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Thursday, 10 November 2011

Being Thankful and a recipe

Our Canadian Thanksgiving was early, and lovely, and our American neighbours are wrapped up in preparations for theirs, as I write. Seems Fall is the thankful season!

As we, husband J and I, slowly emerge from our self imposed quarantine ( intestinal bug), we've been looking for simple foods to eat. I'm aware of the trend to eat locally and the living simply, living abundantly world view also has much to recommend it.

Living in the Waterloo County area of Ontario, we are ideally placed to benefit from both these philosophies. We still have many family farms that produce a wide range of delicious foods, beginning with maple syrup in February, progressing through the seasons with fresh fruits and vegetables, and including eggs, meats, and home baking year round. Many of the farms are owned an operated by large, multigenerational Mennonite families, who still sell produce at the farm gate (no Sunday sales), and at farmers markets and independent local produce markets, located just outside city limits.

We're fortunate that the Mennonite"s belief in a simpler life, biblically based faith and strong commitment to service is still visible in our rapidly growing and increasingly technological and industrial communities. It heartens me to see the sheds for the horses and buggies at the farmers market, and at the Home Depot on the edge of town. A short drive into the country presents views of rural lives changed very little in over 100 years. My Grandfather would recognize scenes from his boyhood.

So, casting about for appealing, simple foods to sooth our healing bodies, I called my 84 yr old mother to ask how to poach eggs. My first attempt doesn't bear blogging about! We've been eating poached eggs, mashed potatoes, toast, tea and - baked apples. Simple - but surprisingly good. Eggs from a farmer with a personal relationship with the chickens, local potatoes and apples baked with a drizzle of maple syrup. That's my  "recipe".

Simple Baked Apples
-1 apple per person (I used big plump Spy apples from the market)
- maple syrup to taste (also from the market, or buy it on the roadside from a young girl, bonneted and warmly wrapped in black or navy blue, selling the syrup from the back of a black buggy, with a patient horse, and in sight of the sugar bush trees that produced it.)
Core and peel the apples, leaving them whole. Place apples in a glass baking dish and drizzle with maple syrup. Cover and microwave on high 10 minutes or until the apples are as soft as you like. Serve with the apple/maple juice pored over the warm apple.
Your kitchen will smell heavenly, and the warm, sweet apple is too. Comfort food!

I have much to be thankful for! I must try to remind myself of this as the "thankful season" passes into winter. I should be thankful year round!

Thankfully, Barb

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

So long and thanks for all the fish - Douglas Adams

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying - " Fish and company stink after three days."

Well, we've had some unwelcome company here the last week or so - an intestinal bug with severe abdominal pain - plus the usual intestinal bug trappings. My husband ended up in the hospital emergency room, the pain was so intense. We've been following the protocol suggested by the ER doc. - liquid diet followed by the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). It's getting a little old after days of it with no real improvement.

So, I,m telling our unwelcome guest it's time to go - so long and thanks for all the fish.

Hope this finds you well!