Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas, Ice Storm, Bowling.

Merry Christmas to all my blogging friends and readers. Not sure if I will post over Christmas, probably not.

As I mentioned yesterday, we had a storm and a half on Sunday with the result that a lot of Ontario is in a mess. Monday morning there were still 300,000 people without power in Toronto alone, not to mention other areas. Some of these people will probably not get power again until after Christmas. I am so sorry for them, what a time for it too happen. We were really on the fringe of the storm and very lucky; however, driving to the bowling alley on Monday afternoon, I have never seen anything like it. It looked more like a hurricane had blown through. There were large tree limbs as well as dozens of smaller ones, down all over the place. Everything is still covered in ice, very pretty, but the weight of the ice is pulling trees apart like ripped cardboard. Never seen such extreme results from freezing rain before. We lost power for about 12 hours and we were really lucky that’s all that happened to us.

I took a few photos of our tree and some ornaments. Our tree which is covered in orn2013-12-23 05.47.50aments. I missed the top. Not much of a cameraman me. 2013-12-23 05.48.29
We have two of these Santa boots, hope his feet don’t get too cold.

2013-12-23 05.48.47
I love this big red bird, saw it in a store a few years ago and couldn’t resist. I have quite a few birds on the tree including a poor looking bird which might have been a partridge and has lost a lot of feathers, but my mother bought it years ago.2013-12-23 05.49.00 Here’s a white dove and I also have a robin. Once upon a time we had two, but it went the way of lots of things and didn’t survive many years.

I do hope you all have a Merry Christmas, we intend to. A friend in England commented that she always knew it was Christmas because of all the emails she got about how to cook turkeys or to feed 6 people on the day. Her comment was, “what do they think people do for the rest of the year?”.

For me, bowling was rough, Matt did well. However, I was somewhat touched that one of the owners had gone to the trouble of buying doughnuts for us and in particular the special ones he knew I liked. Two of them for me. Won’t do my weight much good but…. can’t very well say no, especially when he had gone to the trouble of visiting two Tim Horton’s coffee shops just to get me my favourites.

Most of you will already have your menu planned for Christmas, but here’s a Brussels Sprouts recipe from Cooking.com which I may very well try this year.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots

Source: © EatingWell Magazine
Active Time:  40 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 40 Minutes
12 servings, 1/2 cup each
Rec Image
This easy side dish combines the natural sweetness of caramelized shallots with the earthiness of Brussels sprouts, a fall favourite.

24 small shallots
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, preferably small
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel shallots, leaving the root ends intact so they'll hold together. Place on a large sheet of foil; sprinkle 1 tablespoon oil over the top. Seal the packet and bake until the shallots are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from foil and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, remove the outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and trim the stems. Cut the small sprouts in half and quarter the larger ones. Place the shallots and Brussels sprouts in a roasting pan. Toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and salt.
Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Roast, tossing twice during cooking, until the Brussels sprouts are tender and lightly browned, 25 to 35 minutes.

Merry Christmas to all.


  1. My daughter has just sent me a photo showing the results of an ice storm in Michigan, Trees on her property have come down as a result. It looks pretty - but!!
    Storms from N America and Canada are screaming across the Atlantic to the UK. We have missed the worst so far but it's chaos elsewhere.
    Happy Christmas, Jo.

    1. It's the same here Bob, then last night it snowed which made it look even prettier, but there are branches everywhere, more this morning.

      Happy Christmas to you too Bob, hope it's a good one.

  2. Hope everyone's power is restored soon.
    You have a nice little tree!
    Merry Christmas, Jo.

    1. We are so lucky, some people will definitely not have power for Christmas.

      Little tree? It's taller than I am. A good 6ft.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  3. Merry Christmas to you and Matt. BTW, what are your favorite donuts!

  4. Your tree is adorable.

    We are cold here once again and it's finally starting to feel like Christmas.

    1. Well you are still relatively close to the ocean so it shouldn't get too cold there. Not like Blowing Rock or somewhere similar. Have a great Christmas Diane.

  5. Ice storms are beautiful, but oh so dangerous! Wishing the best for everyone involved.

    Merry Christmas, Jo!

    1. Me too, Especially those without power over the next few days. What a rotten way to spend Christmas.

      Merry Christmas to you Yolanda. Have a good one.

  6. Hi Jo - Happy Christmas to you very shortly! Love the tree and your red bird .. the family here have lots of birds too - they are quite delightful and fill the tree up.

    We have floods ... Leatherhead and Reigate, the Medway is under full flood alert, Dorset is awash ... Godalming too

    Thankfully we're ok down here .. but lots of trees down, total travel chaos ... fields soaked above and below ground ... and another storm arrives - must be your left over which is gathering a deep depression as it heads our way - on Friday ...

    Happy Christmas .. and festivities with friends ... cheers Hilary

  7. Love birds on the tree.

    Glad you are OK. Our kids and grandkids live in the Medway Towns area so I hope they will be alright. Lots of people still without power. Rotten Christmas for them. Had floods in our apartment building last night, not, thank God in our flat though.

    Happy Christmas, enjoy your day.

  8. As Hilary has said, its pretty grim here in Kent at the moment with widespread flooding. We didn't lose power but did have fence panels down and smashed glass panes in the greenhouse. Today we walked along the beach in brilliant sunshine (cold though) and got home just as the sky went black and a hailstorm started. We have another storm due to hit us on Friday I think.

    Anyway happy Christmas to you and Matt ... and thank you for the sprouts/shallots recipe - sounds yummy!

    1. Very odd, I replied to this and it disappeared into cyber space. I'm just hoping the kids are OK. Will be phoning tomorrow. Always call them on Boxing Day when they are all together.

      We ate the sprouts with our turkey tonight. It was very good.

      Hope the storm doesn't cause too many problems.

  9. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Keep warm and prayers for power to be restored all over, here in the middle United States as well.

    1. It's warm enough in our apartment - so long as the heat is on. I do hope the power is restored to all the people who don't have it. A heck of a way to spend Christmas, trying to keep warm.

      Hope you had a good Christmas day.