Monday, May 21, 2012

Canadian Bank Account?

I am starting to look into opening a Canadian Bank Account because of reports I've heard that it may be more stable than the dollar in the next 5 years. Does anyone have any advice or experience in doing this?

I have looked at a few things on-line, including:

http://www.dailyfx.com/forex/fundamental/forecast/weekly/cad/2010-02-20-0422-Canadian_Dollar_Benefits_from_its.html

and a chat board offered the name of a good no cost bank - President's Choice Financial.
see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President's_Choice_Financial  and http://www.pcfinancial.ca/

I'll be calling them soon to get more info on how a US Citizen can bank with them along with getting good advice from some professionals before making a final decision.

Let me know if you want me to share what I learn.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

From Garden to Table

As we plan our summer gardens, we always seem to either not have enough time, space or help. Okay - I have enough of them but I'd rather be doing something else during the critical times to get things done.
This year, I got some help from my neighbor and master veggie gardener, E.S. She came over and I showed her my space, asked what would work well in the hot summer I think we'll be having and we brainstormed until I got a great plan under my belt. Tomorrow, I'm planting corn and zucchini and watermelon. I'll add to my small crops of lettuce, beets, spinach and the one surviving carrot. There's a row with all four of them in it that I planted the day before a rainstorm. Not surprisingly, the largest seeds survived the best. My peas are a little more than ankle high and I have great hopes for them. Now to weed the strawberry patch and thin the pears and peaches. So much to do....
When we plan our gardens, it's good to get as many of those in the house willing and able invovled. Also, I find it helpful to have the rows far enough apart that my garden rake and hoe weed for me (18" to 2 ft). Getting on my hands and knees to weed is not my idea of fun. Planning for the harvest to happen when we're in town is sometimes a challenge too. So this year I'm trying the staggered planting that so many have told me about. And I've added a mulch pile to dump everything (that doesn't have dairy or meat in it). Add the grass clippings and leaves and it's not bad for a start.
When I look for seeds, I avoid the hybrid varieties. That way if I'm ambitious at the end of the season and want to store seeds for next summer, I have seeds that will grow.
Good luck to everyone in their plans, execution and harvests.

Summer Slaws & Salads

I found a couple of good ones that I tried last summer - including the
Summer Apple Slaw and the Orange-Cabbage Slaw. Both are found on www.recipezaar.com

I found a couple in the Good Housekeeping Magazine (June 2012 issue) as well.
So far I've tried a crock pot & broiler variation of the Smoky Chicken & Pepper Salad
and hope to try the Cajun Cobb Salad soon.

Homemade Green Juice

1/4 bag fresh spinach
1- 16 oz peaches with juice
1 banana (or fruit)
1 T honey
Blend and enjoy.

from C.M.

Rosemary Chicken Delight

(aka what to do with leftover chicken, gravy, baked potatoes & veggies) -
original recipe (5/17/12)

2 c. chicken broth
3/4 c cooked shredded chicken
1 c chicken gravy
Put these in crock pot on Low for 30 min - 1 hour while you chop veggies and microwave potatoes (if you don't have any baked yet). Micro washed & pricked potatoes on high form 4 minutes each (a total of 3-4 should be enough). Chop 1/4 c to 1/2 c of at least 3 kinds of veggies - your family's favorite. Could include cabbage, green onions, sweet peppers, celery, carrots, mushrooms. Chop mostly baked potatoes into cubes and add all to crock pot (veggies & potatoes). Remove 1/2 c. hot broth and add 2 T cornstarch to it. Mix well, then add 2 tsp ground pepper and 1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 T fresh, washed and crushed rosemary). Add to crock pot along with another 1 c. of milk. Cook on Low for another 30 min. Stir every 10 min. until served. Should thicken 20 min. after cornstarch is added. If too thick for your tastes, add more milk or broth (be sure it's hot first).

Variation: For a casserole, use only 1 c. broth, and no extra milk after the first 3/4 c. Also, do not add any potatoes; instead serve over baked potatoes or rice.

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