Scalloped Corn... And it begins

I'm working really hard to remain positive and I think that I'm doing a good job (see?... positive)

I wish that I could tell you that my larder is full and the homemade pita bread that I attempted to make tonight turned out beautifully... but they didn't.  Well, about 8 out of 12 of them didn't.  On the up side, I had 4 turn out beautifully.  I'm doing my damnedest to stay positive.
Work, school - it's all the same for me.  And it's started today.  So it's back to early mornings, fixing bagged lunches and hustling off to dance classes and choir rehearsals.  For me it's a mixed blessing.  I love the students where I work and I really like the parents.  I'm just not a morning person and if the whole thing kicked off at 10 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. then I would be a completely different person.  No one at work seems to be taking on the comment to that effect that I keep dropping in the suggestion box though and that's a bummer.
For me work has always been difficult - haha, that sounded funny.  I was never one of those people who knew what they would do.  I never had a passion for that one thing that completely floated my boat and motivated me to get ahead and do my thing.  I've always had my fingers in a lot of pies.  But rather than no passion at all, I have a passion for a whole lot of things and they fluctuate widely and regularly.  Right now my passion is canning and filling my freezer for example.  I'm also pretty passionate about getting ready for a half marathon next month.  I always envied my friends who knew exactly what they wanted and just went for it.  I wished that I could be like that.  I felt weirdo but I just couldn't turn off all of those other things that I wanted to do and try in order to do that one thing.
Now I just accept it.  I go to work and do what I need to do.  It's all good.  I probably won't ever do that one thing really really well but I'll do 10 things reasonably well.  I'm ok with it.  For example, right now I'm into:
getting to the farmers market
running hills
reading about food and environmental politics
learning how the hell to use my camera
figuring out my new religion

Right now I'm not into:
cleaning or making my bed
buying new shoes that I need
listening to the radio
making complicated recipes (except the pita bread that I tried tonight but didn't read the recipe properly for)
writing more cheques
getting up early

So because of being into getting to the farmers market and not being into making complicated recipes AND needing to use up corn because we were leaving for 5 days on our last jaunt of the summer.  I made this corn thingy and put it in the freezer which served us well.  I ended up being happy because:
a.  I didn't waste food that I went all the way to the market for.
b.  The recipe wasn't long, drawn out or complicated.
c.  We had food after we arrived home and didn't have to go scrounging around for something to eat.
Win.  Win.  Win.  I figure that maybe if I weren't going in 20 directions at once then I might not have come up with the solution to the food 'problem' and we would've come home from Quebec City starving and then gotten sick because of the smell coming from the fridge... see?  Positive.

Scalloped Corn adapted from 'Extending the Table'
serves 8

2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup mild cheese grated
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs beaten
3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh parsley and chives, coarsely chopped

Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the onion and garlic together in a little butter until the onion is softened and slightly golden.
In a bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal and salt.
In another bowl mix together 2 cups of the cheese, all the milk and the eggs.  Mix well and add in the corn kernels and fresh herbs.  Mix.
Combine the flour mixture with the milk mixture.  Add in the onion mixture and combine well.
Pour into the baking dish and spread out evenly.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.  Bottom should be golden brown too.
Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Oatmeal Muffins for Fr A.

This post is happening hot on the heels of a very long run so I'm in a little pain.  I'm also in a little distress because it's the last long weekend of the summer.  Back to school and work happens in two days.
Now I'm not complaining here because I know what you all are thinking.  Probably something like:
'Must be nice to have the whole summer off'
'If I had the entire summer off I would be so rested'
'If I had the summer to enjoy I would never complain again'
etc and so on.
I'm with you.  I'd be thinking the same things if I were you.   It seems just too good to be true.
Here are some of the cons to having the summer off that you might not have thought of:
1.  You get used to getting up at about 7:30 or 8 a.m. and the adjustment back to 6 a.m. is a bitch (ok, that's not really making my case here is it)
2.  I can't take off during the cold months.
3.  I don't get paid during the summer 'vacation'.
4.  The kids are always off when I am off.

So right now I'm broke, trying to re-adjust my body clock and trying not to feel too sad that this is it for vacation until Christmas.
Our kids had a fabulous summer though.  They are not complaining at all.  Kid #1 is going into gr 6.  She is also doing dance, piano and choir.  All are going to be requiring a little more work from her this year so she is feeling some pressure.  Given her summer though she's off to a great start.  We did everything (except getting her some cheese bagels while in Montreal which I'm still feeling kinda bad about) including a trip to Niagara Falls while our family from the UK were here.  The thing is that we were a little unsure about how we would get there.  Our car only fits 5 and we were 7.  Not gonna work right?  That's when Fr. A stepped in.

Fr. A is good friends with my BFF KT and works at the school that I work at.  He is our archivist... in every way.  Fr A has been working at the school for a very long time and in the priesthood for even longer.  If there is a better, nicer more generous person out there though I sure as hell haven't met them.  Get an picture in your head of what your perfect Grandfather would be like and that is pretty much Fr A.  Maybe even a little cooler than you (read: I) would have pictured.  Fr A has a minivan and he let me borrow it for the day to drive our crew down to Niagara.  Who does that?  Just let's somebody drive off with their vehicle for a day.  Needless to say Fr A got his van completely filled to the brim with gas (he never keeps it very full at all) but I still felt like I needed to do something else to say 'Thank You'.
My BFF told me that he loved muffins and oatmeal.  Well that decided it.  Muffins with Fr A's name on them... and a big hug and a bigger Thank You.

Oatmeal Muffins adapted from 'More with Less'
makes about 13 medium muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Combine 1 cup of rolled oats (you can use quick but I used regular) and 1 1/4 cup boiling water.  Set aside for 20 minutes.
In another bowl combine:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour,
1 tsp baking soda,
1 tsp baking powder,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tsp cinnamon and a
dash each of nutmeg and allspice.  Set aside.

Meanwhile cream together 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, 1 cup brown sugar and a scant 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in two large eggs.  Mix in 1 tsp vanilla.
Add the oatmeal to the butter mixture.  Mix well.
Add the flour to the butter/oatmeal mixture.
Add in some raisins if you feel for that sort of thing.
Fill a cupcake tin lined with papers or whatever with the batter - just barely up to the top.
Sprinkle with some streusel if you feel for that sort of thing (which I did).
Bake for 23 - 28 minutes depending, until a tester comes out clean from the centre muffin.
Cool and then deliver to your favourite person or somebody who's done something nice that they didn't have to do and put a big bow on it and say THANK YOU.

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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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