Thursday, 28 January 2010

Cream of Broccoli Soup

When broccoli goes on BOGO sale at the local supermarket, it's the perfect time to make Cream of Broccoli Soup.
Of course you'll need some butter, plenty of fresh broccoli, some garlic, a giant onion, and a tough guy armed with a potato peeler to help prepare it.

"Peeling onions is a tough job but somebody's gotta do it...."

Throw it all in a big pot until the onions are soft, add vegetable stock, and some freshly ground pepper and simmer until done.

Then into the blender until the mixture resembles green goo (YUCK! reminds me of goose poop, but much better tasting of course) and serve diluted with milk or light cream, with a generous dollop of sour cream stirred into the middle.

Callum loved it! Especially with slices of french bread to dip.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Rabbie Burns Night 2010

Yes... I know, and all you Scotophiles out there will be quick to point out that Rabbie Burns 251st birthday is not until January 25th 2010, but we like to celebrate early.
Saturday night saw the 16th Annual Rabbie Burns Night organised by St James Presbyterian Church, and it was every bit as good as the previous 15. Better in fact!
To start the procedings, the piper led the procession around the room to the strains of "Scotland the Brave".....

.... closely followed by the haggis bearer. It's a very serious business, haggis bearing.

The haggis was ceremonially sliced open as the piper recited Burns' poem "Ode to a Haggis", and we raised our glasses to toast the haggis and the Scottish Bard (apple juice.... none of the hard stuff, this is a church event!).
Then, before the dinner, The Selkirk Grace:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Dinner was the traditional feast of roast beef, mashed tatties, peas, champit neeps, coleslaw, haggis, horseradish sauce and gravy... followed by assorted pies and Scottish shortbread.... all local produce prepared by the church ladies. Scrumptious!
And after the dishes are cleared away, it's time for the entertainment. A children's choir, Highland dancers, readings of Burns' poetry, a singalong of Scottish songs, and a wonderful soprano soloist.
And, of course, Scottish Country Dancers. We danced a strathspey, "The Rakes of Glasgow"......

..... and then a costume change for a reel, "Corn Rigs".

And we'll be doing it all again this time next year when we celebrate Rabbie's 252nd birthday! Wouldn't you like to join us? We'll save you a seat.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Reflections on the Start of Another New Year

Are we going to call it Twentyten? Or Twothousandandten? I prefer the former. It rolls off the tongue easier.

Some people are saying that midnight on New Year's Eve brought the start of a new decade, especially the dad in this story. But other people insist that the next decade starts in 2011. Who's right?
Whatever decade camp you belong to, there's no doubt that a New Year provides a fresh start to many people.

But it can also bring endings.
I was told yesterday that the former Space Cadet passed away suddenly on Christmas Day. A sad day for his family.
And I heard today that a childhood friend in England lost his fight for life a couple of months ago.
Canada lost another of our brave soldiers in Afghanistan on Christmas Eve, and four more Canadian soldiers and a reporter were killed by a Taliban bomb three days ago.
My heart goes out to all bereaved families.

Good things happen too.
OlderSon and The Equestrienne just installed a new wood-burning sealed unit fireplace that will enable them to heat their home at minimal cost. They're spending lots of time sitting by the fire!
YoungerSon and The Bride have only a few days of packing left before they say goodbye to their home of the past 2-1/2 years and make the move to a bigger house in this small town. They'll be closer to work, and closer to me!
My little grandsons Callum and Isaac are thriving.
And I'm planning to make my own move later this year.... maybe.....

Here's to 2010! Good Health, Happiness, and may you be surrounded by good friends and family.... and keep buying those lottery tickets, you never know your luck!