Railway Market

I think that I love to be surprised, but I am not good at accepting surprises. The truth is that I love the idea of being surprised. When we go on vacation I painstakingly research everything, so that we can make the most of our time and money. This vacation was different, I asked my husband to surprise me.

Which went something like this;

  • Him: where do you want to go for your birthday
  • Me: surprise me
  • Him: can you narrow it down
  • Me: somewhere I have never been
  • Him: how about you pick a continent
  • Me: Asia, or South America, or Central America, or how about Europe
  • Him: how about we look at potential vacation destinations tonight
  • Me: then it wouldn’t be a surpise

The moral of the story is that I am a pain in the ass, and he is not confident that he could pick somewhere that I would like. He was right, he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell (my dads saying). BUT, my super smart mom said why don’t you contact our travel agent. That was an AH, HA moment. Vacationing old school.

We used a travel agent, they did all the work, and we had all the fun. We were picked up at the airport by our guide and driver and spent the next few days getting a private tour of Bangkok. There is no better way to travel. I have done bus trips, train trips, cruises, backpacking, you name it I have probably tried it, and a private car and guide can not be beat.

On the second day Rose (our guide) arrived to pick us up at our hotel, and decided that she was going to alter our itinerary to include the Maeklong Railway Market. I didn’t fully understand everything that she was telling me, so most of the time I just followed her around. We were dropped off in the middle of the street, and she walked us down train tracks. She started shopping as we walked through the narrowest market I have ever been in. Rose stopped to buy dried squid. Not my idea of an afternoon snack.

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Then comes an announcement to get off the tracks and behind the red line. Up to this point my husband and I fully believed that there was no train. How on earth could a train come through this market? There were people, canopies, tables, baskets, and garbage can lids full of products everywhere. The market was full of vendors and shoppers, where was everyone and everything going to go to make room for the train. I’m thinking that a tiny little train is coming through, until I saw a full size train.

It was amazing. Bonus – I was surprised.

Up next, the floating market, and an Arts & Crafts village. Followed by Day 3 at Elephant Hills.

 

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Peach Crepes

Peaches Making A Life 4I am a big fan of eating local in season food. Fresh local fruit just tastes better, especially when I grow it myself. Before you get the wrong idea and imagine me as a farmer tending to my acreage let me explain that we have a few fruit trees on our small postage stamp size yard in the downtown core. In our yard we grow peaches, plums and apples all of which were mature trees when we bought the house 5 years ago. When we made an offer on the house the peach and plum trees looked just like any other tree to me, I honestly had no idea that they were fruit bearing. Imagine my surprise when 4 months later we took possession and found both a peach tree and a rat eating peaches in the yard. Continue reading

Taris on the Water – Welland

Menu Taris Welland

I grew up in the small town of Welland Ontario, recently I returned to visit family. During my stay my mother pointed out a new restaurant and suggested that if I had the chance I should try it. When making dinner plans with a long-time friend she also suggested Taris on the Water, although she hadn’t been there she had heard good things.

Currently I live in Victoria, BC and we are really blessed to have an amazing selection of restaurants and a tourist population to support them. But the people in Niagara are also very fortunate that Taris on the Water has opened. In the short two weeks that I was in Ontario I had a chance to dine at Taris twice. It was so amazing that I went back for seconds! Continue reading

Crabbing

Crab4This past weekend my oldest was invited to a birthday party. The day before we hosted a Canada Day party and I may have had a few too many celebratory cocktails. I peeled myself out of bed an hour before the party started, and wasn’t feeling 100%. Attending a child’s birthday party hung over is not my favourite activity. But it was all in celebration of Canada so what can I say.

We attend children’s birthday parties many weekends of the year and they all start to blend together but this one was different. I was intrigued to what a crabbing party involved so instead of dropping off my child and picking him up a few hours later I stuck around, and I am so glad that I did. Continue reading

On the seventh day of Christmas…

It’s well past the seventh day of Christmas and it has been a busy few days. On the seventh day of Christmas I did some baking, about seven dozen treats in under four hours. In an ideal world I would have a day to bake and a clean kitchen to do it in, but in reality Christmas baking was crammed in after an exam and before my helpers had to go to bed. I do like to get the kids involved in the kitchen which often proves to be a challenge. This time I put them to work smashing candy canes.

We made three different treats:

  1. Peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses. The recipe was on the back of the peanut butter jar, simple. When the cookies were hot out the oven I put a kiss in the middle of each and popped them into the freezer so that the chocolate didn’t melt everywhere.
  2. Peppermint Brownies. In an effort to be fast and efficient (read lazy) I made brownies from a box mix complete with frosting. The kids smashed candy canes which I gingerly placed (read dumped) on top.
  3. Gingerbread people. These were made from scratch, the recipe is here. I sprinkled powdered sugar on some of them, decorated the six in the photo but in truth most of them are naked in my fridge. They may or may not get all spiffed up before we gobble them up.

 

Crafting through the holidays

I started this blog years ago under the title Crafting Through the Holidays and each day during the 12 days of Christmas I would post a new craft. The last few years I have continued the tradition and this is the 4th anniversary of the 12 days of Christmas crafting. It also happens to be smack in the middle of my graduate school exams. So I am going to share some of my past favourites and a few new crafts over the next 12 days. Enjoy!

On the first day of Christmas…it’s not a partridge in a pear tree but a veggie tree.

veggie tree

https://makingalife.me/2012/12/13/on-the-first-day-of-christmas-my-true-love-made-me-a-veggie-tree/

On the seventh day of Christmas…Nuts & Bolts

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When I was a kid there were some traditions surrounding Christmas.  The tree never went up until 2 weeks before Christmas, on Christmas morning breakfast had to be eaten before we got to see what Santa had left, and my parents always made Nuts & Bolts.  My parents would make nuts and bolts in the largest oven safe pan available which usually became home to the 20+ pound turkey days later.  When I first moved out west a package arrived at Christmas with nuts and bolts but since then I have been making my own large batch.  This year I had some help.

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Recipe
3 cups Shreddies
3 cups Multigrain Cherrios
3 cups pretzel sticks or twists
3 cups Cheetios cheese sticks
2 cups mixed nuts
1/2 cup butter
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp onion powder
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp paprika

​Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C).  Combine Shreddies, Cheerios, pretzles, Cheetios and nuts in a large roasting pan.

Melt butter.  Mix into butter Worcestershire sauce, onion, garlic and paprika until blended.  Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and toss gently to coat.

Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, for 2 hours.  Cool completely in pan on a rack.