Tuesday, May 31, 2011

taking the facebook plunge

The idea of adding a Mennonite Girls Can Cook facebook page to the growing list of  things to do for blogging made me skeptical about the ratio of effort versus result.
Yesterday morning when our blog readers scrolled down to read the daily recipe. .
their eyes saw the "find us on facebook" and the   "like" button on the right margin.

By eight in the evening. .
we had 192 people "like" the page.
I was both humbled and delighted.

I had wondered what the benefit would be to have a facebook page.
After all. ..we already have a place that people can leave comments and we make every effort to respond to their queries and comments.  What we did not realize is that the facebook page allows readers the freedom to talk about whatever is on their mind.
We can comment back directly under their comment and it feels a lot more like we are having a conversation.

We were blown away by the comments about the book.  Such kindness and such encouragement had me wondering why we waited so long to produce the page.
We still have much to learn about doing a decent facebook page. .
but we're willing and eager to use this new avenue to correspond with our readers.

We'll be able to let you know. .
how our supper is cooking. .
and what we busied our day with. .
and what our plans are in the coming days..

Spread the word. . .
Mennonite Girls Can Cook. .
is on facebook. 
We'd love to chat with you there.

all for now. .

Monday, May 30, 2011

Old School Market

Saturday afternoon I took a drive out to the little village of Clayburn and visited the Old School Market. 


Every table was set up so beautifully.
Care had been taken in making the sale  a pleasure to walk through.
I bought an old muffin tin at this booth.

This one. . .I bought some fridge magnets.


I loved the flower displays at this booth. . .and will keep Willow Designs at Creekside in mind next time I need a posy.

At the Twig Home booth. ..I bought the beautiful old dresser scarf shown below.


I had to wonder about the person that took the time to knit this beautiful lace inset.
She had cared for this piece of linen so carefully over the years.

Pure white. . .for $5.99. .
I snapped it up.

In addition to another old muffin tin ..
I bought an old sign for my beloved's shop. .
and this beautiful tray. .
which will go perfectly with the vintage daisy jug and glasses I bought last year.
Lemonade anyone?

Lily and Rachel from Birch and Bird did a wonderful job organizing it all.
I met them at the door. .
chatted briefly with the lovely girls and carried on to do my shopping.
I took a picture of them together. .
but it was a blur. .so sad.

What is it about beautiful old things?
I enjoy them more. .
each year.

all for now. .

Friday, May 27, 2011

peony restraint

Every year my pink peony gets bigger and bigger and quite frankly becomes a bit unmanageable.
I remember when it was a little plant. .
I bought the peony ring at the store and it worked. .
sort of.
Then, I resorted to using old panty hose to to tie to poles to keep it feeling lifted.
My beloved saw my efforts as rather undistinguished in the garden.

This year. .
my beloved has taken the responsibility to keep the flowers off the ground when the inevitable rain will come down just when the blossoms are fully open.

He used some heavy rebar and welded a hoop on the bars.

I love the expanding waistline feature. 

Oh. .and wondering how that plant got so big.
Organic matter complimentary from the hens.

all for now. . 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

drip dry

I'm not complaining about the weather when our only concern is drip drying.
I was struck last night when I was sent emails from several different friends while I was in church with my beloved . . .
mentoring engaged couples.
The emails requested prayer for loved ones in the possible paths of tornadoes.
Earlier in the day I saw CNN warn the Indianapolis area of severe storms and so I quickly sent out an email to another blog friend who I know lives in that area. .
letting her know that I would be praying.

Blogging was not invented to be a prayer chain. ..
but God can make anything beautiful.  .
in his own time.

all for now . ..

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

anyone can . .

When we run and do errands together in large stores .. .
we always find each other once we're both done.
He is always browsing hot rod magazines and now and then a magazine catches my eye and I give it a quick page through.

The cover on this one caught my eye but not because of the food.
I liked the claim that anyone can cook.
It's true.

I've been sent every possible variation of the title Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
I've been alerted to copycat titles that are enjoying some attention. . .
on various sites . .
but the reality is. . .
in the end . ..
it's just like the title claims. .
anyone can cook.
I'm glad of it.

all for now ..

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tilling the Soil Tuesdays.. .eleven days

Despite having some very damp soil. . .
the garden is beginning to produce.
The asparagus that we transplanted from friend Linda's garden is beginning to pop.
Once it peeks out of the soil . ..
it grows rapidly.
It's a bit tempting to go out there and tag my stalks. .
and then peek around the barn when he mows around the garden and gets off the mower to investigate what the tags say.

I planted two sorrel plants.
One variegated and one solid green.
My mouth is watering for Summer Borscht every time I look at the plant.
I expect this year if I depend solely on my own sorrel ..
the borscht will be pretty meager. . .
but I won't give up on it just yet.

Leafy lettuce is sprouting.
I hope to have my own version of Marg's beautiful photo in the book.  .

I planted some onion sets and the growth in just under two weeks is most rewarding.
As I poked each baby onion in the ground.  ..
I thought of my friend Betty.. .
and wondered how her onions are doing.

The beets are even looking a tiny bit like beets.
Slow roasted with a drizzle of butter or steamed and salted and peppered. .
there is nothing as sweet as a fresh garden beet.

That would be a sunflower.

Zinnias and cosmos . .. .
more flowers for Grandgirlie to pick.

I planted plenty . .
it should keep her busy.

Thanks for keeping me company while I am Tuesday Tilling.

If you are curious about the naming of Mennonite Girls Can Cook. .
run over to visit Vee.  She is having a cookbook giveaway and telling the story.
all for now . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

tent parties and turning 30

Here in British Columbia we are having some kind of serious fever.
Warm weather has been slow in arriving but now that the temperatures are edging towards tent weather .. .we are spending our dinners outdoors.
Our Canucks are in a new series against the San Jose Sharks and we take our hockey pretty seriously.

My beloved sorted out the issue of whether we should be outdoors for dinner . . .
or  ..
inside watching the game.

We watched the game and as they began to lose interest in playing hard. .
we spent more time talking ..
and less time watching.

Saturday morning the drizzle began again and when Grandgirlie came to spend a few hours she was unconcerned with the danger of melting . ..
even though she is made of mostly sugar.

After toting around a small pullet for the better part of an hour . .
she helped herself to some fresh eggs from the hen house and suggested I get some hash browns going to pair them with.

While I made us some lunch.  ..
she listened to kids music through the outdoor speakers and sat in the tent waiting for lunch.

Kids are brilliant . .
they know full well that coming in for any reason at all might constitute remaining indoors on a drizzly day.
She took no chances and offered to pick some flowers while she waited.

From the kitchen window I saw her look of complete and utter disbelief when her gentle tug at a English Daisy stem rewarded her with the entire plant.
I smiled at her  . .."sorry Grammie". . .
as it was such  small matter between girls.

With one hand grasping my camera. . .
I took the unrooted plant and gave it a firm reminder where it was to be.

While we spent the afternoon playing games of teasing .  ..hiding and finding. .
her Daddy was easing into the reality of being 30.

Stuart is the little one.
Grandgirlie saw my picture of my friends and was most impressed with the number of friends I had ..
wanting to know all their names.
I said. ."can you tell me about your friends.  .honey?"
She said. . ."yup"
I said. . ."okay ...tell me their names"
She tilted her head in serious concentration . .listing them off.
Noting she didn't name her little sister I asked her. . .
"what about  . . . . "
She answered rather sadly . ."no  .she's my sister".

I thought then of the picture of her Daddy and his big brother.
Little boys. . .
full of hugs . ..squabbles ...scraps . . then and still ...connected because of parents in love.

Had I known. ..when that picture was taken that 30 years would fly like the wind. . .
I would have surely hung on for dear life.

If I could .. .
I would not go back and do it over again.
I'm happy with the outcome.. ..
and find great joy in seeing all Stuart has become.

all for now .

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Live

Being invited up to the loft was a privilege.
I hedged a bit  .. ."wondering" if Grammie could climb all the way up there.
They are so innocent.. ..I simply can't resist pulling the Grammie line now and then.
They assured me I could do it.

Once safely up in the unfinished room above. . .
I saw that another had seen the possibilities of a safe co-existence.
So. . .I lifted my point and shoot high. . .
took a few snaps and quietly left the grands to continue on their play.

So that was last weekend and now we're beginning the May long weekend here in British Columbia.
Our tent is up. .
the BBQ has had it's spring cleaning. . .
and we'll enjoy some time out in the tent.

OH. ..just wondering. . .
Do any of you live in the WSVA listening audience in the Harrisonburg Virginia area?  I'll be doing a live interview there today at 3:10 ET. (12:10 PT).  I'd love to know you'll be listening.  If you don't live where you naturally would hear it on your radio. . .you can the podcast by clicking here

all for now. .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

flapping in the breeze

In my absolute delight in finishing the project of the aprons. . .
on a perfectly blue sky day. .
I immediately took them outside and hung them up.
There was not a speck of thought in which order they should go. . .
nor did I put much thought in how to hang them up.
I did think of each girl as I attached them to the line with clothespins. .
much like I thought of each of them when I had my apron assembly line.

The wind picked up and flapped them more than they needed to flap.
They twisted and blew right over and I had to unpin them and un-flip them and wait for the wind to die down.
All the while. .
it is a pity that no one photographed me laying on the driveway underneath the line ..
and then to the side . .
from one end and then the other.
The hedge and the power lines on the neighbors property irked me.
I unpinned the aprons and pinned them on facing the opposite direction and lay down next to the hedge to try to capture them against only blue sky.
I ran back in ...
loaded the pictures on the computer and analyzed the result.
Though it was marginally improved. .
I couldn't be satisfied since when I look out my window. .
it is the hedge and the neighbors power lines I see. .
and I wanted it to feel real.

Feeling at last as though the wind and the sun angle both cooperated. .
I clicked. . .
removed the aprons from the line. .
folded them neatly. .

and called the project complete.

The rest of the story is on Mennonite Girls Can Cook today.

all for now. . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

on a rainy dreary monday

Yesterday in the morning I entertained questions from a reporter in Waterloo, Ontario.
It is such a privilege to be able to speak on behalf of the girls and to be trusted with telling our story. .
time and time again.
I am amazed at how time can go slow as molasses when I'm visiting my hygienist. .
or quick as a wink during an interview.
Same sixty minutes. .
different focus.

After lunch. .
I ran down to get a few groceries.
I met a few lovely girls who took a moment to stop me in the aisle.
They left me with a smile on my face and encouragement in my heart.

After having a sudden hunger for Kotletten. .
I prepared them for dinner.
As I was between batches in the frying pan.  .
I brought a fresh hot sample to my beloved where he was in the minutes before dinner.
He smiled. ..
I smiled. . .
I made him happy.

I've been told now a few times that the cookbook is being worked through one recipe at a time.
I too and making some recipes that I haven't made in a long while.

Food . ..memories and smiles. .
all on a rainy Monday.

all for now. .

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saturday kitchen

Saturday afternoon once my cleaning was done. .
and the buns were baked.. ..
I just enjoyed a bit of time decluttering and placing some new pieces.

One of the things I enjoy is placing a crystal clean vase of fresh cut flowers from my garden in the house  .. .
when the house is clean.

A few new pieces tucked here and there. .
and the house feels new to me again.
Sometimes it just takes moving things around and around. . .
and then around once more before I get it right to my eye.
When I do. .
it makes me happy.

all for now. .

Friday, May 13, 2011

planting garden

I said. .."this is the year we planting a full out vegetable garden.  It is embarrassing that we live on acreage and have not one proper vegetable to speak of."

I also said. .."All the years we lived in town ...we had a vegetable garden and now we sit. . .
not a vegetable on the yard."

He said. . " Okay ..we'll put it out back . . .there is a hose there.  I'll rototiller up a patch and add some manure and you can go for it."

I said. .."oh thanks."

Several weeks ago the plot of land was prepared and he transferred my rhubarb from behind to house into  the new garden plot.

Yesterday. ..when the skies broke. . we  he planted the garden.

He said. .."this is going to be your job."
I said. .."oh for sure."

I said. .."I'm just taking pictures for the blog.". ..as he could well see.

After we he finished planting. .  we he washed off our muddy boots. . .we he washed off all the hoes and shovels.

Now. ..how will my garden grow? 
You will have a front row seat to a weekly garden check. 
I have promised to do the weeding. ..which I will. 

I'll do the harvesting. .
and I'll do the canning.
He'll be glad we put this garden in.
He truly will.

all for now. .

Updated early Friday afternoon ..
He said. . ."where you going"  . . (observing me in my garden boots)
I said. ."to see how my garden is growing"
He said. .."the potatoes are up"
I said. .."no seriously?"
He said. ..nothing. .
but smiled.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Launch Party at House of James

On Monday evening at 7 pm the Mennonite Girls Can Cook went to House of James for our book launch party and book signing.

Arriving early, we were met with a parking lot full of cars and a group hanging out by the signing table.

Friends  and family who already had their book signed ..
came to be there for what they understood would be a special time for us.

It was truly quite wonderful to see a room full of people opening their books for the first time all around the room. . .
reading and talking together with friends.

They even had a viewing area for those that had mixed feelings about what really mattered on Monday night.

They listened to me talk about how the blog and book began. .
and we entertained questions to the "panel" of girls.

Once there were no more books available to sign. .
we signed the towel of the event that we were competing for attention that night.

all for now. .