Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cooking marathon.

Today was my monthly cook day or cook week-end. First I put in my presto pressure cooker a 'stewing hen' I bought a few weeks back and put in the freezer. I cooked it, tomorrow I will de-bone it. After which I will make soup with the bones and the remaining juices. With the meat I make Chicken a la King, and Rosemary Chicken with navy beans. And I will keep some for the soup as well. Not sure if I will make chicken soup or chicken/vegetable soup.

For myself I cooked a ratatouille, which I just finished sampling and is absolutely delicious. It's a dish I made just for myself which includes eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onions. Hubby won't touch anything with zucchini and eggplant, and Bill stays well away from the peppers and onions. I'm also making lentil and tomato soup. I used a mixture of split varied lentils instead of just red lentils.

It's nice right nowI have the house to myself. My friend and her kids went to visit her sister in Ottawa and her hubby is currently at work. Samer went with Bill to Bill's brother's to watch some sort of Martial Arts demonstration, and it might also be a poker night with the boys, not sure. So it's me and Jethro right now :) If I could only draw, it would be perfect.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Devastating Fire on St Patty's day

A close long time gf just lost almost all her worldly possessions in a devastating fire. Like many fires, it started in the kitchen with the making of French fries. Thankfully only her husband was home when the blaze started, and he suffered a couple of burns on one forearm and a bit of smoke inhalation. He was taken to Sacre Coeur Hospital as a precaution. While the townhouse will have to be completely rebuilt, thankfully everyone in the family is safe. Two of the pets survived, a cat aptly called "Lucky" and the hamster Fuzzball. Poor lucky ended up with burns on his paws, but is recovering nicely. The hamster, well we all thought he was dead. The firemen told us none of the animals upstairs had survived the fire, but admittedly he never claimed he found the hamster, just the bird and the other cat, Leroy [Jenkins named after the WOW Leroy Jenkins] unfortunately did not make it, smoke inhalation.

The firemen were afraid there would be deaths considering the speed at which the fire spread. My friend [also co-worker] had gone home at lunch time to pick up some Splenda for her tea 30 minutes before and the townhouse was standing. When she received the phone call maybe 20 minutes later, from her landlord about her townhouse having gone up in flames, and by the time she got there, it was all over. There was nothing left. Well almost nothing. We managed to salvage most of the clothes that were on the 2nd floor. We salvaged other items as well including a couple of dressers but it's entire possible it will all have to be thrown out because of smell. But it was important to salvage it because it's all that was left. We salvaged some photo's and the hard drives in her computer that had photos.

Currently she along with her husband, 3 children the cat and hamster are living with me since there was just hubby and I in my big house.

Here are the photos from a firemen' website. The fire made the front page of the west Island Chronicle and Cite Nouvelles. The scary part is the pictures in the newspaper were of the fire still Raging. Those news reporters must scan the 911 frequency because they have a picture of flames. By the time I got there, no more flames were coming out. Just a burnt smell and lots of firemen and first aid.

I've never had anyone close to me go through such an experience and I was impressed with our first response teams. I got there maybe 20-30 minutes after the fire started. There was police, firemen, and first response/ambulance techs there. Within another 20 minutes arrived the red cross team. They provided by friend with $65 voucher for the nearest IGA for food, a $1700 voucher at the nearest Zellers for clothes and footwear for the whole family. They also offered her 2 nights at a nearby hotel, but she felt more comfortable coming to my house, where it's familiar, especially since it was just for 2 nights and she would have to move again after then.

The neighboring townhouse whose wall touches my friends kitchen wall, had to be evacuated for a few days while they repaired their common wall. She was also put up in hotel for 2 days by the red cross.

They also gave her numbers of other aid organizations. I suppose those people who are left destitute and have no family can then also contact sun youth and a few other places for more help. I was still impressed at the speed of the response. It was also really cool that one of the guys in our team decided to take a collection and in a week collected $670. Our company also gave her 4 days paid at 75% [like sick days basically] for the four days she didn't work after the fire. So she's not losing the cumulated time she was cumulating for her trip around the US this summer with her children.

Still it's a traumatizing event. Many people after seeing the pictures cry out of gratefulness it wasn't them.