Enchanted By the Morning Light

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Try as I might, there was no sleeping past 5:30 this morning.  Mr. Snuffleupagus beside me could not be quieted so I finally gave up around 6-ish!  I came to my computer to catch up on my morning emails and see what was happening in the Facebook world when I looked outside and realised the sun had already come up but it was still that lovely morning light.

So, out of my PJs and into my tank top, shorts (because though the thermometre said 21°C (70°F), the humidex had it already at 27°F (81°F) and running shoes to make one certain dog verrrrry happy.  We were out of the door by 6:15.

Poor Zeke had not been on one of our walks since June!  (In all fairness, we did go on vacation, climbed mountains, swam in oceans and hiked so he did not go without!)  We’ve had such hot and humid weather since our return (except the previous week where we though summer was over and Autumn already here!) that I just couldn’t bring him out for any long period of time.  That, and I just could not seem to get up before 9:00!

I was just so enchanted by the morning light that I snapped away.

Please, enjoy!

 

 

I Wish I Had A River….

Yessiree!  Another cold one out there folks and there is no sign of it letting up for a good week at least so we might as well deal with it as best we can and have fun while doing so.  To prove that point, here’s my neighbour, Aalia Adam, a reporter for Global News who decided to goof around with her cameraman!

Of course, I’m talking to you Northerners from Canada and North-Eastern from the States.  Today was my coldest one yet with Zeke -23°C (-9°F) with a wind chill of -31°C (-24°F).  See, he doesn’t give a rat’s ass if I have the chance of freezing my face off.  He’s got a really good fur coat and well, loves to play in the snow.  So really, what am I waiting for?  If Aalia can play with bubbles, I can play with Zeke!

Soooo after a nice warm breakfast of oatmeal with strawberries and bananas, I kissed hubby good-bye and set off for Parc de Brouages, discovered by accident on a walk a while ago.  It’s a good 2 km or so (totally guessing but probably even further) from home and Zeke was a pain in the ass, pulling on the leash.  He knows there is always going to be an off-leash period and till we get there he drives me nuts.

We finally make it there and it’s way more than I expect!  I knew it wasn’t a very big woods and I had noticed that there were trails but there is no way I was expecting a stream (too small to call it a river, I would think!) and a couple of bridges…  And this right behind an elementary school.  I pity the teachers and recess monitors!  There must surely be cases of children going outside the boundaries!

As it has been so cold, the snow is a lot more solid and there are less chances of sinking.  We walk along (or in Zeke’s case, bound from one section to another and back and forth….)

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As I was walking along, I just couldn’t help but hum my favourite Joni Mitchell tune, The River (yes, I know, it’s a Christmas tune but still, it seemed to apply here….)

We made our way back, coming across the same park as the previous day and I lay down in the snow, trying to get Zeke to be a good subject, and this is the best I could do!

I promise, I will lay off the Zeke and walking posts!  Can’t have my readers think I’m one-dimensional, eh?

Taking a Break

Once I finally got the house to myself, I set to work: dishes (how do they pile up so?), grape jelly, dishes, apple jelly, dishes, Maple-Apple Muffins (recipe below – finally!) and more apples cooked down to make another batch of jelly (methinks the next one will have mint) – remember, I have oodles of apples to use – I decided to take the pooch out for a walk. I have promised him we will get in a 45-60 minute walk every day.

What a glorious day for it! I mean, seriously, it’s October 10th and I was dressed in shorts, a tank-top and flip-flops for goodness’ sake! It hit 25 degrees Celsius! Whoop! Whoop! I know this is probably not a good thing with Global Warming and all but, living in an area where the winters can be pretty ferocious, we have learnt to enjoy the heat whilst we can!

That said, Zeke and I made our way to “Teletubbie Park”, as we have so named it. (When we moved to this area, the boys were in grades 2 and 4 so we walked with them before the school year to show them how to get to their new school and not get lost. We discovered the lovely hills right next to the school and noticed how much it looked like the ones on that most annoying of children’s shows – which OF COURSE our boys loved when they were small).
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OK.. this is not the best shot to really sense the hills but anyway… 😉

Zeke

Zeke

Zeke really enjoys when we come here because I let him run off leash so he can sniff away at all the delicious scents unhindered. The day was simply to be enjoyed and I regretted not having gone out sooner. Silly me!

We then continued our walk through the neighbourhood, enjoying the colours and the last vestiges of various flower gardens. These too have a lovely look to them as they gently, in the case of certain hydrangeas; or, violently, in the case of the fire bush, change colours.

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage

On our way back home, we passed a bunch of rose bushes laden with rosehips… Would that I could be certain the City does not spray them with pesticide (though I seriously doubt they do) and that they were not right next to a boulevard in daily contact with exhaust fumes… I would so love to transform them into jelly!

Rosehips

Rosehips

Now, as promised, here is the recipe for the apple muffins. I have this wonderful go-to book that I return to again and again. It is Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too, by Susan G. Purdy. As the name suggests, it contains a bunch of low-fat but fabulous tasting recipes. So, no, I cannot take credit for this recipe!

Vermont Maple-Apple Muffins

Maple Apple Muffins

Maple Apple Muffins

Ingredients
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice or skim milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp maple or vanilla extract
1 medium tart apple, peeled, cored and finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsifted whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour, sifted it and added the good stuff to the batter!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Topping
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Position rack in the centre of the oven and preheat it to 355oF. Coat a 12-muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, combine first 9 ingredients. Beat well with a wooden spoon, then stir in the oats.
3. Set a strainer over the bowl, add dry ingredients. Using the back of a spoon, stir and sift the dry ingredients onto the egg mixture. Stir well to blend.
4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until tops of muffins are well risen and crisp and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for a few minutes, then use a fork to lift out of the muffins and cool completely on the rack. Serve warm.

217 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fat, 0.5 g satfat, 40g carbohydrate, 199 mg sodium,18 mg cholesterol

Oh! And a little funny to end this one. In this particular recipe, it is specified 1 medium apple, “about 1 cup” of apples… great!. What about when it is stated to add one apple, which one would you choose?
apples