February 6, 2003

Pear Chutney!



Here are a few of my favorite online haunts:
[This is the site I visit to fantasize about living in Toronto again, which is almost every single day during the winter]

Jonathan Cainer's Zodiac Forecasts
[This is where I visit in the morning, when I need a positive spin on things past, present and future.]

Living Local
[This is where I go to see what Canadians are up to, sometimes I even buy things from the businesses listed there.]

Environment Canada Weather
[This is the site I visit every morning, and before every road trip during the winter]

I have had a headache for over a week. After a few days, I began to cast about for a probable cause. First on my list was carbon monoxide. The detector was purchased and installed immediately, and indicates that we do not have a carbon monoxide problem.

Next of my list is the position of the computer monitor. However, I have been lax about adjusting the pile of books under the monitor. Perhaps I can talk myself into experimenting with monitor heights over the next few days. Then again, if I procrastinate long enough, the headache may disappear with no adjustments necessary.

The last, but most likely culprit of the pain-in-my-brain, is that income tax form lurking in the corner of the living room. It is not that I mind receiving my refund for overpaid taxes, it is more that I detest lining my life up in little piles of paper. I keep telling myself it will be over soon enough; at least for this year. It would be easier to just hate spinach.

The weather remains cold. In spite of this, Attila arrives home with a happy smile. Now mind you, that smile may not be the expression he wears all day in the cold wind. It is quite possible that the show of teeth at the back door every evening, represents a happy hunter, home from the hills.

We took possession of another half bushel of pears last week; they have completely disappeared. Attila and I have discovered Pear Chutney; we are enamored. It is wonderful on toast, on crackers, on pappadums. Our annual "must make" list now includes Pear Chutney.

We peeled, quartered, and microwaved the few remaining pears. Last night we had them with almonds and sugar. Today I ate the last of them for lunch, topped with granola. While I do not care for raw pears, cooked pears are a real treat.

I have been working on this site for the last few days, making changes that no one will notice. However, left as it is, sections of this site would become "deprecated" and therefore less accessible. That would not do, not at all. So I have been very busy removing aging font and center tags, and just generally cleaning up the code.

I did consider reading and editing past entries but decided to leave my writing authentically flawed. After all, only Attila and I edit this journal; he is usually sleepy while reading, and is definitely biased in my favor.

Marilyn's Pear Chutney

3 pounds fresh Bartlett pears (about 7 cups), unpeeled, cored, and diced
1 pound brown sugar
2 cups cider vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup diced, preserved ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons mustard seed

Combine brown sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the pears and remaining ingredients. Cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is thick, about 1 hour. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal. Chutney may also be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks. Use as a relish with lamb or ham or as an appetizer with cream cheese and crackers. Yield: 5 half-pint jars
Source: somewhere on the net, sorry I could not find it again.

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Worldly Distractions

Pink Flower Close-up
Bloom Zoom

"I know I have relations somewhere; when I am rich they will acknowledge me..."
from Ravenshoe
by Henry Kingsley
(1949 Edition,
Volume 2,
page 151)

On the Screen
The House of the Spirits
starring Jeremy Irons, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Winona Ryder, Antonio Banderas, and Maria Conchito Alonso

16:02 EST
Temp: -2`C
Humidity: 74%
Wind: SW 22 km/h
Barometric: 102.9 kPa

Sunrise 7:35 AM EST
Sunset 5:34 PM EST

Page by Page: A Woman's Journal
by Maggie Turner

Canadian Maggie Turner writes and publishes poetry, photography, and a personal journal online. Her work reflects the current way of life in Canada, embracing Canada's past, present, and future in a unique portrayal of everyday life. Maggie's voice is one of the many that actively depict the rich diversity of Canadian culture.

Photography: "a term which comes from the Greek words photos (light) and graphos (drawing). A photograph is made with a camera by exposing film to light in order to create a negative. The negative is then used in the darkroom to print a photograph (positive) onto light-sensitive paper.
Source: University of Arizona Glossary

Poetry: "a form of speech or writing that harmonizes the music of its language with its subject. To read a great poem is to bring out the perfect marriage of its sound and thought in a silent or voiced performance. At least from the time of Aristotle's Poetics, drama was conceived of as a species of poetry."
Source: Creative Studios

Journal: " "Though a journal may be many things - a treasury, a storehouse, a jewelry box, a laboratory, a drafting board, a collector's cabinet, a snapshot album, a history, a travelogue..., a letter to oneself - it has some definable characteristics. It is a record, an entry-book, kept regularly, though not necessarily daily.... Some (entries) will be nearly illegible, written in the dark in the middle of the night.... Not only is it a record for oneself, but of oneself. Every memorable journal, any successful journal, is honest. Nothing sham, phony, false...." (Dorothy Lambert from Ken Macrorie's book, Writing to be Read )
A journal is a way to keep track of your thoughts about what you read... as well as what you did on any given day."
Source: Journal Writing

A Blog is an online journal created by server side software, often hosted by a commercial interest.

"The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger[4] on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms."

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