Monday, August 25, 2014

Farewell, Summer 2014 by Margaret Ullrich

Folks around here are actually looking forward to the arrival of Autumn.
Even the kids are eager to get back to school.
With the summer we’ve been through, who can blame them?

Here in Winnipeg it’s been the summer from hell.
Hot during the week, with almost guaranteed rain during the weekends.
Occasionally there was also rain during the week.

Actually, we shouldn’t be surprised that summer has been so unpleasant.
We’ve just been through a winter that was awful and never wanted to end.
We lost a lot of our plants because of the winter kill.

The worst part of the summer was that it mostly rained during the weekends.
Yesterday was just another soggy Sunday.
Well, some Winnipeggers, with snorkels and canoes, managed to have some fun in the flooded streets, God bless them.

The excessive waterworks wasn’t just here in the midwest.
Folks in Suffolk County in Long Island, New York suffered through a day of rain that caused as much damage as a hurricane would.
They’ve started a petition to get government aid to help them recover.
If you live in the states, please click and sign.  Thanks!

The only good thing about a summer that can’t be enjoyed outdoors is that it’s a perfect time for catching up with indoor chores.

After all this, what else can we say but - Bugger off, Summer 2014!!
Autumn is here, in all its seasonal glory.
Time for crisp weather, brilliant colours, hearty meals.
Holidays, with all the traditional fuss and foods, are coming!
Let's get ready to enjoy them!
Our homes have never looked better.

About tonight’s new moon in Virgo…
According to the folks at
Order, organization and the value of routine are highlighted by the Virgo new Moon, which will leave you torn between making plans and simply forging ahead. 
The next four weeks are ideal for shuffling your schedule to make it more efficient, and de-cluttering both your commitments and your space.

Pay more attention to health, organization and how you might be wasting or losing time and energy by not having a good plan.

It’s time for a fresh start, a new beginning.
Maybe a new schedule, a little tweaking here, a few changes there.
And Virgo will give us a hand!

Good health, better planning and lots of energy to you all! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Anna Sultana's Apple Bread Pudding

About a year ago I posted Ma’s recipes for Bread Pudding, Maltese Style. 
Yes, two recipes.
Pudina tal-Ħobż is the Maltese take on bread pudding.
And, no, it is nothing like the North American bread pudding.

As with most Maltese recipes, there's more than one way to make Pudina.
The other Pudina was a bit simpler.
Both are good, so try them both.

We had quite a bit of Pudina when Lily Tulip left College Point. 
Pop was out of work.
Every week he'd bring home a few bags of day-old bread.
Ma would turn them into Pudina tal-Ħobż
Well, we never went hungry.

One can get tired of the same thing, no matter how good.
Sometimes Ma made a bread pudding recipe she had found one day when she'd read The New York Daily News.
And she found that this recipe is good, too.
I hope you will agree.

                        Apple Bread Pudding
Butter a 9×13-inch deep baking dish, then set aside.
Preheat oven to 350º           
Bake 40 minutes  

Slice into 1-inch cubes 
1 pound bread (crusts removed optional)
Spread cubes on a baking sheet.
Toast in the oven for 6-7 minutes, until crisp.  Set aside.

1 tart green apple, peeled
Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Place the toasted bread cubes in the prepared baking dish.
the apple cubes 
1 Cup raisins 
Mix together until evenly distributed.  Set aside.

Place in a small pot
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
Simmer, stirring constantly, until the brown sugar melts.

Place in a medium bowl
4 large eggs
Beat in
3/4 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place in a large bowl
3 Cups milk
Add the warmed milk and stir until blended.
Stir the egg mixture into the milk/sugar mixture.

Pour the milk/sugar/egg mixture over the bread cubes.
Stir to evenly coat the bread cubes.
Let stand for 5 minutes. 
Sprinkle over the top
1/4 Cup sliced almonds
1/2 Cup dark brown sugar

Place the pan in the centre of the oven.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until puffed and set, with the top lightly browned.
Let the pudding cool for 15 minutes so that it will be a bit more solid.

But, of course, it will never be as solid as Ma's Pudina.