Wednesday, March 22, 2017

“I Married the Klondike” by Laura Beatrice Berton

K is for "I Married the Klondike"

Many young women in the early 1900s started their adult lives and careers as teachers in remote areas. They accepted short-term contracts for the opportunity to put their new credentials work, for the money, and for the adventure.

Many did not last beyond that first year, but Laura Beatrice Berton turned her initial one year commitment into a life well lived in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Laura came from a well-to-do family in Toronto. As a young teacher in Toronto, she earned the paltry sum of $480 a year. When her superintendent offered her the position of kindergarten directress in far off Dawson City for $2100 a year, she quickly accepted.

Gold mining tailings on the Klondike River in 1994.
I Married the Klondike (Lost Moose: The Yukon Publisher, 2005) by Laura Beatrice Berton is a memoir encompassing twenty-five years including her teaching experiences, life in the bustling then dying gold mining town of Dawson City, and subsequent years of married life with Frank Berton, a miner and engineer who crossed the formidable Chilcoot Pass during the gold rush of 1898.

Dawson City's Yukon Hotel from our flying vacation in 1994.
The stories of life in Dawson City, the position of teachers, local high society, gold mining, a summer-long honeymoon in a tent at Sourdough Gulch, dance halls and women of ill-repute, steamboats and riverboats, raising children in the North, and the ubiquitous Yukon River that was everyone’s focal point of life.

If you like history, stories of brave women, and a look at life at the turn of the Twentieth Century, I Married the Klondike is an excellent choice.

A touristy paddlewheel boat on the Yukon River.
This is the second book about the Berton family that I’ve read. The first was Drifting Home by Laura’s son Pierre Berton, author, journalist, historian and host of The Pierre Berton Show.  In 1971 he followed in his father’s footsteps over the Chilkoot Pass and floated down the Yukon River to Dawson City with his grown children, a family bonding and remembrance experience rolled into one. You can read that review by clicking here.

Do you have any books you’d like to recommend? I love to read, and our float cabin home is the perfect place.

For ABC pictures from around the world, stop by the ABC Wednesday blog. This is the twentieth round of the meme established by Denise Nesbitt and with help from Roger and Leslie. more exciting book reviews, head on over to Semicolon's Blog each weekend.

There's also the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog. -- Margy

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

3 FREE Kindle e-Books from March 24-28

As a special thank you to all of our blog readers, here are three Kindle e-Books just for you.

Pick one or all, they're FREE
from March 24-28 

and you don't have to own a Kindle to enjoy them. Just get a free Kindle app for your smartphone, pad or computer.

Check here if you need a free Kindle App.

Flying the Pacific Northwest 

Description: Airports of Western Washington and Oregon form the backdrop for adventures in the Pacific Northwest. Take the controls of a Piper Arrow, as your personal flight instructor leads you to out-of-the-way spots. For armchair pilots and experienced pros, this book is an escape so realistic you’ll swear you’re airborne.

Click here for your FREE copy of Flying the Pacific Northwest.

Up the Inlet

Description: Come boating up the inlets of coastal British Columbia, where the mountains drop into the sea, and lifestyles focus on self-assurance and a different sense of purpose. Follow along as we cruise northward from the Strait of Georgia, to Cortes and Quadra Islands, and beyond.

Click here for your FREE copy of Up the Inlet. the Galactic Sea

Description: Spaceship Challenger is on mankind’s first galactic voyage using a high-tech blend of space jumps and cryogenic hibernation. Captain Tina Brett leads her ship towards the ultimate goal, first contact with alien intelligence, until a navigational glitch changes everything. Then there's a mutiny, or is it something more? Six individuals on an epic journey for the good of mankind.

Click here for your FREE copy of Across the Galactic Sea

Happy reading from Wayne and Margy

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Butternut Squash with Kale and Quinoa

I love growing Green Curly Kale. I plant it in spring and can begin harvesting leaves by June. But that's not the best part. I continues to grow through winter and produce until planting time the next spring.

Winter is the best time to pick curly kale. By then the frost has made the leaves firm and fleshy, perfect to hold up during cooking.

To use some of my home grown kale, I made a side dish with butternut squash and quinoa.

Butternut Squash with Kale and Quinoa 
in Browned Butter

1 butternut squash
1 small onion
5 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Go to Simply Recipes for directions on how to brown butter.

Go to theKitchn for directions with pictures on how to cook quinoa.

Remove the seeds, peel and dice the butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop onions, garlic, kale, and hazelnuts.

Heat butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Whisk frequently as the milk solids in the butter turn to a light brown and get a nutty aroma. Do not burn! Add onion and then garlic and cook on medium low heat until lightly caramelized.

Stir in thyme and add the diced squash. Toss to coat with the remaining butter then spread out in a single layer. Continue to cook on medium low heat without stirring until lightly browned on one side.

Stir and spread out again to brown on the other side and cook on low for 10 to 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. You can do this much ahead and finish just before dinner.

Before serving, add kale, hazelnuts, pre-cooked quinoa, and season to taste with Worcester sauce, salt and pepper.

Cook just long enough to wilt the kale and warm the quinoa. Serve and enjoy.

Quinoa is fairly new to me.  I like its nutty flavour in dishes like this.  Do you cook with quinoa? I would love to hear about your recipes.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects. on over to The (mis)Adventures of a "Born Again" Farm Girl for more simple ideas for your home or homestead. -- Margy

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Available Online:

Paddling the Pacific Northwest
by Wayne J. Lutz

Come along on a paddling adventure.
Grab a paddle as the author leads you on day trips and overnight adventures on the rivers and lakes of northwestern Washington.
Paddling the Pacific Northwest takes you to out-of-the-way destinations where kayaking allows us to pursue our innermost individual freedoms. Come along on freshwater exploits in a sea kayak as a Canadian paddler heads south to probe the rivers of Washington, searching for “slow pushers” to propel his kayak lazily downstream mile after mile. A travelogue memoir of enlightening adventures set in the magic of the Pacific Northwest. 

Check us out online:

Print for $12.95
Kindle for $5.99 
E-book for $5.99

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Homemade Orangecello Liqueur

Homemade Orangecello liqueur on the rocks.
Liqueurs are versatile. They make a good after dinner drink to sip instead of a big dessert. They can also be used with a mixer for a lighter daytime thirst quencher.

I found a recipe for Orangecello Liqueur online and it peaked my interest. We use a lot of oranges in our breakfast fruit bowls, so I have plenty of orange peels that can be used for other purposes.

Here's the complete recipe I found online. I cut mine in half.

Homemade Orangecello Liqueur

Remove bitter white pith from peels.

1 bottle 80-proof vodka
peels from 6 oranges
half of a vanilla bean
Simple syrup (2 cups water and 2 cups sugar)


Remove as much white pith as you can from the orange peels. The pith will make the Orangecello bitter.
Place ingredients in a jar.
Slice the prepared peels into strips.

Place the ingredients in a sealable container. I used a Mason jar with a plastic lid. Save the orange fruit for other uses.

Store the jar in a dark place.

Check daily to make sure the vanilla bean isn’t overpowering the mixture. Remove the vanilla bean after three days maximum.
My Orangecello resting in the pantry.

Let the mixture continue to infuse with the orange peels for five to seven additional days. Check daily to make sure the flavour and colour are to your liking.

More orange flavour will be imparted to the alcohol the longer it infuses. I left mine work for two weeks and it was perfect for my taste.

Strain the mixture.

Strain the mixture.
Make a simple syrup with two cups of water and two cups of sugar. Heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Allow the simple syrup to cool completely. Add one cup to the infused alcohol and give it a taste test.

Add more if you like a sweeter liqueur. Because mine was a little bitter, I used the whole amount.

It reduces the amount of liquor in the final product, but for me it improved the taste.
Make a simple syrup.

Chill the Orangecello, or serve it on the rocks.

It also makes a nice, light spritzer by combining it with lemon-lime soda.

The completed Orangecello liqueur will keep for several months, if it lasts that long. It’s like drinking liquid orange candy.

Add cooled simple syrup to the infused alcohol and store in a sealed container.

I hate to throw useful things away, so I put the strained orange peels in a pan and let them dry in the oven with the pilot heat. I love it when nothing goes to waste. -- Margy