Some wee little things in Grandma's Afternoons

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best Ginger-ale PIE douGH

I'm finished weed'n the garden for the day and I'm about to make the best pie dough ever, 
come watch

This is not your usual everyday pie dough,
it comes from my mother's note book of "never fail"

Yes, ginger ale pie dough, Grandma's Best

5 cups of flour
pinch of salt
1 pound of lard or shortening ( I use Crisco) Chilled
1 cup of cold ginger ale

It is just as easy as that.  I like a thick pie crust on the bottom and a thinner top.  This makes enough for 5 shells.

Mix flour and salt then cut in shortening and pour in ginger ale. Chill before rolling.  Bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes.  Never fail, get a note book and write this out.  

Grandma ~00~

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yes! T'was the Night Before Christmas

T'was the Night Before Christmas

And all through the house

Not a Creature Was Stirring,

Not Even a Mouse.

My Sock it Were Hung, by the Chimney with Care

In the Hopes that St. Nicolas Soon Would be There.

The Children Nestled, Snug in There Beds, Full of Plums and Sugar,

Ma in Her Kerchief, I in My Cap Just Settled Our Brains for a Long Winter's Nap

When Out On the Lawn There Arose Such a Clatter
I Sprang from my Bed In a Big Sort Of Flash

Tore off the Sheets and Tossed Down My Teddy,
I Ran to the Winder to See what was the Matter 

To What Should My Granny Eyes Should Appear? 
Was another Miniture, a Sleigh and  His Reindeer

He Was Chubby and Plump a Right Jolly Old Elf, I Laughed 
When I Saw Him In Spit Of Myself

He Filled all the Stockings, Then Went Straight to
Work, Eating all the Cookies, the little Jerk.

I Looked Back at the Tree Ere He Drove out of Sight
He was Screaming Something into the Night,

Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night! 

Memory:  Christmas Eve we always got as kids a new pair of pajamas and we got to wear them to bed. We also got a Story from the old tattered and torn book, 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.

Tradition:  I read this same story book to my children on the Eve of Christmas each year and bought them each a copy of  The Night Before Christmas so they could read it to their children. 

Christmas Eve:  Often we all got together and had meat pie, then later went to midnight mass.  I can remember giggling hearing others snoring during the service. All and all it was often a great time of the year. 

Story: 'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Excitement is in the air,

I found mom's recipe for pie dough with ginger-ale and the meat pies are going to turn out, I can tell.

Oh and it looks like we are going to have snow for Christmas

Today I'm joining Tea Cup Tuesday... even though my tea cups aren't shown here today, I was having a few cups while posting to the following, come and join me as we look into the lives of these dear friends.

Martha's Tea Cup Tuesday Martha's Favorites
Terri's Tea Cup Tuesday  Artful Affirmations
Sandi's Tea Cup Tuesday Rose Chintz Cottage

Merry Christmas, God Bless

Monday, December 23, 2013

Its Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Toys in Every Store

Memory:  Many many years ago Christmas Carolers would come down the street and all be holding song books.  They would ring your door and sing you a Christmas Song.  If you wished you could put on your coat and go with them to sing along.  I haven't seen carolers since I was way little.

Tradition:  We spent every year at the cottage for Christmas.  Mother would take care to hide and disguise presents, stockings and special things.  We would ride the 30 minutes out of town.  Arrive at this frozen stone cottage and turn on electric blankets to start warming the beds.  Mom would have to carry all the food, clothes and toys that she packed and put into the truck and then into the house while my brother and I were told to stay still and read books in sleeping bags to stay warm.  Dad would light the wood stove, then go and prime the water pump and repair any leaky pipes.  I'll never forget the year he forgot to drain the water system one weekend we were there and he had about 40 pin wholes in the old copper pipes. He worked at that all weekend to be sure mother had water so she wouldn't pack up and go home.

Just because:  Each and every year I have to watch Chevy Chase's movie of Christmas Vacation. There is some memory of untangling all the lights and checking them twice that my brother and I shared in at that time of year and the crazy things he does that reminds me to have a good time even through the bad.  Well the kids insist I bring the movie to their house and sit and watch it with them even though they have seen it half as many times as we have.  I have seen it twice this year both with Matthew and Victoria and Jennifer asked me to watch it with her when I go down.  I think they just get a kick out of me watching this movie or it brings back a memory for them as well.  If you haven't seen it I could loan you a copy I have several.

Song: Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

My son the chef told me he would come make the dough for my meat pies, I think he forgot and I'm going to have to tackle that job all by myself this year. Oh well I hope they turn out because I'm sure Christmas Eve I'll hear about it if they don't.  

Oh I should make some shortbread also, yum I love shortbread.

And Victoria gave me her carcass from a large chicken they had for supper two nights ago and asked me to make her chicken and dumplings, she is going to be happy, happy, happy.

Today I'm joining Tea Cup Tuesday... even though my tea cups aren't shown here I was having a cup while posting to the following:
Martha's Tea Cup Tuesday Martha's Favorites
Terri's Tea Cup Tuesday  Artful Affirmations
Sandi's Tea Cup Tuesday Rose Chintz Cottage

Wishing you a glorious day and a Merry Christmas,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December Note Card Party

Please join me in adventure as I look upon some beauty that  A Heaven for Vee is bringing us in her Note Card  Party.

The magic of Christmas is upon everyone at this time of year.  I watch as everyone rushes around, scooting here and there trying to get last minute shopping done.  I guess it doesn't help when we have had one storm after another and the reports are to stay off the road.  Then the day I do get to town it seems to be busy.  I could stay home and wrap today........but my blessed children got caught up on their wrapping at grandma's gift wrap station and the only paper I have in the house is scrapbook paper, lol. 

My Note Cards!

My snowmen turned out fantastic with the help of my woodworking elf. He cut slices of wood for me and I with the help of Pinterest was able to make tags for every one of the cookies in the Christmas Cookie Exchange. 

It has started snowing again, everything looks beautiful with all the fresh white snow surrounding us.

Glory follows disappointment sometimes...

Disappointment:  3 months ago I chose a pair of glasses in at Vogue optical.  I asked if I should purchase them and have them put on my file as they were a perfect fit and they looked great.  I was told it wasn't necessary that they are a popular frame and they would still have them in December (6th when I had my eye exam)  So I had my exam, my astigmatism has a big change and I got a prescription like I thought i would. Bless his soul, I've been seeing Dr. Stewart for years and just love that he is still with us.  Anyway I walked proudly next door to vogue and handed in my prescription (knowing this was going to be a short trip because the frames were on my file. Only to be told they are discontinued and I'd need to pick another pair. This could take me into the new year....I've been back several times.......Then Edith said with a smile on her face that she would try and get the discontinued frames.  Thank you! Edith. 

Glory:  Edith has located the frames I had on file, yes they are discontinued that means that the store has warranty policies and they can't warranty a discontinued pair of frames, but guess what in the 40 or so years I've never had a pair of glasses that needed to go back on warranteed, yes the lenses but not the frames..... Happy as a clam again, just can't get there to have a real look at them as the storm is upon us.  I hope they don't go missing.  

Christmas Blessings!
xoxo Cindy

Monday, December 16, 2013

Vintage Christmas

I so love Vintage and the memories they hold.  I'm getting old and I'm enjoying so many posts from others on Vintage Christmas as there isn't much I own from years gone by but memories.

I had some old lights but again they aren't Vintage just old. I plugged them in and sparks flew from under my hand, no fun, so they are now gone.

I should stick to the memories.
Memory: We only had three but they were lights that screwed into the set on the tree and when they warmed up the glass tube had water in it and they would bubble.  Do you remember those?

Tradition:  Growing up we had nasty old tree stands, probably vintage ones.  You would crank three sides to the stand and try and level the tree.  It only held for about 1 cup of water and the tree drank more than that the first few days.  Our stand had one side that the screw crank thread was striped and every once in a while the tree would fall over.  Yes this was a tradition, not a memory, because we continued to use that old tree stand.  

Gifts: Guy has got to be the best Christmas Stocking Stuff'r in the world, he truly has been our Christmas all these years gone past.  Even my son Matthew was telling me the other day, that he isn't too old for a Stocking yet and to make sure Guy does his stocking because he thinks I might have done his last year.  Anyway each year they are stuffed with surprises.  About 7 years ago, the kids were doing their stockings and Victoria unwraps "lifesavers" you know the box that opens and the window on each side revels packages of lifesavers candy?  She looks up and says, "didn't I get this last year?"  We all laughed so hard.

Vintage Kris Kringle:     Karen's Cottage and Castle

Yesterday we had a dumping of snow on PEI, I think Santa has ordered it so his sleigh will take off. Either way I just looked out and it is snowing again.  The snow plough driver has been by a number of times and the driveway is full, giving us a snow-day, feeling of being kept away from the rest of the world. I can imagine Christmas to be a lonely time for some.

"Lord" I pray that everyone has someone special during the Christmas holiday season to share the joy and happiness this time of year brings. Wishing good health and happiness is on my list this year. As well as finding another nativity so I can teach my grand-children of baby Jesus.  

Tis a glorious day,
Thank you for coming by and enjoying it with me.
xo ~00~ Grandma

Friday, December 13, 2013

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

Tradition:  As kids I don't think artificial trees ever existed because we had to suffer the cold, traps through the snow, locate the perfect tree then dad would take out his cross cut saw and cut the tree down. We then my brother and I would have to pull it onto the sleigh and off we would go home with our tree.

(this is beautiful, be sure to watch)

Memory:  Mom worked for Tony O'Reily at the Steinberg's in the Westgate Shopping Mall. Steinber's often had more than food and I remember mom bringing home these glass balls for the tree.  She set the bag down beside the tree and when dad came home he brought in an arm load of wood and dropped it to the floor and one log bounced and landed on the bag crushing the glass balls.   My mother in law gave me glass balls two years ago, they are green, hollowed out in the centre and hand painted, just like the ones that got crushed.

School: As a little girl I was the starlight of my Grandfather, however at school I never felt that way.  Every play, or stage performance I always remember jumping up and down in my seat yelling "pick me, pick me" for every part that I never got.  This one year, I was chosen to be in the Christmas play. I remember the first practice, I was made to stand over here I looked up at the teacher and she put a finger to her lips that meant shhhh.  The night of the Christmas play I was given a big tree to hold and stand behind, yup I got my part in the play, "oh Christmas Tree."  

I hope you enjoyed my renditions of Christmas,
Enjoy your weekend, God Bless,
xoxo Cindy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ole St. Nicholas

Jolly Old St. Nicholas 
Who was St. Nicholas anyway, well we know that he was wealthy and his parents died at a young age and he was a fellowship of God.  His riches he spread among the sick, the needy and the poor so he could dedicated his life to serving God. 
Memory:  When the girls were young I remember my girlfriend Lorna and I spent hours wrapping presents to put under the tree and in the stockings.  The next day I mentioned that we didn't put a name on any one of the gifts and we had to open them to find out who's was who's. 

Song:  Jolly Old St. Nicholas.
Jolly Old St. Nicholas;
Learn your ear this way;
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say;
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now my dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.

Tradition:  One of my long time favourites was having traditional Montreal meat pie Tourtiere
 on Christmas Eve. These meat pies are wonderful, tasteful, juicy, and hearty. 
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
3/4 cup water
2 stocks celery chopped fine
4 Tbs beef bovril
left over mashed potatoes
1 bay leaf
salt  & pepper

Put meat, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf into a pot and boil for 45 minutes.  Make pie crust.  Remove bay leaf. While hot add your mashed potatoes, and brovril. Pour into pie crust and put a lid on it.  Pinch the edges closed and bake 375 for 40-50 minutes.

School:  Each year the kids would put on a Christmas play at school and at Sunday school.  I always enjoyed watching the kindergarten classes and how the teacher would crouch down and instruct the kids when it was their turn to speak next.  There was always one kid who sang the loudest or just stood there and when everyone left the stage they kept standing there.  

Cards: It was a big thing in our family to mail out Christmas Cards, I still do.  But I remember Grandma had a cord strung across the living room ceiling and the cards all hung on it.  Then more came in and we would run the string another way and start hanging more cards on that one.  Soon the living room was full of cards.  You don't get many cards hand written these days but I like to keep this tradition even with the many cards you get in email today. 

I hope you enjoyed my Christmas Memory today.
I've finished my baking for the Christmas Cookie Exchange.
And someone has dropped their baking off, it is looking yummy here already.
xoxo Grandma

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jingle Bell Banister

On Wednesday this week we are having a cookie exchange. I've asked 11 others to bake 11 dozen cookies/fudge/sweets/cake/preserves/maple syrup or whatever they with to share with other friends at this time of year.  
We will meet here at 7pm and have coffee/tea/apple cider and some surprises then exchange treats.

I hoping this will help out with busy moms at this time of year.  I want to have some decorating done so last night I strung some jingle bells onto the banister, I hope you like them.

I added a few more decorations to the tree and a couple of candy canes. 
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

I'm making snowmen cookies for the Cookie Exchange, shhhhhhh it is a surprise.
I also made 12 snowmen from branches in our backyard.  I'd love to do a blog called "Backyard Art"
I've found so many things to craft with the grape vines, kiwi branches, raspberry bushes, grape leaves, and honeysuckle twigs. 

Tree Branch Snowman

Memory:  When I visited Grandma Stephens at this time of year she always had a bowl of Pink Popcorn sitting out on the coffee table just waiting for little hands.

Tradition:  Mom always stuffed the stockings, purchased the gifts, and took care of wrapping and all.  Every year our stockings would be hung and dad would run and get a pair of her nylons so Santa could fill his the most.  And every Christmas morning we would enjoy the stockings most of all, we always had the largest orange with thick peel stuffed in the toe and Dad's stocking had odds and ends from the junk drawer in the kitchen and rocks and one present with a note for him to remember to be giving at Christmas, the present was a dog bone for our little "Tiny" girl. I think it was moms way of Christmas fun.

Song:  Mom loved two things most... one was Anne Murray's Silver Bells and the other was Carling O'Keefe's "Trilight." I can close my eyes and hear her voice just singing the same lyrics over and over, Silver Bells, Silver Bells, Silver Bells, Silver Bells. 

Childhood Memories: During this time of year as a kid growing up we always got excited to see Christmas programs on our black and white tv.  One of my favourites was "Frosty The Snowman" and every time it played on the tv I always cried when Frosty melted, I was heart broken. 

Looks like we got a bit of snow while I was busy building snowmen inside....I could have been building outside.

Snow Crocks

Snow Bench

Snow Pond

Snow Windows

Snow Pump

Snow Trees

and my favourite Snow Holly.

Memories are a joy to have, looking back on some of them can be painful as well as rewarding.  It is important that the memories we have set examples for who we want to become in this world.

I appreciate you coming by, let me know you have been by the Trails of Hats'N Hospitalitea.
xoxo Cindy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Door Wreaths

Windy, raining, and dark early... but I headed out for my walk anyway.  I got caught up in making a door wreath and the time got away on me.  The French Gardener said he wasn't walking in the rain and he would make fresh coffee for when I got back, so off I went.

Here is a peek at my door wreath

Memories:  Each year mom would get a ham for Christmas along with a turkey and bake the ham.  She always cut the ends off the ham and I never got the opportunity to ask her why.  I figured it was to let flavour in, keep it juicy or it was so the ham would stay tender.  So each time I cook a ham I cut the ends off of it.  My brother was visiting and asked me why I cut the ends off, so I told him because mom did.  He told me she had a small roasting pan that she always cooked the ham in and cut the ends off so it would fit in the pan. 

Christmas Song: Jingle Bell Rock sung by Bill Haley and the Comets.  Walking through the stores this week I'm hearing Christmas song after Christmas song playing over and over.  You think the cashiers would be tired of this, lol.  

Tradition:  Elf on the Shelf.... ours moved about the house they didn't stay on the shelf.  The full month of December, they watched as my brother and I moved about.  Never could we ever do anything wrong the during the month or the Elves would take the news back to Santa.  Do you have an Elf on the Shelf?  I see they have them at Bed Bath and Beyond.  There is a story of Elf on the Shelf and a movie Elf. Our Elves names were Crako and Blinko, and oh gosh they were all over the house.

Christmas Wish:  This one is simple.  First I will almost always have a Christmas Wish of everyone being safe for the holidays, and that I never hear of drinking and driving again.  But this year on my Christmas Wish List I'l like to include something from my past that has been gone for a long time and just come back..... McIntosh's Toffee Bar, yup Kay's bros.  has the bars and in case The French Gardener doesn't read my blog someone should let him know on Facebook.  

Enjoy your day today, Christmas Cards need to get finished and Ana will be here with me today, 
I'm blessed.

xoxo Grandma  ~oo~

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree "O Christmas Tree"

With white fluffy snow covering the ground everywhere it isn't hard to have thoughts of Christmas, decorating, baking, and memories of the past.

I put some garland around my tree today

Tradition:  As a kid growing up in a bedroom community and both parents working there wasn't a lot to go around.  But come Christmas time we always got to open a new pair of pajamas the night before Christmas and wear our new P'J's  to bed.

Christmas Song:  I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.  Through the years often we didn't have snow on Christmas day or it waited until Christmas day to Snow.  I remember mom singing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas."

Baking:  My Grandma showed me how I could do anything I set my mind to.  I was nine when she passed away but I remember us both wearing aprons in the kitchen.  She had a flour drawer that was shaped like a piece of cheese when you pulled it out and it had a big scoop inside it always ready to bake.

Memories:  We always had a real tree, sort of a tradition I guess.  We would go to the farm as dad called it, with the skidoos on top of the trailer.  Then head out on the coldest day to cut down a Christmas Tree.  Dad would sit around and drink with his brother then we would head home from Stittsville to Ottawa where we lived.

Christmas Wish:  Happiness, I wish to meet more people this coming season who are happy to be living, happy to be on vacation, happy to just be.  Imagine if we surrounded ourselves with happy, positive, yes people in our lives how much better that would be. I can't hang a sign at the front door of the Bed and Breakfast that says, "only come in if you are a happy person with nothing to complain about."  Ha ha ha, maybe I can.

xoxo Grandma ~00~

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fresh Cranberry Roasted Almond Scones

Hello Friends! I can only hope your weekend has started off on the right food so far, and if not -  Let me try and help by sharing this scrumptious recipe and get you off on the right foot again, easy peasy sweetness in these fresh cranberry roasted almond scones. A perfect colour combination for this time of year and the flavours will tantalize every perfect bite. I use buttermilk in my pastry and sometimes cream to make a light and fluffy, stuffed with fresh Nova Scotia, dark red, ripe and juicy cranberries.  This is a perfect recipe to share with friends for the holidays.  They look so wonderful I took extra pictures of them just because of their vibrant colour. 

The taste of these scones really drives it home, all the way to walking in the back door of Grandma's when she has just taken hot butter biscuits from the oven and the smell is dancing around you so inviting. These scones taste amazing and like every scone they taste best the day they are baked. So don't fret, make these up ahead of time, cut them and freeze the unbaked scones on cookie sheets, then wrap them and freeze until the day you want to bake them fresh.

Lets get started, shall we?

Fresh Cranberry Roasted Almond Scones
2 c flour
1 TBS baking powder
3 TBS butter
1 c fresh cranberries
1 tsp almond extract
1 c butter milk, or cream
1/4 tsp salt

3 TBS sugar


Add flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, butter/margarine together in a bowl and cut in with a pastry blender.

Wash and rinse your cranberries and drain.

cutting the cranberries in half if they are large ones.

Don't they look festive? 

mix in the 1 cup of butter milk or cream & extract.

turn out onto a floured surface and kneed the dough.

roll out into a rectangle, put cranberries in the centre then fold over and put cranberries on top.

pour yourself some slivered almonds, brush the tops of your scones with milk.

sprinkle with almonds and a little sprinkling of sugar.

cut scones evenly.

place apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 400 F for 18 to 20 minutes.

Batch makes 8 scones, so invite over 4 people.

Take out the China and put on the tea.

let everyone choose their favourite cup

Serve up the scones nice and hot.

And be sure to copy and share the recipe of the one you just got.

I've been busy changing my colour scheme from Orange Pumpkin to Red Cranberry and I've put my tree up today over at "The Trails of Hats'N Hospitalitea"  so be sure to come by and have a look, I put it up but will take the next 25 days to decorate.
Grandma ~oo~