Through the Kitchen Window

I'm writing this with my Christmas decorations still all around me but thinking of Valentine's Day. Easily done though. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that Christmas is my favourite time of year and that, if given the opportunity (which my kids don't, by the way) I'd be likely to leave my Christmas decorations up all year long, or pretty close to it. And though I love Christmas, Valentine's Day comes in a very close second. If you've been around Seasoned Cooking long enough, you've likely read a good few of my Valentine's missives, including tales of our family's Valentine's Dinner celebrations.

What to do for 2008???

Another thing we'll be celebrating in this issue is Seasoned Cooking's tenth anniversary. Ten years of online publications. Ten years of bringing you good information, great food and maybe just a little humour. Later this year will mark ten years that I've been involved here as well. If I'm not mistaken, I came in around August. Auspicious that, since August is also my birthday month. But I won't be ten. *laughing*

We're celebrating changes as well with this issue. You'll notice some changes to the site. I don't know yet what they are, but I do know that if Ronda (our editor-in-chief) has been planning them, they'll be exciting. So I thought it appropriate to talk about some of the changes in my life.

Ronda, Seasoned Cooking and you the readers have seen me through many changes, some good, and some not so good. When I first started writing for this 'zine I was a married, stay at home mother of four. At the time, my youngest was nine years old and my oldest was seventeen.

Marina is now 27 and a web-entrepreneur. She's a very clever, creative artisan and you can see her wares at It's worth the trip. Matthew is 24, a graduate chef and is living in England, working as a chef under Bryn Williams at Odette's in Mayfair. He keeps promising to "come home", but so far, England and Europe (and a certain young lady) have a stronger hold than mom. But he's doing well and that's what counts. Then there's Vincent who is 21 now. He's a budding "rocket scientist"; in his third year of degree work in aerospace engineering. He consistently achieves top marks and prestigious awards along the way. The "baby", Anthony, is 19 and has started working on his math degree. It's only first year, but his drive to succeed, coupled with his strong competitive streak will serve him well. He'll go far.

They've grown up into caring, wonderful people and I'm proud of how they've weathered the storms life has handed us. They all have partners who care about them and they are genuinely happy. What more can a mother ask for? Myself, I'm no longer married, but I do have a new life partner and that makes me happy. I'm no longer a stay at home mother either, though I'm shortly about to take the plunge and leave my day job to go free lance. Wish me well.

It's funny, ten years seems like such a long time, and yet, in all honestly, it's seemed to have flown by. It totally surprised me when Ronda mentioned anniversaries and I went to check. TEN YEARS!!! Seems like just yesterday I answered an ad for writers. I wasn't a "writer" then. I just had an idea that I "could" do it and Ronda gave me a venue to practice and hone my skill. She's always been supportive and enthusiastic and most of all, understanding of delays, and postponements, and technological problems. Among the many hats I wear now, Writer is one that I'm especially proud of. And it's all thanks to Ronda.

Congratulations on ten great years Ronda, I hope I'm around to share at least ten more!!!

Oh yes, about Valentine's Day. Can't forget that!!!

It falls on a Thursday this year. That's half price wing night at Larry's favourite bar and grill. So I have a feeling that we'll be celebrating the "night for lovers" by enjoying some wings at The Wally. It's a very special time in another way as well, though. Friends of ours got married this weekend past (12th January, 2008) in Las Vegas. Larry and I and a few other friends and family went to the famous city to witness the event. We had a great time!!!

Please meet Mr & Mrs Phil and Rita Best. That's Larry and I in the background, the ones wearing glasses. Anyway, on 16th February Phil and Rita will host a second wedding celebration for those of their friends who couldn't be with them in Las Vegas. A fitting way to celebrate Valentine's Day for a newly married couple, I think, don't you?

However you choose to celebrate the day, make sure it's with someone you hold dear.

Me??? I'm heading out to find some strawberries; I suddenly have a craving.

Balsamic Berries

I'm thinking I'm in the mood for some of these over ice cream. Nice little Valentine's dessert too!!!
  • 1 pint strawberries (or more if you mind sharing), hulled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon fine sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least an hour. Spoon generously over French Vanilla ice cream and enjoy!!!

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour