Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“I Married the Klondike” by Laura Beatrice Berton


Many young women in the early 1900s started their adult lives and careers as teachers in remote areas. They accepted short-term contracts for the opportunity to put their new credentials work, for the money, and for the adventure.

Many did not last beyond that first year, but Laura Beatrice Berton turned her initial one year commitment into a life well lived in Canada’s Yukon Territory.

Laura came from a well-to-do family in Toronto. As a young teacher in Toronto, she earned the paltry sum of $480 a year. When her superintendent offered her the position of kindergarten directress in far off Dawson City for $2100 a year, she quickly accepted.



Gold mining tailings on the Klondike River in 1994.
I Married the Klondike (Lost Moose: The Yukon Publisher, 2005) by Laura Beatrice Berton is a memoir encompassing twenty-five years including her teaching experiences, life in the bustling then dying gold mining town of Dawson City, and subsequent years of married life with Frank Berton, a miner and engineer who crossed the formidable Chilcoot Pass during the gold rush of 1898.



Dawson City's Yukon Hotel from our flying vacation in 1994.
The stories of life in Dawson City, the position of teachers, local high society, gold mining, a summer-long honeymoon in a tent at Sourdough Gulch, dance halls and women of ill-repute, steamboats and riverboats, raising children in the North, and the ubiquitous Yukon River that was everyone’s focal point of life.

If you like history, stories of brave women, and a look at life at the turn of the Twentieth Century, I Married the Klondike is an excellent choice.


A touristy paddlewheel boat on the Yukon River.
This is the second book about the Berton family that I’ve read. The first was Drifting Home by Laura’s son Pierre Berton, author, journalist, historian and host of The Pierre Berton Show.  In 1971 he followed in his father’s footsteps over the Chilkoot Pass and floated down the Yukon River to Dawson City with his grown children, a family bonding and remembrance experience rolled into one. You can read that review by clicking here.

Do you have any books you’d like to recommend? I love to read, and our float cabin home is the perfect place.


There's also the monthly Book Review Club for teen/young adult and adult fiction over at Barrie Summy's blog. -- Margy

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Butternut Squash with Kale and Quinoa


I love growing Green Curly Kale. I plant it in spring and can begin harvesting leaves by June. But that's not the best part. I continues to grow through winter and produce until planting time the next spring.

Winter is the best time to pick curly kale. By then the frost has made the leaves firm and fleshy, perfect to hold up during cooking.

To use some of my home grown kale, I made a side dish with butternut squash and quinoa.

Butternut Squash with Kale and Quinoa 
in Browned Butter

1 butternut squash
1 small onion
5 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup pre-cooked quinoa
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Go to Simply Recipes for directions on how to brown butter.

Go to theKitchn for directions with pictures on how to cook quinoa.

Remove the seeds, peel and dice the butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Chop onions, garlic, kale, and hazelnuts.

Heat butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Whisk frequently as the milk solids in the butter turn to a light brown and get a nutty aroma. Do not burn! Add onion and then garlic and cook on medium low heat until lightly caramelized.

Stir in thyme and add the diced squash. Toss to coat with the remaining butter then spread out in a single layer. Continue to cook on medium low heat without stirring until lightly browned on one side.

Stir and spread out again to brown on the other side and cook on low for 10 to 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. You can do this much ahead and finish just before dinner.

Before serving, add kale, hazelnuts, pre-cooked quinoa, and season to taste with Worcester sauce, salt and pepper.

Cook just long enough to wilt the kale and warm the quinoa. Serve and enjoy.

Quinoa is fairly new to me.  I like its nutty flavour in dishes like this.  Do you cook with quinoa? I would love to hear about your recipes.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects.

http://bornagainfarmgirl.blogspot.com/search/label/Simple%20Saturdays%20Blog%20HopHop on over to The (mis)Adventures of a "Born Again" Farm Girl for more simple ideas for your home or homestead. -- Margy

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Available Online:


Paddling the Pacific Northwest
by Wayne J. Lutz
PowellRiverBooks.com

Come along on a paddling adventure.
Grab a paddle as the author leads you on day trips and overnight adventures on the rivers and lakes of northwestern Washington. 

http://www.amazon.com/Paddling-Pacific-Northwest-Wayne-Lutz-ebook/dp/B00GMWKC4O
Paddling the Pacific Northwest takes you to out-of-the-way destinations where kayaking allows us to pursue our innermost individual freedoms. Come along on freshwater exploits in a sea kayak as a Canadian paddler heads south to probe the rivers of Washington, searching for “slow pushers” to propel his kayak lazily downstream mile after mile. A travelogue memoir of enlightening adventures set in the magic of the Pacific Northwest. 

Check us out online:

Print for $12.95
Kindle for $5.99 
E-book for $5.99