Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It's my own fault

I never should have mentioned spring. I know it wouldn't have changed the fact that it's January or the fact that it is coooooold here but maybe, just maybe, I wouldn't be so upset by the whole thing. The weather changes faster here than at home, sunny one minute and the next it's snowing. And I am not kidding. In peeking at the forecast, each day is snow. Maybe. Blergh. I know I'll get used to it, I have lived in colder climates but I was spoiled by so many years in the banana belt of BC.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Misconceptions

I am Canadian but that doesn't mean that I say "eh" or "aboot" or that I lived in snow year round.

I am short but that doesn't mean that I am going to laugh when I hear "how's the weather down there" for the thousandth time.

I am Christian but that doesn't mean that I feel I must spank my children to parent them properly.

I am a SAHM but that doesn't mean that I am lazy or don't have "a real job" to do.

I am female but that doesn't mean that I am less skilled as a driver than any male on the road.

I am a wife and a mom but that doesn't mean that I am defined by those people who mean so much to me, they are part of me but not all of me.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Back to normal...sort of

Today the kids went back to school after their two weeks off for Christmas break (not gonna be "PC" and call it winter break :P), but it wasn't a normal day. Because of the snow and the ice that followed it, schools were on a delayed start of two hours. That also means that morning K was cancelled, so I had Christa with me all day. That's fun, really, but it makes it hard to get her enthused about going back tomorrow when she would rather be home with me anyway ;) But, we made it through, nobody was too tired this morning thanks to the late start. And tomorrow middle schools and high schools are on a 3 hour delay, for teacher training stuff. Thrills my teens!

So, it's January. There's James's birthday this month, his trip to LA to see Hairspray on stage, Becca's bingo night, Matt's on worship team one weekend and I need to figure out how to motivate Maya to stay up on her homework for a change. Funny, she gets exceeding expectations marks in four out of five classes and can't seem to get passing marks in English :P A post for another day I guess. The positive aspect of January is that it's already the 7th so we're almost a quarter of the way through it. Spring will be coming some day, I know it :D

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The adventure and the verdict

Lemon meringue tarts were on the menu, as I told you. All of the mixes that I saw here contain soy bean oil so I decided to embark on a grand adventure and make them from scratch. I did use ready-made pastry, some day I will feel brave enough for THAT adventure. Anyway, I've never made the lemon filling myself so I found a good-sounding recipe (grandma's recipe, not sure whose grandma *LOL*) and took a deep breath. That was followed by a coughing fit and subsequent re-washing of my hands, then I started. It wasn't so bad...I zested the lemons, squeezed them by hand, separated the eggs by straining them through my fingers (I find that's the best way, works better than the little "separators"), was sure to add a little of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks so they wouldn't cook when I added them to the pot...I even sealed the edges of the meringue to the tart shells. Those tarts are soooo yummy!! I was really happy, and the peanut butter tarts turned out extremely yummy as well. Matt's butter tarts, same. It was gooooooood.

By request! Edited to add the recipe for Grandma's Lemon Meringue Pie :) I used an extra lemon because the zest stuck a lot in my grater and I wasn't sure I could squeeze enough juice out of two lemons. Plus I added a pinch of cream of tartar to my meringue. Another important thing the recipe doesn't say is to put the meringue on while the filling is still hot, it helps to cook the meringue and keeps it fluffy.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons white sugar

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in butter. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell.
To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Good thing I didn't make any New Year's resolutions!

Especially that most common of resolutions, you know the one ;)

We have a turkey cooking right now, it will be accompanied by mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. Yummm!

We still have butter tarts and I've also made peanut butter tarts and lemon meringue tarts. We're going with a tart theme ;) For those not of the pastry persuasion, there is of course ice cream.

This is all for just the six of us, everyone else that we invited has someone sick in their family or had other plans already. Could be a while before we get through all the food!

I might need to make an Epiphany resolution ;)