No One Eats at the Table Anymore

In the 1950s ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s we all sat down at the table to eat at dinner time.

1950sdishes
What is the difference between dinner and supper?
Supper is a light evening meal – served in early evening if dinner is at midday or served late in the evening after an early-evening dinner. Either way, it is regarded as the last meal of the day. Dinner is the main meal of the day, served either in the evening or at midday.

Faithfully I tried to have dinner on the table every evening for my family but life happened. Husband worked late, kids at their games or a friends, and it disintegrated from there. We ate later or the kids weren’t hungry as they ate at their friends. Finally Husband just took his dinner when he got home from work and everyone else ate when ever.

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Messy Table

The kitchen table became the dumping ground for mail,keys,phones,and whatever else needed a place. Once a week it got sorted to use for Sunday dinner.

 

My own children today don’t eat at the table in their own homes. Sad really because it is such a wonderful time when the family is all together we can laugh and joke and tell each other about our day. Instead I found myself having to talk to my children and make sure they ate which of course took more time. Not that I’m complaining but I was busy too.

Sunday_Dinner

Sunday Dinner

On Sundays I would have a sit down dinner. Went to a special effort to make a good meal with dessert for everyone to enjoy. If anyone dropped by they were invited too.

Picture above from The Practical Cook

https://thepracticalcook.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/a-case-for-sunday-night-dinner/

Unless you’re entertaining no one really bothers with dishes or silverware. All my children know how to use a knife and fork and know how to set a table but it’s become old fashioned. They will however have this skill if ever needed and maybe they will impress someone.

Gone are the days of everyone sitting at the table together.

How The Internet Has Changed

Old_New_Screen

 

In 1999 I got my first computer, I was already 47 yrs old. It was for my teenage kids and I took to it like a duck to water. We were running an operating system that kept crashing. With only a 10 G hard drive which soon became full. Crashes were common and I had to learn to “fix” the computer.

My older brother, who was more savvy about computers at the time, was called on frequently. If I heard, “What did you do that for?” one more time I thought I would scream.  So not wanting to call on my brother I taught myself how to fix the issues.  Researched the issues and fixed many problems.  That operating system taught me a lot about computers.  Fortunately I upgraded my operating system and got more room on my hard drive and the issues became less.

Over time the internet has gotten more restrictive and full of garbage and advertising.  In North America there is a clear division between Canada and the US.  A lot of the time you can’t get US programming or some of the US sites are restricted. Canada now has it’s own Google, Facebook, and search engines.  Where as before you could get out to other countries to get information it has become harder to do this.  Not wanting to become a hacker I live in frustration.

Pet peeve, going to a site that has so many ad pop ups and videos running that it freezes my browser.  Trying another browser it’s the same thing.  I have the latest operating system, graphic card and lots of storage so this is not the issue.  Now advertisers have figured out that the internet is the way to go.  More and more people are forgoing their cable TVs and only relying on the internet for viewing.  Website owners are signing up for advertising to make money for themselves.  Nothing is free any longer.

The internet is used for communicating, dating, pirating, exchange of ideas, flaming, and ripping people off.  Unscrupulous people have misinformed us and tricked us and misdirected us.  Is it any different than the real world?  No, but the exposure to a wider variety of people has lead to privacy issues.  We all had to learn to clamp down on our privacy.  We had to teach our children how to responsibly use the internet for their safety and not click on everything on the screen, and not believe everything they read.

“Sneaky little Hobbitses. Wicked, tricksy, false!” – J.R.R. Tolkien –

“All’s well that ends better.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Cable_Line

Florentines With Cranberries

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Florentines with Cranberries

Photo by Romas Foord

Florentines with Cranberries

The cranberries and chocolate caught my eye and I thought they would be a nice addition to my Christmas baking. They sound delicious.
You can vary this recipe to suit your tastes. When I investigated further there were variations on this recipe with quantities and temperatures.  I am going with the one I found first which I translated from German.

Translated from Kuechen Goetter
http://www.kuechengoetter.de/rezepte/Plaetzchen-Kekse/Florentiner-mit-Cranberries-1335786.html
The sour berries harmonize perfectly with these almond biscuits. While this portioning and baking requires a little practice, but the enjoyment compensates all.

Number of portions: 2-3 sheets

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Preheat Oven 400 °F or 200 °C

100 g cream (heavy) (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon honey
75 g brown sugar (eg Demerara) (1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see link to vanilla sugar below)
30 g butter (2 Tablespoons)
40 g dried cranberries (1/4 cup)
100-125 g sliced ​​almonds (1/2 cup)
1 -2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)
30-40 g of flour (approximately 1/4 cup)
100 g chocolate coating (optional) (4 oz)

Step 1 – The Preheat oven to 200 °C  or 400 °F

(But looking at other recipes they range from 350 °F to 375 °F.)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2  – Melt honey, sugar, vanilla sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Step 3 – Chop the cranberries (or other dried fruit). Take the creamy boiled sugar-cream from the heat and stir in cranberries along with the nuts.
Add the flour and mix until it forms a ball and fruit and nuts are well mixed.

Step 4 – Use teaspoons (maximum walnut size) add on the cookie sheet, leaving space between for the dough to melt. Press the balls with a wet finger or an oiled spoon back cautiously flat so they will brown evenly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes (or until the desired degree of browning achieved)
Bake in the center of the oven and make sure that the edges are not too dark.
Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes then pull the baking paper with the Florentines on to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Store in airtight cans, they taste best fresh in the first week.

Step 5 – Optional: Melt chocolate in hot water slowly and brush the bottom of the completely cooled Florentines.

More Notes:
** You need to boil the cream-butter-sugar mix until it gets thick and turns caramel brown (stir the caramel mix the whole time or it’ll burn or boil over) or your Florentines will be very pale.

** You can change the fruit to candied fruit, cherries, raisins, orange peel, marmalade, lemon peel. The same with the nut combinations walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds etc.

** Vanilla Sugar from Food Network http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/vanilla-sugar-recipe.html

** Conversions are added but metric is hard to convert precisely but as the portions are unified in one system this is okay.

I live in a metric country  and in my youth I learned the Imperial Measurements. Canada did not convert to metric until 1970. Today Canadian youth understand the metric measurements.

My neighbours in the US are using US Standard Measurement based on the Imperial Measurement. Here is a link to a conversion chart.

https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/convert/measurements.html

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florentine_biscuit

Cookies

New Twist

Winter is still upon us and nothing is better than a warm bread to go with your soups and stews.  Here is an easy recipe called Cottage Cheese Dill Bread.

The cottage cheese dill bread is a batter bread, not a yeast bread, so it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 50 minutes to bake.  I can smell this now.

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From Chin Deep
http://chindeep.com/2010/04/06/cooking-together/

~ Cottage Cheese Dill Bread ~
2 cups unbleached, white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cottage cheese

2 eggs

6 Tablespoons milk

1/4 cup honey or sugar

4 Tablespoons melted butter

3 Tablespoons minced fresh dill (I used 3 Tablespoons dry and it turned out wonderful)

**Optional 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1) Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a medium sized loaf pan.

2) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-large bowl.

3) In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, milk, sweetening, and melted butter. Beat well. Add to the dry ingredients along with the dill,
and mix just enough to thoroughly blend. The batter will be a little stiff.

4) Spread the batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Let it bake for 50 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean.
After removing bread from oven, let stand 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan. Cool on rack an additional 30 minutes before slicing.
The cottage cheese dill bread is a batter bread, not a yeast bread, so it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 50 minutes to bake.

Enjoy!butterfly_1

Heart Mobile DIY

Love the use of the buttons and beads in this mobile.  This is a DIY from Paper, Scissors and Superheros.

http://scrapbookgirl.typepad.com/paper_scissors_and_superh/2008/01/whos-ready-for.html

She has a template and instructions you can download located near the top of her page. OR The pdf includes a template and instructions which you can download HERE .

Hearts

 

Heartmobileupload

February is for Lovers

Lover’s, whether it’s a favorite aunt, uncle, grandparent, mother, father, spouse, boy/girl friend or your children, time to give them a boost and let them know you love them. I like February because I know spring is right around the corner.

HappyValentinesDayTL_TapestryIII

A simple Valentine treat.

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You will “love” simple white chocolate popcorn recipe for Valentine’s Day!
Prep: 10 mins Total: 10 mins
Ingredients:

12 ounces white chocolate
8 cups popped popcorn
1/2 tsp. salt
sprinkles
(optional) conversation hearts

Directions:

Heat chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler until melted.
Place the popcorn in a large bowl, and pour the melted chocolate over it. Then use a spoon to toss the popcorn gently until it is evenly coated with the chocolate. Spread the popcorn out evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, then sprinkle with as many sprinkles and conversation hearts as you would like.

Let cool for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Break up into small pieces then serve or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

From Gimme Some Oven

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/