Archive for September, 2011

Watch this just to get into the ‘gees.’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjnhjM80rjU by Briana Haynes 2010

Ontario’s rich harvest has tempted me back into the kitchen, much to my family’s delight! The supermarkets are full of the summer produce as nature churns out the last of its season’s bounty before it shuts down and rests for the winter. It is the time for apple picking, corn roasts, hay rides and more!

Comfort foods start to beckon as the nights become longer and cooler and as we start to plan the Thanksgiving Dinner or just a soup and sandwich evening with friends. Free magazines and newspapers abound with recipes reflecting the glow of Fall, like roasted garlic and pumpkin soup and toasted almonds and quinoa pilaf. I have to study the recipes intently as some of the ingredients are totally foreign to me; it is almost as if there is a gap in my culinary exposure.

In the past I had to churn out in the shortest time a high carbohydrate meal for hungry men! There was no time to fiddle-faddle, it was just good wholesome food that was required! What can I say? It has been a long time since I have really been able to put some thought into what I serve up to my crew of in-house food critics! Watch out, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

It is definitely pumpkin time. This colourful vegetable appears on front door wreaths, graces table decorations and is in every recipe you could imagine. There is my favourite, roasted pumpkin soup with heaps of garlic but I am also keen to try pumpkin cupcakes with brown sugar frosting and pumpkin pecan bake. My mouth waters at the thought of this!

I still have to get my head around a cocktail made with pumpkin! It does tempt me as it is made with rum and amaretto and the warming spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Yes, after a long day in the kitchen, one of those might just go down well. Cheers!

Josh is a willing participant in the Thanksgiving preparation….he loves the scraps!

Read Full Post »


The first signs of autumn are beginning to show as a squirrel darts about in his pursuit of the plumpest acorn. He is one of the residents that frequent the woodland at the bottom of the garden along with the skunk and family of raccoons. As the squirrel scuttles about preparing for the eminent cold he often taunts Josh with a sideways glance which drives him wild but he confidently carries on with his business mindful of the canine warrior above him on the deck.The odd leaf flutters down from the forest of elms and maples which display their first hint of bronze. It is certainly a reminder from nature that we are about to experience our first Fall.

There have been so many firsts for us, as with any big change into another culture, some have been easy to adapt to and others quite frightening. Driving on the wrong side of the road has been one of my daunting experiences and now that I have reprogrammed the brain I have to pass the drivers license!Thirty years of driving has ensconced a few bad habits which have to be eradicated before I can pass yet again. When that day comes I am going to enjoy my independence as I have had to resort to flying down the road on my bicycle for the proverbial pint of milk and loaf of bread.

The nights are getting colder and we lit our first fire last night and even though it is a pseudo one with play- play logs and a gas flame, it was a heartening experience. It will certainly give off a warm glow when the big freeze hits us. Another bit of warmth was created outside on the patio over the weekend as we had our first braai in our new home. We stocked up with some boerewors from the local South African butcher and a bottle or two of Roodeberg and were joined by our new Canadian friends. We do not want to fall into the trap of being ‘when we s’ but man does a braai en ‘n glasie rooiwyn taste good!

So while the weather still holds we will be lighting up that fire and savouring the flavours and remembering our South African friends and family and trying to keep a smile on our faces as we endure the life of a newbie in Oakville, Canada.

The newcommers to the block



Read Full Post »