Monday, November 23, 2009

The Checkout Girl

Recently I read The Checkout Girl by Susan Zettell.

I started following Susan's blog in a round about way. Susan lives on the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia where my son lived for about a year and a half. He lived in a few places on the Cabot Trail one of which was a yurt. After moving to BC he was searching online to see if the lady who owned the yurt had a blog. What he did find was Susan's blog which pictured the yurt that he stayed in. The point I am getting at is I was perusing the blog, came across a reference to My Daughter in the Water by Louden Wainwright III. I commented on Susan's post, she kindly replied. We have found quite a few things in common. I am a reader and Susan is an author. Therefore I suggested that my good friend Lori purchase Susan's book for the St Mary's Library and lucky me I was the first reader of that copy.

Within the first few pages I was laughing in the middle of the night in my hotel room. Lots of early 70's stuff in this book so it is a bit of nostalgia for me. There are some interesting characters and situations, sex, drugs, abortion, hockey, skating, an autistic child, murder, growing up and finding oneself. The book contains humour and insight into life in a mid size industrial city. The setting is in a fictional town called Varnum with a resemblance to Kitchener which is about 40 minutes from where I live in Stratford, I could appreciate some of the local colour.

If you are looking for a light amusing read this may be the book for you.

As an anecdote I love the fact that some of the writing of this book was done in Susan's office which was a Trillium trailer! How cool is that!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Chocolate

Having no idea how I can possibly live without chocolate I needed to find a recipe for something sweet, chocolatey, satisfying and low fat. Is there such a thing? Thanks to my pal Lori and her great cookbook collection I baked these brownies today.

Low Fat Chocolate Brownies

2 oz semi sweet chocolate ( I used a Cote d'Or 70% cocoa bar)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 tsp baby prune puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
5 Tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Fair Trade camino)
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
3 egg whites at room temp

Heat oven 300 degrees.lightly oil an 8 inch square baking pan.

Combine chocolate, butter and oil in a pan over low heat. Stir until chocolate and butter have melted. Stir in prune puree, remove from heat and set aside.

Sift together 1/2 cup sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Whip egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar in a separate bowl until soft peaks form.

Fold half the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, gently fold in the beaten egg whites, then add the remaining flour mixture.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Note: these were quite tasty and did satisfy my chocolate craving. I like my brownies chewy and nutty so next time I would bake about 4 minutes less and I would add some nuts to the batter. Since I follow a mostly veg diet it would be good for the extra protien.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Paper Place

One of the shops I love is on Queen St W in Toronto. It is The Paper Place! Stocked with gorgeous Japanese papers and related items. When I go in there I just want to take it all home. I use the paper to make cards, tags and decorate gift wrap as well as in my journal and collage making. Sometimes I just sit and stare at it!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Self Indulgence

I have just enjoyed a great weekend in the city with my good friend Lori. We visited the Royal Ontario Museum to view The Vanity Fair Portraits 1918 - 2008. Enjoyed very much then the next day the Art Gallery of Ontario to view Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, the Condé Nast Years 1923–1937...this was wonderful! so amazingly beautiful. Definitely worth a visit if you like photography.

What I ate at FRANK in the AGO,

organic poached egg& smoked arctic char on a salad of mixed baby spinach greens & garlic fried croutons dressed with dijon vinaigrette

pear hazelnut ginger cake with honey wine sabayon sauce


Took tons of pics on the was a glorius warm weekend!

Picked up a few things I love...
Japanese Paper
Leonard Cohen Live at the Isle of Wight 1970

watched the DVD this morning...loved it!

I coud go on and on but will post of few pics!

Monday, November 02, 2009

more serendipity

Yesterday while picking up a prescription at the pharmacy I had a chat with the most lovely pharmacist about the H1N1 injection priority clinic planned for Stratford today from 11:30 to 7:30.

She was telling me how afraid of needles she is. We discussed wait times etc. She told me she would probably go to the clinic in the evening thinking it would be less busy. I was planning to go sometime during day. We are both health care workers in the priority group. I drove by the clinic about 12:40, saw many cars in the parking lot, decided to do a few errands and come back later. I came back about 1:20 and as I was heading into the building I hear this voice saying hello. I turn and there she is Rita the pharmacist. What was so strange was that I had told her the day before that if I saw her at the clinic I would hold her hand!

We had a lovely chat in our 40 minute wait which seemed like 5 minutes. We waited together 15 minutes after the injection...she was so happy to have had someone to share the wait etc with because of her fear of needles.

Now just what were the chances that we would have shown up at the clinic at exactly the same time!!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009


My new paper stuff...I love paper! This is a new note pad to sit near the phone, a fabulous selection of sticky notes in various sizes and because I needed to balance the pic I added my beaded magnetic bracelet! That was my play for a Sunday afternoon...did a little photo editing as well which can be viewed on my flickr page.