Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bad News From Germany


Unfortunately the news from Germany is not the best – no it’s downright depressing. When we humans get really old and can’t take care of ourselves anymore, the situation gets serious. That is about the essence of what Bea tells me on the phone. And it seems like a 13 day stay might not be enough to get a handle on things. Most likely Bea’s mom will not be able to return to her apartment. What that means I don’t have to elaborate about. You all know it. You all have or had parents getting old. And it makes me doubly sad as I think that 20 years from now we will be at the same stage of age.  And what is 20 years really?  We have been in Canada for more than 11 years and didn’t the time fly by just like that? 

It sure did.

With this latest of all developments it seems like we have to stay home this winter. There might still be a very small chance to see the big open highway though, but at this time it doesn’t seem very likely.

So meanwhile what did I do today?  Well, first daylight got me going into the basement, saying Hello to our good wood stove and get it going. When all was ready to go out with Molly it was RAINING!  Not really bad but just enough to shorten the walk to the most important business. Molly thanked me with continuous whining – she was bored.

I managed to avoid any boredom for myself by doing some Sunday cleaning, and finally shipping myself across the border for some shopping. My fridge was threatening me with running empty and we can’t have that. The CBP-Officer told me that it was actually snowing in Bangor, ME. How nice was that? Benefit of living close to the saltwater is there won’t be snow too early. Instead it rains.
Waiting at the till in the grocery market a man in front of me turned towards me saying “Nice Day, isn’t it?” I nodded and mumbled something about snow in Bangor. That was about the extent of the conversation we had, before he headed out the door.

”It isn’t snowing” was what I heard from the nice young CBSA-lady when I returned to the island. The road was empty all the way home. Black wet new asphalt!

When the afternoon rolled around I started to busy myself in the kitchen department. I remembered that I had frozen berries in the freezer. And you wouldn’t guess what kind of berries. I had been out in the park a week ago and picked them off …..Mountain Ash trees. And I had 3 entire shopping bags of them. They need to do a trip into the freezer if you want to consume them without loosing your wits. Mountain Ash berries have a certain bitterness. Some people would say “TART”. But “tart” doesn’t really describe it. It doesn’t do it any justice. Even after a freeze  they are bitter.  So what to do with them? Well, first of all they have to get off their little stems. being frozen that is easy to do. You just squeeze them between your fingers and …voila they fall into the bowl.  Then you cook’em with some water. You can add quite a bit of water for what comes out of these berries is kinda concentrated stuff. You won’t drink that juice just yet.

Trust me on this.

Once you have separated the juice from the berries you throw away the berries but keep the juice. Now you have to have some apple juice. You can make that yourself or you can buy some. You add enough to milden the bitterness. Did I mention you need a heap of SUGAR??  If you have 1 quart of juice you add 2 quarts of sugar. Make sure it  dissolves. You cook it some more, than you add sure-jell or gelatin according to whatever amount of juice you got. And finally, finally you fill the soon-to-be jelly into your jars and just hope the best. If you have done everything right you won’t poison anybody. This jelly is a very good substitute for cranberry jelly. So you can enjoy it together with your Christmas- or soon-to-come Thanksgiving dinner.

Bon Appetite!

But I had more plans for the kitchen. See, I didn’t buy any bread for I thought of challenging the god of baking again. This time it was bread time. I do yeast dough and that requires a good deal of working the stuff with your hands. While I was doing that a pair of big round doggy eyes were watching me. I don’t know what she sees in a bread dough, but she sure stayed close for the operation.
Now I had to find a warm place to let the dough rise. And I already knew just the right spot. I placed the bowl above the big register where the warm air from our wood stove was already streaming up. You can’t put a yeast dough too warm either as the yeast which is kinda alive will die in protest. And that will leave you with something you can’t even make a pizza of.
DSC_0183 DSC_0184
I let it rise twice to make sure the bread will not turn out as a block of concrete. And as you can see it rose and was even baked finished.

Then - well then it was time to make supper…..more kitchen work.  Our friend PEI-Bob, who is all by himself, once found the right expression when he said that he was getting WOMANIZED!  But this or that….I don’t mind. I need to occupy myself with whatever I can find. And if I can’t chop down trees, then the next best thing is making sure there is something to fill a hungry stomach with.

All right folks, I’m empty (my head is – not my belly)  and I’m done here.

Thanks for  stopping by here and don’t get a sunburn!


  1. Sorry to hear the news from Germany, we have been wrestling with similar family issues and may have to head back home at any given minute.
    Good job in the kitchen, it can be fun and rewarding too.

  2. Bill & I have both been through those sad times and it always saddens me to hear the same from others. Not easy no matter if you live close or far away.

  3. So sorry to hear your news. We never know what we're going to be dealt with and whether it's our own health or that of a loved one. At this stage in our life sometimes we have to make choices we don't especially care to make. Hopefully, the news will improve and Bea will be on our way home soon.

  4. Saddened to hear of the news from across the way. I'm not which is worse, getting bad news in the middle of the night that someone is suddenly gone, or just witnessing the slow demise. I've done both. Neither one is much fun.
    Hopefully Bea can weather the storm.

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about Bea's Mom. I know this is a really hard time for all of you and like you've said, I have been through the slow death and also the sudden. And it's especially hard since you can't be with her. Hugs.

  6. Yes, it's something most of us have to deal with, sooner or later, with ourselves or our parents. But that doesn't make it any easier, does it? I hope Bea is enjoying spending time with her Mom and that a solution will come to them.

    Good for you - your handle yourself better in the kitchen than I do. Good job! :)

  7. That is sad news for sure and like most Folks, I can surely relate. Been through it already with one parent - have to go through it again in the future with the other parent.


We like to hear from you. You can add your comment here: