I'm finding myself at a bit of a loss about what to do today.
Easter has come and gone. All of the preparation and planning, suddenly unnecessary.
I'm almost disappointed. Company came for a bit of the weekend, and with that company, the motivation to cook good food and share our best.
Once the company returned home, we headed to Saskatoon for a long overdue visit with my family. This father of mine - 86 and going strong. He used to delight in playing with the boys and a John Deere tractor. He made many miles around the condo with them on his back when they were little, giving them the best horsie rides possible, always a big grin on his face. Now the game has changed to pool. And he beats them. All the time.
|Line 'em up.|
|And another successful break.|
|He teaches good technique|
|Always a gentleman|
|And BIG news!!!|
Papa got new wheels!!!
I'm not sure who's happier....
.....him, my mom, or me!
Or Ben! He wants to drive that puppy!
Mom "hangs" around!
|She's so cute!|
79 years young!
Feet slung over the side of the chair.
Slippers have fallen to the floor.
In the midst of telling me a story.
Or giving advice.
Good advice, too.
It's hard to leave their safe, warm (actually HOT) condo/home to come back home. They love so deeply and laughter is always at hand.
But we came home to our own little home and I hope we can give these boys that love and warmth and good instruction and laughter memories, too.
For now, we're preparing....
And so our Easter Break of 2014 will pass by. There won't be any more company as Gig #1 comes Monday already and we've got a lot more rehearsing to do so we will stick to ourselves for a few more days, preparing.
But, there were two 'Make Again' recipes served this Easter weekend. Actually, three. And all thanks to the great girls at "Mennonite Girls Can Cook".
First, if you're friends with me on Facebook, you'll remember that I baked a batch (or two) of Lovella's Paska. No, it is not mis-spelled PASTA, it is indeed PASKA. A sweet citrus infused bread, similar to what I grew up with every Easter from Mom's kitchen. I made my batches, shared bits and pieces with friends and family and was so pleased with the results so I took the recipe to Mom to show her. She started to copy it down and then paused and said "maybe I don't have to write this down - Maureen can take over this tradition!" I'm pretty honored and delighted to be able to do that. And this is a great recipe.
Further inspired by the Mennonite Girls Can Cook crew, I made a couple of simple appetizers that will grace our table again in the future, I know!! These were taken from their Celebrations cookbook that was released a year ago.
Recipe one - Stuffed Mini Peppers - I purchased a bag of mini peppers, cut the tops off and stuffed them with smoked salmon cream cheese and baked in the oven until the peppers had softened. The original recipe called for cream cheese with smoked salmon OR diced dried apricots OR diced figs stirred in. I wanted the savory flavor and substituted the smoked salmon cream cheese instead of purchasing them separately (hello, budget and convenience!). You could prepare these on the BBQ. I don't remember what oven temperature the recipe called for, but I had something else in the oven and stood the mini peppers up in a mini tart pan and shoved them next to the roaster until they were appropriately cooked. Mmmm. I should have made more.
Recipe two - Chili Cheese Dip - spread a softened brick of cream cheese (250 grams) on the bottom of a pie plate. Next layer - a can of chili (or two cups homemade chili). Top with 2 cups of shredded cheese (mozza and/or cheddar). Bake in a 400 F oven until the cheese is melted and the chili bubbles. Serve with nacho chips or baguette bread.
Like I said, these recipes belong to the Mennonite Girls! They were hits in our house and will be repeated, with fond memories.
While tempted to think that spring and summer will never come to our wet, cold province of SK, the robins grace our yard today and the tulip bulbs are pushing their way through the wet muddy flower beds. Soon, we will see enough to believe that Spring is here. Until then, it's taking a bit of faith. Never a bad lesson, right?!!