Instruction Manual

Instruction Manual

Our kitchen came with an instruction manual, simple and effective. Actually, the manual was created by Attila’s Mom, and given to us as a Christmas present many years ago. Finally, today, Attila mounted the framed manual on the kitchen wall. He proceeded to tell me to follow the instructions. I did.

kisss the cook image, chef and dog with chef hats and wooden spoons
Kitchen Instruction Manual
Needlework by Attila’s Mom, she stitched it and framed it and gave it to us for Christmas Years Ago, and finally it is on the wall in the kitchen!

Saturday saw some intermittent sunshine. The clouds thickened into a dome of gray on Saturday night. It seems as if they are not moving, but I know they are traveling fast above us. The temperature has hovered around 10C during the day, and dropped to 2C to 5C night time lows. 10C is warm enough for me to bundle up and sit on the back porch with my morning cup of coffee. The coffee cup keeps my hands warm, and the view and bird song keep my heart warm.

Attila has built the third and last little greenhouse in the backyard. The first two are full of seed started, over 200 of them so far. The recent rain has filled both rain tanks, so that we now have a reserve of 2000 litres of rain water to offer the garden. Of course, the garden doesn’t need it right now, as we have had lots of rain. We are ready for any dry spell that develops.

In the little greenhouses, the Kale is the first plant to really take off. It will be ready to transplant into the garden in another week or so, which is a little early perhaps, but Kale is a frost hardy plant, and seems to survive almost anything nature can throw at it. Attila planted hundreds of garlic plants, which have taken off and grow taller each day. They need thinning though, so I have fresh garlic stalks with tiny bulbs to add to my daily cooking.

Meanwhile the Dandelions have begun to bloom all over the yard. I have plenty of Dandelion Jelly left from the spring of 2019, and will not be canning more until my supply gets low. The bees love the Dandelions, so those beautiful yellow blossoms and pollen will not go to waste. The Heliopsis roots have doubled in size since it was planted, so soon Attila will be separating some root balls to plant along the fence line at the back of the property. It will give us a seasonal privacy fence. Granny’s Rose has grown twice as high this spring as last. The Clematis has already climbed to the top of the garden fence. The Lilac has a gazillion blossoms on it. The original Lilac was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughters, when we lived at the Country House. It did very well there, putting out lots of suckers. Attila transplanted one of the largest suckers to our garden here at Mist Cottage. It is getting taller every season. The Walking Onions and Garlic given to us by my Mom and sister are doing very well so far. The Walking Onions develop some kind of mildew later in the season, so I am watching it closely. I love looking at my family of plants, gazing out the kitchen window. It is a remembrance of love garden.

Today I have a few projects on the go. One is to bake bread for Attila’s lunches. That is rising at the moment. Another is to make vegetable broth in the steam juicer. The steam juicer was purchased about two years ago, and it has doubled in price in that time. The present version of the broth is primarily made from carrot peels and tops, and onion ends and skins. This makes quite a tasty broth. The broth is perfect as the liquid for all those Instant Pot casseroles I make, such as today’s dinner, Cabbage Roll Casserole.

We order our vitamins from a Canadian company. They send a free sample of products with our orders. The last order included a sample of one tea bag. It was Tetley Super Herbal Tea Boost: Peach, Ginger,& Dandelion with Vitamin B6. I loved it! So I recently sent some to my Mom for Mother’s Day, and ordered some for myself at the same time. With a wee bit of stevia for sweetening, it seems like a peach dessert to me. I make a whole large teapot of tea with one bag, over a litre of beverage. I plan on trying it cold as well, mixing it with sparkling water for a refreshing beverage. I hope that works out!

Pandemic Thoughts

One more Covid case in the small area where we live. The neighbour who was taken to hospital with Covid has not returned home, it has been over a week now, I have been sending her healing thoughts. So far as we know there have been no new Covid cases where Attila works. My Mom, sisters, and brother-in-law have all had the first dose of the vaccine. But my youngest brother, who has a chronic disease, cannot travel, has not received his first dose. I consider this negligence on the part of the health authorities. He lives in a Covid hot spot. The thoughts I send for him are that he is embraced by a shield of protection from the virus while he waits. Of my middle brother I have had no word, and think of him often; he is health conscious and canny, so I hope for the best.



Updated on Mon, May 3, 4:05 PM
12 °C
Partly cloudy
Wind 23 NE km/h
Humidity 67 %
Visibility 18 km
Sunrise 5:56 AM
Wind gust 34 km/h
Pressure 100.9 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 8:13 PM


“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”
Elbert Hubbard
1856 – 1915

This brings to mind political and corporate decision makers.


  1. Thank you Joan! Maybe there is a way to serve kale that is better than boiling and straining it. It is good for you. Mom and my brother are using it for smoothies. I haven’t tried that yet. Stay safe dear friend!

  2. Sandy

    The manual is great! The tea sounds wonderful too. Your garden is going to be amazing this year. I hope your family continues to stay safe from the virus. (((Hugs!!)))

  3. Thanks Sandy! We have had this piece of stitch work for years now, and had been displying it a Christmas time only, it was a Christmas present. But this year we kept it out, and it took a while, but now it hangs on the kitchen wall. I love the tea! I love peaches, so it is wonderful. Stay safe dear friend! (((Hugs!!)))

  4. Bex

    For Joan, for the kale, put it on a cookie sheet and bake it in oven for a bit to dry it out. Then put it in a food processor and grind it up to a powder. Use it in soups etc. in the powder form.

  5. Anonymous

    Hello Maggie, and all of my “Maggie friends “. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms…or, as I understand , are no longer called ‘women’, but are correctly referred to as “birthing
    persons…”. I really think that people are all going completely nuts. I literally turned OFF the TV…sometimes, I just want to scream back at the ‘talking heads’. I am worried that Atilla had another case of COVID in his work place. And, that you two haven’t been able to get your 2nd vaccine yet. Mike and I were so fortunate to get ours back not long after Christmas. We met Jeremy, Natalie, Carson, and Ryder for my Mother’s Day dinner at our favorite steak restaurant. The restaurant was absolutely packed….many people wearing masks unless they were drinking or eating. All of the employees were masked. It was my first time out to eat in over a year. Again, it was packed, and there was a 90 minute wait for a table. Thank goodness Natalie had gotten reservations for us, so we were quickly seated. Ryder had made me a card….I will treasure it always. 6 year olds are pretty good at coloring, and he has quite the imagination….he included all of our pets on the cover of the card and quickly explained that ….”yes I am a GRAND-MA-ma to people, but I am also a mother to our pets.” Natalie told me that he had explained the card to her as he was making it. Grandchildren are WONDERFUL. It was a fun and loving meal. I am slowly getting the back yard gardens in shape. I finally found someone to help me, and she is not charging me an arm and a leg. In fact, we are becoming really good friends. We have had a lot of rain in the past 3 weeks, with rain forecasted most of this next week. In Texas, we take all the rain that Mother Nature will give us. We know that during the heat of summer, we usually don’t get nearly enough rain. Since I have lived here since 1991, we had only 3 or 4 years that we managed to get rain nearly every week. We are much more likely to be dry and hot. We have a misting system around our deck rail….we enjoy it, but the birds go nuts for the mist. My new garden helper, Karen, is a contracted landscaper, and she is going to use her business discount for me to get the plants I want for my container plants. I have 6 large pots in the front, and will only have about 10-15 in back on the deck. I used to have over 100 containers planted for the deck….I am scaling this number way back this year. It would take me at least an hour of watering…and, I just can’t do that any more. But, since I am doing fewer pots, I plan to try and combine the
    pots with some planned chaos. Several pots will have something tall, a filler plant, and finally, something that spills downward. I have really enjoyed planning these combination plants…I usually just planted each pot with one type of plant. So, it will be interesting to see how they all turn out. I do love gardening. I have never tried planting vegetables…I don’t have any area in my back yard that would get enough sun. So, I depend on our local farmers market for veggies. I am happy with an all vegetable meal…Mike -not so much. He wants meat at every meal. I enjoyed Downton Abbey. I am interested in the monarchy,….and, the history and the difference between the Brits and America. And, I love their accents. Well, my friend, I need to get some sleep….I can’t believe I have been reading until 2:30 am….I will regret this tomorrow! But, hey, I don’t go to work anymore, and we only set the alarm if we have a morning appt….otherwise, we wake up when we wake up! Take care, and stay well. xxoo margarett

  6. Margarett, Happy Mother’s Day to you! It sounds like you had such a lovely day! I can’t imagine having a family get together, seems like some kind of wild fantasy at this point! 🙂
    Grandchildren are wonderful! We will find them much changed when we finally see them next, they grow so fast in a year, and it will be a year and a half when we get to see them again. The card is a treasure!
    So far as we know there have been no additional cases where Attila works. This is very good news for now!
    We don’t anticipate getting our second shots until July, four months after the first shots. Canada’s strategy is to give as many people as possible their first shots, but even for that we don’t have nearly enough to go around. The elderly that can are all vaccinated, and the now the deaths are occuring in younger seniors and a few middle aged people. Our death rate is soaring, and our daily infections are not decreasing rapidly. If our stupid provincial government can keep its big boy pants on, and continue our state of emergency for a few extra weeks, these numbers will drop drastically, saving many, many lives. Canada has few options for vaccine strategy, because we don’t produce our own, and getting them from other stricken countries is unreliable. Until now the vaccine shots have been trickling into the country, but deliveries are increasing, so we can vaccinate more of the population with their first shots. England found this strategy worked well, but their government kept restrictions until the numbers in hospital, and deaths, dropped. I am hoping our provincial government shows as much sense, but I have my doubts. The first shot should keep most people out of hospital with serious symptoms. I am really, really, really looking forward to July when we can get our second shots.
    Your garden sounds beautiful! So glad you have found someone to help with it. Scaling down to what you can manage is so wise, and trying something new with the planters is an adventure. I am sure it will be wonderful!
    We don’t eat a lot of all-vegetable meals, Attila likes his meat. But the dishes we prepare don’t use a lot of meat, usually just a few ounces each. I’ve found ways to cook the meat to maximize flavour, so we don’t miss having a lot.
    Glad to hear you and Mike are seeing your family, enjoying going out, and making the most of retirement!

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