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

24 Jan

Buckle Up - It's Better Than Pumpkin Pie

My mother made her own recipe binder from supplies gathered in my parents’ first printing office. I occasionally steep a pot of tea, curl up with her old binder, and reminisce. Not long ago, as I perused the binder, a little scrap of paper fell to the floor. The recipe for Magic Pumpkin Buckle was scribbled on the note.  I ...  Continue Reading

12 Dec

Merry Cherry Chocolates - A Tradition

In the early 1960s, my mother visited a friend’s home and was served a decadent, homemade chocolate that left her in a state of euphoria! She was surprised to learn that, in her friend’s home, it was tradition for the man of the house to make these little treats each year. Soon my father and mother, having received the reci...  Continue Reading

18 Nov

Do Traditions Have an Expiry Date?

For forty years, at our house, we have celebrated Sadie Hawkins Day, albeit…on the wrong day. Every February 29th, we created a Sadie Hawkins party. I started this celebration because my husband and I had two daughters and our friends had two sons. In days gone by, Sadie Hawkins Day and Leap Day both presented women with the o...  Continue Reading

28 Oct

Dear Subscribers

Those of you on my Get a Bigger Wagon Facebook page may have seen some of this information, but I have included new updates and interviews that may be of interest to you.  Today, October 28, is the first day of Canada's 2016 Poppy Campaign. To read my 2015 blog about remembering our veterans click on I Love Poppies.  My lat...  Continue Reading

20 Oct

Just Give It Away

Today, I want to introduce you to the purposefully happy Mandy Ross. She has an artist's soul, and she sees the beauty in almost everything. I first met Mandy when she worked for my husband and me, in one of our retail stores. We rediscovered each other, years later, on Facebook. Mandy Ross is a woman who understands the univer...  Continue Reading