Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Remembered Recipe

A number of years ago, I took all my tried and true recipes and made them into scrapbook pages, copied them x6 for all the grandchildren. They each have a binder, with all the recipe pages in plastic sleeves, divided into sections. Each year I tried new recipes and if they were ‘a keeper’, added them to the books.

At a family gathering on Sunday, when looking through old photos, the kids remembered a recipe I made often, bananas with caramel rum sauce. I haven’t made that recipe in years, had forgotten it, but knew exactly what cook book it was in…Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook…published in 1980.

I’ve packed and moved this cookbook many, many times throughout the years.

Here’s the recipe. It’s a nice fruity dessert after a big meal.


2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 TB whipping cream
1 TB margarine or butter
3 TB rum
4 medium bananas
½ cup chilled whipping cream
1 TB packed brown sugar
¼ cup sliced almonds

Cook and stir 2/3 cup brown sugar, 2 TB whipping cream and 2 TB margarine or butter over LOW heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in rum. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Cut bananas crosswise into halves; cut each half lengthwise into halves. Arrange in serving dishes; top with caramel sauce.

Beat ½ cup whipping cream and 1 TB brown sugar in chilled bowl until stiff. Spoon whipped cream over bananas and sauce, garnish with almonds.

I’ll admit, when it was just the kids, I made this with milk instead of whipping cream, and didn’t bother with the added garnish of whipped cream and almonds.

Yesterday I bought some rum to try this again, and will be adding it to the cook books.

Rum…another rum recipe…remember Bacardi Rum Cake? Wonder if I can find the recipe for that one.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Two Tales About Trains and Marriage

Many, many years ago, when I was married, I left my two children in the care of their father and took the train into the city to visit my parents.

While waiting at Union Station to board, the passengers around me were upset with the porter, on behalf of one traveler. I guess the railway rule was to put the passengers into specific cars, based on their destination. But there was a woman in her eighties, traveling with her daughter and son-in-law who had come straight from the airport, making the final leg of their journey home after a trip to England.

Their stops were not the same, and the porter would not let them stay in the same passenger car. It caused quite the uproar, and for a group of us, that uproar lasted as the train pulled out of the station and headed east.

The woman I was sitting beside got upset when she thought I was missing my stop, so I rushed to gather my stuff and hurriedly got off the stop too soon. I can understand where the mistake was made. That stretch of the tracks travels through one small town after another before it hit some bigger cities going east. The stop at the small town, 15 Km before my stop, had been discontinued for a time and only recently reinstated.

So, I walked into town, grabbed a taxi and headed home. I was upset because I pictured my husband and kids at the station, waiting for me, upset when I didn't depart the train. The taxi took me to the train station, and I couldn't see the familiar truck waiting for me, and then I remembered it was Thursday. "Take me to the arena," I said.

My beloved spouse had called my parents, and was told they had, indeed, dropped me off at the station. Now my parents are worried, wondering where I could be, but my husband had other priorities.

At the arena I found my kids playing the rink rat, and my husband on the ice playing his weekly hockey game. To make a sad story short, is it any wonder we ended up divorced?

Then there's my brother and his train tale. His wife drives every day to the GO station and takes the train downtown to work. I don't know exactly where she gets off the train but assume there are subway trips and a walk before actually arriving at her office. I've never had to do that kind of daily trip as I've lived most of my work life in small towns or had a car and could drive directly.

Last week we had a terrible ice storm...power outages, trees downed, the roads chaotic, accidents...a Canadian winter.

After all that walking, the subway, the train ride, my sister-in-law was faced with clearing the ice off her car before she could make the final drive home. A long day at work made even longer. When she arrived at her car she found it cleared, when all the cars around her were still frozen under a coat of ice.

At home, she noticed her husband's coat was wet, as were his clothes and his hair. He had ventured out in that freezing rain, to clear his wife's car of ice and snow. Is it any wonder that have been married for more than forty years?

A tale of two trains, and very telling examples of  relationships, love and marriage.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Super Bowl Antics

It is totally wrong to laugh, but I can't help it. My brother, the die hard football fan missed the third quarter of the Super Bowl...the Super Bowl...the third quarter where the New England Patriots came back from a 28-3 deficit to challenge the Falcons.

Apparently my brother and his wife were watching the game with relatives out of town. After the half time show, which is all she would have been interested in, his wife wanted to go home, as the game would not finish until late and she had to get up early Monday for work.

So, while they were on the road home, the Falcons' game sort of fell apart, or the Patriots' game came alive. When my brother arrived home he couldn't believe what he had missed. "WTF?"

What I was finding so funny, in the E-mail he sent me, was the fact he blamed his wife for the Falcons eventual loss. Into sports superstitions, he blames his wife because she wanted to leave. Apparently, you don't leave, change, or whatever, when your team is winning.

This reminds me of my husband's superstition about hockey, and how it was bad luck to wash his long underwear during the season. I made it a rule that the hockey equipment stayed in the trunk of the car or in the garage.

I like how my brother phrased this laying of blame. He prefaced it with how dearly he loves his wife, but, as she wanted to leave, it was therefore, all her fault.

Ipso-facto, blame her he said. This is a man who was really, really really cheering against the Patriots.

I guess they will survive this episode, she can make it up to him during the upcoming hockey playoffs. Married for 40 years, they'll weather this incident as they have many others.

I'm sorry Bro, but I had to laugh. Here I was sitting home, thinking of calling, but knew better. Next year I won't hesitate to interrupt the game, actually may feel it's my duty as your doting sister.

Just wait. I should mark it on my calendar, Super Bowl your brother.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The Art of Being Creative

Art has always been a part of my life, my mother was a gifted artist, my grandfather a painter and photographer. My home growing up was full of their creativity.

When I was married and my husband and I bought our first house, he asked me if I was going to fill up the walls with art like my mother, and of course I said yes.

I wish I had kept a record of all the art work I've done, if for no other reason than to see the change in styles or technique. I do have some photos, and I look at the pictures and can't remember where or what I did with it all.

When I moved, my daughter inherited a box of art work, supposedly to store for me. When she moved, she pulled the box out and hung what she liked. Sometimes I feel like her house is my personal gallery, and I feel very honored that she has hung so many pieces.

My son also has a number of my pieces hung, but more importantly, he has hung the pieces from my mother and grandfather that were stored at his place.

I did personal pieces for my daughter's girls last year,for their rooms when they moved to the new house. And that was the last art I managed to get done for almost a year.

I pulled a canvas out to do a painting for my grandson. He likes anything country, native, and is partial to wolves. I had something in mind, but that canvas has sat blank for almost a year. Painter's block, you might say.

A good friend once gave me some encouraging words I've never forgotten. It was at a time when I was struggling with my art after a long time away from it. I couldn't seem to do the same style as I'd done before. "Maybe that's not your style anymore, and you need to find your new style." Wise words, Jane, thanks.

I finished this piece for my grandson, though he hasn't seen it yet. Knowing I was going to try something for him, his sister chimed in that she wanted a painting for her room. "What do you want?" I asked, and she said Fairies.

So, the wolf is gone from my door and I'm in a fantasy fairy frame of mind. We'll have to see what happens.