the meantime, I'll fire up the sauna and count the days till
we head south for some vitamin "sea"!

Till next time ...... Happy New Year to all! May 2017 be extra wonderful and blessed!

Farmer's Daughter

And "sew" it begins again ... February, doing almost exactly what I was doing last year this time. Working on the shirt quilt for ...