In the Kitchen

On Saturday we both worked. I was nervous because freezing rain was forecast, and the route to my Saturday placement was an hour away along a windy, challenging road. Last week a truck slid off this road when conditions were icy, and went over a cliff. The driver survived. The road was clear when I travelled to the job. I observed the torn guard rails that did not help the truck stay on the road, thankful for the dry pavement I was travelling on. The good road conditions did not last though. About an hour before I left the job to head home it started to snow. I had no problem driving on the slushy and slippery road, but then I was travelling at less than half the posted speed limit.

When I took this job we knew I would be travelling on bad roads even when road conditions were abysmal. Attila insisted that we go wayyyy out of our financial comfort zone and purchase an All Wheel Drive vehicle that was reliable. Paying for that vehicle has been a real challenge over the last years and required quite a bit of juggling to keep everything afloat. But I can honestly say that when I am out there in the bush, driving on bad roads, in bad weather, I am grateful that we have made the sacrifice.

We had a busy weekend in the kitchen.

On Sunday Attila peeled apples, and I made pie crust. We froze three unbaked apple pies for the holiday season. One of them is slated for a holiday visit to Terra’s house, another for our Christmas Day dinner.

Ceramic Mixing Bowl
Ceramic Mixing Bowl: My Grandmother had a similar mixing bowl, and of course I have always loved to use things that remind me of my Grandmother.
After the pies were assembled, wrapped and placed in the freezer, Attila went back to peeling apples. I got a chair and pulled it over to the hutch, climbed up and carefully lifted down my traditional extra-large ceramic mixing bowl. I proceeded to add all the mincemeat ingredients, but the apples, to the bowl. When we had finished the project we had four quarts of mincemeat.

We had two apples left, of the two bushels we had purchased this fall.

This morning I started early to measure out the ingredients for bread. By noon two loaves were cooling on racks. I also peeled, cored, and chopped those two apples and mixed them with a pint of mincemeat. Using this mixture I baked a dish of Mincemeat Squares.

While all this was being accomplished I managed to sit for an hour or so to soak my foot. My big toe is prone to infections, and I woke up to a throbbing, red, painful big toe this morning. Yesterday antibiotic cream had been applied but seemed to make matters worse. Using a small saucepan, a tablespoon of salt was dissolved in a cup of water and brought to a boil. The mixture was cooled by adding sterilized water and poured into an oblong container. I sat with my foot resting in the container for more than an hour, and then again for shorter periods throughout the day. The inflammation has gone down, the redness is almost gone, and it no longer hurts to walk. I hope that is the end of the infection.

A lot of people have come to mind recently. Some of them are personal friends and acquaintances, others are not. Years ago I read a book Kate Rice Prospector. She wasn’t “successful” by today’s standards of wealth and influence, although she did receive a small amount of sporadic media attention. The University of Manitoba has a collection of information about Kate Rice. She was an amazing woman, and I found I could relate to her values and life choices. In my view she is the epitome of the feminine.

These wild turkeys look fat and healthy. Notice the dead pine, our super-sized bird feeder, the thirty foot high stump was left when the small tornado removed the top thirty feet of the tree.
On Saturday afternoon movement near the drive caught my eye. From the window I could see a dozen fat, healthy wild turkeys, pecking their way across the yard. I love to see them, and wonder how they survive the weather and the predators. Seems amazing that they can thrive in this environment, but apparently they can, and they do.

Worldly Distractions


-1 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 100.2 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -1.3°C
Dewpoint: -2.6°C
Humidity: 91 %
Wind: NW 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -6


“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost
1874 – 1963