Sunday, June 30, 2013

The recipes for the fruit soups

Rose wanted me to post the recipes so that she'd have them if she wanted to cook them again.  So here they are:

Rhubarb Strawberry Soup
1 cup diced rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar

Cook all together then puree in the blender.  Chill.  Serve cold with a dollop of sour cream for garnish.

Pear Soup
4 cups pear juice
4 pears, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Simmer everything together until pears are barely tender.  Chill.  Serve with a cinnamon stick in each bowl.  Serve cold.

Apple Soup
Same as pear soup, only use apple juice and apples instead of pears.

Mixed Fruit Soup
2 cups fruit juice
2 cups fresh fruit diced (can be apples, pears, blueberries, peaches, etc. either fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tlb cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice

Simmer together the fruit and juice until the fruit is tender.  You can choose to either run it through the blender for a smooth soup or leave it in chunks for a clear soup.  Chill or serve hot.  Add a cinnamon stick or fresh mint leaf for garnish.

Blueberry Soup
It's the same as the mixed fruit soup, only use frozen blueberries and 2 cups blueberry juice.

Cherry Soup
1 can cherries (ideally pitted, because otherwise you'll have to pit them)
1 TLB fred wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar

Use the juice from the canned cherries.  Put them with the pitted cherries in the blender.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Chill.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cooking: the next generation

Rose has been cooking most of the day.  She wanted to try to make fruit soup.  We had fruit soup as one of the appetizer choices on board the cruise nearly every day and liked them.  So Rose made pear soup last night and today she made apple soup, rhubarb strawberry soup, blueberry soup, cherry soup and mixed fruit soup.  My personal favourite was the rhubarb strawberry, followed by the pear soup, but they were all good.  The cherry soup and the blueberry soup were a little too dilute; I think if we were trying them again we'd made them with the liquid being cherry juice or blueberry juice instead of water.  In any case, we really enjoyed them.  We ate them for appetizers and then had potstickers for main course.  The soup was really filling though, which meant that there were enough potstickers for all of us.  (Otherwise, I don't think there would have been.)

The biggest disappointment was with the mixed fruit soup.  It made nearly a full ice-cream pail full, and Rose put it in the outside freezer to cool.  However it tipped over and most of it spilled out into the bottom of the freezer.  There was still enough for all of us to have a taste, but it made a big mess to clean up, and three-quarters of it was spilled.

We also had two little girls come and bake muffins this afternoon.  They are cousins and they attend The Party regularly.  I had promised one of them that she could come and cook some time ago, and she phoned yesterday to see if she could come today.  She brought her cousin with her.  We made carrot muffins.  They were also good, I think; I didn't eat any, although I do have some leftover.  I sent a paper plate full home with each of them.

It's been a busy day for all of us, and we're now sitting on the couch, vegging.  When the washing machine finishes spinning out, I need to get up and make beds (I think I have company tonight).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sisters, Sisters

Ruth and I have been cooking together for about four years now.  Just in the last month I also started working with/for her, two days a week.  It's a good thing we're good friends.  It reminds me of that short song from White Christmas.  See it here.

We were sitting side by side at the reception desk Friday; Ruth was dictating to me and I was typing.  We were working together trying to get some correspondence done, when one of Ruth's tenants came in.  She commented, "Boy, I wish my sister and I could get along like that."

I really am fortunate though.  We do enjoy each other's company a lot.  Yesterday made up our week's menu, went grocery shopping and then made three salads together: Morocccan chickpea barley, Broccoli with Grapes, and Cauliflower Apple.  We also made a beef stew (which we ate for lunch, but there's enough left for another day) and borscht.  This morning she came over and we whipped up three different types of perogy casseroles (spinach and feta perogies with a cream sauce; regular potato cheese perogies with a cream sauce, and plain old ordinary cheese perogies with butter).  This was the first time we tried doing perogies without the cream sauce, with just butter, and they didn't stick at all!  That was in the my three-pot slow cooker.  In one of my larger slow cookers we had the borscht, and in the other large slow cooker we had cabbage rolls.  Then we also threw together three pans of pear upside down cake.  Got everything started and dashed off to church (5 minutes late).   We have enough leftover perogies for at least one more meal and a fair amount of borscht but all the cabbage rolls went.  There's also lots of salad left.  I've done up the dishes three times since yesterday morning, but still have pots and pans to do up along with another load in the dishwasher tomorrow morning.

I'm very thankful for my new dishwasher too.  It means that I don't have to wash my dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.  (This is a very good idea).  It also holds more and is much, much quieter.

It has not been a quiet relaxing weekend.  After cooking with Ruth all morning, I went into the office with her in the afternoon and worked with one of her other employees at organizing her files, from 1 to 5 pm.  When I got back home I was so tired I was in bed before 9 pm.  This afternoon we babysat Emmet and Jane while their parents had a date.  Then I had a short nap, followed by sewing.  I had a grad dress that I finished hemming, and a top and shorts that I promised to shorten for someone else.  I also whipped up a pair of shorts for Jane (and Emmet) because Rachel had sent her kids without the diaper bag and we needed a change of clothes for Jane.

It is now evening.  All the sewing is done.  I'm sitting where I cannot see the dirty dishes in the kitchen - they'll wait for tomorrow.  I've done a bit of planning for this summer's VBS, but need to talk it over with someone else before I send it off.  It's been a good day.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Abram Dietrich Thiessen
December 5, 1925 - May 29, 2013

My father-in-law died the end of May and we buried him on Tuesday.  He was a quiet man, never boisterous, but always he quietly loved those around him.  He was always very generous, with his time and money.

I have so many memories of Dad.  I recall one of the very few times he came up to Yellowknife to visit us.  He was there for only a short time before he became very ill, his kidneys shut down for awhile, and he ended up in the hospital in ICU.  When they discharged him from the hospital, he insisted on driving back home again, the very next day.

When my children were very small, Rose was three and Bram was about three months old, I drove south with the children by myself.  It was a long, long trip to Eyebrow; about 28-30 hours driving.  For the last hour and a half of the trip, Rose had found a box of cereal and was throwing it by the handful throughout the car.  By that point I didn't care; she wasn't crying and it was keeping her entertained.  When I arrived in Eyebrow, I handed the kids off to their grandparents and went to lie down and sleep.  While I was sleeping, Dad took the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed out the car.  He saw that it needed doing and so he did it.  That was the way Dad was; he continually showed his love for us by noticing what needed to be done, and doing it.

Whenever we went out to eat at a restaurant with Dad, we had to make arrangements to pay the bill when we made the reservations, otherwise he would be sure to grab the cheque and insist on paying.

Dad had lived all of his life in Eyebrow; first on the farm and then in town.  He had served on the municipal council for years and later as the reeve.  He knew everyone, and the state of their crops.  He loved to go visit with everyone at the coffee shop.

I was sorry that I wasn't able to visit with Dad before he died.  We had gone to Moose Jaw several times to visit with Mom but she was in the nursing home and our visits hadn't coincided with Dad's visits.  However it was good to visit with all of the family at the funeral.  All of the children and grandchildren were there.  I hadn't seen the great grandchildren before (there are now six of them); it was also good to visit with Aunt Edna, Mark and Florence.  It was so good that they were able to come up from Texas.

Although Dad is no longer with us, his legacy lives on in his five sons, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  He lives on in the love he showed us all, quietly, without many words.