Friday, November 30, 2012

Restaurant 62

It was a happy day when I got an email from our feed company Ritchie Smith telling me I had won a spot at a cooking class.
I have no idea how I won that spot...
I just said ...
I'll be there.

It turned out that the dairy farmers in BC were having a set of meetings of their own and so the  ladies that would have been there from the dairy farmers...
had to decline and I was happier yet when I was allowed to bring my beloved.
Thank you very much Ritchie Smith for the great prize.

The chef of the evening was Jeff Massey from Restaurant 62.
I know a little bit about cooking classes and so I said to my beloved...
we need to get there early to get the best seats.
And we did.

He started with a salad  of fresh greens, sliced fennel ...

and figs that he cooked in quite a luscious sweet and tangy sauce. 

Next...he caramelized some pork medallions...

and then did a cabbage  saute with diced farmer sausage..
that was just scrumptious.

While we were eating that...
he explained how he had done the slow braised chuck steaks....

and made a delicious cauliflower puree.

For dessert we had a delicious chocolate mousse in puff pastry tarts with fresh berries.

It was lovely to see other farmers at the class.
Good friends who share the same passion for growing healthy food for our province.

If you live in the Abbotsford area...
I'd like to encourage you to come out on Sunday to Lepp's to support Chef Dez.
His new book is being launched and Lepp's is doing up the party right.

Ritchie Smith...
Restaurant 62...
Chef Dez...

and of course...
Lepp Farm Market.

We went home chatting about the community we live in and how wonderful it is to see the support back and forth for local farmers, chefs, and the food market.

Oh...and since I am giving plugs...
you might consider gifting a cooking class to see Mennonite Girls Can Cook in January..where we will be teaching refrigerator doughs with pizzas and chiffon cake.
In April we will be teaching our Paska/Scalloped Potato/  Ham  and Coleslaw class.

It was a wonderful evening...
such a treat.

all for now...
with love,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

turning five...a fairy party

A little fairy rarely sits still.
Just as you might imagine..
she is always in flight...
and most often has an impish grin on her face.

She surrounds herself with other little fairies who love to dance and giggle.

Her big blue eyes and long dark lashes...
shine with enthusiasm for life as it unfolds. 

She chooses her sister as her best friend...
a gift they do not yet fully realize they share.

It is a time of innocence...

like flower petals in spring...

 not yet longing to be anything but who she is.

My darling little grandgirlie..
may you never lose that sweet declaration desiring to pray to Jesus...
with those you love.

Five years old is only once in your life. will remember your fairy party...
and may the smile that comes to your face...
be a sweet reflection of the one we saw ...
on the sweetest little fairy of all.

Happy Birthday

With love always...
from Grammie.

Monday, November 26, 2012

a south langley welcome

I wanted to share with you about our time at the South Langley Church on Saturday.
They had 115 ladies come for their Christmas Brunch to see Anneliese make her famous Baked Christmas Wreath and hear our story.

We felt so welcome!
The had decorated the stage and you could see they had fun preparing for the event.

The door prizes included a few aprons they had made.

Did they know that we love the Doxology?
Others clearly do too!

Look at Anneliese!
She is  pro on stage already.

We had such a great time at our table..
eating their delicious brunch....
and sharing with our table mates.

This darling little arrangement was part of their decor.
Did they know what the colors are on our next cover?
I'm not sure...
but it just was like a sweet reminder that God cares about our details.

It was a very wonderful morning and we left encouraged!

all for now...
with love,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

the great wheel

Our little trip to Seattle  seems so long ago already.
This week I have been pretty much holed up in my office plunking away on my keyboard.

I've been preparing for Saturday's Christmas Brunch at South Langley Church.
I tinker away on my keynote presentation and hope I know what I am doing.

Yesterday I finished that and moved to the manuscript.
I worked on that for awhile until I was distracted by my blog's wallpaper.
How much time can I waste trying to upload photos for that?
You just don't even want to know.
That would totally destroy how you perceive my time management.

I am thankful for the time we had away.
The weather ended up being so beautiful.
We walked up and down the hill to the water and while we stood watching the big wheel go around....
my beloved slipped into the line and bought us some tickets.

He had never been on a ferris wheel.
Even after being married 34 years ..
there are still things we can experience together for the first time.

I liked that.
all for now..

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Record Keeping

Once upon a time ...
very long ago when I was a little girl...
my Dad raised laying hens to make ends meet.
I grew up on three acres and there was a small barn that was the size of an average tool shed.
By the time my memories begin it was emptied of lay hens and a new barn was constructed to grow broiler chickens.

The point is... I lived on a lay hen farm when I was born.
Who knew then...
that I would live on a lay hen farm again years later?

I remember how my Dad worked full time for the Department of Highways during the day and would come home eat supper and then go into the barn to do chores.
I have no recollection of my Dad sitting inside in the evenings watching TV.
On the Dad worked outside in the barn and that is how they made their living to feed a family of five.

It was a simpler life back then making a living in agriculture.
There was not the knowledge then nor the equipment to notice the difference that so many factors make in record keeping.
Farmers cared for their flocks but most of the attention in making sure there was water, feed and ventilation.
Chicks arrived..were put in a warm bed of shavings with brooders overhead.
They had fresh water to drink and I spent many hours following my mother around as she walked the barn with a stick in hand to clear the shavings out of the water troughs that the birds would kick up in their travels.
The chicks had a constant source of food and with proper ventilation, those chicks would grow and soon a large truck would come to haul them all away.
On those nights...
I spent wasted time asking to join the boys in catching chickens.
In the end...I was paid to stay inside.
My Dad...was protective..
bless his heart.

After that...the cheque would arrive and he would drive straight to the feed company to pay the large bill and then the barn would be cleaned out and fresh shavings would be blown in and the cycle would repeat itself.
The year I married...
my parents noticed they had an empty nest...
sold the farm to my brother..
and moved to town.

I did not marry a farmer.
I didn't plan not to marry a farmer...
I married a grocery clerk..
and  mighty fine one at that.

He had a dream to live on a farm and after we were blessed beyond our dreams with an auntie and uncle who loaned us part of the down payment..
we found ourselves on a farm with two teenage boys and lots of work to be done.
It was..
the perfect combination.

While he continued to work full time as a grocery clerk..
I gathered eggs in the morning and the boys gathered eggs in the afternoon.
On the weekends...
we all gathered eggs to make the work go faster.

As in my childhood...
I was once again noticing the Dad spending evenings working in the barn.
When you are in the middle of your dream..
you don't mind these things and the benefit of the lifestyle was such a blessing that we gratefully continued in this way until the boys were finished with university.

Once the boys were out of the house and married..
the grocery clerk said goodbye to his day job and stayed home with me.

By now you are wondering what all the photos and the title of this post are about.
Okay then..

Yesterday I observed my beloved go through his second audit of record keeping.
Farming has changed since those years I watched my Dad silently keep the farm afloat.

Much has been discovered in the past years about animal husbandry and as more is learned there are more checks and balances to be sure that the food we grow is safe.
Part of that is keeping very specific records of everything from the temperature in the barn to the temperature in the egg cooler.
Feed consumption and water consumption and even dirty egg trays are noted.

Anyways...all this to say my beloved farmer passed his record keeping audit again.
You can't imagine how happy that makes me.

Not all of you will have an appreciation of this post..
but other farmers that strive to produce healthy and safe food will nod their heads and be happy with us...
that the audit is over for four more years.

If you are interested to know more about Egg Farmers in Canada..
visit our website here....there are recipes. =)

all for now...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Shop Dine See Stay

Several months ago an email came to my inbox. A Groupon deal which I couldn't resist then and made me happy now...was a good idea.
Seattle is only a few hours away from us to the south and yet this was the first time that we stayed downtown to shop...dine...see and stay.

We went midweek...
parked the car and walked the city streets.
Even at night it is a beautiful city.

We were impressed by the clean streets and..
the friendly helpful people.

Though I haven't started decorating myself for Christmas...
the twinkly lights were most festive and I fully appreciated the work that went into making store fronts inviting.

We didn't spend all our time exploring store fronts...
we had a most enjoyable afternoon with Greg and Ellen.
Since I have so little to blog about lately..
I'll save a few photos for another day.

all for now..

Monday, November 12, 2012

planting garlic

Auntie Loretta gave us some garlic to plant this spring.
We were warned that it wasn't the best time to plant garlic.
The rest of the garden has been harvested...
but low and behold...
under those pumpkin and cucumber leaves...
the garlic was growing.

The proper time to plant garlic is just before the first frost.
Planting garlic in spring will give you lots of garlic chives...
which...tastes like garlic...
in a subtle form. just can't tell what is taking root from the surface.
That isn't always a good thing...
but garlic chives?....
that made me happy.

all for now..
with love,

Friday, November 9, 2012

passing on the music

I am not sure what year my parents purchased this piano.
It has been part of my life from my earliest memories and so I expect it was purchased in the early sixties.
Piano lessons on Tuesday evenings for my brother Gerry and I began every September and ended with the summer recital which I loathed.
My stage fright was easily solved by playing the piece learned by memory while shaking like a leaf.  The best part of those recitals was the beautiful summer evening later, and Mrs. Anna Toew's delicious treats.

I did something yesterday I have never done before.
I opened up the piano to reveal strings and hammers and  then played for myself.

I had never seen the interior signage.
Imagine that...
made in Canada.

I never really did play well.
 Grade 8 Royal Conservatory was the last lesson book I studied from but the exam was never completed and I am glad I was spared ...I think.

What I love to do is to play music that my mind knows without notes to follow.

In recent years I have enjoyed children's Sunday School songs more than anything else and hymns.
That this would be my music of choice I would not have expected.
When my parents retired and moved off their farm...
the piano came to live with us and we have had it in our home the last 35 years.

Yesterday ....
it found a new home.

In my dreams..
I hear the sweet sound of children learning to play those simple songs.
I will enjoy those recitals ....
and will be happy to go and play Sunday School Songs...
whenever they need an extra.

all for now...