wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


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Yule Love Yule Logs

This is a very Christmassy recipe, but it’s good any time of the year.

Simple to make: all the ingredients are in the picture below. No baking powder or baking soda or salt. Just butter, sugar, flour and an egg, vanilla, dates and nuts (you can do without the nuts if you have an allergy). Recipe is at the end of this post.

You can see that I’ve chopped the dates (except for one to show you) and the pecans (you can use walnuts if you prefer them).

Mix the butter and sugar, add an egg and mix again, add the vanilla and then the flour. You’ll get a gooey batter. Add the nuts and dates.

Drop by spoonfuls, a couple at a time, into a bowl with shredded coconut, and to avoid getting batter all over your fingers, take a big pinch of coconut and push the batter off the spoon with it. Then coat the batter over and over  in the coconut, pressing lots of coconut into the batter as you shape it into a roll (a yule log).

Place the logs on a greased cookie sheet and bake them at 350 for 15 minutes.

They should be golden brown when they’re done.

Now all you need is a cup of something to go with the logs.

I copied my mother-in-law’s recipe years ago. She used walnuts, but I like pecans too, so sometimes I substitute.

Easy recipe. Enjoy!


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The Treasury Board

Today I put dry chopped up leaves into my garden to keep the winter weeds down and add organic matter to my sandy soil in the spring.  I noticed that some of my strawberries had leapt overboard from the raised bed and were looking for a new home. To dig them up I moved the long board that lay alongside the raised bed (this board once helped to anchor the netting I had over the strawberries).

I pulled the board forward and found hazelnut shells, all empty, and all opened from the top (not cracked and left in two halves).

The stash of hazelnuts went down the whole length of the raised bed.

Each one was empty. Each one opened the same way, with the top eaten out, presumably by something with a small jaw and sharp teeth.

Not my Lincoln then. That squirrel would have hidden and stashed the nuts, possibly buried some near the trees where he sleeps, and the shells would have been cracked lengthwise.

Some weeks back I had seen a mouse in the strawberry bed, but this was a huge stash for a little mouse.

“It wasn’t me. Really, it wasn’t.”

My main suspect is Templeton (E.B.White’s rat). Since Charlotte’s Web, every rat in the world is named Templeton.

He is very brazen, but he’s cute, don’t you think? Once he tried to build a nest in our old truck. That was not so cute. He even went for a ride in it and came back without falling out. We had known he was in there but couldn’t get him out (until much later). After the Captain drove to the wharf to check the boat and came back home, Templeton was still hidden in a space  in front of the door hinge.

“How do you like my new digs?”

So tomorrow I’ll go out to the strawberry bed and see if there is a tunnel dug through my  newly added leaves that I put over the entrance at the side of the treasury board.

And then … we’ll see.

 


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Keremeos

My apologies for a whole series of posts with photos taken as we whizzed past in the truck and trailer, but in this post, I hope to convey a feeling more than to show any particular fantastic photo.

Going through the little town of Keremeos in the South Okanagan, in spite of the chilly fall air, we are always warmed by the festive attitude of the residents. It’s harvest time, and rather than have scarecrows, they have straw people all through the downtown area. I wish I could have done them justice with less blurry shots, but you’ll get the idea of the fun on the streets of this fruit growing town.

Can you find the straw people? Two in this photo.

 

One here.

Two here.

Two here.

One here.

All seem to be pointing to the fruit markets that line the road farther along.

Did you know that pumpkins are a tasty vegetable when prepared as you would any other squash?

This is pumpkin time, as well as onions, garlic, and winter apple time.

Squashes and cauliflowers, melons and tomatoes.

And if you don’t feel like shopping but just want to stop for a bit and let the kids play in the park, the local quail welcomes you. He’s like the quail version of “Big Bird.” Can you see him there to the left of the big tree with the yellow leaves?

Here is a close up of him – although very blurry – to help you find him.

The Okanagan is full of quail, quite tiny wild chicken-like birds that have so many cute habits it’s a shame to kill them for food (although I must admit, they are SO tasty).

I love quail, dead (on my plate) or alive (in my backyard), but mostly alive.

This “Big Bird” put a long-lasting smile on my face as we drove through Keremeos.

 


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Rich Without Money

Having money can help make life easier, but wealth need not always be measured in dollars.

After supper, a quick trip to the beach, just five minutes away, is a rich experience of another kind. The Sleeping Princess presides over the valley. Looking down on the bay, this glacier, unfortunately,  is melting a little more every year, but it is still unique and beautiful.

If she turned her head, the Sleeping Princess could see the beach I’m standing on. She would see the morning glory, or field bindweed, in bloom. It is invasive and tenacious and widespread. Just ask me!!  I want to hate this flower because its vines tangle up everything in my garden. But it has a beauty of its own. I imagine this bell flower holding rainwater for Tinkerbell to drink from.

Here are more of these morning glory flowers popping up among thorny blackberry vines. How tough must it be to endure the pain of those prickles?! And yet how daintily these two invasive plants complement each other.

Glory be! Look at those blackberries! They want picking. I ate a few of them. Sweet, sweet, sweet! But my arrangement with the Captain was already made. We have a lot of blackberries at the back of our own yard and the deal was that if he picked the berries (and endured the thorny scratches and spiders and wasps and stickiness), I would make jam.

I didn’t know he would be so enthusiastic. I had a challenge to use up those berries. But now we have enough blackberry jam to last the rest of our lives. So we’re rich! Rich in jam.

I think I have the sweetest pantry in town.


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Eating Local on Canada Day

On this Canada Day, what could be more appropriate than a basic Canadian meal made from local (very Canadian) ingredients.  The banana doesn’t count. It’s only there to give a comparison of size so you can be assured that the trout are not anchovies on a mini hors d’oeuvres plate.

Potatoes from the garden – first of the season.

Spinach and a couple of cucumbers from the garden will add to the mix of fresh veggies on our plates.

This bounty, among many other things, makes me very grateful to be living in Canada.

Happy 152nd birthday, Canada.

To our Americans neighbours to the south, your 263rd birthday is close enough to ours that I can wish us all a happy celebration of our collective good fortune.

Did you know that Americans are 111 years older than Canadians?


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Seafood Hits the Spot

Three girlfriends went out for lunch today to a restaurant we had been to twice before. Each time we all ordered the same thing – calamari. We didn’t even know that we each loved squid so much.

This restaurant is by the water, near the wharf in the town of Campbell River on Vancouver Island. It was an easy 40-minute drive for us and well worth it.

We talked about making calamari at home, but our problem was the lack of available squid. Yes, we live by the sea, but the only squid I know being caught is used for bait for other fisheries. I would gladly eat fish bait! If only we could buy it.

We went to a tiny fish shop at the town wharf to see if they might have squid. No luck. They had all kinds of seafood, even lobster from the east coast (we are on the west coast), but no squid. We just don’t have enough of a squid culture here to support a commercial fishery for squid.

But while we were at Crabby Bob’s fish shop, now run by Crabby Abby (who is really sweet – not crabby at all), we had a look around. The seafood was fresh and clean. We were impressed and will probably come back one day to buy some of her product.

Outside the shop on a little patio not in use today because of the rain, we saw a great crab made of wood, a perfect mascot for Crabby Bob’s (or Abby’s).

 

Here he is from another angle.

Watch out for those pincers.


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“I lied, Miss Scarlett!”

“I lied, Miss Scarlett. I don’t know nuthin’ ’bout  taking a break from bloggin’.”

Okay, I’m a dog.

I can’t help but blog.

While taking a break,

I started to bake,

I thought it looked good

And I’d share if I could,

But this photo for you

Is the best I can do.

The loaf on the right

Is a terrible sight,

But the scrap piece of pie

Was consumed with a sigh.