Louise Queen

Archive for June, 2009|Monthly archive page

More of the view/inside the house

In Sites and Sounds on June 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm

view 1

view 2

Sun porch

Sun porch

Looking into the kitchen

Looking into the kitchen

Living Room

Living Room

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House at Blue Rocks

In Sites and Sounds on June 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Front of the house

Front of the house

Back of the house

Back of the house

House from Driveway

House from Driveway

Back garden

Back garden

Front garden

Front garden

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The Art of Artisan

In Recipes on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

My regular bread requires little effort. In fact it allows me the luxury of rolling out of bed at 9am and still having fresh made-from-scratch bread on the table in time for lunch. It’s a recipe that my mother-in-law has been using for years and it’s pretty fool proof. The best part is that it still tastes delicious. Either make it in a bread pan or just pop on a baking tray for a more rustic look.

Bread

Bread

Bread

Bread

However, every cook likes to experiment and when I received a book titled “Artisan Baking” (by Maggie Glezer) for Christmas I couldn’t wait for our house to warm up enough (remember the stories of no upstairs heating, in fact you were pretty much sure to freeze if you moved more than 1/2 a meter from the wood stove) to try some of the recipes. Now spring has defiantly sprung (it’s 28oc out today) and so has my experimental side.

So what is Artisan (Artisanal) Bread, I hear you ask? According to the dictionary (quoted in the book also), “artisan” refers to a person working in a skilled trade or a craftsman. However, like me, Maggie Glezer wasn’t happy with this unclear definition and hence polled several well-respected bakers. The only conclusion that can be drawn from their varied responses is that for bread to be considered “artisan”, at least one part of its production must be performed by hand and it must be of good quality!

Being overly ambitious Cameron and I took a very big jump in at the deep end with our first attempt at artisan bread – a rustic baguette. The fact that the recipe called for 2 different starters should have been enough to warn us off. We tried and I must say we didn’t completely fail. We ended up with a rustic baguette that was cooked to the point where it may have made a reasonably good baseball bat. Overcome the crust, however, and the bread had a delicious flavor. Read the rest of this entry »

Dinner on the Deck

In Recipes on June 16, 2009 at 10:42 am
Dinner

Dinner

Last Wednesday, Cameron and I realized that we’d been together for 5 years! We’ve lived together for 4 years and 2 months of that and have so far managed 9 months of marriage (Cameron has just told me it feels like 9 years – charming!) Thinking this quite an achievement (and a good excuse) we decided we’d cook something special for dinner at the weekend.

I love Tapas and vote for it for any special occasion dinner. However, Cameron wanted lobster especially since they are ridiculously cheap at the moment only $4.99 per lb (approx £3 per lobster). We decided to combine the two and settled on a dinner of lobster with melted coriander (or cilantro in Canada) butter, chorizo fried in red wine, tumeric infused rice and peas and fresh crusty bread from the farmer’s market.

Lobster

Lobster

All washed down with a bottle of wine or two…. Yummy!

It’s in you to give…

In My day to day on June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Our mail box is always full of advertising flyers and today was no exception. The exception came when rather than chucking it straight in the recycling bin, I took it home. The flyer caption was “Project Fire Engine Red – Blood Donor Clinic.” Strange that this had suddenly popped up as only a few days ago I was discussing blood donations with my in-laws.

Blood Donor

Blood Donor

Since the age of 17, I have been a regular blood donor in Scotland and have proudly given over ten pints during the last 6 years (although my dad will boast that he has given over 50 since he started donating!). So the flyer prompted me to pick up the phone and call for an appointment. I spoke with the nurse and she asked if I was a first time donor, as she didn’t have my details on file. I informed her that although this would be my first Canadian donation, it was by no means my first time – I went on to tell her about moving here from Scotland.

blood bag

blood bag

I was shocked (and furious) when the nurse informed me that I am NOT A CANDIDATE (and probably NEVER will be) for blood donation in Canada. Why? Because I lived in Europe between the years of 1980-1996…..  and am therefore considered to be at risk of hosting a CJD (Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease) infection. Read the rest of this entry »

Bulls, Bears and the rest of the Farm!

In Uncategorized on June 4, 2009 at 11:00 am
Wall-Street-Bull

Wall-Street-Bull

As you all know Cameron is now working trading the stock futures and forex markets and, being keen to understand what he is actually doing, I did a little research. Now I’m not going to go into details, as unless you have a thing for numbers and a keen eye when it comes to graphs you’ll probably end up even more confused. What I do want to tell you about, however, are the Bulls, the Bears, the Chickens and the Pigs!

Above is a picture of the famous Wall-Street Bull. On Wall Street the Bulls and the Bears are in a constant struggle… Bull(ish) traders think positively and try and drive the markets upwards by buying stock, whilst Bear(ish) traders take the opposite stance and sell the market to drive it down.

Bulls & Bears

Bulls & Bears

A bull market is when everything in the economy is good, there are plenty jobs etc and stocks are rising. Picking stocks during a bull market is easier because everything is going up. However, this situation cannot last forever and sometimes it can lead to stocks becoming overvalued. If a person is optimistic and believes that stocks will go up, he or she is called a “bull” and is said to have a “bullish outlook”.

A bear market is pretty much the opposite, the economy is bad and stocks are falling.

I believe that there is only a Bull on Wall Street (and no bear) because of Wall Streets perceived aggressive nature. Lots of positive trading! I did manage to find this photography of a bull and a bear but I’m not sure where it was taken or which stock exchange this is near… does anyone know?

B&B

B&B

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Events inspired by the Octopus

In My day to day on June 3, 2009 at 9:30 am

The octopus tradition has launched a couple of other object-tossing manias. Some believe that the tossing of these objects will bring good luck to their favorite team.

During the 1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs, as the hype about the Wings’ run to the Finals grew, a fan at the Boston Garden threw a lobster onto the ice during a playoff game between the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils. Lobster harvests are often identified with the Bruins’ home region, the New England States, particularly Maine.

When in the 1995 Stanley Cup finals the Red Wings took on the New Jersey Devils and Devils fan threw a fish in Brendan Byrne arena after the Devils scored a goal.

During the 1996 Stanley Cup Playoffs, fans of the Florida Panthers threw thousands of toy rats on the ice whenever the Panthers scored, inspired by the octopus toss and the story of Scott Mellanby killing a rat in the Panthers’ dressing room. The NHL eventually cracked down on the rat-tossing because of the lengthy delays they could cause, and it ceased altogether shortly after the Panthers’ Cup Finals run ended.

Ten years later, during the opening-round series between the Wings and the Edmonton Oilers, an Edmonton radio host suggested throwing Alberta beef on the ice before the game. Oilers fans continued throwing steaks, even at away games, resulting in several arrests at the away cities.

In the 2002–03 season, the Nashville Predators fans began throwing catfish onto their home ice, in response to the Red Wings tradition. The first recorded instance occurred on October 26, 2002 in a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators. This tradition continues, in Game 3 of the 2008 Western Conference quarterfinals matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators the hometown Nashville fans threw 4 catfish onto the ice.

During Game 4 of the 2007 Stanley Cup Western Division Semifinals between the Detroit Red Wings and home-team San Jose Sharks, a Shark’s fan threw a 4-foot leopard shark onto the ice at the HP Pavilion at San Jose after the Sharks scored their first goal with 2 minutes left in the first period.

During the 2008 Stanley Cup finals, in which the Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, seafood wholesalers in Pittsburgh, led by Wholey’s Fish Market, began requiring identification from customers who purchased octopuses, refusing to sell to buyers from Michigan.

Legend of the Octopus

In My day to day on June 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

As any great hockey fan will know it’s the post season and that means the Stanley Cup finals are currently underway.

Detroit Red Wings

red wings logo

red wings logo

versus Pittsburgh Penguins

penguins logo

penguins logo

The Stanley Cup final consists of a possible 7 games. In other words, if one team win 4 consecutive games then its all over. If not then play continues until a winner is announced and is awarded this handsome lump of metal…

Stanley Cup

Saturday night was the first finals game and Cameron and I settled down in front of the TV, both of us slightly disappointed that yet again a Canadian team had failed to make it this far! Nevermind eh? My attention was quickly captured by a giant octopus floating from the ceiling of the stadium!

Al

Al

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