Saturday, 21 June 2008

Saturday Ramblings

What do the words "Saturday", "Days Off", and "Ward Picnic" have in common with each other??? One might well ask that, but . . . . since I noticed that it was drizzling and raining when I poked my nose out the door early this morning, that would be a HUGE clue! Why is it that it will be gloriously sunny and warm most of the week, but the minute you get a day off that you could enjoy it in and an outdoor activity planned, the clouds roll in and it decides to rain? haha I guess that's what they call Murphy's Law, or is it the Peter Principle? I don't know for sure. (We learned those principles in Grade 10 Economics and that was quite long ago for me!) Hopefully the day will clear as it goes on or we will have a really disappointed lad next door! He was going to go to the picnic with us! Never mind if it's still raining when picnic time rolls around we will just have our picnic on the floor here in the cottage. It won't be the first time I have done that, nor will it be the last I am hoping! (Kitchen Floor picnics are the best!)

I was tagged to do a meme late last week so I thought I would bite the bullet this morning and get it done. Maddy of Maddy's Glass House and Bunny of Bunnys Warm Oven both tagged me to do the same meme! I love doing these things, and hopefully you will love reading my answers.

There are some rules that apply:
Each participant answers questions about himself. At the end of the post the participant tags 5 people. Their names are posted letting them know they’ve been tagged. They then have to read the participant’s blog. The tagged let’s the tagger know when he’s posted his answers. Here we go!

What was I doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago seems like a lifetime ago for me. First of all I was living in Canada. My ex husband and I had just moved back to Nova Scotia from Georgetown, Ontario. In the process we had lost another child as our youngest daughter had decided that she just did not want to move yet again and as she was in her last year of High School she wanted to finish off her schooling with friends and people she knew and so she left and went to live with her best friend's family in New Brunswick. It was a sad time for me. This was the fourth move in about a 2 year span. Indeed my youngest son, who was only in Grade 2 at the time was facing attending his 4th elementary school! My ex was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which none of us knew at the time. He had served a year in Croatia in 1993 and we had all been through the mill after that with lots of ups and downs. I was a stay at home mom, and on the verge of getting separated and divorced, and I had just joined my church so it was a time of lots of change and upheaval for everyone. (It's hard to believe that 10 years have passed!)

5 Things On My To Do List for today:

1. Pack up some things that need to go in the mail. (Sorry Gloria I have procrastinated getting your prints to you, only because I wanted to put a letter in with them! You'll hopefully have them within a week or so!)
2. Do my Daring Baker's Challenge. I didn't get the one done last month and surely don't want to miss another month. I can't tell you what it is, only that it's delish, as always!
3. Tidy up a bit around here. My Todd is really funny. As I was walking through the library the other day I noticed that he had stuck some little notes on my piles of books that are waiting to be put back on the shelves. I believe as I passed through the library, I walked past several Mountain Ranges, the Sierra Nevada's, the Rockies and interestingly enough Ben Nevis, which is in Scotland! (I think that was a huge hint, don't you?)
4. Relax, relax, relax . . . which may mean a bit of painting or a bit of writing, or nothing at all. It all depends on what strikes my fancy.
5. More of number four.

5 Snacks I Enjoy:

1. Potato Crisps. I know, me bad. These are things that should never pass my lips as I already have a few too many of them lingering on my hips, although to be fair I now only eat the baked ones and only ever tiny little small bags at that.

2. Chocolate. Something else I should never eat, but I do love a nice, good quality piece of Green and Black's Organic milk chocolate or a piece of Lindt Dark Chili chocolate. mmm.... both are delicious and a real treat!

3. Number 2 and number 1 combined. I know, it sounds sick, but a nice salted potato crisp mixed in your mouth with a delicious square of chocolate are soooo delicious. It's like the ultimate taste combination!

4. I love, Love, LOVE vegetable sticks with hummus. My favourite hummus is Marks and Spencer's Lemon Pepper hummus. It's tangy and spicy and very moreish. I try to kid myself that I am eating something very healthy, but there is a big part of my conscience that knows if it tastes that good, it must be somewhat bad . . .

5. A big bowl of rice crispies doused in milk with some bananas sliced on top. It gets even better when you add a slice of fresh buttered toast which has been spread with some really good quality strawberry jam. You take a spoonful of the cereal and banana and then top it off with a bite of the toast. It's so many lovely flavours at once and they all go so very well together, well , at least they do to me!

Five Things I Would Do If I Were A Millionaire:

1. Quit my job, buy a small house somewhere, and spend the rest of my life spending time with Todd. We found each other rather late in life and I want to spend as much time as I can with him. We just really enjoy each other's company and we never get tired of being together. In fact our last job we had in Chester was at a motorway Service Station and we worked together on the same shift. I was not driving at the time and so that was the only way I could work there as it was quite far from home. We never got tired of seeing each other or spending that time together and I think we made a great team!

2. Go on a mission as a couple. This would also be a way of fulfilling number one as we would get to spend all our time together. I think a Temple Mission would be wonderful but so would any mission really. The one major thing that keeps us from going on one now is the fact that we would lose our home, and not have a home to come back to . . . oh and Jess . . . I don't think they take dogs on missions. But it is a lovely thought.

3. Pay off all my children's student loans and mortgages etc. Set everything to rights in their lives so that they didn't have to struggle quite so much. I know that life is meant to be a bit of struggle and we learn things in the struggling, but I would like to be able to make it just that little bit easier for them.

4. We already sponsor 2 children in Africa, and I would love to be able to sponsor a couple more. We were watching the television several years back and watching the plight of some of these children and felt so helpless. It can be somewhat overwhelming to see at times. We then decided that while we might not be able to help a whole village, but we could make a difference in one family's life, and so we sponsored our first child. Then, when I got my first raise in my job here, we decided to put the extra towards sponsoring a second child. We have a little girl named Paulina in Tanzania, and a little boy named Belaihu in Ethiopia, whom we have sponsored through Compassion. We really researched it well before we decided which agency we were going to sponsor through and they seemed to be the best, and all of what we give goes to the child and their family. We love writing and getting letters back from our children and it is a good feeling to know that you are making such a difference in people's lives. One day we hope to be able to meet them in person.

5. Travel, travel, travel. There are so many places and things I want to see before I die, like the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China, New Zealand and Greece. I could go on and on but I am sure you get the picture!

Five places I have lived:

Because my dad was in the air force, as was my ex husband, I have lived in a lot of places, but five of them are:

1. Germany (specifically Baden Baden)
2. Meaford, Ontario
3. Summerside, PEI (I was born there)
4. Geary, New Brunswick
5. Calgary, Alberta

Five jobs I have had:

1. Store clerk in the old Metropolitan store back home when I was 16
2. Store clerk in the old DLR jewellers back home, also when I was 16 (I thought of it as a step up from number 1) The boss was somewhat of a perve and used to turn off all the lights and chase me out of the store trying to grab me on Friday nights. I can remember being terrified! He also fancied himself as a bit of an artist and was always asking me if he could paint my portrait.
3. Accounts Clerk at Atlantic Speedy Propane in Kentville, Nova Scotia. My first real big paying job and the first job I had away from home.
4. Pastry Chef at the Old Orchard Inn in Nova Scotia. I loved that job. I was in charge of preparing all the appetizers and the desserts. It was wonderful and exiting!
5. I once owned my own coffee shop. It was in a Military Police Training School in Canada and I loved that job as well. I baked all my own muffins and made my own sandwiches. It was hard work and involved long hours and we lost our shirts when the Commandant of the school decided to shut it down. She felt that it risked too much fraternization between the students and the staff of the school.

Now comes the fun part. I get to tag five of you!

I tag, in no order of importance:

Raquel of Kitchen Mysteries
Jan of What Do I Want To Cook Today
Holly of My Kids Say I'm Silly
Angie of Can You All Hear Me At The Back
Allison of The Rabbit Hole

Tag! Y'all are so it, it's not funny!

Here's a delicious meal that is not only cheap and easy on the budget but quick and very easy to do. I love meals like this during the week when I am working. I often only have a few hours in between my morning and my evening shift and I like to make sure Todd gets a nice hot meal every day, and when I get home at night it's far too late to eat, so these types of dishes are just perfect for us on those days!

*Chop and Chip Bake*
Serves 4 but is easily divided or multiplied

Frozen oven chips and tasty chops, all cooked together in the oven. You can use either lamb or pork chops. What could be any easier than that! Adapted from the book 101 Cheap Eats put out by BBC Good Food.

3 TBS olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and cut into wedges
750g bag of frozen hot and spicy potato wedges
8 small lamb chops or 4 thick pork chops*
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 pint of lamb or chicken stock
1 TBS tomato paste (puree)

Pre-heat the oven to 210*C/425*F. Heat a large roasting pan on top of the stove and add 2 TBS of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, put the onions into the pan and saute them for about 5 minutes, until they are golden brown, stirring them from time to time. Remove from the heat.

Scatter the potato wedges over top of the onions. Season the chops with some salt and black pepper and lay them on top of the potato wedges. Sprinkle the thyme evenly over top, and drizzle with the remaining TBS of the oil. Put the tin in the heated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Stir together the stock and the tomato paste. Remove the tin from the oven and pour this mixture around the chops and over the potatoes. Return it to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, until everything is nicely browned and crisp.


*Note-if you are using pork chops you may want to brown them first on both sides, as they take a bit longer to cook than lamb chops.


  1. Marie thank you for tagging me!
    I will do it tomorrow as I have work today.
    Once again a lovely receipe from you, I love the sauce on those chops - your photo's are excellent as always!

  2. I love reading and doing memes too but I'm ashamed to say I don't know how to put in the links to the people you are tagging. I'm sure there's a simple answer and I wonder if you can help me out here? Please?
    Another great post - I hope I can make my meme as interesting as your is.
    love, Angie, xx

  3. Oh, Marie--what a treat to read your meme!! These things are such fun and great way to get to know everyone. Those pink foxgloves are gorgeous...I dream of a border thick with such foxgloves *SIGH* Hubby would love this chop & chips...Meat is so expensive right now though! We'll be at hubby's parents a bit tomorrow afternoon, but back in the evening so hope to chat with you then--look forward to it! Happy weekend, sweet friend ((BIG HUGS))

  4. That chop and chip bake looks lovely, may have to try that one. I'm with you on chocolate and chips, maybe not together but I do like a bit of Cadbury now and then.

  5. Marie, thanks so much for my very first tag!!! I am excited. That chop and chips looks a treat!

  6. Very interesting meme.
    You know I once found a 'recipe' for chocolate covered potato chips. I brought them to a friend's baby shower. One guest said she wold try one even though she didn't really care for potato chips or chocolate. Well, as the evening wore on, she ended up munching away with the bowl in her lap!
    ( Use rippled chips and I only dipped one side, just in case you get the urge... ;) )

  7. I will have to try today's recipe using pork. I've never seen lamb in our local market. I'm sure that I could get lamb in if I went to a special shop but I don't know where I'd find it and it would probably be expensive.

    You have used lamb before. It is interesting to me how different locals enjoy different meat dishes. Maybe one day I will come to England and have some lamb.

    I was glad you said hello to me early this morning. Of course you may use my poem I put in my last post or anything I post in the future. I would be honored.

  8. Marie: My tag is done! Thanks so much again for tagging me. I will be getting with you this week, probably Wednesday on the picture! I am so excited! Those foxgloves are beautiful, wish we had some.

  9. Did you join in 1998? SO DID I! In May!

    And I wish it would rain here! Send the clouds out to Utah!

  10. Tag finished! I've passed it on to five others!

  11. thanks for playing marie i enjoyed reading your answers! i love the chops recipe, it looks wonderful!! i'll be making this one. thanks again for playing!

  12. you tagged me-thanks! :) i just got back from out of town and am doing a lot of blog catch up, but i will do this tag by the end of the week-promise!! i loved reading more about you btw-you are such a cool gal! if i was a millionaire i'd travel the world too. i haven't been too many places, but the places i have been to have changed who i am. do you know what i mean? its like every new place on the earth i see, changes my perspective, change me(for the better!)

  13. We used to have a chocolate store here that made chocolate covered potato chips!! Beyond Yummy!!!


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