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The Writer They Call Tay
14 July 2017 @ 04:43 pm
It's Mum's birthday, almost, and we're celebrating tonight, and that means it's time for Rhubarb Coffee Cake, which is a standard Bard Family Birthday recipe. Since we've had a rash of losing recipes of late (where are you, pumpkin muffins?) I'm posting this here both to share and as a back-up if we lose the card.

"Rhubarb Coffee Cake" (from, my mum thinks, the local newspaper)
Things you will need:
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1/2 C butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda IN
1 C milk
2 C rhubarb, cut in pieces
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

What you do:

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

Cream together first four ingredients.
Add flour, mix.
Put baking soda into milk and let dissolve, then add milk to batter. Mix.
Fold in rhubarb.
Spread batter in 8x8 pan or other appropriate receptacle.
Mix brown/coconut sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 40-45 mins, or until the cake is cooked through and the top is bubbly.


NOTES: We substitute Splenda for the white sugar and coconut sugar for brown sugar, which works fine, but may affect baking times, so monitor your creations. You will need something that caramelises for the topping, whatever you may substitute. Frozen rhubarb works great if you don't have fresh. Let it semi-thaw before tossing it in, and the extra liquid while it's baking adds moisture.

We usually have it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, but it's also really nice cold for breakfast. It's not a very sweet recipe; the rhubarb gives it a nice tang.

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
08 July 2017 @ 11:55 am
Back home from cottaging now! We had a super week. Ascii is getting old and I think she was a little confused while we were there, but the three walks a day and the screened in porch helped ease things for her. She came home and went to bed. :-D

I intended to do some writing while I was there, but I mostly just rested and recovered, which is fine, because that's what I was there to do. I had to come in to town one day for a doctor's appointment (they were squeezing me in, so it felt rude to say 'hey we're away, can we do this another time'). It was a specialist, and he's given me a new treatment plan which hopefully will help with my recent health issues. Basically, my menstrual cycles have gone completely out of whack and I've been pretty sick with it, but this should help me get back on track again. PCOS for the suck.

Anyway, it was great to get away and also nice to be back again. Hope everyone had a nice week and the Yanks had a good Independence Day!

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The Writer They Call Tay
01 July 2017 @ 10:01 pm
We've safely arrived at the cottage, and there is excellent Wi-Fi, which we've been told is unlimited, so we can stream and everything, which is nice. It's pouring rain just at the moment, sort of a Canada Day tradition. I remember every year when I was little, we'd settle in for the big concert on Parliament Hill at night and every year it would start, then get get rained out, until they moved it to midday instead. We didn't attend any celebrations, so it doesn't matter much, and the weather up to now has been middling to fair, and travel days are wasted ones anyway, so it's not a big deal.

The new cottage is amazing, even better than the old one. The only downside is lack of dishwasher, which is countered by the inclusion of a bathtub, so swings and roundabouts, really. And as a super bonus, I don't have to sleep on the couch, which I did at the old cottage after the year it tried to kill me. I have a bedroom and a bed!

Anyway, all is well, and we're settled in nicely and should have a good week.

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The Writer They Call Tay
30 June 2017 @ 06:57 pm
Tomorrow is Canada's 150th Birthday! Yay Canada! I'm going to be heading up to the cottage tomorrow, so I'm posting tonight in case I don't get a chance tomorrow morning. I'll be gone until the following Saturday. It's a new cottage this year since our old one decided not to allow dogs anymore and we couldn't leave poor Ascii girl at home. She's eleven years old and never been boarded, and it's not the time to start that.

So, the new cottage looks very pleasant, and it has Wi-Fi, but it's hard to know how good it will be, therefore I may be radio silent until I come back.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a happy and safe Canada Day and July 4th and week ahead, and I'll see you soon!

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The Writer They Call Tay
Mom and I watch When Calls the Heart on CBC, which is a super cheesy, but cute show (hot frontier mounties!) that we enjoy because this trend toward gritty/violent/dark television really isn't our jam. Despite it being a joint American/Canadian production, they've shown, I think five seasons in the States, but only two here. Season 3 started here last night.

Except, oh, by the way, there was a two-hour special that aired at Christmas of 2015 in the States and CBC either couldn't it show here or decided not to, for some reason. So that cliffhanger at the end of Season 2? Resolved in the special. New backstory for existing characters? Brought in during the special. New characters extremely relevant to the current season? Brought in during the special. This was covered in a brief 'previously on' at the start of the episode where Mom and I looked at each other and went 'I don't remember that'.

At first, we thought maybe we'd missed an episode, but I looked on the CBC website and they have everything up to stream, but nothing we hadn't seen. So I checked Wiki and discovered there'd been a special. Then I looked on Netflix, because it's up there, but they didn't have it either. Nor does iTunes. We managed to hunt down a very detailed recap from a fansite to fill in our missing knowledge and there were clips available elsewhere, so we got through well enough, but geez, CBC.

It's possible they aired it as a special at some point and we missed it, but the fact that the three legal resources I looked at didn't have it suggests that they didn't.

Of course, in the grand scheme of the world, this isn't important, but it is annoying, especially for a girl who just wants happy television as she recovers from six months of feeling like total crap and a previous year of feeling like semi-crap.

Thankfully MST3K on Netflix has been proving to be extremely enjoyable for a frazzled brain. :-D

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Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
 
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
06 June 2017 @ 06:29 pm
I wasn't able to see the new 'Beauty and the Beast' film in theatres, so I'm waiting for it to come to PPV, but I've listened to the soundtrack a little and the new song the Beast sings is absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking. And today I randomly stumbled on the French translation and it's honestly one of the most beautiful translations I've heard of any song ever:



Lyrics + TranslationCollapse )

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The Writer They Call Tay
04 June 2017 @ 09:48 am
I just finished the first season of Supergirl on Netflix yesterday, only to find that they don't have season two up yet. I'm aware it's a corny, iffy show, but I just am in the frame of mind for lighthearted, corny shows at the moment. So, I thought I'd Google to see when Netflix might be getting season two.

Well, it turns out that season two aired on The CW in America, rather than CBS, which is what season one aired on. Which explains why when I went to Global, which showed season one here in Canada, they sent me to Showcase, whom, I assumed picked it up after CBS/Global dropped it? I don't know. Anyway, they have the last three episodes of the season to stream, which doesn't help me. And apparently CW has a deal with Netflix to get their shows up eight days after airing, but in Canada, the other DC CW shows (Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, etc) are on CraveTV, a different streaming app to which I am not subscribed because they don't have enough content I want to watch to make it worth my while and also I can't get it on my TV without a third party device that would cost me about $200, and, since Mom and I watch a lot of stuff together and you can't sync an iPad to another automatically, it's hard to find a way for us both to watch something if we can't get it up on the TV. But a quick browse suggests that they don't have Supergirl on there either, anyway.

So the question remains, will Canadian Netflix get season two? And when? Murdoch Mysteries switched channels halfway through its run and the first several seasons have disappeared from existence because no one seems to have the rights to them anymore, is this going to be another sort of limbo thing?

I can't find out about Supergirl because when I Google, all the results tell me it's up on the American Netflix. And I can't get American Netflix because licensing is stupid.

This could, of course, probably be solved in a dodgy manner, but I do my best to get content as legally as possible. I suppose there's always iTunes.

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The Writer They Call Tay
29 May 2017 @ 11:09 am
I'm doing another run on my family tree and spent yesterday trying to track down the husband of one of my dad's great-aunt's. My dad's side of the family is really hard to track because A) he knows nothing about family history, B) we have no one to ask on that side that might know, and C) they all had, like, five names and all of them chose to go by a random one that wasn't their first and D) no one before about 1930 knows when they were fucking born and decided it arbitrarily on each official document. Luckily, at least one branch lived in Quebec, where the records are awesome, provided you got married in the church and were baptized.

Anyway, all we knew about Great-Aunt's husband was his last name, via knowing one of their sons. So, I'm searching through all the censuses, trying to find where Gwen is living with him, variations on her name, etc., and getting nowhere. Out of curiosity, I switch to searching by the husband. As in, literally, all I have to search by is "Last Name, married This Last Name at some point". No birthdate, marriage date, location of birth, profession, nothing.

Their marriage record came up as the first listing.

So, Ancestry decided that Her Last Name married to His Last Name didn't match, but His Last Name Married to Her Last Name did. Now knowing his first name, I have discovered: the names of the other two sons, his parents' names, where he was born, what he did for a living, when he died, and found a random picture of my great-aunt posing with her future sister-in-law.

Mom and I watch Finding Your Roots on PBS, and she always complains about how the host goes on about what he did to finding the information, in what she feels to be an obnoxious fashion, but let me tell you, with how much work it sometimes is, I would be going 'guess what I freakin' did to find this!', too.

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Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
The Writer They Call Tay
27 May 2017 @ 01:11 pm
It's Canada's 150's birthday this year and CBC has been airing a series called "The Story of Us" on Sunday nights, which recounts the history of Canada from when the first settlers arrived up until modern times, taking interesting stories from various eras of history. Obviously, there's a lot left out, but it includes an incredible amount of stuff I had no idea about. It's done through reenacting scenes narrated over by various Canadian celebs, professors, writers, soldiers, and other people of note. Including a very silver-haired Paul Gross, who has aged very well.

I doubt it's available outside of Canada, but the on the off-chance you can watch it or live in Canada haven't seen it, the website is here. It finished a couple of weeks ago but Mum and I just finished last night due to practically all the television we watch in a week airing on Sunday night at the same time. We have DVR full of stuff to catch up on.

Some stuff I learned that I didn't know:
-- on at least three occasions, Canadians have won important battles by pretending there were more soldiers there than there were. These incidents are unrelated and spread out over hundreds of years; it's like it's just built into our DNA to go 'well, there's only three of us, but if we run around and make a lot of noise, we might be able to make them think there's more of us and they might surrender and we won't have to fight them'. And it worked on all three occasions. Including Vimy Ridge in WWI, where one soldier captured 96 Germans in a bunker by calling up to his few men above as though there were a platoon of them and ferrying them out in small, manageable groups once they'd been disarmed, so the few above weren't overwhelmed.
-- the most decorated sniper of WWI from Canada was a First Nations man named, Francis Pegahmagabow who was a total badass.
-- There was a black woman in 1940's Nova Scotia named Viola Desmond, who went to the cinema in different town and didn't know it was segregated there. She intended to buy a main floor ticket, but was given a mezzanine ticket since that was where you had to sit if you were black. She didn't know she had been given the different ticket and went to sit on the main floor, only to be euphemistically told she had the wrong ticket and to go upstairs, so she went back to correct the 'mistake' and exchange her ticket, only to be told she couldn't. She decided to sit on the main floor anyway and was arrested, put in jail overnight and charged a $26 fine for 'tax evasion' because the main floor ticket cost one cent more than the mezzanine ticket and she hadn't bought a main floor ticket. That's almost a $370 fine in today's money. Despite her challenging it, it was thrown out on a technically of the claim being filed after the 10 days time limit. She was officially pardoned in 2010, and is going to be the first Canadian woman to appear on a bank note in 2018.

Anyway, if you can find a way to watch the series, I highly recommend it. It's really fascinating and well done.

All the way through it I kept going "I bet my vampire lived through that".

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The Writer They Call Tay
24 May 2017 @ 10:03 am
A few months ago my mom was browsing a magazine at the physiotherapist when she found a recipe for really easy scones. My family has to deal with both my parents being diabetic and me having all the sensitivities ever (soy! tomatoes! potatoes! food colouring!), so we do a lot of baking and creative substitutions and I always get excited to have something new to eat that's easy to do, since my menu is so limited. We gave these a whirl and they're so, so good. Really light and fluffy, a little like a sweet soda bread with a less coarse crumb. The remind me of the baking powder biscuits you get at American KFCs. Or used to, I haven't eaten American KFC in about twenty years.

I'm not sure the original creator of the recipe, but it looks like a variation of a cream scone. It's very yummy.

Easy Scone Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream

Directions

Mix your dry ingredients together. Add whipping cream. Mix with fork until combined. Throw out on floured surface and roll dough out to 3/4" thickness. Cut with cutter of your choice. Bake at 400ºF/200C for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown. Enjoy!

Variations
We usually do a double batch, since one dose makes enough for, say, having with stew, but we like to have extras for snack or breakfast. We've used table cream which has less fat and is cheaper without any noticeable difference in the taste or texture. Our family never puts salt in when we're baking, or only a few shakes, so you can leave that out if you want. I've also used half and half all-purpose and whole wheat flour in a pinch and it was still very yummy. The original recipe states you can toss dried fruit, cheese, chocolate chips, etc. in there to spice things up, but they are quite good on their own with just butter and/or jam. The other thing you can do if you don't have time to roll and cut is toss the dough in an 8x8 pan and cook for about 25-30 minutes to make a cake. The dough does rise a lot, so make sure your pan has room for growth.

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