Presents! Presents! Presents!

And where the hell have YOU been?

Oh right.  I’m the one who disappeared.  Well, I’m back now so listen up.

I got PRESENTS!  Presents, presents, P R E S E N T S!  And I would like to take this opportunity to show them off.  Because we’re never too old to show off our stuff.  You’d think as an adult you’d grow out of that sort of thing, but no.  Adults still like to show off their stuff.  Especially scabs and scars.

No matter how old a person gets they never get too old to show off a good scrape.  And there’s nothing more insulting than someone who refuses to look at your bloody, puss filled elbow.

Bunch of sissies.

So.  Onto the showing off of the presents.  As the song goes … these are a few of my favourite things.


Every summer when we go to the cottage this cookbook is up there.   Taunting me.  The fella’s father’s wife owns it and normally cooks something from it when we’re there.  She uses the cottage for experimenting with complicated cooking.  I use the cottage as an excuse to eat hotdogs for 7 days straight.  All meals, all the time.

But there’s that thing in the back of my mind screaming that I’d love this cookbook for when I’m at home.  Everything she’s ever made out of it is delicious.  So some time in August I held this cookbook over my head and proclaimed it was the only gift I would accept for Christmas!  I did a little elf like dance and topped it off by barking like a dog.

Then I ate a hotdog.

I got the cookbook for Christmas.

It’s definitely not for the faint of heart or a quick Tuesday night meal, but if you’re looking for a cookbook with restaurant quality results this is the one you should get.

As far as I can tell, it does not include a single “true food“.  Much to the chagrin of the fella’s father’s.

Sunday Suppers

 Buy it in USA

 Buy it in Canada


Oh my.  I got a shockingly appropriate gift.  A screen printed Maple Syrup jug by Montreal artist Marianne Chenard.  I love it.  It is appropriate for me on a variety of levels, not the least of which is I make my own Maple Syrup.   My maple syrup is all bottled up from last year, so my niece (who gave me the jug) also gave me a can of pure Maple Syrup to fill it up with.  Come March or April I’ll be filling it with syrup from my own tree.  ‘Cause my life is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong and I knit my own slippers and make my own syrup.  On occasion I bark like a dog though.  So … my life is a balance of perfection and “Wow.  Freak. Sucks to be her“.

I love my jug.  There’s nothing better than having things you use every day be beautiful and artistic.

Maple Syrup Jug

 Buy it in USA or Canada


When I adding an extra nesting box to my coop this fall I hit a bit of a roadblock.  I needed to cut a hole in one of the coop walls.  The worrisome part was the fact that I needed to cut the hole for the nesting box right next to a wall.  What that means is the space was too small for a regular jig saw.  I needed something that would cut perfectly flat up against a corner.  If you understand the horrifying dilemma I was in, you’ll appreciate the brilliance of this gift.  If you’re staring blankly … please feel free to move on to the next gift.

I ran to my neighbours Jane and Grant to borrow a tool.  Can’t even remember which one.  When I ran back with it I mentioned the problem I was having and Grant, who installs Ikea kitchens for a living, handed me this little sucker.  I used it, immediately put it on my Christmas list, told the fella about it, dragged him to the hardware store, made him take a picture of it with his cellphone while I watched to make sure he did it and left it at that.  Then I crossed my fingers and hoped fella would be able to pick up on my subtle hints.

I got the Dremel for Christmas.


 Buy it in the USA

Buy it in Canada

 Who knew I needed THESE?!   Not me.  But I did!

So when the fella got them for Christmas from one of my sisters I quickly claimed them as my own.


 Buy it in the USA or Canada


O.K.  This *may* just be my favourite present.  If you have a small farm or backyard chickens or a … car wash business perhaps, THIS is the thing to buy.  It’s a heated hose that you can keep hooked up outside even in freezing temperatures.  It has a small heat trace running around it so the water will flow all winter long. No more lugging the chicken water bucket into the house, slopping chicken spit all over the floor, filling it up in the sink and sloshing it out of the kitchen into the freezing cold yard.

I didn’t even know such a thing existed.  Which makes for a GREAT present.

Heated Hose

 Buy it in the USA

 Buy it in Canada


Drinking Glasses in the shape of a milk bottle.  That say cat milk on them.  Not more I need to say about these really.

Drinking Glasses

 Buy it in the USA

 Buy it in Canada or the USA

It is now time for the Ta Da.

The final present I’m going to show you was given to me by one of my sisters.  The sister who likes to cook.  Not the sister who likes to build.  If I got the two of them together for a day or so in my backyard we’d have all the makings for a franchised chicken restaurant.

Anyhow .. the present.  Another cookbook.  This one will take a place of pride somewhere in the kitchen.  I present to you … The True Foods Cookbook.

True Food

 Buy it in the USA

Buy it in Canada



Thank you for putting up with the soft open of The Art of Doing Stuff.  Come next week I’ll be back into the full swing of actual posts and not resorting to talking about presents and scabs.

Although, I’ll probably still talk about scabs.  And toots too.  Now if you’ll excuse me all this talk of cookbooks and cat’s milk has made me hungry.  Time to whip up a microwaved hotdog on a piece of white bread.


  1. Laura Causey says:

    Had no idea there was a heated hose! How awesome is that, though I usually use the rain barrel. Doesn’t usually get cold enough hear in MD. To freeze it.

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