Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winter Musings

The light is coming back...

Out on the street after work, I hear comments about how it is not quite as dark as it used to be. I have noticed that when the sun does shine, it now peers over the top of the building to the left of my window. It is all a good sign. I watched the news on the weekend, and the reporter illustrated the fact that winter is passing - in Inuvik, there is now 3 hours of daylight in a day, and 5 hours in Yellowknife. Except for the snow that is continuing to fall, in vast amounts I might add, the winter is on its way out. Tell that to those who live in Winnipeg - was it a blizzard yesterday??

What does it mean?

Here is an entry from my journal on January 27, 2008

I decided to do my writing on the computer today, having made a pact with Katherine to write three pages a day. I was writing a piece called Above and Beyond, instigated by Janine and Monique who are having a gathering of storytellers who will talk on this theme. I am slightly panicked about three pages a day. I fear there is nothing in the well. And so I remembered that I had saved on the Mac PowerBook I had opened a couple days ago. It had a list of 5 projects, urged by a writing instructor, Verna in 2005, to be undertaken simultaneously so there is always something to do.

As I scanned the document list, I found a document called Writing Practice. I was curious. It was brief, a recounting of a writing idea Janine had suggested. At the top was the date - May 3, 2005 - and time - 9:51 PM. My eyes rolled over to the top right corner of the computer screen. The time was 9:51 PM! Really? I looked back at the document, and then looked back and forth until today's time changed to 9:52. What are the chances?

More coincidences....

Yesterday, Ryan celebrated his birthday in Seattle with a meal home cooked just for him - steak, broccoli, and bowtie pasta (because he said, it was classy). Sundaes for dessert. I joined in the festivities thanks to my long distance phone card - and Aimee took a photo of Ryan talking to me on the phone, so I was included in the celebrations.

January 28th, 2008 is the 50th anniversary of the invention of the Lego brick.

Ryan and the Lego brick born on the same day - now how perfect is that???

How sweet it is...

Today, I went to visit the physiotherapist (tendonitis). As I lay getting my treatment, I noticed the distinct smell of chocolate. And then I realized on the other side of the wall was the home of Nelson Chocofella. When I was done, I stopped by the door and turned the handle - they were in! I met Holly and Sam who have produced Nelson Chocofellas for 18 years. They gave me a raspberry truffle - which was even more heavenly than the ones I have had at the Capitol Theatre - because it was made today! What a fun day to see the masterminds behind the superb chocolates. FYI, they add no sugar to their chocolates, and that is why they do not make caramel flavours.

As I left, I saw a sign on their door - it said - Sweet 202.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The 2nd Annual Great Perogy Event

Unfortunately, the first annual event was not documented. This year, though, I shook off the flour from my hands and found the camera.

In reality, the perogy-making event happens every year. We owe years and years of thanks to my mother who determinedly enhanced our Christmas with the best perogies in the land, doing the entire work on her own. And now, she is mentoring the rest of us.

Perogies are a delightful introduction from the Ukrainians who brought their culinary delights when they came across the ocean. Someone said once upon a time that each culture has its own potato-filled, dough-based delectable. Samosas is another example. Perogies have become a rich tradition in our family, and my mother, as many others, has made it her own, borrowing ideas off of others and refining it. The recipe that circles in our family has a cheese-based filling, with onions and bacon.

To make the perogies, there are two parts - the dough and the filling. What makes our perogy-making a GREAT event is that the whole family rolls up their shirt sleeves and participates. We get to hang out for a few hours, chattering and busily working alongside each other. Then we get to eat them.

Here's the perogy-making process - the chronicles of the 2nd year event!

Step One: Boil potatoes and mash.

Step Two: More cheese, please.

Step Three: Making the dough. The dough recipe is very simple - sour cream and flour. The sour cream cannot be low fat - it just isn't the same. I think Penny can attest to this.

Step Four: Kneading the dough. Here we have the very trained professional.

Step Five: Making the rounds.

Step Six: The filling goes in the rounds, folded in half and then pinched shut.

Step Seven: Then the perogies are slipped into boiling water. When they float, they are done!

Step Eight: Bliss.

What is curious is that in all the pictures that I took, there are none of
(a) the finished 94 perogies or
(b) the eating event.