Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

While Jeremie and I didn't celebrate too large this year, we still put out our pumpkin and I had some chip bags nearby, in case we had any little visitors.
Even if we don't get any, I'm sure Jeremie will appreciate the extra snack of Doritos in his lunch for the next few...months. *It was a BIG box.*

The last few weeks have been more than busy! Last week I was down in Ontario visiting my family. It was wonderful being able to cuddle my little nephew and go out for a "girls day" with my mom and sister again.
The week before that I was flat on my back with a horrible cold/flu. It really hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a scratchy throat for the morning and afternoon, but by the evening I could hardly talk.
The next day was so horrible that Jeremie stayed home from work to take care of me and drive me to the hospital - I thought I was coming down with either strep or laryngitis, both of which I'd want the antibiotic for as soon as possible.
It took a good week to get over, but many Popsicles and orange juices later, I was myself again.
Today I woke up feeling good and refreshed. I decided that I wanted to try making a pie.
My Father's an awesome pie-maker and for years I was his 'right hand man' making pastry and fillings from scratch.
So I decided on an Apple Pie Recipe that I found on . It seemed simple and had awesome reviews.
My big dilemma came when I had to peel the apples - anyone who knows me knows that I am not very handy with a peeler. But, I do own a "Rotato" , an electric potato peeler. Apparently it works on Apples too! *laugh* It didn't core the apples for me, but I was happy enough just getting them peeled!

So I cut up my apples and started on my pastry. It went well enough, no little catches and the pastry felt right. I remembered all the little tips my dad showed me and sure enough I had a bottom crust!

Now the Recipe I used asked for a "lattice top" on my pastry. I knew what it looked like but had never actually done it myself. I went first, to my "Joy Of Cooking" and sure enough, there was a written description of how to do it....unfortunately it really didn't make any sense to me.
Being the resourceful Librarian I'm supposed to be, I went to my next best source.


Sure enough, after a quick search on "Lattice top pastry" I came across this video the chef explained clearly what he was doing and filmed it step-by-step. Perfect!
Clearly he had good instructions, because I was able to finish my pastry top, and feel pretty good about how my first attempt looked!

It really does look much more complicated than it really is. The trick is to keep the bottom crust edges long enough to tuck up and over the edges of your strips. But not too long that it's too bulky. *which mine was, but meh, it's yummy crust, who cares if it's thick?*
About 15 minutes at 425' and 45 minutes at 350 later I came out with this!

I was very happy with it - and so was my husband! ;) It turned out better then I thought it would, and now I know better how to make my crusts for next time.
I'll be posting the recipe later for anyone who's interested!

Have a Happy Halloween!

~ Jenny

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgivings!

Happy Thanksgiving from Canada!
Today starts off my busy Thanksgiving season - I'll be heading off to Edmonton with Jeremie to visit my sister-in-law and her husband.
We'll be down from Friday to next Monday, a good length of time I think, not too short but not too long either.
Because of the long drive, Jeremie and I decided I would go to school with him, and from there leave straight to Edmonton, effectively cutting almost an hour of driving.
He's in the middle of a welding test and I'm hanging out in the library - which I must say is very nice. Much better then my old college's library!
This morning, it was -5 and the weather has called for flurries this afternoon and evening. The high today is only 2 degrees!
I know I'm more north then Ontario, but getting snow already?!
In Ontario it would at least hold off until mid to late November.
I have already pulled out all the winter gear such as our coats, hats and mitts.
Our landlord said that someone would be coming around soon to re-do all the windows in our apartment. I am really looking forward to that - this week we had a wind storm and I could hear it howling through and around our kitchen window.
Jeremie has told me that he's woken up to a small snowdrift sitting on the windowsill through last winter.
On the plus side, heat is included in our rent, so if we need to crank it up, at least it's not on our dime.
Well I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and for you Canadians, I hope you have a good Thanksgiving!
God Bless,
~ Jenny

Monday, October 6, 2008

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

I can't believe it's happening already! In fact, here in Alberta it's almost finished! The trees have all turned bright yellow (some orange - no red :( ) And most of the leaves have fallen. My entire backyard was covered with leaves.
We have some young boys (ages 6 & 7) living in the apartment beside us, today they were out "raking" the leaves and, as they explained to me, making an Igloo out of leaves.

I wanted to go help, but groceries had to be bought! So I wished them good luck with their igloo building and went on my way.

Last week was beautiful weather, warm 20's and 25's. I would drag out one of our large blankets and all the pillows I could carry, and Jeremie, my friend Amy and myself would sprawl out in the backyard reading, talking and in Jeremie's case, attempting to study.
My new floor pillow's really came in handy! ;) We would spend a few hours watching yellow leaves fall off their branches and the little boys would come and visit, telling us all about how their day at school went.
I would have my sketchbook out ~ I'm currently working on some "Art Noveau" style poster art that was so popular during the 60's, coloured simply with bright markers.

Today, though beautifully sunny out, had a nip in the air. Winter is creeping up, and all the locals can feel it. To me however, it was a perfect "airing out" day, all the windows got flung open, I washed all the bedsheets, including the duvet cover while the duvet itself was airing out on the line. *laugh* I'm really looking forward to crawling back into bed with all my fresh smelling sheets!

It's amazing that Thanksgiving is next weekend! It's even more amazing that it was exactly a year ago I came down to visit Jeremie and meet some of his family, never thinking in a million years that I'd be living there!
Time can fly so fast sometimes.
But you know what they say: "Time flies like an arrow.....fruit flies like a banana" (*laugh* well my dad would appreciate that one, even if I can hear you rolling your eyes from here. ;) )

But I Thanksgiving will be spent in Edmonton with some of my family-in-law. I'm really looking forward to it and the awesome food I know that's in store for me. (even though no one can beat my mom's stuffing or my dad's pumpkin pie)

I work with a young Korean boy who suffers from Asperger's syndrome, he's seven years old and adorable.
Jaisa mostly just seems like a hyperactive child, but loves to play and has a passion for cars - he can hardly speak English yet he can ramble off every car make and type perfectly.
I basically am just there to play with him and speak to him in English.
His mother, Sunyi, is a lovely woman who can speak passable English, but always talks to Jaisa in Korean due to convenience.
We've become good friends and she's offered to teach me how to make some traditional Korean meals.
...I hope she knows what she's getting into, I'm horrible at making rice. I burn it all the time, even so far as to ruin one of my mothers pots. (sorry mum) Even at home Jeremie makes the rice! If she can just teach me to make rice without burning it, I'll call it a smashing success!

So that's where I am! In the middle of Fall and surrounded by piles of leaf "igloos"

God Bless you and yours!
~ Jenny

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Badly Timed Projects.

I generally tend to do this - start projects at the worst time possible! I decided a few weeks ago I would make use of my wonderfully large window sills by getting some plants. Herbs would be nice, I thought.
I found out however, that practically no one has any plant or planting projects in October.
But, after making some changes to my plans I found that I could still start some plants from seeds, and I was able to find (three hardware stores later) some clay pots at a second hand store!
My friend Amy, who is up for the week from Ontario helped me paint the pots with acrylic paints found at our local dollar store.

Because of my off-season project I was able to get 5 for a dollar seed packets.
Two herbs and some flowers.
I also started my "floor pillow" project. I was able to find a couple good pillows and some great on sale material! The total for the fabric only came to 18.00 and change ~ I was very happy! The pillows themselves are pretty nice, but I really wanted my own fabric that I could take off and clean if need be. One is a cotton Indian paisley, the other a golden light upholstery fabric.
I'll hopefully be sewing them next week.
I love the smell of incense, if it's the right type. There's a funky little store in a town about half and hour away from me. Amy and I went on a day trip and ran into that store, where I bought 6 sticks of assorted scents. I got Egyptian musk, sandalwood, jasmine and a few others.
So! Thats where I've been so far!
God Bless,
~ Jenny