musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

memories are made of this

My mother is haunting me this week. Not as a ghostly apparition – she'd never approve such hijinks. "What would people think?" No, Mom's hauntings are more likely to follow the path of gentle reminder. I might find an unexpected hug in one of her crocheted "love-in-every-stitch" blankets, catch the familiar strains of Que Sera, Sera while channel surfing, or lift the lid on happy memories in the kitchen.
I made harvest soup on Sunday afternoon and as I pulled the old Dutch oven from the depths of the cupboard, Mom was there. 

Sunday's Harvest Soup in Mom's Dutch Oven

Mom and that cast iron pot were ever-present in my childhood, serving up delicious, nourishing (and thrifty) meals, everything from her oddball "Irish" stew made with ground beef and curry, to chicken with melt-in-your-mouth dumplings. And let's not forget the world's finest chili sauce. Mmm, I can almost smell it now. Small wonder lifting that lid still conjures the very best memories of Mom.

Mom's Chili Sauce

·         11 quart basket ripe tomatoes (skinned and coarsely chopped)

·         4 red and 4 green sweet peppers (coarsely chopped)

·         1 or 2 red hot peppers (finely and very carefully chopped – don't get the juice on you!)

·         2 bunches of celery (coarsely chopped)

·         10-12 onions (chopped)

·         5 cups apple cider vinegar

·         5 tablespoons salt

·         3 cups brown sugar

·         2 quarts of apples (coarsely chopped – these help to thicken the sauce)

Seasonings: (tie in a cheesecloth bag and immerse in sauce while it cooks)

·         1 tablespoon cloves

·         1 tablespoon cinnamon

·         2 teaspoons ginger

·         2 teaspoons allspice

Simmer until it thickens. Makes about 12 pint sealers.



Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

the write spot

Have you ever walked down a street just after dark, in that twilight time when indoor lights are coming on but curtains aren't yet drawn? Windows become irresistibly inviting, framing intimate glimpses of other people's lives, of stories waiting to be told.
There's a special kind of connection that happens when we're allowed those glimpses into private worlds. I think that's why I was so fascinated by the photos of famous writers' retreats in this article. My favourite is Virginia Woolf's little hut. It would suit me very well indeed.
So now I'm on a quest. Where do the rest of us (famous and not-so-famous writers) write? I hope you'll leave a comment with a link to a photo of your own writing room or favourite writing spot. Let's make some connections.
This is my cozy corner. Where's yours?

my writing room


Labels: , ,

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

breathing space

1. a respite or a time of respite from something
2. a scheduled period during which activity is suspended
3. a period of exemption from work
4. a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation

Synonyms: breathing space, fiesta, furlough, gone fishing, holiday, intermission, layoff, leave, liberty, long weekend, recess, recreation, respite, rest, sabbatical, spell, time off.

Antonyms: work

Usage: Ahhh.  It's been a good vacation.   Also: Awww. Vacation will be over tomorrow. But it's been lovely.

Roundup: Nine days of theatre, wineries, relaxing, movies, reading, writing, relaxing, visiting, wandering, and more relaxing. Yes, I could definitely get used to this.