Winter Beauty

Nature’s beauty can be found anywhere – even in the middle of the frozen Saskatchewan prairies. Here are some winter pictures taken by Clarissa. Enjoy!

Picture by Clarissa Fehr
Picture by Clarissa Fehr
Picture by Clarissa Fehr
Picture by Clarissa Fehr
Picture by Clarissa Fehr

Still Savouring Fall

October is over but I’m not quite finished with pumpkin flavours this fall (I am enjoying a pumpkin spice latte as I type this…). I had some leftover pumpkin puree in the freezer so I decided to try my hand at making a pumpkin cake from scratch. Continue reading “Still Savouring Fall”

WIP Part II: The Light Attendant and the Bluebird

After a couple of passes through our editing team, I am thrilled to be working on the final draft of my upcoming historical romance novel: The Light Attendant and the Bluebird.

Set in World War I, The Light Attendant and The Bluebird tells the story of Private Henry Ryzack who battles not only the Germans, but also his own personal vices and demons on the battlefields of France as he struggles to keep promises made and become a man worthy of Nursing Sister, Abbigail Grieves.

I am very excited to share this story with you. So eager, in fact, that I cannot help but give you a “sneak peek” into the first two chapters of the novel.

Continue reading “WIP Part II: The Light Attendant and the Bluebird”

Cats and Dogs – and a bird.

Ordinarily we focus on our creative endeavours in our blogs, but this story was too good not to share.

Our pup is almost 15 months old. She has been a wonderful addition to our family, being very sociable and eager to please. She appears to want nothing more than to be by our side as we go about our day, sharing our activities and our moods.

A cup of water at the coffee shop.

Given our pup’s gentle nature, we were not surprised when she became friends with a stray cat that took up residence under our front porch. Feeling a responsibility for the cat, we took it in only to find ourselves with an additional four kittens when the mother cat gave birth a couple of months later.

Our dog was immediately taken with the kittens, watching them through the days and nights and helping clean them. She would grow anxious when Mama cat absented herself from the nest for any length of time.

As the kittens grew, our pup became an active participant in their playtime.

Continue reading “Cats and Dogs – and a bird.”

The Garden: Autumn 2021

Autumn is my favourite season in the kitchen. Oh, I like the others well enough: the heady scents of Christmas baking, with its spices and sugared fruits; the bright flavours of radish and egg and green onion in early spring, giving way to dozens of delicate early vegetables; followed by endless salads and greens to brighten our summer season. The other seasons are enjoyable—but they are not autumn.

Perhaps I am biased. Perhaps it is my October birthday, or the candy and colours of Halloween, that make me love autumn more than any other season. But I suspect there is something more to the equation. There is, of course, the garden. The days are shortening, the nights are cold, and I am now allowed to collect on the investments I made in spring and summer. The planting, weeding, watering, and fretting have made something, and I am allowed to be a part of this too.

Continue reading “The Garden: Autumn 2021”

Thanksgiving day Ginger Cookies

October 11, 2021

Today is Thanksgiving, and we are wrapping up a weekend of cooking, harvesting produce, and eating plenty of turkey and pumpkin pie. I decided to make these chewy ginger molasses cookies this Thanksgiving Monday to add a little spice to the week ahead.

Chewy ginger cookies

Continue reading “Thanksgiving day Ginger Cookies”

Summer Baking

Pineapple Whip Dessert

July 9, 2021

Something about summer screams out for fruit desserts.

That being said, I’m not sure this pineapple square from the Mennonite cookbook actually counts, given that it’s mostly whipped cream and butter. It also calls for canned pineapple, which won’t showcase your horticultural expertise or even your ability to obtain fresh produce. And yet somehow, it’s refreshing and somehow very suited for summer barbecues. My mom used to make it for family gatherings, and it was always one of my favourites.

It’s actually a fairly simple dessert. A traditional graham cracker crust with a buttercream filling and topped with whipped cream speckled with crushed pineapple. It’s quite attractive when all is said and done, and serves a crowd, although it does tend to go quickly.

Side notes: the crust tends to go soggy after a couple of days in the fridge, so plan appropriately for your crowd size. I would estimate that the 9×13 inch pan (one full recipe) would feed about 20-25 (depending on how many go for seconds…). Also, it’s a chilled dessert, so it’s likely best not to leave it on the buffet table for too long, especially given the heat we’ve been having this month (38 degrees last week!)

Pineapple Squares

Original recipe from “Squares and Slice” in The Mennonite Treasury of Recipes, 1961

This version has been adapted from the original based on personal preferences.

Yields one 9×13 inch pan

Base:

  • 3 cups graham wafer crumbs
  • ¾ cup melted margarine

Mix crumbs with margarine, press into pan. Bake 12-15 minutes in 350° oven. Cool.

Filling:

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 ½ cups icing sugar
  • 2 eggs

Cream butter. Add sugar and eggs. Beat until fluffy and spread over base.

Topping:

  • 1 can crushed pineapple (well-drained)
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream

Mix pineapple with whipped cream and spread on top of filling. Chill before serving.

Notes

  • Make sure that the crushed pineapple is verywell drained before mixing with the cream. Otherwise, the dessert will get soggy from the excess moisture. Squeeze out the juice thoroughly and pat dry.
  • This dessert contains raw eggs.
  • This dessert is best after it has been chilled for several hours, but the crust may get soggy if left for more than a day or two.

 

In other news, we pulled in another basket of strawberries from our little patch in the garden last night, and I’ve had my eye on a recipe for strawberry buttermilk cake for a few days now. Stay tuned, perhaps it will make an appearance in the coming weeks (that is, if I get to baking them before they are eaten straight from the bowl…)

Clarissa

Garden Update: Midsummer, 2021

Sarina Fehr

The heat wave is over. For a week or more now we have been fighting with hose and sprinkler as if to put out a fire, hoping it will be enough to keep roots from drying and leaves from wilting. At last, with the sounds of thunder approaching, I can rest from the constant battle with the weather.

Front yard garden

Continue reading “Garden Update: Midsummer, 2021”

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