Friday, November 16, 2012

Ooh no, it's blue!

Ever seen someone horrified, laughing non-stop and running after a cat all at once?  No?

It is quite a sight!

I was checking mail at the computer, waiting for colours on the canvas to dry before moving on with the next step of a project, when Tiana walked into my hobby room, greeted me with her meow, jumped on the desk, walked to me and climbed down on my lap.

So far, no worries.

Moments later, my eyes are drawn to a spot of paint on my desk... and another... and another... as I come to the realization that Tiana walked on my palette and is now sitting on me with her paws covered in acrylics! "Ooooh no you didn't!" I'm thinking... as much to her about walking in my paint, as to myself about not taking precautions to avoid this!

Ohhh dear... What to do what to do! I pick her up, bring her to the bathroom to assess the damage. Of all colours, she had to walk in blue paint. For those of you who paint or know anything about colours, you'll know that blue pigments are like a never ending story! It takes forever to wash off! So Tiana's back right paw is covered in blue paint, and her front left paw has a touch of black. My clothes are covered in both and I'm home alone to fix the issue. Oh joy!

I don't dare putting the cat down anywhere, so holding her with one hand (err... she's a big cat!) I gently turn on the faucet with the other, and ever so gently try to bring her back paw under the running water. What was I thinking, right? She of course didn't like that, fought to get loose, succeeded and to my horror, jumped down on the white floor of the bathroom... and out in the entrance hall and up the stairs into the living room... and to our bedroom, as I'm running after her, laughing like a madwoman and yelling "Ohh Myyy Gooodnesss NOOO TIANA COME HEEEERE!" I know I know... why didn't I close the bathroom door... right?  I really, really don't know. But oh how I am laughing. Funny and horrible at the same time!

Imagine this through half the house!

Anyways, fast forward a few minutes. I finally caught the furball and brought her back in the bathroom, closed the door (!) and am about to fill a small tub with water when my phone (laying in my hobby room) rings. Well of course, it had to ring there, at that very moment, and since I was waiting for an important call, I had to take it! So I am forced to put Tiana down and I run out to get the phone (making sure to close the bathroom door behind me).

Yeah... what happens when you leave a blue-pawed cat on a white bathroom floor, you think? Yes, exactly!

This picture does't do the situation justice, believe me!

After the phone call, I sat on the floor in the bathroom with Tiana in my arms, a tub of water and some gentle soap and started dipping and soaping the little paws. Tiana was cryyying like a lost soul, which made Kashew, my other cat, meooow (something she very rarely does!) on the other side of the door at the sound of her sister's plea. I tried to reassure both of them with gentle words while avoiding Tiana's front paws trying to grip at everything and anything to get out of her miserable position. Poor little kitty girl. She was not happy! :(

But we got through and the peace is back in our house. In the end, Tiana is left with a lightly blue-tinted paw, as it proved impossible to remove it all. The floors and clothes are clean again, Kashew is reassured, and I survived the whole thing without a single scratch - which is NOT an easy task with an angry crying cat having her paws dipped in water and rubbed with soap!

Another meaning for blue prints. hehehe

I can't help it though. I'm still giggling at the situation! teeeehehehe :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Canadian Apple Pies

What to do with a basket full of apples from your own garden? Apple pies of course! My mom used to bake a batch of them at Fall and freeze some for the holidays. Mmmmm it smelled so delicious in the house, and of course, tasted delicious too!!! For some reason, I had never baked them myself, so I thought it was about time I tried my hands at it.

My husband and I spent a lovely afternoon working on the project and managed to bake 4 beautiful pies with our own apples.

Canadian Apple Pies

Crust (for 1 pie)

- 250 g all purpose flour
- 125 g butter
- 2 eggs
- 100 g sugar
- a pinch of salt
- pie plate!

1 - Combine flour, butter and sugar in a big mixing bowl.
2 - Add the eggs and salt.
3 - kneed until smooth and flexible. You may need to add some flour if the dough is too sticky.
4- Wrap in waxed paper and plastic film and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 mins.
5 - When the dough has cooled down, roll half of it into a thin layer and carefully place inside the pie plate. Set aside.


- Apples (oops, I forgot to count my apples!)
- brown sugar
- cinnamon
- nutmeg
- 1/4 cup (about 60 ml) maple syrup (preferably Canadian, of course... )

1 - Peel and cut the apples into boats of about 1 cm at the thickest.
2 - Place the pieces in the pie plate / dough. The apples must fill and be higher than the side of the plate, as it will reduce during baking.
3 - Add grounded cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
4 - Add the maple syrup.
5 - Sprinkle with a little bit of brown sugar.
6 - Roll the other half of the dough into a thin layer. Fold in half and make small cuts on the fold.
7 - Carefully lay to cover the pie.
8 - Press the sides all around with your finger or with a fork, for the bottom and top dough layers to close together.
9 - cut the excess dough.
10 - Brush milk everywhere on the crust.
11- Bake at 350 F (175 C) for about half an hour, or until the crust is golden.

Serve warm with a little bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Trick: Some apples make a lot of water. After about 20 mins of baking, take the pie out and pierce a little hole in the crust somewhere on the top and side (where the dough is pressed together) and tip it gently over the sink. If there is excess water, it will leak out. When that is done, stick the pie back in the oven for the extra 10 minutes or so. :)