12.11.2011

The Emotional Side of Being Diagnosed with Crohn’s

by marilynk

Part of the reason I didn’t get any posts up in October was that I was dealing with a lot of emotional stuff around my Crohn’s diagnosis. I’ve been around Crohn’s my whole life (my grandfather, dad, and sister all have it) and I thought I was prepared for this diagnosis, so I was surprised when all this stuff started coming up. I’m not quite sure how to work my way through it. Details aren’t for everyone, so feel free to go on your way without hitting the jump.

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11.11.2011

Lest We Forget

by marilynk

This day is an important one. It marks the end of WW1 – the war that people described as the war to end all wars. Our species isn’t very good at giving up war and that is a sad thing. Some of the most moving experiences I have had were my visits to the D-Day beaches in Normandy and Flanders Fields in Belgium where so many Canadian soldiers lost their lives as well as the Holocaust commemoration sites in Germany and the Killing Fields in Cambodia where so many others lost their lives. I think it is important to visit these places and remember the people who died. War is a terrible thing and I hope someday we stop participating in it.

I’ll leave you with two poems that speak to the devastation of war better than I ever could. Thank you all for reading.

In Flanders Fields (by John McCrae)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Dulce et Decorum Est (by Wilfred Owen)

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

10.11.2011

Plum One-Crust Pie

by marilynk

October was a big month for pies. I volunteered to make our family’s Thanksgiving pies (one pumpkin and one chocolate), I made another g-free apple for a pot luck you’ll hear about in a future post, but this one gets to be the October pie: a single-top-crust pie full of juicy and delicious plums.

October 2011 Pie #3: Plum One-Crust Pie (modified from Foodland Ontario)

  • 6 cups plums pitted and cut into eighths (I used a combination of prune plums and round red ones – not sure what the varietal is called)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (*Note: I would toss the fruit with flour in a future pie, but not this much. Maybe 1/8 cup?)
  • 1 tsp anise seed
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1/2 recipe of Smitten Kitchen’s Pie Crust 102

Beautiful ripe plums!

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09.11.2011

Putting Up for Winter

by marilynk

My maternal grandmother is from Texas and she uses a host of terms that I identify specifically with her. “Putting up” is one of them – I’m not sure how widely the term is used, but it basically means canning. My grandmother would put up jams, pickles, and tomato sauces in the late summer and autumn so the family would have yummy things through the winter. My mom also canned when I was a kid, but by the time I was in junior high, she was too busy to put up much.

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08.11.2011

The Barter System

by marilynk

I wish the whole world could run on the barter system. No, this isn’t going to be a 99% rant, but there is something so very appealing about trading one’s skills or the product of one’s skills for things that you need. Apparently this woman is living it: she hasn’t used money in 15 years! I don’t think that’s a possibility for me, but I think there are little ways that we can introduce bartering into our lives that would help all of us with our bottom line.

As you guys know, I’m a little under-employed at the moment. It’s good for my health, but not so great for my budget. I still want to be able to eat local food and support local producers, but the market is definitely more expensive than the grocery store (and also tastier). Volunteering with EOGG has helped with the budget since I’m able to get a lot of my produce there, but I still need bread and while I’ve made a loaf or two in my life…my bread just isn’t as good as Owen’s.

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07.11.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Barley Salad & Pear and Cheese Tart

by marilynk

Ok, I’m getting caught up on my October posts still, but I had to throw this one in. This really was last night’s dinner and it is an excellent example of my cooking techniques: kinda inspired and kinda haphazard. I really like both of these recipes and I’ll make both again. One is a super easy, flexible salad that I made up (kinda inspired) and the other is a slightly finicky tart that I wanted to try ’cause I had puff pastry and a pear to use up, but I was missing one of the key ingredients so I substituted and reduced the recipe without a real plan (kinda haphazard).

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06.11.2011

Adventures in G-Free Baking

by marilynk

I have a dear friend who has Celiac Disease, which means she went to a bunch of pot-lucks in August and September where beautiful fruit pies were on offer, but she couldn’t partake. I usually bake gifts for people’s birthday’s so I asked Sarah what kind of pie she would like and she requested apple. I have never explored gluten-free baking before, so I did a lot of internet searching. There were a number of recipes that called for mixtures of flours that I don’t usually keep on hand and some included ingredients, like xanthan gum, that I would have to track down.

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28.09.2011

My Commitment to Pie

by marilynk

I’ve always preferred cake to pie. These are shocking, and sometimes argument-inducing, words to many that I know and love. To me, cake has everything: yummy crumbly cake, delicious and varied fillings (if you want), and an infinite variety of icings (although I am picky about my icings). Pie has great fillings, sure, but I would often leave the crust uneaten – again, sacrilege to the pie-devout.

See, the crust is the crux of the issue. I’ve never made a pie crust that I really liked. The pastry was hard to work with, the rolled dough broke when I tried to move it to the pie plate, and the taste…was never all that good. For a while I used pre-baked pie shells or the unbaked rounds from the grocery store, but the taste still wasn’t great. Better, but nothing that was going to rival a homemade cake.

In July, my friend Nicole gave me this sage piece of advice:

Know when to take good advice...it's a life skill.

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27.09.2011

Harvest Dinner with EOGG

by marilynk

Saturday was EOGG’s AGM and Harvest Dinner. I unfortunately missed the AGM because I got started too late on my baking. But the dinner was one of my favourites from this year. It had everything you want in a good dinner party: interesting, friendly people; good conversation; excellent food; and a beautiful setting.

Getting the water on for corn!

Appetizers, pickles, and sides.

Desserts!

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26.09.2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Zucchini, Tomato, and Potato Bake

by marilynk

This is one of the best local-focused recipes I’ve made recently. I made it up in an effort to use up some of the ingredients in my kitchen that were getting to that “Must Eat Now” stage. It’s super easy and could easily be adapted with other vegetables that need to be used up. It is also somewhat inspired by this recipe from Smitten Kitchen (I seem to be working my way through her blog…I think it’s the pictures. They always make me hungry).

I promised to post this recipe two weeks ago, but better late than never! 🙂

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