Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scenic Sunday ~ October 31, 2010

Autumn.. the year's last, loveliest smile.
William C. Bryant

I'm nostalgic for these beautiful, sunny days of fall/autumn in Vancouver, Canada.

Click here for more beautiful scenery from around the world.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Today's Sky over Vancouver ~ Skywatch Friday, October 29, 2010

Going around under an umbrella interferes with one's looking up at the sky.
Jerzy Kosinski

It was a rainy day today though not as wet as it could have been :-)

Join in for more beautiful sky photos from around the world by clicking here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Treating the Knees

The greatest wealth is health.  ~Virgil

Since the summer I've had regular pain in one or both of my knees. It got to the point where I thought I had better see my doctor and get a referral to a physiotherapist because the problem has been interfering with my ability to do things and to take regular exercise.

Last week, I started on my physiotherapy which includes a four-pronged approach to treatment:

1. Manual stimulation
2. Physical exercise, including stretching and strengthening
3. Ultrasound, and
4. Interferential Treatment.

In manual stimulation the therapist is using his hands and fingers to manipulate the muscles around my knees. Among other things, I understand this helps to break up scar tissue, relieve pain and stimulate lymphatic flow.

Then the therapist usually gives me ultrasound treatment. This is basically sound energy which is directed at my knee muscles and the sound energy causes vibration at the molecular level which then turns into heat energy. It doesn't hurt at all and in fact, I don't feel much of anything except for the cooling gel that is applied before the ultrasound wand is placed around my knee area.

Positive benefits of ultrasound can include:

* Increased circulation and metabolism
* Breaking up and softening scar tissue
* Reduced inflammation or swelling
* Diminished muscle spasm
* Relief of acute and chronic pain
* Enhanced natural healing processes

Once the ultrasound treatment is complete, the therapist then puts me on a stationary bike. He told me "motion is lotion" and that I need to get on one as often as possible. Since it can be expensive to go to the gym so often, I purchased one second hand. I'm very happy I have it as I am finding it makes my other aching body parts feel better. I have had it now for only a couple of days and I am noticing a benefit. When I go to the physiotherapist's office, I get on their stationary bike for up to 15 minutes as part of my therapy before he teaches me 3 new stretching and strengthening exercises.

I was fortunate to find this on Craigslist without waiting too long. I think I got a good deal and it was one of the nicest ones on offer. The young man I bought it from even delivered as he lived in my neighbourhood. I suspect his wife was happy to get rid of it and he doesn't need it anymore so we are all happy.

It even has a fan (see the top) as well as the usual time, distance and work out programs.
After I'm done with the exercises, the physiotherapist administers Interferential Current (IFC) treatment.  The interferential current machine transmits electrical currents at a high frequency (4000 Hz) waveform. This technique enables the electrical current to penetrate deep into the tissues.

The electrical current is applied to the affected area using four electrodes. In some situations, the Therapist may choose to include a massaging suction effect to the electrodes. The four electrodes deliver two currents into the tissues. Where the two currents meet, they actually 'interfere' with each other hence the name 'interferential.' These interfering currents allow the delivery of a relatively high stimulus to the underlying tissues in a comfortable manner.

During treatment the patient will feel a tingling or 'pins and needles' sensation and often also muscular contractions. This sensation may continue for a brief period following treatment as well.

The electrical stimulation of the patient’s tissues results in a number of physiological effects that have therapeutic value such as reducing pain by blocking the transmission of the pain signals (pain gate mechanism) or by stimulating the release of pain reducing endorphins, reducing swelling, improving circulation, and muscle relaxation. (
I've had 3 complete sessions with the physiotherapist.  My knees though still weak and sore, are much better than they were a week ago. I have another two appointments booked.  Hopefully after that I can improve and maintain myself with the stretching and strengthening exercises and the stationary bike regime.  It has been rather busy of late with the various medical and dental appointments amongst all the other necessary things one has to do in life.

I'm leaving town soon and I really need to be in the best of shape for my travels. In other long awaited news, my mom's application for her preferred critical car home was accepted today. Now we are waiting for the actual bed and my hope is she will be happily and safely settled early in the new year if all goes well.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I stumbled upon this wonderful quote over at Hope Filled Magazine

Sunset over English Bay, Vancouver, Canada, Summer 2009

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apple Pie

Welcome to my new follower, Diane from Food, Fun and Life in the Charente. 
So glad to have you as my 50th follower ;-)

Don't get fancy. Have you cooked an apple pie? You don't know what you did wrong? Do this: Take two or three apples. Put them on a table. Study them.
Paul Prudhomme

Is there anything as good and comforting and joyful as a simple, home made apple pie?  

I still don't have a pie pan so I made do with a spring form cake pan. I used this one because it is much smaller than the enamel dish I used last time I made pie. I think I'm going to have to invest in a pie plate if I'm going to continue to practise making pies. Overall though this pie crust was much flakier than the last one I made since I didn't have to roll the dough out so thin.

I took the pie dough recipe from the internet.

Pie Filling

1 double pie crust recipe 
5 to 6 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (to your taste and depends on the sweetness of the apples)
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash salt
2 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Lay 1/2 the pastry, rolled out to about 1/8" thickness, in the bottom of the pie pan and press it in gently to lay flat in the pan. Leave the excess crust hanging over the edges for now.

Place peeled, sliced apples in a bowl. Mix together the sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Pour over sliced apples and mix. Fill the pie pan with the apples and pat down with a spoon. Dot the filling with pieces of butter.

Moisten the lip of the pie pan with water. Place the top layer of rolled out crust over the filling, making sure crust reaches outer edges of the pie pan all around. Seal the edge and flute all around (see notes below for how to flute a pie edge).

Take a fork and prick the pie top in several places to create vents for steam to escape. I cut out some vent holes instead of pricking the dough. Bake for 50 minutes, until pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling through the vents. 

Let cool a bit before cutting to allow the filling to settle.
Makes 1 - 9" pie.

It was delicious.
In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Blue Buttons ~ Blue Monday, October 25, 2010

 "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

One day I was sorting all my buttons by colour. I found this set of blues and near blues. Now I wonder what I'll use them for as I have buttons in several colours! I could make some crafts with them I guess as I don't make enough garments that will require so many buttons.  Whatever I decide to do with them, I know the buttons in various colours including these blue ones, are ready to be used.

At first blush you may wonder what my selected quotation has to do with buttons.  It just strikes me that life is made up of so many little things and that we need to enjoy the journey that we call life. This journey that is made up of many little steps and little events and some big ones now and then. Some people have trouble enjoying what they feel are the mundane things of life. Things like sorting buttons or organizing the desk, the household, the car, etc. I feel fortunate to find JO
not just in the doing of these things but in the contentedness that comes from having accomplished these small goals.

How do you feel about these mundane tasks like sorting buttons? Do you have a lot of buttons too? How do you organize them?  What do you do with them?

Join Smiling Sally and friends here for more Blue Monday.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What's for Dinner? Matoke!

As you worship plantain, remember to worship banana as well.
Ghanaian Proverb

I sampled a dish made with plantains when I was in Kenya. I liked it very much but had a hard time locating a recipe that would replicate the particular dish I sampled.

Today I came across this recipe that reminded me very much of the dish even though it is called "Ugandan Matoke" so I decided to try it out.  I found the recipe at, although I've also seen it on a website featuring recipes from the Congo. See here if interested.  It stands to reason that this dish would be cooked in several different countries since these countries are not terribly far from one another and they all grow and eat plantains.

This is what the cook who provided the recipe on had to say about Matoke:
Matoke (or Matooke) refer to the plantain or plantain banana in Uganda, where plantains are a staple crop. In Uganda, plantain bananas are often wrapped in plantain leaves and steamed until tender. This dish can be made with or without the meat.

So without further ado, here is a recipe that will easily feed 4-6 people even with the recipe modifications I've noted at the bottom of this post.

 * 8 -10 plantains
* 1 lemon, juice of (optional)
* oil (for frying)
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 -3 tomatoes, chopped (or canned whole tomatoes, drained)
* 1 green bell pepper, chopped
* 3 -4 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1 chili pepper, chopped (optional)
* salt or coriander or cayenne pepper (to taste) or red pepper (to taste)
* 1 lb ground beef (optional) or 1 lb beef stew meat, cut in bite-sized pieces (optional)
* 1 cup beef broth (optional) or 1 cup beef stock (optional)


Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs

1. Peel the plantains, cut into cubes, sprinkle with lemon juice, and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large pan. Fry the onion, tomatoes, green pepper, hot pepper, and garlic together. Add spices to taste. Add meat or broth. Continue frying and stirring until the meat is nearly done or until the broth is starting to boil.
3. Reduce heat. Add plantains. Cover and simmer over low heat until plantains are tender and meat is done. Serve matoke (matooke, if you prefer) hot.

Recipe from

My modifications:

I used 6 large plantains rather than 8-10. I cut up part of a roast for stew meat (and froze the other part for roasting another time). I used a large can of whole tomatoes which I forgot to drain first.  I also added beef broth to the mix. Altogether this was more liquid than called for in the recipe but it  worked out okay.  My cast iron pan is very large and there is no lid large enough to cover it so enough liquid evaporated during the cooking process.

I could have cooked the plantains longer but I was afraid they might turn to mush as they were a bit too ripened when I bought them. They were yellow in colour rather than green.  This means they were also a little softer and a little sweeter.  The sweetness didn't pose a problem.  I added some hot chili and coriander to the mix so that tempered the sweetness.  Next time I will use my heavy dutch oven to cook this dish.  That way everything will be thoroughly cooked, heated and tenderized.  Overall though the dish was very tasty!  See the finished dish in the photos below.

I enjoyed  making and eating this dish and will definitely make it again. I was so hungry when I made it for dinner last night (Saturday) that I couldn't wait until everything was cooked to perfection so I intend to cook it longer in the dutch oven next time.

If you decide to make this dish please let me (us) know how it works out!

Never a Dull Moment

After mostly two months of being away from home I've been madly scrambling to catch up to life. Unfortunately I first had to contend with a flu bug which made me more tired than usual, amongst other things. I think the bug is largely gone now though I am still tired. I am not complaining too loudly though. I am just glad to be home for awhile.  Before too long, I will be away again.

In addition to getting to the doctor and a diabetes workshop where we discussed the importance of sleep and the things we can do to try and achieve a sleepy state on a sleepless night, I have also been busy at the dentist. Unfortunately, I needed a tooth extracted. My poor tooth had been loose for some time and it takes the brunt of my chewing processes since I have a loose tooth on the opposite side of my mouth. The dentist informed me that it should be pulled and so I agreed. Yikes, I haven't had a tooth pulled since I don't know when. I had to have extra freezing due to my pain threshold. So now I am recovering from that. Next week, I have to get a root canal on the opposite side of my mouth. Thank goodness for dental insurance, although I hope I am not speaking too soon. When I got into the dentist's chair the receptionist informed me that my insurer had no record of me! One more thing to follow up on.

Now on to more interesting ways I've been filling my time.

I picked up these three books by Alexander McCall Smith; an author who hails from Zimbabwe but who spent much of his life in Scotland. These books are all part of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.  I quickly read two of the books in the photo and am now reading the blue covered book "Blue Shoes and Happiness".  Reading these books is a satisfying past time. They are like spending time with a good friend and at the same time, learning about the customs and ways of Botswana where Mr. McCall Smith frequently spends time. If you haven't read any of these books, I invite you to pick one up but start with the first one, called "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency", before you commence reading the other 10 books in the series.

All of these books are wonderfully entertaining. Reading them gives me a sense of comfort and joy.
Next up are several books. The first one is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet. I won't begin to tell you about this sweeping book other than to say that I enjoyed it a lot and I recently discovered that it has been made into a television series, co-produced by Canada (click on the underlined title to find out more about the book itself). I haven't seen the mini-series but I have seen the trailers and I will for sure want to watch it if it comes back on my television listings. It looks like a superb cast and a thrilling tale.  The Shack is a book that seemed to have created a lot of controversy in Christian circles though having read it, I cannot fathom why. It is after all, just a novel. I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would though I would certainly recommend it to anyone as it does have a novel and profound way of explaining the trinity of Christ and the nature of Christ. For that reason alone I will probably read it again sometime though I'll have to buy my own copy as this one was loaned to me by a friend.

I've read the two books on either side of the photo.  The book on the left is almost a 1000 pages but I read it much more quickly than the relatively short book on the right. I have started the one in the  middle but haven't gotten too far yet.
The three books in the next photo were purchased at the goodwill today for 50 cents each. I've read a few of the late Frank McCourt's books though enjoyed his novel, Angela's Ashes most. This book entitled, Teacher Man is a memoir.  The other two books are classics and I try to ensure I am working my way through the classics whenever I can.

The goodwill is a wonderful place to purchase books. I hate to part with books and it is much easier if I've only paid 25 or 50 cents. I can still give them back to the goodwill after I've finished reading them or give them to a friend who'd like to read them too!
Besides going to appointments, libraries and the goodwill this week, I made some time for shopping for new towels and facecloths. Long ago, I'd mentioned in a blog post on decluttering that my towels were over 20+ years old. Some of them have been raggedy for a long time. I finally broke down and spent about $20.00 Canadian on 6 towels and 14 face cloths.  I thought that was an excellent buy. The towels are just great and not too thick. I got over my fondness for very thick, white towels quite some time ago and now look for thin, absorbent, white towels.

I love the texture and absorbency of all these towels and facecloths. Several of these new cloths are in the wash so didn't make it into the photo.
Last, but not least, my creative mood is still in swing. I made two more dishcloths. It seems I can't get enough of them. These are for my own use and are added to the four I'm already using. I can now get rid of my purchased cloths which have some kind of oily odor to them despite being washed and disinfected. Does anyone know what causes the odor and the oil stains?

I'm loving the colour of these cloths.
Now it is the weekend and I'm trying to catch up on household cleaning, laundry, post office errands and experimenting with a new dish today for dinner. I'll post about that tomorrow if it turns out. In the meantime, I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Skywatch Friday ~ October 22, 2010

I snapped these very interesting sky shots over Kamloops a few weeks ago. I really love how the light of the sun illuminates the dark clouds against the building. I hope you enjoy them too!

God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars. 
Martin Luther, German Priest and scholar whose questioning of certain church practices led to the Protestant Reformation. 1483-1546

For more fabulous Sky Watch Fridays around the world, please join in here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

12 Rules of Success


...the value of time
...the success of perseverance
...the pleasure of working
...the dignity of simplicity
...the worth of character
...the power of kindness
...the influence of example
...the obligation of duty
...the wisdom of economy
...the virtue of patience
...the improvement of talent
...the joy of originating

~ Marshall Field

Waiting for sunrise....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maasai Blue ~ Blue Monday, October 18, 2010

Here is a Maasai wedding necklace from Narok, Kenya.  Necklaces such as this are made by the  mothers of the brides and are worn by the bride when she goes to her husband's home for the first time. This particular necklace hangs in my living room as a wall ornament. You can learn more about the Maasai people here and more about the wedding jewellry here.

Join Sally and all her friends for Blue Monday here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scenic Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mount Paul in Kamloops, BC, with Sun Rivers development in the green space. You can see it is a bit of a foggy autumn day. I think the mountain looks very cool with the low lying cloud but too bad there is the railway development and commercial development in the foreground.

Click here for more beautiful Scenic Sunday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

An Experiment in Japanese Cuisine

On my errand running early Friday evening, I decided to stop off at a local Japanese restaurant, Nikkuyu.  I always seem to forget that this particular place specializes mostly in sashimi and their selection of other foods is minimal. While I usually like sashimi, I generally eat it very sparingly. I also like sushi but not the nouveau favourite around here which is California rolls. This roll tends to find it's way into most combination dishes in Vancouver and I really don't like it. I think I probably had too much of it when I first started eating Japanese sushi.

Not really knowing what I wanted and having another few small errands ahead of me I opted for the following dishes.

BBQ beef enoki - this is thin slices of cooked beef wrapped around a bunch of enoki (Japanese mushrooms) and covered with some kind of sauce. The waitress got my order wrong as I had actually ordered BBQ beef and bamboo shoots with prawns but until I ate it I didn't really know the difference, lol. It was surprisingly very chewy. The dish looks like the one below though I had two pieces on my plate.

This photograph was imported from Flickr. It was originally taken by Flickr user Loozrboy and the original photo can be found here:

For  my main course, I had a combination dish which came with miso soup and salad with miso dressing.  The main plate came with two kinds of sashimi (raw fish): salmon (3 pieces) and tuna (2 large pieces). The fish was fresh and very rich.  It came with 3 small spring rolls and a dipping sauce that was somewhat sweet and spicy. The main part of the dish was unagi don. I asked first what unagi was and discovered it was eel.  I've never tried eel so I decided to be adventurous.

Unagi Don Photo credit:
My beverage tonight was cold water. Then I decided to have a Kokanee (Canadian) beer as well since the restaurant does not serve pale ale.

Overall I was disappointed in my dinner selections.  I've eaten several times at this restaurant and it has never disappointed me but I could not say that tonight.

I expected the BBQ beef to be tastier and I was dissatisfied with the texture of the combination of beef and enoki.  Perhaps I just need to get used to the enoki mushrooms but since I've liked every mushroom I've ever eaten before, I'm not sure this is the problem.

The miso soup and green salad were okay but I've had better.  The fresh fish was quite good.  Five (5) generous pieces is a lot so I left half a piece of tuna and a half piece of salmon behind. I'm hoping what I did eat was filled with good Omega 3 oil as I need to watch my cholesterol levels.

The unagi don was massive. It came with 3 big pieces of eel (actually 6 that were "hung" together) piled on top of a humongous portion of white rice. The sauce that was poured over the eel and rice was a bit sweet and there was far too much of it.  It made the rice inedible.  The eel itself was like a "fleshy" fish and it was rather soft.  It didn't taste too bad at all.

The three spring rolls were very small and very hard.  Even with the delicious dipping sauce it didn't compensate for it being of a very tough texture.  The Canadian beer was fine though I didn't finish it all.

Altogether I found my solo dinner  an expensive and disappointing feast at $22.30 which included taxes but not the tip. I had an attentive waiter so I left a fair tip.  I don't feel so bad about spending the funds though it is extravagant for me. I very seldom eat out anymore. And that's a good thing.

I did have some entertainment while I ate.  A man came in with his two young boys who were I would guesstimate about ages 2 and 6 or 7, respectively. Both of the boys were eager to eat sashimi and sushi.  The boy who I guess is about 6 or 7 years old ordered for the family and I was super impressed. Then both boys got their chopsticks and soy sauce and wasabi ready. When the tuna sashimi arrived first, they both tucked in with gusto. These 3 guys had massive amounts of sushi, sashimi and tempura before they finished dinner.

Though I was super impressed with how these young boys were so habituated to Japanese food, I also felt rather sad. I felt sad because it is obvious that these boys do get to experience such outings on a regular basis and that the parents are exposing them to world cuisines, etc. That is a good thing, but all I could think about were the starving children in Africa (where my heart is) and how the village children in Africa likely wouldn't know a thing about Japanese food.  Rather they would be so happy to get a serving of ugali and sukuma wiki on a regular basis and to get a chance to go to school.
Ugali: Photo credit:
Greens are sukuma wiki. Photo credit:
I'm travelling to Africa next month and I will make sure I don't eat out too much before then so I don't waste my  money.  I've already been fortunate enough to have exposure to so many other cultures and their foods.

I would love to hear from you if you are a parent or grandparent. I'm interested in hearing how you raise your children/grandchildren and whether you expose them to other cultures by eating out or through other means. This would be very eye opening for me I'm sure.

Skywatch Friday ~ October 15. 2010

For more wonderful scenes of skies from around the world, click here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chilean Miracle

My heart is swelled with gratitude for the miracle of the rescue of the Chilean miners. I watched with bated breath along with the rest of the world these past two nights and am so grateful this saga has a happy ending. It truly is a miracle.

Chilean miner Mario Sepulveda, celebrating after leaving the rescue capsule during the rescue operation at the San Jose mine near Copiapo. Photograph: Hugo Intante/EPA (Photo from

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today I am Thankful

Thank you to my newest follower, Ginny Hartzler! You make my day ;-)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Today I am thankful for:

* a mom who though ill is still with us
* a brother who tries to help though he has a lot to learn
* friends and relatives who care
* the Canadian medical system
* books to read
* a God who loves
* a home
* food
* interests outside the home
* faith
* hope
* love
* a shower
* music
* internet
* green grass
* clean laundry
* sunshine and the rain
* natural beauty all around me
* rest

There are so many things to be grateful for and this list is just but a few of them.   My list is not in order of importance, just listed as they came to me. I am celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving today with the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, a stock reduction instead of the usual gravy and pumpkin pie.

This bird is approximately 10 pounds.

Here it looks like a monster bird as pointed out by Lonicera.
I haven't stopped often enough to give thanks but today I did just that during this Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I pray you also have much to be thankful for both this day and every day.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Baking for a Season

Welcome to my newest follower, Rachel. 
It's so nice to have you :-)

When I was browsing blogs the other day after making the loaves of bread from a fellow bloggers recipe, I also came across a blogger who made and froze chocolate chip cookies. I can't remember exactly where now but she didn't have the recipe on her blog, just a note about making Hershey's chocolate chip cookies. So on Saturday I decided to google the recipe and make them.  I also made pizza dough and pumpkin pie for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner.

I made 4 dozen cookies in 3 different sizes. The recipe says you can get 5 dozen cookies from this recipe but I tend to make mine a little larger.

Lots of cookies for the freezer!

Here everything is marked as to the contents of the bags and the dates of the packing though I hardly think they will last past due date in the freezer.

Another view of the goods all laid out for the freezer. I saw the steam was gathering on the bread so I let that out before closing up the bag and popping it in the freezer.

This is the recipe for Pumpkin Pie for Sunday's dinner.


* 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
* 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon mace (I skipped the mace because I don't generally have it on hand).
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 eggs
* 1 (398 ml) can 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 1/2 cup cream or evaporated Milk
* 3/4 milk, scalded

# Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl and add cream or evaporated milk. Stir egg mixture into pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Add scalded milk and stir just until blended. Pour into chilled pie shell.
# Bake for 15 minutes in 425 degree F. oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately with mounds of whipped cream or refrigerate.

My pie crust is a little dark around the edges. I think the problem was I used a very deep plate and it isn't really a pie plate. it exposed too much of the pie dough to the heat. That is my guess but I could be wrong. The big mark in the middle is made by my testing whether the pie was done. Once I cut it you won't see that. I hope the pie crust takes okay. If not to my liking I will have to keep looking for a recipe that works for me.
Taste test:  The pie was actually quite good and the crust didn't taste burnt in any way. The crust was soft but it wasn't what I would consider flaky. Perhaps if I didn't have to roll it out so thin it would have been much flakier. The filling was very nice. It was not very sweet.  It was creamy and very subtle in it's flavours. It was perfect for me but others might prefer a sweeter, spicier pie filling. In that case, add a bit more sugar and another 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of the indicated spices. I tasted mine without the whipped cream and I think this would be my preferred way to eat it because it's texture is already nice and creamy.  You will probably want to have whipped cream on hand for those who love to eat pumpkin pie this way though.

On Sunday, I will be making turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and a side dish to go along with the pumpkin pie. This will be a smaller feast than usual. I am just happy to have the bird and will use the left overs for all sorts of wonderful dishes like turkey sandwiches, turkey soup and turkey casserole. Yum! This little bird will prepare a feast for a week.


A Busy Day or Two

I woke up a bit earlyish for me on a Saturday. It was likely because I had a long nap late yesterday and went to sleep at a reasonable hour. This after two nights of little sleep.

I've been fighting a cold and when I went to sleep last night there was a great wind flapping up and expected rain in the forecast. I awoke this morning to rain and cloudy skies.  I stocked up on some cooking items earlier this week so I could do some baking this weekend.  This morning I got started.

For lunch I made some pot barley and beef soup.  It was quite good. and I calculated the rough cost of each serving at about $1.40 Canadian but these are huge servings.  The soup bones were not cheap.  A package of 4 small bones was almost $3.50.  Even so it was a much better deal than buying a bowl of soup in the family restaurant across the street. You can see the fat at the top from the marrow in the bones. I love marrow with a bit of salt on it.  For some people though this is probably WAY too fattening.  If you don't eat it often, this isn't a problem unless your doctor says so.

I also have some bread dough on the rise for making the two loaf bread I made earlier this week.  See here for my earlier attempt.

I also made some pie crust from a recipe I found on a blog.  I have never been good at making pie crust even with a no fail recipe so I hope this attempt will work better.  In fact, I prefer making and eating cakes or cookies to making pies.  But this weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving and I plan to make a pumpkin pie to go along with the turkey dinner.  If I have some extra time after laundry and cleaning I am going to make some freezer pizza dough and some Hershey's chocolate chip cookies, also for the freezer for snacks later in the week.

I also managed to make two more kitchen dishcloths to add to the one I made earlier in the week. These ones are rather a loose weave compared to the ones I used to make. I enjoyed whipping these out and will use one of them shortly to "test" the weave and tension.

I also managed to make one round of my doily. I didn't get as far as I'd like and I still have six rounds to go but will likely finish it soon.


Finally, I got started on a book I've been meaning to read for awhile, The Pillars of the Earth. I get all my books at the thrift store these days so this is always a great bargain.  It is 973 pages long so that should keep me busy for awhile.

I always feel content when I am able to keep my hands busy, soothe my soul, save money and improve my mind.

When do you feel content?  

Update: I did some of washing up after mixing and baking. I used the  new dishcloth and it works perfectly. The bigger open weave seems to be better suited for washing up than the tighter, smaller weave.  This is a pleasant surprise. 

I hope you are enjoying your week and weekend.

Neighbourhood Street Scenes

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, I hope you are well today. These are photos I took on a recent walk in the neighbourhood. You can see the...