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2014/12/30

Michelangelo at the AGO

Today we went to the AGO to see the Michelangelo exhibit before it closes.
I was completely surprised that there were sculptures by Rodin in the Michelangelo exhibit. And it turned out that I was more fascinated by the Rodin sculptures than the drawings by Michelangelo.

I loved reading about Michelangelo as a person though. He spent a lot of time perfecting his art and he drew every day. It takes a lot of work to become a master!
He had to do a lot of work that he didn't like and he also had to deal with impossible deadlines. Sadly, he had to give up projects that interested him.

Here are some of the drawings that I asked Mom to take pictures of:
Study of a Man's Face for the Sistine Chapel Ceiling
ca. 1509 - 1510

Man with Crested Helmet
ca. 1504

Studies for the Head of Leda
ca. 1530

Cleopatra
ca. 1532 - 1533

And can you believe these are sketches!


Rodin was featured in the exhibit because Rodin was inspired by Michelangelo's works.
Here are the sculptures that I liked.
The Thinker

Study of Balzac

Two of the six Burghers of Calais

Two of the six Burghers of Calais

Adam 


Here is a picture of me and Dad at the AGO. 

Hogmanay at Mackenzie House

Last night we went to Hogmanay at Mackenzie House.

I decided to go straight to the printing press. I love working on the printing press but I was a little rusty. I put the letters in the wrong order and it turned out that I did a typo.

Can you spot the difference?


We got to visit the house and the dining table was all set up with food that might have been served around Christmas in the 1850s.

Oranges were a real delicacy and they were very expensive then. They even made candied orange peel because they didn't want to waste anything. Gelatin was also a treat because it took so long to make it. They also had on the table Turkish delight, pound cakes, short bread, plum pudding and other foods.

This was on the mantle in the parlour. I never noticed it before. 

We also got to tour the upstairs.

Girls my age would have to learn how to sew and they would make samplers like these. Mrs. Mackenzie must have been good at sewing. You can see the names of the members of her family sewn in at the top and she would have done this when she was very young.

I posed with the candle snuffer.

And here is a close up of the book that was on the table.

The Staff and Volunteer Historic Cooks of Mackenzie House made sweets for us to eat and our Haggis was brought in from But'N'Ben Scottish Bakers. (We absolutely love But'N'Ben and if you're ever in Scarborough you have to go there and try their Empire Cookies and Haggis!)

We had oatcakes with butter, jam & marmalade, gingerbread, dundee cake, mince tarts and Queen's drops.  

But, of course, I ate a lot of Haggis!


Gin Lane was wonderful and I loved it even more than last year! I sat right up front with Dad and my Mom stayed at the back or drifted around and took pictures and video. I forgot to ask permission if I could upload one of the video clips this year. But you can see a clip from last year's Hogmanay Performance here.

I really like this picture that Mom took.

I had so much fun!
I hope to go to Hogmanay again next year.

Thank you to all of the wonderful staff and volunteers at Mackenzie House for being such great hosts!


2014/12/25

Making Christmas Dinner

Today I did most of the cooking for our Christmas Dinner. I love to cook and I don't think I have ever blogged about cooking before.

Of course, whenever you cook, you need to wash your hands often. Wash your hands especially after you handle raw meat.

We started preparing the duck yesterday.
I mixed vinegar and brown sugar to make a syrup to use on the duck.

I put a little red wine vinegar in boiling water.

And then poured the boiling water over the duck to help the skin absorb the syrup.

Then I put on the syrup on the duck and left it in the fridge overnight to dry out the skin.

I put the salt and Chinese five spice on the skin.

Then I put char siu sauce on the duck.

And put it in the oven for 2 1/2 hours at 375F.

I think it came out good.

What do you think?


Next I worked on the corn bread.

I mixed all of the dry ingredients first.

And then I mixed the eggs and buttermilk together.

Then we mixed the wet and dry ingredients and added in some melted butter.

I melted even more butter in the cast iron skillet in the oven.

Then I poured the batter into the hot skillet.

Smoothed it out

And then put it in the oven.

 It was ready after about 15 minutes and I moved on to the candied sweet potatoes.

Dad cut up the potatoes for me and I layered them in the baking dish with brown sugar and cinnamon.

And then I poured melted butter over the potatoes.

I baked them for an hour and then put marshmallows on them and baked it for another 5 minutes.


We also had venison.
I seared the venison to get a crust on it and I finished it in the oven.

Then I deglazed the pan with some red wine and added some butter and (gluten-free) flour to thicken it up to make a sauce.

Dad cooked the asparagus and did some chopping and of course he took a lot of pictures.
& Mom took this picture of me and Dad.


Here is a link to the recipe that we used for the Cornbread.
http://www.chow.com/recipes/28597-basic-skillet-cornbread

Merry Christmas!

2014/12/24

My early Christmas present

Mom got me a chef's hat and jacket for Christmas!
She knows I love to cook and in the Nutcracker I'm one of the chefs.

Here is a picture of me drinking sorrel while I'm in my new chef's outfit.

I can't wait to help cook Christmas dinner!

2014/12/20

"Sunset in Rio" by Mike Springer


It's been a while since I've uploaded any videos of me playing piano. On Thursday, I recorded "Sunset in Rio" by Mike Springer for the RCM Celebration Countdown contest but I'm not sure if I will enter it. I may try to record again if I decide to enter. I really don't like speaking when I'm on camera and I guess I need to practice that more.

Here is the link to the video:
http://youtu.be/qjxz0V2aW4E


2014/12/14

This Season's First Nutcracker Performance!

Last night was my first Nutcracker Performance of the 2014-2015 season.
It was quite warm outside (about 4C) and the snow was starting to melt. For other performances there was quite a lot of snow outside so this was different.

Mom, Dad and I tried to take a picture outside but we're not good at taking selfies.
They told me they were going out for dinner at a Raw Vegan Restaurant. I definitely prefer performing!

I got to the Four Seasons Centre early and the chaperones were there. I changed into my ballet clothes and hung out in the Karen Kain Studio with the other kids. We chatted and we ate our snacks. There are screens backstage where we can watch what is going on on stage so we could watch the performance too.

My roles were in the second act. We put on our costumes... For the guard costume it was pants, shoes, spats, goatee and then our jackets and hats. It was really cool!
I looked just like my Uncle J when I had on my goatee!

We went on stage with our halberds to protect the Sugar Plum Fairy. We are like the Queen's Guards.

We have a quick costume change and we get to put on our big chef costumes. It's a more comedic role. We go out on stage trying to catch a chicken that keeps getting away. We run up and down stairs and then we run out with our utensils.

After that we proudly present our food and Misha and Marie have a food fight!
We clean up the food and then we're off stage for a while.

We come back on stage just before the Sugar Plum Fairy and Peter go into the huge faberge egg together and also for the curtain call. 


Guillaume Côté was our Peter for this performance. He hurt his knee and Keiichi Hirano finished out the performance. I really hope that Guillaume Côté recovers quickly! He is such an amazing dancer and he's also a musician.


Here is a picture of me when I was leaving the theatre. 
Mom and Dad actually watched the show!!!  They completely fooled me. It was such a nice surprise. 

They also gave me a Nutcracker. :-)