Monday, September 30, 2013


In June of 1967 I suffered the misfortune and humiliation of being fired from my part time job. That's because I was clumsy and slow. Still I'm that way! I cannot peel potatoes or chop onions like most of you can. I just lack the hand eye technique to do it with speed and skill. On another note, I'm just fine when it comes to playing the piano. While loosing that job led to a few tears it also opened another door for me. The newspaper want ads posted a position for airline staff and it included training so I applied and was accepted because of my ability to be fluent in three languages.
The training was a fun but challenging week that required learning the short forms of major airports globally and included a major geography test. It was mandatory to achieve a high mark. I scored 95% and was able to move on to the next level to train for my actual position. I would be ground staff in reservations. I was thrilled. I loved anything to do with aviation and my salary was okay and there were the perks, free tickets locally and once a year globally. But before my actual placement first I had to pass a physical for insurance purposes. I qualified and was invited to a large company party held at a yacht club on the island off the Toronto shores. I was employed by Air Canada.
Shift work was a part of my assignment and the night pay was even better. 
I was sent to the Bloor Street office location in the heart of our bustling and growing city far from the airport. My job was to compile the passenger list of confirmed travellers as per travel agencies or passengers who called 72 hours before the flight for the pilots. I worked with about 7 others at one time. Since it was the summer of EXPO'67 in Montreal there was a lot happening and my passenger lists had some very famous travellers. One the sticks out right now is TWIGGY from the UK.
Friday as I was chopping away and recalling those long ago days my chopped onions made me laugh rather than cry. That sent me to get my camera to shoot a photo of them. It would be great for a blog. And as I continued to cook I realized that I might as well share what I was making. The onions were going into a big pot along with 250 grams of lean beef to be browned. Spices would include the usual salt and pepper along with a tablespoon of paprika and a couple of cups of water before adding this.
The sauerkraut was first rinsed and then added to the big pot to be cooked slowly to create a delicious version of Szegediner Gulasch, its original recipe coming to me from my Dad's family. He was from northern Sudetenland. 
Our Gulasch is usually served with yeast dumplings but this time I just boiles some local potatoes. That's because I had already used yeast to create our dessert, a nice juicy plum cake with fresh seasonal prune plums from the Niagara region. I usually make it with a baking powder dough but this time I went all out and did the other version. Yeast takes time to rise so the process takes longer but this method yields more cake.
I have known this as Zwetschgenkuchen since my early childhood days in Germany. It's a cookie sheet cake. I always add a buttery topping because I love the added flavour and richness but it's just as tasty without it.
Did you know cake is great for breakfast too? Yes and we ate it on Saturday and Sunday morning. It's a nice change from muesli and cottage cheese or eggs and rye toast.
Sometimes our brain just sends us to awesome places in our memory by way of some tiny thing, a trigger, in this case onions.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


Our SHOWBIZ rose situated out front and it has been the spotlight of the flowerbed. Everyday it's bright red blossoms just makes us smile.

Off to the right side of the same flowerbed sit this beauty, BONICA. It has bloomed continually since we put it in the ground.

Buddy and I are very happy with these two gorgeous plants. It was my first set of roses in the garden after many years and I must say these two have been a treat to watch. They are hardy and did well no matter what the weather. They sit on the south front lawn where there is very little shade.
As the season comes to an end we are now concerned about caring for them over the winter months. Do you have any helpful tips?

PS. Hubby is back to his normal routine minus his need cigars and alcohol.
      What a blessing that is for us!
      I have an eye exam on Sept. 6th and a heart stress test on Sept.11. 
      I am hoping that both will show no serious set backs but one never knows.