Monthly Archives: August 2012

Drink of the Week: Shred Daddy

Shred Daddy isn’t the cocktail that comes to mind after canoeing around Island Lake on a hot summer’s day, but when I saw it on the Bear Lodge Patio menu at Island Lake Lodge, I couldn’t resist.

We canoe mamas (and tots) worked up a thirst paddling around Island Lake on a 30C day. The antidote? A Shred Daddy.

First, it contains Knob Creek bourbon and I’ve been having a little love-in with this dark spirit all summer. Second, there are muddled blackberries in it. Yum. Finally, it’s topped with iced tea, rendering it awesomely refreshing. I have no idea how it came by its mid-winter cat-skiing moniker (Island Lake Lodge ditches the canoes and day hikes in favour of cats and deep powder come winter), but I’m not complaining. This mama loved the Shred Daddy.

Muddled blackberries, bourbon and iced tea. Nice!

Shred Daddy

  • Handful fresh blackberries
  • 1 oz Knob Creek bourbon
  • 1/2 oz mint simple syrup
  • Top sweet iced tea
  • Lemon twist and mint leaf garnish

In the base of a rocks glass, muddle the blackberries with the simple syrup. Fill the glass with ice then add the bourbon and top with iced tea (about 3 oz). Stir to lift blackberries from the bottom of the glass, then garnish with a lemon twist and mint leaves.

— Recipe courtesy Island Lake Lodge

No back-to-school shopping for my kids

If I were like nine out of 10 moms, right now I would be elbowing to the front of the queue at The Children’s Place with a haul of kids’ clothes (fall collection) ready to pull out the plastic and charge over $250 augmenting my Grade 2 daughter’s and kindergarten-aged son’s back-to-school wardrobes.

Instead, I am spending the week before school starts in Fernie, B.C. where my kids are hiking, swimming in a lake, digging in a dirty sandbox and otherwise grinding soil into and wearing holes in what remains of their summer clothing.

Grubby clothes: a side-effect of playing outdoors.

I made the mistake of venturing into a Walmart at 2:45 on a Saturday afternoon earlier this month and was dismayed to see the mayhem that constitutes this shopping phenomenon. I’d forgotten that two years ago I wrote a cocktail column on this very subject that recommended toting along a little liquid courage: the Walmart Wallbanger.

At any rate, I just don’t get the need to rush out with all of Calgary to spend a ton of money buying new items for my children when last year’s backpack and lunch box will do. If the jeans and leggings and T-shirts still fit, we can wait until the fall sales to add more. Other bloggers are lamenting how we’re dressing our kids into bankruptcy and how it isn’t right they have newer and cuter clothes than Mom.

I confess: Last year Avery scored a new backpack and vest, but I swear she needed them!

But beyond the financial wrongness of overspending on graphic tees and cargo pants — and beyond the priority wrongness of neglecting yourself by wearing baggy sweatpants with a scraggly hairdo while your daughter looks so darn cute everyone thinks you’re the dayhome lady instead of her mom — it strikes me that we’re sending our kids the wrong message by purchasing everything new all the time. Whatever happened to hand-me-downs and wearing something out? Half the time my daughter eschews the new tunic and skirt I thought were so cute in favour of her worn-in old T-shirt and hole-y leggings.

Bennett rocked his hand-me-down shirt and re-used his stylish and durable Roots backpack.

Our kids certainly don’t need and don’t necessarily want everything new, so maybe we should just stop it and enjoy the last week of summer vacation instead of fighting the back-to-school crowds.

What do you think? Back-to-school shopping — yay or nay?

Hello, Mr. Ice Cream!

Kid: “Do you hear that sound? It’s music … it’s an ice cream truck!”

Parent: “Awww, too bad. That’s the song the ice cream truck plays when it’s all out of ice cream.”

I have to laugh because this is what friends of mine used to tell their kid whenever those familiar strains wafted within earshot on a hot summer’s day. I’m not sure if they then dragged their child indoors so she wouldn’t see everyone else in the neighbourhood lining up for popsicles and ice cream sandwiches, but I get it. Sometimes the truck’s timing is all off. You’ve just had a snack, or you already caved in to one of your kid’s demands. One thing’s for sure though: I pity the parent with an empty wallet when Dickie Dee makes his rounds.

I love that Mr. Ice Cream (a Dickie Dee competitor, no doubt) features a bomb pop on the side of his truck.

Now that Avery and Bennett are older (read: can eat ice cream without wearing half the cone) I actually welcome visits from the truck. It reminds me of when I was a kid and we’d hear that music coming up our street. Every child in the nighbourhood would sprint from their yard for a treat. My favourite was a bomb pop popsicle, which I’m happy to see is still in rotation.

Heeding the urgent call of Mr. Ice Cream, our neighbour greets the truck in his pull-up.

So, we were delighted when a truck drove down our cul-de-sac street earlier this summer. It was a 1976 flashback, with kids, parents and adults running from all directions. We queued up, ordered, paid and then got down to sweet, drippy business.

The original “food” truck.

Awesome! Now, here’s my advice for the last week of summer vacation: When you hear those musical notes go find Dickie Dee — he still has lots of ice cream left.