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Janice DePeel

Interesting Flavours Inspire Home Cooking

Have you ever tasted something so flavourful you search online for a copy cat recipe, hoping it will taste as good as, or better than, the original?  I’ve done that with a few recipes; Kentucky Fried Chicken, and A & W when they sold chicken, Star House and Vu’s (basically the whole menu for both restaurants!), Pop Eyes gravy recipe, Red Lobster’s garlic biscuits and 7/11’s honey garlic chicken wings - yes, there are a lot of menu items that appeal to me and I’d like to figure out their recipe.  Or to tweak it and fiddle around with it until it becomes something I can claim as my own, loosely based on the original.  I want to share a recent dining experience my family and I had however, this isn’t sponsored - I’m just really impressed with this grass roots endeavour by four people who saw a niche they could fill and so they did! 

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Admiration For Past Generations

Oh my goodness! This Spring has already been so extraordinary for so many reason; COVID vaccinations, bazaar weather including heat waves so intense there are heat warnings being issued, and incredible thunder storms so long and loud the storm begins to sound like people chattering and the thunder rolls and rolls and rolls… after a while that sound begins to nag at my anxiety so I just need to walk away and find my earbuds and YouTube on the cell phone.  Listening to classical music has always had a soothing affect on me, even while I was waiting to be born.  After I joined my family in the physical world, my mom used classical music to placate me when I was upset or couldn’t/wouldn’t sleep as a baby.  It still works and helps me calm down.  So when a mid/morning storm rolled through the neighbourhood Wednesday morning, the only moment I felt any real concern was when the hail began pelting the ground.  I probably would have been able to take a deep breath and calm down, despite the torrential downpour but then the hail started and soon it wasn’t single pellets of ice hitting the ground - cluster balls of ice came raining down and not a cat or dog could be found among them - this storm was more than just raining cats and dogs.  Soon we couldn’t see past our front step, the storm escalated and dumped so much water at once.  What leaves might have survived the rain where challenged by strong gusts of wind.  Several trees lost limbs and once in a while the rain let up so we could see branches floating in the flooded streets.  My sister was loading our weekly shopping into the vehicle at Cornerstone shopping centre.  The driving lanes at the grocery store were full of water and an abandoned shopping cart bore witness to the depth of the water as it rose to touch the underside of the basket.  As she placed her last purchases in the vehicle, she noticed a car turn up the lane and proceed towards her. She didn’t give it a second thought … until the driver chose to drive n the centre lane.  Waves of water rushed towards my sister and she had no place to step out of the way as water ran over her feet and soaked the bottom of her slacks. She shook her head and gave a sarcastic “thank you” to the driver,  a sweet little lady, several years young, who could barely see over the steering wheel.  The woman’s response to my sister is almost priceless … she flipped her the bird!   Can’t even imagine the shock that must have registers on my sister’s face!  And I wish I’d been there with a camera. Sometimes things happen in life and one needs to use humour to overcome the experience.  It easy to get angry about something but practicing kindness to one another is character building and helps a person reflect back on situations without regret.  Maybe reminiscing on the situation even gives a person a chance to enjoy the humour of the moment, which definitely has a way of helping us lighten our spirit while becoming more open minded during challenging situations.

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Spring Has Sprung 2021!

I have waited to plant my garden this year, due in part to the chilly weather we’ve had that was then immediately followed by a heat wave.  Mother Nature must know what she’s doing because this week I’ve really been enjoying the fruits of her labour in my garden.  The lilacs, tulips, strawberries, cherries and apples are all in full bloom and it looks like I will be harvesting some lovely fruit this year.  I’m really excited because my cherry tree is blooming for the very first time.  I don’t know where the last three years have gone but it sure is nice to see the blossoms on the tree and I’m excited to pick later this summer.  

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Hands Can Tell a Story

I’ve been looking at my hands a lot lately, comparing mine to my siblings and my Mother’s hands.  For the most part, my siblings have wonderful hands.  Long, tapered fingers, beautiful nail beds and great half moons with healthy cuticles.  My Mom’s hands are strong and distinguished.  She bears scars from surgeries, her palms show where some lumps needed to be removed to prevent her fingers from permanently curling into her palms.  Her knuckles are beginning to show signs of arthritis and some of her fingers are going wonky near the top of the fingers, pointing either this way or that.  I imagine she must be in pain but she rarely says anything about it.  Most often she quietly gets up to go do a task that involves having her hands in hot water or wrapping them around a hot cup of coffee or tea. Her hands can still emphasize a good scolding with a swat or a pinch... but they can also soothe the hurts of a crying grandchild and they can teach anyone a craft or give them confidence with a “thumbs up” and a smile to brighten their day again.

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Be Mindful of the Environment We Share

As we drove home after a Monday evening journey past the city limits, I was surprised to see some geese already have a family, hatched and half grown.  There were cranes in some fields, migrating snow geese in others and swans rested in at least two of the sloughs we passed.  We watched a fox jumping on the ground as he hunted and two coyotes watched us watching them when we stopped to admire them.  Perhaps the highlight of the trip was viewing three black bears within a span of about sixty kilometres.  

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Wednesday August 4, 2021