Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins

IMG_9347When our dear neighbour died many years ago, his daughters asked us to have a look and see if there was anything in the barn that we would be able to use. They’d rather us have it to use on our adjacent property, than selling it in bits and pieces to others. Our cows had run in a mixed herd with his for many years, and we’d managed them together. At some point, we purchased his animals from him, and started leasing the land. Calves were born on both properties, and grew up into producing cows on the same land.

After his death, the property was sold to a new family, and they planned on using the land for an equestrian center. For many years, our cows would walk the property line, looking for any break, or loosening of wire to get through to their known range. Finally in 2015, our herd is young enough that all were born and raised only on our side of the fence. Rarely is there an issue of a fence breach to “the other side”. Walking to check the herd takes half the time, as does fixing fences, but I still get nostalgic for the old days.

Here’s the recipe for muffins that I made to share over at the barn the day that we went through it, finding old treasures, useful bales of barbed wire, a red sickle bar mower, enough split rails to fence a large yard, and memories. Continue reading

Mrs. Ansell’s Cookies

IMG_3738When we were young, Mom & Dad would arrange for Mrs. Ansell to stay over whenever they were away.  She was what would be called a tough old bird.  She drove a turquoise & white Hillman, and was strict without being harsh.  Her hair was a brilliant red cap of curls, which now I understand must have been dyed.

One morning while under her care, we were off to swimming lessons.  I remember sitting in the middle between my sister and brother in the back seat of the car as we hurtled down Dunbar Street.  When we heard sirens, we all strained to look, wondering what was happening.  When we realized that they were coming for us, we all hid under the scratchy plaid blanket on the floor.  I was sure that Mrs. Ansell was going to jail, and wondered what would happen to us.  The three of us stayed under that blanket until we were well under way once again.

Her legacy, besides our first brush with the law, is these amazing oatmeal cookies.  They are crisp on the outside with chew in the middle.  The batch makes at least 12 dozen.  They’re still a family favourite, and have been passed on to other families as well.

Not sure about my siblings, but I always have a plaid blanket in my back seat.  Just in case.IMG_3680 Continue reading