Monday, November 08, 2010

Book Club Update

Our book club is still ongoing. We've read 2 books since my last update.

"The Grapes of Wrath" was the book that I picked. I'd always wanted to read this book and my dad recommended reading it. It was quite a long book but very interesting as it describes a family travelling from Oklahoma to California after they lost their farm during the Great Depression. Handbills were sent across the nation from California claiming there would be jobs for anyone who wanted work. When they arrive, though, they find that work is scarce and the pay is even lower. I enjoyed this book and the discussion the has come from it. Given the current economic climate in the States and the government's attempts to solve the problem, there has been the comparison to the government's decisions to relieving the Great Depression and how their policies could have prolonged the Depression rather than relieving it.

Reuben's turn was next and he picked "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson. This book is written from the perspective of a Calvinist minister in his 70s writing letters of reflection to his 7 yr old son. It wasn't too easy to get into and was quite confusing at times. But there are great passages of theological reflection and moral debate. We ended up having a good size group come out for the discussion, which is always nice.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fish and Alfredo

2 haddock fish fillets
tri-colour rotini pasta
Classico Alfredo sauce
1 medium-sized fresh zucchini from your garden, chopped into bite size pieces

Thaw haddock fillets by placing them in a sealed bag in a sink full of cool water for half an hour because you didn't plan far enough in advance to thaw them properly in the fridge(is this bad for them? I'm not sure). Place in glass baking dish. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with cajun seasoning, to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. When ready, cook fillets for 10 minutes or until ready.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water. Saute zucchini in frying pan. When cooked through, add Alfredo sauce to frying pan, to heat. Combine pasta with sauce in frying pan and heat through. Serve with fish.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Birthday Supper

Cranberry Apple Stuffed Pork Loin
Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Brussel Sprouts (pre-brined and post-tossed with balsamic vinegar)
Green Beans

Dairy-free Pumpkin Cake with Streusel Topping

Friday, October 15, 2010

Steak, Acorn Squash and Spinach

Using what I had in the house to cobble together dinner last night.

1 grilling steak
1 acorn squash
2 cups uncooked baby spinach

Thaw frozen steak ...toss on the bbq ...grill to perfection.
Preheat oven to 350F. Cut acorn squash in half and place cut side down on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 30 min. Take out, turn over and place 1/8 c. butter and 1 tbsp brown sugar, salt and pepper into the cavity of each squash half. Return to oven and bake for another 20 min.
Place spinach in pan of water on stove. Bring water to boil and simmer until spinach is sufficiently wilted. Drain.

Serves 2.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Grilled BBQ Chicken and Grape Sandwich

2 red seedless grape clusters
2 (5-oz)boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. hot wing sauce (I used Diana sauce)
4 sandwich rolls (I used pitas cause that's what we had)
1/2 c. finely chopped celery
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese (we used brie, which was good but probably didn't add quite as much flavour as blue cheese would have)
2/3 c. light mayonnaise
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (used bottled lemon juice)
Bibb lettuce leaves

1. Preheat grill to medium (300F to 350F). Grill grape clusters 15 minutes or until slightly soft. (only took 10 min on our grill)
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Grill 5 minutes per side or until an instant read thermometer registers 165F. Remove from grill. Thinly slice or shred chicken and place in a medium bowl. Add wing sauce; toss to coat. Let cool.
3. Brush rolls with oil and place on grill, cut side down. Grill until just toasted.
4. In a medium bowl combine celery, blue cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Spread blue cheese mixture on cut side of rolls. Layer bottom halves of rolls evenly with chicken, grapes and lettuce. Cover with top halves of rolls, and serve.

Serves 4.

Recipe on a card picked up at the grocery store.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

On Saturday, we met up with my sister, Diana and her family. This is my nephew, Micah, he's turning 1 at the end of this month.

Here, Reuben is listening to Hadassah describe their camping pictures with Nethaneil looking on.

In the afternoon, we went with Reuben's family to Dundas Peak. Here is Reuben defying any fear of heights any of us might have.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Scones

2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 shredded apple
1/2 c. milk

milk for brushing tops
sugar for sprinkling
cinnamon for sprinkling

Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly.

Add shredded apple and milk. Stir to form soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8-10 times. Pat into two 6 inch(15 cm) circles. Place on greassed baking sheet. Brush tops with milk. Sprinkle with sugar then with cinnamon. Score each top into 6 pie shaped wedges. Bake in 425 degree F oven for 15 min until browned and risen. Serve warm with butter. Yield: 12 scones.

from Company's Coming Muffins & More.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Walking for Hawaii continued

I haven't been faithfully updating this blog but, surprisingly, we have been faithfully walking for the past 3 weeks. I think we have walked 5 out of 7 nights each week for a minimum of 25 to 30 minutes sometimes more.
It has been fun thinking of new places to walk. Usually, we need to run some sort of errand and if it's within walking distance we walk instead of take the car. It turns out that Shopper's Drug Mart is only 12 minutes away and carrying a bag of milk home adds to the strength training!:)

While in Nova Scotia this past weekend, we hiked a trail out to Cape Split. It took us 2.5 hrs to get to the end and 2 hrs to get back.

It was long and tiring but the view at the end was definitely worth it! If you ever get the chance, don't chicken out! Do it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Walking for Hawaii - Days 3 and 4

Reuben and I walked together in the late evening on Thursday night and last night. It's hard to get motivated to get out there but once we're walking it feels great. Until the end when I'm so exhausted I can't wait to step through the front door. It was pretty muggy again last night so the cold shower at the end was a nice reward. Reuben got blisters on the bottoms of his feet last night, so we're thinking a good pair of shoes is going to be well worth the investment.
Going late at night is good because there is no hot sun beating down on you but it also makes it not so safe for exploring areas with no street lights. We wanted to walk by the railway tracks but it was too dark and I was picturing the boogey man behind every tree so we turned around.

Our front door - the inside

Well, I finally got up the energy to paint the inside of our front door. Most of the trim is done around it too. Reuben just has to finish up with some of the baseboards so don't look at that. What do you think?
You'll recognize the colour from our livingroom. I find that it ties everything together nicely.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Walking for Hawaii - Day 2

On Tuesday evening, Reuben and I walked together for 30 min at around 8:30pm. It's starting to get dark earlier and earlier, signalling the end of summer.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Walking for Hawaii

I decided I really do need to start building up some energy for our trip to Hawaii as I'm sure we'll be doing a lot of walking. was my first day. I hope to record a 30 min walk (for now and up it to 1 hour after a couple of weeks) at least 5 days a week.

Day 1 - 30 min walk

It was quite muggy and I got my heart rate going and saw some parts of my neighbourhood that I'd never seen before trying to find a route that wasn't along any busy streets. I listened to David Grey.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book Club

I'm part of a Book Club. I wasn't there from the start because I'd always disliked analysing books and over thinking things but once I tried it, I realized that I did enjoy it. My outlook has changed a lot since highschool. Reuben is also part of the club, which is fantastic! It's neat to read the same books. He was part of the Club from the beginning; being more excited about philosophical ponderings.

The first book that was picked was "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. It's about a slave who runs away and ends up in the slums of Fort Worth, Texas. A rich couple come to the mission where he gets his dinner and become involved in his life. It's been awhile since I read it so I can't really remember all of the themes. The book was alright but definitely not my favourite. I didn't go to this meeting so that's probably why it didn't stick so well.

The next book that was picked was "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley.
I read the first chapter and couldn't read anymore. It just didn't interest me at all. This is Reuben's favourite type of book. It predicts the demise of civilization and how awful it's going to be. It also has a lot to say about how the world works now and it draws everything to it's most awful conclusion. Needless to say, I didn't go to this meeting either.

Next we had some short stories by Kafka "The Metamorphosis", "In the Penal Colony" and "The Judgement". I read "The Metamorphosis" but it was so illogical and unclear that I couldn't bring myself to read the other two so I didn't go to that meeting.

Finally, a book I could read! "My Name is Asher Lev" by Chaim Potok was selected next. I had read this book in high school and I remember really disliking it because it is told from the perspective of someone who is naturally gifted in art and can't stop himself from doing art and thinking in an artistic way. This is so the opposite of who I am and how I think, that it was really hard for me to understand in high school. Reading it for the second time was a lot better. I actually enjoyed it and took the time and effort to really try to understand what was going on. The boy is part of an Hasidic Jewish community in New York City in the 1950s. His parents are very devout and very focused on establishing Hasidic communities around the world. They cannot understand him and so the dichotomy of growing up Hasidic and artistic. We had a great discussion about art and how involved Christians can be in the art world.

The next book was "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts. I, also, read the first chapter of this book and couldn't read any further. The point of the book club, in some part, is to read books you wouldn't normally read or wouldn't have time to read. But I just couldn't read any further. The book had a ton of swearing and the way it was written was really hard for me to read. It was very wordy, too wordy for my taste. It's semi-autobiographical. It's about an Australian convict who escapes to India to start life over but he just ends up being and associating with criminals in India. I did go to that meeting and I'm glad I didn't read the rest of the book from what the others told me of what happened.

The next book was "Holy the Firm" by Annie Dillard. Wow! What a different book. I forced myself to get past the first couple of nonsensical, poetically written pages and found that finishing it was relatively easy. I would like to read this book again. She had so many images, thoughts and insights that it would take many readings to digest them all. While many people in the club had differing opinions on whether they liked it or not, it still brought great fodder for discussion. There were many scenes discussed as everyone had a favourite.

Our most recent book is "The Cellist of Sarajevo" by Steven Galloway. We'll be having our discussion tonight. It's a pretty easy read. It tells the story of war from the point of view of 3 different people. The city of Sarajevo was under seige for 3 years. 2 of the people are trying to get across town, one to work and one to get fresh water while dodging snipers that are in the hills surrounding the city. The other is a sniper from inside the city trying to shoot the snipers in the hills. She is also tasked with guarding the cellist who comes out to play on the spot where 22 people were killed by a bomb while waiting in a bread line. It's a powerful description of how various people deal with war. We'll see what the discussion brings tonight.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Should Christians Be on Facebook

Just something I came across and found insightful.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My brother got married

The last wedding in the Buist family took place on May 8.

My little brother married his sweetheart after 6.5 years of dating.

My sister, Karin's 2 little girls in their matching dresses that she made. Elyssa and Julia.

My sister, Diana and her family. Hadassah, Nethaneil, Micah.

Isn't this just the cutest picture ever!? It makes me laugh so hard every time. I can't wait to show it at Nethaneil's wedding some day.

We were blessed with the company of all the J. Jager girls. Since they grew up in Ottawa, we have lots of shared memories and it was great to catch up. The interesting thing is that the 2 youngest (Amanda and Diana) each have 3 kids!

Us girls with our new sister!

And all the Buist kids...finally all grown up.

The good looking couple.

On their way out from the reception.
The sparklers were a great idea but it was freezing!!!! Only 1 or 2 degrees.

And they lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our garden Spring 2010

The vinca cut from Reuben's parents' garden growing under our maple tree. As grass will not grown there, we hope it spreads quickly to cover the ground.
Trillium that came with the house.

And below are several views of the beautiful tulips that have sprung up in the last 2 weeks. A bit early for tulips in this part of Canada but we won't complain!

The purple ones in the foreground are called "Princess Irene"...I couldn't resist.

Photos taken by Reuben.

Newest Niece

Looks like Reuben beat me to it...check out his blog for pictures of my newest niece, Julia Elizabeth. She was born to my sister, Karin and her husband, Josh on the morning of April 6. She was 7 1/2 lbs when she was born and has a darker skin tone and slimmer face than her big sister, Elyssa did.

They live in Ottawa so we get to see her progress frequently. We also went to Montreal recently to witness the baptism of Samuel Hayo deBlois, born to my cousin, Amanda and her husband, Derek.

As you can see, he is the youngest of three boys.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Our 4th Anniversary Part 3

7pm - 12:00am - At the Black Sheep again to hear the Wilderness of Manitoba, The Wheat Pool and finally, Catherine MacLellan.

Our 4th Anniversary Part 2

9:00 - Buffet breakfast
10:00 - Relax in the outdoor hot tub
The hot tub is on that lower deck. As you sit there, you have a beautiful view of the rushing water.
2pm-ish - Walk around Wakefield. This is the graffiti art on the outside of the Black Sheep.
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Our 4th Anniversary Part 1

4pm - Arrive in Wakefield; check in to Wakefield Mill
5:30pm - Dinner Chez Eric

6:30pm - Walk around Wakefield before doors open at the Black Sheep Inn
7:00 - 11:30pm - Melissa McLelland concert
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