Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


Lemon Posset

This dessert is so good that I could eat it every day, except that I would soon weigh 400 lbs. But it’s worth making once in a while for a special treat. It’s VERY easy.

On the Internet, I’ve found several recipes for making lemon posset, but I’ve ended up only following the basic rules and coming up with something that works for me.

You’ll need a lemon (the grated rind, and then later we’ll add the juice), some sugar, and whipping cream (not whipped).


Measure  two cups of the heavy cream in a big pyrex measuring cup and make sure it is exactly two cups.

Pour it into a saucepan.

Add 3/4 cup of white sugar (don’t skimp on it).

Add the finely grated rind of one lemon.

Stirring constantly, bring the cream mixture to a simmer. Continue to stir to prevent burning, and keep the mixture simmering on a low heat.

Here is where the recipes vary a lot. Some say simmer it for 3 minutes; others say anything up to 22 minutes. I took the middle and simmered the mixture for about 15 minutes, stirring the whole time. Then to check whether the cream has boiled down to the right amount, pour the mixture back into the measuring cup. Having added sugar, we’ve been simmering more than two cups of liquid, so we need to make sure it has been reduced to two cups again. If it is more than two cups, pour it back into the saucepan and let it simmer a bit longer. When you have exactly two cups of liquid, strain the cream mixture into the measuring cup or another bowl if you like. (I prefer the measuring cup because I can pour the liquid into the dessert dishes better from it).  The strainer will take out the bits of lemon rind that you’ve had in the cream mixture for flavour.

Then stir the juice of one large lemon (about 1/3 cup) into the cream mixture.

Let the cream mixture cool for about 15 minutes and then pour it into 6 small ramekins (or into fancier glass containers if you like). Make sure it is cool enough if you are using fine crystal dishes.

Set the dishes in the fridge to chill and set. Later you can add drizzle or toppings of your choice. Fruit works well. In the last one I made, I used a drizzle of blackberry juice thickened with a bit of cornstarch and sugar. Then I added what I had handy – some sliced kiwi and strawberries (these had been frozen because it is the wrong season for fresh strawberries).

If you like fruit on the dessert, you could also use some canned peaches, pears, or cherries. Whatever you have handy and appeals to your taste buds, works fine on this dessert. Use only small amounts. You are trying to add it more as a garnish. It is not meant to be a bowl of fruit.

It may seem that the portions are quite small, dividing the two cups of cream into six servings, but this dessert is so rich that you won’t need more than this amount. You’ll want more, but, trust me, you’ll find that it is enough.

You can chill this dessert in the fridge for a day ahead if necessary, but keep the dishes covered in plastic wrap.





Music for Valentine’s Day

“Sweetheart, I adore you. Give us a kiss.”

Oooh! She’s closing her eyes. I think it’s working.

“Come here, Bud,” she chirps.

Oooh! She’s whispering in my ear.


“What’s that, Biddy? You want me to sing you a love song?”

Sheesh! She sure is high maintenance. But my little Biddy is almost ready to say “yes.”



“Would you like me to play something … er … like accompany you on the pigiano?” asks Porky.


“Okay, here goes! … Hmm …  It doesn’t seem to be working.”


“I have to what? Open the lid?” Oops! “Of course! I knew that! I was just about to do that…. Hmm … I can’t seem to remember any songs.”



“Well, thanks for turning on the Budlight — I mean the light, Bud — and finding some music, but, ah … well … the truth is … no glasses.

No matter. Can’t read music.

Anyway, this doesn’t look like a love song.”


“Hey, Porky! Would you like us to accompany you? We’ve got a guitar, cymbals, and maracas. Come on. Let’s play. Just ignore that naked Cuban lady dancing behind us.”


“And we can help too. We’re the Mainzelmaennchen of German television ads fame. Let us show you. From left to right, you can see that we play natural instruments: the pot and wooden spoon, the coffee mill, the whistling kettle, the comb, the all-purpose whisk-like wooden spoon, and the pot-lid cymbals (watch your nose there, Fritz).”

“Aw-right!” says Porky. “Let’s jam! And please ask our audience to put their donations into that slot in my head. I’m banking on that.

A-one, a-two, a-three, a-four.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.



Flower Power

I was happy that my orchid was blooming bravely through the winter, but the room cheered up considerably when our dinner guests brought a pot of primulas. Such bright colours made it hard to be anything but happy.


The winter colours all around,

Seem mute, and stay benign,

But springlike colours popping up,

Are bright and so divine.


Absorbing rays that warm and heal,

The blossoms open wide,

Displaying cheer, inviting joy,

I know they’re on my side.

***** If you like writing, why not pop over to my other blog that is dedicated to books and writing, at https:///annelisplace.wordpress.com.



Happy Hummers

Hills bedecked in powdered rain.

Will we see green trees again?

Chilly mist drifts overhead,

Cools the hibernator’s bed.



Yet the valley down below,

Barely shows a hint of snow,

Filbert trees are flowering,

Wimpy folks still cowering.




Filbert flowers dangle plain,

Golden curtain, golden mane.

Hiding hummers, sheltered perch,

Safe from predators who search.




In the open on this twig,

In the sun I dance a jig,

Happy to be warm out here,

Catching rays of light so dear.



In the shade, my throat is brown,

Wait until I turn around,

I’m like lady hot pants pink,

Pretty special, don’t you think?



Bright pink plumage, yes that’s me,

Now I’m quite a catch, you see.

Don’t believe me? Yes, it’s true,

Sure as I can look at you.




What’s Under There?

Photo courtesy of Pat Gerrie.

No, that is not a frozen lake beyond the tree line. It’s the northern end of the Okanagan Valley, seen from Silver Star Mountain Resort.

Imagine life going on under that massive fog in the valley. People are trying to drive to and from town, to buy groceries, fill the car with gas, visit with friends, pick up kids from school. They’re feeling their way through the fog, trying not to drive into the lake beside the highway. Doom and gloom, like being half blind when you’re right down there in it. Grope, grope.

And here is the fog over the Comox Valley. Below this fog is the salt water. Only boats are groping their way from A to B. Under this fog, the sea lions chase salmon while the salmon chase herring.


Eagles hover over unsuspecting loons, or scoters, or ducks, looking for a sickly one – perhaps one who had a hard time finding food during that last cold spell. They wait for a break in the fog to spy their lunch. Or, they might fly over unsuspecting birds who don’t expect an attacker from the mist.

The fog is scheduled to lift now that a new southeast system is moving in, but it seems that in a surprise about-face, the wind is forecast to bring us one more day of northern air and blow some snow flurries on us – just for a few minutes tomorrow.


Icy fog 

Droplets of drizzle,

Freeze my dog,

Muzzle of grizzle.


Blind and down,

My spirits are low,

Fog brings a frown,

Wish it would go.


Southeaster blows,

Fog drifts away,

Maybe it snows,

But just for a day.