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Thursday, 15 March 2018

A Sunday in DUBLIN, 2017 . . . and Collards Colcannon

The shuttle from our cruise ship took us to Merrion Square.  
A very helpful Irish girl told us the fastest way for us to get to St. Mary's Pro Cathedral in time for the 11:00 Mass was to walk.  

I had put St. Mary's on my MUST SEE list when I found it in an old list titled “The Best of Ireland”.   There are only 18 Irish churches on the list.   The clincher was when I read that the best time to go is at 11:00 on a Sunday because you get to hear 
the Palestrina Choir.

                                              Here's the General Post Office.

Go past the James Joyce Statue.

                              St. Mary's is the main Catholic cathedral in Dublin. 

                        The mass at 11:00 was in Latin.  What a beautiful experience!

We marveled at the beautifully illuminated and decorated books in
the Chester Beatty Library.

What’s this now?

Irish snack?  Pizza!

No one's complainin' . . . 

                                          It's all for me grog me jolly jolly grog!

We'll just make our own Irish food at home.


COLLARDS COLCANNON  (Okay, I made this up, but it's good!)

1 pound collards
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup water

1 ½ pounds potatoes
¼ cup milk
¼ tsp pepper
Salt to taste

*Cut out the stems from collards.  Cut collards into short ½ inch wide strips. 
*Heat 2 tbsp butter in Dutch oven.  Cook collards over medium heat for 5 minutes. 
*Add 1/3 cup water.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook 30 minutes covered.
*Boil potatoes in salted water.  Peel and mash (or put through ricer).
*Add potatoes to collards.  Stir with milk, pepper, and salt. 
*Turn into buttered casserole.

*To reheat for supper, cover casserole and put in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

"what you would like me to bring" . . . and Irish PRATIE OATEN


March 3, 1973  Dear Eleanor & Diana, If I don’t get any word from you by next Sat. I will know you don’t seem to be getting my letters somehow so I will phone you Sat or Sunday to tell you we will be coming to stay with you March 16th I will tell when to meet us and what I will be bringing for supper as for now I don’t know yet as I haven’t been feeling my very best I can’t get my glasses till March 26th but don’t worry I be all right the only thing I would like a brown or tan hat but I may get that when we get to Winnipeg as I think the bus gets there at 5 oclock and if I hurry I may get some thing in Hudson Bay its not far from bus depot (stop)

Dad is watching the hockey and I washed the floor and don’t have much to do.  I washed Thursday so there is ironing but I will do that Monday.  Dad got some lumber for that bedroom so he says he will start Monday.  I hope he does as there is a lot to do in that basement.

Matt been having trouble with his teeth he was to see the Dentist Friday and is going again Tuesday to get some out he’s sure sore today his nose is swalllen & upper lip too even his eyes are sore looking.
Dugie is walking some now. 

I stopped knitting would have done some today but Dad forgot to get some yarn
 yesterday we were to see Wes & Marion

& Miron & Katie.

Wes is not so well his feet are bothering him the rest are fine.  Katie lost some weight she looks fine I guess a person can loose weight if they try hard enough I guess I don’t have will power I haven’t gained but didn’t loose any.  I got myself a long slip for the dress I will close for now looking forward on seeing you both.  I will close with best wishes and most of love. 

March 4/73

Matt brought the letter from you after I have sealed the one I wrote to you instead of rewriting I am writing this note I thank you for the letter about the dress you keep it there we are planning to be there I likely will phone before we leave home only I would like to know what you would like me to bring I have canned chickens peas cauliflowers spinnich I may kill a small chicken and freeze for you for roast and do you need and like some canned fruit as for pickles I don’t have much.  And if you have any way to come before Easter please do but we will talk about it when I get there unless you wish to come this week end as the next we will be to see you       Love Mother

                     Here are Mom and Dad in 1973 at Marilyn and Bill’s wedding on . . .
June 30.


“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”

(Oscar Wilde)


Hurrah for the Irish!   



From:  BRITISH COOKERY, edited by Lizzie Boyd

1 pound mashed potatoes
¼ pound instant oatmeal flakes
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 cup milk

Mix together all ingredients.  Roll out and cut into triangles or rounds.  Bake on a hot griddle.  Serve hot with butter.


P. S. I sewed Mom’s dress for her.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Holiday at Sechelt . . . and Wicked Hot Chocolate

We were delighted to find many walking trails in the Sechelt area.

The seawalk in Sechelt itself is very pretty.  

Hidden Grove is very short, but pretty and also wheelchair accessible.

St. Francis Point Park is beautiful, but a tricky hike.

Refueled afterwards at Halfmoon Bay Café.  Their signature Amaretti cookies are really great.

Porpoise Bay is another short trail but has a pretty salmon creek leading to the estuary.

Cliff Gilker Park has several lovely waterfalls. 


Afterwards, we visited nearby Robert’s Creek and the Gumshoe Café.   
Their homemade bars are big and yummy!

 We loved the swamp and long boardwalks leading to Smuggler’s Cove.




Modern Beef & Bacon Pie: p. 73, Game of Thrones: A FEAST OF ICE & FIRE
Leafy green salad

DAY two
Chicken with Eggplant:  Lucy Waverman: Globe & Mail, Nov. 7, 2015
Orzo with Dill

DAY three
 Lamb Indad:  A TASTE OF INDIA, p. 71
Basmati Rice
Oven-Roasted Turnips 

DAY four
 Oxtail Stew
Kelp Scones:  Hello Magazine

day five
Family Favourite!
 Chicken Chasseur:  THE NEW PURITY COOKBOOK, p. 44
Green Beans

day six
Baked potatoes with Sour Cream

day seven
 Pork Loin Chops with Cumin & Orange:  SUNSET magazine


We loved the huge, covered deck on our rented cabin.  Perfect for listening to the soft rain pattering on the leaves all around while sipping Mulled Wine or the most decadent hot chocolate ever.

     (based on Southern Living magazine, Jan. 2017)

4 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
100 g minty dark chocolate (I used Lindt Excellence Intense Mint Dark Chocolate)
8 ounces grated white chocolate
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
Small marshmallows

Stir milk, cream, and chocolate together over medium heat until hot. 
Add vanilla and liqueur.
Pour into large mugs and top with lots of marshmallows.


P. S. One of our awesome breakfasts . . . 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

What else did the monster have? . . . Hawaii with a Four-Year-Old

My family and I DO NOT like surprises. 

For us, a lot of the enjoyment of a trip comes from knowing it’s coming MONTHS before the actual date. 

Bryan hauls piles of guide books from the library for me and I start researching.  For this trip to Hawaii, OAHU REVEALED was my best source for things to do with children.      

I picked a hotel right by the beach, the zoo, and the aquarium.

We booked flights for Saturday, December 30 so that we could be sure to all be there for New Year's Eve.  

Kepler headed straight to the beach.

In the evening, we enjoyed strolling along Kalakaua and seeing the street performers.

Sunday, December 31

     First up, the zoo:

Back to the beach

The streets were jammed on New Year’s Eve.  We were lucky to snag a table for cocktails at the Outrigger.  

 We were glad we had booked a table for dinner.

Monday, Jan 1: the Aquarium

Some of the best fun was unplanned.  On the way back from the aquarium, we couldn't resist swinging on a banyan tree. 

Tuesday, Jan 2

Bryan, Nicole, and James went to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial.

. . . while Kepler and I enjoyed some books and monster games at the hotel.  He was not in the mood for going to the beach.  

Wednesday, Jan 3

going to the Children’s Museum by bus: The bus system is AMAZING!  Seniors ride for $1.00.

Kepler made friends all over the place . . .  and had lots of fun; especially in the theatre.

 Thursday, Jan 4

Hanauma Bay snorkeling:  you don't even need to put on the gear!  Colorful fish swim all around you as you wade near the shore.  

Friday, Jan 5

Pirate Ship!  Hauling up treasure and fighting with swords!

Saturday, Jan 6
We had booked a trip, but a tummy virus hit three of us on Friday night, and we had to cancel.  Full refund!   Thank-you Polynesian Cultural Village! 

Sunday, Jan 7

Back to the Beach!


Nicole is really good at finding the best restaurants nearby.   What a great week!


A terrific Hawaiian singer was performing her contemporary music all through our dinner here.


I love traveling in the United States, and, to show my appreciation, I am posting a recipe I clipped about 30 years ago. 

I made it for the first time just before this Christmas because it’s a fruitcake.  It was good but very dense and more like a big currant scone than a cake.   No wonder, since there is absolutely no leavening agent in it!