Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Letterboxing in Oakland, Kitchener and Cambridge

Hal & I headed out letterboxing on June 15th in the Cambridge area.  It was a gorgeous sunny breezy day for a road trip.  Our first stop was United Empire Loyalist in Oakland ON.  It was an interesting location and a fairly easy find.


Next stop was Cambridge to find the five boxes that make up the Scooby Doo Where Are You? series.  What an awesome park.  We saw kids collecting minnows in the creek and lots of picnickers and kids on all the playground equipment.  The boxes were fairly simple to find.  We just had to be slick and sneaky so we could pull the boxes and replant them.

The fifth box, which contained the log book for the series, gave us the biggest headache.  We figured out the clues quite easily BUT a lady decided to take up residence about 3 feet from where we needed to be.  We wandered around the area taking photos and wishing she would move.  Instead she settled in with her music and book and bottle of water.  Sigh! 

We didn't want to leave the area so we decided to go have lunch.  We stopped a young man and he recommended a local fish and chip place.  The fish was quite fabulous but the fries and slaw and atmosphere . . . not so exciting.  We returned to the park and she was still there!  But she was meditating and seemed to be in her own little world.  She still had ear phones in so I took a chance and "posed" near the box for a "photo" and quickly leaned over and pulled the box.  Yeah!!

We went back to the van to stamp in and I assumed I'd be able to pull the same stunt to rehide the box.  Nope!!  When I sat back down in the appropriate spot to rehide she turned around and looked at me.  I hadn't noticed that she no longer had her ear phones on.  Back to the van we went to decide what to do.  Finally we went down the road to Tim Hortons.  When we returned, she was gone.  The box was safely replanted.



On to Kitchener to pick up Neighbourhood Love.  We had such a great time with this box and we hope the creator, Vivian the Viking, doesn't mind that I am planning on copying her idea.  This box was our last stop before heading home. 

We were thrilled with our day. 

June 2011 Mystery Knit-along Final Step

Day 5

Row 49: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 50: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 51: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 52: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 53:  *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 54:  *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 55:  *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 56:  *K1, P1* to end of row.
Cast off.

I am working on the patterns for a matching tea towel topper and a tea towel.  I’ll post them as soon as I’ve got them finished.

Are you interested in another mystery knit-along for July? 

Day 4

Row 37: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 38: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 39: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 40: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 41: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 42: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 43: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 44: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 45: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 46: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 47: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 48: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Day 3

Row 25: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 26: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 27: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 28: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 29: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 30: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 31: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 32: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 33: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 34: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 35: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 36: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Day 2

Row 13: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 14: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 15: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 16: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 17: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 18: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 19: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 20: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 21: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 22: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 23: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 24: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Day 1

1 ball of cotton knitting worsted
4.5 mm knitting needles

Cast on 49 stitches

Row 1: *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 2: *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 3: *K1, P1* to end of row
Row 4: *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 5: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 6: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 7: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 8: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 9: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 10: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 11: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 12: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Letterboxing in Burlington - June 12, 2011

We kept the boys for a sleepover so we could leave at the crack of dawn to spend the day in Burlington ON.  Our first stop was Can't Stop the Signal.  It was a beautiful hike, we found all 4 boxes plus an unexpected geocache.
 You could tell it was early in the morning by the cranky look on our "new" teenager's face . . . LOL.  He cheered up quickly when he found his very first geocache.

 We tried to find Box of Bumbles but I guess we aren't really good a puzzling out clues.  It is a beautiful cemetery with an impressive war memorial.  Bumble gave us an extra clue so we will go back again and hopefully find it.
 We had lunch at a park near Don't Believe Your Eyes that had a miniature airfield for model airplane enthusiasts.  We had a great time watching the little planes.  Cameron had picked the lunch and he did a great job.  We had egg salad, cheese, and pb&j sandwiches, carrots and dip, and lots of fresh fruit.  After lunch we went looking for the nearby letterbox and found it after a bit of a search.  We were really excited when we found the Magnetic Hill and it really worked.  That really made our day.  It was Open Doors Burlington so we stopped in to tour the Burlington Fire Department. 


Bike Path Call of the Birds has been replanted and we were able to find it with no troubles at all.  Next stop was our third attempt at Gossip.  We had no luck on previous attempts because of all the muggles and a couple of huskies.  This time we were lucky.  It is much easier to create a distraction with the 3 boys along . . . LOL.
It's hard to get Cameron to sit still long enough to fix his shoelace . . . LOL

I love this photo so much that is is my screen saver now.


Austin is reprising the role of Jack in Titanic . . . he's the king of the world . . .
 Our next stop was Old Downtowns.  It was a simple find and the stamp is awesome!  It was time to head for home but I was determined to find Mohawk Chapel in Brantford.  We found it!

Brotherly love . . .
We delivered the boys home in time for a late supper and then we headed home to rest.

Relay for Life

I was very proud to participate for the first time in the Relay for Life to honour my mom's winning battle against cancer.  And I was very proud of all our friends and family who came out to support us with donations and good wishes and taking some of our laps for us.  Special thanks to Mackies and the Lale family for supplying us with an amazing roomy tent to keep us dry and warm.

Our goal as a team was to have someone from our group on the track at all times and with all the extra people who came out we were very successful.

The organizers were amazing at keeping us motivated, entertained and fed all night.  Some of the highlights for me were the survivors lap, the trivia contest and the dancing.

I am really proud of my grandchildren who walked laps almost non-stop right up until 1:30 am when their parents made them go home.  I think they would have kept going all night . . . LOL . . .

My son, 3 grandsons, daughter-in-law and Mom

Annie was so happy when her hubby brought out her girls.

Okay this hat just makes me giggle . . .

Survivor's Lap



Last Lap


Some beautiful helpers . . .

Friday, June 24, 2011

Some finishes . . . creatively speaking . . .


When we were letterboxing a couple of months back (when we still needed mitts) Cameron lost one.  I finally made a replacement for the missing mitt.


Another mystery knit along from Monthly Dishcloths Yahoo Group.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picnic and Letterboxing in Waterworks Park, St. Thomas ON






Another basketball paper piecing for sale . . .

. . . and now all three grandsons play basketball . . .

I haven't posted any photos for a while so here goes . . .

Cameron just played in his very first 3-on-3 tournament, the Daubs tournament in London ON, and his team did very well.

Good game.  Good game.

Cameron and his cousin, Riley.

The Good Basketball Players

Faster than a speeding bullet . . .




Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 2011 Mystery Knit-Along - Day 4

Day 4

Row 37: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 38: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 39: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 40: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 41: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 42: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 43: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 44: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 45: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 46: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 47: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 48: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.



The final rows will be posted next Wednesday.  I hope to have a couple of complimentary patterns ready to share as well.



Day 3


Row 25: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 26: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 27: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 28: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 29: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 30: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 31: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 32: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 33: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 34: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 35: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 36: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.



Next instalment June 22, 2011



Day 2



Row 13: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 14: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 15: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 16: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 17: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 18: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 19: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 20: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 21: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 22: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 23: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 24: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.



Next instalment June 15, 2011





Day 1



1 ball of cotton knitting worsted

4.5 mm knitting needles



Cast on 49 stitches



Row 1: *K1, P1* to end of row.

Row 2: *K1, P1* to end of row.

Row 3: *K1, P1* to end of row

Row 4: *K1, P1* to end of row.

Row 5: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 6: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 7: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 8: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 9: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 10: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Row 11: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.

Row 12: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.



To be continued . . .


Good service, bad service and chocolate . . .

It's been a while since I've had a rant about customer service so here goes . . .  

When are the people who want our business going to clue in that we can buy a loaf of bread or set of tires or box of cereal just about anywhere but chances are we are going to buy from the company that gives us good service. 

I can list several area businesses that I will not set foot in because of horrible treatment or service in the past.  So what, you say?  I'm not alone.  Many people do the same thing.  They won't put up with poor service so they move on.  AND they tell all their friends about the horrible treatment or service they received.  That's what. 

It is so easy to give good service really.  Much easier to keep a customer than to try and win one back or find a new customer to replace the one you've lost.

Here's my GOOD SERVICE story for this week.

Last week we went on a picnic with the boys.  An impromptu picnic calls for a trip to KFC, of course.  When we got to the park and unpacked our dinner we quickly realized there were missing items including no condiments, plastic ware, napkins, plates or bottle of pop.  And the chicken itself was not up to the usual yummy standard. 

So I did what I sometimes do . . . I sent an email to Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Two days later I received an email from them.  It read like a form letter (although I could be wrong) BUT what it did do was offer an apology and tell my what actions they were going to take.  The next day I received a phone call from the manager of the local restaurant.  We had a simple discussion about what had happened and we were offered a store credit.  I accepted the apology and the store credit.

We had our picnic the other day.  The service was excellent.  The food was excellent.  And nothing was missing. 

And here is what went right.  I didn't go back into the store and scream, rant and rave.  I wrote an email.  I made sure I was fair in everything I said.  I was polite.  I made my point.  And in return I learned that Kentucky Fried Chicken stands behind their service and product.  They responded to my concerns quickly.  They made me feel like my business was important to them.  And they offered a resolution that would assure I'd be back.  Yes, my first trip back would be to use my store credit.  But I now have a good feeling about this company and I know I will come back again. 

Now, for my BAD SERVICE story.

It is not a hugely bad service story.  Just an annoyingly bad service story.  General Mills put out a coupon for a free box of their new chocolate Cheerios.  The coupon was only good for June 21st.  So I went to one of grocery stores -- Real Canadian Superstore -- that I shop at very frequently to pick up my free box of cereal and purchase Hal's groceries for the road.  I went to the cereal aisle and was disappointed to see there was no chocolate Cheerios left.  But in the next aisle I spotted an employee with a t-shirt on that had a slogan proclaiming that she was there to help me.  I asked if there was any more boxes of cereal anywhere in the store.  She didn't know.  I asked if she could find out.  Her "help" was to tell me I had to go all the way to the front of the store to ask at customer service.  I think she shouldn't have been wearing that t-shirt.  So I went back to the front of the store  and asked for a box of cereal.  I was assured that there was none left.  I asked if there was any way I could get a rain check or if they had made any arrangements to honour the coupons at a later date.  No.  So I left.

Next stop . . . Metro.  I went to the cereal section and found the shelf where the elusive chocolate cheerios should be empty.  So I went to customer service which is very close by.  The lady in customer service found the gentleman working in the grocery department and he SHOWED me where I could find my cereal.  I purchased all the rest of my groceries at Metro.  What a simple difference in the way I was treated.  I will remember that for quite a while.

And now for the CHOCOLATE part of my rant . . .

Chocolate Cheerios are really tasty and I will be buying them again.

And that is the end of my rant.

Caramel Custard

6 servings
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking time 40 minutes
Standing time 2 hours
190 calories per serving

3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk, partly skimmed, 2%
2 tsp vanilla extract
salt, about one pinch
6 servings Microwaved Caramel (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Prepare the caramel. Divide it among the ramekins, then tilt and rotate each ramekin to thinly coat it. The caramel may not initially cover bottoms and sides completely, but it will spread and even out after the hot cream mixture is poured in.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork. Add sugar and 1 pinch of salt, then mix well.

Warm up the milk in a saucepan until hot but not boiling and pour it slowly into the egg mixture. Stir constantly but lightly, in order not to create too many air bubbles. Add the vanilla, then portion out into the caramel-covered ramekins.

Put a towel or piece of cloth into a large baking-pan (either a rectangular cake-mould or a roasting pan). Place the ramekins on the cloth and fill the pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (I didn't put a cloth in the bottom of the pan)

Bake in the middle of the oven 35-40 minutes or until the outside is set but the centre still trembles slightly when moved. The custard will continue to set as it cools. Check with a toothpick or knife to see if it is cooked through. (The knife should come out clean)

Take the ramekins out of the water bath right away to avoid overcooking. Let cool and then chill a few hours in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Run a thin knife around the edges to help remove the custards, then turn upside down onto serving plates and serve cold.

Microwaved Caramel

6 servings
Preparation 5 minutes
Cooking 5 minutes

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp warm water
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Be careful:  melted caramel is extremely hot!!!

Mix all the ingredients in a glass or Pyrex container of average size.  Cook in a microwave oven at maximum power until the syrup starts boiling.

Consider the suggested time as a reference only, since the precise cooking time depends on your oven's power.  Continue to cook using 10 seconds:  the syrup is ready when it turns golden-brown.

Tofu Ratatouille

I made this soscuisine.com recipe up the other night. It is supposed to make 4 servings but it actually seems to be enough to feed a small banquet. Hal didn't like it, but Hal doesn't like zucchini or eggplant. I loved it. The recipe won't freeze well and I didn't want it to go to waste, so I took the leftover ratatouille and some red quinoa to Ladies Day Out. All the ladies seemed to enjoy it. So, here goes . . .

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup green beans, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 zucchini, diced into 1.5 cm squares
1 eggplant, small, diced into 1.5 cm squares
1 yellow or red pepper, cut into 1.5 cm squares
1 carrot, cut into 1.5 cm squares
salt and pepper to taste
300 g firm tofu, cubed
1-1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp Herbs aux Provence
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Saute the crushed garlic and chopped onion, taking care not to burn. Cook 4-5 minutes until the onion is translucent.

Boil or steam green beans, drain and set aside.

Prepare the remaining vegetables (except tomatoes and green beans) and add them to the saucepan with the garlic and onion. Salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tofu, tomatoes, herbs and cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer ten minutes, until vegetables are tender but still slightly al dente. Add the cooked green beans and heat through 2-3 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve.

This dish can be cooked in advance and reheated, but it is not advisable to freeze.

Serve the ratatouille with rice or quinoa.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 2001 Mystery Knit-Along -- June 15, 2011

Day 3

Row 25: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 26: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 27: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 28: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 29: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 30: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 31: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 32: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 33: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 34: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 35: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 36: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
 
Next instalment June 22, 2011


Day 2

Row 13: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 14: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 15: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 16: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 17: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 18: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 19: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 20: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 21: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 22: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 23: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 24: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

Next instalment June 15, 2011


Day 1

1 ball of cotton knitting worsted
4.5 mm knitting needles
 
Cast on 49 stitches
 
Row 1: *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 2: *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 3: *K1, P1* to end of row
Row 4: *K1, P1* to end of row.
Row 5: K1, P1, K1 *P3, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 6: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P4, P2tog tbl, yo, P1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 7: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K2, yo, sl 1, k1, psso, k3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 8: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2, P2tog tbl, you, P3*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 9: K1, P1, K1 *P3, K4, yo, sl 1, K1, psso, K1*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 10: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P2tog tbl, yo, P5*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.
Row 11: K1, P1, K1 * P3, K7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then P3, K1, P1, K1.
Row 12: K1, P1, K1 *K3, P7*, repeat * to * to last 6 stitches then K4, P1, K1.

To be continued . . .

Monday, June 13, 2011

Timmy has a girlfriend . . . and we made her go letterboxing . . . LOL

It was really nice having Tim home for a weekend visit.  And we were thrilled that he brought his girlfriend along so we could finally meet her. 

We could only find one flaw in Krystel . . . she is far too happy!

The original plan for their return to Toronto was that Hal would take them home on his way to work.  Unfortunately, Hal didn't get a load on Monday.  We decided to take them home anyway . . . but it was going to cost them . . . they had to go letterboxing with us.

We went in search of War of 1812 Series:  Battle of York in Toronto and found it.  It just happened to be Doors Open so we did a quick tour of the Fort and took lots of silly photos. 


Tim just looks like a wife-beating, security guard with karate training.
(Don't worry.  I'm just describing the part Tim played in Dual Suspects:  Ties That Bind.

Krystel seems a little scary too.


We aren't sure why Krystel thought her head would fit in the cannon?


Aren't they cute?

Trying to escape.  It is this photo that made Tim and Krystel decide to join a gym.
They couldn't escape my camera no matter how hard they tried.

Tim thinks he's Rocky.


I always knew Hal would one day impale himself on something . . .



. . . but I don't understand why Krystel and Tim had to do it too.

After we dropped the "kids" off, Hal and I decided we needed to find at least one more box.  We were amazed to find Toronto by Subway:  Castle Frank.  What a clever hide!


And then we went home.