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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Friday, April 12, 2013

Cooking in jars for people who have better things to do

The end of day two here on location in Florida. Still working of course but online, this www is pretty nifty.

I am so glad to be here.

On the way down I examined the skin on my legs, among other things to do on a long road trip, and noted that somehow my skin turned 90 - I was shocked to see my epidermis sort of detaching from my body like crumpled tissue paper on Boxing Day - well, when did I become this old I wondered?

The thing here in Florida though it is pretty humid, that's why everything is so green and lush and there are turtles and birds and other stuff with long skinny tails that move slow into the bush pretty much everywhere you look. 

So it appears I have been re-hyderated here, in only two days, just like magic, just like a TV commercial where they are going to send you two for the price of one, plus separate shipping and handling.

Somewhere, maybe it was the beach or around the 15th hole where I actually managed to hit the ball backwards, my skin had the water added to it and all that weirdness has gone and I am smooth (this is relative and we are going to gloss over the use of that word pretty fast) again like 35, OK 45 year old legs.

Makes me wonder what the rest of my life spent in dry indoors winter will do to me. 

I had the old vaporizer on a bit when I thought I had a cold in January, but I am thinking next winter I will have to fire those units up in every room before I curl up and blow away in the wind.


This was meant to be a cooking post. I guess you can gather by now I figure Florida weather is good for me. Now we can move on.

Back to the mason jars, illustrated last post on the hood of the car. I was definitely the only woman taking shots of mason jars on a car hood with an iPad at the gas station, a fact that was noted.

If you haven't already done it via more reliable Google this is how you can make these up:

1. Get yourself some big mason jars.

2. Make yourself some dressing (or you could buy some, I make it). Current simplest is 2 parts olive oil and 1 part rice vinegar, sometime with a bit of dijon in it. Put these ingredients in one jar and shake it and then pour some into the bottom of each mason jar you are making a salad in.

3. Isolate the dressing by putting a layer of something not wilty on top. I like black beans, my spouse likes quinoa. Go crazy.

4. Then put little layers of bits and pieces on top of this. Red pepper, beets, feta or blue cheese, clean out the fridge. Tomatoes, whatever.

5. Stuff the remaining 1/3 or so with leaves. Lettuce, arugula.

6. Screw on the lid. I found these salads stay nice and fresh for three days.

To eat you have two options:

1. Option one. Empty the jar onto a plate or in a big bowl, toss a bit and eat it up. You do this style at home or in the lunch room at work.

2. Option two. The I-95 option. Shake it up, take off the lid and try to eat it on your lap with a fork. Can be done, but be prepared to wonder if maybe some dollar store sells long handled forks.


I am sort of into making these regularly. I get busy, like when there is a major sewing project underway, and don't like to take time to cook or fix myself something respectable. It is awfully nice to have about half your daily Canada food guide vegetable requirements ready to go without any work or time out.

And these are fabulous when you are on the road.

It has occurred to me that I have come by car food prep honestly.

Back in my childhood when we used to go on those mega car trips, in a station wagon with a plywood car top carrier my dad made on the roof, with everyone fighting and no one wearing seatbelts, and my father spending his hard earned vacation saying "bloody Murphy" a lot to himself, my father used to put cans of tinned spaghetti in the car engine to heat up while we drove.

Remember those old cars had enough spare room in them to roast turkeys, which I am sure was next on my father's to-do list.

The plan was when we stopped at some rest stop we would all head to a picnic table and my dad would open the car hood and take out a can opener and presto there was lunch.

I thought he was a genius and figured that his brilliant ideas had something to do with the fact he was a science teacher - although I am sure cooking canned spaghetti with a combustion engine was an original idea.

And a pretty good one.

Many times we had something nice and hot for lunch - those cans usually didn't explode if you stopped the car somewhere between Moose Jaw and  Regina.


Alison said...

Now back in my childhood of annual road trips to Queensland 600 miles away with the kids in the back with no seat belts and a bed made on top of the luggage in the station wagon, we had a portable gas bottle that my father always fired up to make the required tea. I think we had sandwiches. :)

Angela said...

I am loving your family vacation stories -- both past and present. And I do think humidity helps your skin, at least that's what we southern girls tell ourselves as somewhat of a consolation for all the sweating we have to do.

Janlynn said...

Loved your post! It brought back memories of my childhood road trips. My Dad wasn't a teacher so he didn't think of cooking on the engine but we had our little Coleman stove. We had hot dogs and beans for lunch as we racked up the miles in our Chevy.

Jodie said...

Glad you made it. I like the mason jar salad thing (I'm not on Pinterest....I could get SUCKED IN so easily). I'm especially glad to hear about green and humidity as Edmonton, AB is under a SNOWFALL warning and we're to to get 10 cm of snow.....Sigh.
Enjoy your time away. Looking forward to hearing your adventures. Loved your travel stories..
Best wishes!

Julie Culshaw said...

Ah now I understand where you get your "uniqueness" from - your dad. Great story.

Anonymous said...

Those cans didn't USUALLY explode - love it!

Mrs Woman said...

As well,we used to take long car trips when I was a kid. Once the car engine caught fire and my dad whipped out little Mr. Bill and peed the fire out. I thought it was genius. My dad was Canadian. He was not a fireman.

Mrs Woman said...

As well,we used to take long car trips when I was a kid. Once the car engine caught fire and my dad whipped out little Mr. Bill and peed the fire out. I thought it was genius. My dad was Canadian. He was not a fireman.

Shirley Ann said...

I think I had lunch as a kid throughout my life at nearly every rest stop on Interstate 10. My parents were big fans of the little spreadable lunchmeats with a loaf of bread. There was the occasional beans in a can that was popped too. Aw, memories. LOL Your mason jar salads sound really good. Definitely going to try out your dressing! I've been using just olive oil, but it's lacking a little flavor, but regular salad dressings are too sweet now for me.

Anonymous said...

In the early 70's my husband and I drove cross (US) country several times in our old chevy van and put chicken legs wrapped in foil on the engine, which was between the 2 front seats. Worked a treat.

Jarred salad sounds healthier doesn't it?

Hope the holiday continues to go wonderfully - its great that you are continuing to blog!


Barbara said...

This is from my wonderful reader LinB. By mistake this didn't get published when it should:

My own dear mother's specialty was, and is, egg salad sandwiches on white bread, for road trips. Be sure to put them in a cooler with lots of ice and water -- pre-ziploc technology, they always got water-logged. Always. Indeed, even with water-resistant packaging, she manages somehow to still present us with soggy sandwiches ... something about transferring them out of the bag just makes water leap onto the bread. Even if Ma manages to get them to us in pristine condition, we all take time to drip water on them, in homage to her many years of feeding a family of six on next to nothing.