Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Review of Mackie's in Port Stanley, ON

I finally made my first journey to Mackies'  in 2010.  Cameron took us out for lunch.  Here he is getting ready to go.

Mackies' food is hot and fresh and service is amazingly quick, especially considering the lineups that exist from May to September.  But there really isn't anything special about it . . . it's just good.  What really cracks me up is that we buy this food so we have something to put all the fabulous condiments on . . . mustard slaw, Mackie's sauce, onions for the hot dogs . . . Mackie's sauce, malt vinegar and salt for the fries.  And, of course, an Orangeade to wash it all down.

We went out to the beach after lunch and Hal & Cameron noticed the sea gulls all lined up along the edge of Mackies' roof like Toronto riot police . . .

. . . and then they all took flight at once.  I stood in fear as I heard plops hitting the ground all around me . . . I didn't get even one plop on me, thank goodness.

Selling Mom's Tea Cups on E-bay

Friday, June 25, 2010

Swedish Meatballs and Potato Wedges with Rosemary and Garlic

This meal went over so well that Cameron cleaned his plate and Hal actually went back for seconds.  If you know Cameron and Hal you will know that this is nothing short of a miracle.

Swedish Meatballs

"Kottbullar" (meatballs) is a Swedish dish, traditionally served with boiled potatoes and a "lingonberry sauce", similar to a cranberry sauce.  The spice used here is the berry of a pimiento tree.  It is aptly named "allspice" because it tastes like a combination of spices, mostly cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

1/2 potato, peeled
2 tsp Italian parsley, fresh, minced
1/4 onion, finely chopped
1 large egg
400 g ground beef, lean
1-1/2 tbsp milk, 2%
1/4 tsp allspice powder
1/4 tsp salt
ground pepper to taste
2-1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp apple cider
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp olive oil

Peel the potatoes, boil them until very tender, 20-25 minutes.  Drain well, then put them in a bowl and mash.

Mince parsley, add half to the bowl of potatoes and reserve the rest.  Add onion, egg, ground beef, milk, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Using your hands, blend the mixture together until it is just combined well (do not over mix).  Form the mixture into 2-3 cm balls and arrange them on a tray.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.  The purpose is to firm up the meat mixture.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together all remaining ingredients, including the reserved parsley, except the olive oil, until the brown sugar is dissolved and a sauce consistency is obtained.  Set aside.

Preheat the over to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Working in batches, add the meatballs and saute until they are golden on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and brush them with the sauce.

Cover loosely with foil and roast in the middle of the oven 25-30 minutes.  Alternatively, the meatballs may be threaded onto bamboo skewers and cooked on the oiled rack of an outdoor grill.  Serve the meatballs with any remaining sauce on the side.

Serves 4.

Potato Wedges with Rosemary and Garlic

2 potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 4 wedges
2 tsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig rosemary, fresh, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water for about 5 minutes, then drain well.

Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, rosemary and freshly ground pepper.  Arrange the potatoes on an outdoor grill rack or an oven broiler pan.

Cook the potatoes on a hot grill or in the over for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown.  Season with salt and serve.

Serves 2.

Dinner was served with a green salad and steamed cauliflower.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

WOO HOO . . . I hit one out of the park tonight . . .

Supper was delicious tonight -- we both LOVED it . . . and I love trying new recipes.  Can you tell?

Lettuce and Tomato Salad

1 tomato
2/3 curly leaf lettuce
2 radishes
1 green onion
Salt and pepper

Cut the tomatoes into segments and place them in a salad bowl.  Add lettuce leaves.  Finely slice radish and green onion then add them to the bowl.  Pour in 2 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss and serve.

Pasta with Sausage and Cauliflower

½ onion, coarsely chopped
1-1/4 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 Italian sausages
¼ dried chilli peppers, minced
¾ cup chicken broth, warm
2 cups penne rigate or other short pasta
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp parmesan

Keep the serving dishes in the oven at the lowest setting so they are warm when you serve.  Put a colander in the sink to drain the cooked pasta so that it will be ready when needed.  Prepare vegetables.  Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté 2-3 min with stirring.  Remove the skin from the sausage, and then add the meat to the pan.  Break up the meat using a wooden spoon and cook 4-5 minutes until it loses its pink colour.  Add the chilli pepper (if the sausage is not already spiced).  Pour in the warm broth and stir in the cauliflower.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat.  Cover and simmer 10 min until the cauliflower is cooked al dente and the broth is almost completely absorbed.  Cook the pasta.  Drain the pasta then pour it into the frying pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Toss well, serve in warmed dishes.

Strawberry and Banana Salad with Mint Sugar

1 cup strawberries
1 banana
2 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp sugar

Hull the strawberries, halve them and put them in a bowl.  Cut the bananas into small rounds and add them to the bowl.  Pulse the mint and sugar together in a food processor until finely ground.  Sprinkle the mint sugar over the fruit and toss gently to combine.  Let the fruit stand a few minutes before serving into cups.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tomato Salad, Tofu Curry with Fruit, Basmati Rice & Fresh Strawberries

LOVED, LOVED, LOVED these recipes and I was sure Hal would too.  Wrong again.  The man likes tomatoes, fruit, rice, curry and he has unwittingly eaten tofu many, many times in Thai food.  But apparently I'm wrong.  He liked the rice and the strawberries . . . sigh . . . well I won't give up!!

Tomato Salad with Oregano

2 tomatoes cut into quarters
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
¾ tsp dried oregano

Put all ingredients into a bowl and toss well.

Makes 2 servings.

Tofu Curry with Fruit

½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ apple, peeled and cut into quarters
2 slices canned pineapple, cut into bit-size pieces
1 banana, cut into bite-size pieces
150 g watermelon, cut into bit-size pieces
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp curry powder
½ cup vegetable broth
220 g firm tofu, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
½ tbsp canola oil
¼ cup cream 15%
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat half of the butter in a pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, then sauté 3-4 minutes until they become translucent.  Add the apple and cook 3-4 minutes until it starts to soften.  Add the curry powder and sauté 1 minute with stirring.  Stir in the broth, and 3-4 tablespoons of the pineapple juice.  Cover and simmer 12-15 minutes with occasional stirring.

Gently press tofu between paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Heat the oil in another large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the tofu cubes in single layer and cook with some stirring until just golden, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer the tofu to the curry mixture.  Pour the cream into the tofu and curry pan, bring to a boil, then season with salt and pepper.  Keep the pan warm over very low heat.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet used to sauté the tofu cubes.  Add the banana and pineapple pieces and sauté 2-3 minutes.

Serve the tofu curry over basmati rice or quinoa.  Arrange the banana, pineapple and watermelon pieces on top.

Serves 2.

Steamed Basmati Rice
2/3 cup basmati rice
1-1/3 cup water
Salt to taste

Rinse the rice and drain it.

Pour the specified amount of water into a saucepan, cover, then bring to a boil.  Add the rice and salt.  Cover and cook over very low heat about 15 minutes without uncovering.

Remove the saucepan from the heat.  The water should be completely absorbed.  Should it not be, cover and simmer for a few more minuters.  Let stand, covered, 3-5 minutes.

Serves 2

Fresh Strawberries

2 cups strawberries, rinsed and hulled

I only made 2 changes to the recipes.  I used milk instead of cream in the curry.  I used steamed white rice rather that basmati rice.

My youngest grandson is . . . unique!

Cam stayed for a sleepover last night so he would be on time for an appointment at the pediatric dentist in London this morning.  He sleeps so well on our little pull-out couch . . . sometimes a little too well.  I had a heck of a time waking him up this morning.  But we managed.  Breakfast was dry cereal eaten as we drove to London.

This kid has a mind like a steel trap.  Not only did he point out the building we were going to, he told me I wasn't parking in the right place.  I assured him it was okay to park where I was and that I really did not like parking garages.  That's just one of my eccentricities.

The appointment went well, sort of.  The dental assistant installed the spacer without too much fuss from my little friend.  But when she took it out and said she was going to put glue on it and put it back in again, there was a lot of fuss.  When reasoning didn't work, I did my tough grandma routine.  "Now cut that out, you are scaring all the little kids!"  and he looked over to see 3 little blondies with huge saucer eyes staring at him.  He stopped fussing immediately, but he was not happy.

So no sticky food or really hard foods for Cam now.  Nothing to dislodge the new spacer, because he really doesn't want to go through that again!!

On the drive back home, Cam assured me he REALLY didn't want to go to school.  Tuesdays are my day out -- Ladies Day Out -- so I told him if he stayed with me he was going to have to spend the afternoon hanging out with my friends.  Apparently he was not offended by that idea.  So we packed up his cutter and glue and scissors and stamps and paper and colouring books . . . oh yeah I packed my quilling to play with . . . and off we went.

I wasn't sure what was in his school lunch, and I knew about his eating limitations, so we stopped at KFC for a Toonie Tuesday meal.  Now old Cameron is a pretty smart cookie and when we got to LDO he sold his school lunch to Great Grandma Joyce for $1.10.  (Grandma J had forgotten to pack a lunch).  He also threw in a chicken leg . . . LOL

We had a lovely afternoon visiting and crafting and just chilling out.  Lori brought in some of her Mom's stash to clear out and Cameron used his $1.10 (Plus I'm sure Grandma J added some extra) and bought 3 paper punches to add to his craft box.  Before Lori left, she added 3 ink pads and 3 deco scissors to his box as well.  Not bad stash enhancement, Cam!!  Thanks Lori for making his day.

After LDO, we went grocery shopping which he informed me was boring, but he wouldn't mind so much if there was peanut butter cups at the check out . . . yes, he got peanut butter cups at the check out.  We also had a quick but lovely visit with Krystle and her little darlings.  I finally got to see baby Finn (not so babyish anymore) in person.

It is amazing how much Cam talks when he has your undivided attention.  Quite the little chatterbox. And you just never know what he is going to want to talk about.  I guess Cam is learning about step-brothers right now because he sure had a lot of questions.  I was afraid we were heading for a birds-and-bees discussion but I was able to divert that to a conversation about judges and custody.  I explained that a judge had decided that the best place for T to grow up was with Mommy and Daddy and the judge was very smart.  Cameron agreed that the judge was very smart and T was very lucky . . . especially because Cameron was his brother . . . LOL . . .

I don't know who was more exhausted from our day's adventure, but it was Cameron who fell asleep on the drive home.

PS . . . here's a layout I finished on the weekend.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday was another To Do-y sort of day . . .

When it is warm I want to be outside.  When it is hot I want to stay in the air conditioning.  The humidity of the past couple of days has kept me inside.  But this has also meant I've knocked quite a few chores off my list.

I've been working on my family tree and the pile of information to be entered into the family tree program on my computer is beginning to shrink.

I've been working on a writing project or two and made great headway there as well.

I still have 3 UFO's from years gone by that are coming close to completion -- a tablecloth, a knitting project that must remain nameless because it is going to be a Christmas present, and a cross-stitch of a Thomas Kinkaide painting.  I have taken a vow that I will not start another needlework project until all my UFO's are no longer.  Considering a year ago when I took this pledge I had a closet full of projects, I'm rather pleased with myself.  I have some great yarn purloined from my cousin Kim and some quilt tops from sister Nancy that are calling to me, but I am standing firm.

And scrapbooking . . . I am actually scrapbooking . . . still doing photos from July 2008 . . . but of course I took a lot of photos that month.  July 2008 was a particularly busy month.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A To-Do-Listy Sort of Day

I spent today madly scratching chores off my list.  I love lists.  I especially love crossing things off the list.  It makes me feel like I've accomplished something.

Do you recognize the layout, Mom?  This is one of your Thirty-Minute Layout classes.  I love how it turned out.

Believe it or not, scrapbooking is on my list.  Otherwise there are a lot of days I might not make time for it . . , and scrapbooking is what keeps me sane some days.  I'm really quite far behind . . . I'm scrapping July 2008 photos.  I haven't even printed off any photos since January 2009.  I just keep taking photos and storing them for some future date.

Don't faint, Connie, but I'm gonna try and make my Chia pet work.  For those of you who haven't heard, I do not have a green thumb.  I killed my Chia pet the first time I tried to make it grow.  Wish me luck with attempt #2.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day at the Beach layout

Two years ago we packed up a borrowed motorhome with 4 children and lots of food and hit the road . . . The photos in this layout are of Hal & the kids playing in the splash pad at Mitchell's Bay, ON.

Everything but the background cardstock came from a page kit swap hosted by Melissa L.  I loved every kit I received and immediately signed up for the next swap.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Italian Sausage Supper

Beet and Green Apple Salad
Italian-Style Sausage in a Tomato Sauce
Potato Puree
Beet Greens
Sugared Peaches


Beet and Green Apple Salad

3 beets
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tbsp Classic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the beets:  boil or steam them about 25-30 minutes.  Let the beets cool down a few minutes, then peel them and dice into 1.5 cm pieces.  Place the pieces in a salad bowl.  Cut the apple into 1.5 cm cubes, without peeling them, but removing the core.  Add the apples to the salad bowl.  Pour in the Classic Vinaigrette, then season with salt and pepper.  Toss well, then serve. Makes 2 servings.

Classic Vinaigrette

Whisk together 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3-1/2 tbsp wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar) and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.


Italian-Style Sausage in a Tomato Sauce

2 Italian sausages
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sprig rosemary (I used fresh out of my herb garden)
1/3 cup My Mother's Tomato Sauce (recipe below)
salt and pepper to taste

Prick through the skin of the sausages in several spots using a fork.  Put the sausages in a saucepan, over them with water, then bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Take the sausages out of the water, pat them dry, then cut each sausage into 3-4 pieces.  (I used mild sausage and cut them into 6 pieces each) .  Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic and rosemary sprig, then sauté until the oil becomes perfumed with the garlic and rosemary aroma, 3-4 minutes.  Pay attention not to let them burn.  Add the sausages, then sauté until they become lightly coloured, 2-3 minutes.  turn them a few times while cooking.  Add the tomato sauce, then cook 8-10 minutes over medium heat, tossing occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 2 servings.


My Mother's Tomato Sauce

1-2/3 cup canned tomatoes (Ijust used one large can)
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 carrot, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Hint:  A food processor and pressure cooker would make things easier with this recipe.

Heat the oil and butter in the pressure cooker or in a saucepan over low heat.  Add the chopped vegetables.  Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring a few times.  The vegetables must soften without burning.  Add diced tomatoes and salt and pepper.  If you are using a pressure cooker, cover, close and bring to high pressure.  Cook 15 minutes from the time it starts to spatter.  If you are not using a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.  Makes 2-1/2 cups.

This sauce can be stored up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. 

Potato Puree

2 potatoes, Russet or Idaho-type or Yukon Gold
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the potatoes, leaving the skin on.  Boil or steam until very tender, about 20-25 minutes.  Drain well and peel.  In a microwave-safe bowl, pour in the milk with the butter and microwave on medium-high for a couple minutes until hot.  Pass the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer (I peeled the potatoes and used a potato masher), then put the puree back into the pot used to cook the potatoes.  Pour in the butter-milk mixture.  Season with salt and pepper and blend well.  Reheat and serve warm.  Makes 2 servings.

Beet Greens

I saved the beet tops from the beets used in the salad.  I rinsed them several times and trimmed off the stems.  Cook, covered, using only the water that clings to the leaves after washing.  Boil for about 3 minutes until tender.  Serve at once seasoned with salt, pepper and butter.  You could also use a little vinegar or fresh lemon juice.


Sugared Peaches

2 peaches or nectarines (I used nectarines)
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp sugar

Peel the peaches, cut them in half then pit them.  Cut into bite-size pieces.  Put in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and sugar.  Let stand a few minutes.  Toss well, then portion out into individual cups and serve.  Makes 2 servings.

Uncle Tom's Cabin layout

Yes, amongst other things, I actually scrapbooked a layout today.  Okay, so it is from a kit.  But it was a lot of work.  The photos are some random snapshots, mostly taken by my grandsons, Austin and Taylor.  Thanks for looking.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Soup, Salad and Sandwich Supper

Tonight's Menu:
Barley and Lentil Soup
Blue Cheese Burgers
Lettuce and Tomato Salad
Fresh Grapes

Barley and Lentil Soup
1/3 cup green-brown lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cups Swish chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped and packed
1-1/2 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so used 2)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1/3 cup pearl barley
3/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced or chopped)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté 3-4 minutes until soft.  Add the carrots, then sauté 5 minutes with occasional stirring, until they are golden-coloured.  Add the garlic and stir 1 minute, then add the cumin and stir 1 minute.  Pour in the broth, water and barley.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and lentils.  Continue to simmer, covered, until the lentils and barley are tender, 25-30 minutes.
Add the Swiss chard or spinach to the soup, cover and simmer until the chard is tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Thin the soup with more broth or water, if desired.

Makes 5 servings.  The soup keeps up to 7 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.


Blue Cheese Burgers

1/4 onion, finely chopped
1/4 stalk celery, finely chopped
220 g ground beef, extra-lean or lean
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
20 g blue cheese, crumbled
1 tsp olive oil
2 hamburger buns

Mix together onion, celery, ground meat, oregano, mustard, salt and pepper.  Divide the mixture into 4 portions.  Shape each portion into rounds and flatten each one slightly.  Crumble the cheese and place a small amount in the centre of half of the rounds (about 2 tbsp or crumbled cheese per round).  Place the remaining meat rounds on top of the cheese topped rounds.  Use your hands to mold the rounds together, encasing the crumbled cheese, and shaping them into burgers.
Cook the burgers on a medium grill, lightly oiled, for about 10 minutes, or until cooked through, turning them once.  Alternatively, you may cook the burgers on a non-stick, heavy-bottom pan, over high heat.  (I cooked in a pan over medium heat).
Split the hamburger buns and place a burger inside each one.  Serve with Dijon mustard and ketchup on the side.

Makes 2 servings.


Fresh Grapes

2-3/4 cup of grapes, rinsed, will serve 2 people.

Lettuce and Tomato Salad

1 tomato, cut into segments
2/3 Boston lettuce, or curly leaf lettuce
2 radishes, finely sliced
1 green onion or scallion, finely sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Classic Vinaigrette (see recipe above)

Place the tomato, lettuce, radishes and green onions in a salad bowl.  Pour in the Classic Vinaigrette.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Toss and serve immediately.

Classic Vinaigrette

Whisk together 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 3-1/2 tbsp wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar) and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.


Sweet N Sour Rhubarb and Spinach Salad

I made this recipe for Judy's 13th birthday party.  Deb is actually tossing the salad in this photo.  The only change I made to the recipe is that I added the cooked rhubarb into the salad dressing rather than on the salad greens and the greens I used was baby spinach.

4 stalks rhubarb, cut diagonally into thin slices
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
16-20 spinach leaves
6 tbsp. vegetable oil

Place the rhubarb in a wide saucepan.  Sprinkle on the sugar and add enough water to cover by 1".  Place over high heat and bring to a boil.  Cook, uncovered, for exactly 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour through a large sieve into a bowl.  Return the liquid to the pan.  Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper, and place over high heat.  Cook, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup.  Meanwhile, divide the spinach among 4 salad plates.  Arrange the rhubarb over the spinach.  When the liquid is reduced, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the oil.  Pour over the salads and serve at once.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Why I love Facebook . . .

I spent this afternoon at Pinafore park with a long lost friend . . . we figured out that the last time we saw each other was about 25 years ago . . . We talked and talked and talked and talked . . . it was wonderful . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Barley Salad with Tomatoes and Corn

Barley is a source of B-complex vitamins and a good source of soluble fibre, the kind that helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels. I thought the salad was okay . .. but not exciting. My fellow testers seemed to feel the same way.

1 cup pearl barley
1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups corn kernels, cooked

Bring large pot of water to boil; add barley. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 50 minutes or until tender. Drain; chill under cold running water and drain again.

Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, puree basil, Parmesan, oil, salt and pepper ; stir in garlic. Toss with barley. add tomatoes and corn; toss again.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A new reason to letterbox . . .

. . . it breaks up the boredom of loooooooooong car rides.

My youngest son was home for the weekend to see his nephews (my grandsons) win GOLD in each of their divisions at the Ashley & Stephanie Daubs Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. We drove him back to Toronto on Monday (2-1/2 hours each way). To break up the trip we decided to pick up 401 Eastbound - Cambridge: Sniff or Quack? on the way to Toronto.

My son, Tim

. . . found a lake and trails where we never would have expected . . . and found the box . . . after a serious debate about willows . . .

Our friend, Cailyn . . . playing Camera War!!

After taking Tim home to Toronto, unloading the van, having supper (canned spaghetti and honey combs for dessert), installing an air conditioner, watching Tim wash dishes and clean (yes, I am still recovering from the shock), we headed for home. We wanted to pick up another Cambridge box before dark -- 401 Westbound - Cambridge: Dawn of the Commute. Unfortunately, canned spaghetti just wasn't enough to keep Hal happy so I bought him a Big Mac Snack Wrap at the truck stop. He took forever to finish and it was getting dark. By the time we solved the clues and knew where to search for the box, it was too dark. Cailyn and I did try using the flashes on our cameras to find the box. Wouldn't you know Hal would pick today not to have a flashlight attached to his belt. We had to give up . . . but we'll be back.

It was 11:30 pm by the time we got home Monday night and we still had to photocopy all Hal's certifications and plan out our trip to Niagara Falls the next day.

We had to be up at "oh dark hundred" this morning because Hal had a job interview in Niagara Falls (3 hours each way). I went along, dreaming of an afternoon of letterboxing on the way home. The interview went great. Fingers crossed a job offer comes soon. Now we were free to play.

First find of the day was at the Niagara Screaming Tunnel. Yes it is a real place with a really cool ghost story attached.

We tried lighting a match to make the tunnel scream but the match was too wet . . . sigh . . . but at least we found the letterbox.

Next stop . . . was in Port Dalhousie (St. Catharines) to find Sunset View. The clues were quite tricky, but this Captain helped us on our way, and we did find the letterbox . . . a very clever letterbox . . . and we found a hitchhiker inside . . . woo hoo . . .

I have always wanted to get close up to the ship, The Old Weasel, near Lincoln. With our clues in hand we found the way . . . and the letterbox . . . another very tricky find but definitely worth the effort.

Our last find, before heading home was Treaures of Lincoln The Canoeist. And of course I had to get at least one photo taken today.

Guess what we found in the van today? A loaf of homemade banana bread. My sister sent some goodies home with Tim the day before and somehow the banana bread got left behind . . . LOL). HEY TIM: You lose; we score!!!!! Made for a really lovely afternoon snack

What a great couple of days . . . 5 boxes and 1 hitchiker!!!