Sunday 22 December 2019


Today, my list included some laundry, some chicken chores, the rest of my baking, and wrapping presents. I did the laundry, I did the chicken chores, I did SOME wrapping, and I did my baking, although decorating of cookies will have to happen tomorrow.

I decided to try a new gingerbread cookie recipe and I was very pleased with how it turned out. I even dragged out my fancy big mixer!

Can you smell the cloves and ginger?

I even followed the instructions and wrapped and refridgerated the dough. (Sometimes I skip this step). Hang on, I think that's the sugar cookie dough. I made three different things today: gingerbread cookies, sugar cookies, and "Christmas crack" which is the saltine crackers with a liquid toffee poured over it and then milk chocolate chips melted on top. Are you familiar with it?

Gingerbread cookies waiting to go in the oven.

Sugar cookies in the oven. Boy, the house smelled good!

Santa heads, candy canes, ornaments, a boot... all going to be decorated later.

The tree is up and decorated. We still have a real tree. I'm not sure if we will ever go the artificial route. 

The village is a-lit, and the Santa collection sits above it. If you look closely, you will see that Godzilla has made his way to the village and is about to wreak havoc.

A display in the livingroom. I love the Santa and reindeer. It's pretty big and I pack it away carefully every year.

Symmetry in the den. The shelf came from my parents' house.

Finally, here is Scooter nestled under a pile of flannel pajamas. Nothing says winter like flannel!

Friday 20 December 2019

Tribute to a Very Fine Feline Friend

We got Sammy from the animal shelter in a near by town. He wasn't actually at the animal shelter, he was the feature pet at the associated pet food / supply place in the same town. He was just a really cool dude. Very chill. When we bought him, at about a year old, already neutered and with all his shots, we put him in the back of the vehicle with the kids who were roughly 8 and 11 years old at the time. I warned them that he might meow all the way home and be a bit distressed to be in the vehicle. Nope, he sat down in his cage, crossed his front legs and relaxed.

He was a perfectly symmetrical brown tabby. Most tabbies are good, all around, naturally easy to get along with cats. He was an indoor / outdoor cat. He enjoyed when his humans were outside with him. He was a pretty good hunter in his younger years. He was chief inspector for all outdoor projects. He knew the best time to come around to the table, and lately, we had been pulling up a chair at the table for him! Sammy got along with other cats, in that he tolerated them, didn't fuss too much, again, was just a cool dude about things.

Several weeks ago, we realized he wasn't doing well. The vet did some tests and let us know that he was suffering from kidney disease. He started to go down hill pretty quickly and there wasn't anything we could do to reverse this. Sammy died a little while ago, we chose to not share this with our young adult kids who were in the middle of college / university exams and assignments. Once they were done with those, we let them know and we all mourned the loss of a "family member" that had been with us for about 12 years.

I know many of you are pet owners and have gone through something similar. It is what we take on as pet owners. We love our animals, we help them through their final weeks, we pay them the respect they deserve.

Rest in peace sweet boy - Samson. We will miss you.

Saturday 14 December 2019

traditional decadence

Christmas is getting closer and closer. I've never been the poster child for being ready for Christmas well ahead of time (still have gifts to buy, decorating to do, baking to accomplish, presents to wrap...), but I did manage to make some goodies this morning. I got this recipe from an old friend, Claire, years ago and since then it has come to be an expected part of our sweet treats at Christmas time. No doubt many of you make or have made something similar, but just in case you would like to take in an extra few thousand calories over the holidays, here is the recipe:

Peanut Butter Confetti Bars

-1/2 cup margarine or butter
-1 cup smooth peanut butter
-1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
-1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips
-1 bag multi-coloured mini marshmallows

Melt and stir all ingredients except marshmallows in a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool a little. Add 1 bag (mine was 250 g) of mini marshmallows and stir to coat them all. Pour into a 9 x 12 baking pan (I line mine with foil to make it easier to lift it out and slice up). Let it cool, cut into smallish squares.

Pan is lined with foil.

Butterscotch, peanut butter chips and butter in double boiler.

Now, the peanut butter.

Melting and getting smoother.

Wait a bit before you add the marshmallows, so you don't melt them as well.

Stir everything well so all the marshmallows are well coated.

Let it cool and harden before you try to cut it up. Decadent, sweet, and guaranteed to add about a half inch to your hips over the holidays. Enjoy!