Saturday, 28 September 2013

Weekend Cooking - Hot Pepper Roulette

There is always wonderful produce to be found at my local farmers' market, but the peppers have been amazing lately.    A mere $10.  bought all the ones shown plus a few more already eaten.

This was my first time buying poblano peppers.  They are a reasonable heat level, but I didn't really like the flavour.  I did read that they taste better once roasted, and am looking forward to that.

Shepherd peppers are sweet and tasty, though they are  thinner flesh than the bell peppers.  Great for cooking.

These are also a sweet pepper  whose taste I do enjoy.  Mostly I use them in cooked dishes.

Jalepenos. Excellent for all sorts of cooked dishes.

Cherrys.  These are instant heat, but a reasonable level, just don't use too many.

Now for the fun. What to do when you are sitting with your nephew and there are a whole bunch of chilies on the table.  Somehow it gets suggested that you test them to see just how hot they are.  It always helps to already know how hot they can be before you bite in.  My nephew took the tiniest nibble after I took two good bites.  Chilies can vary greatly in their heat.  One jalapeno will be fiery while the next is barely warm.  I usually taste a tiny bit before putting them in the pot as a means of judging how spicy my final dish will be.

If you decide to play hot pepper roulette, I highly recommend sticking with the more mild of the hot chilies, don't go near the ghost peppers.
For more foodie fun, be sure to visit Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking post.  You are invited to join in there with a link to your recent food related post.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

What's on Your Bookshelf?

 I recently read a survey, where it was stated that many people were embarrassed to admit that they had books on their shelves that they hadn't read.  I found that strange.  Most of the books on my shelves haven't been read.  Why would I bother to keep books that I have already read.  That is a waste of good space.  It's not as though I am going to read most of them again.  I rarely reread and if I do, it's many years later, and generally, only when I become re-acquainted with a series.

This shelf in my living room, (called The Talking Room by my kids since they were little).  This is where I keep books that I have read and am waiting to give away.  Less than three dozen of them have been read and maybe two dozen belong to hubby.
 These are the shelves in my bedroom.  The top three shelves on the right are hubbies and most of those titles he has read.  The rest are mine, few of which I have read.  I don't have a problem with all these unread books; I view it as an investment in my future.
finally, the shelf from daughter's room.  There are equally as many more on the floor in front of the shelf.  Most of these are unread as well. 

You might be wondering what I do with the books I have read.  Quite a few go back to the library, and the ones I bought occasionally go to family members. The greater number of read books get registered and released through  It's the worlds largest free library.  If you visit the link,  it will take you to my home page where you can see that I have given away over 500 books.  yep, that's right, I gave them away, mostly to people I don't even know.  You might ask why.  I get pleasure in knowing that I one of my books might give pleasure and enjoyment to another person.  It's a karma thing.

You might wonder why I don't take these read books to the used book store and sell them.  To me it's really not worth it for the dollar or two that they pay, and also, remember the karma thing.

Now two questions for my readers: What's on your book shelves - unread versus read?

What do you do with the books you have read?

No judgements here, just curiosity.

(please excuse any typos and other errors, experiencing a migraine right now and can't see very well, waiting for meds to kick in).

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Needlework Tuesday - Quilt as you go Bee

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.

Thursday was Bee Day.  That's the day that I get together with some of my quilting friends and we stitch and chat.  This week we were working on a quilt as you go project that will be donated to a local children's project. 

For those who aren't familiar with the technique, while you are stitching your block together, you are doing it on top of the backing and batting so that your finished square has all three layers intact.
The squares were all completed the previous week, and this meeting were re assembling the rows and then attaching the rows together.

The front looks stunning with the rich assortment of colours.

The fall colours on the back are equally impressive.
Last night, the almost finished project was displayed at our guild meeting.  Back.

Front.  They are discussing adding another row so it will be more of a usual bed size.
The following is a very clear video of how to join the blocks together.  I would use the 1 inch strip for the back and a 1 3/4 inch folded strip for the front. 


it was just two weeks ago that I gave you an update on my mother's projects, but she has been busy.   Since then, she started and completed this quilt top.  She had seen some brick style quilts using 2 1/2 inch quilts and decided to make her own. 
This is the  Disappearing 4 patch quilt that she had on display at the Western Fall Fair in London, Ontario.  The fair is deciding whether to re-introduce the quilt show which they discontinued a few years ago.  This year's show was a success, so hopefully, it will be back next year, with ribbons and such.

While we were talking about her making quilts for future great grandchildren, she remembered that she has this one completed  and waiting. It even has a label, with space at the top for the great grandchild's name.

Last post I showed these half square triangles in progress.  The panel is now complete and ready to be turned into a tote bag.  It is a pattern from Laundry Basket quilts, but I'm not sure if it was in a magazine or in one of Edyta's books.
You are probably wondering if I have been working on any of my own projects.  Yes. I have been quilting up a storm working on the quilt that is going to Calgary for the fellow who was severely flooded out of his house.  I am about 3/4 of the way through and am keeping my toes crossed that I don't run out of the variegated thread. Can't cross my fingers as I need them to guide the quilt under the machine.
I did get my blocks completed for class on Saturday.  We are getting near the end, only two more block patterns to go.  I need to step up my stitching so that I'll have the quilt top ready for show and tell in November.  this month I need to stitch 4 of the 9 inch blocks and still have around 40 of the tiny ones to do.  eeks.
I really liked how this one went together, so I stitched 4. 
 Not sure which I like best.

Wasn't as keen on this one. 
Didn't like the bump where the square in the square
 met up with the point of the flying goose.
Hope to have a pic of the finished quilt for Calgary next week.  There's been snow in the mountains outside Banff, so I really can't be slow.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Needlework Tuesday - Up in Stitches

Needlework Tuesday is a regular weekly post where I share the progress of my various needlework projects over the past week. I enjoy the encouragement that I receive from my readers and in return visit their blogs and cheer them on with theirs. You are welcome to grab the cute little mouse and create your own Needlework Tuesday post. Leave a comment with a link and I'll be sure to visit with you.
On Sunday, I posted a special update of my mother's quilt projects.  I keep referring to them in my posts, and finally remembered to take my camera.  Elaine Tucker's current quilt projects.

 I finally got started on the machine quilting of this colourful project.  I am using a variegated thread, pinks through orange to yellow.  The design is from Leah Day.  It's a beginner level motif called Echo Shell.

 On Saturday, I attended the knitting show in Kitchener, Ontario that was hosted by the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Guild.  Lots of wonderful eye candy, of which I brought very little home.  I have so many projects sitting here already, I only bought small items.  These three are kits from Black Sheep and Ewe.  I love the idea that everything except the needles is  in the bag. Since they don't photograph well in the bag, check the next photo to better view the yarns/wools.

Also bought these two stray balls of yarn to make a little scarf for son's girlfriend.  She loves pink, any pink.

Today I am spending the day with my mother.  The dialysis unit at the hospital where my dad had his cancer treatments is holding a memorial service for those patients that passed away over the past year.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Eden Mills Writer's Festival 2013 - Reader introductions

Yesterday I attended the Eden Mills Writer's Festival.  Daughter was invited to introduce a few of the authors.  Her friend Kathleen and another young lady, Liz, also did some excellent introductions.  I have included short videos of each of these.  I find that these are a good way to get a snap shot of who these authors are as well as a hint of what they are writing about.

Author Philip Roy

Seas of South Africa Cover - finalHas written a wonderful series about a boy, Alfred,  and his submarine in which he travels and learns about the world and it's many varied people.  When the series opens, Alfred is 14 making this book suitable for readers about 10 years of age and older.  Thanks to Philip for use of the cover image.

Author Kat Kruger

Kat read to us from her debut novel, The Night has Teeth. The follow up book, The Night has Claws is now available in Canada and will be released in the USA in 2014.  German translations are in the works, due in August 2014.  Thanks to Kat for use of the cover image.

Author Darren Hynes

Image of CREEPSCreeps is Darren's second novel and it deals with the difficult topic of bullying.  Loved his reading, complete with an east coast accent.  Thanks to Penguin Canada for use of the cover image.

Author Rachel Hartman

Seraphina is Rachel's debut novel and it is already winning her awards. I absolutely love the cover of this dragon book which is from a wood cut image.
Thanks to Rachel for the use of the cover image.

Author Sheree Fitch

My daughter was entranced by Sheree's recent book Pluto's Ghost.  She lists it as a "must read" book.  Sheree has written books for children, teens and adults.  Thanks to Sheree for use of the cover image.

Author Stephen Cain

I Can Say Interpellation by Stephen CainStephen proves once again, that poetry can be fun and that it can be about any topic.  I loved that he wrote about topics kids can relate to such as Pauline from Donkey Kong.  (which is included in the following video).  He new book is titled I Can Say Interpellation.  Thanks to Stephen and Bookthug  for use of the cover image.

Author Lesley Livingston

EVERY NEVER AFTERLesley is one of the most enthusiastic readers.  She makes the characters sound exactly as I had imagined them to be. Makes me want to start her books all over again and listen to the audio books that she read.  Thanks to Lesley for the use of the cover image.

Author Deborah Ellis

978-1-55498-181-6_l.jpgDeborah is not shy about tackling those sensitive topics that many of us shy away from.  Thank-you.   She read to us from her non-fiction works Children of War and Kids of Kabul. Both passages portrayed situations that children should not have to face.  I'm really looking forward to her upcoming book Looks like Daylight: Voice of Indigenous Kids. Thanks to Deborah for the use of the book cover image.