It has been a very busy week.
I did not know that, as a parent of a sixteen-year-old, I need permission to ask questions of the doctor about the child's health. Apparently, this is the law. "The Teenager" experienced abdominal pain a few weeks ago and saw the doctor. We have a very good doctor. He ran several tests, including an ultrasound. The results came back with some unexpected findings. "The Teenager" came home and explained, she was a little upset and confused. I decided to ask about the results myself, only to find that I must have her express permission to have my questions answered.
This all came as a big surprise to me, perhaps it should not have. The upshot was that this week "The Teenager" sent me off to the doctor's office with a note of permission. It felt odd, her giving me the note instead of the usual note FROM Mom. The doctor was pleased that she gave permission and proceeded to explain the results and affirm my faith in him. As I said, we have a very good doctor. "The Teenager" is in no imminent danger of ill health, as far as he knows. He will be keeping an eye on her.
Attila has worked every day since September 3. He is doing quite well this year and has not fallen into a sleep deficit yet.
I do miss him. He had a few hours off during the day last Sunday. He slept in and we had a quiet coffee and breakfast together. Then he disappeared again. That little bit of time together seemed to prime the pump; I missed him madly all day Sunday. By Monday afternoon, my emotions had settled down again. In another four weeks, he will be able to take most weekends off work.
One of my favorite Christmas foods is Mincemeat Pie. I love Mincemeat. The Mincemeat, sold in this part of Canada, is preserved with chemicals I can not tolerate. Every year I visit various grocery chains to check the labels on their jars of Mincemeat. Every year I face disappointment.
We have quite a few crisp, fresh, and slightly scarred apples. Although they are not very pretty, these apples taste every bit as good as those with perfect skin texture and color. I spent the afternoon peeling apples, washing raisins and currents, and transforming all these good ingredients into home-made Mincemeat.
This Christmas I will not be disappointed.
The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the leaves are falling. The warm weather means that our furnace can remain inactive for another few days. The cost of Natural Gas has risen significantly, so that economizing on heating costs will be even more important than ever this winter.
My Grandparents heated with wood. In the basement, a huge cast iron furnace rose high above the floor. One approached on stepping stones through a pool of water. Several times each day someone would need to descend the wooden stairs and cross the water, arms laden with firewood. That furnace and a wood burning cook-stove kept the house warm. My Grandfather felled the trees, chopped, and split all the wood that heated the house and cooked the food. He did this until he was 86 years old. I never heard him complain.
During the winter, the stove in the kitchen was the warm heart of the house. The rest of the house was quite cool during the day. At night, when the furnace died down and the wood stove in the kitchen cooled, the house was frigidly cold. Your breath would proceed you in great white puffs as you made your way down the stairs in the morning.
Today I would much rather help my Grandfather split wood. I would much rather descend the frozen stairs with my Grandmother to the cold kitchen and the waiting stove. I would much rather do these things, than depend on the vagaries of trade and commerce to keep me warm during the cold winters of modern life.
Unlike my Grandfather, I do complain.
|RECIPES :: Cast
By the Easy Chair
Cite Your Sources
by Richard S. Lackey
Rakes and the rustle of autumn leaves through the open window.
12 apples peeled & finely chopped
4 cups brown sugar
3 cups dried currents
4 cups raisins
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
Grate peel from lemons, squeeze juice into large mixing bowl and add peel. Chop apples and toss lightly with lemon mixture to prevent browning. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Can or freeze.
From Canadian Living Christmas Cookbook 1982
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