Homemade mints for Christmas

At the end of a family meal, we’d lean back, stuffed like turkeys. While conversation and coffee or tea circulated the table, a pretty dish of after dinner mints stole its way around as well. Our Aunt Mattie often brought her delicious homemade candy when she joined us for a special meal. We groaned but[...]

Precision important with brown sugar fudge

Brown sugar fudge makes a welcome gift for a birthday or for Christmas, sedately reposing in an attractive container. This recipe is presented exactly the way Aunt Mattie wrote it. You may think it’s a small thing to time the boiling for 7 1/2 minutes and have your dial at No. 6, but Aunt Mattie[...]


January a great time for making marmalade

Two elderly women influenced me in making my marmalade. When I attended university in Edmonton, I boarded at Mrs. Mae Head’s home. She always made marmalade in January from Seville oranges. I can still hear her English accent as she tells me, “January’s the best time to buy oranges, you know. That’s when they’re in[...]

Indigenous soldiers wore the uniform

Aboriginal men and women have served Canada in all wars. In the War of 1812 before Canada was wholly independent of Great Britain, thousands of First Nations and Métis fighters fought alongside British troops and settler militia, defending Canadian territory against American invasion. Commander of the British forces, Major-General Isaac Brock, saw these warriors as[...]


Auto evolution: a prairie family joins the ride

SASKATOON — Jim Adamson farmed in Alberta near Harold Hathaway’s place in the 1940s and they worked together for harvest. “Transportation in 1947-48 still involved horses and we had a particularly lively pair of grey Percherons, who delighted in periodically running away for no reason at all and in the process, usually completely demolished a[...]

Plenty of ways to cook rhubarb

Lilacs and rhubarb have nothing in common except they are both ready for picking at the same time. On one sunny day earlier this year, I went out to my rhubarb patch, pulled several stalks and then cut lots of lilacs to take indoors with the rhubarb. Rhubarb was a staple in every early Canadian[...]


Prairie measles outbreak prompted quarantine in 1937

The first words of Louise McLean’s diary for 1937 were: “Jan. 1 to 22: Quarantined for measles.”
She and her parents and siblings spent the last part of their Christmas holidays in isolation because her younger brother and sister had contracted measles from friends at school. 
“Stanley is the worst — very thin. Varina seems quite[...]

Combine a game-changer for prairie farmers

A young farmer in Alberta, Harold Hathaway, had just written a letter to his parents, now living in Vancouver. He would rather pull nose hairs with a vise grip than write a letter, but he had managed to fill up two pages by regaling the latest changes in farming. The recently discovered letter, dated Oct.[...]


Sleep deprivation causes a variety of problems

Sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome are common for many. Our lifestyle and technology affect our sleep. Research has proven that sleep is as important to our health as diet and exercise. Studies show that sleep is a factor in reducing weight. When we are sleep deprived we have increased[...]

Making the case for having a nap in the middle of the day

“Lay down for at least 15 minutes every day after lunch,” our family doctor advised Dad when he was diagnosed with an ulcer and still recovering from a back injury. The doctor advised laying on the floor to help my dad’s back but the midday rest would benefit both conditions. The idea of a rest[...]