Seeing The Year Out

Here we are, the very last day of 2023!

Wishing you a prosperous and healthy New Year!

The weather is colder than it has been, -5C this morning. It is cloudy, dreary really, out there. Attila and I went for a stroll, there were few other people braving the streets. The sidewalks are bare, which makes for easy walking. There is no snow on the ground, and hasn’t been for more than twenty four hours to date, a truly mild late fall and early winter.

We are grateful to be in our little house, warm, with good food to eat, and living with beings we love, and who love us.

Not everyone in this area is so lucky. This past week, for the first time since we have been here, there were three instances of people spinning out of control (of themselves). It is a difficult holiday season for so many. The first we observed from our vehicle, a young man walking down the sidewalk, weaving, joyous, and unaware of his surroundings, very clearly under the influence of something. I am glad his trip was a good one, and hope he landed somewhere safe. The second was observed from our vehicle in the parking lot at the drug store. We could hear angry shouting but did not know where it was coming from. A thin, dressed in ragged clothes, unkempt, middle aged man came into view, shouting angrily at the air in front of him, ranting, waving his arms, walking at speed. He headed for the retail area, across parking lots, and eventually entered a bank. We lost sight of him then; I do feel for the bank employees. The third was two women in an aging land yacht, who drove up behind me at speed, as I walked across the laneway between rows of parked cars. I had heard angry shouting, but did not know where it was coming from. I noticed as I looked around that an the old car had sped up behind me but had to slow down for me. The women had been shouting at me! And calling me names, and swearing at me too, as Attila witnessed. Me, oblivious to their hostility, having seen the car, moved out of the way, looking at the car. Looking at them, the women gave no indication that they had been shouting and swearing at me. I would not have known I was the object of their bile, had not Attila filled me in. I laughed. What a ridiculous event to be enraged by, clearly they have personal issues that they are incapable of resolving. I feel sad for all these people, whose lives are in such turmoil.

Thankfully we do not need to venture out again this year.

To end our year, we are accomplishing a series of projects, in a leisurely fashion. Our projects all revolve around the kitchen, no surprise there. I’ve been baking, our sweets this Christmas have been homemade. For Christmas dinner we enjoyed Mincemeat Squares, using out home canned mincemeat, using the very last jar. For our New Year’s dinner we will enjoy Peach Squares, made with my home canned peach pie filling. We have indulged in fresh green salads through the holiday season, which means I have been busy baking bread for the croutons we love on our salads.

Our Christmas Day turkey was a big one, twenty pounds. We have had turkey dinners every night since Christmas Day. Actually Attila has the full turkey dinner with all the fixings, and I only have that dinner on Christmas Day. The rest of the week I have been enjoying Turkey Sandwiches, on toasted homemade bread, with my home canned Cranberry Orange Sauce; another reason to be baking bread.

The week of turkey dinners required only a small proportion of the turkey meat. On Boxing Day Attila diced turkey, and onions, and blanched carrots and potatoes. Meanwhile, I prepared the pressure canner, jars, lids, rings, and other canning equipment. By the end of the day we had seven quart jars of Turkey Pot Pie to line the shelves of our pantry.

Turkey Pot Pie, they all sealed!
The canned mixture has a lovely flavour, and Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie is one of our favourite meals.

But there was still a lot of turkey meat left. Attila diced that, to fill seven bags of turkey meat for the freezer. Each bag will make one and a half meals, one meal for me, and two for Attila, who eats two suppers day, calling one of them a snack. With the turkey meat safely preserved, Attila commenced to make turkey broth with what was left. It has been refrigerated to make soup in 2024.

Another project we began yesterday, that will see the year out for us, is making pork sausage patties. It is a project that takes up most of a day, the equipment setup, cleaning, and storing away takes a lot of time. Trimming the fat from, and cutting the pork into strips for the meat ginder, is time consuming as well. Grinding the meat is the shortest part of the process, taking only about ten minutes. Then Attila mixes in the spices by hand, weighs out portions of 112 g (about 4 ounces), and rolls them into balls. I prepare sheet pans by covering them with waxed paper, then form the balls into patties to cover the pans. Into the freezer they go. After freezing overnight, today they are ready to be packaged. We keep some in the freezer in the kitchen, but most of them are vacuum sealed and stored in the chest freezer. We made 57 pork sausage patties.

Sometimes we eat these with my homemade burger buns. Sometimes I use one to make spaghetti sauce, or sweet and sour pork with rice and vegetables, or cook and crumble one to put on our pizza. I can eat them without concern about chemicals additives, or high sodium content, as we only add herbs and spices to them. Since we add no preservatives to the sausage, it is not a cured meat product, it needs to be frozen as it keeps as fresh meat keeps.

For Attila and I, this is entertainment, with benefits.



Updated on Sun, Dec 31 at 10:57 AM
Wind 8 NE km/h
Humidity 81 %
Visibility 22 km
Sunrise 7:43 AM
Wind gust 12 km/h
Pressure 101.5 kPa
Ceiling 9100 m
Sunset 4:37 PM


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi
1869 – 1948

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Joan Lansberry

Happy New Year to you, Attila and Cat! (And to your children and grandchildren!)


Best wishes for 2024 Maggie. What a lovely post! I do enjoy your detailed descriptions of your food preservation efforts. We had a 19lb turkey for seven of us but still had lots left over. I canned 12 quarts of turkey stock and froze some small containers of chopped turkey with the broth to be used for lunches heated up with Chinese noodles. We have been making pork patties very similar to yours but buying the ground pork from our local butcher. Now I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile to buy a meat grinder. Do you use yours very often? We also make about six dozen sausage rolls at Christmas time which require a higher fat content. Our butcher will grind up pork butt and add extra fat but sometimes it has too much!


Sounds like some tasty meals being prepared over there. We have some turkey leftover too, after several meals and a turkey sandwich. What’s left is now in the freezer, hopefully to make a turkey pot pie sometime soon. I do love homemade pot pies!

Happy New Year, Maggie, Attila, and Ginger!


Thanks for the info on the grinders Maggie. I’ll have a look into them and weigh up the pros and cons. We have a Kitchen Aid grinder/juicer that we use for tomatoes but it is not powerful enough for grinding meat. We nearly burnt the motor out of it the first time we tried.


Maggie, I hear you with the crust. Since I tend to low carb my meals, I only use a single crust on the top. I guess that would be somewhat similar to your dumpling topping. (My grandmother use to make the most delicious Bisquick dumplings. I’ve tried that myself but of course they’re not as good as hers were. And of course it’s something I can’t do too often because of the carbs.)

Ah, the work arounds for the requirements of our diets.