A family recipe brings treasured kitchen memories
In August, when hornets began to hover around our picnics in the back yard, the kitchen was buzzing with chopping and chatter as Mom and Grandma began making their annual batch of chili sauce that would lift meatloaf to new levels all winter long!
A trip to the market produced enough peppers, onions, celery, tomatoes, apples, peaches and pears to fill the huge preserving pot that has been in our family for years. Sugar and apple cider vinegar were added. Cheesecloth-wrapped pickling spice was plunked in the middle of the simmering pot with a few tablespoons of cinnamon, and then the long cooking process began, wafting a sweet tangy smell through the open kitchen window.
That is when I discovered that bees are attracted to vinegar! The window screen would be literally covered with these hungry creatures buzzing around for the duration of the cooking process. Several hours later, Grandma would dip a spoon in, have a slurp, and declare the chili sauce sufficiently reduced to golden goodness, ready to ladle into steaming hot, sterilized jars secured with lids that would pop as they cooled and sealed.
I continue to make our family's chili sauce each year, and love to share it with friends who have never tried this unique recipe that includes fruit to soften and enrich the vegetable flavours.
This tradition reminds me that time, and family members may pass, but the cooking aromas from our childhood bring sweet memories back to us like it was just yesterday.
Gaits, tack, English, painted, cushings, bascule - a language all its own!
Horsewomen at RESOUND Choir met and connected over their love of horses and riding.
Stories abounded. While being let out into the field, one of the ponies at Ella’s farm got chased by its arch enemy (a horse) and ran into Ella and right over her poor foot. Lesley worked with horses for 30 years or so. Her experiences include working at Woodbine, exercising them, jumping, horse shows and braiding manes. They all agreed that being around horses was therapeutic and contributed to their collectedness as teenagers.
The RCMP Music Ride show, and the Cavalier Horse Show with its Cirque du Soleil feel, led to an interesting conversation about Lippizan and Icelandic horses. Lippizaners were bred originally from eight horses around 800AD in Slovenia and trained in Vienna because they were used by the Hapsburg nobility. Only stallions are show horses because of a physical attribute needed to execute the high-level classical dressage maneuvers called ‘airs above the ground’. Icelandic horses are often mistaken for ponies because they’re small and are unique because they have five gaits rather than the regular four. The Icelandic line is pure and over 1100 years old. Icelandic law prevents all horses from being imported into the country, and exported animals are not allowed to return.
Other topics of interest were the cost of stabling your horse and of lessons, local riding schools, where to buy tack on sale, equine diseases, the bio-equine management degree at Guelph University, the Royal Winter Fair events, and birthing.
A promised group ride is on the docket once the COVID-19 situation permits.