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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Prepare for the worst…and expect the best!!!

That’s what the weather forecaster on the local CTV News Vancouver Island station B.C. said tonight.

The weather forecast for the next week definitely doesn’t look good. We spent today listening to the wind, shaking Newman left and right, blowing up the awnings, and listening to the rain smash against the windows in Newman. We’re so happy to be leaving earlier than planned, so we can start to find some nicer weather as we head down the West Coast. We‘re so disheartened with the weather this time on Vancouver Island, but now we know not to come here in November, which is the rainiest month. This year, has been particularly rough though with the heaviest rains ever and of course the ‘State of Emergency‘ in B.C. with all of the flooding, and road collapses. I’m sure the next week of rain which is also to hit the mainland, won’t be good for trying to get roads re-opened, and people back to their homes and farms.

Another miserable November day on the Island.

We were hostages today in Newman, waiting for Viper Fuels to show up from Chemainus.

Richard had called Viper last week when he saw our propane levels were getting low, to ask when Viper might be making the trip up our way. We were told the propane truck would be arriving today, and since the truck services Fanny Bay, last on the propane run, we didn’t have any other choice, but to wait for the propane truck. We do have a 30 pound propane tank which we could cook up to Newman, but Richard doesn’t know how to do the hook up, so he had St. Stephen on standby, in case Viper Fuels didn’t show up.

I spent some more time this morning planning our trip to Florida. We checked on one RV park in Tucson that a friend of from the Niagara Peninsula stays at for the winter, but they didn’t accept short term stays. Another park I checked in Tucson said they didn’t accept RV’s that were older than 10 years old, but they would make an exception if we sent some pictures of Newman. I sent 2 photos of Newman that I took yesterday, and I just heard that we can stay at Rincon Country West RV Resort in Tucson for 2 nights from December 17th, because they think that ‘Newman looks great!’ We‘re hoping we can get a golf game with my friend and her boyfriend while we are are in Tucson too. Richard (‘Jetman’) is also hoping to see the Aircraft boneyard while in Tucson, given that he is really into airplanes!

After working on our RV Trip, I decided it was time to wrap some Christmas presents for my son Josh and his girlfriend Alicia. I love wrapping presents, but there really isn’t a lot of room to wrap anything in Newman!

I finally moved to the dining room table to be able to finish the wrapping job properly

I really have that ‘nesting‘ feeling now that I know we’re leaving. I am trying to manage our food situation too and clean out the fridge because I know we are not allowed to take fresh fruit or vegetables with us into the U.S. So in that vain, I decided to make another beef, vegetable noodle soup for lunch in the Instant Pot, pressure cooker. Now we have soup frozen, that we can have for quick lunches on the road.

Next up, was to get started on the Christmas baking from yesterday’s recipes I put in the blog. Working in such a small kitchen in Newman is not easy, but organization is the key to being able to get everything done. Richard is a great helper too!

Juicing 4 lemons for 1 cup of lemon juice on our manual juicer.

Mixing up the eggs, sugar, flour, and lemon juice for the filling for the lemon squares.

Oh that shortbread crust looks delicious.

Pouring on the lemon filling.

Good to the last drop!

Ooohy, gooey, goodness! The lemon filling is so delicious!

Now I’m making the Swedish butter balls. Sifting the icing sugar into the butter and vanilla.

Ready to bake the Swedish butter balls on the Silpat, in the oven. A Silpat baking mat is the best investment if you don’t own one. The company is based in France and that is where they produce their original non-stick baking mats. Monsieur Guy Demarle, an experienced French baker set out to develop a better way to prepare and bake baguettes. His invention, a baking mat, began a revolution in professional baking and he rapidly acquired a reputation for the best baguettes in France. Demarle named the product the ‘Silpat’ because of the materials used in the mats, which combines fibreglass mesh and a silicone coating. They’re safe, sturdy and can be used at temperatures from -40F to 480F. Silpats are guaranteed to withstand 3,000 trips into the oven. When Silpat launched in the 1960’s it was the first product of its kind. Silpats have a reputation for making baking quicker and easier and they cut down on clean up. Its no wonder that Silpat has been a kitchen winner for decades. I’ve had one Silpat baking mat for probably 10 years and as you can see, I even travel with it in Newman, because I love to bake and bake well!

Dipping the Swedish butter balls in icing sugar and putting them into the Christmas cookie tin.

Voila! Swedish butter balls. Decadence in one bite! The oven in Newman is a bit tricky since its a microwave/convection oven, so the. Swedish butter balls are a little browner than I would like, but they are still delicious. We had one each to sample them!

Now that the Christmas baking is all done, I will package everything up for Josh & Alicia for Saturday evening. No goodies for you Richard! Sorry.

So despite having to ‘Prepare for the worst & expect the best’ kind of day, we actually got a lot done today. I think today was the first day I’ve ever spent in Newman, that we didn’t go anywhere or do anything outside. I think its ok that we had a ‘stay at home’ kind of day. Sometimes its ok to check out and read a book, which is what I did when I finally got all my baking finished!

Tomorrow we’re going to head down to Nanoose Bay. We haven’t been there since we arrived on the Island and it is one of our favorite spots to explore. We’ve also got a spot picked out for lunch too that we want to try again, and we’ve got to find a place to have Dungeness Crab on the Island before we leave. We’ll be running out of time to do all the things we have on our list to do, before we leave!

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Helen and I did the PIMA Air and Space Museum in Tucson a few years ago. It's big and excellent with hundreds of aircraft and flying devices! The staff are mostly ex military and very engaging. We did the outdoor tour on a bus and the driver had a story or comment on every aircraft that we passed. We spent about 4 hours there and didn't have time to do the off site graveyard. I could have spent a couple of days there but was out voted.😎

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