Friday, August 31, 2007

I love the Fair

Every day I take a picture of something beautiful. It doesn't matter what I post about . . .there is always something beautiful. I saw this gorgeous Sedum blooming at the fair.
I think that we love the fair as much for the memories as for the current attractions. My earliest memories of going to the Pacific National Exhibition was when I was probably about eight. Oddly I don't have a picture of this. My mom and my aunt Mary took us kids in the afternoon and our dad and uncle met us later in the evening. This began a long tradition of the once a summer trek to the fair. Back then each child received a entrance ticket on their last day of school before the summer vacation.
We continued this tradition with our own children, even though they would now question why we didn't buy them all day ride tickets, we still had fun. (I think we did anyway) So, Terry and I made the trek once more, to watch the various free shows. He enjoyed the "wheels of steel" while I people watched and marveled at the sky line.
I pondered our lunch, and we finally settled on what is claimed to be the best fish and chips at the fair. It was actually quite good. We found a spot on some grass in the shade to have our picnic. Okay . . .wrong order of pictures . . .pretend you saw this before the picnic picture . .

We walked through the farm animals to see what they look like in the city. We don't have one of these in our field. He's a big boy.

We enjoyed watching baby chicks hatch. It was so fun watching the children watch the chicks hatch.

I admired the perfect rows of garden. It really is fun to see what the 4H clubs do to involve kids in the fair.

Okay, these we've seen before, we did a visual inspection. No those are not our ribbons.

We waited for Richard to race but we never saw him. Apparently he doesn't do the fair.
Terry and I laughed at this mom . .is she smiling or what? A successful nurser.
We watched the kids watch the parade and remembered the favorite stories that I have tucked away . . .(woo hoo)

I did a photo op for the 2010 Olympics . . .a professional snowboarder . . .that's me.

We watched this fellow build the Vancouver skyline out of cards, this was amazing.

We watched more children watch the parade, and thought of more books tucked away.

So, is the fair worth visiting? Well, that would depend on why you want to go there. If you want your $15. worth of entertainment, it probably is. If you want to wait in lines, and deliberate about food choices, this might be for you. If you want to remember taking your children to the fair and planning for the next set . . .it's a good idea to check it out.
However, if you just enjoy your day . . .no matter where you go . . . .as long as you do it together . .. . then, definitely . . . ..take in the fair . .. .we'll go again . . .just to have a date.
Tomorrow, you'll see our trying to break into show business. So close . .. (and that is where I had the best fun)
Have a wonderful day, I'm off to have my roots looked at . . .

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the last date of August

The sky is perfectly blue . . .
The farm is fine without us . . .

Abraham Darby seems happy to bloom . . .

So . . .we're heading out for the day . ..
for a date . . .
just us ..
See you tomorrow my friends . .. .

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the rockies

As a young girl, the vast beauty of the Rocky Mountains that graced our country was impressed upon me. I had a Mom that truly enjoyed and often became emotional when she would see amazing scenery. This was something I've thought of recently when I myself have looked at mountains and wished that I could capture it just perfectly.
As I look through old photographs I smile as I see that my parents always had a camera on the go. Okay, so I come by it naturally . . .some how that feels good. To know that genetically I am predisposed to enjoy the sound of the click and better yet, the repeat sound of the click, brings another anchor to the parents I miss. I wonder if we don't fully realize how much we are like our parents until we have time and distance to remember and reflect.

Have you seen the Canadian Rocky Mountains? . . .and did you want to sing "How Great Thou Art" when you came around the bend and saw the first peaks? Well, then perhaps you and I share something too.
Have a great day my friends, the sun is shining outside . . . and out I go . . .

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Betty r's fruit roll

Today I'm featuring a recipe from a non blogger friend Betty r. She has been a faithful reader of my blog for some time now and treats me to her sweet and friendly comments regularly. It is so fascinating to learn where you are all from and what you are all about.
After a wee bit of coaxing, she sent me her picture and a recipe. Somehow, when someone sends me a picture of themselves, it fits with their comments and Betty's picture and her comments fit perfectly together too. Thank you Betty for allowing us to enjoy this recipe. This was her mothers recipe and those are always the best.

Betty lives in Steinbach Manitoba with her husband of nearly 40 years. How fantastic is that? They have three children and four grandchildren.
As she says . . ."some of the things I love to do . . .cook, bake, garden, read, crochet and travel and . .. . .someday maybe start a blog. I work part time at our business, keeping the lunchroom clean and baking 'tons' of goodies for the staff. I created this job for myself just so I could bake to my heart's content!!!"
Wow, everyone in Steinbach is going to be lining up with job resumes. If you're driving through Steinbach today and you notice a line up at a lunch room, stop . . ..Betty is probably in there serving up goodies . . ..
Yesterday I baked up this fruit roll. Betty makes hers with rhubarb but my rhubarb is pretty much finished for the season and I had apricots, so keep that in mind when you make your own.

Mix together 3 cups of cut of fruit . .she used rhubarb . . .I used apricots with 1 1/2 cups of sugar . . .(I only used 1 cup for the apricots and it was plenty for less tart fruit) and 1/4 cup flour . .again I used a bit less for the apricots.
Let this stand while you make the dough and roll it out.
For the dough you will need . . .
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
Cut in 1/8 cup shortening
Add 1 cup of whipping cream and mix this with a fork until blended.

Form it into 2 balls and then roll it out into two rectangles. You will need a bit more flour to roll it out and I use a bench scraper to get underneath so that I don't tear the dough.
Make sure the dough doesn't stick to the counter because once the fruit is on you can't mend it very easily.
Put half of the fruit on each rectangle of dough and then pull the sides up and pinch them together. If you are a real good baker, these will not separate in the baking process . . .mine did.
Also squeeze the ends together and roll them up a bit.
Transfer the rolls onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
Bake these at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes and then she browns hers under the broiler to make a nice brown crust.
I did mine in the convection oven and it browned perfectly.

When they are still slightly warm, drizzle a little icing on top. I just used icing sugar and a bit of warm water to make a glaze.
We had friends pop by last night and the rolls were devoured . This recipe is so easy and the dough is very pliable and doesn't crack like some pastry can do. Try it with whatever fruit you have right now, add a scoop of ice cream, and serve to someone you love.
Okay, I'm off to help with a bit of farm work today, I hope you have a wonderful day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

silky chocolate pecan torte with caramel sauce

Today, I've been baking up some yummy things for a certain special girl who I happen to love. She has requested this torte and there is little that I enjoy more than to make certain special girls happy with delectable delights. Being a multitasker of sorts, I thought it would only make sense to blog the recipe. This recipe originated up at the B&B . .thank you Dorothy for the posting permission.

First of all if you don't have a food processor . . out and buy one. (I'll wait . . .)
  • Okay in the container put 3 cups of fresh pecans (taste to make sure)
  • 1 cup cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
Whirl this together until you have fine crumbs.
If you don't have a nice tart pan like this, where the bottom is separate, you can use a spring form pan.

Spread the crumbs evenly around and press gently and then bake it at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
Cool on a wire rack . .(note . .if you do use a tart pan that has a removable bottom, bake it on a cookie sheet so that the tart doesn't lift out if you accidentally hold it at the bottom . ..(not that I've ever done that . .smile)
Next chop up 3/4 pound of really good quality dark chocolate. I use callebaut and I buy it at the superstore in bulk. I use a big knife and a hammer to chop it up. If you think that the temptation may be to gobble up the small bits, make sure you buy a pound and a bit.

Put the roughly chopped chocolate in a 6 cup Pyrex measuring cup and add 1 3/4 cups of heavy cream. Put it in the microwave at medium for a minute, stir it and repeat until it is warm, stir it and repeat until the chocolate is all melted.

Stir it until it is silky smooth. Taste it a bit . .because you can. Pour it into the pecan crust and refrigerate.

Now you can make the homemade caramel sauce. (this dessert should be consumed in small amounts and not all in one day.
  • In a small heavy saucepan, put 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
Heat this together over medium heat and stir constantly with a fork. It will slowly melt and begin to turn a caramel colour.
Continue to stir until it is a caramel color. Remove from the heat.

  • Slowly and carefully add 1/2 cup of warm heavy cream. Continue to stir and tell yourself it looks just fine as it turns quite lumpy. Just keep stirring. Stir some more until it is nice and smooth. If it isn't nicely turning smooth, try to put it back on the heat for a minute but whatever you do . .don't leave it there . . .keep stirring.
Let it cool. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. I also like a dollop of whipped cream to cut the richness . ..I know . ..I know . . .(whipping cream to cut the richness?)
Next invite over some really wonderful friends who deserve some lovin'. Or else, give it to a really special girl who smiles at you sweetly and says she is hungry for chocolate pecan torte.

the gourd that volunteered

Several years ago I bought one of those netted bags of ornamental gourds for Thanksgiving. Such an easy way to bring in the colors of "that season . . .I refuse to mention the actual season yet". After I was finished with "that season" decor, and wanted to begin putting up a few things for the "following season", I took the basket of ornamental gourds and threw them into the neighbors berry field . . .(to lazy to walk to the back of the property). Generally, these would be rototillered under in spring, but somehow I didn't quite throw them into the normal rototiller path.The following summer I was going for a walk when I noticed that there was a squash plant growing and upon closer inspection saw that there was a variety of ornamental gourds growing.
When Thanksgiving came I went out into the volunteer patch with my basket, picked double the amount that I had planted, smiled and went back into my house.
Today I was walking about the farm when I noticed again my volunteer gourds from yet another toss of last years decorations.
We have been hearing in our church the need to volunteer for fall programs this month. Of course if everyone does a little all the programs to meet the family needs are easily accomplished. How amazing that the time of year when we think of this, the Lord points out quite easily that volunteering is what He himself has ordained. As your family talks about what time you will give . . .consider the volunteer gourds .
Have a wonderful day my friends,

Friday, August 24, 2007

running to get the mail

This morning I was working in my office, paying bills, filing and realized that I hadn't run to the mail box to pick up the mail for a few days, . . . .and . . .I had seen that Julie had received a treat in the mail. This caused my curiosity to send me out the door.
At first glance nothing seemed to be unusually exciting, no big parcel . . .and then I saw it . ..way at the back a little key with a note, instructing me to open a larger box and retrieve my parcel . . .woo hoo.

Look what I have, a parcel from Carolanne. Everyone say this together . . ."next time there is a photo contest . . .I should enter it". Carolanne had a photo contest and I entered my walk through the berries, and she generously decided to send each one of the entrants a picture and a treat.
What a lot of fun to open up a gift from sooo far away. I believe this is my first ever from Australia.
Tim Tams. I've tasted these once before when our son travelled to Australia. . . .yummy

A personal hand written note . . .she's definitely a school teacher . was nice and neat.

This is me hiding the Tim Tams.

This is the beautiful waterfall picture that I loved so much. I'll be running down to have it framed and put in a special place in our home. Thank you so much Carolanne for the special gift and for the generosity and for the fun you put into my day.
Alright, back to business, I'm whipping up a peach tart to take to friends for dessert tonight.
Have a wonderful day my friends.