Sunday, 26 February 2012

Dragon Trouble

Mummy:  So, Callum, what kind of cake would you like for your FOURTH birthday?
Callum:  I want a Dragon!
Mummy:  A dragon! Are you sure?
Callum:  Yes, I want a really big green dragon and I want him to be very very scary and breathing fire out of his nose and I want him next to a police car.
Mummy:  Next to a police car?
Callum:  Yes, standing next to a police car and breathing fire on the police car and I want his tail to have broken the police car window and the policeman is trying to arrest the dragon.
Mummy (hoping he'll forget):  Oh my goodness. That would be quite a birthday cake!

But he didn't forget.

The chocolate spike at the end of the dragon's tail had shattered the police car's back window, as requested, but Callum ate it before he got to the party.

The Equestrienne did a fantastic job, right?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Scaredy Cat... er, I mean Dog

I took Tessa the DoodleDog walking along the snowy trails of York Regional Forest this morning. The sun was shining , the sky was blue and the snow was sparkling, it was gorgeous.
We hadn't gone far when a sleigh pulled by two big draught horses pulled out of a side trail, sleigh bells jingling and the horses snorting steam .
Tessa stopped in her tracks, made a couple of half-hearted woofs, then turned tail and ran for her life!

This photo is borrowed from the internet, but shows exactly what Tessa saw coming towards her. VERY SCARY!
I called her but no, she decided she wasn't going anywhere near that scary apparition.
The sleigh driver told me to hop into the sleigh and he'd take me to get her, but when we got to a fork in the trail, Tessa headed right, and the sleigh driver headed left, hoping she would follow, but of course, she didn't.
I knew that both trails led back to the parking area, and I thought she might have gone back to the car, but no luck.
I said goodbye to the sleigh driver, patted the horses, and headed down the trail where I had last seen her, calling her name all the way, and feeling pretty silly.
By this time I was starting to get worried and had visions of trudging along the snowy trails all day looking for a panicking Golden Doodle. And even worse, going home without her and explaining to YoungerSon and The Bride that I'd lost their beloved dog.
When I got close to the place we had first encountered the sleigh, she bounded out of the trees, tongue lolling and totally out of breath. Sensible dog.... she had gone back to where she last saw me. Thank goodness!!
She stuck very close to me for the rest of the walk.
Well, at least I got a horsedrawn sleighride complete with jingle bells through the forest.... I don't have the opportunity to enjoy that very often!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The Bench

What do an American gymnast, an Australian sheepshearer and a Canadian figureskater have in common? Don't know? They are the unlikely Co-Artistic Directors of the innovative and entertaining Motus O Dance Theatre, based right here in our small town. Their energetic style is best described as part dance, part theatre, and part triathlon. I am very lucky to count them among my friends.

Friday, 10 February 2012

An Auction and Spaghetti

Well.... so much for my resolution of blog posting every couple of days through January. I only made it to 13 posts, and my record for February has been even worse so far.

I've been spending money again.... well, not very much money. I went to an auction sale and came home with this lovely little child's rocking chair. The cushion isn't very exciting, so I'll be making a nice new one, now that my faithful Singer sewing machine (purchased in 1967)  has been repaired. Oh, I didn't tell you that it was broken? It was making very unhappy noises, and suddenly produced a loud "Clunk!" and seized up. Well, after working diligently for 45 years without any major maintenance, I'm not really surprised.

Another Family Spaghetti Dinner took place in the local Community Hall this week. A couple of young families band together every few weeks and produce a magnificent spaghetti dinner for the amazing price of $1.00 per person. This is the fifth time they have done this.

On the menu: Spaghetti with tomato & meat sauce, mixed salad and a choice of salad dressing, buttered bread, lots of different desserts including cupcakes, rice krispie squares, brownies, cookies, and then coffee, tea or lemonade to wash it all down.

And if that's not enough to fill you up, you're welcome to go for a second helping!

Just put your money in the donation box, nobody checks the amount you're putting in. I should think most people put in more than $1.00, I certainly do. Long tables are set up and you just sit down next to whoever's already there and start chatting. There might be a neighbour sitting there, or a newcomer to town, it's a great way to make new friends. The money goes to the local Food Bank, with just enough left over to buy the ingredients for the next Family Spaghetti Dinner!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Thrift Shop Shopping

I love a bargain, don't you?
I have a look in here at least once a week, and often find something I really need!
This week, I found this for the princely sum of $5.00.
Brown Bag Cookie Art shortbread dish, Hearts and flowers pattern, vintage 1988. Practically unused, but very dusty. I think it had been hanging on someone's wall.
I've always fancied one. And it makes great shortbread!

1-1/2 cup cake and pastry flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 lb butter
1/3 cup fine sugar

Spray pan lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with flour. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Mix all ingredients by hand until it looks like breadcrumbs, then squish the mixture into a big lump. (Yes, squish is approved baking terminology.)
Press the lump of dough into the shortbread mould.
Turn oven down to 325F and bake for 35 minutes. If the shortbread doesn't look quite cooked, leave it in for another 5 - 10 minutes, or keep peeking at it until you think it's done.
Let the pan cool for 10 minutes then hold pan upside down approximately 2" above a wooden board, and drop onto the board.
The shortcake should fall out of the pan. If you are really lucky it'll be in one piece! Cut the shortbread into wedges while it's still warm. If you wait until it's cold, it will crumble.