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Saturday, 27 June 2020

June 27th

Today is my first official day of holidays. Finishing the school year on a computer, instead of getting together with my colleagues for a well deserved gathering in someone's back yard, was anti-climactic and felt very "off". A tradition that we teachers and other staff members have at our school, and have always had, is gathering at the front of the school around the bus loop and waving off the kids as they walk to their homes, or pull away in school buses. The bus drivers always get into it, sometimes decorating the inside of their bus, or at the very least honking their horns as they leave. The kids wave and shout goodbyes and it's a great tradition. 

A colleague, who knows how much I love "waving off the buses" made a little video for me. She had cut outs of all of the staff (again, produced on the app called Bitmoji) and a little play school bus which was being pulled slowly by a thin wire, or fishing line, or something that was barely visible.  The staff cut outs were all lined up, and as the little bus rolled past everyone, the quintessential song, "School's Out" by Alice Cooper was playing. It made me laugh and cry at the same time. 
Today was a grocery day, and picking up a few things needed by my mother-in-law who is in a long term care home, but is safe and well taken care of. We can drop off a package, then it sits for a certain amount of time, and then delivered to her. 

I am quite bothered by how expensive groceries are. I'm not sure how much is because of the lack of workers, in areas such as harvesting and processing, or is it just price gouging? Meat in particular is something for which there are no bargains to be had! We are back to having four of us around the supper table so larger quantities are necessary. I really tried to pinch the pennies this time, but it's hard. I couldn't imagine if someone was buying for an even bigger family. 

I was thrilled to find cherries, however and boy, are they perfect right now! They are so sweet and juicy.




Back home, I decided I had to do something with all that rhubarb. I looked up a recipe in the recipe book from our little village's 150 year Homecoming . I found this one:

Do you write in your recipe books? I often do. I used to ask everyone to rate the outcomes on a scale of one to ten and then I would put the ratings in the recipe book. From back in my Weight Watcher's days, I have the number of points written beside some recipes. I also have calories per serving written on some. Or just a message like, "really good!" or "don't bother making this again", or "needs more time to bake". 

This one turned out really good, but the "custard didn't set up as much as I would have liked. It was still delicious. Husband and I had second helpings! 


I realize that picture is not a great advertisement for this dessert, but underneath that meringue with coconut on top, is rhubarb in custardy goodness atop a pressed crust that's a bit like a sugar cookie. Trust me on this.

After supper it rained - big fat rain - for several minutes, then stopped. With heat tomorrow, there will be a jungle of plants - wanted and unwanted - to contend with. It's a great year for my perennials, but as discussed in a previous post, not so much for some of my vegetables. 

I'm so happy to discover that Netflix (Canadian version) has the next season of Marcella on now. I watched a few episodes today in between baking and other things. I don't know if you know it - it is British and hugely suspenseful and sometimes a bit graphic / violent. That's when I have the pillow up to my face, or I watch between my fingers in front of my face. Anyone else do that? Regardless it is a fantastic programme and not one where you can predict what is going to happen.

33 comments:

  1. I wonder whether our groceries have become more expensive. My son has been doing the shopping for me but I have not been asking him about prices. But I can see I need to! Those cherries look wonderful. I looked up Marcella. It's on US Netflix, too, but it looks a little darker than I want to watch. And I hope next year you will be able to wave goodbye to your students at the end of the year. (But I think your colleague who made the video is beyond clever!) And I do write in my cookbooks, most of them.

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    1. That's great that he's been doing your shopping for you!

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  2. I make notes on my recipe books too. It's good to know what worked and what didn't.
    Happy summer hols even though you're going to spend a lot of time cooking. Get out the BBQ and make the boys work.....and learn how to grill cheap veges!

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    1. I am often inspired by your posts that show what's being grilled!

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  3. If that pud tastes half as good as it looks it will do me nicely thank you.

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  4. I watched Marcella a while back, it was very good. After seeing your photo of cherries I've added them to tomorrow's supermarket delivery. We were spoilt when we lived in France, cherries by the bucketful.

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    1. This is just the perfect time for them, here in Ontario. This bunch (so far) is incredibly sweet and juicy.

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  5. Things have been getting more expensive here too. Talking advantage I think, and the basic producers are not getting production costs. I am glad that farm shops are thriving.
    We found cherries last week .. Pirate's favourite, being a Man of Kent!

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    1. We don't have as many "farm shops" here, but instead there are Amish and Mennonite farms that have stands where they sell their produce.

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  6. Cherries here are very expensive.

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    1. They aren't all that inexpensive here, but I like to treat us when they are in season. Other times of the year, they just aren't available.

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  7. Hi Jenn :) That was nice of your colleague! That Alice Cooper song is in my head now lol...Oh the groceries. Honestly we were spoiled in quebec. NB's prices for groceries is a little higher. I was surprised the first time I went to Sobeys. Are the cherries local? I usually get the ones from Washington and I try to wait out the prices because we like to make Cherry Bounce (it's a whiskey based cherry spirit) and it takes two bags of cherries. I have to go grocery shopping this week since we have the fridge now, I need to fill it!

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  8. Hi Jenn. How sweet of your teacher friend to make this video for you. I think even the kids are having a hard time with no closure as normal to the school year end. Loving the cherries right now too. Yum.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  9. I made a rhubarb/strawberry crisp last weekend -- delicious!

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  10. The cost of groceries has gone up everywhere. It's not even certain items. All of it costs more. I read somewhere that it is to make up for the cost of all the extra cleaning, etc. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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  11. Our groceries have gone up too... I thought it was because of the extra expense of curb-side pickup, but maybe not. Of all businesses, grocery stores should not be hurting. If anything, we order more than usual and probably a little more 'treats' and comfort food. We saw someone picking up curb side at Walmart the other day in a tiny little hatch back. She had so much groceries that they had to pile them in the back, on the floor, and beside her on the seats. Guessing she was picking up for a large family?? or buying a month's supply?

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  12. Those cherries look fabulous!

    I have been spending more on groceries too. I thought it was just me. Maybe prices have gone up a bit here and there and it adds up. I have been buying more too because seige mentality.

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  13. Oh, I am sure you very much missed the end-of-the-year, "good-bye" tradition at your school. And the kids must have thought about it and been sad, too. So much has changed. Our state (Minnesota) is even talking about not opening schools in the fall. What a detriment (a further one) to our society that would be.

    Yes, our groceries are going up each and every time I shop. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for families with a growing family. Try buying enough and having enough on hand for a couple of growing, hungry teenage boys in the house! How would you tell them to curb their eating?

    I have so many good rhubarb recipes, but it's hard to not bake something every day since we're trying to stay away from goodies like that. I've read you should stop cutting your rhubarb by July 4th so the strength then goes to the roots for next year. So we don't have long to harvest and eat it now. Is that a good enough excuse to go a little crazy in the next week?

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  14. In my cookbook collection I often run across someone's handwritten comments. Usually there are about minor adjustments but sometimes there is a slightly pithy comment that makes me smile.

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  15. Aww...what a thoughtful colleague! Those cherries do look pretty righteous. There have been pretty tasty stone fruit selections at our local market. Speaking of markets, I think that Covid has brought about an increase in prices. I noticed it with butter straight away.

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  16. How sweet and kind and thoughtful and caring that your comrade in arms made the going away video for you. I would have bawled.
    Yes, I write on the recipes. I'm a decent cook, too, and know when the recipe calls for way too much sugar!

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  17. Holy cow - you step away from your computer and you have ten comments waiting for you! I love it. Thank you. Yes, my colleague is sweet, but she's also very funny. She makes me laugh on a constant basis. I had no idea about not picking rhubarb after July 4th- I probably should freeze some but I know how many bags of rhubarb I still have in my freezer! From reading your comments, I think we are all feeling the increase in grocery prices across the board. Concerning the cherries, I don't know from whence they hail as I already threw the bag out. I'll check the next time I go shopping. Thanks again for all the comments!

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  18. I'll have to see if that's on my netflix. Thanks for the recommendation and for the dessert recipe too. I have a little bit of rhubarb left from what Kate gave me and maybe just enough. I hope it's still good -- in the fridge but not frozen.

    The video sounds like great fun. I'm sorry about the last day deal. Not unexpected but still a letdown for you. I'm sorry you have higher grocery prices too. We've sure noticed it here. Add to that delivery fee for instacart and groceries went up pretty significantly. Rick is starting to shop now and that's a good thing. I can count on saving about $15 or more per shop, which comes in handy when food costs more. I'm hoping my nephew can snag me some Traverse City cherries when he and his future fiancee go over there tomorrow. I can't go to the markets. I'm not sure they're out yet, but we'll see!

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  19. Congratulations on making it to the end of the school year. Now it's only a short 6 months until retirement (?) What fun your teacher friend made of the buses leaving; some people are so gifted with technology & creativity. I am also noticing the rise in food prices. I think some of the companies raised to cover the increase in hourly increases to staff during the "height" of the pandemic. Now that they aren't getting that per hour bonus, I doubt we will see a decrease. :( I hope your summer is going to be marvelous & that your veg start to thrive. ... Mary-Lou =^[..]^=

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  20. Hi Jeanie and Mary-Lou. When my son was working at the garden centre, yes, he got $2.00 more per hour. You're right that they are cutting that back again (he has since found a different job) and no, we likely won't see a drop in prices. It is actually only five months of school until retirement, but who knows what it will be like. Partly classroom, partly online??

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  21. It has been heartbreaking for us. We are a residential program and our students have been tossed to the wind. They are begging to come back and we don't know when that will be. When it does happen we can only do 24 at a time. We had to sit and discuss which kids had a worse living situation. On a lighter note, my cookbooks have writing all over them. I am making a family cookbook and my only complaint about the program is I have to type the comments, not scribble them in. Take care and hang in there.

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  22. So many things have changed. I guess we're all doing the best we can. I've noticed that many things at the grocery store have gone up in price. The food bill is higher than before!

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  23. I don't use recipe books per se, but I do print out recipes from the internet. Then I make my notes on it (or put it on the blog with my modifications). We're building our own recipe book with things that we've tried or want to try. We'll keep the recipes (with notes) that work and toss the ones that don't.

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  24. I'd be very happy to try that desert and give you a score! It looks delicious.

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  25. oh cherries, how I love thee! Add the fact that they are great for my kidneys now who love to produce stones, I love them even more.

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  26. I dropped Netflix for BritBox. I'm loving it!scads of garden shows (in love with Monty Don!) And the British Comedies!!!!

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