21 Sep

Love Your Zucchini

One zucchini can provide an entire day of fun for you and a friend. Harvest is a time for trying new recipes and sharing old ones. Recently, my daughter and I chose to spend a day adapting already well-loved zucchini recipes. She prefers oat flour in all her baking. I often use spelt flour mixed with wheat flour. One awesome zuc...  Continue Reading

28 Aug

Lessons from a Leaky Teapot

My father was in his mid-eighties, and living in an assisted living apartment, when he began mentioning that he wanted to have a little metal teapot repaired. He asked my handy son-in-law to come over to have a look at it. Dad was sure the pot could be soldered. Everyone in the family heard my dad mention the pot, and we mental...  Continue Reading

17 Aug

Vintage Pineapple Refrigerator Desserts

My husband, the boy in the Get a Bigger Wagon books, happens to love, and remember, a rich and refreshing refrigerator dessert his mother used to make in the 1950s and 60s. In his mother’s old cookbook, it’s called Pineapple Slice. In those days, refrigerators were more common than air conditioning, so, in summer, people mad...  Continue Reading

31 Jul

The Travelling Tea Party

I am comfortable transporting a tea party to almost any location. Once, I even took a tea party, up a ladder, into a tree house. I have a dear, tea-loving friend, who recently moved to a new place, where she can receive more care. On my first visit, I wasn’t sure what the facility had to offer. I didn’t know if there would ...  Continue Reading

10 Jul

Jigsaw Puzzles Hold Precious Memories

I love sorting through bins and boxes, no matter where they’re stored. If you have ever spent time at a summer cabin you know there are comic books, puzzles, games, and paperbacks that have been loved for decades. Recently, while trying, in vain, to downsize, I came across my first childhood puzzle from 1951, a complicated ji...  Continue Reading

14 Jun

Vintage Boiled Raisin Cake

Vintage Boiled Raisin Cake I have always credited my father’s mom for our family’s boiled raisin cake recipe. My mother’s handwritten recipe book, dated 1947, features her auntie’s boiled raisin cake recipe on the first page. Looking further, I see a star beside a similar cake, credited to a Mrs. Hardy. Mrs. Hardy alwa...  Continue Reading

02 Jun

Let Me Treat You to Breakfast

To celebrate the first anniversary of the publishing of With Love, From Iraq, I am hosting a private breakfast at Smitty’s in Market Mall. This is the restaurant where I interviewed Maysoon and Wajid Toma about their journey from Iraq to Canada. We met, faithfully, for two and a half years of Monday breakfast conversations. Fo...  Continue Reading

25 Apr

Four Years of Thoughts From the Cookie Jar

It was April of 2013 when I published the introduction to my From the Cookie Jar blog, explaining that, to me, the cookie jar represents a safe place for memories and ideas. My grandmother often hid private items in an empty cookie jar. On the top shelf, in her kitchen, there was a collection of empty containers. One of those ...  Continue Reading

11 Apr

The Secrets of Washday

In the mid-fifties, in small town Manitoba, Monday was washday. Town council understood this and on Washday Mondays the use of burning barrels was strictly forbidden. Most of the ladies in town were hanging out white shirts, sheets, and personal items; black smoke would ruin their efforts. At my house, the washing machine was ...  Continue Reading

08 Mar

One Can Never Have Too Many Scarves

My mother-in-law, at 97, still loves to buy a new scarf. One time when we were going through her closet we counted 88 scarves. She loves to give a few away, so we can shop for more. Trying on clothes is too difficult for her now, but she still has an eye for colour. Scarves are to a wardrobe, what spices are to a meal. They add...  Continue Reading