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November 21, 2015

Cookies Console

By Maryanna Gabriel 


"Oh dear. I had a cookie for breakfast. It was oddly consoling."
                                     
― Journal Entry November 14, 2015

Right about now I am not allowed in the stores. One has to face one's shortcomings. I have no control. There is no point really. Any rational discussion with myself seems to get suspended in some sort of vortex as I flash my card with glazed over eyes. Sometimes I try to pretend it is January. Not a chance. It just does not work. The place in my brain that monitors the credit card transactions is on vacation. So I am consoling myself with cookies. I was enraptured by the baking in Tuscany and while I am at a loss as to how to replicate what I tasted, this recipe I created was inspired by the 
Tuscan Inspired Almond Cookies

experience and is close. No flour or butter! These cookies have a festive quality.

Tuscan Inspired Almond Cookies

1 ¼ c. of ground almonds
¼ c. of white sugar
½ tsp. of baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
zest of one orange
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. Amaretto
¼  finely chopped dried cherries
¼ c. chopped pecans
1 egg white beaten to a froth

Mix. Drop with a teaspoon onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. 

November 14, 2015

Paris

By Maryanna Gabriel

How can I write about deer thundering through the underbrush and what not after last night's events in Paris? Yesterday morning I said to the local health nurse that the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis is being called by the UN "the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time" and made an analogy to the Second World War as millions are involved. She got it. Last night our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau addressed the nation saying that France was our ally, a war-time term. Is this where we are heading? How many major world powers have now been antagonized? What fat purses are fueling this dark, spiteful, black flag bent on wreaking destruction and havoc like something out of Mordar in a story by Tolkein. We are being forced to defend. Put up borders. Arm. The antidote to senseless violence? Strength. Our belief in liberty. Goodness. An absolute and utter refusal to knuckle to vindictive bullying. To have courage. To not be afraid. Paris we mourn and pray with you.

Paris Last Night After 130 Died

November 7, 2015

Stitch In Time

By Maryanna Gabriel

                                                                              “As I get older, I just prefer to knit. ” 
                                                                                        ― Tracey Ullman

It must be all the tizzy with the swearing in of new ministers in parliament. Suddenly politics seems inspiring. I seem to be coming out of a very long period of feeling inured and experiencing enjoyment at what I am hearing. Who would have thought? Enjoying Canadian politics. Am I dreaming?

I was just discussing politics with a group of women I knit with. We meet in a pub and some of us have lunch. We talk. I enjoy that too. I am actually working on a beautiful vintage needlepoint but forgive me, I digress. We were discussing the plight of the Syrian refugees arriving with just the clothes on their back in the Aegean Islands of Greece by the boatloads. I was realizing as I tried to imagine the desperation driving these people, mostly I read, women and children, that I had been inured to this too. I felt ashamed of myself. As I researched more closely I realized that help was far too slow in coming and those that were helping were heavily burdened. I couldn't sleep. We decided we would knit a blanket as a group and send it. "Eight inches of wool isn't enough,"
I thought and I thought. 
I said to my friend as we discussed the design. I thought. And I thought. Then I thought some more. What if I ask everyone I know to respond to the call for blankets, scarves, and hats? Then it would be like even more people would be warm in Greece. I thought what if the entire pub started knitting and what if it outflowed to knitters in the street, and knitters in the town, knitters all over the island, and knitters all over the country sending warmth to people emerging from the sea with just the clothes on their back. So far I have pledges for two scarves, some are donating money, and I have knit 5 squares. It feels pretty good. It will all be there for them by Christmas. Suddenly, Canada announced we are reversing our no refugee policy and taking 25,000 people in January. It has been a long time since I have had a sense of pride in my country. That is still three months away. A person could be awfully cold waiting for help. One stitch at a time. Someone, somewhere will know there are people who care. It is a big blanket of warmth.