#55 – Meet a CBC Host

Last Friday we went to the Vancouver Boat Show. We walked on the ferry from Vancouver Island and then jumped on a bus to downtown. It stopped at the corner of the CBC building and I couldn’t help but think, I have to go there, it’s on my list to meet a CBC host. After lunch, I snuck off and decided to try my luck in hopes of meeting any of the CBC radio or TV personalities I follow daily. I’m a huge fan. My favorite personality is Rick Mercer. But he stood me up on my birthday after he said he would arrange for us to get together. So he’s in my bad books, (not really).

I walk into the lobby of the building.

CBC

Me: “Hi. I am hoping you could help me with a request.” And proceed to explain, “I am accomplishing 60 things while I am 60 ……”

2 Security Guys: “That’s cool. But we can’t arrange visits. You can call this number in Toronto though. You can use the phones by the red couches.”

Me: “Hello, is this CBC Toronto?”

Man with nice voice: “Yes, how can I direct your call.”

Me: “I have a request.” And repeat my spiel.

Man with nice voice: “I’ve never heard that one before.”

Me: “Can you help?”

Man with nice voice: “I’ll give you the direct number to Vancouver.”

Me Thinking: I am in Vancouver.

Me: “Hi, is this CBC Vancouver?”

Lady with pleasant voice: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Me: I repeat my spiel

Lady with pleasant voice: “That’s great what you are doing. CBC has open houses and that’s a good time to meet the personalities.”

Me: “I’m from Vancouver Island and happen to be in Vancouver today. “

Lady with pleasant voice: I don’t think that will happen today. I can put you through to Communications and they can give you dates for the next open houses. I’ll transfer your call, just a moment please. “

Lady with an even more pleasant voice: “CBC Vancouver, can I help you”.

Me: I repeat my spiel and add that I am in Vancouver and if I could meet any of the following personalities, Johanna Wagstaffe, Ian Hanamansing, Gloria Macarenko, it would make my day. I mentioned I was sitting in the lobby on the red couches.

Lady with an even more pleasant voice: ”That is so exciting what you are doing. I was just in a meeting with Johanna.”

Me: “Oh, really! Any chance I could meet even one of them?”

Lady with an even more pleasant voice: ”Stay on the red couches and give me a minute. I’ll see what I can do”.

Me: I am beyond myself and thinking, am I really going to meet someone?

After a few minutes, out comes the lady with an even more pleasant voice with Johanna Wagstaffe. She has this big smile and mine is even bigger. We chat for a while but not long enough. How do you squeeze in all your questions in so few minutes? She is so down to earth and easy to talk to. She wants to hear more about my list and I want to hear more about her and her job as a meteorologist. By the way, in my opinion, she is the best-dressed host on TV.

While on the ferry ride back, I shared my adventure with my fellow companions and showed them the picture as proof. I sent her the following email and she responded within an hour.

EmailTO

JandC

EmailFrom

#5 – Toast to the Laddies

Tartan

It’s Robbie Burn’s night at the Fairwinds Community Club House. It’s a celebration. It’s a party. It includes the address to the Haggis, toasts for the people present and those who aren’t, like the Bard himself and the Queen.

The organizers have asked me to give the “Toast to the Laddies”. I think they asked me because of my husband’s Scottish heritage and I own tartan garb. And one of the reasons I agreed, it classifies as “volunteering at a community event” and I can knock this off my list.

My speech writing is pathetic so I decided to write a poem along the lines of the “Ode to a Haggis”. The toast is a rebuttal to the “Toast to the Lassies”. They gave me carte blanche so I went with the poem and at times tried to use the accent. I did acknowledge the gentleman Peter who toasted the Lassies in the 5th stanza. It took me a week to pull this together. Here’s what I wrote.

For the Lassies I speak, to the Laddies’ face,

Great chieftains, of the plain-spoken race!

Rest for awhile, and take your place,

In full regalia and charm.

We are worthy of your grace,

As long’s my arm.

 

You shower us with compliments, love and affection,

Pass gas, belch, then smile without humiliation,

Ya listen to us with feigned concentration,

But only choose what ya want ta hear.

We accept your faulty disposition

Understand you, loud and clear.

 

Sitting in your comfy chairs reclining,

Watching sports, drinking beer, whining,

Leave the remote, no chick flicking!

Did I hear you say – no fricasée,

It’s baseball, golf, hockey pucks flying,

Beer, chips and wings will save the day.

 

How smart Laddies fashion can be

Wear a kilt, and go Scot free,

For occasions, such as thee,

Lassies must primp and preen.

Thanks be to the sporran between yer knees,

For it makes sure Willie remains unseen!

 

Now Peter here did convey,

Understanding women, a price you pay,

Knows we’re perfect in every way.

Our few mistakes, no big deal,

Give you the evil eye, you say,

3 hours shopping, we’ll find a steal.

 

Lassies rise up, glass in hand,

Be proud of our men spiffed up and grand,

For they are more than a one night stand.

In our eyes, canny and braw,

They provide for us from sea and land,

Lang, may yer big jib draw!

 

 

#43 – Acadian Dinner “Pâté à la Râpure”

My heritage is Acadian. Acadians immigrated to the Maritimes from France in the 1600’s and established an extensive agricultural and pacifist economy. In 1755, when they refused to pledge allegiance to the ruling British, they were deported from their homeland in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island – an area also known as Acadie. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized the event through a fictional character Evangéline, helping make the expulsion well known.The popular Acadian group, “1755” (now disbanded) from Moncton NB, added to the understanding of Acadians, their cultures and their ways.

Speaking of Evangéline, this is a picture of me representing Evangéline for the Acadian Festival in 1972. The gentleman on the left is a good friend. He was Gabriel.

Evangeline

Acadian Dinner

Plan the menu. Invite friends. Prepare meal. Eat. Be merry.

 Appetizers

Salt Cod Fritters with aioli sauce on a bed of arugula

Meat pie served with molasses and cranberry sauce

Main Dish

Pâté à la Râpure served with molasses and cranberry sauce

Dessert

Blueberry Grunt with dumplings (not cake or crumble)

Pâté à la Râpure is a true Acadian dish. The main ingredient is potatoe.

Quick Step Recipe:

Boil a fowl with onions, salt and pepper. Cool and debone the chicken and cut into reasonable size chunks. Keep the stock. Grate the potatoes and remove all the starch by squeezing potatoes through a cotton bag until you have a very dry, flour-like powder. Slowly replace the amount of starch removed, with boiling stock one cup at a time, stirring constantly. The hot stock will start the baking process and turn potatoes into a gluey off-white mess. In a large deep pan, bake pieces of salted lard to coat the pan. Keep half of the lard pieces for topping. Pour half the potato mixture in the pan and spread all the chicken pieces over top. Top with remaining glue mixture and sprinkle with baked lard pieces. Bake at 350˚F until golden brown, 2 hours or so. Let sit until firm. Et voilà! The râpure is eaten with molasses or cranberry sauce. Appetizing? Some of our friends thought so and I was grateful it didn’t end up in the garbage. I’m also thankful for having my younger sister and her husband help us make it.

PateR

When I was growing up, I remember making râpure with my parents. It seemed we made enough to feed all of the relatives and neighbors. To speed up the process, my father made a special grater to grate the 10lbs+ of potatoes needed. It was a piece of tin about 12 inches by 20 inches attached to two pieces of wood. He hammered nail holes throughout. It looked like a washing board. I wonder where it ended up? My Mother made the bag and it resembled a jelly bag but bigger. It took strong hands to squeeze the starch out.

I want to tell you an earlier adventure about Pâté à la Râpure. My French accent was very prominent in my first year at an English university. I had a roommate whose parents would invite us to dinner on Sundays. They were both doctors and I felt intimidated eating at their home, table so beautifully set.

He knew I was French and asked if I could explain this dish called “Pâté à la Râpure”. “Oh”, I said, “it’s easy, you take potatoes and rape them!” gesturing with my hands how it was done. (Râper in English is to grate). They smiled politely as I continued to explain the dish. “You use de chicken juice and mix into de raped potatoes”, the story went on.

Wanting to carry on conversation on another topic, I asked, “Do you know you can see de “Vierge Marie” in a lobster?” “Really, where?” he said. “Between de testicules” I added. Silence … followed by abrupt laughter. When we left, I was told of my mistake. We did get invited again on many occasions. I loved their food and they loved the company.

Sneak Preview

This is a sneak preview of what is to come when I complete “#10. Go to the Central Coast on Rugosa”. “Rugosa” is our 34foot sail boat.

I decided to post this blog for a few reasons:

1) I’m taking a course on Blogging and this is an assignment.

2) More importantly, I read a blog by Kira “Havasu Falls”  http://venturecollection.com/2015/01/13/adventure-logistics-havasu-falls/

3) In my comment to Kira, I was amazed by her photos. Take a peak, I’m sure you will find the one that looks like a scene from a Disney movie.

4) Her trip brought me back to a trip we made to the Broughton’s off the Mainland of BC.

Boaters that cruise in BC are aware of two awesome books called “The Waggoner” and “The Dreamspeaker”. They are the cruising guides for planning trips in waters of BC and learning everything from, obstacles to avoid, where to anchor, provisions en route and more. We read about Lacy Falls cascading over the cliffs in Tribune Channel and a must see while in the stunning Marine Parks of the Broughtons. As much as the write-up was descriptive, it was beyond spectacular seeing the real thing.

Trip VIew

Lacy Falls is only attainable by boat, or aircraft. From our marina, it takes about a week to get there. If you depend only on wind, probably more. There are many different routes. Here is ours in a condensed form. I’ve included a snap shot from Google Map to give you a better idea.

Pack boat, leave SCYC Marina, head north, navigate the rapids, passages, channels and inlets. Repeat further north. When you arrive in Johnstone Strait hold on. If the winds are from the North West they can easily reach 30 knots. Expect rain or fog. Once through, it’s easy sailing. Cross Knight Inlet into Tribune Channel and around the corner, you will find Lacy Falls.

Did I mention the wildlife along the trip? And don’t the falls look like lace?

Photo of Rugosa at Lacy Falls by Linda Matheson-Reynolds

Pacific White Sided Dolphins

Pacific White Sided Dolphins

When we head out to the Central Coast, we will go further north and beyond the Broughton’s and Lacy Falls. We will take our time, take in the beauties and wonders of our province and everything boating. We look forward to meeting the local people and those like us discovering new territory and adventure. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay

#6 – Not Michael Phelps

I got a surprise today at the pool – Seniors Discount! I saved $14 on my 10-punch pass card. If that’s one of the perks of turning 60, I like it.

I must admit, I was nervous getting in the pool and swimming 60 lengths on my own. Who was going to keep track of the lengths? I usually swim with a friend and we share that task, pushing ourselves and keeping each other on track. She couldn’t make it today.

The swim lanes were not busy. I steered myself to my regular spot. I had the lane to myself. As usual, the initial plunge was freezing! The first 10 lengths are always an adjustment; 4 to 6 lengths before I settle into the side to side breathing, the metallic taste from my fillings and the pool water, keeping track of the counting.

Pool2

I count my lengths in groups of 10, starting over again at 1 but jumping to 20, 30 etc. The counting is so boring, almost discouraging. I have this voice in my head constantly talking to me. How many was that, 4, 5? I can’t really think of other things while swimming but I am conscious of my stroke; elbows up and out, hands not crossing in front of my stroke, initiating the kick from the hips, rolling to each side.

When I hit 30, I was half way there. Downhill after that if you work the pyramid approach. I noticed the black lines in the bottom of the pool more than usual. Played a game of keeping on one side going up and the other side coming down. At 40 lengths, I felt strong. My stroke was pushing me through the water like Pacific White-Sided Dolphins gliding. Ok, that’s a bit much.

The last 10 lengths, I got excited and I was sweating by now. The multi-color triangle flags seemed to be coming sooner indicating I had 2 strokes before hitting the wall and turning. I don’t exercise the fancy turns, too much water up my nose. I do the one hand touch and double foot push. Next thing I knew, I was done. I was pleased, satisfied with my swim, feeling good.

Swimming goes back to my university days when I was on the UNB varsity team. I loved the training, the camaraderie but not the events. I would freeze on the starting block. Hearing the gun go off, my legs would give out. It was like swimming with a piano tied to my butt. I couldn’t stay in the middle of the lane on my backstroke, obviously one arm stronger than the other. I never mastered the butterfly stroke with its dolphin kick. (Who thinks of these names, butterfly and dolphin in the same stroke? WTF!) I don’t know how I stayed on the team. I considered synchronized swimming but then again I couldn’t hold my breath that long.

Pool

#14 – Sewing

Machine

I found my sewing machine tucked at the back of the storage room. I started to sew but quickly realized the settings were all wrong and stitching completely messed up. It’s been ages since I’ve used it. I hesitated about getting it fixed. It’s pretty old and I was wondering if a new machine would be more cost effective. To my luck, I was out only $30 and told it was in great shape and sturdy. I bought my machine in 1978 when I lived in St. Andrews N.B. by the Sea. Not much to do there after the tourist leave in September. I took sewing lessons and made shirts for my then boyfriend, who is now my husband.

Now that it’s fixed, it works like a charm. I wasn’t about to make shirts or sew “Haute Couture”, so I made 3 pillows for the living room. I wanted to liven things up and pleased I found funky material. I hope you agree.

I only had to sew straight lines. What could go wrong? Well for one my eyesight is not as good as it used to be and somehow I managed to sew through the zipper. The zipper wouldn’t close so I had to go back and remove all those small stiches with that pointy tool remover. It broke. I studied how a zipper was put in on another pillow, found some glasses and started again.

After a few hours, the first pillow was done. The next 2 went much quicker. It was a full afternoon and a typical day of sewing. Threads scattered throughout the house, ironing board blocking the hallway, scissors and pins on the floor, measuring tape un-expectantly cut in two. And why can’t I seem to throw out the cut-outs instead of putting them back in the original purchase bag?

Pillows

Speaking of “Haute Couture”, part of our “Home-Ec” classes in grade 7 was sewing. The girls did that while the boys did mechanics. I decided to sew a 2-piece bathing suit. Not a bikini, that would have been too easy – 4 triangles, not much to that. My teacher had warned me the 2-piece bathing suit was probably a bit too ambitious. But I had already found the perfect soft, red and white, candy stripe, terry cloth material. I sewed a bra and panties into the top and bottoms. It looked great on the hanger. I learned not so much in the water.

I couldn’t wait to show off to my friends. I wish they hadn’t all been there because when I jumped in and then stood up, the terry cloth material absorbed more water then expected. The top was around my belly button, bra intact and the bottoms around my knees, panties intact. I crawled out of the water with this soggy mess of material hanging off my body and a stream of water trailing behind me! I should have left the bathing suit on the hanger or maybe should have asked to join mechanics.

#53 – Tante Joséphine’s Cookbook

Tante Josephine, as we always called her, was a very “prim” and “proper” woman. She did not like girls whistling, saying it was very “un-lady like” and we had to cross our legs at the ankles when we sat. I remember her as always being old and living on her own. She was 97 when she died. She grew a great vegetable garden and had a productive cherry tree. She always had homemade treats in her cupboard and loved it when we would visit.

Tante Josephine was very frugal and did not waste anything. Her husband was a travelling salesman and she re-used his sample “Dominion Table Oilcloth” as a cookbook. She had beautiful handwriting. The nuns taught her that. The pictures are from her original cookbook, which I own. Note the date.

Cookbook

 

Most of her recipes only have ingredients listed with no explanations. I took this as a challenge to see if I could replicate one of her recipes.

I decided to make the “Dinner Rolls” she made when she cooked beans. The dough looked good and after the first rise, I was pleased. I formed small round balls and placed 3 per muffin tin and let sit for the second rise as I remember her doing.

Can you over proof bread? Because, by the time I was ready to bake them, they had deflated. I cooked them anyway and they were tasty if you ate them while they were warm with butter. Lots of butter makes anything taste good. I think by tomorrow we will be able to use them as hockey pucks.

Bakerolls

One thing the recipe did do, was remind me of the smells from her kitchen and sitting in her windowed porch overlooking the Baie de Chaleur and the Caraquet wharf on those many occasions we went to pick cherries.

Note: For all you decorators thinking of re-modeling your kitchens, I would pass on this wallpaper.