Writing

The odd thing about writing a personal journal on the internet is that you really don’t know who is reading it (with some pleasant exceptions), and what they make of it (with some pleasant exceptions).

That gossamer line of connection created between the writer and reader is almost invisible. Its appearance belies its strength, which is timeless.

Authors long dead have held me close through the darkest of times, the blackest of experiences. Authors of many races and cultures have reached out to me with their words, affirmed my humanity, enlightened my perspective, chastised the smallness of some of my ideas and emotive responses, shown me what love is, and what love can do, and so much more. Their words have reached across chasms of difference, to embrace me with inclusion, to illuminate my world with love, kindness, tolerance, and compassion.

Informal authors, such as those writing online personal journals, have enriched my life immensely. Although I’ve not met even one in “real life”, respect, appreciation, and real concern for their well being have developed over time. When they cease to write, for whatever reason, I miss hearing about their doings, their retrospections, and their contemplations. What I do know with certainty is that each one that I read has written goodness, kindness, and compassion into the world. There is no better vocation, no matter how modest.

I’ve explored YouTube as a venue for connecting humans, and find it lacking in so very many ways. It is not interactive in any real sense of the word. Creators are selling a product (usually the much exalted “me”), looking for subscribers, seeking “likes”, directing people over to Patreon, where people donate money to them. YouTube is entertainment first and foremost. It is a good place to research how to do things though, so it is useful to a limited degree. But when YouTube creators call their subscribers a “community” I know that is complete crap, because with YouTube there is little healthy reciprocity of concern for the viewer’s life and circumstances. The creators do not know if someone’s husband has died, a child is ill, a sister is going through a divorce, and really how could they with 100,000 subscribers. To call a YouTube subscriber list a community is a travesty of the concept, in my opinion. It is more in line with a fan club, like the Mickey Mouse Club I grew up watching.

And then there are venues like Facebook, where most people cease to explore ideas using language and clarification of thought, instead viewing a steady stream of memes and pithy short sayings that are so generalized as to have lost all meaning in the lived experience. False information and inflammatory interpretations abound. Facebook is the land of mass moral outrage, the perfect venue to spread fear, hatred, discontent, and division. There are those who use Facebook to connect with family and friends, but I honestly feel that humans need face-to-face, day-to-day contact in healthy, balanced, smallish human social groups… and Facebook has none of that.

And then there is Twitter, the short bite, “hit and run”, “drive by shooting” venue. I have nothing positive to say about Twitter, or the like.

My age is showing in the way I see the world. The world I grew up in was unkind, brutal, and systemically unfair. The world I live in now is unkind, brutal, and systemically unfair. Technology hasn’t lessened the unkindness, the brutality, or the systemic unfairness, and arguably, it has intensified these aspects of human social structures.

On the domestic front, it is a perfect summer’s day! I love this kind of weather, when it is cool enough that wearing long pants, and long sleeves is comfortable. The mosquito season has started here, and they are pesky little things, and it is easier to avoid bites when skin is covered with fabric.

Attila is tackling the garden watering situation. We like to catch the rainwater falling from the roof in rain barrels. Well, actually, we have one rain barrel, three large garbage cans with screen lids, and one wheelbarrow that catch water from the roof. There is a short piece of the old eves trough on the eve, but it does not collect much water for us. We rely mainly on the water dripping directly off the roof and into the garbage cans and wheelbarrow. It is quite a motley collection, and doesn’t really retain enough water to get us through dry spells.

So this year, Attila’s birthday present (since he is working again and we anticipate an income with some discretionary funds) has been two 1000 liter rain tanks, and eves trough with a downspout, for the back porch, and garden shed roofs. This will allow us to collect enough water to water the gardens during dry spells, and to keep the back yard from flooding when we get a lot of rain.

Using the town water supply to water the gardens presents two issues, one is the expense, water costs money, and our sewage bill is based on how much water we use, even though it does not enter the town sewage pipes, and that costs even more money. The other issue is that town water is heavily chlorinated, and rain water is less stressful for the plants and soil.

My morning was spent weeding the raised beds, and reading on the back porch. Yesterday I milled flour and baked five loaves of bread on the same day, thanks to the cessation of time-of-use hydro billing. This is the life!

Mom gave us some walking onion bulbs a few years back and they have propagated well. But they are prone to mildew, so that last year there was not much of an edible onion harvest. This year they are being sprayed regularly with a water/soap mixture, and on Friday Attila harvested some very lovely stalks and small bulbs. I dehydrated them for 12 hours. Attila baked them for about 15 minutes (NOTE: try 2 minutes then check!) in a hot oven to caramelize them. The only task left now it to crush them into a powder, which is done with a stone mortar and pestle. They are delicious!
NOTE: We burned the onions in the oven! Apparently just a few minutes are needed to caramelize them to perfection, and seven minutes will burn them! So disappointing, but you live and learn, lol.

Lots of plants are beginning to grow! Attila set up a plastic enclosure over one of the raised beds, to form a small green house. So far he had started and transplanted nasturtiums, and Black Russian tomatoes. But that is just the beginning, there is a lot more coming! My two raised beds are ready and waiting for the Jalapeno pepper plants to get big eough to transplant. We could use bushels of Jalapeno peppers if we could get them at a reasonable price, so growing them give us a good supply.

I enjoyed my view this morning from the porch. The Hawkweed is in bloom, one of my favourite weeds. A tiny bird perched on one of the taller stalks, and it slowly bent to the ground. The bird chose another Hawkweed stalk, perching there as it slowly bent to the ground. Yet another Hawkweed stalk was selected as a perch, and when that one bent to the ground the little bird gave up on the Hawkweed and flew up into the ash tree.

Also blooming are the wild geraniums, the dianthus, the irises, the strawberries, chamomile, and white clover. I love the garden because every day things change, sometimes just a little, sometimes a lot.

Well, that’s us then for the weekend. I love having a yard! I am grateful Attila loves to garden!

Stay safe dear friends!

The Walking Onion harvest. They were dehydrated, baked, and will be crushed into powder for seasoning.
Hawkweed
Wild Geranium
Dianthus
Everbearing strawberries.
Three Nasturtium and at the top of the photo some Chamomile.

Worldly

Weather

18°C
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Sunday 7 June 2020
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 17.5°C
Dew point: 11.9°C
Humidity: 70%
Wind: SSW 25 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“The medium is the message”
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964
Marshall McLuhan
1911 – 1980

The wrong people are making the most of the concepts explored in this work.

The Dust Settles

Since early January I have been watching the current pandemic rise, experiencing internal stress as I attempted to prepare for its arrival in Canada. I spent a lot of time thinking things through, trying to prepare for isolation, and still I missed things. I missed that bleach expires, and so we have no effective bleach to use for disinfecting, and it cannot be purchased, the stores are all sold out. That was a big mistake on my part.

But what has worried me most all these months, is that Attila would have to work, and would be exposed to infection, and that he and I might not fare well in such a case. All of my focus was on resolving that issue, trying to take steps to keep Attila safe, and myself safe as a result. Our fates are tied together at this point. When two of the managers returned to work after travel abroad, I reached a breaking point. Attila began to use his vacation time to stay out of harms way.

Suddenly, on March 25th, Attila was laid off. What a blessing. Fear of poverty is a lot more bearable than fear of death, at least that is how I feel. And so my life instantly changed, from fight or flight feelings, to intense relief. The first few days both of us were stunned and grateful, trying to take in our new situation.

Here we are, March 31st, six days later. And I realize that some adjustments are needed on my part. My life revolved around routines that I had developed over the last few years, routines that involved an adequate income, and Attila being away to work five days a week. It is different now.

Our income might be adequate, we do not yet have any idea what the future holds on that score, but for now we are fine, in the short term. We are no longer financially able to purchase items as we have been doing, particularly related to renovations. The renovations will have to be put on hold. The materials already in our possession, for the basement insulation project, will be used until they are gone, and hopefully they are adequate to finish the project. But if they are not, it doesn’t really matter, we will be fine.

Getting used to Attila being here all the time is more challenging for me than I had anticipated. Suddenly, with my biggest fear and focus happily resolved, I find myself needing to reorient myself, figure out how to comfortably spend my days. My old routines do not work for me, Attila is here all the time, the house is small, this is new!

For instance, we both like to putter in the kitchen, which is small, so we need to orchestrate the activities. Slowly we are developing a dance, exploring how to time our little projects so that we aren’t in each other’s way. It is going well, but still, it is an adjustment, mostly for me, as I am accustomed to having the kitchen to myself during the weekdays. Sharing means changing habits, so I am working on that.

We are so lucky to have Mist Cottage. It is a pleasant and safe place to self-isolate, with our own outdoor space.

Attila has his insulation project to work on, bit-by-bit each day, but mostly he works in the yard. He has a large garden planned, and spends most of his day working outside. He has pruned the apple tree and bushes along the property line, and is using the branches to build Hugelkultur beds. The garden along the fence line is also being expanded. He has harvested quite a few Dandelion roots from that area.

And that is where some of my projects come into play. After Attila washes the Dandelion roots, I spread them on the racks for the dehydrator to dry them. The plants have some newly formed leaves on them, which are also dried. I tasted the very young leaves and they were quite good, I thought, not bitter. Since we are avoiding the grocery store, we have no greens at the moment, so I suggested a Dandelion green salad. That was a NO from Attila. Oh well, I might harvest some of them for a lunch time stir fry for myself.

Dehydrated Dandelion Root
Dehydrated Dandelion Greens

I tried making No Knead Bread on Sunday, saving a wee bit of dough to use instead of yeast for the next next loaf, which was yesterday. It was a unanimous decision that my regular 100% Whole Wheat Bread is much preferable. The No Knead Bread was very dense, had a good flavour, and a very tough crust. It was worth a try!

The weed seeds that I removed from about 12 cups of wheat berries, when I last milled my Whole Wheat Flour. Oops, I see one wheat berry in there, can you spot it?

Today I baked Squash Squares, which are Pumpkin Squares made using pureed squash instead of pumpkin. Attila seldom asks for sweets, so when this was requested I was very happy to make it for him. We will be growing squash this summer, it is a versatile vegetable that we both enjoy.

Squash Squares, made in a pie plate. I like this pie plate because it has a wide rim, which make it easy to grasp when it is hot, and I am removing it from the oven.

So that is us, doing fine as we weather the storm of the Pandemic, isolated in our little house with a garden. I hope everyone’s circumstances allow them comfort and safety!

Stay safe dear friends!

Worldly

Weather

6°C
Date: 3:00 PM EDT Tuesday 31 March 2020
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 6.0°C
Dew point: 2.1°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: NE 20 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“What you are is a question only you can answer.”
Lois McMaster Bujold
1949 –

The Last Big Garden Push

Here it is, the last significant harvest out of our garden!
The quart jar gives you an idea of the volume of the harvest. These ten Brussel Sprout plants were harvested Thursday afternoon, rescued from the snowy garden, and you can see some of the snow still clinging to the leaves on the plant furthest left. The first step in processing these plants was to remove the leaves and the Brussel Sprouts from the stalk of the plant. That was Attila’s job!
Attila handed the leaves off to me, so that I could begin the long process of dehydrating them. While I started on that element of the job, Attila sorted through the Brussel Sprouts, cleaned them, blanched them, and we bagged them for the freezer, in 2 cup portions. As you can see, we ended up with 8 good sized packages for the freezer, a meal’s worth in each one. In additon, we served fresh from the garden Brussel Sprouts for one late night snack, and two meals. So 22 cups of Brussel Sprouts harvested from the ten plants in our garden. That is about two servings per plant.
Because the freezer space is full, we were forced to thaw a frozen turkey to make space for these Brussel Sprouts. This weekend we enjoyed a full course turkey dinner, with leftovers for the week, diced meat in the freezer for casseroles, and a big pot of soup from the bones.
Our winter greens.
You could see how many leaves there were on the ten Brussel Sprout plants. Brussel Sprout leaves are tough and chewy. The taste is good, but the texture is undesirable, at least that is how we feel about them.
For two days the house was filled with the aroma of Brussel Sprout leaves roasting in the oven. It was surprising how these tough, chewy leaves shriveled to almost nothing when roasted at 250F for about forty five minutes. They smelled delicious, and tasted wonderful. After drying, the leaves were crumbled into a bowl, the midribs discarded. Then the crumbled leaves were put into the blender and powdered. That huge tote full of Brussel Sprout leaves yielded this much powder. It doesn’t seem like a big yield for two days work, but a teaspoon of this delicious powder in a soup will be plenty to enhance the flavour.
I ask you, where can you buy powdered organic roasted Brussel Sprout leaves, at any price?

Worldly

Weather

7°C
Date: 1:00 PM EST Sunday 10 November 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 7.1°C
Dew point: 1.6°C
Humidity: 68%
Wind: WSW 28 gust 41 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this.”
Emo Phillips

First Snow!

I think this is the first video clip I have ever created to post on this site! I am a complete beginner when it comes to videos, and this is the result of taking a video with the iPad this morning, then using iMovie to edit it a bit, save it, upload it, and place in this entry. I watched about 45 minutes of videos on how to use iMovie before getting this result. The beginner iMovie youtube videos move way too fast and don’t cover the basics very well. I will be searching for a video made by someone with a bit of instructional ability, not just technical ability! Baby steps!
ANYWAY, this was our snow this morning, so pretty.

It is snowing here this morning, lots and lots of snow. It is melting too, but enough is falling out the sky to accumulate significantly on the branches of the tree branches outside my windows, about 4 inches so far.

I love the first snowfall of the season! It is pretty. But beyond the visual is the feel of the soft white blanket that now surrounds my little house. The busy brashness of late autumn sounds has been muted. White brings sharp visual contrast to the landscape. I can see paths in the snow, where squirrels and rabbits have made their way in our yard. That is on the outside of me.

On the inside of me is a deep feeling of containment and contentment. I am cozy here in my little house, warm enough, well fed enough (understatement), and peacefully occupied enough to love where I am. The first snow always brings into sharp focus how wonderful it is to have a peaceful home to live in. I stepped out onto the back porch this morning, to take out the compost bucket, and to bring in some washed and dried plastic bags that were hanging on the clothesline, and oh what a pleasure to breath deeply that air, so sharp and crisp and biting. And then, what a delight to retreat back into the warmth of this little house.

These feelings of wonder at the first snow never get old. They return every year in late autumn, when the world first turns white. It is amazing to me that I feel this way every year, despite having experienced late winter impatience for it to melt away.

The first snow marks a turning point in the seasons, a natural turning point, dictated by mother nature herself, and it is delightful.

There is another turning point at this time of year however, that is not so delightful, nor is it natural in any way. It is a corporate interest turning point that occurs here in Ontario, where we have Time-Of-Use monitoring and billing for the electricity we use. It is the perfect opportunity to increase prices, and inflict restrictions on the domestic population of Ontario, Canada.

On November first we were switched to winter rates and time schedules. The rates have increased of course. And what this also means is that I must do my daily tasks that use electricity either before 7:00 a.m. in the morning, or after 7:00 p.m. in the evening. In other words, the most economical hydro is largely available overnight, when I sleep. This is very, very inconvenient, and changes the way my whole day is structured.

There is a period of mid-peak pricing from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., when I will undertake tasks that I feel just cannot be done during the 12 nighttime hours when the electricity is least expensive. But I try to avoid doing that, because it will affect our monthly billing.

It seems Hydro One is determined to make the short cold winter days as dark and dreary as they possibly can.

Heating is our priority, and it is a service I do not want to cut back on significantly, despite the government urging seniors to turn their heat down! The government paid for ads a few years ago, showing an elderly woman wrapped in a blanket, turning down her thermostat, like that was the RIGHT thing to do. I hope the genius who thought up that ad, and the one who chose to run with it, have severe arthritis in their older years, and find themselves wrapped in blankets in chilly homes, doing the RIGHT thing. Heartless campaign.

I’ve been busy. One of the things that has come to my attention is that I experience significant pain if I try to get down on the floor, or back up from the floor. Arthritis is not my friend. All of my life I have been physically nimble, hale and hearty. Age is having none of it! So I did a bunch of research on techniques for getting down on the floor, and up from the floor, and have been practicing. And the practice is paying off, after a few days of cleaning shelves that can only be reached if one is down on the floor, I can now get down, and up again, without experiencing pain. I still forget I am not young anymore, and without thinking try to get down, or up, as I had whole life through, for decades and decades. But pain is a determined reminder that adaptation is required.

On Tuesday I made a loaf of 100% whole-wheat low-sodium bread in the bread machine. The whole loaf contained only 1200 mg of sodium. I added dried mango and dried cranberries to it. Wow, it was so good. I love bread with dried fruit in it.

When I was a single Mom on a tight time and financial budget, a loaf of bread with mixed fruit in it was my only special treat. I even dreamed about that loaf of bread at night, watching the slices fall as I opened the bag. I love breads and pastries. Yesterday, I could not resist having my homemade bread with butter for breakfast, again for lunch, and as a bedtime snack. And I had it for breakfast again this morning, and again at lunch. I know I will not want to eat anything else until that loaf of bread is all gone, and it won’t be long. Well, it is best fresh, right?

I was so in love with the bread I made, that I decided I needed more dried fruit in the house, with which to make it. Out came the dehydrator, to dry the Gala apples purchased at the grocery store this past week. They are Ontario apples, and on sale at the moment for $1.00 a pound. They were peeled, cored, sliced thin, then spread out on the racks. I ran the dehydrator at 140F last night after 7:00 p.m. when the hydro cost dropped to off-peak pricing, and turned the heat down to 90F for the night, to let it run overnight. It seemed best to keep the temperature down when the unit was not being supervised. It was turned off this morning at 6:58 a.m.. The apples are not dry yet, a little rubbery, so they aren’t done. Tonight the dehydrator will be turned on to 140F again at 7::00 p.m. and will run again all night if need be.

The apples cores and peels are now in the crock turning themselves into Apple Cider Vinegar, which needs to be stirred daily to prevent mold.

Last Friday the pressure canner was put into service again, this time to can six 500-ml jars of Taco Soup. These are intended for my lunches, on those days when I am suddenly hungry and just can’t figure out what to eat. Since there were no empty jars left, the pressure canner was cleaned and back into storage it went. But Attila, upon finding out that the jars were all in service, picked up another dozen jars when he was out and about. So there will be more canned instant meals on the way soon.

Six jars of Taco Soup canned, ready for quick lunches.
On the plate are seeds from our Jack-O-Lantern, a pie pumpkin, drying for spring planting.
Pie Pumpkins are amazing, who knew!
I have always purchased field pumpkins for Jack-O-Lanterns, and then cooked, pureed, froze, and baked with them. They were perfectly acceptable. BUT why use a field pumpkin if you can have a Pie Pumpkin. This was the first Pie Pumpkin I had ever had, and wow, the cooked puree is sweet and not in the least bit watery. It is significantly superior to any commercially canned pumpkin pie filling I have ever purchased.

The cabbages were first harvested in September. Each stem that was left started to grow new little cabbages. Attila harvested them on the weekend, and now we have a 1 liter jar of sauerkraut fermenting in the basement. Hopefully this batch will be a success!

These small cabbages, on one stem, were harvested from our garden over the weekend. They sure don’t look like much, do they! These all grew from the “stump” left when the first crop was harvested, a second crop on the same plants.
Here is what the little cabbages looked like when the outer leaves had been removed. they look pretty good!
The cabbages have been cut into thin slices and are now ready to be made into sauerkraut. This cabbage is sweet and crunchy, so good. Not really what might be expected based on their appearance when harvested.

Worldly

-1°C
Date: 11:47 AM EST Thursday 7 November 2019
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: -1.3°C
Dew point: -3.5°C
Humidity: 85%
Wind: NNW 14 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 16 km

Weather

Quote

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Marcel Proust
1871 – 1922

Preservation and Preparation

Fresh Organic Dandelion Blooms, just the thing for jelly! Their season is short, but I managed to capture them at their peak!

Wow, it has been a while since I last wrote an entry!

I’ve been busy, playing in the kitchen, or is it a lab, not much difference when you come right down to it.

New technology is always fun. Over the last year or so I’ve added a steam canner, a steam juicer, and Tattler reusable canning lids to my kitchen equipment.

I love the Victorio steam canner. Purchased last year, it is a game changer, no mistake about it. I gave my water bath canning equipment to my sister! The steam canner is lightweight aluminum, so I can easily grab it out of storage in the basement, and get it up and down the stairs without straining myself. It requires comparatively little water to operate, so I can easily carry it to the sink, add the water and carry it back to the stove. It is easy to lift the jars in and out of the canner, making it a breeze to use. And after making my usual first attempt boo boos, it works perfectly every time.

The newly acquired Victorio steam juicer has added a whole new dimension to my home food preservation activities. I have only tried Rhubarb Juice, as it is the only ripened produce coming out of our garden so far this spring, and it is a big hit here. The fruit pulp that remains in the juicer makes a lovely fruit leather, so nothing goes to waste. And of course, there are my learning curve bloopers, I always make them. I was using the oven to dry my fruit leather. I share the kitchen with Attila, I should have thought it through. I left the fruit leather in the oven after I turned off the oven early in the day when the price of hydro doubled, meaning to turn it on again when the hydro price dropped again, later in the day. Attila decided to roast potatoes, and I forgot to warn him about the fruit leather. It didn’t go well, the fruit leather is toasted rather than dried. I will be doing the fruit leather in the dehydrator from now on.

The Salton dehydrator was purchased at a discounted price, an entry level unit. Since we had not tried using such an appliance before, it didn’t make sense to purchase top of the line equipment. If we decide it is going to be a technique of food preservation that we come to rely on, a high quality unit will be purchased. So far the little unit we have, a birthday present for Attila years ago, is meeting our needs.

The Tattler lids are exciting, they are reusable. All of my canning career, which spans around five decades, I’ve used metal lids and rings. I’ve never had a seal fail on me, not even once. I was surprised to learn it could even happen. But throwing out all those lids just seemed so wasteful and expensive. So when I came across reusable Tattler lids I decided to buy a few and see how they work. Well, it seems my blooperness has gone into overdrive with these lids.

I am teaching myself to use the Tattler lids by canning water. The first time I tried them in the steam canner I had 50% failure to seal. The second time I had 100% success. But the story doesn’t end there. I then used them to preserve food. Two jars of Dandelion Jelly, to start with. They sealed, and after 24 hours I took them down to store in the basement. I checked on things yesterday, and the lids came right off! Oh dear, false seals! I reprocessed the jelly with metal lids, they sealed and are now stored away.

Tattler lids were also used for another seven jars of steam canned jelly, and juice, and three pressure canned jars of Taco Soup. I am watching these jars very carefully, checking the seals several times a day for failures. The sealed soup jars are in the refrigerator, so if the seals fail, the soup will be preserved and can be frozen instead. One of the jars of soup did not seal, I think I know what I did wrong with it, it is in the freezer.

So Tattler lids are putting me through my paces, for sure. Are they worth the trouble? Well, I haven’t decided on that yet, it is early days. Usually, after working with things, I get a feel for them, and get better and better at doing them successfully. I am hoping that will be the case with the Tattler lids. So far I haven’t lost any food items, so I am not discouraged.

On the homemade bread front progress has been made.

I am now milling all of our flour. We buy the wheat berries, which are extremely difficult to source at a reasonable price, to mill the flour. The grain mill, a Wondermill, is easy to use. Of course I have my bloopers with it too. I discovered that if you add too many wheat berries at once to the feeder, the flour container will clog, and it makes quite a mess, and requires quite a clean up. Whoops. I’ll only make that mistake once. It didn’t damage the machine because I always hit the off switch or pull the plug at the first sign that anything is amiss with an appliance.

I have a Black & Decker bread machine, purchased at a considerable markdown. I don’t like it, but so long as it does the job it won’t be replaced. I have made enough so-so bread in it, trying new things, until now the bread I make in it is lovely. But, that is one loaf at a time, not enough, with Attila taking lunches to work. He is using a lot more bread than he otherwise would, because it is homemade and delicious. I need four or five small loaves a week.

So I decided to try making five loaves at once. This is where the Bosch Universal Mixer comes into play. Again, this has not been an instant success. My first attempts yielded acceptable but not lovely results. I continued to research and read what other people were doing, and tweaked and tweaked my technique. The last batch was lovely, and thankfully I took the time to write down the process I used, and the ingredients.

Just a note about the links to amazon that I have included for the equipment I use. I didn’t buy any of it at those prices. I didn’t buy all of it at once, or even recently. I have purchased my equipment over a period of many years, and expect it to last a lifetime. I often buy equipment directly from the manufacturer (e.g. Tattler), or when I find it on sale for an excellent price, sometimes watching prices for years.

My policy on spending money has changed little over the years. For instance, I have a Cuisinart food processor that I purchased for myself in the 70s, when I was a Home Economics teacher, and it has been in constant use since then, and I expect it to be in constant use until Attila and I no longer have the need or wherewithal to use it.

I am the same with clothes, my parka was purchased in the early 90s and is the only coat I’ve worn since, and it is still going strong. I have a pair of pants that I am considering throwing out, purchased about 30 years ago, they are badly worn now. Items that wear out after only a few years are regrettable failures .

Another example is my sewing machine. When I was studying Couturier clothing design and construction I purchased an inexpensive Singer sewing machine. It was a disaster, and was negatively impacting my studies. So I returned it, went into debt, and purchased an Elna sewing machine. I have used my little Elna since 1969, and it is still humming along the same as it always has. I think that was my first experience with the difference quality can make, it was a lesson well learned.

I guess all of this illustrates why the Tattler lids hold such appeal for me!

Worldly

Weather

15°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Thursday 6 June 2019
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.8°C
Dew point: 13.2°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: N 11 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.””
Italian Proverb