Cask & Barrel

We The People

Jun
17

I only received this letter posthumously, 10 years after it was written, as part of my Grandfather’s estate as it was sorted through and dispersed by his executor. My dual American-Canadian citizenship has always been something I’ve taken for granted, yet I feel a personally affected by the political events of our Southern neighbours, particularly this presidential term. Although my Grandpa was a staunch conservative, and we disagreed on many partisan issues like climate change and healthcare, I believe our fundamental ideologies  were the same.

June 17, 2007

Dear Kirstyn

It pleased me to be with you as your sponsor when you were sworn as a citizen of the United States of America at the ceremony in Buffalo.

You are an American by circumstance. Too many people take that circumstance lightly while millions the world over would, and have, given everything including their very lives to become Americans. Why is this so?

In the history of mankind many nations have experimented with democracy with varying degrees of success. Winston Churchill noted that democracies are the worst form of government…. except for the alternative.

The U.S.A. has many faults but those faults are open for all to see. None of the experiments have been more open in this regard but none have survived longer. Why should this be?

Democracies will always be “works in progress” and none more so than America. It is a nation of constant change not all of which serve to advance democracy because they are the product of people and people make mistakes. But, in time, the people are able to correct mistakes and the work does progress. I believe this is possible because its founding documents begin with the wonderful words, “We the people…..” thus signifying the people are telling the government what its powers and limitations are.

I hope with the passage of time and life experience you will attach an ever greater importance to your American citizenship and, in your own way, contribute to its progress toward perfection of a democratic system which enobles all individuals. It is a work which will certainly not be completed in my time nor, probably, in yours. Nor will it be easy work but we should take heart from Emmerson’s words when he said. “I progress slowly, but infinitely more surely going up hill than down.”

Thanks to qualities you have inherited from your Mother and Father you have a good mind and disposition to be considerate of others. I believe you accept that, despite their fallibility, people can, and will, learn from their mistakes. On that basis alone I also believe you agree “we the people” have the right to ensure government serves us and that those who would dictate to individuals through any form of central planning be shunned.

Whatever the future holds in store may you always seek for the truth of the matter and know that my love and confidence are with you.

 

Grandpa

Mustang Drive-In

Jun
03

I came across an article in the National Post the other day that gave a wonderful history of one of my favourite attractions in the County, the Mustang Drive-In. As a kid I would call them up every Saturday on the landline and listen to Paul read out the programming for the night. I became familiar with his sign-off “The cheques in the mail” long before I understood what those words actually meant. The honking at the start of each show, trying (and failing) to get the little speakers outside of the car to play the audio, and the constant battle between wanting to keep the windows down but the mosquitoes out were mandatory parts of my childhood summers.

In some ways the drive-in has changed with the times. Films are now shown via digital projection, there are TWO movie screens showing double features each night, and upcoming features are announced on their Facebook page. But the soul of the place remains intact. Last time I went there was a shadow puppet show during intermission. Paul’s voice still greets you over the radio to announce the start of the movies. And there was honking — lots of honking.

Address
1591 County Rd 1
Picton, Ontario

Contact
(613) 393-2006
www.facebook.com/mustangdrivein

Great Canadian Cheese Festival

Jun
01

When: June 3 – 4, 2017
Where: Crystal Palace in Picton

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival is Canada’s biggest cheese show, featuring our country’s best artisan cheesemakers. The two day festival gives visitors the chance to taste the best cheeses and artisan food products, as well as wine, cider, and craft beer.

Visit cheesefestival.ca for more details and to purchase tickets.

Doughnuts

May
26

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 4 1/2 cups
Baking powder, 4 1/2 teaspoons
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon
Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening, 2 tablespoons
Sugar, 1 cup
Eggs, 2 or egg yolks, 4
Milk, 1 cup

Sift the flour; measure; add the baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon; sift again.

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs or egg yolks, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Add milk and flour mixture alternately, stirring until blended. Chill 1/2 hour.

Roll out on lightly floured board about 1/4 inch thick; cut with floured doughnut cutter and let stand uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.

Drop into deep fat (365 to 375 F.) and fry 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown, turning the doughnuts as they rise to the surface; drain on absorbent paper. Fry only a few doughnuts at a time.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if desired, or shake in a paper bag containing confectioners’ or powdered sugar. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen doughnuts.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Waffles

May
19

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 2 cups
Baking powder, 3 teaspoons
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Eggs, 2
Milk, 1 1/2 cups
Shortening, melted, or salad oil, 6 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, salt and sugar; sift again.

Beat egg yolks; add milk and melted shortening; pour into flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites which have been beaten until stiff but not dry.

Bake 4 to 5 minutes in a moderately hot waffle baker.

Serve hot with melted butter and sirup, honey or any other desired accompaniment.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Pancakes

May
12

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder, 2 1/2 teaspoons
Salt, 3/4 teaspoon
Sugar, 3 tablespoons
Egg, well beaten, 1
Milk, about 1 1/4 cups
Shortening, melted, 3 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder, salt and sugar; sift again.

Combine egg, milk and melted shortening (slightly cooled); the amount of milk to use will depend upon thickness of pancakes desired; 3/4 cup milk will give thick cakes, 1 1/4 cups milk will make them quite thin. Pour into flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.

Bake on a hot griddle. Serve hot with butter and sirup, honey or sweet preserves. Makes 1 to 1 1/2 dozen cakes.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Yorkshire Pudding

May
05

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Yorkshire pudding is used as an accompaniment for roast beef. The meat should be removed from the oven before the pudding is baked since the latter requires a much higher baking temperature; or use another oven.

All-purpose flour, 1 cup
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Eggs, 2
Milk, 1 cup
Drippings from the roast beef, 4 tablespoons

Sift flour; measure; add salt and sift again.

Beat eggs with a rotary beater until light and thick. Add flour and 1/3 cup of the milk; continue to beat slowly until all the flour is moistened — about 30 seconds.

Gradually add remaining milk, beating until the mixture is free from lumps — 1 to 2 minutes.

Put drippings into a pan (7 1/2 by 12 by 2 inches). Pour in the batter and bake in a hot oven (425 F.) 40 to 45 minutes. Serves at once. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Popovers: Add 1 tablespoon of melted shortening with the final addition of milk. Fill greased custard cups or iron muffin pans a little less than half full. Bake in a hot oven (425 F.) about 40 minutes. Serve at once. Makes 6 to 8 large popovers.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

Norman Hardie Riesling 2015

May
01

Consistently great Riesling in the perfect off-dry style. Strikes the perfect balance of sugar, acid, alcohol, and lime flavour. The rich texture and long finish might make you think the wine is sweeter than it actually is, but there’s no cloying sugar on the tongue. (4.5/5)

Norman Hardie Riesling 2015, Ontario CANADA

$21.00/750 ml, 9.8% abv, Riesling

Quick Coffee Cake

Apr
28

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Flour, 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Shortening, 3 tablespoons
Sugar, 1/3 cup
Egg, 1
Milk, 2/3 cup

Sift flour; measure; add baking powder and salt; sift again.

Cream shortening; add sugar gradually; continue beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well; add milk. Add sifted flour mixture and stir just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Do not beat.

Turn into a greased square pan (8 by 8 by 2 inches) and bake in a hot oven ( 425 F.) 25 minutes. (If Streusel or crunchy topping is going to be used on this, first read directions given below.)

Cut into squares; serve as a hot bread, with butter, or as a simple cake.

Streusel Topping: Cream together 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy; add 3/4 cup dry bread or cake crumbs and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; mix to consistency of coarse crumbs and sprinkle over batter before baking.

Crunchy Topping: Combine 1/4 cup melted butter with 2/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring; fold in 1 1/2 cups corn flakes. Spread over cake batter before baking.

Nut Topping: Spread the baked cake while still warm with confectioners’ frosting; sprinkle with 1/3 cup coarsely chopped nuts.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

The Dreaming Tree Chardonnay 2014

Apr
24