Saturday, 12 October 2013

Halloween Costume for Brooklynn

Emily's First Design 

Brooklyn's Halloween Witch Costume

Emily designed her costume and picked out the fabric.

She then went through all of the 18 inch doll patterns that I have and picked a skirt here and a sleeve there.  

Her next task was then to trace the pattern pieces and cut them out

I then began the process of constructing Emily's design.
  Here you have the skirt.  Emily thought that it would be nice to have bells worked into the design.

We could not find a sleeve that encompassed all of the design detail that Emily wanted.


To make the sleeve work I made the top out of muslin reworking the sleeve until it fit and looked like Emily's design.

How did we do?

Grandma Snyder


Friday, 11 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving or Happy Harvest

Happy Thanksgiving or Happy Harvest

Today many people will have left their place of employment wishing and being wished a Happy Thanksgiving.  

The Canadian and American Thanksgiving tradition comes down to us from our colonialist ancestors who gave thanks to their God for providing them with the bounty of the New World. 

History records this first celebration to have occurred around 1621 and records that Colonist and Aboriginal people shared in an autumn harvest feast together.

Since that first harvest celebration Thanksgiving Day has come to mean something very different for the Aboriginal people who continue in their struggle to coexist with us.

History records that without the help of the Aboriginal people who lived in what is now Canada and the United States those very same Colonist would have starved to death that first winter. 

Little did the Aboriginal people know that they were helping to keep alive a culture that would in less than 100 years begin a systematic process of genocide directed at them.

This Thanksgiving weekend in Canada while those of us who benefited from colonization celebrate Thanksgiving the Aboriginal population lives in poverty.   

Aboriginal women and children are the poorest people in Canada and 20% of the Aboriginal communities in Canada as of 2012 did not have safe drinking water.

Happy Thanksgiving for our Canadian Aboriginal communities, no I don’t think so. 

Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day for Aboriginal Canadian is experienced through these and many more historical facts:

  • Small pox epidemic of brought to North America by settlers who knowingly gave their contaminated blankets to the Aboriginal people killing an estimated 90% of the population.

  • Loss of traditional lands

  • The 1960’s scoop of Aboriginal children who were placed for adoption in while homes

  • The Highway of Tears where today Aboriginal women continue to go missing in numbers that would be unacceptable if these same women were white.

As a grandparent I want to my grandchildren to know and understand what Thanksgiving means in its full context. 

I hope and pray that with this knowledge that they will help to build a different world than the one I helped to build.

Today as I left work I greeted everyone with Happy Harvest weekend, as my way of acknowledging that for many Canadians, the first Canadians this weekend is not about giving thanks.

Grandma Snyder

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Family Thanksgiving Activities

Family  Thanksgiving Activities

The Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming weekend and the weather forecast will favour outdoor family activities.

For the past number of years our sons and son-in-law have taken the opportunity to have one last hike on the Bruce Peninsula.  They have camped in rain, snow and hike in shirt sleeves under a hot autumn sun. 

Their absence means that Grandpa Paul and I do not put on a Traditional Harvest Meal instead we will pick one of our local restaurants and have our Turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.  My favourite place to date is the restaurant in Harrison Park the Harrison Park Inn Restaurant in Owen Sound.
Link to their menu

 Roasted Turkey Dinnerfavorite

Our traditional turkey dinner includes a mix of white and dark meat and vegetables. Served with our homemade dressing, gravy, and cranberry sauce - Taken Directly from there menu

This week does present with some excellent opportunities to have fun with grandchildren.

#1 Leaf pile jumping:
Children of all ages love jumping into a newly racked pile of fall leaves.  If you have a yard, trees and a rack, invite your grandchildren over and go at it.  Make sure you have your camera handy as there will be opportunities for marvels pictures.

#2 Make a Scare Crow:
Now this is typically a spring garden activity and it is just as fun to do at this time of year.  Grandpa’s old shirt, a pair of jeans, an old hat, gloves, an old pillow case to make the head and face out of and leaves or straw to stuff it with.  Place your Scare Crown by the front door for Halloween.

#3 Feeding the duck:
I prefer to get a bag of corn kernels over old bread but either will do.  Take your grandchildren to a local park where there are birds and let them feed the animals. 

#4 Decorating for Halloween:
This is a good weekend to let grandchildren carve your pumpkin and to decorate your home for either Thanksgiving or Halloween.  Here the dollar stores come in handy.  We give each grandchild $5.00 and let them pick out 5 items to decorate our home and they put up the decorations that we saved from the previous year.  Martha Stewart might not approve but we have fun!

Grandma Snyder


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Apple Squares

Grandpa's Apple Squares

Grandpa Paul retired three years ago and realized a new talent, cooking.  As a family we have come to count on melt in your mouth roast beef and honey glazed hams for Christmas and Easter Dinners. 

As a Lions member twice a year Paul had to bring two or three pies for the Club to sell as part of fund raising dinners.  Paul picked this particular recipe because he wanted to find a way to make one large pie.  

Since that time Paul has experimented with the recipe changing it to meet our families’ particular tastes.  The result is what he calls Apple Squares a family favourite.  The next step in the evolution of this recipe is to make it with a gluten free pie crust.

  • 16 medium apples a blend of tart and sweet, cored and sliced thin
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Crust
  • 1.5 cups dessert crackers
  • homemade or purchased uncooked pie crust enough for 4 pies
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter melted
  • 6 tablespoons instant tapioca
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • Glaze
  • ¾ cup reserved apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

Filling: Combine all the ingredients for the filling place the apples coated in the sugar and salt in a colander and place this over a bowl.  The apples will release their juice in about ¾ of an hour.  Press the apples gently to release the last bit of juice.  You need to keep the juice in the bowl. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees  

Crust:crush the crackers and mix with 1/4 cup of sugar until fine.  You will need a 19 x14 cookie sheet with at least a 1/2 inch rim.  Sprinkle half of this mixture on the cookie sheet.  Roll out half of the pie crust and place using the other half of the cracker sugar mixture to prevent the pastry sticking to the counter that you roll out the pastry on.  Roll the pastry to fit the cookie sheet with some pastry extending beyond the cookie sheet.  

Mix the apple mixture with the tapioca, cinnamon  and lemon juice as spread evenly over the pastry.  Roll out your the other half of the pastry dough and place this on top of the apples and pinch the edges forming a seal.  Cut steam vents in the top crust.  

Bake for 1 hour.  Cool the squares on a counter rack until cool to touch.  Glaze with your favourite sugar glaze or leave and each with ice cream.

This recipe has been adapted from Apple Slab Pie Best-Ever Recipes All-Time Favorite Recipes America's Test Kitchen December 13, 2010 (pg 90).

Grandma Snyder


5 Minutes Of My Day

May 21, 2018  Enjoying the day with Great John in Virginia Ill.  2017 Finding a tea cup tree on our afternoon walk 2016 Enjo...