Friday, 19 December 2014


We have had a busy week preparing for Christmas.

We all attended the penitential service on Tuesday night.  Sophie made her First Reconciliation.  So proud of that was such a special night.

Wednesday was a little crazy...not only was it Jack's Birthday but also the day of the Christmas Concert at Sophie's school.

THIS.  This is Christmas....

The Christmas baking is done!

These whipped shortbreads are my weakness.....a whole pound of butter in one batch....melt in your mouth goodness...

Chocolate cake balls....

And toffee bark....aka crack...

There is also ginger cookies, coconut macaroons, nainamo bars, marshmallow squares (with the social teas), skor squares and buttertarts.  There might be more....I have forgotten.  Much of it will be given as gifts but I made enough for us too.

Up next....
the making of a float for the Christmas parade on Sunday.
get the tree in and up and decorated.
do some shopping....and then some wrapping.

AND....Secret Santa is a go around here again.  Sophie got us all organized last night.  We picked names and she made a sign....
"dote let anyone no who you have.  Spred Christmas Cheer.  Have fun!  Let's start now!"
I think she might be a motivational speaker....
I hope it works out this time.


Thursday, 18 December 2014


Yesterday, we celebrated Jack.



So hard to believe.  Now there are three teenagers in this house!  EEEEK!

He requested a leg of lamb for supper.  And a shrimp ring.  And blackforest cake.

He has an interesting 'palate' for a thirteen year old.  Johanna was home from school one day with strep throat and Jack unthawed lamb chops for his lunch....marinated them in rosemary, garlic and onion.  He fried them up himself and warmed up some whipped potatoes.  Johanna asked if he ate like that everyday....and I told her no....not everyday.  But he is quite a chef.

Terry bought a bottle of pure prune help with his constitution....and it just happened to be in the fridge.  Jack got it out, poured himself a glass and drank it down.  Didn't even flinch.  I guess the look on Terry's face told him that something was up and he asked "WHAT....was I not suppose to drink that?"  Terry told him that he could drink it if he wants....but really why would you want to drink prune juice just for fun?

He is an interesting lad indeed.

He is still designing his barn floor plans.  But he has upgraded.  Those little sheets of graph paper just weren't cutting it.  I bought him an industrial size roll of graph paper....the kind that an architect would use.  He rolls it out right across the living room floor.....AND he not only designs the barn to size but now he estimates the entire cost to build it.  He is always calculating something.  It's really quite amazing.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Family Photos 2014

A couple of months ago....when it was still warm outside and the leaves were beautiful....I suggested we get a family photo taken.  It's been over two years.  But all I heard were groans.  They just avoided the subject.  I think they were thinking....she'll just forget about it.

And when I kept mentioning it, Terry said, "Let's wait and do it in the snow."

The snow?  Why?

And then I asked Johanna....I figured she'd be on my side....lets get these photos done.  But no....she surprised me when she said, "Let's do it in the snow."

Good grief.  The snow?  Really? was put off.

Until yesterday.

I really didn't think it was going to happen.  But Aimy came to the rescue....THANK YOU AIMY....and we got it done.

I didn't fuss with matching clothes this year.  I told them they could wear whatever they wanted.  I just asked that they have clean faces.




Friday, 12 December 2014

Recap of the Week

This was a busy week.

There was all the usual stuff....with a bit of Christmas on top.

The kids thought it would be fun to play 'secret Santa' here.  So we picked names.  But no one can keep a secret.  So we picked names again.  But no one can keep a secret.  So we picked names again.  This happened about 5 more times.  We called it off.  Forget it.  There is no secret Santa here.  No one can keep a secret.

We got some snow yesterday...enough to cancel the busses.  The kids skated on the pond and played in the snow and I baked for most of the day.  Baking for a like therapy.  It was heavenly.  And when I asked them to make some pizza crust for supper, it was Jack that volunteered.  I came home to the most amazing pizza crust ever.  How did he do it?  He's not sure.  My recipe book is so messed.  He said there was one recipe in ink and then another recipe beside it in pencil and he didn't know which one to do so he sort of did both.  I told him the numbers in ink are the regular recipe and the numbers in pencil are when we have visitors and we need more crust.  Oh.  It was beautiful.  And he will be making it again.  And he will open a pizzeria.  I hope.


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Ottawa Valley Headcheese

Terry's mom makes headcheese.

The guys at the hunt camp look forward to it every year.

I can't seem to eat it....or smell it.  My kids can't either.  I call it shiny meat.

It's like jello and meat.  Together.

But there is something about headcheese and men...

Just within the last couple of weeks, a few different guys have asked Terry if he would get his mom to write down that headcheese recipe of hers.

And she did.

And I need to share it.

She says that it's just her own version of an imitation's not 'traditional' headcheese.  She is actually on a search for a 'Traditional Headcheese Recipe'.

But I believe that she already has it.

This is traditional.  This is authentic.  This is the real deal.

Ottawa Valley Headcheese.  Including 'tips' on the reverse side of the page.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Lydia's Christmas List

Lydia was writing out her Christmas List the other night.

First on the list was a key chain.  A key chain?

She explained.  She wants the same one that Sophie received at her birthday.  It's a key chain with a light and it's has 'Sophie' on it.

me....'what if Santa can't find one with your name on it?'



She continued....thinking and writing....

A Barbie boat.  Really?

me....'You don't even play with Barbies.....and does she really have a boat?'

her.....'Barbie has EVERYTHING.  She must have a boat.'

She has never even seen a Barbie boat.  But it's on the list.

She continued....thinking some more.

Then she looked at me and said, "Let me get this straight.  There are little guys up there.  These elf guys and they are sittin' at table and they are going to make me this stuff?"

me....'Apparently....yes.  That's the story I got.'

She continued...thinking.

She wrote a few more things.....including fake nails....and then she was struggling for suggestions.

I said, "What about those cozy pajamas that you saw at No Frills?  They would be nice."

her.....'There is NO WAY that those little elves will be able to make those exactly the same as the ones in No Frills.  NO WAY.  And I want the ones in No Frills....I don't want different ones.  NO WAY.'

me...'Take a chance.  PLEASE.  Just take a chance.  Put those pajamas on your list.'

Eventually she did.


Monday, 1 December 2014

Cake in a Jars

I made up some Cake in a Jars on Friday.  I hadn't made them in quite awhile.

We were going to a couple of events on the weekend that needed raffle prizes/silent auction items, and so I thought I would contribute.

People had been disappointed at the market during the summer when I hadn't been making them....I just didn't seem to have the time for some reason.....and I learned that pies sell faster.  So I stuck with the pies....but the Cake in a Jar fans were upset.

So I baked a big chocolate cake....enough for plenty of leftovers for the kids....because the kids haven't been getting the baked goods around here lately.

And I whipped up the buttercream.

And I bought these sweet holiday sprinkles.

And I jammed them all in the little jars.

I made a few with cherry pie filling too....that was always the favourite flavour at the market......making it 'Blackforest' cake.

Jack had his heart set on getting that Blackforest one at the 4-H Banquet.

And lo and behold they pulled his name.....and he won it.

Lucky boy.