Tag Archives: the huether

Cookies for Firefighters – or Cowboys??

Lately, whenever I make a batch of choloate chip cookies, B’s been passing along a couple to his friend, Eric. A firefighter for about a year now with a local department, Eric fills my heart with joy because he’s loved every cookie he’s tried yet. (Any single ladies in da house??!…Eric is mid-20’s, sooo nice…and unattached, presently! :))

Tuesday eve, we got together with Eric and another couple at the Huether (more about that in a minute). When Eric started raving about homemade cookies, I told him that he’d get a dozen for himself, next batch. So, last night I made Batch #7 of the chocolate chip cookie project. I knew I wanted to make the choco chip cookie recipe in this book…

...added to my cookbook collection in the mid-'90s!

…because Firefighter Eric would be inheriting a good portion of the recipe!

Here’s the recipe:

last made in july, 1996 - see the note? and they were "great!"

I think you can read those ingredients easily enough. And you may very well wish to make these for the firefighter(s) (or cowboys?!) in your life because the dough is divine. [Sidenote: at the bottom of the recipe, it says that Shirley doens’t know any cowboys, but has made these cookies for her family for years…so I’m stumped as to the Cowboy reference!]

I loved this recipe because of how many times “1 cup of x” appears – the less washing up of measuring cups at the end of the baking episode, the better, if you ask me!

In terms of what to do, just do as you usually would for making cookies: beat the shortening, add the sugars, add the eggs and vanilla, dump in the dry ingredients, stir in the chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Presto – cookies!

A couple of comments:

i did run short on white sugar, so topped up the 1 cup required with a bit of extra brown sugar...i think this was ok

Remember when I bought this eight ton HUGE bag of oats for last year’s  40 Recipes Project??!

[From March 2010 – happily, oats don’t go bad…I think!]

Finally, the oats are finished!

good to the last drop

Once again, I fell short on required ingredients (plan, much?) and had to top up the 1 cup measure with my GF oatmeal:

tinier flakes - added textural interest for the cookie dough!

The batter is delightful:

this dough is a more dry and crumbly than some recipes, but i'll take that over SPLAT doughs, any day!

Out of the oven:

beautiful!

…and ready to share!

two for Dad and two for Paul at the store...

tons for B - into the freezer they go! (childhood memory: my mom used to pop fresh cookies into the freezer asap; we always said NO NO! keep them out! now i do the same thing!)

...and eric's dozen!

Eric will receive his cookies tomorrow…hope he likes them!

*#*#*#*#*

An Awkward Situation:

So, as mentioned, we’re at The Huether the other night. The service really stunk: the waitress obviously didn’t care about being there, she forgot to bring drinks, she said they had no special mussel forks (not true)…you get the picture. So the guy of the couple we were with (not Eric), actually confronted her to her face about her poor service! He asked her if she had an issue with our table, he said that we were here for a good time and she was not helping us enjoy our experience…and said a few more true but rather hostile comments. It was so awkward and embarrassing!!! Yes, she was not being helpful at all (another server pitched in and got us the fork, brought us the drinks) but I just could never address an issue like poor service so openly like that. I felt bad for her! And frankly, her attitude did not really improve after being called up on the carpet like that.

What do you do when you receive poor service at a restaurant: address the server or keep your mouth shut? I would let a very small tip speak for me, and would say something to management on my way out…but I could never confront the server myself – I really dislike confrontation too much!

*#*#*#*#*

Followup to April Fool’s Day jokes.

I posted my own joke…which some people believed and some people did not!

My two favourite jokes of the day:

Angela at Oh She Glows played a good trick on her husband! But, top prize goes to Sabrina at Rhodey Girl blog for the joke she played on her Dad. All good fun!

*#*#*#*#*

Quote of the day:

Credit goes to My Dear Friend Gina for providing Our Daily A-Ha:

“Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” – Samuel Butler

Happy Saturday!

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My VFBF

We started out as little neighbourhood playmates:

jan or feb, 1973 - hours upon hours were spent in outdoor play!

We were the first invites to each other’s birthday parties:

jan '74, my 4th birthday party

jan '76, my 6th birthday party

Together, we experienced our 15 Minutes of Fame at a Teddy Bear Picnic:

clipping from the k-w record newspaper, july '76 (thank goodness my mom was particular about dating photos and such!)

There were annual family outings to Sauble Beach or Grand Bend

L to R: mrs m, wanda, me, mom, joanne, the brother, my dad (mr m must have taken the photo!)

…and the traditional New Year’s Eve sleepover parties:

laughter > sleep time!

…and 10,001 other days spent together that were never captured by camera (click here to read about Memories of Swimming Lessons, for instance!).

Now flashforward a whole bunch of years…

Place: The Huether

Time: after work

Date: yesterday

Who: yours truly and her Very First Best Friend (VFBF from here on out)…

...joanne! (even though jo has gone by her formal name of johanna for many, many years now, she will always be joanne, to me!

Despite having over 1.5 hours at our disposal, and chatting/sharing/laughing non-stop, VFBF Joanne and I barely cracked the surface of possible discussion topics!

pausing the chatter just long enough for a photo opp!

Happily, we both agreed that last eve’s visit is the first of many to come. Soul Sisters reunited!

self-portraits can't be beat!

we've come a long way, baby!

*#*#*#*#*

You knew it.

I knew it.

They knew it.

Welcome home, Baby!!!

meg and leif are PARENTS!

Baby Robin is in da house! [This time, I needed no assistance to come up with a name: “Robin” is fitting for spring and, also, YOU can decide – boy or girl?!!]

…but Meg and Leif are not pet owners.

And that’s OK by the landlord (aka me).

But, you say, what if FOUR plates are needed?? After all, three is an odd number…

Well, Meg, Leif and Baby Robin will simply jet off for a vacation:

that's a complete set!

*#*#*#*#*

Winter returned with a vengeance overnight:

truly craptastic

It made my heart turn to Christmas, obviously, as I purchased my first xmas gift for December 2011! Can’t say for who, can’t say what. But Operation Christmas 2011 is underway!

Do you buy gifts ahead of time, or only right before the occasion?  For my mom, Christmas stocking stuffer buying is a year-round activity!

Look Who’s In Town!

Here’s the funny story/coincidence of the day…

In yesterday’s post  about the cake decorating class I’ll be taking in February, I threw in a reference to the Cake Boss. Honestly and genuinely, that was the only show I could think of, off the top of my head, that is about decorating cakes.

This morning, I was surfing our local paper online, and this headline caught my eye:

Cake Boss is coming to Kitchener” (click on the title there to be taken to the article).

Seriously! What are the chances that Buddy Valastro would in K-W, tomorrow, giving a show when I just picked his name out of the air of my brain yesterday? (ok, that sounds funny but you know what I mean…I hope!). Plus, I do not check the newspaper every day – it’s completely random that I would scan the headlines today and notice this article. 

For you out-ot-towners, the Centre in the Square is our local arts centre, and seats a couple thousand people. With two shows, they must be expecting a crowd. The article states that he is going to be “sharing stories, answering audience questions and demonstrating his revered decorating techniques.” He does sound like he has an interesting life story! I’d be tempted to attend just to see what goes down…but not for those prices!

Celebrity foodies I would pay to see? Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson. How about you?! And what would you be willing to pay?

And with that, I am off to the store for a full day, then tonight we are going to The Huether with our friends Steve and Diann!

Happy Friday!

Six Things Saturday

1.

a full complement of characters: shepherds, wise men, sheep, cows, calfs (calves?!) - what's left?

2. I baked Christmas Cookies last eve!

3. We had the busiest Saturday at the store that we’ve had in quite a while! What’s hot this year? Believe it or not, clothing seems to be the top pick this year: running tights, long sleeve tops, mitts and hats are super popular. We’re selling some tech gear, like Garmins (our store carries all of the models in this link), but I do think we sold more of these GPS units a few years ago when they were fresh on the market. Most popular stocking stuffer? Socks! Same as every year!

4. We have to have our radio tuned to a station playing Christmas music (understandable) at the store 24/7, so I’ve had my fill of a vast array of musical arrangements over the past few weeks. Here’s what…

Makes me giggle: Mele Kalikimaka by Jimmy Buffet

Makes me gag: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by The Carpenters

Makes me teary-eyed: Mary’s Boy Child by Boney M

Is the most overplayed: anything by the GLEE cast

I’m happy when I can come home and listen to my own CDs!

5. Open for Debate: This article caught my eye this morning when I was reading the Globe and Mail, online:

The Christmas breakup: Dropping the mistletoe bomb

A very interesting dilemma – you’re not feeling the love…do you dump your significant other before Christmas, or delay the inevitable til after the holidays? Not an easy question to answer! My take: if it’s within two weeks of Christmas, save the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech til after New Year’s. Otherwise, be upfront and honest, and “drop the bombshell” asap. As someone who was once dumped on her birthday (unfortunately, I kid you not), I agree with avoiding significant dates when it comes to ending a special relationship. Timing is everything! 

I do remember reading, somewhere, that the span of time between Xmas and Valentine’s Day is very high when it comes to relationship termination. So maybe most disenchanted lovers do “fake it” over the holidays, then dissolve the partnership once the excitement of December is bygones.

6. We’re off the The Huether in a few minutes for a Date Night! It’s time to celebrate the end of B’s school term. Seems like it was just Labour Day – where’d the weeks/months go??!

Christmas Gathering of the Clan

Tonight, Christmas social season opened!

The first of our Christmas gatherings was a family dinner outing. For the second year in a row, we enjoyed a family get-together with B’s extended family “pre-Christmas.” This year, we all met at The Huether where we had a private room, all to ourselves. Going out to a restaurant works for so many reasons: no one has to cook/host, so everyone can visit and mix; the vast menu allows everyone to choose a dinner of their liking; the private setting this year meant that we could socialize and change up seats freely – no need to be quiet or mindful of nearby diners!

This is a true family celebration: in addition to ourselves and Brad’s parents, we meet up with B’s mom’s side of the family as well as B’s dad’s. One occasion, multiple visits! B’s parents will soon depart for Florida for the winter (lucky, lucky!) so tonight really was our Christmas with the family.

this room at the huether is so cool! like being in a cosy cave!

Meet the family!…

mom and dad k!

b and me!

One side of the extended fam:

aunt kathy and uncle bob!

isabelle and cousin jen!

milla and cousin sara!

….And the other side!…

uncle roger and debbie!

cousin andrew and alison!

cousin daniel and ashley; cousin matthew

We mingled during “cocktail hour,” then sat down for food. One long table accomodated all of us!

la grande table!

I liked this seating arrangement more than the two shorter tables we had at our get-together last year. Even though we were spread out down the table, it seemed like a more cohesive unit than being at smaller, separate tables.

We exchanged gifts with mom and dad K; B received his favourite annual treat:

if this year is like other years, these turtles will be gonzo in <24 hours!

Below, a few tips for organizing large family gatherings:

  • pick a date early in order to ensure 100% attendance (our gathering tonight was booked at least two months ago)
  • designate one person to reserve the location (thanks, cousin sara, for getting us our private spot at The Huether!)
  • choose a central location that is easiest for the majority of family members to get to (mom and dad K and Andrew and Alison were the only attendees who needed to travel  – and many thanks to them for driving in for our celebration)
  • pick a date far enough away from Christmas so that people will not have conflicting engagements (our last-weekend-in-November date beats the Christmas social rush)

Tonight was a lovely lead-in to four more weeks of festivities! So nice to catch up with everyone, again. Even the weather was on the Christmas-y side: it’s been snowing off and on today and again, tonight, the white stuff was lightly falling.

All in all, this was a lovely evening. The best part is the visiting and conversation – lots to catch up on from everyone! Good times!

A Very Lucky Day Indeed!

We are so lucky to have another November day to enjoy that looks like this:

trying to be artistic with the tree spacing

that sky deserves two shots to capture the beauty!

And I do believe today is even warmer than yesterday!

This morning, I received a message from my manager at the store – I won $150 in a contest that recently ran (haha, pun!) in our stores…zowie! Even more fun than the amount, is just the fact that I won! I have to say that over the years, I have been fairly lucky in winning contests…remind me to tell you some time about the time I won a gloriously huge door prize at a book signing appearance with Jeanne Beker – that story is classic. I also have won a door prize of yarn on two separate occasions at the K-W Knitter’s Fair. That’s the luck o’ the draw!

This afternoon, I was lucky enough to meet these fine people…

mama and da papa!

for an afternoon coffee break. We were lucky to get our favourite table at The Huether, too!

Today is also Remembrance Day. We are so lucky to live in a free country like Canada…regardless of your political or religious views, I hope we can all recognize the sacrifices that others have made in efforts of peace and freedom.

i love b's poppy modification with the canada pin in place of the straight pin - he says the poppy stays on much better...apparently, this is a fire dept idea!

My luck continued when I filled up the gas tank on my car earlier this eve: the gas price was two cents less than it was this morning!

Just think what coulda happened should I have stumbled across a lucky penny on the sidewalk, today…but maybe that would have been too much of a good thing!

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i’m a veritable blog-a-maniac today!

I have updated the “40 Reads” project – click here for review #39!

I made a new recipe…that didn’t quite turn out as I anticipated! Read about it here!

Two Times Two!

Take this couple…

b and me...

…and this couple…

diann and steve

And you end up with…

a dinner double date!

Tonight we braved the freezing temp to meet up with new friends Diann and Steve at The Huether. The place was packed! We got the last available table upstairs when we arrived at 7 pm.

This was our second evening out with Diann and Steve. B knows them both through work and since our last outing was so much fun, we were eager to meet up again! And same as last time, we enjoyed non-stop conversation on a myriad of topics. Diann hails from South Africa – I could listen to her talk all eve just for her unique accent! So much fun to have a new set of friends!

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Tomorrow eve we are likely movie-ing, so stay tuned for the review – hopefully I’ll post it tomorrow eve!

Happy Hallowe’en Weekend!

Buyer Be-Aware Monday: Let Your Money Do The Talking

One of the benefits of living in the heart of Uptown Waterloo is the opportunity to “Support the Independent.” Now, I have nothing against the retail Corporate Giants like Chapters, Loblaws, Starbucks, and chain restaurants like Cora’s – in fact, I adore the selection at each of these locations. And let’s not forget that I work for a store with over 100 locations! But it pleases me greatly when I can shop at places like Wordsworth Books and Vincenzo’s Fine Foods, and purchase treats at The Huether or brunch at Angie’s.

You may feel that where you purchase goods and find entertainment means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Maybe not, if you just consider one purchase, one outing. But over time, (repeat visits, multiple years of spending), you can make a statement with how you shop.

If you are a regular shopper at a store, you are inherently supporting the ethics, the mores of that retail establishment. Don’t like that Nike manufactures shoes in China? Don’t buy a Nike shoe. Don’t like Walmart‘s treatment of its employees? Don’t shop there. With the wealth of shopping options at our fingertips, it’s easy to take your business elsewhere when you come up against a policy or practice that you don’t agree with.

This sign caught my eye last week:

sign in a storefront window

To be blunt, this sign offends me – it’s discriminatory! Can you imagine the uproar if the sign said NO WHEELCHAIRS or NO CHILDREN?! This is one place in which I would refuse to spend a dime because I don’t agree with the owners’ philosophy. On this street, it is simply not safe nor desirable to leave a stroller sitting out on the sidewalk. And tell me a wobbly toddler is not capable of wreaking a little havoc?

The stance on no strollers at this store is a rather extreme example of what a store owner will allow or not. Here’s another example:

not just banning dogs! don't bring your parakeet in here, either, apparently!

This request makes a little more sense in terms of sanitation and safety. But if you’re a lover of our furry or four-legged friends, you might take exception to this store’s policy.

Best be-aware of an eatery’s payment options BEFORE you eat, or embarrassment may result!

is there a bank machine close by?!

One request I DO appreciate is when spas, restaurants, and cinemas require patrons to turn off their cellphones. Common curtesy is always in order; given our proliferation of personal technology devices and the lack of etiquette of some users, it is necessary to state the obvious and request some consideration!

Bottom line: shop where you feel comfortable. Just realize that you do make a statement, explicit or implied, with your spending practices.

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Did you know it’s also NEON MONDAY?!

Sarah and I had the pleasure of working together today since our manager was still off, enjoying some well-deserved vacation time. Since we both have the same shoes, we thought it would be funny to revisit high school practises each wear our hot-pink Nike Free shoes at the same time – they’re not exactly plain!

sole sisters unite!

Gave us a giggle during my shift, anyway!

...and the same colour of shirt! can't get much more matchy-matchy!

Fun times on a Monday!

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Stay tuned for the next post – it’s going to be extra-special because we’re celebrating!!!…. 🙂

Reviving the Tradition

It was a calm and sunny morning.

the 6:30 a.m. view from our window

A perfect day to…run a race!!

i always use THREE safety pins - another race quirk!

Dad and I first completed the Waterloo Classic 10K event in 1990. This race holds a special place in my heart because it was my first organized road running event ever (and Dad and I ran it together). We haven’t participated every year in the years since, but it always just feels “right” when we can carry on our Father’s Day tradition.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

This morning, we met up in our lobby, and Dad, Brad and I enjoyed a warm-up walk through a peaceful Waterloo Park together, over to Seagram Stadium venue.

my trusty support crew!

It’s nice to arrive in plenty of time so there’s no rushing to get your chip for the chip timing system:

has to be laced onto my LEFT shoe; RIGHT shoe would feel weird

It’s also fun to have time to wander around and see who we know this year.

my co-worker, Laura, from the store; she's also a knitting enthusiast!

Our neighbour, Dixie; we frequently work out in our building's gym at the same time, too

Doh! Let’s play “Spot the Newbies!”

Ya don't wear this year's shirt FOR the event, people!

Acceptable: wearing a previous year's shirt; i reiterate: DO NOT wear the shirt BEFORE you complete the distance!

We checked out the new and improved track surface at Seagram Stadium. This year, the start and finish were located on the track.

CU-SHY!!! Man, even i could be talked into doing speedwork if i could do the drills and sprints on THIS surface!

Time to hit the john before lining up.

line up for the women's washroom

No way, man! None of that for me. Having learned from my Boston Marathon days, I found my own spot:

who needs a washroom or a port-a-potty> a (relatively) secluded tree will do the job just fine! 🙂

Starting a few years ago, now, we have turned The Classic into a family reunion-type event: my dad’s cousin Karl, his wife Julie, and their three kids, Stephanie, Laura, and Adam meet up with us at the run. Each year, there is a different combination of who is running 5 or 10k, and who is watching. (Other years, Chris and Ana have joined us; this year, their travel schedule prevented their attendance. Maybe next year!)

(L-R): me; Laura; Dad; Julie; Karl; Stephanie; Adam, Brad

Dad has a pretty big extended family; no secret, Karl and Julie etc are our favourites of all of his cousins. We LOVE this meet-up! So nice that they make the trip up from Niagara for the day.

Today was just a perfect day for the event. Sunny, a bit of a breeze, zero humidity. Dad and I both enjoyed our run immensely!

Coming around the final curve towards the finish line

the straightaway...

almost at the finish line!...

We stayed together the entire 5k and raised our hands in victory as we crossed the finish line! Here are our final results, as they appear on Chip Time Results:

overall place/bib #/name          chip time/age group/place in age group         M/F placing/gun time/city of residence

 195  1225 Cathy Kueneman           28:22 SF40-44   11/31                                        58  5:41   27:48   Waterloo       
  196  1114 Erv Derksen                     28:23 SM65-69    1/1                                         137  5:41   27:47   Waterloo       

We also entered the “Parent Child” team category and the Derksen Duo placed 11th of 25 teams! 🙂

Stephanie achieved her sub-30:00 minute goal!

the 5k-ers!

Karl and Laura ran the 10k together and finished at 55:xx, breaking their goal of a sub-60 minute finish. Julie knocked 6+ minutes off her 10k PB! So a highly successful day for everyone!

The Waterloo Classic is part of the RunWaterloo series of races. Lloyd, the race director, runs (pun!) a well-organized event. The event is well-marshalled, kilometers clearly marked; the post-race food is plentiful. The only “needs improvements” I would suggest are more washrooms are needed and there is too much lag time between the end of the races and the awards and draw prizes (we left today before seeing if we won a prize or an award).

with Race Director, Lloyd!

Personally, I don’t agree with giving a medal to every finisher. That’s my old-school thinking coming through – I know nowadays, participants like to receive a finisher’s medal to recognize their achievement. To me, that’s why you get a tshirt! Medals should be for top placings overall and go three-deep in the age groups – that’s plenty. But I wasn’t about to throw my medal back at the volunteer handing them out. However, I did change it once I got home:

i didn't run 10k, i ran 5k! (all medals said "10k Classic)

And more fun to come!…

A quick return home to freshen up. NOW is the appropriate time to wear the race shirt!

don't have a navy tech running shirt - nice addition to the collection!

it's ok to wear matching shirts after the race, the day of the race; any other occasion, yes, it is cheesy

We all enjoyed more visiting and food on the outdoor patio at the Huether:

the clan

I think we’re all already looking forward to next year! Long live family traditions!

Friday Photos: Happy Birthday, B!

I’ve always thought that B has the perfect birthday date – May 21st. Usually this date is on (or very near) the weekend of the May 2-4 long weekend, so we can meld birthday celebrations with the extra holiday day. Plus, the weather is so nice this time of year (better than say, January…take it from one who knows), the evenings are long, everyone is in a good mood as we kick off summer…I covet B’s birthday!

Brad, in typical B (lowkey) fashion, does not want a lot of hoopla this weekend. So today was a more or less normal Friday but we did celebrate tonight with B’s parents. Mom and Dad K made the trek down here from the Collingwood area so that we could all go out to the Huether tonight as a birthday eve outing.

Mom and Dad K brought a really cute card for B:

the card just kept getting bigger and bigger! good choice!

Meet Mom and Dad K!…

Mom and Dad K are fantastic conversationalists - never a shortage of chitchat when we're together

…and a photo of Birthday B and Wife-y at the Huether…

40 x 2!

…and a shot of the four of us…

love the relaxed and casual atmosphere of the huether - great spot in our 'hood!

Mom and Dad K used to live in Waterloo so they are familiar with the area, but they were pretty amazed at all the changes that have taken place and all the construction that is currently happening. We had a nice meander to the Huether as we introduced them to the “new” Uptown Waterloo – no more Kmart or Bingo Palace on King Street!

Earlier, B enjoyed a rooftop BBQ Lunch with a couple of neighbour buddies and a gym workout with his workout buddy and moi…and now we have three more days for B to milk this birthday of weekend + Vic Day holiday to continue the fun. Tomorrow eve (Saturday) is a DVD rental of B’s choice – like, I have no say whatsoever. I already know what movie he is going to pick … let’s just say I think it’s going to be an *interesting* movie review for the “40 Movies” chronicle!

Happy 40th B!