Sunday, May 31, 2009

A bowlful of history

I recently acquired my great-grandmother's Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

I'm not sure when she got it and it only has the one attachment still and it's a little bit beat up, but I love it. My great-grandmother (better known as Grandma Hailstone) passed away in March 2005. I had the awesome honour of eulogizing her, which was pretty special, but even better was inheriting first many of her knitting supplies and now her stand mixer.

Grandma Hailstone was a fantastic cook, but it was her baking that really got the family going. She made the greatest pastry ever (seriously, the greatest ever and I am still trying to perfect the recipe [which I am not allowed to EVER share, else my branch of the family tree will be lopped off]), which would become the best butter tarts ever. And her doughnuts were just the thing with a cup of tea in the afternoon.

When I was younger, there was a Farmer's Market every Saturday morning that Grandma Hailstone would go to and she would take a large carafe of coffee and trays of her butter tarts, doughnuts and cookies and she would sell them to friends, family and other locals. Of course, she didn't have a license or any of that nonsensical paperwork that one would need if one was anywhere other than outside-of-small-town Ontario. I remember going to the Farmer's Market as a child and buying a dozen butter tarts from Grandma Hailstone, then going back to her place for a visit and having her serve us more butter tarts to go with our tea.

When I look at the stand mixer, I think about all the wonderful things she must have made with it. All the time she must have spent in her kitchen, making the pumpkin pies we would eat at Thanksgiving and the shortbread we would have at Christmas. I try to live my life without regrets, but one thing I do regret is never visiting Grandma Hailstone and baking with her. I would love to know what her recipe secrets were, how she added a pinch of this or a dash of that to make something extra special.

Even though I missed out on that, at least now I can do my own baking and strive to one day be as good as she was.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fun new things

Ack, it's been over two months since I've bothered to post anything. I've got no better excuse than laziness.

I'd like to say that lots of exciting and wonderful and fantastic things have happened over the past two months, but not really. Although I have managed to acquire a significant other, which is rather nice. I've know him for about four years (we went to school together) but it wasn't until this past March that things really came together. And I've already spent a weekend with his family and that went well, so I'm kinda pleased with the whole thing.

One thing I've noticed with this new relationship is that dating is different when you're in your thirties. (For the record, I'm 29 but I'm in my thirtieth year, so that qualifies me for being in my thirties.) There's more maturity now, less alcohol-fueled physicality. There are conversations about things that matter and things that are relevant; there are weeknight sleepovers that have us in bed at a respectable hour; there are weekends together because we're both 9-to-5'ers.

Although maybe I'm being unfair; maybe this isn't a product of being out of my twenties but instead because I've finally partnered with someone who is my equal, intellectually, professionally and personally, someone who is at the same point in his life as I am in mine. Of course, I'm not trying to say he's "the One" or anything that presumptuous, as it has only been two months. But it's nice to be in a relationship that is good.

I'm not going to lie, it's pretty damn nice to finally get what I want out of a relationship. The fact that he's also getting what he wants is also pretty great. (Because we have wonderful adult-like conversations about that kind of thing. Then we play video games. We are nerds and it is glorious.)