Archives for posts with tag: Easter

Happy Easter!

The simple joy of paper-napkin pop culture brightened kids of all ages. Here’s my nostalgic ‘Thank-you’ to trees and graphic artists.

Howdy. the show's about to begin

Howdy. the show’s about to begin

Good Morning, Mr. Neighbor, I presume those flowers are for me?

Good Morning, Mr. Neighbor, I presume those flowers are for me?

Now children -- one, two, three... Come, there is plenty of work to do.

Now children — one, two, three… Come, there is plenty of work to do.

Just zooming in. Come find all the eggs I'm burying.

Just zooming in. Come find all the eggs I’m burying.

IMG_2475

What are you doing? Get down before you fall!

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Eating

The Spring Supper fills the church hall to overflowing for two sittings. Roast turkey with all the trimmings is the main dish, with members bringing them already cooked from home.

Roast Turkey

“It is all in the preparation.

“The turkey is washed clean and dried. The giblets are
removed and cooked in water, eaten at leisure, and as a base
for the gravy.

“The bird is stuffed at both ends with the dressing (see below),
sealed up with metal pins and placed on a rack in the roasting
pan. The turkey is covered in a thin layer of olive oil-based
margarine, sprinkled with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

“Place it in the oven with water in the roasting pan and no
cover for the first 30-45 minutes; then cover and cook for the
desired length of time (until the legs are very loose). Remove
cover again for the last 15 minutes until golden brown.”

Turkey Dressing

“Fresh and/or stale bread is left out for a couple of hours
before tearing and crumbling by hand. A mix of brown and
white bread is always good. Always make more than you think
you will need.

“Chop two or three good-sized onions, as well as two or three
garlic buds. Add to bread.

“Mix together the usual blending of spices which is never the
same but always the same – marjoram, sage, poultry
seasoning, celery salt, sea salt and pepper. How much? you
ask. Until it smells good and looks right and darkens the
bread. Then add a small quantity of olive oil and some
margarine until all the bread is slightly moist. That’s as good
as it gets for describing quantities for any of the ingredients.

“As stated above, stuff the bird fairly tightly and let the
cooking begin!”

Rev. Steve Lawson

Turkey Gravy

“Have Steve remove the turkey from the roasting pan. Place
roasting pan on stove on medium-high heat.

“In Tupperware Quick Shake container (or glass jar with tight
lid) vigorously mix together 1 cup flour with 2 cups cold water.

“Slowly pour into pan with drippings and mix with a wire
whisk until it begins to thicken. As it thickens, slowly add
water. Alternately stir and add liquid, maintaining the desired
consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.”

 

 http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Church-Recipes-Aylmer-Eardley/dp/1439216711/ref=la_B001K91GX0_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384787726&sr=1-2Margaret Kell Virany   

http://www.amazon.com/author/margaretvirany

 www.cozybookbasics.wordpress.com

Group of children sitting on the grass reading...

Sometimes you find a novel (like The Year of the Rabbit by Flo Lyon which I’ve just finished reading) so  satisfying and gripping it makes you laugh and cry. You want to tell the story over and over again. You adopt, lend and share the book with others.

Why did it affect you and me that way? How did the writer ensnare you and make you care so much by using only words?

Colm Toibin gives some clues in an article he wrote in the New York Sunday Times entitled What Is Real Is Imagined and I’ve added my two bits’ worth:

1. Source: The novel-writer is communicating from nervous system to nervous system, not just from brain to brain.

2. A Shape takes possession of the author‘s mind; it is the god-given shape of any good story. As a human being, you (the reader) instinctively know what this pattern is. Nothing less will satisfy you.

3. Expectations: The opening words and setting scoop you up on a wave that promises an unknown, exciting voyage. It buoys you up, surges forth, zigzags backwards and sideways, and finally casts you out onto the shore of  fulfilled expectations.

4. Cadence & Rhythm: Not only words, but also cadence and rhythm are in the author’s kit. The  writer composes and conducts this inner music. It communicates emotion, atmosphere, attributes and action. The pace is fast and steady; no one could get bored.

5. Characters are believable and make the story engrossing.  The writer’s raw data is personal, in spite of saying, “all characters in this book are fictitious…” The shape pushes the author to select and create whoever is needed to fill its unerring demands. Real people are combined, lose or gain traits and are renamed. The characters of great books live on forever in people’s lives. Sera in Lyon’s book reminds me of Anne of Green Gables.

6. Plot: The story has a beginning, a middle and an end. Half-way through, all the main characters will intersect. Three-quarters of the way on the climax is reached. Then the denouement (tying up loose ends) rushes to a resolution. The book circles back to its starting shelf but you face ahead, feeling renewed.

7. The Theme stands out in the title and is repeated throughout, focusing on the book’s purpose, course and the meaning designed for you.  Lyon chooses a universal theme of fate, family and forgiveness.

8. Style: A good novelist respects words and readers, who  are turned on by clarity, richness and care. Errors, wordiness and over-explaining get the boot. Shorter words replace longer ones. Awareness of precise meanings and derivations and changing the word order make sentences say more with less.

9. Depth: Some writers get you deeper into the story by inserting real events and social issues. Soon you’re identifying with someone who faces problems similar to your own and absorbing information that becomes part of who you are.

10. A Setting  comes to life if the author knows it inside out or else constantly consults a resident.  I spent many weeks of my early summers around Muskoka and Georgian Bay so Lyon’s beautiful portrayal of the landscape was very nostalgic for me.

The easier, more pleasant and delightful the book is to read, the more work the craftsman has put into it. Your joyful appreciation is the writer’s reward.

Check out the blog of  Theresa Jamone, a writing club colleague of mine who uses the pen name Flo Lyon, to learn more about The Year of the Rabbit.

Thank you for spending your precious time reading this post. Please browse around top and bottom and, if you like, comment.

www.amazon.com/author/margaretvirany  www.amazon.co.uk  www.amazon.ca  www.cozybookbasics.wordpress.com  www.margaretvirany.com

 

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Oxford House HatsThe men and boys of Oxford House, northern Manitoba.
1926 Photo by Jack Kell.

Easter was the time when the Swampy Cree of Oxford House, Manitoba came back from winter camp, ready for the Easter season.

They had gone far into the bush, lived in shacks, shot duck and moose, and fished for themselves and their dogs. They were more healthy and contented when they were out in the bush than on the reserve because they had meat to eat. The missionary had given their fathers their school exercise books and made them promise to have their children look at them at least once a day.

Now spring was here and, with it came travelers from the south. Eager to make some money, the men and boys tried to make a good impression. Strong and swift-footed, with valuable knowledge of nature and skills as craftsmen, they were indispensable as guides to carry the outsiders’ gear, paddle and portage canoes and navigate the trails through the bush. They would also exchange meat for ‘white man’s’ food such as jam.

Where Did They Get Their Hats From?
Each man or boy has his own style and no two hats are the same. I suspect they came out of the bales of clothing which were sent up to the reservation from church congregations in the south who wanted to help the aboriginal people. The influence of the new age of aviation was detectable in some of the hat styles.

Look at this Historical Photo:
Chief Jeremiah Chubb is standing second from the left in the back row. He is the one who “although not musical, played the organ as best he could” for the church services”.

His right hand man, Bobbie Chubb, is standing — on his right. He liked to brag and had a good sense of humor, which my mother (the missionary’s wife) adored.

One night when he was at mission house, he told her that his children were not let out of the house at night because he locked the door at 10 p.m. Then he looked at his watch and said: “To-night I have locked myself out.”

Which hat in this historical photo appeals to you most?

What’s your new Easter hat like?

Thank you for spending some of your precious time reading this post. Please browse around from tip to toe and, if you like, write some comments.

http://www.cozybookbasics.wordpress.com,  http://www.amazon.com/author/margaretvirany, http://www.amazon.co.uk, http://www.amazon.ca

What my great grandparents, William and Mary Kell, ate on the farm in the late 1800's must have been good, since they look very healthy. (Illustration from A Book of Kells: Growing Up in an Ego Void).

What my great grandparents, William and Mary Kell, ate on the farm in the late 1800’s must have been good, since they look very healthy. (Illustration from A Book of Kells: Growing Up in an Ego Void).

What we feel and celebrate as we gather for community feasts of the calendar year is  summed up in this back cover blurb from Eating at ChurchOur eating traditions are well preserved in church cookbooks, the oldest type on theNorth American continent. To paraphrase Michael Pollan, writing in  the New York Times magazine, “If Great Great Grandma ate it, you can be sure it was real food.”

Salivating over 300 Years of a Labor of Love at Aylmer and Eardley United Churches

“The cooks of these 175 superlative recipes are volunteers, bubbling over with good will, know-how and friendliness. They embody commensality — the act of building community by sharing a table.

Some dishes are prepared at home in a well-organized flurry, since they have to get to church on time. Others are cooked in the church basement kitchen by a close-knit team who love what they’re doing, since it’s for others.

As a child of the church in the thirties, the author cherishes happy memories of a perpetual cycle of strawberry socials, harvest suppers and silver teas. And those memories, coded in recipes like these, still stir up the intangible ingredients poured in by the hearts of those earlier ‘Eating at Church’ chefs.”

This lively cookbook, with its chatty anecdotes, brings to life the end of the Lenten season at Easter and other ancient calendar occasions for feasting.

Thank you for spending some of your precious time reading my post. If you like, browse around from tip to toe and write a comment.

http://www.cozybookbasics.wordpress.com,  www.margaretvirany.com, http://www.amazon.com/author/margaretvirany, http://www.amazon.co.uk, http://www.amazon.ca