Monday, 29 March 2010

kiss of inspiration

kiss of inspiration
Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
At last I got round to finishing this piece. I am actually quite pleased with it, unusually for me! I am, on the whole very self critical, but tonight I thought I would treat myself with the same praise and encouragement one would show a good friend!

Saturday, 27 March 2010

All's quiet on the southern front!

Well!  Things have gone very quiet across the pond but somehow I'm not in the least concerned!  I gather that property purchase over there is much less stressful than over here.  Over there you make an offer, the seller comes back with a counter offer, you settle on a figure, sign some papers and pay your goodwill deposit.  It seems after that you just sit back and let your lawyer do the rest and cough up the balance in either 30 days or sixty days (this is decided by buyer/seller at the offer stage).  Simples as the confused meercat says!

Over here however quiet is not good.  Quiet is no phone calls requesting viewings.  Quiet is lying awake at night wondering if the house is going to sell in time.  Quiet is.... HELL! At the moment we seem to be in limbo.  There are many things to be done but sadly we seem to be at a loss as to which to do first!  Today we cleaned our little camper van in readiness for a potential new owner who is coming to give her the once over tomorrow.  Hopefully she'll drive off to pastures new and leave us with fond memories and off course a little help toward the moving costs!  At least it'll break the silence when she chugs off down the road!

Friday, 26 March 2010

Raspberry Pie!

4 cups of Raspberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon Cornstarch (Cornflour to you and me!)
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt

1 pack shortcrust pastry ( cheated again!)
As before roll out to about 5mm and line a well greased 8 inch pie dish.
Mix together sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Sprinkle about a 1/4 of this mixture over the bottom of the pie.  Spread the raspberries in the pie and sprinkle on the remaining sugar mix.  Dot with butter.  knead left over pastry and re-roll cut into strips to make a lattice for the top of the pie.  Bake at 220C for 15 mins then reduce heat to 180C for approx 30 mins or until pastry cooked and golden.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Butter Tarts

I seem to be on a bit of a Canadian theme at the moment so thought I'd share our Canadian cousin's recipe for Butter Tarts.  Not at all good for the waistline but they do have nuts and fruit so they're  semi healthy!!!!

Take 1 pack of shortcrust pastry (I cheat here).  Roll out to about 5mm thick cut out circles to line 24 well greased tart tins.  Whisk 2 eggs and add 1/3 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup cream, whisk together and heat until it comes to the boil, then remove from the heat.  Add 1 tspn Vanilla extract. cool a little.  Take 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (I use half nuts half sultanas) divide between the tart cases.  Pour the liquid mixture into tarts just covering the fruit & nuts.  Bake at 200 degrees C until pastry golden and cooked thru.  Leave to cool completely then remove from tins.   MMMmmmmm!

I also have a fantastic raspberry pie recipe which is every bit as good as the ones sold at St Jacobs Market, which is a Mennonite market.  Check out my blog over the weekend for this one!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Niagra Falls

Niagra Falls
Originally uploaded by Rona Gregory
This was a photo I took on my first visit to Canada some 4 years ago! Sometimes it's hard to believe we're going to be living there in just a couple of months.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The adventure starts here!

After almost three years we finally have our permanent residency visa for Canada!  Here's where the adventure (and the stress) starts!  We have just purchased lovely 'little' house.  It's actually bigger than our current abode which is a two bedroom railway carriage!  We found it on the Realtor site on the web, researched the Township and figured it looked pretty much what we wanted!  Now some people have said we're brave, others are of the opinion we're insane, and some think we're just plain stupid!  As one friend said "So.  You've bought a house you've never seen, in a place you've never been to and it's a fourteen hour drive from any decent shops!"  She then swiftly sent a referral off for a base line assessment!

The last month has been like an emotional roller coaster.  I have lurched from almost uncontainable excitement to sobbing fat wet tears at the very thought of saying goodbye to the kids, my family and the cats, and of course my friends.  I've woken in a panic in the middle of the night at the thought of arriving there and hating it.  Or worse, arriving at the passport control only to be told that for some reason we can't enter the country!

Lovely man, on the other hand, varies between getting excited about great big cars and fretting about whether or not you can get suet to make dumplings and steak and kidney pudding!

Fortunately we don't seem to go into worry mode at the same moment in time and therefore faith and emotions are soon restored.

Add to the mixture the vagaries of the Canadian Realty business and legal system, the ups & downs of the dollar to the pound, and trying to sell a house quickly in the UK, with quickly being the operative word, then it's almost guaranteed to be an interesting ride.