Monthly Archives: June 2007

Summer dessert


I do not make many desserts but I do make this one numerous times during the summer. I made four last week: one for a friend’s birthday, two for a bbq and one which would have been for the bbq had I not forgotten that it was sitting in the oven and turned the oven to 375° and recooked it for half an hour before I realised it was there! It was not ruined (we have enjoyed snacking on it) but I did not know that before the bbq so I made another. As I was growing up my mother would make this for my birthday instead of a cake; it was what I wanted every year.


4 egg whites
1 tsp white vinegar
8 oz caster sugar ( regular white sugar in Canada)
2 tsp corn flour (corn starch)
pinch cream of tartarimg_2758crop.jpg

1. Beat the egg whites until stiff with a pinch of salt.
2. Add half the sugar gradually while continuing beating. Add vinegar, corn flour, and pinch of cream of tarter, then lightly beat in remainder of sugar.
3. Pile onto cookie sheet covered in aluminium foil and make into a round shape about 1½ inches high
4. Bake in a moderate oven at 375°F for 3 minutes then, without opening the oven turn heat to 200° and cook for 1½ hours.

I open the oven door and let it cool in the oven before I take it out, cover it in whipped cream and decorate it with strawberries, kiwi fruit and manderine pieces. Grated chocolate is also good, as are raspberries.

On location

A friend called me yesterday to see if we would like to watch some filming that was going on at her place. She and her husband own a farm, twenty minutes away from us, where they keep horses. Several weeks ago, she had let me know that they were considering letting a tv series do some filming using their horses, barns and beautiful farm scenery.

When we arrived they were just redoing a scene with one of the horses. Two girls were standing by the horse talking about a boy, when the boy turned up and whipped off his cap to reveal…a girl! A peak into the tent where the monitors were gave me a glimpse of what the viewers will eventually see. While the crew prepared for another scene, we were taken on a short tour of the horse barn, the adjacent enclosures and the farmhouse, built in 1885. The lovely white farm house is surrounded by red geraniums and blue lobelia and makes a beautiful backdrop for filming.

We returned to the corrals where the actors and crew were rehearsing another short scene. After many repetitions of the scene with out cameras we watched several takes before we had to leave. The action was taking place outside the corral with a horse behind them, which was apparently not the original plan. The actors and crew, who had no horse experience, had tried the scene in with the horses several times only to find that the sudden appearance of the girls spooked the horses every time. We were there for a couple of hours during which time they may have completed one three or four minute scene. It was a very interesting glimpse into the world of tv.

Feasting in the tropics

Last time I updated you about B6’s travel he was in Australia making lamingtons. He has clocked thousands of kilometres since then. In Egypt he familiarised himself with some hieroglyphs and used them to write a message in his travel journal. Then it was off to Ghana and South Africa, over the ocean to Brazil, Peru and Venezuala, a quick trip to Guatemala to see the quetzal and then down south to the Antarctic. I know that the Antarctic isn’t a country, but it was requested by the traveller so we are counting it. We were amazed by the story of Shackleton, his ship, The Endurance and his crew’s ordeal struggling to survive after the ship was crushed by pack ice.

Today he ended up in Trinidad and Tobago, a dramatic contrast to the Antarctic for sure. We read a little and browsed some pictures but he didn’t have any inspiration for his travel journal until I suggested he draw the tropical smoothie we were going to make. A picture was not the end product however, he created the whole recipe. Each ingredient was listed or drawn and then he drew diagrams for the 17 steps in his method! By this time it was lunch time so he made it. It was fabulous!

Here is his original recipe, which he named Super Banana

img_2779crop.jpg 1½ bananas, sliced
juice of 3 oranges
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 peach, peeled and cut into quarters
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
3 ice cubes

1. Crush ice cubes in blender
2. Add all fruit and orange juice to blender ( I have written that instruction in just eight words but I wish you could see his twelve detailed pictures of fruit being sliced, peeled and added to the blender jug)
3. Blend until smooth
4. Pour into chilled glasses
5. Enjoy

At B6’s suggestion our evening meal was from Trinidad too. We found the recipe in the back of the book I borrowed from the library and, as I happened to have almost all the ingredients I decided to give it a try. It was called Trinidad Pelau.

Kicking some goals

We are nearing completion, as far as school is concerned. Each day another goal is kicked; grammar and spelling are out of the way for the girls. We have two history lessons left and one Bible lesson. The end of the math books is a few lessons away for A and an exam away for L. B6 is a few countries away from meeting his 25 countries in 40 days challenge.

B6 had the excitement of kicking a goal the other night for his soccer team the Dragonflies and, as tonight is their final game, A10 is hoping to kick one for the Sharks.

Today is officially the first day of summer and soon our schedule will include gardening, sewing, reading, swimming, a camp, a cottage and a couple of birthdays at least!


img_2724crop.jpgimg_2731crop2.jpg img_2740crop.jpgimg_2742crop.jpg

The annual homeschooler’s track meet was held yesterday and we were able to stay for the whole event this year. In past years it has clashed with both the girl’s senior solo recital and the softball tournament. The day was hot and sunny resulting in a bit of sunburn for each of us. L,A and B gave their best and all came home with at least one ribbon. Alexandra has learnt the strategy of pacing herself during the heats in order to have more in reserve for the finals. Ben was not the jogging, smiling, waving runner we saw race last year, but a single minded sprinter with his eye on the finish line.

The highlights for me were watching my girls and their good friends P and H team up in the relay and make the final, then watching my whole family run the 800m (that’s Andrew and B6 running it in the photo). Of course some one had to forgo the race in order to take the pictures.



Group of Four’s last activity for the school year has been a two week pottery unit with a friend of a friend. She has done a lovely job teaching the children. The photos displayed here were taken during the glazing process. When we receive the finished pieces I will post a few more photos. Each child has finished making and glazing a piggy bank; we just have to wait for them to be fired. Interestingly none of them were actually “piggy” banks. We had three penguins, a teddy, a rabbit, a fish, a car, a log cabin, a coffee bean, a monster and a tree stump.