Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Baking Blunders

It is 1:41 am and I am sitting here waiting for my bread to rise before popping it in the oven so we can have fresh bread for breakfast Christmas morning. I have only begun baking bread since this summer, but I have fallen so in love with the smell and feel and taste of freshly baked bread that I can hardly stand to eat store-bought bread anymore. I feel so... wonderfully domestic when I bake bread. A few years ago I made a mental checklist of things I would like to be able to do before I get married:

a) use a sewing machine
b) develop a house-cleaning routine that I follow on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis
c) get out of debt
d) bake bread from scratch

Well... at least I've been able to scratch d) off of my list. Some things take more time, I suppose... although I'm not married yet, so I still have time to scratch the other three items off my list. I'm getting close to completing c), which is wonderful!

I used to think that all of these domestic little traits that were lying dormant in my soul couldn't be awakened until I had a man in my life and four little kids romping around in the backyard. Fortunately, early this summer, I had a revelation. I deserved the same attention that I hoped to some day devote to a family. Why shouldn't I be able to bake bread for myself? Why can't I maintain a happy home environment for ME? And don't my parents deserve to be fed a delicious home-cooked meal? Absolutely. So I started a gradual release of these held onto dreams and I discovered... I LOVE IT!

Baking and cooking are definitely two of my favourite domestic hobbies. Ever since I knew how to cook, I was watching cooking shows, trying out new (and sometimes scary) recipes on my unsuspecting family, and experimenting with flavours and foods. This has developed over the years, and my experimentation skills have definitely improved (including one of my happy accidents... the best gourmet brown beans you have EVER tasted!)

My cooking skills have occasionally ventured into the dangerous, however. There are two moments I can recall that still make me cringe and giggle all at the same time... the first story takes place in college. My roomate and I were preparing food for a Russian themed meal that my drama team was hosting. We were putting up the play, The Seagull, and I was supposed to make potato cakes. This involved deep frying the patties of shredded potato, onion, etc. The only problem was that we didn't own a deep fryer.

Not a problem, I thought, I'll just use a frying pan! The first few batches of potato cakes went off without a hitch, but gradually the little pieces left in the bottom of the pan began to blacken and smoke. In a panic, with black smoke billowing from the pan, I grabbed the handle and pulled the pan off of the stove... spilling grease and oil all over the hot element. Instantly, red flames leaped from the stove top, licking the ceiling of our tiny apartment kitchen. I grabbed a pot lid and slammed it down over the flames. Unfortunately, this only encouraged the flames to enter the oven, and a fire show danced behind the oven window.

Luckily, my roommate happened to be a little more level headed than I, and was also trained in the use of fire extinguishers. She grabbed the extinguisher and blasted the tar out of the grease fire. Good news: fire was out. Bad news: there was a fine yellow dust coating our entire apartment. Everything was covered, the stove, the dishes (even the ones inside the cupboards), the tv, the couches, even our bedrooms had dust in them. It took us hours to clean up the mess, and months later when we were moving out we were still finding residual dust in nooks and crannies. It was quite the adventure.

The second story occurred back in my home... ironically with the same friend, plus another girlfriend. We hadn't seen each other in some time and decided we would do breakfast together. We got up early in the morning (which we NEVER do. I am a night owl by definition.) and gathered everything we needed for pancakes. Not just any pancakes, however. We made the most amazing, fluffy, soft, juicy blueberry pancakes any of us had ever seen. We made tons of them. Probably close to 30 pancakes. We were so hungry and so excited.

To keep them warm, I used my mothers pyrex cake dish (which happened to be a wedding gift from, at that time, almost 25 years ago). Thinking simply that Pyrex was indestructible, I placed the pan on the warming element of our stove top. Any of you who know anything about Pyrex can probably guess what happened next.

Everything went smoothly for the entire time we were baking the pancakes. It wasn't until I placed the last pancake on top of the pile and covered the batch with tinfoil that the inevitable happened. I turned my back to walk away and heard the loudest BANG I had ever heard in my life. All three of us dropped to the floor, certain that we were under attack by a rogue band of pancake stealing pirates!

After I realized that my life was not in immediate danger, I stood up and was amazed by what I saw. The Pyrex dish had literally exploded. Fragments were strewn all over the kitchen and into the dining room and living room. The dish was destroyed. None of us knew what to do so we simply burst out in anxious laughter. We were so relieved that none of us were hurt, and so shocked by what had happened, that we couldn't do anything but laugh so hard our sides hurt. How none of us were skewered by flying glass fragments I will never know. I guess God had mercy on my ignorance and decided to keep me around a little bit longer.

The plus side of that story was that we were actually able to salvage some of the pancakes. Since I had covered the pan with tinfoil shortly before the explosion the top pancakes were untouched. We ended up having a lovely breakfast and now have a story that will likely pass down to our children's children's children.

It is true. Cooking together is a great bonding experience. Especially when it is a near-death experience.

Well... I should probably go put my bread in the oven. And if any of you ever have the chance to have a meal prepared by me, I promise that my skills have become far less... dangerous. :)

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It takes quite a bit to get me charged up to the point of using expletives. While a passionate, competitive person, I like to think I have a fairly level head when it comes to most things. There is, however, one thing in particular that pushes past the point of complacency, and that is idiot drivers putting my, or anyone else's, life in danger.

My boyfriend and I attended a Christmas banquet for my company last night. It was a wonderful evening with great entertainment and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was, however, a bit of a drive outside the city, and the roads were a bit slippery from the melted, and thus re-frozen, roads. Since I drive a mini-van, which isn't known for it's incredible traction, I was driving a touch below the speed limit.

As we were merging off the highway onto the freeway, I noticed that it was very bright behind me. A white car had pulled up right to my bumper and had his brights turned on, trying to 'force' me to drive faster through the off ramp. This annoyed me slightly, but I simply took my foot off the gas and tapped my break lights a couple times to politely ask him to back off my rear-end. When he didn't get the hint, I slowed down a bit, trying to be cautious since the ramp was very slippery and I was nervous about how close he was.

As soon as this driver got the opportunity to pass us, he whipped out from behind and moved in front of us. As I began to speed up so I could merge onto the freeway, he slammed on his breaks, forcing us onto the icy shoulder of the road. Luckily, my old van held up under the pressure, and we were able to keep our traction for the most part.

With every muscle tense in my body, my heart pounding, and my blood racing... my mouth released the only words that could come to mind. I won't repeat them here.

How DARE that ignorant young fool put my life, and the life of MY MAN in danger. Do people really have such a low view of human life that they think slamming on their breaks on an icy freeway is an okay way of expressing frustration? I am SO SORRY that I was taking the time to keep myself and the most important person in the world to me safe, but TAKE A PILL and SLOW DOWN!!! The 30 seconds you would have saved by running me down are not something worth risking lives for!

This is a perfect example of the reckless and selfish society that we find ourselves in. People truly believe that if someone gets in their way, or slows down their progress, they have the right to do whatever the heck they want. Well, I'm sorry. No, you don't. This world is not here solely for your exploitation. There are other people on this planet, and their lives and wellbeing are just as important as your own! Treat them with the respect they deserve.

Please, for the sake of all things that truly matter, slow down! Relax. Enjoy the drive.

Respectfully submitted,


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Books Books Books... and Aliens?

I think that many of you will find that we have much in common when I tell you that I LOVE to read!

Since I was a young girl in Kindergarten, books have been the source of countless hours of fantastic adventure, romance, and pondering. I remember one of the first books I read. It was a short picture book entitled "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" and it was about a small band of boys who took over a clubhouse... as you can imagine, no girls were allowed to join the club. My small spirit cheered on the young girls as they plotted and planned ways to break down this unfair system and take back the right to the clubhouse.

As I grew up, my taste in books has both stayed the same, and grown, as can be expected. I have four nieces and nephews, and I still love to sit down and read those children's stories with them, and I must confess that for the short time I worked in a bookstore, I would love to spend my short breaks reading the newest children's book. They are the perfect size to finish in a 15-30 minute period and they often have wonderful artwork and valuable lessons that even we adults can still learn from.

I am about to reveal a bit of the nerd side of my personality when I tell you that I got hooked on fantasy and science fiction books at quite an early age. I remember reading J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit in grade five and marveling at the new world that had been opened to me. Dragons, unicorns, winged horses, elves, giants... anything mystical became my new best friend. My play time often took place in worlds that defied the imaginations of many of my peers. I was the Queen of a distant band of elvish mages who controlled magical dragons with their minds. I was the daughter of a Unicorn who dared to defy her kind and interact with the dangerous humans. And I was... as every good child of the 80's/90's was... a friend of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Come on!! What could possibly be cooler than life-size turtles kicking butt with their ninja powers of awesomeness!?

I didn't stop at Fantasy and martial arts though... I loved Science Fiction. Star Trek and Star Wars novels graced my bookshelves, and still do now that I'm finally in a relationship with a man who understands how utterly cool and awesome science fiction is ;)

I know I may be labeling myself a complete nerd here, but the world of science fiction has, in many ways, really broadened my perspective of the world I now live in, and even my faith in God. The God I believe in is a God of creation. I believe that he created this entire universe with purpose and with the intent that we, and all other creatures, would multiply and fill this earth. Now tell me... if Adam and Eve had never eaten that accursed fruit ... if humanity had never thrown creation into utter chaos and sin... if death had never entered the world... this earth that we now live on would not have been sufficient to sustain life. Eventually, we would have needed somewhere else to go. That is why I believe that there are other planets out there capable of sustaining life. The universe is so big, so beyond comprehension, that I do believe that there are other habitable planets out there.

Does this mean that I believe in aliens? No... not really. I believe humanity is unique in its bearing of the Image of God. I believe we are unique in our sentience. However, I do believe it is possible that there is life, in some form, on other planets. However, it is very possible that after the fall of creation in the Garden of Eden, we locked ourselves off from the possibility of ever witnessing and experiencing these other "worlds."

Crazy? Perhaps. Geeky? Absolutely. What does this have to do with books? Nothing, I suppose.

Just the wandering ponderings of a random mind on a winter afternoon.


Saturday, November 24, 2007


My boyfriend, Rodney, and I went to see the movie Enchanted today, along with my sister and brother-in-law, and my best friends Mike and Jen.

Now if anyone knows anything about me they will know that the "fairly tale" romance has been a lifelong friend of mine. I am a girl, after all, and grew up on the Disney classics like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid, to name a few.

One other thing that most people know about me is that it has been a lifelong DREAM of mine for the world to burst out in spontaneous, and choreographed, song. Having grown up in the world of music, theatre, and musical theatre, and having a romantic heart, the urge to burst out into spontaneous song is something I've had to stifle many times whilst in public.

My best friend Jen and I have constantly nurtured this particular character train within each other. She and I have been singing together since grade five, often performing concerts for ourselves with home-made microphones (constructed of toilet paper tubes, old light bulbs, black socks and electrical tape) off of Jen's balcony. We were sensations and coveted the accolades of our many many fans (which often took the shape of stuffed animals, or our own imaginations, but occasionally of real human beings). Whatever the occasion, whatever the moment, Jen and I could find a song that would fit it perfectly. It was not uncommon for us to burst into song right in the middle of a normal conversation with each other... and occasionally with others. This "song banter" would continue until we either crumpled into hysterical laughter, or succumbed to the weird glances from our family and/or friends (or strangers).

I would be lying if I said that this trait has been "adulted" out of us at the ripe old age of 24. Alas, this particular element of our child-like hearts has been left unhindered by the ravages of time and 'maturity.' It often only takes a glance to set one or both of us off into sweet lyrical mania while the rest of the world contentedly trudges on with 'normal' verbal communication.

Needless to say that after the viewing of Enchanted (which is a brilliant movie, by the way. A new classic that makes me once again proud to have grown up in the classic Disney era) the evening was filled with spontaneous song and laughter. Even the men joined in on occasion.

While I am not silly enough to believe that the world, or even my immediate neighbourhood, will ever burst into perfectly choreographed song and dance, I can't help but feel that it would do the world good to experience the joy and simple FUN of a nice musical moment. I think if more people saw the world in terms of melodies and movements there would be a lot less stress in the lives of the everyday person.

So the next time you feel the urge to burst into song creep into your heart... take a chance. Hum a little tune. Or, if you feel brave enough, sing at the top of your lungs and let the music carry you away to that romantic little world that still hides inside the heart of every girl, no matter how long it has been since the idea of Prince Charming (or Edward, in the case of Enchanted) was smushed out of your heart by that blasted thing called 'reality.'

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Welcome to my little literary oasis!

To everyone who has taken a moment to come and visit me on this, my inaugural blog post, I thank you. I've been toying with this idea for quite some time now, and I'm quite excited to finally be among the Blogger's out there.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Sarah, and I am a 24 year old Canadian woman. I chose the name "Barefoot Sarah" for two very distinct reasons. The first being that I hate wearing shoes, and sincerely despise socks. If I had the choice, I would go barefoot all year round. Unfortunately, the lovely Canadian weather does not allow for that luxury most of the time, so I protest my distaste of footwear in the only way I can... on a blog.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the term "Barefoot and Pregnant" is a title I have always longed to apply to myself. I am a bit of a traditional girl. While I have the utmost respect for women who choose the career path, and for those women who are energetic enough to both raise a family and work, that has never been my dream. The desire of my heart has always been to be the loving wife and mother of a family. Supper on the table. Keeping a clean, safe, and environmentally friendly home. Teaching my children to be respectful, polite, and exemplifying what love is through my relationships with them and their father. A "stay-at-home-mom" in the purest sense of the word.

Some of you may be surprised at the amount of backlash I have encountered in my life because of this desire. I will never forget my second year of college. In our career planning class we were asked to make a collage for where we hoped we would be in life in 5 years and in 10 years. I was 18 at the time, and stated that in 5 years I hoped to be married, and in 10 years be done having kids. Hopefully 4 or 5 of them. I put that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and that I really had no aspirations to enter the workforce in the consumerist sense.

Immediately after giving my presentation I had about a dozen pairs of female eyes burning holes through my collage. "Don't you have any respect for yourself as a woman?," one classmate asked. "If you do that, you will be destroying everything that the Women's Liberation act has fought to achieve!!" Echoes of agreement were uttered by every girl in the class. I was floored.

How can any woman possibly think that the task of raising children, of growing up the next generation, is a disrespectful service to womankind? I thought that the Suffrage movement, and Women's liberation were to give women choice! Does that choice not also include those of us who want to choose to be mom's? Or should Women's Liberation really have been dubbed "You can choose, as long as you choose to have a career!"?

Please don't get me wrong. I am so thankful for the freedom's I now possess as a women as a result of the brave actions of the women who came before me. I am proud to be a woman. I am proud to have a brain and have the ability to use it. I just don't buy into the idea that to be a mom I have to surrender my brain at the door. I can think of no more noble act, no more important of a career, than to love and raise a family.

If anyone disagrees with me, they are welcome to do so, and I welcome discussion on this topic. I really believe that we as women have taken our freedom too far. It is no longer about equality for many women, it is about domination.

I am glad to say that I have seen a resurgence of the desire to raise a family in many women around my age. We are learning that laws and the government cannot solve the problems in society. Only the family has the true power to bring about change. Mom's and dad's instilling values into their children every day by living lives of example.

Now, I'm not a mom. I'm not even married. I know that being a stay-at-home mom isn't going to be all smiles and giggles. It's tough work. It's messy work. And it's tiring work. But it is WORTH-it work. This is one of the strongest convictions that I hold.

Well, that's it for my first post. I figured I should lay that out on the table right away, and if any of you choose to come visit me again, great. My next post will likely not be quite so politically charged.

Thanks for coming to visit, and remember to take your shoes off every now and then.