January 9th – Smoked Beans

Our temperature isn’t rising yet, but at least the sun is shining this morning. It looks quite picturesque, sunshine sparking on the ice and snow. Fortunately, I can enjoy the sight from the warmth and comfort of my livingroom.

We are still focusing on warm comfort food to see us through this cold spell. Last night’s main dish was one that I acquired the recipe for back in the late ’70s. My ex and I were living in small town Saskatchewan – Mankota, to be precise. There was the bank where my ex worked, a post office, a hospital, and the Mankota Co-op food store. The local entertainment consisted of getting together for pot luck suppers. The company was okay and the food was usually pretty decent, as people tended to bring their best, tried and true dishes. Carol, the bank manager’s wife, brought smoked beans. It was always a hit and she was happy to share the recipe. Over the years it has become a family favourite, and the recipe has been shared repeatedly.

Browning the ground beef, onion, and red pepper
Supper is served! Smoked beans, garlic toast, and a generous side salad.
  • Smoked Beans
  • Brown one pound ground beef – drain well
  • Add one chopped medium onion and one chopped red pepper. Cook until onions are translucent
  • Add one teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Add five slices of chopped cooked bacon
  • Remove from heat
  • Add two fourteen ounce cans of brown beans
  • Add one nineteen ounce can of kidney or mixed beans (I used Blue Label Six Bean Medley)
  • Add 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Add one tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • Add 3/4 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • Stir well
  • Cover and cook in oven for 45 minutes at 325 degree

Note #1 – If you are not ready to serve supper in 45 minutes, turn the temperature down to 250 degrees and stir every half hour. As long as it is kept covered, it will be fine.

Note #2 – If you are feeding anyone who is allergic to seafood – skip the Worcester sauce or at least insure that your brand does not contain anchovies!! Many restaurants use it in a number of nonsea food dishes like baked beans and Caesar salad dressing.

That’s it for today! Take care and have a great day!

January 4th – By the Book

The theme of my blog this month is ‘Canadian Meal Options’. To this end, I am sharing one meal or dish that Dan and I have each day. Many of the recipes I use come from ‘The New Purity Cookbook‘. It was new forty five years ago when I received my first copy of this book. Through twenty years of child rearing, this book was my kitchen bible for everything from homemade bread, to pancakes, to biscuits, deserts to main dishes. Some fifteen years ago, my daughter borrowed my kitchen bible and I floundered around my kitchen until my son Dan happened upon a copy at an antique shop. 🙄

My new ‘New Purity Cookbook’

I didn’t need my kitchen bible to prepare last night’s supper. We had a fairly basic meal of roast pork, oven baked potatoes, onions, broccoli, and gravy. It was all quite tasty and we have enough roast left over to make an encore later this week – served up as fried rice no doubt.

Roast Pork Supper

For desert we each had a gourmet chocolate. After desert we each had a couple of leftover Christmas cookies. Dan had peanut butter ones, while I opted for the ‘Spiced Ginger Mounds’ that I made using my Purity Cookbook.

I made countless cookies when my sons and daughter were children. I made chocolate cookies, coconut cookies, oatmeal cookies, cooked cookies, uncooked cookies, fancy cookies, and basic cookies. I made so many cookies. For whatever reason, these ginger cookies were always a favourite with all three of my kids. I was never that much of a fan, but they do get rid of the aftertaste of gourmet chocolates. 👍

Spiced Ginger Mounds
Recipe from ‘The New Purity Cookbook’ (I substitute butter for shortening).

That is it for today! Take care and have great day! 💞

January 3rd – Back to Normal

It is nice to have the holidays behind us and get back to a semblance of normal day to day living. It is not that we did that much, and what we did was nice, but I just find it good to be back to what is life as we typically live it.

It has been three weeks tomorrow since my hernia surgery. I am feeling fine, especially with the medication that the surgeon gave me for my brutal heartburn. In fact, I am feeling so good that I think it is time for me to start my winter workout regime – nothing outrageous, but some stretching, moving, and lighter lifting. (I don’t plan to start lifting my own weight anytime soon.)

We have another week of frigid temperatures this week and then we are supposed to be back to single minus digits (celsius). That will be a welcome change! I might even be up for a bit of a hike to try out the new boots Dan got me for Christmas.

Now that we are back to our normal lives, we are getting back to our regular diet. Dan worked yesterday so I went for something relatively quick and light to have for supper.

I am not fond of most small appliances,or of having to clean them, but one that is worth its weight in gold is my small electric grille. I probably use it at least once a week in the winter and more often in the summer.

2 serving grille – economical and it wipes clean every time! We have had it for years.

Last night, I grilled a couple of spicy chicken breasts, made Spanish rice, and served with buttered and seasoned brussel sprouts.

Served on real plates!

Which was followed by a little dish of Rolo ice cream to cool things down.

Rolo ice cream always reminds me of grandson Rory’s first birthday. The first sound I heard him make and it was the sound of him choking on a frozen Rolo. 🤦
  • Spicy Chicken Breast
  • Pat 2 chicken breasts dry on paper towel
  • Season with seasoning salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning and a very little bit of Cayenne pepper
  • Grille to well done (flip half way through cooking time as top tends to get dry).
  • Spanish Rice
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small cooking onion
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup chunky hot salsa
  • Gradually bring to a slow boil (Note: it does scorch easier than regular rice). Stir with a fork, cover, and cook at medium heat (simmer) for twenty minutes without removing cover
  • ** If you do burn the rice** – remove as much of the rice as possible, add water and a generous amount of baking soda to pot. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes or so. This will loosen all remaining rice. Remove burnt rice and repeat boiling water and baking soda. (You may want to add cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon at this point to get rid of the smell of burnt rice and salsa from your kitchen.)

That’s it for today. Take care and have a great day! 💞

November 9th – Canada

I have been Canadian for all sixty-six of my years. Canada is not everything that I was taught to believe. Canada is not what it once was. Regardless, I am beyond fortunate to be Canadian and to live in this safe and bountiful and beautiful country. Today, I chose to share some words of wisdom from and about Canada.

“When I am in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like.”

– Jane Fonda

“Canadian pride may not rest on our sleeves, but it resides deeply in our hearts.”

– Steve Miller

“We have it all. We have great diversity of people, we have a wonderful land, and we have great possibilities. So all those things combined, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”

– Bob Rae

“On a positive note, I haven’t seen a mosquito for months.”

– Every Canadian from November to May 🇨🇦

“If you don’t think that your country should come before yourself, you can best serve your country by livin’ somewhere else.”

– Stompin Tom Connors (Canadian singer/song writer)

“You can’t buy happiness but you can live in Canada and that’s pretty much the same thing.”

– Anonymous

That is it for today.

Take care and have a great rest of your day!💞

August 28th – Saturday

Today is yet another quiet Saturday. Dan is working days this weekend. He is off to work at 3 A.M. For me this weekend, that means I am wide awake by 3:05. 😳

Yesterday, Kat and I fell back to sleep so I was able to have a somewhat productive day once we got up at 7.

I made my cucumber relish. I have no idea whether the recipe I used will be to our taste, but the jars sealed properly so I am excited and super proud of my efforts. 😁

I also got a little yard clean-up done yesterday before my I got rained out (or in as the case may be). I took out some Drake garlic sausage for supper. While Dan barbecued the sausage, I cooked up a big batch of pierogies, heated up some sauerkraut, and sliced some fresh garden tomatoes. Needless to say, our supper was amazing.

Today is not going nearly as well. I could not go back to sleep so I decided to do my morning meditation before I got up. I felt Kat jump off the bed, but since she did not bark or whine as usual, I assumed she was just getting a drink. Needless to say, I was wrong. At five when she started to complain, I got up to let her out. At least I had socks on when I stepped into whatever she had been working on at four. 😒 I am not sure what prompted that but I am thinking she had too much garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers yesterday. 😣

Since I was up, I decided to get on with my day. I cleaned the porch carpet and took out the garbage. I fed Kat and the squirrels and birds. I checked the weather and scanned through the Leader Post epaper, while I had my morning coffee and vitamins. To round things off, I dusted the livingroom. It has been raining for a week and I had already dusted twice. Why? Where does this dust come from? 🤷

The highlight of my morning was catching up on some wandering Canadians.com . I love this blog! If you are looking for an upbeat blog with a huge offering of gorgeous Canadian scenery, you must check this one out. L & K, generously share their hiking adventures while including a well written history and details of the sites they visit. 🥰.

Reading up on all the latest in great Canadian outdoor recreation took the last bit of energy I had this morning. I joined Kat for a nap, followed by a ham and cheese omelet for lunch.

Thankfully, there is still time to get more done around here today. I should take out our recycling, scrub down the washroom, and do some laundry. Dan requested pizza for supper, so that is as good as done.

Meanwhile, I am feeling grateful that my husband continues to work so I can enjoy my retirement. I am feeling grateful that I have the luxury of a nap when my day calls for it. And, I am feeling grateful for the company of my little dog – even when she is less than the perfect companion. 🙂

Wishing all a great day! Take care and see you tomorrow. 💞

Summertime Gratitude

There is so much to appreciate about summer in Canada. Sunshine, rain, trees, green grass and flowers – summer is nature’s most glorious season. I just love a Canadian summer!

I love being able to walk out the door in the clothes I am in. No jacket, scarf, snow boots or gloves. I can just walk out the door. When I have young children in my care, it is even more of a blessing as I do not have to wrestle them into winter outdoor wear.

I love summer clothes in general – shorts, t-shirts and sandals versus bulky sweaters, heavy pants, socks and solid footwear. Life is so much easier.

I love being able to jump in a vehicle and go wherever I want to be, whenever I want to go there. No heating the Jeep for fifteen minutes, no scraping the windows, no climbing over snowbanks to get into the Jeep and NO icy roads.

I love the hours and hours of daylight. I get up in the sunlight and it is practically light until I go to bed. Darkness is highly over rated in my mind. A bit of time to admire the stars and the moon is fine – but I do not need to see them at nine o’clock in the morning or five o’clock in the afternoon.

I love the wildlife. I love watching and hearing the birds and the bees, the squirrels and the occasional moose or deer by the side of the highway. There is very little wildlife to be seen in Saskatchewan during the winter months.

Everything is easier in the summer. Our cost of living is lower. Our meals are simpler. Recreation and exercise, as basic as taking a walk, is easier. Living is just easier!

I wouldn’t want to live in any country other than Canada, but summer is definitely the best season to be Canadian.

Genie at Waterfall Park in Regina
Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg
Wascana Park in Regina

Canadian Politics

Saskatchewan Legislative Buildings

I do not discuss politics often.  In this day and age, it seems as if it is not so much a discussion as a drag down/knock out fight.  However, today I will make an exception.

In Canada, there are three main parties – the Conservatives on the right, the NDP (New Democrat Party) on the Left and the Liberals in the middle.  Although Canada is far from being as politically intense as our southern neighbours, there are Canadians who are to the extreme right of the Conservatives and the extreme left of the NDP. These two demographics seem to be growing – or at least growing increasingly vocal.

I am not a card carrying member of any party but, since I prefer compromise to battle, I tend to favour the Liberals – who happen to be currently in power.

I voted Liberal in the past two elections because I am comfortable supporting them and their leader. I like Justin Trudeau for three reasons. (1) He consistently displays affection, kindness, respect and appreciation for his parents. (2) He consistently displays affection, kindness, respect and appreciation for his wife. (3) He consistently displays affection, kindness respect and appreciation for his children.

I do not have a major issue with the left or far left. I just do not believe that all of their ideals, although important and well meaning, are practical as a be all and end solution for maintaining a strong country. In Canada, the left – even the extreme far left, tend to fight for their beliefs with protests and the like – mainly peaceful demonstrations. They take issue with the Liberal government and Justin Trudeau for not doing enough to support their causes and I can respect that.

I have a harder time finding respect for the right, specifically the far right. They tend to flat out oppose anything the Liberal Government does. They flat out oppose anything Justin Trudeau does. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals can be doing exactly what the majority of countries and their leaders are doing and it is all wrong – and all Trudeau’s fault. (He caused the pandemic, caused the many repercussions of the pandemic, caused the fall in oil prices, caused the increasing frequency and devastation of natural disasters around the globe, caused the ramping up of racial tensions, etc. … 🙄). Those on the far right seldom show any respect in their opposition and quite frequently spread questionable ‘facts’, use righteous indignation, or use questionable humor in their quest to destroy the credibility of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. This is politics as it is today and politicians know what they are getting into when they run for public office. I generally roll my eyes 👀 at such nonsense and move on.

Then there are those, from the far right, who attack and taunt anyone who supports Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. These people are not just small pockets of strangers. Some of these people are relatives and friends. To these people I am a libtard and a snowflake, unworthy of using my vote as I see fit, and too lazy to take care of myself and my family (hence my support for social programs, justice and the like). These are people who know that I am worthy of respect. These are people who know that I not only have the right to my vote, but who deserves that right. These are people who know that I have worked all of my adult life to provide for myself and my family, who has helped others in need and who has paid my share of taxes regardless of who was in government. None of this matters, to those on the far right (specifically people on the far right who know me) because I chose to vote for the Liberals and Justin Trudeau. 🙄

I do not fight often but I will fight for my right to vote as I see fit. AND I will fight for every other Canadian’s right to vote for whoever they see fit. (Even those who know me but choose to mock, attack and insult me for how I vote.) 🇨🇦