Beer blog

My friend Stacy and I are both fans of quality beer, paired with food or on its own – there are so many great beers to try.

So, we started a project a few years ago collecting beer recipes, beer pairing ideas, attending beer festivals and tastings, learning which glass is appropriate for each type of beer (and why), wound up with tons of great info.  Well, now we can share the info with you in a web site simply called BEER which you can visit at:


And, don’t forget to coordinate a bottle drive with your team, club or group to raise funds. Best times are after stat holidays and sporting events.  For more information, visit – get a free guide to coordinate your next bottle drive.

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Easy-Bake explosion

Easy-Bake explosion
Jo-Jo's Easy-Bake Oven

Jo-Jo's Easy-Bake Oven

When I was a kid in the mid 60s, I really, really, really, really wanted an Easy-Bake Oven.  I finally got a yellow one for Christmas one year with a few cake mixes to bake.  I was very proud of that toy because it was a big item.  I still thought nice things came in large packages.

Haywire liked it too but I wouldn’t share.

So, when I wasn’t looking he picked a bunch of dandelions and buttercups, put them in the cake pan with water, slid his witches brew into the Easy-Bake Oven and waited.  The light bulbs heated up quickly, the conconction took longer but when it was ready, it flowed over the edges of the pan, hit the bulbs and . . . KABOOM – the damned thing blew up.

All I remember is that I was livid — it was ruined and never got replaced.  In my mind’s eye it was a mangled black melted mess.  In actuality it was probably undamaged but my parents likely realized how potentially dangerous the “childs toy” could be so they got rid of it.  I just read online that it went through many recalls due to severe burns, kid fingers getting stuck inside and other issues.

I think it’s about time to forgive Haywire for blowing up my Easy-Bake Oven.

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Soup pho you

Wow – you gotta love pho!

I just had lunch with two old friends and we each had the usual – a huge bowl of pho.  It has so many wonderful flavours with the fresh herbs and lemon juice, hot sauce, thinly shaved raw beef, noodles and rich stock – mmm.  I hate the one that has tripe in it – nothing can be worse than tripe (except kale and caraway of course). Pho is very filling for a mid-day meal but I’ll just eat a lighter dinner tonight.  I’m a carb addict so any kind of noodles that are served in a huge bowl appeal to me.

Without fail, I splat broth onto my glasses, shirt whatever else gets in the path of my noodle slurping.

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Pete’s booze can

Years ago while volunteering at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, my pal Peter came up with a great idea.  You see, his mom Jill went to the festival every year as did the moms of a few other festival coordinators/staff including mine (a few times).  Since the licensed community hall across the road was vacant all day (we used it for the evening volunteer and performer parties), he figured we should take over the beautiful garden terrace each day for a refuge for the moms. His idea was to host a cocktail hour serving up G&T and other summer coolers, so they could all have a place to cool down in comfort.  It was a great idea but it never happened.

Well, we are saddened by her loss last summer and we’ll be thinking of her on those hot days at the festival. In her memory, but named for her son who had the idea, I think it should happen this year but be open to coordinators, staff and performers.  It would be such a nice peaceful place to get away from all the hectic activities of the festival.

The festival mascot is named Pete so people with think it is named for him – it will save us from having to explain the name over and over again.

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Ode to Butter Chicken

The perfect balance

tomatoe, cream, yoghurt and butter

chilies, cinnamon, garam masala and cardamom

chicken and almonds

We have a regular engagement

you are delivered to our home

we wait and wait and anticipate

every delicious bite.

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I love my husband.  My life changed when I met him and we enjoy our lives together.

I love my brother.  I see him on average of once every 5 years since 1994 but I hope that one day we won’t live on different continents.

I love my parents.  The more years that pass, the more I realize how much I learned from them.

I love my friends. When I reconnect with a friend I haven’t seen in 20 years, it is like hardly a day has passed (once we get used to how different the other looks) and things go forward. I may not get to see them often, but I think of them always.

I love mother nature.  She makes everything worth it.  Her metabolism is out of whack but we can save her.

I love my dog.  There is nothing like the unconditional love you get from a dog.  Cats are another story.

I love my friend’s dogs.  ditto

I love my home. Everyone needs a place to call home.  End homelessness now.

I love food.  Ethnic, simple, old fashioned or elegant – I love it all (except caraway).

I love to travel.  I miss the creature comforts of home when I’m away; and I miss the adventures when I’m home.

I love life.

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