Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hespeler Village, The Last Lecture,

I'm not exactly bright and early this morning either. Matt had to call me to get up, I am not usually a slug-a-bed. It was interesting visiting our friends yesterday, for one reason or another we haven't been to their home before. It is a very old place by North American standards and was built in the 1800's. Their back yard slopes down to the Speed River and the whole place is very attractive. The storm I mentioned last Tuesday did a lot of damage to the trees, especially their neighbour's where there is a rather dangerous branch hanging down which could go at any time. Our friend has dozens of rose bushes which, unfortunately are mostly no longer in flower, I would love to have seen them when they were. Above is a picture of the Black Bridge Mill which shows the old stone buildings of which there are a lot in Hespeler Village where our friends live. Our friend is very keen on gardening and the whole yard is a mass of flowering plants of one kind or another. She even has Yucca plants in flower, they grow wild in North Carolina, didn't think they would grow up here. The second picture is from the Speed River showing some of the churches in Hespeler. Unfortunately the village has now been swallowed up in Cambridge which is composed of three original towns/villages, Galt, Preston and Hespeler. I don't think anyone will ever stop using the original names though. We lived in Cambridge for 13 years, and to anyone local where we lived was Galt. Our friends used to own the bowling alley in Hespeler which was where we have bowled most of our time in Canada. To our great regret, they recently sold it and it is no longer even an alley any more. I was sad to hear Randy Pausch died yesterday. His last lecture to his students created a great stir, it was the most incredible talk and demonstrated that it is not necessary to be down and out when you know cancer is going to kill you. I have posted the lecture to another blog page. Do watch him if you haven't done so, he is very inspiring. I cannot get the YouTube video to post in my blog for some reason. If you would like to view the video click here it is really worth watching and very inspiring. Tonight we will be having Picadillo for supper. This is a version I just got from the internet. There are dozens of different recipes for Picadillo the one we are using tonight adds yoghurt and radishes, others have cheese in them.

Cuban Picadillo recipe - Beef Hash of Cuba

courtesy of Cocina Cubana Club (please join) / Pascual Perez and chef Sonia Martinez The following can be added to white rice or used as filling in the "pastelitos" recipe in the dessert section to make small meat pies. For picadillo you can use ground lean beef or turkey. 1 lb ground meat 1 large onion, chopped 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 small can tomato sauce 1/4 cup dry white wine Pimiento stuffed olives Raisins Salt and pepper to taste In a large skillet, brown the ground meat, onions and garlic. If meat is not too lean, pour out whatever fat you render. turn heat down to medium low. Add the tomato sauce and wine. While it simmers, chop up the pimiento stuffed olives and add to meat mixture, it is ok to add a little bit of the brine, if you wish. Add the raisins and adjust the seasonings. I like my picadillo almost dry, not too soupy. Serve over fluffy, white rice. If you like it soupier, just add more tomato sauce and/or wine, if you wish.

Have a great day.


  1. Jo -- Beautiful house' beautiful place.

    I've never heard of pastelitos, but one is never too old to learn.


  2. I didn't actually mention, our friend's house is built of the old stone as shown in the picture of the mill.

    I see the video of the Last Lecture didn't post, I must rectify that.

  3. Tht view of Hespeler across the river reminds me of places I've seen in France - though gynie may disagree with me. :D

    Some yuccas grow here too, though not wild. There were some big ones in the garden of the first place we rented, and I suffered many scratched legs and arms from their pointy leaves as a child.

  4. I guess I am somewhat naive about what plants grow where. I was very surprised when we came back to Canada to see plants, shrubs, trees growing here that I thought would only grow in the southern climate. It gets pretty warm here in the summer, as hot as anywhere really, but it gets pretty cold here too so I would have thought these plants wouldn't survive.

  5. Actually, that view across the river reminds me of Europe in general, I can think of a town in Holland that looks just like that. One has to remember that Hespeler was mostly built by immigrants, as were all the older places in North America.

  6. i was thinking it was looking like french village ^^ that is surprising but not so much as you say it Jo, because of the immigrants.

    but still i can't help being surprised ^^

    i couldn'tt watch the video is it me stupid or the link is not the good one ?

  7. Sorry Gynie, the link was bad. It seems to work OK now though.

  8. Ah, I haven't been to Holland.