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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Smells good eh?

Today was one of those days when I was inspired to do some winter cooking. I was shopping for fresh produce; lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers and such when I noticed the celery and remembered I still had plenty at home. The celery kicked off a memory of a friend who made a huge batch of chili in early September. Well, that did it. So I rushed around getting what I needed and now my kitchen smells fabulous. The only difference is that instead of ground beef, I bought ground chicken. So this will my first “chicken chili”. One other thing about shopping that grinds on me is that I have to buy smaller packages of things like bread and buns. Quite often I will open the bread or buns only to find little spots of mould. I just don’t eat it fast enough I guess. I notice that most of the bakery stuff I buy doesn’t last longer than a week before the mould happens. I guess that’s a good thing because there are fewer preservatives. I noticed one bag of bagels I bought lasted almost three weeks before I got tired of looking at them and tossed them out. They come six to a package and I had eaten only three or four, but they never got mouldy. The other thing to consider is that the bakery store is next to the liquor store. So if I don’t need to go to the liquor store, I don’t always get fresh bakery items. Maybe I should visit the liquor store more often. Ha ha.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Soup, soup, soup!

Oh yeah, today was a soup day! Woke up and there was snow on the truck and a bit of ice on the windshield. It was just chilly all day. Got home a bit early and was thinking about supper, when I noticed I had a couple of beef ribs in the fridge. Aha! Soup. Boil up them nice meaty ribs, a bit of pepper, couple chunks of celery, onion, a turnip, chopped up carrots, can of tomatoes, a small handful of pasta. Simmer, simmer, simmer. I had to run out to a photo shoot, but I got home just a while ago. Cut up some nice warm crusty bread, add a bit of butter and a chunk of cheddar. Yum, yum, yum. Suddenly everything is warm and the chill is gone! This calls for a wee glass of whiskey!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Reading something new ...

I got out of my comfort zone today of reading spy novels, techno thrillers and history. Like a lot of Canadians, I felt intense pride upon hearing that Alice Munro of Wingham, Ontario has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. I don’t believe I have ever read her stories, but today I bought one of her books; The Moons Of Jupiter. If the reviews of thousands of others are any indication, I am confident I will enjoy reading Munro’s work. I have a good stock of wine and a nice rib-eye ready for the pan. I will let you know. But it’s not yet lunchtime and I have some housework to do.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What would Forrest Gump say?

I think I believe in creativity as much as the next guy, but Hollywood writers really suck these days. Yeah, I know they probably make tonnes of money, but they still suck. I am referring to all the movies and story-lines about vampires and zombies. Enough already! I guess they are responding to market demand, otherwise Hollywood wouldn’t spend the money to produce movies about such dumb things. I guess the real culprits are the movie fans who spend good money to see this crap. I wish I could find these people and tell them stupid stories and take their money. Like Forrest Gump said, stupid is as stupid does. We need more stories like Forrest Gump.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A really great weekend

Thanksgiving weekend was great. I am just back in Timmins this afternoon after spending Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Jenn and her men. I really enjoyed it. Totally relaxed. Jenn mentioned a couple of international news stories... and I had no idea what she was talking about. I zoned out and enjoyed three days of reading, a bit of TV and enjoying the company of the boys. Nathan and Tyler are both getting taller and a bit older. So I was able to share with them some funny stories of the silly things I did when I was their age. I really think the boys are enjoying a particularly good time in their lives right now. They're building friendships that will likely last a lifetime. And they're at that age where they can appreciate good times and fun without having to carry any responsibility. I envy them... a bit. It was busy enough too. Nathan had to go one hockey game in Saturday and Tyler had a game in Elliot Lake. So Ty, Jenn and myself drove over to Elliot (2 1/2 hours) for that game. Saturday was glorious with the sun shining and beautiful fall colors along the North Shore. The boys' teams both enjoyed wins. And then we sat down to watch the Leafs Saturday night, and that was another win for our favourite team. This is the first Thanksgiving dinner in several years that we didn't enjoy the company of Don and Denise, or Chris, Victoria and Demetrios. I know it will be nice to see them again at Christmas. Sunday we enjoyed a nice turkey with potatoes, turnips, carrots, stuffing and gravy. Jenn made a really nice strawberry/raspberry shortcake dessert with whipped cream too. One thing I did this for the first time this year was to buy a fresh turkey, instead of a frozen one (Jenn's suggestion). It was excellent (Thank you Mr. Butterball). Jenn had an even better week that expected since Neil was in Ontario for a few days to attend a wedding in Toronto last week. (Nooo! Not his wedding! LOL) and so he was able to scoot up to Sudbury for a couple of days. Jenn said it was a great visit and she was indeed happy to see him. I was stuck in Timmins working on deadline, and so couldn't get down to Sudbury on time. Neil continues to 'Live the Life' in Vancouver. I am sure I will have to make a another trip out there. I am happy for him. Jennifer's studies are going well and she said this coming week will be interesting. She will be on a nursing placement at a seniors' nursing home. She will spend several days looking after elderly patients, taking care of all their many needs. There are many un-glamourous things a nurse has to do looking after elderly folks, and so Jenn admits this will be something of a test for her.

Monday, October 07, 2013

I spent more time on dessert than making the dinner...

I put this on Facebook, but I thought I'd share it here also. This was a nice fall dessert on Sunday. Really intense flavours. Pears poached in red wine. The sauce was a reduction of the wine, a drool of maple syrup, a whisper of allspice, a slobber of strained puree of raspberries, the merest hint of dark chocolate and a splash of bourbon! I let the pears chill and the sauce was warm. The pears were cool, fruity and juicy and the sauce was incredibly tart, which I didn't expect. So it was nice.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Tea, tea and more tea

What's going on...? I have more coffee in this place than I can handle, but for the last three weeks I have been drinking nothing but tea. This morning I figured I might just fire up the Keurig and enjoy a quick coffee. For some reason I patiently boiled the water and waited for the tea to steep. In my mind, I find that coffee has been a bit too bitter lately. I have enjoyed a coffee while out on assignment lately, but at home when I want to relax or get ready for work, good old Red Rose has done the trick.

It's October alright.

In reference to my last posting here, I finished reading The Orenda by Joseph Boyden, a couple of weeks back. Yes, it was indeed a good read. I actually put off reading other books once I got into it. I enjoyed some "readers' guilt". I put aside everything else until I was finished the book... and several times a day, I would re-read a chapter, just to enjoy it more. Boyden is a great storyteller and the book is hard and gritty. I am tempted to go back and read some of his earlier books, knowing I will enjoy them more. Well Fall has certainly arrived in Timmins. We have some areas of nice colours but I am mildly disappointed with our weather. Last year at this time, we enjoyed some nice Indian Summer temperatures. Not this year. I found our summer months were too hot and September arrived with chilly temperatures just a bit too quickly. October reminds me too much of the passage of time. I find it goes too quickly. On the other hand, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving Dinner. The moose hunt is on here in the North and so I am putting out the word once again, that I so enjoy a nice tender steak. Here's a photo I shot last week. The lighting was good. I got lucky. I like the mix of colours.