Thursday, April 28, 2011

Julie and Roger's Grattis på födelsedagen 2011!

Roger and I celebrated our birthday's recently, and to help us celebrate, we had some visitors!  Not only did we have Hans and Dianne join us for their annual April Fort Mac Pilgrimage, but Rina and Lance decided to join them as well.

Roger made birthday pannkakor of course:

And gave an impromptu seminar on different cuts of beef to a very attentive Rina.

He also grilled up some ahi tuna steaks, and Rina made a delicious melted camembert with brown sugar and almonds.

She also tried to turn my spanakopita into samosas!

Hans and Dianne wisely stayed out of the kitchen:

 You may have noticed that we had our scary moons hanging by our window which means only one thing... Robyn came for supper.  I think she enjoyed herself even if she looks confused and frustrated with Roger's puzzle.

After supper we waited in excited anticipation for.....



DQ Ice cream cake!!!  This year, Roger ordered something a little different.  This is a DQ BLIZZARD ice cream cake.  A DQ strawberry CHEESEQUAKE blizzard cake to be specific.  Those things that look like croutons on top are actually little cubes of cheesecake covered in graham cracker crumbs.  We finished that cake in lightning quick time with some help from Dean and Dolph as well.

We continued the birthday celebration the next day with a visit to the Burger Bar in Anzac

And a game of Mexican Train

And, to top it all off, Roger gave me these:

Are you as confused as I was??  Can you guess what they are??  Here's a second hint:

Still scratching your head?

Here's a third hint:

Still no guesses??

Harmonicas!! ??  Yup, harmonicas.  He even got more than one so that we could play together.  What a thoughtful husband.  And soooo full of surprises.  
 Did I ask for a harmonica?  Nooooo.  
Did I want a harmonica?  Nooooo. 
Did I laugh for 10 minutes after I opened the harmonica?  Sure did!  
He keeps me on my toes that one.

A few days later, we celebrated Roger's birthday.  Unfortunately, his birthday fell on one of my 12 hour work days, so we had a little celebration on his birthday with the promise of a bigger celebration to come.  His day started with this:

and this..

and this birthday breakfast:

Yes, I do realize if you take away the sparkler and flowers, it's really just a measly bowl of oatmeal and a blueberry muffin.  Like I said, I was getting ready for 12 hours of work.

His TRUE birthday meal involved a menu requested specifically by him.  He asked for smörgåstårta and lemon meringue pie.  

Smörgåstårta is literally a sandwich cake.  I still think it's an odd concept but Roger seems to like it.  I seem to be warming to the taste, but I still think it's a bizarre combination of ingredients.

First, I made some rye bread in our breadmaker which turned out pretty nice:

Then I made the fillings.  The recipe I have is from Mama G, and she makes 2 basic fillings.  The first is liver pate mixed with half and half cream and hotdog relish

The second is whipped cream mixed with mayonnaise, ham, pineapple, apples and a bit of seasoning.

Once the fillings are made, you can start assembling the cake.. err... the sandwich... err.  the sandwich cake.

Once the layers are done, you "ice" the cake/sandwich with creme fraiche.  Since Mama G hasn't been able to find creme fraiche in Canada, she's mixed a combination of things that come close--mayonnaise, cream cheese and sour cream.

And once it's iced, you can decorate!  


Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Tearful Story of Peter Piper and Pregnant Pandora

My childhood friend Jenny and her husband Paul are trying to start a little farm just north of Edmonton.  They've been busy not only with starting up this farm, but also trying to raise their 3 little children.

Here's Jenny, with one of her brood:

Anyhow, they are in the process of expanding their family by one highland bull (Peter Piper), and one pregnant highland cow (Pandora).  Unfortunately, Peter Piper and Pandora are stranded in Barriere, BC because they missed their ride to Edmonton.  Hitchhiking isn't working well for them, and Peter Piper hasn't had much success with purchasing tickets for the Greyhound.  They'd really like to join their family in Alberta, so if anyone has any ideas as to how to get them to Edmonton, Jenny and family would much appreciate it, not to mention Peter Piper and Pandora would be eternally grateful (at least as grateful as cattle can be... which would be about as grateful as this bear looks in front of these cookies).

Last weekend was truly spring in Fort Mac.  We washed the cars outside for the first time this year, we had our first fire-pit of the season, we put away our x-country skis and dusted off our running shoes, Roger fired up the BBQ, and I made Gianduja ice-cream with our ice-cream maker.

Don't worry dad, we didn't eat it all ourselves, we shared it with the neighbours.  For those of you that aren't familiar with Gianduja, it's chocolate and hazelnut.  
Think Nutella.  In ice-cream form.  
Needless to say, it's really delicious. 

Then, this happened.

Friday, April 1, 2011

For Christmas I bought tickets for the ballet for my mom, sister and myself to see this performance.  While we were down there, we managed to catch a ghostly deer which haunts my parent's backyard.

Can you spot it?  Pretty spooky isn't it?  It even leaves ghostly droppings.

I should actually come clean.  There is no deer ghost that haunts my parents backyard... I just had some technical difficulties figuring out how to photograph the deer in the dark through a window without a tripod.  This was the best I could do.  The deer didn't wait around, it stomped off peevishly.

My mom also made me mee suah soup which was very tasty.  My parents used to tell me that they would be served this dish on their birthdays, and ONLY on their birthdays would they have it served with a dyed red egg and IF they were lucky, perhaps a chicken drumstick--not like us spoiled Canadian kids who could have a red egg whenever we wanted and as many drumsticks as we liked.  

My grandmother also used to make this every morning for my grandfather for breakfast, and when I first went back to Malaysia when I was 5, she would put aside a bowl for me too!  I was in heaven.

We also popped in to see the munchkins.  Erin showed us how good she was getting on her scooter.  After several months of unwavering commitment, she finally got a scooter for her 4th birthday.

Brendan showed us that he is still crazy over Beyblades..

I showed that I still have trouble with focus.

We also brought over these little critters.  They're called Zeebeez and provided a few hours of terrifying fun.

First you turn them inside out

Then you spin them and when they hit the floor the end up popping up in the air for at least 6 feet if they hit the ground right.  

You could definately tell that Erin wasn't all that comfortable playing with the Zeebeez as everytime they popped into the air, she would freeze until she heard the Zeebeez hit the ground.  Then she knew it was safe to move again.  I think Roger and I need to get a few of them for ourselves.