Saturday, 17 January 2015

The Tea Cup - Family Traditions

The Tea Cup

by Harriet Rynberk

My Grandpa David started a Christmas tradition when his six granddaughters were maturing into young ladies.  He gave us each a teacup and saucer for Christmas.  Each year we knew what we were getting for Christmas from Grandpa. Our collection grew as did our hopes and dreams that someday those cups and saucers would grace our own white linen clad dining tables as we entertained family and friends in style.  We knew that there is also something magical about sharing an intimate cup of tea with a friend as we wrestle with the challenges of life.  I inherited a silver tea service from my Aunt Cora with the dream that I would someday serve afternoon tea to my friends and neighbours in the style of the lords and ladies of England, the land from which our ancestors came.  How regal!

But, alas, it was not to be.  It has remained just a dream.  Our lifestyle has demanded that we be efficient, be practical, be productive and hence, hustle and bustle pervades our lives.  Rarely do we sit down and truly savour our big huge North American mug full of strong coffee (mine is black, yours is likely a double double), certainly not anything resembling the style of any lord or lady!  Times have changed, our culture has changed, our expectations have changed and so has everything else in order to accommodate those changes.  Yes, our dreams of marriage and children became reality.  But the genteel lifestyle was replaced with the need to survive the demands of our own expectations of comfort.  But let me confess: I have so many coffee mugs that I am actually relieved when one breaks! Heaven forbid that any teacup should break, however!

Grandpa’s teacups continue to grace my china cabinet.  I have a penchant for lovely teacups.  I always pause in any antique shop or china shop to admire beautiful teacups.  My comment is always, “I just love teacups and I don’t know why.” After all, I never actually use them.  My desire to buy yet another one is strong and I fight to give in to the temptation.  But, sometimes I do! I love, for instance, the two Russian blue and white cups that I purchased several years back.  I simply could not resist them! (And of course it helped that I had a career and enough discretionary income that I could afford them.)  I do regret however, having left a lovely little cup and saucer in an antique shop in Newfoundland.  What a lovely souvenir that would have been.
5 Minutes of my day December 18, 2014

Thank you, Cousin Marjorie for posting, just this morning, your picture of the teacup that is identical to mine.  I am sorry you are sick with a cold, but I find joy in knowing that you are comforted by that lovely teacup and saucer.  And, hence, I find myself, sitting at my own breakfast table this morning, in my sunny window, enjoying my morning cuppa from my Royal Albert bone china teacup, made in England and decorated with Provincial Flowers called Fireweed. I am blessed!

Thank you cousin for this wonderful piece of family history.

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Friday, 16 January 2015

Wild Rice Chicken Soup

Foodie Friday

January 2015 seems like it has been one storm after another and bitterly cold, so please excuse me if yet again Food Friday is soup.  Now that being said January is National Soup month.  Today soup Wild Rice Chicken Soup is a hearty soup that is you thicken the broth could substitute as a stew.


  • 1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 chicken breasts 
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 pressed garlic cloves
  • 2 large onions chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I use coconut oil)

  1. In a large soup pot to your vegetable broth and water add the chicken breast, bay leaves, thyme and cook the chicken breast skimming the broth as needed to remove any scum.  Note I use chicken breast with the bone in as I find this added to the flavour.
  2. Remove the chicken breast and strain the broth to remove the bay leaves, setting aside both the chicken and broth separately.
  3. In your soup pot add the oil and saute the onion, garlic and mushrooms.  Once the onion are translucent carefully return the soup broth to the pot.  
  4. Now add the uncooked wild rice, and all of the remains vegetables.
  5. While this are cooking shred the chicken into bite size pieces with a fork and place in the soup.
  6. Continue simmering the soup until the wild rice is cook 

From Our Table to Yours

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Emily Hahn

Emily Hahn was called “a forgotten American literary treasure” by The New Yorker magazine.  In her life time she wrote 52 books and over a hundred articles.  She was born in St. Louis Missouri on January 14, 1905 and died February 18, 1997.  She came from a working class family, where she and her five brother and sisters were encourage to think for themselves, to push social boundaries and so it was that in a time where working class women were not expected to have professional careers, Emily set about doing just the opposite.

Emily was the first women to graduate with a degree in Mining Engineering.  It is said that she changed her major from English to Engineering when she was discouraged from taking a chemistry course because women did not understand math and complex chemical equations, and this set the course for the rest of her life – Emily Hahn was an early feminist and adventurer.  She lived life to the fullest with pride in herself and her accomplishments.

In 1930 inspired by Charles Lindbergh, Emily Hahn set out once again to push the boundaries as she embarked on an exploration of  the African continent,  She worked in a hospital and lived with a local tribe during this adventure and it is said that she walked across Africa in her quest for freedom and adventure.

Emily also lived in China during the Communist revolution and much of her writing is focused on this period of her life.  She is frequently credited with introducing the western world to China and Asian culture.   

 ''My younger daughter once rebuked me for not being the kind of mother one reads about,'' Ms. Hahn once told an interviewer. ''I asked her what kind that was, and she said, the kind who sits home and bakes cakes. I told her to go and find anybody who sits at home and bakes cakes.''  Emily Hahn Source of this quote

Ken Cuthbertson has written of Emily Hahn’s life in “Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves and Adventures of Emily Hahn” a book well worth finding at your local library and reading.

Emily Hahn's granddaughter had this to say about her grandmother

"Chances are, your grandmother didn't smoke cigars and let you hold wild role-playing parties in her apartment.  Chances are that she didn't teach you Swahili obscenities. Chances are that when she took you to the zoo, she didn't start whooping passionately at the top her lungs as you passed the gibbon cage. Sadly for you ... your grandmother was not Emily Hahn." Alfia Vecchio Wallace
 To read more about Emily Hahn please click on the links below

 Grandma Snyder

©2013-2016 twosnydergirls

Knit Bombed Bike

Wordless Wednesday

Grandma Snyder
©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Where do you find Hope

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark

And now these three remain: 

Faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

 1st Corinthians 13:13

And it is in love that I find hope.  

This week I met my great nephew for the first time and in the silent communication of love between my niece and her son I was reacquainted with profound hope for the future.

As long as there is love in our world there is hope for a better tomorrow.

Where do you find hope?

Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Monday, 12 January 2015

We all need to dream

Good coffee, warm October air, sitting outdoors, relaxed, on a mini-vacation, living the dream. 

On route to the Saint Lawrence Market, they were there on the periphery of my awareness, silent, dark, over dressed for the weather, always one of us looking away before eye contact could be made, their cardboard sign for help propped up on crossed legs, or held up by a can hoping for money.

He approaches from behind me, softly, tentatively “Do you have any change you might not need?”  I resent the intrusion on my moment of perfect contentment, “No”.  He walks away to approach others on the street.

Privileged by skin colour, and the country of my birth, I am have excellent health because of Canada's health care system and I am well educated because I have had access to free and good educated system.  All of this has supported me in getting and holding down a well-paying job with benefits - to afford this vacation time.

The unfairness of my privilege pulls at me as I looked at the fading back of the racialized man seeking change from strangers. 

I do have change I have two two dollar coins that were so insignificant to me that I tossed them in my pocket instead of my wallet.

I get up and followed after him.  I find him a few blocks away, I apologize because I do have change I do not need and I hand him four dollars.

My conscious now appeased I go back to my friend and coffee without another thought to those who live at the periphery of my life.

More coffee and a couple of chapters in my book we get up to leave and go to the closest Variety Store and there I find him again scratching lottery tickets. 

My first reaction is outrage and this is just as quickly replaced with compassion. 

We all need to dream, to believe there is an escape from our lives when times are bleak and so does he. 

Too often those of us in positions of privilege believe we have the right to dictate how our charity is used when in fact we have not right to say what another human being needs or wants are.

They know their needs and wants and ultimately they live with the consequences of their choices.  
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully[a] will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" 2 Corinthians 9:6
Grandma Snyder

©2013-2015 twosnydergirls

Junk Journal number 16 and 17 flip through

I spent much of the weekend making these two journals to travel to Victoria BC with our son.  I do enjoy making journals. Grandma Sny...