With sincere hope that this finds you all in good health.
Oh my, it’s been a long time since my last post. Life got in the way, as sometimes happens. However, I was encouraged by a note attached to a Christmas card from my DC to continue blogging.
Valentines Day was one of those “special days” that I looked forward to as a child because our teachers always let us have a party in the afternoon. It was filled with sweet treats and card exchanges. Some years we deposited our cards in a huge decorated box and other years we had made individual “mailbags” to receive cards.
One year, my mother sat me at the kitchen table to make cards for my friends. Construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons and paper doilies – it was a smorgasbord of craft supplies. I loved seeing my ideas come to life. No matter the time and creativity that went into these cards, I don’t remember my classmates really liking them. They preferred the store bought cards with the cute sayings.
One morning last week I was exploring techniques with a Gelli Arts gel printing plate and acrylic paints. It was tremendous fun and I ended up with a pile of colourful abstract sheets of photocopy paper. I selected a few to cut apart and use as background for mixed media Valentines note cards. I ran another sheet through my Vagabond machine to cut out hearts. (A lot easier than using scissors! 🙂 )
These are for you:
Have a Happy Day!
It is raining this Labour Day, so what better to do than bake up a batch of what I consider to be the best butter tarts? Apparently there is some debate as to whether butter tart fillings are better with nuts rather than raisins, syrupy rather than firm. I prefer them with raisins and a firm filling, and the following recipe is the one I return to every time. It is from my mother’s old Purity Flour cookbook from the 1940’s.
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar (I use cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups raisins (I use Thompson raisins)
Pastry (I use Glutino pastry mix)
Beat eggs only until whites and yolks are well blended. Beat in sugar and add vinegar and vanilla. Stir in the melted butter and raisins.
Line tart tins with pastry and fill 1/2 to 2/3 full with butter mixture. Bake in hot (425 degree F) oven for the first 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to a moderate (350 degree F) and bake for 20 -25 minutes, or until filling is firm. Place tins on cooling rack.This recipe makes 24 small tarts or 12 2″-sized tarts.
Every time I bake a batch of these I remember back to the first summer of my marriage. I had baked 4 dozen tarts in preparation for a family reunion the following day. After they were cooled and removed from the tins, I put them away and left home to go to my job. After my shift, I returned home to find DH and his friend sitting at the kitchen table happily munching their way through all four dozen tarts! Well, if that isn’t testimony to how good these are, I don’t know what is.
What ever you are doing this Labour Day, I hope it is something you love to do. Enjoy.
Happy Canada Day (July 1st) to everyone, whether Canadian or not.
The weather here is promising to be extremely hot and humid – a good day to get outdoor chores done early and head inside before the sun gets high in the sky.
The hiatus I took from writing this blog lasted much longer than intended, so now I have tons of catching up to do. It won’t be in any particular order.
Canada belongs to the British Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth is our head of state. Therefore, the wedding of her grandson, Prince Harry to Megan Markle was an occasion to celebrate. Having watched every one of the televised royal weddings in my lifetime, beginning with Princess Margaret’s to Anthony Armstrong Jones, I soberly realized that this one could be the last on television for many years.
Television coverage began locally at 4:00 a.m. which meant rising early. A few days before, I planned an “afternoon tea” to celebrate the wedding. For some strange reason, anyone I invited to join us at 4:00 in the morning declined. Alas it would be tea for DH (my dear husband) and me.
Our lilacs were at their best and very abundant this year and I didn’t mind cutting a few branches to decorate the living room. China teacups and tea service were set on the tea trolley.
Egg salad sandwiches, fresh baked scones, lemon curd and strawberry meringues with whipped cream made up the menu.
Fashion for watching the wedding on television: I wore coral coloured satin pyjamas, and for fun, (since it was required of the wedding guests), a hat; DH was dressed in lounge pants and oversized tee- shirt. What a fashionable couple we were!
When the lovely ceremony finished, we toasted the couple with champagne and enjoyed our tea.
To all Irish and Irish at heart: have a happy day, for sure spring is on it’s way!
Our shamrock plant sits on a bright windowsill against a snowy backdrop.
A friend bought these shamrock shaped chocolate-mint candies at a local farmers’ market – an indulgence for later, today.