Saturday, December 14, 2019

Chocolate Cherry Bread

One of the most interesting foods I've tasted lately was a loaf of chocolate cherry bread that I bought at a bakery/cafe in Dundas, Ontario (now a part of Hamilton)...

My daughter had heard good things about the Detour Cafe... Looking them up online, for this link, I see that they also roast their own coffee beans, which they sell online.

Waiting for a table to open up, I stood near a rack of fresh baked goods - and noticed a round loaf of dark brown yeast bread - chocolate cherry bread.

We bought a loaf - it was delicious! It tasted much like raisin bread - but, to a chocolate-lover like me, much better... Not too sweet - though I think I detected a few chocolate chips, which were a nice touch.

My next baking goal is to find a recipe and try to make some.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Toronto Christmas Market

The problem with outdoor Christmas markets in Canada is that they can be very cold!

That's my main memory of the Christmas Market I visited with my son's family in Toronto a few weeks ago...

Feeling sorry for those  (in red coats) taking tickets at the entrance, I headed for indoor shelter as quickly as I could!

It was fun to wander around - indoors!

(I gravitated to galleries...)

In all fairness, others did enjoy the outdoors!

There wasn't any snow - but the wind in the Distillery District - near Lake Ontario - was chilling...

(So glad I didn't plan to talk to Santa!)

His elves were very entertaining...

We ended our day in a lovely pub-restaurant...

The outdoor cold made us appreciate the warm food and good times!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

December Outdoor Walking Again!

It has been a real treat - the past few days - to go out walking in the neighborhood...

The ice or snow on the ground has mostly melted!

I headed over to the library (about a mile away) to return a book...

Then walked home through a neighborhood schoolyard.

I used to work in this building - when my kids were in elementary school. (We used to park on this side of the building in those days... I wonder why they don't anymore.)

My kids would sometimes stop by after school on their way home.

Then down a footpath shortcut I used to take... 

Lots of neighborhood memories!

Just as I arrived home, it started to snow - light, fluffy flakes... Then the sun came out...

Will the sun melt these flakes or not?!

I'd be happy with a few more days - or weeks - without snow!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Walking Outdoors... Again!

Snow has been melting over the past few days...

It's exciting for me to be able to get outside and walk again - even if it is drizzling...

I've been trying to take long walks at least three times a week. The past few weeks - with snow on the ground - I've headed to the largest indoor shopping mall in our part of town.

There I'd walk all three floors at least once (while Terry read and enjoyed coffee in the food court).

I was recently reminded that "exercise is medicine" for type 2 diabetics... So it's important for me to keep at it, whether indoors or out!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


The problem with being retired (if there is a problem!) is that... there are few deadlines - so I can fritter away my time... But now, as Christmas approaches, I want to get a few things done today...

Send cards, wrap gifts, mail checks...

And tidy up stuff that has accumulated on my desk over the course of the past few months.

Maybe I need to look at today as a day in the office - like in my working years - and get the tasks done that need to be done. I wonder if looking at the same "to do" list again and again - and never completing it - is demoralizing for me.

Maybe I need a fresh clean start - with an empty list! Nothing needs to be done!

Now that would be amazing!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies

When we were last at Baker Bob's in Almonte, I noticed he was selling oatmeal sandwich cookies that reminded me of ones my mother used to make: Two flat oatmeal cookies sandwiched together with a paste of dates (and water).

I bought one. It tasted just like the ones I remember...

When I got home, I searched for my mother's recipe.

I found it in  her old Purity Cookbook.

Of course, I halved the recipe - the original calls for 6 cups of rolled oats and 2 cups of flour.

For "melted fat" I used half coconut oil and half olive oil - as I'm trying to eat "vegan" these days. (Everything must be plant-based... That means no butter!) The recipe is "vegan-friendly" - it doesn't call for eggs.

In spite of this, I did find it hard to manage the dough, which was sticky... Perhaps I should have added more flour when rolling it.

I baked about half the dough in flat rounds - then, taking a short cut, added chopped dates to the other half, and baked them as "drop cookies" - in mounds dropped from a spoon. Much easier!

I froze the flat rounds for a later date, when I'll make the date "paste" to "glue" the sandwiches together.

They are a lot more work than drop cookies. I can see why my mother stopped making them!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Advent Reading...

I like to pull out books to read at different times of the year..

I always travel with a book, though I don't always read it...

I took two books to Toronto when I was there in November. I didn't open them! I did, however, read stuff online...

Now, during advent, I've dug out a few books I'd like to read...

I've chosen ones to make me reflect on the "reason for the season" of Christmas...

It will be interesting to see if I get any reading done... December can be a busy time!