Category Archives: community

bakeries

Before we learned to cook, we baked. We’d bake for our brothers who could gobble up a pan of brownies before the pan cooled. And endless batches of chocolate chip cookies placed in alternating rows of 3s and 2s to maximize space on the baking sheet.

Then we dreamed, like so many others, about having our own bakery/coffee shop. But wise folks have reminded us over the years about the delusional allure of rising at the crack of dawn every day to make the same muffin recipe. So….we are good and loyal patrons to many bakeries. Here are a list of some of the ones we love:

Guelph – Polestar Hearth Bread and The Bakery

Worcester Birch Tree Bread, On the Rise and Crust

BostonTatte

New York City The City Bakery and Levain

CJR

pussyhat project

Saturday January 21st is the Women’s March on Washington, the day after the inauguration.

“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

A friend sent me a link to the Pussyhat Project. It’s a grassroots project with a mission to provide the people at the Women’s March with a unique, collective visual statement – pink hats that look like pussy ears! Check out the link, the pattern for the hat is provided. If you are a knitter, they are asking you to make a hat or two and send them for people to wear as they march. I have several friends going to the march and I think I can make one or two in time for them to wear them.

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I just finished one for myself to wear this winter. Anyone want to join me? Send us a picture of you wearing your pussyhat and we will post it on the blog!

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HAR

soup swap

Full disclosure. I have never participated in a soup swap but it sounds like a great idea. I just read about it in the Food section of the Boston Globe. “A soup swap is dedicated to the idea of entertaining and building community though sharing pots of soup.” The article describes it as a healthy version of the cookie swap.

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The article included some tips for hosting your own soup swap:

The hosts provide a side dish (usually salad), bread and a simple dessert.

Guests bring a pot of soup and empty containers to take home a taste of all the soups.

Invite as many people as you have burners on your stove so all the soups can be heated at the same time.

Have everyone bring their own ladle to serve their soup.

Email or print out the recipe for everyone.

Sounds like fun. Let us know if you try it!

HAR

 

food for friends

Most nights, I’m cooking for one but I love to make enough to share. I always make enough for leftovers but there is something entirely more satisfying about making a meal that can be shared and savoured with other people. Even if I’m not at the table.

I’ve been cooking for a friend for a little while. A meal (or two) a week to help get everybody fed quickly in between school and endless evening lessons. It puts a smile on my face every time I do it. I try out new recipes than will hopefully be a hit with younger palates, and keep the ingredients in the general arena of kid-friendly.

Some of the recipe favourites (that you might like too) are farmers sausage baked with BBQ sauce, maple syrup and apple chunks, sweet and sour meatballs (baked not fried), any variation on homemade mac and cheese (sometimes with broccoli, often with bacon), and even tater tot casserole.

It’s getting cold and dark and I know winter is coming. These homemade meals have even more appeal as we get ready for pseudo hibernation.

What’s your favourite meal to share?

CJR

public library

I have been on the board of our local library foundation for the past six years and helped with the planning of the signature fundraising event – A Celebration of Authors.

Each year we invite four authors to participate in a panel discussion. They tend to be from New England since we have a small budget for travel. This year we had Anita Diamant, Joseph Finder, Lily King and Ann Leary. It is a terrific event and I would encourage you to attend author events if your library or local college host them. Then borrow their books from the library.

It’s fascinating to learn a little about the inner workings of a writer…how they motivate themselves, where they get their inspiration, and what they like to read! Our event has a terrific moderator who asks interesting and unusual questions that makes it a great evening. Over the years I have listened to at least 15 authors at the Celebration of Authors and it makes reading their work so much richer.

Support your library!

HAR

a happy feast of thanks

For the last dozen or so years, we have a big family pot luck Canadian thanksgiving at a local rented hall. It’s a great time to check in with relatives and celebrate over some great family food.

There are at least 40 of us every year. And we usually salivate over the returning dishes from family – honey-cured ham, roasted vegetables, butter tarts, turkey, scalloped potatoes and more. There are four generations on hand. And there are usually guitars, soccer balls and family trees to add to the conversation.

I love this traditional (almost more than Christmas). It’s simple. It doesn’t take much to organize. And it’s kinda fun to be in a room full of people where you recognize the quirks, sayings and idiosyncrasies as your own.

Hope you had a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.

CJR & HAR