Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 - the year of the pie!

I'm usually the dessert girl for potlucks - I love baking and making cakes. But pies have always been this mysterious thing for me. I have it in my head that piemaking is a difficult thing. So, I don't do it.

At my parent's house on Christmas Eve I watched my Mom whip up two pies - one lemon, one key lime. As I was sitting there, thinking how straightforward that appeared, Wilf drifted by. Soon Mom and Wilf were having a discussion about the easiness of pie and then they looked at me. Between them they figured out when I had last made a pie. A pecan pie. For Dad's birthday. At our house in Toronto. Which we moved out of in 1990. So probably in the late 1980's. Hmmm. Pointed looks from both of them.

'Okay,' said I. '2015 is the year of the pie. Not only that, I'll bring pie for the New Year's Day party.'

I present to you the first pie of 2015 - banana cream pie.

The crust is courtesy of Mr. Pilsbury. The filling is homemade vanilla custard from Cooks Illustrated with bananas and whipped cream.

I figure I'll eventually get to making the crust from scratch, but the year of pie is underway!

So you'll notice that this was actually posted in 2014. Turns out I was supposed to make a New Years Eve pie. This one was the first pie of 2014. Also the last pie of 2014.  And the only pie of 2014. It was very yummy.  More pie to follow. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

When we were writing this letter last year it looked like 2014 was going to be a quieter year than 2013, which seemed like a good idea after all the activities of that year. Then….. 2014 happened!

After 14 years in this house we finally bit the bullet and took on the big project – hardwood floors. In January we packed up the contents of the house, moved out and let the contractors at it. Six weeks later we moved back in to beautiful new floors throughout. Many thanks to Joan & Doug for letting us bunk in with them for the duration. Over the summer we had the outside of the house repainted, finishing off the sprucing up that began last year. And next year – kitchen counters?

Once again 2014 was a year of travel. Sharon’s Mom celebrated a big birthday with all the family in Las Vegas over Easter – shows, excursions & helicopters made for an action packed trip. In August both Sharon and Wilf had big trips. Sharon joined girlfriends Nan & Lisa in Birmingham, England to attend the “Festival of Quilts” – a week of shopping and looking at quilts at the Big Show! Later in the month Wilf’s fly-fishing club had an excursion to the north end of Vancouver Island to fish for salmon on the beach at the mouth of the Cluxewe River. According to the locals, it was the best salmon run in 20 years. It was a wonderful experience we shared together.

In September we returned to Istanbul – Wilf celebrated his 60th birthday there and this year he celebrated his 75th in that great city. We enjoyed the city once again, then boarded a cruise of the Black Sea. After 12 days of interesting ports, including Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia we arrived in Athens, Greece then moved on to a week in a villa on the island of Crete. It was a truly memorable trip full of great sights, great food and time with good friends, Nan and Greg.

Christmas will be spent with Sharon’s parents and brother Bill in Victoria. We will cross Australia off the bucket list this winter and a family trip is planned for fall 2015. Truly, we are blessed to be able to travel the world and come back home to our wonderful spot by the sea. We appreciate so much our family and friends and look forward to another year of adventures.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Love,  Sharon and Wilf