Sunday, September 27, 2015

Remembering tea with Grandma.

I guess I will have to find out for myself what the fuss is all about. I have read about it, and even watched a short National Film Board documentary about it, and now I will have to try it. King Cole Tea. The company’s roots are in Sussex, New Brunswick and many Atlantic Canadians are fiercely loyal to King Cole Tea. So I am having it for breakfast today. I am not sure what great tea tastes like.
Tea is part of my heritage. I grew up in a home where the tea pot was on the stove all day.
When I went down home to visit my relatives, they all drank tea. All the time. I remember summer afternoons in Mira in Grandma’s kitchen, having hot, sweet tea with fresh cow’s milk and cinnamon rolls. Other times, Grandma would make perfect tea biscuits topped with butter she made herself from the thick sweet butter cream. The seemed to make the chore of milking the cows every morning somehow worthwhile. At my Dad’s funeral, the reception was held at the Mira hall. I remember the ladies there serving tea with sandwiches. The milk was already added to the tea. They didn’t ask; that’s just the way they served it. I don’t know how good tea should be, but it should be reassuring; comforting.

Friday, September 25, 2015


Every now and then when I feel like some cooking inspiration, I go to YouTube and find a recipe. It can be amazing how well some people can cook. So today I picked up some pork chops. Then I checked out YouTube and found a guy pan frying pork chops.
He seemed to know what he was doing, but I gotta tell ya, I was put off by his kitchen ... it was not the cleanest I have seen. I figured, OMG this guy is a slob. In the early part of the video, it looks like he hasn't cleaned his stove in a month! So he may know cooking, but I wouldn't eat in his kitchen! LOL

Thursday, September 24, 2015


One of the good things about having a few years of experience at work is that I have a tonne of holidays. And as they like to tell us at the office, if you don't use them, you lose them. So the boss sent me home early this week, to take Thursday and Friday off and make a long weekend. I still have about three weeks of holiday time left that has to be used up before the New Year. so I am here listening to some Motown favourites, reading, drinking tea and enjoying the day. I have to admit, I can only take so much of this before I get bored. I am too nosey. If there is something happening in town, I like to snoop around. Oh well, back to the book.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My new teapot!

So the day started with my decision to buy a tea ball. I get tired of tea bags that break open in boiling water sending tea leaves everywhere in the teapot. And then there's loose tea in my cup. I figured a tea ball would do the trick. You know, you've seen them. They're made of metal, about the size of a big egg. They have many tiny little holes to let the boiling water in. You place tea inside, the snap the ball shut and put in the boiling water in a tea kettle. Well, that was the plan. So I went to the tea shop at the mall. Figured that would be a good start. The sales clerk said yes, and proceeded to show me the tiniest little metal ball you can imagine. It was smaller than a golf ball. She said it was good for one cup of tea. I smiled, thanked her and shook my head, no thanks. After checking Sears and Stokes, I had no luck. Next stop was Winners, which always seems to have a good selection of kitchen thingies.
Well that's where I found my new tea kettle, all shiny and fancy. And right next to the kettle was a perfect tiny little tea strainer. Now that's something my Mom used. Mom and Dad used to boil their Red Rose by toss a big handful of loose tea into the teapot and then use the fine mesh strainer to catch the leaves as they poured their tea.
I bought the teapot for $16 and the strainer for $5. I rushed home and made a fresh pot of tea this afternoon. Here's the good part. I checked the price of the teapot on eBay. It was $41. Okay, I know I didn't really need this, but I am glad I bought it. And now that I know the price, I feel so much better.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Phones are necessary, but annoying ...

Well I survived my first week with my newest cellular phone, a BlackBerry Classic. There were some glitches and I have spent part of my Saturday morning working out the bugs. One of the problems is that many of the apps (applications in real English) keep running in the background. Of course that made my data usage go way up, and that means more dollars for the phone company. So this morning I went through the phone and deleted several of the apps… things like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and a bunch of others. I use my phone for talking, sending texts and checking e-mail. There was even an app for writing stories. Jeez, these people must think we’re all 11 years old. And music! Hell, I hardly listen to the car radio anymore. As if I am going to stick little plugs in my ears to listen to music. I can listen to stereo music at home. I almost expected to see a toilet paper app spitting out little squares of paper. The one thing I do like is that I can log in to my computer and activate the phone ringer. That will help when I lose the phone under a pile of newspapers on the dining room table.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Neil would like this ...

I think Neil would be impressed. I have been enjoying many non-Corporate beers this summer. This English Bay pale ale is a Vancouver product, from a city where people seem to take craft beer pretty seriously. I know Neil does. He likes pale ales. He also told me that craft beer is more about the recipe and freshness than about the corporate beers, which he says all seem to taste the same. Imagine that. A son teaching his dad about beer! Anyway, I had this beer with supper tonight and it was pretty fresh and crisp and enjoyable with mashed potatoes, beef and gravy. Doesn’t get much better than that eh?

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

So, it's September ...

Hard to believe September is already here. Although I do like it. With the start of the new school year, it seems like everyone has the idea of a fresh start on their minds. People seem energized and ready for whatever comes next. A good attitude with fall and winter on the way. I was pleased to spend some time last weekend with Jennifer and her family in Val Caron. It was a great visit because I needed some peace and quiet. A really nice thing is that Jennifer has become so talented in the kitchen. She amazes me with her cooking skills. It was nice to see the boys again too, even though they were here in Timmins for the last week of August, for the Kayak Festival. I got a kick out of bringing the boys around town. They seemed to enjoy meeting some new people.
The boys met our local mayor, they met some friends from the TV station and they even met the moose outside the hunting store.
I am pleased to see such a change in the boys in the sense that they like to have fun, like any teenagers, but they also have a definite serious side. They're bright guys and I just hope I can live up to whatever their expectations are for a grandfather. This is new stuff for me. They don't fall for the old "pull my finger" joke anymore.
Anyway, I am looking forward to fall. If only for the milder weather. Our summer has had a lot of rain, and according to a lot of people, it has been gloriously hot, hot, hot. Whew, I tell ya, some of those hot days were scorchers. I would hide out in my apartment. This was not whiskey drinking weather. I even went to the liquor store and bought some pre-mixed margarita drinks. How's that for a manly beverage? Yeah, I know it's a girly drink but they're cold and sure quench your thirst. I have also been drinking quite a few craft beers this summer. Some are pretty good. I got so tired of the same old, same old taste of the corporate beer so now I experiment.