Monthly Archives: February 2012

Drink of the Week: Cran-Pomegranate Daiquiri

Today I looked into my liquor cabinet and saw a lot of dark rum. A glance in the fridge revealed fresh limes, simple syrup and a new jug of reduced-sugar Cran-Pomegranate juice. I had the makings of a winter daiquiri! I cribbed from a couple online recipes and, with a dash of orange bitters and a sprinkle of frozen pomegranate seeds, came up with this beauty:

Like a rum punch, only sweeter and berrier.

It’s rather like a rum punch, only sweeter. I love the colour and the fact the fruit ingredients (save the limes) are fall-early winter seasonal. Combined with dark rum, it makes a nice winter drink.

Cran-Pomegranate Daiquiri

  • 1-3/4 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz reduced sugar cran-pomegranate cocktail
  • 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup*
  • 1-2 dashes orange bitters
  • Pomegranate seeds garnish

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and garnish with pomegranate seeds. *To make simple syrup combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and refrigerate.

— Recipe by me!

Parenting trends: the good, the bad and the ugly

Every year we get to hear what forecasters believe will be the big trends in everything from fashion to food. There are parenting trends too, some worthy of jumping on the minivan-wagon; others, not so much. A quick Google search revealed some interesting 2012 trend reports from iVillage, Babycentre and Philley.com. Scrambled Life weighs in.

THE GOOD

1. The End of the Goody Bag. Hooray! Finally! We can thank the crap economy for putting an end to the tradition of giving birthday party attendees a bag full of dollar store junk to show them how grateful we are they are friends with our kid. I have never understood why the party wasn’t enough. You get to eat cake and juice and then run around and trash my house, kid. Isn’t that fun?

2. The Good Enough Marriage. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, iVillage reports your relationship doesn’t have to be perfect. Still, “good enough” doesn’t equate to “no effort” so it’s probably still a good idea to buy your love flowers and a card on Feb. 14th.

3. Kid Tablets. Santa gave Bennett a LeapPad for Christmas so I know the amazing power of this little tool. He uses it to draw and make patterns, takes pictures with it and practices writing his letters. With it in his hands — provided it’s fully charged — I will not fear a five-hour plane ride. Best of all it’s virtually indestructible and costs way less than an iPad.

THE BAD

1. “Dadchelor” Parties. Seriously? Guys need to find another reason to get together and get drunk? Come to think of it though, going on a bender before baby arrives is probably a good idea since all hangovers post-baby will be little excursions to Dante’s third circle of hell, where a screaming infant and a bitter wife punish Daddy for his over-consumption.

2. French Parenting. Last year Tiger mom made the news; this year it’s Pamela Druckerman and her book Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Evidently, the French are strict and don’t coddle their kids. They also eat better food and drink wine with dinner! This is supposed to make the kids better-behaved gourmands. Now, fermer ta bouche and eat your escargot!

3. Empty Nests Fill Up. This means parents will never get rid of their kids because they’ll just keep boomeranging back between jobs and breakups. And evidently the lodgers stay put even if Mom and Dad charge rent and refuse to do their laundry (can’t you just see the French rolling their eyes and saying, “Quelle horreur!”).

THE UGLY

1. Even Older Moms. Just because modern medicine can now get 50-plus women pregnant doesn’t mean granny-mommy wannabes should head to the fertility clinic. For sure, the kids they have are wanted, but there’s just something kinda creepy about it. Do you really want all the playground moms to think you’re the grandma? Just sayin’.

What do you think? Which of these are trends you’ll embrace, and which are trends you’ll pass on?

Inglewood Winter Carnival: Community spirit in the ‘hood

My husband and I have lived in the same Calgary neighbourhood for 15 years. We intially bought a home in Inglewood because we liked the older character homes, the neighbourhood’s proximity to downtown and the funky little shopping district along Ninth Avenue S.E. While we still appreciate all of these qualities, what ties us to Inglewood now is its sense of community and what that means for our kids.

This past weekend the Inglewood Community Association staged a winter carnival for residents. The free event included a petting zoo, wagon rides, face painting and balloon animals for kids, munchies, and ice skating at the community rink. Many families showed up on the 12C afternoon and enjoyed the sunshine, catching up with friends and meeting new neighbours. The best part was seeing the next generation of Inglewood kids take to the ice.

They're so little they all fit in the net!

Most of the children attend the community school, the neighbourhood anchor through which parents get to know one another. Because of this community spirit, and perhaps because of Inglewood’s geography (bordered on three sides by the Bow River, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and Inglewood Wildlands), there’s a sense of safety in the ‘hood. Many families let their kids play outdoors unsupervised; in fact, I wrote about this ‘free-range’ phenomenon in the context of child-safe neighbourhoods in a story for the Calgary Herald  last fall.

As a parent, I think the neighbourhood my kids are growing up in is awesome — that’s a great feeling. What about you? How’s the spirit in your ‘hood? Does it influence how you parent your kids? Does it make you feel more a part of the community?