It’s a Christmas Miracle!

I’m giving it away. My mother’s secret. The one she held close; a few scribbles on a greasy, dog-eared page. I know she had others. Sad secrets, mortifying ones. As we all do. But this one made her a special sort of genius. A star. It gave her powers. Kitchen witchcraft of the highest order. Well, at least I thought so. Christmastime for Mother meant baking her once a year shortbread cookies. She baked dozens and dozens of them, stacking and stashing them away in tins between layers of wax paper, lowered into the depths of the giant chest freezer, buried under baggies of meat, perch from the Ottawa river, and extra veggies from Father’s garden. Huh! As if I didn’t know they were there! As if

A Tart Tart!

If I failed to ask nicely for something, Mother always reminded me that I would attract more flies with honey than vinegar. It was a long time before I understood that one; longer still until I discovered that you could make a delicious sweet pie with the stuff too! Between the Great Depression (1929 - 1939) and the extreme food rationing of WW2 (1939 - 1945) both luxury and everyday ingredients were in short supply, and in a world without luxurious, expensive cream, vinegar plus flour and eggs equals cream pie! I know, it's just about impossible to believe, but there you go, it's an old pioneer trick for getting by with what you've got around the old homestead. And if the cows aren't a'milk

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