Today was cloudy but warmer, all but a few tiny spots of snow are gone. I made Mexican style black bean soup today - I've made it before but this time I used a few teaspoons of Old El Paso taco seasoning, and some hot chilli pepper flakes. I didn't use enough of the hot stuff, but the taco seasoning was really tasty. It was a perfect soup for a dreary November day - good thing too cause there are 3 more lunches worth. I love making a huge pot of soup that will span several days. I find we don't snack so much if we have a proper soup & salad lunch. This is a good one for the diet too, although I did use a few teaspoons of olive oil to sauté the onions with. Sometimes I get tired of just using stock or water.
In my photo directory wanderings yesterday I came across a few other photos from November 2001, both of these are from a trip to Toronto that we made to visit the Royal Winter Fair. If you are ever in the Toronto area at the beginning of November be sure to check out this giant agricultural fair. There are horse shows of international calibre, horse breed shows that showcase various of common and uncommon breeds ; livestock shows - pigs, sheep, cows, goats, rabbits and any other type of livestock you can think of. Of course there are huge retail areas with stores selling tack, crafts, etc.. It really is an event to experience at least once.
I've been to the Royal twice, the first year in 2000 when I met my friend Cynthia (from Australia) there. We each had our little nieces - I think they were 3ish, or maybe 4 - in tow. The girls loved all the animals, the candy apples, the cinnamon buns and all the other Royal things. The following year Carm made the trip to Toronto with me so he and I took Shenna for another year of the Royal. It's so much fun to see events like this through the eyes of a child. I have one picture of her with her eyes almost as bit as the cinnamon bun she just finished. Ummmm... cinnamon buns... they are the absolute best at the Royal!
On our way home that year we stopped to have brunch with Olaf (my brother) and Tammy. They had a cute little Toronto apartment that Tammy had decorated so nicely. The picture is taken on their little sun porch - so cute and homey. Tammy served delicious buns with poached eggs topped with melted cheese slices. Well, to this day we still laugh about it - the cheese was so sticky that it stuck to the roofs of our mouths such that we could barely have a conversation. I guess you had to be there.
What makes me sad about all of this is that now both my sister (with her husband and my nieces), and my brother (with Tammy) now live almost exactly on the other side of the planet from me in New Zealand. Those fun little visits and all their fond memories just don't happen any more.
I take a lot of photographs, although sometimes I miss capturing an event. I find that my memories are so much fresher, and I remember so much more detail when I have the visual clues in a picture.