Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Mary made me laugh, for in an email she told me she got together with some friends to show them how to make cinnamon buns. Now while I have called this cooking with Mary, it could read cooking with Wyora, or cooking with Aunt Erva, or cooking with any one of the maternal aunts. But if you haven't done that ... then here is the basic method ... as told by Mary to her friends when they got together one Saturday.
Start with Master Bread Dough
- 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 T sugar t
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 2 t salt
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ cup milk
- 2 T butter
- Combine water, milk and butter; heat until warm (100℉ to 110℉). Add sugar and yeast; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 ½ cups flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add ½ cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
- With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Place kneaded dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Punch dough down. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Knead lightly a few times.
- Roll each half into a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seam and ends to seal. Place, seam side down in greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
- Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Bake at 400℉ for 30 minutes or until thermometer registers 190℉ to 200℉ in center of bread. If a thermometer is not available, bread is done when well browned and sounds hollow when top of loaf is tapped lightly with finger tip.
|Berlin on a Bike|
1. Berlin on Bike.
We took a bike tour along the old Berlin Wall.
Quite an experience.
Stopped at a section of the wall that has been turned into a memorial.
At the memorial you can see the wall as it looked from both sides and examine the dead man's land between the east and west walls.
Climbed an old guard tower. The kids were in heaven.
These are the gardens from which Walt Disney got his idea to build Disneyland.
The kids rode the oldest (or one of the oldest) wooden rollercoasters, built over a century ago.
It still has a ride operator who operates a handbrake from the cars.
We had to do the rollercoaster twice.
3. Overnight sleeper car to Copenhagen.
|Catie in Sleeper Car|
Not for the faint of heart.
Not for the sea sick.
Took a train from Berlin to the Baltic sea.
Then crossed the sea inside our train car which was inside the belly of the ferry.
|Overnight sleeper car to Copenhagen|
~ Written by Catherine
~ Posted by Arta
Thursday, August 11, 2011
The CBC gives an update to the Perseid Meteor Show, to be seen best on Saturday night, they say.
|I love this book!|
I have one copy in AB and one in BC
Before I left the lake a week ago, Wyona and I went to the Terence Dickenson Night Watch book to check out the dates on this annual meteor shower.
Have fun laying on lawns or standing on decks to see one of the sky's best shows -- though I shouldn't say that given that there is a good show every time the sun rises or sets.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
|Puppet Festival Guidebook|
Absolutely breathtaking and hilarious puppetry.
|... cutting a thick slice of hot bread after church ...|
I was very please with my tidying of the front yard. Weeded all the flower beds, parked the bikes in a row beside each other, gathered all the toys to one spot, threw out all the garbagey stuff, swept the path. It looked tidy and neat.Later that evening we were going out and as we pulled out of our driveway, someone pulled up in front of the house. I rolled down my window to see what they needed. They took a closer look at the yard and then said, “Oh, sorry, we thought you were having a garage sale.” Sheesh. So much for all that tidying. Isn’t it normal to have 5 bikes, one tag-along-bike and a bike trailer lined up in your front yard beside a canoe?
Hasn't had the call to go to Grande Prairie yet. Tried to fix the leak under his truck. When it was done, he started the engine and the leak appeared again, so stripped the engine down again. Yes. He had fixed it right. Just hadn't tightened the bolts, wondering if he should get some advice about how much torque to put on the bolts, and then forgetting to get the advice, so only had to tighten the bolts the second time around. Got to have the same lesson twice. Nice.
|...paid for with money earned tree planting ...|
I got the thrill of touching the book.
I noticed the book's weight, the smell of the glossy pages, the quality of the paper, the cover still to be opened.
Some joys never go away.
|WARNING ... lid rusts when stored on pot|
Sunday, August 7, 2011
|"Hello from Bev"|
They are a one vehicle family now, the truck no longer part of the family.
When one thing leaves (ie, the truck), another takes its place, and he is a three-screen computer expert now -- I saw everyone gather around his workstation, ... in awe of his genealogy powers.
Kelvin is only a beginning genealogist.
He came home marvelling over Sharon's skills -- not so much for how she can manipulate the data inside of the programmes but for the knowledge she carries around that makes the manipulate of the data seem to be so easy.
|Maurine and Preston|
They had seen Charlene and Richard McLung at their new cabin in Montana and reported they have most of the amenities there now.
Betty and Ralph had driven the lower route from Vancouver to Barnwell and were returning by the Rogers Pass.
|Betty and Ralph|
Ralph reads every day: two newspapers, Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, etc. ... enough to keep him into print more into watching the T.V. screen.
He observed a dove through the screen door as we were eating supper, having seen it fly in, out, and around the fir tree in the middle of the Skyview Complex. He suspected there was a nest nearby. I enjoyed the bird-watching lesson.
|... time to start my own memoirs ...|
Kelvin took a piece of paper in hand and began to sketch an outline for writing his own memoirs as we were driving home. I was quiet, just driving and watching the road. He silently wrote, finally looking up at the outskirts of Calgary.
Later he said, "I can't believe it took me two and a half hours and I have only begun to think of what I want to write. If others are doing some much indexing of genealogy, I can at least write a bit."
His blog should soon be exploding with small essays -- "my life in the Arctic", "working in the BC bush", ... more to come.
Trying to squeeze in one more week of a new summer camp before the school year starts might not have been my best move. Of course, at the time I made that decision, summer looked like a vast expanse of sweet freedom and opportunity, and this one week of Sport and Aquatics camp sat on the top like a shiny red cherry. So that’s how I got to be here, swimming in emails, visual schedules, thank you notes, 11-yr-old birthday party to-dos, registration materials and school supplies for the upcoming year, and my own grief over the loss of that sweet expanse of freedom.
Mixed with that grief, is the sense that my sons’ childhoods are pouring through my fingertips with careless abandon. The boys seem all legs now, where once little rounded pot bellies used to dwell. I can recall when they used to raise their arms above their heads to be picked up and their pudgy fingers would barely extend past their heads. Now they don’t ask to be picked up so much, though occasionally a sticky hand will still press into my palm, and I find myself gazing in awe at the very length of them as they lay in bed. I catch glimpses of manhood in the breadth of their shoulders and the blonde but increasingly ample hair sprouting from their calves. There is celebration in this too of course—their health, their humor, and their increasing sense of place in the world—but right now, I don’t feel like celebrating. I will cry and grieve and get down to the serious work of preparing for one more week of summer camp, and then…I’m gonna take the boys swimming. It is still summer after all.
|Barnwell ... facing south ... Sunday morning|
So I have been thinking of my favourite part of the weekend spent with Molly, Nadine, Sharon, Bev, Betty, Ralph, Preston and Maureen. We shared 2 dinners and one hearty breakfast enjoying the cinnamon buns, the recipe to which is below. Some of the time Preston held a tape recorder, taping the reminiscences of the 7 siblings. One story of the past would trigger a memory of another so there was no lag in the conversation.
|"...the dust storms would circle in ..."|
One of the big difficulties was to get them back off of the fence without having the barb wire snag the material.
The other was the horror of seeing a dust storm circling in from the north west, about to blow through the clothes that had just been laid out. The vocal patterns became breathless talking about the rush to gather the clothes up and get them in the house before they had to be re-washed, Molly’s thin left arm reaching far away from her body, pointing to the north.
|"I hated those brown ribbed long stockings...."|
“But on the days of the week, that they had to be worn, for they did have to be worn again until it was washday, they were baggy and loose, the material still holding the memory of the previous day, ... or last previous days of wearing. Yes, I was so glad when it was Easter and we could wear short stockings, again.”
|Terrie Jones, New Mexico|
Virginia told me, “Terry called me a few years ago and asked if the recipe in the book was right for she was teaching her girls how to make cinnamon buns. Of course I thought it was right, for I have been making the recipe for years, but I have been making it from my original card, so I checked the book. Two tablespoons of yeast are missing, and they couldn’t have been very good if people were using that recipe without the yeast. I haven’t had time to tell anyone else. If you talk to anyone, Arta, mention that they should add that to the recipe.”
Her comment was in response to mine about how many times I have gone to that book to make Nadine’s lemon loaf or Betty’s Brownies. “And Elmoyne’s Corn Chowder,” added Virginia. "If you haven’t tried that one, don’t wait any longer."
|... add two tablespoons of yeast ...|
It is from his first picking. The corn isn’t out on the market yet, but he had a few cobs ready, planted in a new fashion. The corn is put in the ground under bio-degradable plastic, and as the corn grows, the plastic disintegrates into the earth into fertilizer.
Shucking corn is usually a task I give to someone else, but this time Virginia was in the kitchen frying the chicken. I sat down with the corn beside me and carefully peeled back the moist green leaves half way until I could separate a few of the silks. Taking a handful of those and tearing the rest of the leaves off didn’t take long – “One cob for the women and two for the men”, Virginia had said and I remembered that in the olden days of Barnwell it was usual for the growing boys to eat their height, measured by the number of cobs they could consume.
But back to the cinnamon buns Terry left behind for our breakfast on Saturday morning. Here is a recipe that doesn’t require getting up at 2 am to start the batch of dough, and with a quick butter icing on top, beats what one can buy in the store. Please, don’t forget the yeast and if you still work from the now vintage cookbook, add the correction of 2 tablespoons of yeast to Virginia’s recipe on p.15.
Cinnamon Rolls – Virginia Johnson
2 tbsp yeast
1 ½ c. scalded milk (Virginia doesn’t scald hers anymore)
1 /12 c. water
2 tbsp shortening
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp sugar
2 ¼ c. flour
Beat all ingredients; let rise 15 minutes. Cover the sponge. Add 2 eggs (beaten), 4 ½ tbsp. shortening, ½ c. sugar and 4 ½ c. flour. Mix well. Roll ¼” thick. Spread with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up. Cut ½ “ thick. Let rise double. Cover (plastic). Bake 20 minutes at 350 – 370 degrees F.
I give a nod to Terri whose hands let me eat my first taste of Virginia’s cinnamon rolls.
So nice to have crossed paths with her this weekend.
Friday, August 5, 2011
I'll be leaving for my first full drilling experience.
Saturday or Sunday we will get 'the call' which will have us driving to Rycroft, Alberta.
There we will help guide the bit as we drill thousands of meters below ground. Between 10 and 20 days of drilling.
I've packed my tooth brush.
I've packed a sleeping bag.
I've got through my list of necessities several time. We'll see how many things I'll realize I've forgotten when I get up there.
We are standing on a suspension bridge overlooking the castle.
|... a little tired ...|
|Rocco Style Theatre|
This is a photo inside the amazing Rococo style theatre in Munich.
(The photo isn't the best, as it is trying to capture the horns as they are being carried off the stage.
Also a photo of the words at the entrance to the concentration camp.
"Works makes one free".
|Settlers ... intense gaming|
What is a day without the hope that somewhere on the property, a Settlers game will be in progress!
The thrill of playing is so deep that some even continue the game of buying and selling commodities, well into their sleep patterns.
|... chocolate covered blueberries as well as bridge mix ...|
I got my first small slam hand this way.
I forgot all about the Bridge Mix when I saw all of those points in my hand.
Now I know how golfers feel when they get a hole-in-one.
At our house we are trying to teach Joaquim to play to that we will always have a fourth ready -- at least ready enough to be the dummy.
He says he has no problem with that.
Most of the other PhD's he knows are also dummies.
|... filled and waiting ...|
I was on Glen's porch when I saw this rainbow of colours.
"That bucket of water balloons took us 1/2 hour to fill this afternoon and we are just waiting for the event when we will have to fire them," said Laynie of the job Patrick and Morgan had helped her with.
Bonnie and I played another kind of game on the porch with Audra while her mom was busy with Settlers.
|... I am having a problem with you wearing my sweater ...|
"Are you cold?", Bonnie questioned.
"Do you want your sweater on?"
Getting no response, Bonnie then said, "I am cold and here is a nice sweater for me to wear."
Audra could see that Bonnie was having trouble putting the sweater on, and she went around to give her some help, pulling the side of the sweater around for her, and then helping Bonnie to put her hand in the tiny sweater sleeve that had become the object of our game.
She even tried to straighten it out and make it fit.
|... figuring out the next move ...|
Bonnie brought a new problem to Audra's mind by try extricate herself from the size 3 straight jacket.
Some sniffles and sobs from Bonnie made the task seem important and Audera came to Bonnie's rescue.
This might have been the first time in her day that she could see there was no one else around smarter than she.
She wasn't showing any confidence in the two adults on the porch with her who didn't seem to be that smart and needed help at every turn.
|... I'm taking my tea set and sweater ... and going home ...|
In the end,and after a lot of struggle, she got that sweater back in her own hands, the one she hadn't been interested in wearing herself.
She folded it up, gathered up her tea set that Grandmother Wyona had given her, and she headed back through the kitchen door to find some sanity.
"Goodbye, you dummies," the look on her face said.
And thus ended the best game of the day.
Hard not to have a discussion about the size of scat I see on the trail.
Is this really bear scat?
Cub or mother?
The answer to the question comes in the form of another question?
Is it large or small? Are there cherry pits in it?
Yes. And yes.
Since the scat is large, I have more reasons to call out "Go bear!" at intervals along the trail, as Glen does.
|...under a mushroom crept a wee mouse ...|
Finding some shaped like round rocks, I lined them up, ready to have David find them and then throw them at me.
Though I have been out weeding the raspberries all morning and am tired, I can't resist teasing him as he walks down the road toward the house.
What are the chances that I could return the volley, hitting him right in the middle of the forehead, as though I had been practising my aim all morning.
The mushroom split and travelled in all directions, scaring him and making me wish I hadn't been quite so good with my aim.
|...50 year old moss growth ...|
The trail to Sicamous is not well travelled so the feeling of walking where no man has walked before is there.
|bee sitting on a chickory flower|
I call this flower Douglas Aster and he calls it Chickory.
I went to my BC Nature book for verification and I think we are both right and the flower can be called by either name.
I had no idea it was so hard to catch a bee on this flower -- nor did I have any idea that they stayed there for such a little time while gathering the honey.
My Aunt Lenore had many pieces of it; my mother only had two pieces of it, a plate and a tea cup and saucer which I inherited.
When I see the Canadian Thistle growing along the side of the road, I think back to that time when its beauty was captured in a piece of English china.
I still love the look of it, and try to deny that leaving it there is going to cause me some trouble with weeding later in the summer.
|Look up. Look up.|
I run up the flight of stairs at the back of my house -- one last nod to getting morning exercise.
|Old Sicamous Road|
|...so glad I bought the heavy duty stroller for the woods ...|
“This couldn’t be true of a house where there is someone under one year old,” I thought, so I went over to see if Landon Hicks had woken anyone in his house.
Laynie was up, but not the baby, and though Glen encouraged her to take the run with me, the baby was awake by the time his mom had her running shoes on, so Glen suited up and off to the trail we went
Glen pushing the baby along the Trans Canada Highway until we came to the Walking Cycling Trail that follows Old Sicamous Road right into town.
The walk was equally enjoyable the next day.
|Art bought me a telephoto lens for my birthday|
I learn something new every time I walk the trail – and especially with an old forester.
Here is my laundry list of new things I saw along the way and new hints that Glen gave me to help me truly enjoy the forest.
|Art and Teague, fishing at 6 am|
You can see them in the lower left hand side of the picture, barely a dot on the water.
We stopped again to look at the barrier that Highways constructed about 20 years ago.
There is a potential slide area, one where the rocks could come down and cover the railroad track.
|highways slide barrier|
Stopping at this point to look up to the highway and then down to the water is well worth the time spent there, getting an idea of where the slide comes from and how it could impact the railroad below.
One of the signs that I have missed along the way is one that is high on the highway side of the trail, instead of down low, at eye level as the other signs are.
“You can see it up there, a little higher than the goat’s beard,” Glen said, pointing to where the sign was nailed, high in a tree.
Sure enough, the 3 kilometre sign was hidden way up where I would have never seen it.
We had a long lesson on the difference between step moss and pipe cleaner moss.
“I could remember the Latin names with a little refresher,” he said, “but you get the idea with the common names.”
We paused for a minute to take pictures at a place where someone has built a small wooden bench on a look-out that gives a good view up toward The Narrows, a place where all three of us had our cameras in hand.
The Indian Pipe was in large patches along the trail – not hard to see, if one would just look down, which is where I was looking most of the time, to keep my footing secure.
|Look up. Look up.|
“Foresters are always told to look up”, said Glen, and indeed, he taught me how to see the difference between the cedar cover and the more mature Douglas Fir cover in the forest as we walked along, a new learning for me.