Thursday, January 14, 2021

I loved my Crayolas..my Prismacolors..

 


The only thing that changed..the supplies..I still love playing with art supplies;)

I discovered Roisin Cure on Instagram..and have been stalking her:)

I finally clicked in to a zoom class after purchasing her book..It arrived end of December so perfect timing.

I loved it ...


I took a second class:)

Faces..



These are the only 3 I can show..they are in her book and we draw along with her..

Again I loved the class but I need practice..

Visibly


So I sent this to Caroline..Fred took this pic of Oli ..we had bumped into them..12 ft apart on the golf course and I asked Fred to take a pic..feeling cocky with my new class.

OHLALA..I will practice tons..before trying new things..

I had attached the note to Caroline..Didn't want to scare Oli.



I took a pic through our widow of "pops" and his two boys..

Roisin can paint true to life portraits..botanicals..etc but her first love I think is Urban Sketching..quick..expressive..to make memories..That's one of the things I love to do..

I like practicing things from fave books too.


I hope this shows you that ANYONE can paint.Sincerely and seriously.And the materials to start with are not expensive.

Just have fun.


You don't have to paint perfectly to get a memory saved.

Sinceriously:)


Above fabulous No-Knead Olive Bread..Sinceriously easy!

You can find the recipe here..


So this is how we go for a walk..  here..



Does this look normal to you? Grandad is ahead of Lucas so more than 6 ft separate them OUTSIDE.

All you entitled people ..not wearing masks getting together..in groups..

I am not impressed.
I've  not hugged my family since March..we've not been in each their homes since March.

Get it?

Why can you go on vacations? Get together?

Jump in cars together no masks..

I saw Bruce Willis shopping NO MASK.

I saw a video of Sylvester Stallone IN his home w/ AL Pacino as a guest..NO masks..Guy Fieri cooking for them.


So impressed.



If you want a distraction from all that is wrong right now..

I recommend..


I loved the first epi and look forward to them all.

I mean I still like Your Honor..lol..


but this is an escape to pure bliss.

The cinematography..the cast..the cute animals..the beautiful countryside..

It's Call The Midwife for animals I said to J..:)







Saturday, January 9, 2021

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Bread ..the staff of life...

 








The bread is Ricardo's no knead..for NYE I just wanted a small grazing/charcuterie board..so bread was called for..and I love warmed Naan for hummus etc..these Naans WORKED..I have tried others ..and the consistency was not right for me..

None other than Half Baked Harvest 's delicious recipe.

Oh I love her pics..food..videos:)


Twice in the past month I have tried sourdough starters to no avail..

Mind you our home is not kept at 80F..

I don't know why I am intent (obsessed..) at making a sourdough bread..the no -kneads are GREAT and crusty and holey and beautiful.

I have a few recipes..and vary but mostly I Ricardo it..


So I Googled and proofing boxes were like $180 US and discontinued..

My oven..the light is not warm enough..

So Jacques had an outdoor wall fixture..flat..so perfect to be on the counter..I had no storage bins that were empty(of course)..but we have buckets lol and a thermometer.

So it seems to work..my starters are so far no discard starters..only..

and mostly RYE flour and filtered water..my starter recipe was found here..

I have tried one dry starter to no avail..trying again thanks to two wonderful long time friends..Once it works..I'll come back :)


I found a beautiful feed on IG..actually my daughter Caroline found her on Tik Tok ..sent me a photo of a gorgeous bread and said make 2..well my no-kneads don't hold shapes like this at all  so I was determined and I had dear enablers  who had encouraged me and I had let them down..I had to persevere;)




So it's pretty but not high enough..It was good..had holes..but dense..I'll keep on till I get it:)I should have left it in fridge 24 hrs.

You can find Barb..on IG at Barbsbeautifulbread!If I add an IG link here my whole account appears...

Then I made Alexandra's Easy Sourdough Bread..




It's ok..but I want a way better crumb..lol..

and no knead is soooooo easy..but I love me a challenge.

I will keep at it because I have Hope In a Jar 3 under that bucket as I type and Dough-Re-Mi..:)


But..if you don't want all the fermentation periods apart from one overnight on the counter..Ricardo and all the other no-kneads ..then no kneads are great....are GREAT.


So funny why do I play with bread in DARK clothes and garden in pale?

Why don't I pull the oven rack out to lift the cast iron lid to check?It would be smart and then I would not burn the top of my mitts..


I need to re-adjust.




I don't like to say look what I have ..look what I got..except garlic and flowers and cookie cutters..but look what I received..the plushest warmest blanket..this is my journal..I lost most of the pics..starting over ..so I am taking 3 small liberties..It's full size..the quality of all pics is exceptional.Shutterfly.




And these handmade ornaments:)




On lockdown for an additional month here.
Took my x country skis out.
You know what happens when you have not done it in a few yrs..(we showshoe)..your balance is off and unlike being younger you are no longer fearless:(
Take care.









Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2021

 



Last year this time of year..not even close this year..it's all green.





And here we are..a few days away from a brand new year.


2020 had such a promising nice ring to it..Didn't it?


And then it did not.

Every end of year..I hope for the next year..

This year leaves me feeling very different.


I am full of hope for my family and your families..


For  friends I know that are so sick.


I am sad for ..you know the drill..all the front line workers..

All the people needing medical care that cannot get it right now.

All the lonely people..

THINK about YOU waiting for an operation..but no..Covid cases come first..

Think about it..

Your mom or dad getting it..or worse..you..because obviously you're thinking of you..numero uno.

I am mad at all .. people..not respecting  the law   or common sense .

When you only think of yourself..you are not thinking about community.

Wear the masks..stop having get togethers..you know the drill..

Did you have to fly to Mexico for a holiday?

While someone was dying of Covid..

3000 of you will be flying back into here tomorrow..

I just don't know what to say anymore concerning all this.


And is everyone posting family gathering photos tone deaf?

I just stole that line from George Hahn.

Take care..and please think of others.








Monday, December 21, 2020

Le 21 Décembre~

 
















Trying my hand at making pngs:)From my tree to your tree...needs loads of perfecting..like feathering the edges..

Winter started at 5.02 Am today..
We had snow yesterday   it was so pretty..a little grey today nonetheless  the brown grass has a coat..

I do love working with my hands and am always grateful for them.

It's only once something starts working differently..that you realize what a gift things are.

So I never take them for granted..nor legs and eyes..etc..

Those little Santa gnomes are fun to make either for little garlands or ind.gifts..Go to Instagram..and check out hauzco..


Years ago..I made those big star nutella breads..you know the beautiful tasty ones.

I hopped on a new idea..the trees to give to the boys..for Christmas treats..so pretty right?

They love bread they love Nutella..

Well  they ended up as decorations on a wreath.

If I had a bakery great..but I don't..buh bye..maybe around a candle like Susan did..and her cookies..oh my!:)

I abhor waste.

Jacques tasted one and said..well what are they supposed to be?...

He did not make these pass the taste test;)


On a much more favorable note..these mashed potatoes in the latest Ricardo magazine...are stellar.And made the forever list.



In case you need yet another recipe!


La Recette courtesy of Ricardo~


3 carrots peeled and cut in small pieces

5 cups peeled and cut potatoes,in cubes

2 cups chopped leeks

2 cups chopped kale..

1/4 cup butter

 1/4 cup 35% cream

Bring salted water to  a boil w/ the carrots in it....cook 10 mins..add potatoes..cook 20 mins more or until fork tender.

Drain.

Meanwhile..soften your chopped leek and chopped kale in 1/4 cup of butter  wiithout browning add your 1/4 cup of 35% cream and continue cooking while stirring 5 minutes..to soften.

With a potato masher..mash your drained  carrots and potatoes..add the leek /kale/cream mixture.You can add cream if need be..both times I have made this it was fine as it..

Adjust seasonings w /salt and pepper.

You have to always taste and adjust seasonings no matter what you make..an underseasoned dish is bland.

I just love this to bits.

Winner winner.

Bet you can't have just one bite..I served Osso Bucco over it and we had it w/ another dish one night..

My mom always mashed her potatoes w/ turnip..and I loved that.



Is around the corner for everyone~
I doubt I will have another little post before Christmas..not that I am at a loss for words..
I have a few projects on the go..

Ideas brewing..some for next yr.

Warm wishes for Christmas..albeit different..put on Spotify..listen to music you love..Christmas music..or listed to your CDs:)  I still have mine..

I have so many wished in my head.I have gratitude..yes..but I have wishes too..
Take care..be safe..I sound like a broken record..and I am.









Wednesday, December 16, 2020

~~Dec 16th~

 

















Some cards are just so pretty they become ornaments..my adorable neighbour sends me the yearly  family pic..I love it..I think I show you every yr..)My daughters do too..they end up on the tree:)
I even have a Jewish friend..Arlene..who sends me a special Christmas card every year..
Don't tell me they don't brighten a day..♥
The first one is from Diana an IG friend:)A lovely lovely lady..
All that glitters IS gold;)

I make pets de soeurs  aka nun's farts w/ my leftover tourtières dough..
A hit very year..
Really all you do is roll out the dough..you can butter it up and press brown sugar all over it then roll up like cinnamon rolls..slice and bake..Or just pat in the brown sugar..roll up ..slice and dot with butter..
Bake until caramelized..and dough is cooked.

I made the most beautiful quiche!But as Mary Berry says...it had a soggy bottom..no problem..I can now make it w/ my eyes closed..it is a Ricardo recipe..and usually spot on..but..it wasn't.. will vary the recipe w/ dear Pol Martin's and blind bake way longer.
Maybe for next next Christmas morn here God willing.

The cake is from last yr..had to look at it again:)
And the Ikea lantern living room is also from last yr..I wanted to see some of last yr's comforts..

Speaking of last year..I made 3 fruit cakes..one to have and to hold Christmas morning on my table..and one to give and one to eat maybe during the yr..
Forgot about the one to eat yet each time I opened our basement fridge the metal festive container kept winking.

I decided to peek..let me tell you that anything soaked in a ton of rum wrapped in cheesecloth..then foil,,then a tin..
Is fab one yr later.
If you like fruitcake..
This is Pierrette's recipe ..a girl ..well woman..I worked with who was an excellent cook and I wonder how she is.
Anyway..it should be iced ..she liked to ice hers..but I had just made J a choco cake..so it's staying like this.

By the way Jacques is shy of 6 ft w/ age..so 5ft 10 maybe..155 lbs and fit as a fiddle ..in case you think a slice of dessert is bad for him;)
He's far fitter than I endurance wise..

My gifts are wrapped except one..

Update on QC..from Dec 25th till Jan 11th all non essential stores are closed..unlike the past lockdown..stores like Walmart and Costco will NOT be able to sell anything but food and pharma.
This should have been during the first wave too I feel..It harmed so many stores.
Work will be from home as of this Thursday.For people that can..
School will get one extra week holiday Jan 4-11..with some being distanced schooled..like my daughter's K class.
No Christmas gatherings.However is someone is all alone..she may visit ONE bubble.

I hope that bubble has been safe.
And the list goes on..




I read something very moving in French..

A photo of an elderly woman in a hospital bed...clasping the bars ..
the caption below..

While one generation becomes extinct without even a hug..another generation's problems are Christmas dinner get togethers....


Monday, December 7, 2020

~It's unfortunate....like 2020...Christmas gatherings are canceled ...In QC.

 

 





Not canceled per say..our pharamacist said..it's still Christmas..Jesus will still be under the tree..etc..he's right..it's just so unbelievable..

People are still decorating..putting up trees ,buying gifts..it's the gathering that is forbidden..here.



I was over the moon..

That was my favorite dress..pink w/ white tiny polka dots..crinoline..black velvet band..pictures ARE 
important..w/out seeing this one over the years would I remember?




Jacques and I made our tourtières Saturday..unbaked above..we freeze ours unbaked..the filling is fully baked..not the dough..
baked they are so pretty..A true FR Canadian Tradition.






She was hoping to have everyone together...



Not to be so she painted..on watercolor paper..


And Yupo..Yupo makes us look like watercolorists:)



All of you who refused to wear masks and kept getting together..This may be on you.

I've seen groups on IG..

How can you have get togethers of 30 people plus stuck side by side no masks even.

Did you think of anyone else but you?

Sad.And I cannot unsee..It's not only here..the US ..I see posts of people begging their US citizens to take heed..

So..you are either thinking of your own pleasure and don't care about anyone..or you think you are invincible.

Regardless..Think of others..I try and see your point..but can't.

Hospitals are over capacity..what if it was one of yours?

See..by being out there..no masks  ..hugging..you could be transmitting the disease..and so on and so on ..until it gets to someone who can't have a room at the inn..meaning a hospital.

One of ours is designated for Covid..it's at 133 % capacity.

Surgeries are being postponed..it's a mess out there..we call our health workers angels and then we disrespect what is asked..I don't get it.

Think of those you love..some are gone because of this..or think past your nose and think of other people's loved ones.


Moving on..

Anyway...

Varage sale was good last week..  I found that stocking holder for $10.00.It was in pristine condition.In the box.No one will see it.

I contacted the lady..because these purchases are no contact..and said wow had you ever used it ? She said yes..7 yrs used 4 yrs in storage.

Wow.

A nice lady we had a few emails:)


Still ..who knows how and when these will all be opened once filled.

Years ago..a friend at the time painstakingly bought the materials for me in the states..DREW the images on the canvases..sent me wool and got me started.

My daughter did paint 2.

I remember asking a girl in my office to show me the needlepoint stitch..the most impatient..well one of the most impatient people I had ever met except when selling a house .$$$ 

So my friend at the time took a video of herself and showed me..

I think for the next ten years..I stitched a stocking..and the most incredible woman here..made them into stockings for me..she even did that for the friend thousands of miles away.

She's in her 90's now and we still correspond by cards at Christmas.


Made some Pom scones..so neat as the don't bleed..

I make Make Today Beautiful ones..

And Pizelles..move over..Gaufres sèches du Nord(de la France) are my new faves..I found the recipe at Isa's place at Les Gourmandises d'Isa..a favorite of mine through the years.

Thicker..crispier..more caramelly:)Than pizelles.

A new love.

So sad..


I keep thinking how sad.


Well by the time we eat it's pitch black..I saw Tieghan makeon Instagram stories..

I used pork as we cannot do ground chicken..at all.. Fabulous.

Well this dish is soo good.

It takes longer than she says though;)

I have deep white bowls..blue is far prettier..

But omgee sooo good.Followed to the letter...w/ a few tweaks..of course..But that's just me..and what we like..we love sesame oil so used mostly that ..we love Szechuan peppercorns..so used also....I also recrisped the bottoms of my dumplings:)


My favorite..yes favorite..auteur-compositeur..André Gagnon..has passed away.

I have just loved him for years.

Jacques and I made our toutières..as there is no way I can make with anyone else.He's my bubble.Period.

Also tried new cookies thanks to Weekend at The Cottage..they imprint beautifully.You can find them and their recipes on Instagram.

So easy to decorate on a shoestring..Google brown bag paper stars:)


That's about it for now..

Stay safe..keep others safe.























Thursday, November 26, 2020

~November Snowpeople~Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends♥

 




A very fuzzy Ipad pic of a kitchen window..100 yrs ago I made these stars my daughter taught me to do for  our office window..it looked so pretty..you need 6 sheets of white paper..scissors..scoth tape and a staple and this video..

Mitten garland from a few years back..snowmen..and lights..some precious Sarah gifts and it's a fave sight.












I love making these snowpeople..I told you about them last year and this year they are multiplying.

Our tree is up..all outdoor lights done.
A little early but glad we did.
Fairy lights are soothing medicine at night.

And I still have visions of my mom staring at ours in the dark w/ the light of her cigarette being the only other light.
Please picture the classiest woman you ever did see..she would be over 100..yrs ago..it was chic.

I started watching  The Crown Season 4..I may backtrack..
J is not into it at all..
He knows everything..
All their names since season 1..but has never wanted to watch it.

Canadians seem to want less and less of the monarchy.QC in particular.

Watching the first 3 episodes made me cringe for Diana.
I truly had no idea Charles was that sad at the prospect of marrying her.
And if the Royal Family was that mean to Diana..well..
Margaret..what a pill.Have you noticed the similarity to Reese Witherspoon? Certain angles..

That poor girl...Diana..
She plays the role very very well.
They all do..
G.Anderson although her voice is a tad too tremulous( I should talk..)  does a great job.She's such a cold actress..Perfect role.
And The Royals were mean to her also.
That's bullying..sorry but it's a form of..  ridicule is never right.
I wonder how the boys feel if they are watching.


Not impressed am I.

But I am enjoying it.And yes I realize it's a show..and a lot of it may be fabricated..



Above is one of my fave special soups .I have been making it since 2005.
You can find the recipe here.
And you can play w/ it.I chose not to add the coconut milk and peanut butter... today.I used 2 % milk and maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
Delicious as always.









The words..the felts..the glass..etc..when you are old..you are old:)

There's no theme..just life.And I think of each one and it's origin when it goes up..







And while decorating it..not only do I think of the ornaments and their provenance..but I think of people I know that have much more than Covid going on.

We are also watching The Undoing.
It has good reviews..I almost can't stand it.
First of all..Nicole Kidman...her face? What's up with it?

I can't bear to look and neither can Jacques.
Why can't women age gracefully and not look like their face is tied at the back w/ many clips?
IMHO.
Just passing the days here...No more gardening..so far less exercise..not a good thing at all.

I hope you are yours are well..  vaccines are around the corner..
Stay safe.Many of you will have before us..It was a surprise to me to learn that we are in line.




We had quite a bit of snow yesterday..enough for the plow to come and for Jacques to have work to do..

I LOVE where I live.

Below aerial views that were on social media..not my photos.A drone took them..imagine that.Did I mention I love it here?





He never complains ..it's exercise for him.
He is a fitness virtuoso.


From London to Paris:)


Stay Safe.