Monthly Archives: October 2009

Autumn’s golden light is back

This time of year is just energizing for me. Our weather is stunningly wonderful today, I hope yours is too.

On Friday, I took a picture of the tree in our yard because I was enjoying the gold color so much. I did not post it because the photo did not register the gold like my eyes did. Saturday brought a wind and rainstorm to our area and Sunday, the tree is almost bare.

Linda Leafless

On the left, the tree on Friday. Same tree on right, Sunday

What a difference a day makes. Or two. ( I came very close to naming that photo, Linda Leafless, but I thought perhaps that was too obscure.)

Life is swimming along, busy and yet not. Going for walks, cooking dinners, mountains of everylasting laundry, knitting when Mitchell isn’t looking, reading (I just finished reading the Diary of a wimpy Kid series! I love these books so much! I laughed out loud numerous times (lol, if you will) I have gotten a couple of people at work to read them. I think that although they are meant to be a young adult book, an adult will appreciate the humor more) , watching movies (I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas today and I am still stunned about it!) (My yearly viewing of Hocus Pocus is next) And of course, working, which honestly just gets in the way of all the fun stuff.

So I ask you this:

  1. Have you seen any good movies lately?
  2. What are you reading?
  3. How is your golden light?

Pork chops are in the brine, butternut squash is ready to be roasted, apples are ready to be…sauced and dinner is served at 6. 🙂

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Cookies, timing, an old hatred of silverware and a pumpkin shortage

chocolate and white chip cookie

chocolate and white chip cookie

You know what I like best about baking cookies? (Besides the obvious “eating the cookie”?) Setting the timer. 11 minutes in my wonderous new oven, is the perfect time for a perfect cookie. 11 minutes. Doesn’t seem like much time, right? But when I set that timer, I got elbow deep into the pile of dirty dishes waiting for me in the sink. I had let them stack up a bit. You know how that happens kind of all of a sudden. There is a few dishes in there so you pass on it. The next time you glance over? Mountains. It was like that. Mountain climbing in dirty dishes. No good view on this mountain.

11 minutes later, I had gotten the bulk of the dishes washed, even the dreaded silverware. I have hated washing silverware from way back. WAY back. I don’t know what it is, so tedious I guess. Gag me with a spoon. And a fork, and butter knife and steak knife for that matter. Hate them.

But when that 11 minute timer buzzed, sweet cookie aroma filling the chilly air, I only had a couple of pans left to wash. Life seemed a little easier. And cleaner.  Then I could enjoy my one cookie. I’m not much of a sweet eater but I do have to have 1. Preferably still warm and melty.

~~

I watched the movie Marley and Me last night. I have the puffy eyes this morning to prove it. Kind of a tearjerker at the end. I enjoyed it, a good heartwarming, funny (and sad) movie. Made me think about getting a dog. And then Mitchell smacked me in the head.

~~~

Autumn has arrived in full force. I plan on making boeuf bourguignon for dinner and while that is cooking perhaps take my mother in law out for a ride to view some foliage. (She feel a couple of weeks back and broke her hip. She has been in a rehab since. Perhaps she’d like to break out for a while today!)

Enjoy your weather. What’ it like where you are? I know Vicki has had some snow. So has Kim (her blog has disappeared! I know I am a bit out of it blog wise, but what the HECK??) . Have you? (Make a snowball for me!)

~~

And in a totally unrelated note, when I was at the store yesterday, I wanted to buy a can of pumpkin to make our favorite autumn pumpkin bread. Not ONE can of pumpkin to be had. A weird run on pumpkin. Weird.

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sometimes time stands still

So last Monday, I noticed when I got to work that my clock had stopped. It is an electric clock not battery so I unplugged it and plugged it about a half a dozen times like you do. Still did not work. The outlet clearly was working becaue my computer was also plugged in there and that was fine. The time on the dead clock read

3:40

(I tend to round time to the nearest 5 minute increment when it is close)

I lived with 3:40 all week long waiting for my new, ordered clock to arrive.

The next Monday morning, the old clock was miraculously working again. I guess the old one had  a bit of steam left in it after all.

Today, the new clock arrived.

And the time on the clock?

3:40

3:40

Is it a message? What does it mean???
SPOOKY!

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Eating with family

Family traditions are wrapped up in food, aren’t they? Most holidays have a food association with them. In most families anyway.

“it wouldn’t be Christmas/Thanksgiving/Easter/my birthday without [fill in the blank with your favorite food]”.

My family is French. Acadian, actually. My relatives hail from Moncton, New Brunswick.

In a quick email conversation with Li, we had a discussion about poutines. To most of the world, poutines are french fries with cheese curds, smothered in gravy. To me (and I guess a smaller portion of Canada), poutines are a potato ball stuffed with pork and boiled. Sounds appealing, right? Depends on your upbringing I suppose because I can find a dozen people right this minute who will be drooling in 10 seconds flat at the word “poutines”. (We always said it as a plural) (and “OUR” pronunciation of it is POO=TZINS)

So, anyway, I promised I would write out my families recipe for Li but being a blogger (YES! I still am a blogger) I thought I’d squeak an entry out of it.

~~
Poutines were made only for special occasions. They are very labor intensive but just the aroma of one sets my mouth to watering.  Using google as my guide, it is known on the internets as Poutine râpée, which is not what we called it at all. In fact, rapee is a different dish altogether. Rapee is a casserole while poutines are the round ball.

So, I share my family recipe here. I have never personally made them but am planning to this Christmas. This will my present to my family. (MY family, my husband and kids will not eat them. I’ve somehow failed as a mom!! 🙂

Poutines

As a rule, it takes 1 pound of potatoes for 1 poutine. This recipe is for 30 poutines. Believe me, if you (Read: I) are going to make them, may as well go for it and make them for everyone! They freeze well, but Acadian relatives and friends will gobble them up now.

30 pounds of potatoes

2 pounds ground pork

1 pound salt pork

Peel and cut the potatoes then divide them into thirds. Cook 1/3  boiling water for 20 minutes until soft.  Mash these.

Grate the remaining potatoes to a watery pulp. (This is not the big holes on a grater, it is the smallest holes. I am trying to figure out an electric way to do this. Grating that many potatoes on those small holes gets old fast. Not to mention the bruised knuckles. Any ideas?) .

Place the pulp in a pillowcase or wrap in kitchen towels. Squeeze out as much water as you can.

Mix the pulp with the mashed potatoes, in equal amounts

Mix salt pork and ground pork together

Fill one cup wtih potato mixture, then form round ball like a snowball. Press a hole into the ball with your thumb and stuff about a tablespoon of pork filling inside, sealing the hole when done.

Cut cheesecloth into 10 inch squares. Wrap each poutine in cheesecloth, knotting the corners.

Cook in boiling water for 2 hours.

I love to eat mine with a sprinkling of sugar, my mother eats her with applesauce, others just with salt and pepper.

~~~~~
Rapee

15 pounds of potatoes

3 pounds ground pork

1 pound salt pork

3 eggs

1 sleeve crushed saltines

1 tsp baking powder

Grate potatoes to a pulp but do not squeeze the water out this time.

Mix all ingredients together well.

Place 1 tablespoon shortening in bottom of pan (big roasting pan or 2 lasagna type pans). Heat in oven until melted. Pour mixture into hot pan

Bake in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour then turn oven to 350 adn continue baking for 1 hour 15 minutes for a total baking time of 2 hours. Top will be dark, golden brown when done.

~~~
There you have it. Owning a potato farm would be ideal!

Have you eaten poutines before? Would you eat them? Would you, could you, in a house? With a mouse? In a box?

What are your family food traditions?

P.S. Remember! No one ever claimed this is health food. That is why it is special occasion food. I, personally have not had poutines in years now. It’s time to fix that!


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some of this and some of that

I had to put the heat on this morning. I could not wait 1 more minute. Although I welcome the colder weather, I do not like to sit shivering in the mornings. And a change has happened to me over the last year or so. My feet get like ICE when it is chilly which then caused them to ache severely and supremely. So, the heat got turned on. For only 1 cycle to get the chill out of the air. And to thaw my aching feet. I did dig out my wonderful wool slippers which help a lot to keep the pain away.

I also wore my noro stripey scarf to work today. And a wool sweater. Kind of like heaven for us knitters, huh?

Another weird change has happened as of late. This confirmed non coffee drinker has been drinking my share of Skinny Vanilla Lattes. For this, I blame thank Norma. I have never once had a sip of coffee that I wanted to repeat. Now? I dream Skinny Vanilla Lattes. Seriously. (Gray’s Anatomy started again!) I figure I am getting a bit more calcium in my diet, staying blissfully awake, making my taste buds happy and supporting some coffee farmer somewhere. This can’t be a bad thing. (Unless we start talking about the cost of bad habits. Let’s not, though, okay??)

Weird:

Last weekend I attended my mother’s side family reunion. I arrived to pick up my Mom who had a ton and a half of pictures to bring with her. Which we forgot to bring. So we had to go back to her house of course to get them. Which set us up for SOMETHING to happen. Mom asked me to “pop” the trunk to put something in, which I did. Not knowing the quirks of my car, she did not know that the trunk bobs up and down unless you put it firmly in the upright position. Which she did not. She bent into the trunk just when the lid was on the downpop. Bang on the forehead. She shrieked in pain but there was no blood and after talking to her to see that she was okay, I did the old “suck it up, buttercup” kind of tough love. And she did.

About a 1/2 hour later, to say that she had a huge, angry, bruised egg on her forehead would be quite an understatement. My brother got her some ice which she then had to hold to her head for the duration of the party. Along with answering the question “What happened to you?” about 263 times. And the whole time? I felt like the beast child, allowing my car to whack my mom on the head. The nerve, doncha know. People giving me the sideways look wondering if I am really engaging in a bit of elderly abuse.

I could not resist taking a picture of her with her ice pack/towel. Heh. (I really am the devil child!!!)

Something went bump in the night

Something went bump in the night

That’s Mom on the left! Yes, yes, the one with the ice pack and cloth on her head. But the whole time, she is answering questions about the pictures. She could have won CONTESTS identifying long ago relatives, I tell you! She is GOOD! (which is a good test for head injury, I would imagine!)

Mom's egg head

Mom's egg head

This one is Mom with my brother and his wife. See the egg on her forehead? Please remember, that is was MY fault. 🙂

Poor Mom. By the time the reunion was wrapping up, everyone had talked her into going to get herself checked out (Although I was still in the “Suck it up, buttercup camp. I mean, Natasha Richardson aside, my Mom was not dizzy, nauseous, did not lose consciousness, clearly was not confused etc. ) And we did, stop by the ER on the way home. Which is where my Mom works, btw. So she checked in with her people, found out that she would have to wait more than 3.2 minutes and said “screw it”.
She is still alive to this day, I am pleased to announce.

But that is one more story to go into the family funnies.

~~

My sophomore year

My sophomore year

I found this while going through pictures:

That’s me, back row, left. I was 15 years old. Seems like a lifetime ago.

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