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November 2009
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January 2010

Best secret family tourtiere recipe

OK - no longer a secret, but I wanted to share this good recipe for tourtiere - a French Canadian meat pie. It's often served after Midnight Mass, or at New Years. Possibly with Moose Milk. There are certainly a lot of recipes to be found online, many of them the best and/or secret. Try this one, we've used it several times at different events. I've listed the general ingredients, plus the specific quantities we used last time we made it. Do feel free to adjust and experiment with the numbers. Some recipes use rolled oats to thicken - try it. Taste often while cooking - make sure the sous chef has many clean spoons at the ready. And some wine handy to cleanse the palate between tastings.

The recipe below makes four pies - regular, not deep dish.

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Memories of ..... I forget what

It's funny how the memory goes - as in fades away in bits and pieces. My grandson remembers lots of things, his mind is like a sponge. He'll come over to my place, find an egg cup mixed in with his toys, and head right to the kitchen cupboard it's supposed to be in. My daughter was like that too as she grew up, if we were looking for something we'd check with her and she would immediately  remember seeing it on the third shelf of the wall unit, or in the garage, or where ever. Since we all tended to drop things in random places, it was a useful skill to have in a family.

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Barry's parties in 2010

I'm passing on some Ottawa singles and couples party info for 2010, it's from an email a friend - Barry Owens - sent me. He doesn't have a web site so I'll put it here so I (and others) can link to it via sites like Twitter and Facebook. Go ahead and pass it on - and while you're hear, feel free to check out one of the supporting ads on this page. 

Barry  organizes cruises, ski weekends, wine tasting tours, golf trips - all well done, emphasis on friendship and fun. He also used to put on several dances a year at a local hall, with several hundred people, DJ, bar, munchies at midnight. Packed them in, and the dance floor was always full. He also organized a monthly networking event, Mingleworks, that was well attended too. Looks like from his email he's going to restart the dances and the Mingleworks - yay! His note starts below:

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Christmas Traditions - keep some, let some go

As your children grow up, and then as grandchildren start popping out, some traditions keep going, some have to change. 

We all develop traditions in our families, those various customs and beliefs that we follow and pass on - some lasting for generations, some for a few years. Some of these relate more to a specific date, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, some relate more to a function, like an annual trip to a cottage, but the strongest seem to relate to both. 

My family had our own traditions related to Christmas. Being Catholic, there was the mandatory Christmas Eve tradition of Midnight Mass. If we were up north for Christmas, in Kirkland Lake, we went with my grandparents to their church, the French Catholic one. It was the biggest one in town of course, high up on a rocky hill. We got a sermon in French and, back then, the rest of the Mass in Latin. Since I understood neither, and was never very religious, it was a pretty dull tradition for me. But it was important to my grandparents, and to God, so we went for their sake. n my late teens, after my grandmother died, my mother, "Uncle" Ted, and I started a new tradition - the Christmas Eve Moose Milk. That replaced the Midnight Mass, as we lacked both the motivation and the coordination to venture out. We also had Christmas stockings as kids, filled with trinkets and fruit, I assume had a pile of presents under the tree, and I seem to remember the all-you-can-eat Christmas Day dinner. Strange that I remember a lot of little moments from growing up, but nothing really about Christmas. I don't think it's anything like repressing memories - the Christmas of the fire, the year of the axe incident, the year we moved to Bolivia - none of those things happened. I think we just had regular everyday somewhat low key traditions. Other than the Memories of Moose Milk (sounds like an obscure Northern Ontario Presidents Choice recipe).  

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