Monday, 28 December 2009
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Basil Johnston's Uncle David was born around 1920 with Down's Syndrome. According to the book, he might have been the first member living at the Cape Croker reserve with this condition. No one knew for sure what David understood and what his capacity for learning was. His brothers taught him certain life skills including wood chopping. While his family had limited understanding of what he would try to convey to them, others on the reserve didn't.
His mother Rosa spent her life caring for her youngest son. she was always worried with how he would cope, how others on the reserve would treat him, and what would happen to him when she passed away.
Because he was different, David wasn't always treated well. The Priest and the Indian Agent wanted him sent away, yet they didn't attempt to meet and understand David. He was condemned on the basis of assumption and ignorance.
It's unfortunate that peoples and populations around the world are still treated in this same manner. If they are different, then they must be bad/sick/criminal/contagious/etc.
I hadn't intended to read this whole book. I thought I would skim it and include a brief review, but once I started reading and got past the first 50 or so pages I found that I couldn't put it down. I had to read more and learn about David and his family. I laughed when David was trying to lead the mother skunk and her kits to his house and I cried when he was mistaken for a Japanese soldier. I didn't want the story to end, I want to learn more about David and his too short life. Thank-you to Basil Johnston for sharing the story not only of his Uncle but of his family and his reserve.
If you want to learn more about this book, visit 'Rambles: a cultural arts magazine'
I have also reviewed The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway by Basil Johnston
By Canoe & Moccasin: Some Native Place Names of the Great Lakes by Basil H. Johnston
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Anne Lindsay's 'Lighthearted Everyday Cooking' has been one of my favourite cookbooks for years. I can't recall if I bought it or if my mother gave it to me after my dad had his heart attack and she had to change her cooking style. Either way, its been a great addition to my kitchen.
You can play with the choice of fruits in this dessert. I think it tasted even better the next day when I had it for breakfast. The tartness of the rhubarb had mingled better with the sweetness of the apples.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
The first was a wall hanging. Its 29 3/4 inches square. I attended a year long series of applique classes and made a heart of each technique. They range from fused and stitched, to hand applique. Around each heart I inked in the technique employed. You can just notice it on the second picture of the ruched heart. It is hand quilted.
I have attached a label and completed the documentation sheet and even photographed it. Now its waiting to February to move to hubby's office.
The second project I finished last evening. I needed to darn in some yarn ends and sew on the 31 tassels to the pictured shawl. I am so thrilled with how it turned out. It will be put to go use this winter that's for sure.
I suspect that there are few other almost finished projects lingering around the house. I vow to finish them as I find them. I'll continue to post my results.
The challenge to you is still open till next Monday. I wrote about it last Tuesday and few readers have commented that they are working on much larger projects that will take ages to finish. Post a comment if you have a project that has been sitting and it only requires and hour or two to finish.
I am almost finished that green scarf that I showed you last week. Will have the pic for you next Tuesday.
Over at 'Tropical Screamer' Darilyn has posted a pic of block C-4 from her version of 'Dear Jane' Quilt. She hand pieced this one.
Friday, 11 December 2009
I borrowed this 1986 book from my local library and I am surprised to find that it appears to be in pristine condition. It is such an interesting book. Through a number of stories about the Manitou Nanabush, we learn the history of many names for locations near the Great Lakes.
Chicago - from Zhigaug - meaning either 'place of the skunk' or 'the wild leek'
Winnipeg - from Weenipeegosheeng - meaning the murky watered lake
Manitoba - meaning the abode of the manitou between two lakes
I have previously review 'The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway'
For a list of books by Mr. Johnston visit the Native American Authors Project
McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has an interesting article in their Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing
If you are interested in purchasing one of Basil Johnston's book, visit the 'Whetung Ojibwa Crafts and Art Gallery'. After browsing Mr. Johnston's works, scroll to the bottom of the page to find the link to the main gallery page. Well worth browsing the other featured artists.
I am currently reading 'Uncle Dave', which is a story of Basil's Uncle Dave who was born with Down's Syndrome. In this book he has compared the way his uncle was treated with how the white population treated the Indians. I have only read the first two chapters, though they have left me wanting to read more. I hope to have it finished by next Friday.
Thursday, 10 December 2009
I found both the copies shown at my local library. The first is a 1950 version from Charles Scribner's Sons. This is the one that my husband and I both chose to read. He also compared a number of pages between both books and found they were the same.
You could read this book very quickly and lightly and decide that its an enchanting story of a flying boy who is in need of a mother. He finds a girl sitting at her open nursery window and convinces her and her brothers to return to Neverland with him. Oh how sweet.
You could read a little deeper and find that all is not so bright an cheery. Peter can be very ruthless. When the children are first flying to Neverland, its a very long flight and occasionally John, Michael and Wendy would fall asleep and then they would drop toward the ocean. Peter would wait till the very last moment to save them.
Peter seems to like to have others around so he can boast to them, but I question whether he cares about them. This quote from page 68 says 'no'.
"The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out;"
By saying 'thins them out' I suspect that means 'kills them'. There is more killing. In the final battle, in order to keep secret that he has boarded Hook's ship, Peter kills the quarter master Ed Teynte and then refers to the body as carrion. Teynte hadn't attacked him. Peter doesn't exhibit 'good form' when he sneakily kills Hook by kicking him overboard when he is standing on the bulwark instead of engaging him in a fair sword battle.
There is one passage near the end of the book where Peter has returned to Wendy after she has been home with her family for a year. She is looking forward to talking about old times, including Captain Hook.
" 'Who is Captian Hook?' he asked with interest when she spoke of the arch enemy.
'Don't you remember,' she asked, amazed, 'how you killed him and saved all our lives?'
'I forget them after I kill them,' he replied carelessly. "
Having been raised on Walt Disney versions of this story I didn't know about this blood thirsty side of Peter Pan. Interesting. I will be looking for an even earlier edition of this book to read and check for changes in the text.
One question did come to mind regarding Princess Tiger Lily. I had to wonder whether she was fashioned after Mohawk author/poet Pauline Johnson? She had toured England a number of times before Mr. Barrie penned this book. I wonder if perhaps he had viewed one of her orations where she was garbed in her 'Indian' dress and he was inspired to include her as a character?
I will be continuing with my quest to read and review other Peter Pan inspired stories.
Other Peter Pan inspired books that I have reviewed:
Peter Pan: A step up Classic by J.M. Barrie adapted by Cathy East Dubowski
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barrie and Ridley Pearson
I have lately been amused by the reports of people hoarding boxes of 'Eggo' waffles due to the shortage that is expected to last into mid 2010. After eating the waffles from this recipe, you'll never want to eat freezer type waffles again.
Marion Cunningham's Raised Waffles
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups warm milk , not hot or you kill the yeast
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
The Night Before
In a large mixing bowl (at least 3 quarts in capacity) combine the warm water (110F), sugar, and yeast. Stir and let stand 10 to 20 minutes to proof. If the yeast is active, it will produce many bubbles.
Add the milk, butter, salt, and flour and beat until smooth and blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature. The batter will rise from 4 cups to 12 cups and then collapse.
The Next Morning
Preheat the waffle iron until it is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water.
Beat in the eggs. Add the baking soda and stir until well mixed. The batter will be very thin.
Pour the batter onto the center of the waffle iron, using a light hand because the batter will spread when the lid id lowered.
Darilyn over at 'Tropical Screamer' has posted a recipe for quick Chicken Quesadillas.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
In the photo you might be able to see where most of the binding has been stitched down, with the exception of about 17 inches. Why did I stop at this point? I haven't the slightest idea. It has sat for at least 2 years with this tiny bit of stitching to be done.
I found another pattern in a book I bought a million years ago, 'Knitting Encyclopedia 1500 Patterns by Pingouin'. It's a terrific little book that I use every so often. I made 9 repeats of the pattern across the block and 8 repeats in the length. I am much happier with my choice. Two more colours to stitch up.
It has taken a bit of conscious effort to keep up to date with this project, but definitely worth it. I want to get it finished in a timely fashion and this process is really helping.
I started a new project this week. Its a scarf (how many of those have I stitched this year?). It's from the 'East + West' pattern book by Mission Falls.
Don't you just love that luscious green wool. It's for a friend in Australia. She lives in the Melbourne area where they had those destructive fires last year. Everything was blackened and she seemed so sad. This will be her own little patch of grass.
I have to stitch 12 repeats of the diamonds. This wool feels so nice in my hands that I want to make the sweater that also uses these motifs. But that one I would have to keep.
I have made one other project from this book and find their instructions very good. I had a problem with the graph and sent them an email and later that night I had a response that answered my questions. Good company to deal with.
Back to that other project from this book. I never finished it. arg. Later today I am going to post a stitching challenge that you are invited to join. You'll like this one. I'll tell you about the project and maybe add a photo. Yes, I am going to embarrass myself. Please come back and read all about it.
Darilyn over at Tropical Screamer has posted a new block for her Sampler Quilt.
Anya over at Hills Creek Quilter has finished 9 additional blocks for her version of the Dear Jane Quilt.
Monday, 7 December 2009
The book is set in 1820's England. The main character, Samantha Briggeham is being forced into a marriage that she doesn't want. During a walk home from her fiance's, she is abducted by a man claiming to be 'The Bride Thief' who offers to save her from having to marry a man not of her choosing.
This was a new plot to me and it sounded interesting so I read on. I enjoyed the story, it had enough twists and turns to keep my interest and I was curious how the author would manage to bring these two together.
What I mainly get from reading a romance in lessons in how not to communicate. Most issues in this type of book result from the characters not being open with each other and this novel was no different.
Author Jacquie D'Alessandro has quite a number of titles to her credit so it's possible that I'll come across another of her books and would willing read it.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Today's selection I tend to use only at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. My family now expects that I make certain dishes.
'The Canadian Living Christmas Book' has been one of my faves since its publication in 1993. It is filled with wonderful food as well as lovely scenic, snow filled photos.
Recipes cover every aspect of Holiday feeding: fruit cakes, cookies and candies, gifts from the kitchen, casual dining, entertaining and the main feast. My favourite recipes include Sweet Potato and Carrot Crisp and Make-ahead Mashed Potato Casserole. Unfortunately this book is no longer available for purchase, though you might find it at a used book store. You can find new Christmas books by Canadian Living on the Chapters.ca website.
I absolutely love the cover of the 'Canadian Living Family Cookbook'. One day when shopping I saw that dress that the little girl is wearing and the price was terrific. I bought it even though I didn't have a girl. I believe it was by Canadian Designer Simon Chang but don't quote me on it. Yes, my daughter did eventually wear the dress but it was in her closet for many years.
Update: December 4 2009 - I think that I was mistaken and the dress was made by Alfred Sung as possibly a Flower Girl Dress.
The book is filled with more gorgeous photos and recipes for family celebrations through out the year as well as decorating hints and such. I don't have a specific recipe I use from this book, but I do get it out every so often to enjoy the cover picture.
My aunt gave me the 'Crisco Cookies for a Year of Celebrations' a few years ago. I have no idea if I have ever used it, but that's not the point. When I was young and my aunt didn't have kids, I used to go to her house and bake cookies with her. She loved to bake and always thought it was more fun with kids around. She now had two kids and six grandchildren and she still loved to make cookies and her family famous cheesecake. If you would like to try some of the luscious looking recipes from Crisco, please visit their website.
In 1996 I purchased this lovely story and recipe book from my local Hallmark store. The first half of the book is the story of two young girls who seek to replicate the Christmas that their mother used to make. Mother is sick in the hospital and Dad isn't up to the traditions. The second half of the book contains all the recipes that are referred to in the story. It is a lovely book.
This is my latest addition to the collection. 'Company's Coming Holiday Entertaining'. This one is from the 17th printing in 2004, so it's a popular one. It is currently not available, though there are several other Christmas Cookbooks available from Company's Coming at this time. There is also a section of their website where you can print recipes to try before buying. I don't have a favourite from this book, but every time I open it, I am surprised by the pink pages. This is not specifically a Christmas Cookbook, rather holidays in general.
It has the full range of ideas from a Breakfast Pizza accompanied by Cafe au Lait, to a full Halloween feast with Witches Brew, Bat Wings, Scarecrows on Sticks, Tiny Cauldrons etc.
I hope that you have enjoyed visiting my Christmas Cookbook Shelf.
Next week I am looking forward to sharing waffles with you, and believe me they are much better than those ones you buy in the freezer section of your grocery store.
Be sure to visit Darilyn over at Tropical Screamer for her Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice recipe.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
I did better on my knitting. I finished all the blocks from the second 'clue' on the Bernat Knit Along, and two of the three for the third pattern. I really like these diamonds. So far the three patterns have only used knit and purl stitches.
I plan to have more to show you next week.
Be sure to visit Darilyn over at 'Tropical Screamer', she has joined me this week in a Needlework update.
Thanks for coming by to visit.