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.



Stubborn in a good way

On Sunday we had the privilege of watching three friends of ours be baptised. The three children are very similar in age to our children and we have been close friends for five or six years. Each child testified to the power of God in their life and the desire they had to follow Him always. After each child had spoken their mom and dad spoke to them words of encouragement and read specially chosen bible verses. Each child listened as their mom explained why their names were chosen and their dad gave them a verse corresponding to the meaning of each of their names. Their parents also mentioned gifts and character traits they saw in their children and urged them to use them for God’s glory. The youngest, a lively, happy seven year old was described by her mom as tenacious – stubborn in a good way.

We then enjoyed the fellowship of their family and friends over lunch and were able to listen to their grandparents give them words of blessing, verses and carefully selected gifts before their grandfather, then father prayed for them. I know this is someone else’s story but it was wonderful to share in it. These are like minded friends who share many of our beliefs and goals and are a joy and encouragement to us.


Our storm delayed game from Friday night was rescheduled to begin at 8:00 am Saturday morning so we dragged ourselves out of bed before 7:00. Play was delayed as there were large pools of water on the diamond. Thankfully someone arrived with a shovel and started digging a trench to drain the pool where the catcher, batter and umpire would be standing. He had been doing it at all the tournament fields since 6:00am. As I’m the catcher most of the time, I was relieved. It was still rather squelchy but the weather was warm and sunny all day and when we played there again later in the day it had all dried up.

We had perfect weather for a day of softball, warm but not sweltering, a breeze but not a gale. Our family applied sunscreen numerous times during the day but, as was obvious later in the day, some others on the team did not. We only lost one game during the tournament landing us in the A2 final which we won 20:10 at 8:30pm, tired but very satisfied.

During the afternoon, Andrew left to take the girls to their end of year violin recital. I was disappointed not to watch them but I had already heard them both perform their pieces where Andrew had not. He had also already played one game of hockey, one game of soccer and two games of softball in the last 30 hours!

The only other disappointment of the day was the language which bombarded my ears all day. Not just my team, they actually try to censor themselves a bit while our children are with us, but another team who was around most of the day. Certain members did not have the same respect for young ears. I found myself thinking at the end of the day, about the lack of creativity in using the same word over and over, often multiple times in one sentence as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb or interjection. If I came out with, “Beautiful! Did you see that beautiful batter hit that beauty straight over the beautiful centre fielder’s head?” people would think me strange. I just found myself very tired of hearing it by the end of the day.

I will say, though, that my team has endured my steep learning curve very patiently. This is our fifth season with the Lasers and if they had given me grief for my many errors I don’t think I would have lasted more than a season. I have improved and they have always encouraged.

Tornado warning

Andrew, B6 and I headed out tonight to play the second game of a softball tournament with a tornado warning current and the sky looking ominous. The girls were heading out at the same time with a friend for their first try at busking. We weren’t sure whether any of us were in for a winning night.

After an easy victory last night we were looking forward to the game against a team we have played many times in the past. The rain began just as the previous game ended and within minutes it was bucketing down. The wind was fierce and the lightning getting closer by the second.

At the same time the three girls were playing their first set on the patio of our friend’s uncle’s restaurant. The weather got wild there too so the patrons and musicians were moved inside. They continued on for an hour or so, made a bit of money and arrived home tired but happy.

We have yet to find out the time of our rescheduled game but it could be early tomorrow so I’d best go to bed.