Monthly Archives: November 2015

watch me

My first watch was a Timex. It had a rectangular face and blue faux leather straps. I thought I was pretty cool in grade school.

My first job after high school, before I started university, had a clear, defined purpose. I wanted to save up enough money to buy my first swanky, adult watch. It was $200 and I shoveled poultry poop at a university lab for months so I could invest in, what I thought, was a pretty handsome status symbol on my wrist.

That was probably the start of my little obsession with time pieces.

When I travel, it is often watches that I seek out. I have a red leather Mondaine that I bought in Geneva. A Raymond Weil gift for my 50th. And two cool Swatch watches from a little shop in Santa Margherita where the staff only spoke Italian…there was lots of pointing and smiling.

I was at a conference recently, and Jason Dorsey made a presentation about the differences between the generations, in the workplace. It’s a hot topic as there are now more generations working in one place than ever before. And apparently, we’re different! He was kidding the audience about some of the differences between baby boomers and millenials. Apparently, millenials never wear watches.More cool time pieces for the rest of us.

CJR

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breakfast muffins

I think I have made this recipe at least 100 times…I give them to friends, I make them for overnight guests to take on the road, and I keep them in the freezer for grab and go breakfast. The recipe comes from The New Lighthearted Cookbook by Anne Lindsay, an excellent resource for heart healthy cooking and just all round good food.

Here is my slightly adapted version of the recipe for

Oat Bran Banana-Raisin Muffins.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C

In a bowl, combine 1 egg, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup mashed ripe bananas and 1 tsp vanilla.

In another bowl, mix together 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 cup oat or wheat bran, 2 Tbsp of ground flax seed and 1 tsp cinnamon.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients, just until combined.

Add 1 cup raisins (I like to substitute 1 cup frozen blueberries instead)

Spoon into 12 nonstick muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

HAR

clay

My fascination with clay began in Georgian Bay. Our grandparents had a cottage near Owen Sound and we spent our family summer vacations there.

The water is clear, deep and very cold, so we found other things to do besides swim to occupy ourselves. Besides being rocky, there was plenty of naturally occurring clay in the water. You can see where this is going, right? I started playing with clay. Our Grandpa was a very good sport and claimed to love the ashtrays we made him! They were crude pinch pots adorned with small rocks and left to dry in the sun. He would rest his pipe in the ashtray and when it broke, which they inevitably did, there were several more waiting in the wings.

That was many years ago but I have dabbled in clay all my life. As my sister mentioned in an earlier post, pottery seems to be in our DNA. I have graduated from those early pinch pots to wheel thrown mugs and bowls that last a little longer than Grandpa’s ashtrays!

HAR

granola

It is a sunny but cool November day, a perfect day to make granola.

This is my go-to gift for the holidays, but this batch is just for us!

The original recipe came from epicurious but I have adapted it to suit my taste.

Here is my version – enjoy!

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large roasting pan, mix 1/2 cup of melted butter (or canola oil or coconut oil) with 1/2 cup maple syrup.

Add 6 cups of old fashioned oats,

1 cup of whole pecans,

1 cup unsweetened coconut,

1/4 cup ground flaxseeds,

1 tablespoon cinnamon and

1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix well.

Bake for 30-50 minutes, stirring frequently. When done baking, add 1 cup of dried blueberries (or cranberries or apricots). Let cool completely before storing in a container.

HAR

k1 p2

Grandma taught all the girls in the family to knit. One of our brothers also learned – but from an ingenious grade-school teacher in the 1970s.

Grandma was a knitting machine. She knit fast. She walked fast. No flies on her.

I started on scarves. Did a few Barbie doll sleeping bags. And even tackled a fair isle sweater for a high school beau. When my inexperience carrying a second colour meant he couldn’t fit it over his head…Grandma fixed it (I have no idea how) in a heartbeat.

The knitting DNA kicked in somewhere in my 30s. Grandma was gone and we had to figure out how to turn a heel on a sock, and knit together a sweater.

This season’s project involves delicious Brooklyn Tweed. Grandma would never have paid this much for yarn. But I think she’d approve of my technique.

CJR