Monday, May 17, 2010

Painterly Picnic

Does this say Robert Bateman?
Photo left is Lake Erie, looking south toward Point Pelee. Hillman Marsh, is to the right. GG and I came here for a picnic after church and were pleasantly surprised with a bit of fog hanging along the shoreline.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Pie plant. Just a few crowns of rhubarb provides weeks of pies, crumbles, puddings with surplus for the freezer. Most recipes using apples or soft fruits can be substituted or cut in with rhubarb.

Remember, the leaves are poisonous. Only use the stalk. Rhubarb is pulled, not cut. Reach down to near the base of the stalk and pull it. The stalk will cleanly come out from the plant crown. Clip off the leaf right there in the garden and pull off any new growth which may be attached at the stalk base.

I usually figure on four cups of filling for a nine-inch pie. Rhubarb cooks down soft so it can stand an extra cup. For one nine-inch pie, I use about six decent sized stalks diced smallish - usually enough to fill the pie dish level to the rim.

I made a custard to go in this pie along with the fruit. If short of eggs, I could have used 2 Tbsps. of minute tapioca with a cup of sugar added to the fruit. I use tapioca for sour cherry pie too. Of course this no longer qualifies as a custard pie.

Rhubarb Custard Pie (one 9-inch pie)
Wash, dry and dice rhubarb.
Beat together sugar, flour, butter, eggs.
Add the diced rhubarb.
Prepare the crust.
Put filling into prepared pie plate.

Cover with top pastry, crimp edges together, gash top to allow steam to escape when baking.
I like to sprinkle the top of rhubarb pies with white sugar too.
Bake in preheated oven 400 F x 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 40 minutes or until crust is golden.
Rotate the pie about halfway through bake time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


"If there ever was a time to drive fast, Mom, now is the time."
Speedy, running 1.25 minutes late for the airport.

"You'll get old."
Violinist, upon hearing my plans to begin quilting.

"It was noted at 2 a.m. two kittens born at back door."
Fun, in a note left on the kitchen table.

"Don't you have anything besides nursing mother nipple balm or baby bum cream?
Buff, after complaining about his cracked and sore abrasions.

"See you in two weeks. I love you, Mom."
Speedy on his way to the airport.

"Well, see you next week. I love you, Mom."
Violinist, after church.

"See you at supper. I love you, Mom."
Fun, on the way off to work.

"Please bring you."
Buff, texting.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Apparently So

This morning I drove Speedy to the 401 to join up with his Windsor SIFE colleagues heading off to Calgary, Alberta. In March in Toronto, Ontario they won the 2010 Ace Regional Entrepreneurship challenge, for Students in Free Enterprise. This week they present with universities across Canada vying for a spot at the international level to be held this autumn in Los Angeles. Good luck and have a blast SIFE Windsor!

(SIFE Windsor poster boy above is Speedy.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

Wishing all a blessed and happy
other's Day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

If You Ride Dirt Bike

It is important to wear the right equipment.
All. The. Time.

Because if you don't, bad stuff will happen. Fun was merely kick starting his bike when the kickstand got him in the shin. Pair of boots would have fixed that.

Beneath the pressure bandage is a six inch gash which probably should have been stitched up, but that's another story.

And this one. Buff.
This is what happens when one skids out on hardpack wearing only bike boots, helmet and a pair of gym shorts. Yes. I yelled at him. And I yelled at the other one too.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Granola. It's not that hard to make and there are probably a zillion variations. I found this one years ago in the Harrowsmith Cookbook - a Canadian classic - tweaking it somewhat.

Once when the boys were little and enjoying a granola breakfast outside at the picnic table, a thirty-something woman carrying a clipboard walked up the drive.
"I'm taking a shopping survey," she said, "could you answer some questions about your grocery shopping?"

It quickly became apparent I didn't fit the mold. I made most everything from scratch, didn't buy pop, chips, bread, mixes or ready-made anything other than spaghetti sauce and frozen vegetables. And at the time, I was making the boys brush their teeth with baking soda.

"Breakfast cereals?" she continued, naming off a list of popular boxed cold breakfast cereals.
"Well, none, unless it's vacation."
She stopped and stared over at the little men chowing down.
And that's when Fun piped up in his little squeaky voice,
eat granilla!"
"You do?!" She seemed shocked and perplexed - as if dropped onto another planet. "You make granola?! I guess you really don't fit my survey."
"I guess."

  • 6 cups of large flake oatmeal
  • 1 cup wheat flakes or rapid-cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup rye flakes
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup or more or less or none dried fruit, your choice. I used dates here.
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla

Mix all the dry ingredients together, except the dried fruit.
Add the dried fruit after baking otherwise it will harden too much.
Rapid-cook oatmeal approximates the flake size of wheat flakes. It doesn't matter which one you use. I started using rapid cook oatmeal when out of wheat flakes. If you have neither, use large flake oats and rough them up in a bag bringing them down to the size and appearance of rapid-cook oatmeal.
Mix all the wet ingredients together.

Dump the dry ingredients into an oiled baking pan. I use my roasting pan.
Add in the wet ingredients and stir mixing well.

Pop into preheated 300 F oven and bake x 35 minutes.
Stir frequently.

When it's golden, remove and let cool.
Add the fruit when cooled.
This makes approximately 14 cups of cereal.
Add milk and eat like any other cold cereal or sprinkle over yogurt.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bee Lovely

This French Lilac planted by the front doorway is fairly intoxicating.
Last evening two bumblebees lay in a stupor amongst her blossoms.

I reached up and pulled the branch downward to get a better look.
They seemed in no hurry to fly away.

About five minutes passed.
Then together, both seemingly sighed,
turned and gently flew upward, almost slow motion.
It was lovely.