The ugliest craft show booth I ever set up… You know the term ‘selective hearing’? Like you only hear what you want to hear? The term made famous by husbands everywhere…kidding. Sort of. Well, I feel like I have something I shall call ‘selective perfectionism’. I think you know by now that my standards in some areas of life are incredibly low. Not so spotless home, unsorted closets and drawers, children’s graffiti on furniture and walls. For me I have accepted and honestly embraced the reality that in these areas, perfection is not only unattainable but is truly a thief of my joy. Do I love that the kids draw on everything? Not really. But “Love Meyer Dad” scribbled in 5 year old scrawl on my husbands night stand that I discovered this morning just fills my heart instead of making me rage. One day she won’t profess her love for her daddy on our furniture. But that isn’t today, and for now I’ll choose to smile every time I see it. In other areas of life, I feel less adept at embracing the imperfection. With things like merchandising displays, graphic design and gift wrapping to be, well, specific. A font that isn’t resonating with me has to go! Trying to give a gift without the cutesy wrap job?! Never! I mean the thought of giving a gift in a grocery bag or cookies to a neighbour in a (gasp!) ziplock!? It hurts my soul. And I can’t allow myself to do it. But therein lies the real dilemma. If I am out living joyfully in a lived-in graffitied home, how can I not see I am missing the joy in giving imperfectly? Would it not be better to give delicious cookies in a Ziplock and bring happiness to someone than to not give them at all? Would a friend care if it weren’t wrapped perfectly. Doubtful. I suspect they would be 3 cookies in before they even realized they were in sub-par packaging. I am missing out on opportunities for growth and joy and accomplishment by holding a self-imposed idea of what certain things must look like. This lesson really hit me this past Saturday at our Magical Christmas Market. We were overwhelmed at the incredible outpouring of support for our little outdoor market. So damn grateful. And truthfully, not nearly prepared enough. Cars were parking on the road, the lot was full, the line was longggg. We thought we were ready but in retrospect should have done several things differently. We are so grateful for the grace that you gave us as you patiently waited in long lines. In a bit of a panic and in an effort to reduce the line up into the store, we decided to set up a booth in the parking lot with our most popular goods to help alleviate the wait times. If you recall, merchandising is one of those areas for me that has to be just so. And it took everything in my power to not overthink, not try to make it look cute. It had to be done and it had to be done right then. No time for cuteness, any antique display items or even a table cloth. Just a bare plastic table, totes of product and a debit machine. It felt so uncomfortable and reckless even. But you know what?! No one (that I encountered anyways) gave a flying fig about it. They were just glad to have a shorter wait time, get something yummy and get home to the warmth. We needed a solution immediately and we made one. Albeit, the ugliest display I have ever made, but successful none the less. It did take an embarrassing amount of internal dialogue to force myself to do it and to get over the lack of a pretty display. I do feel oddly proud of that little plastic table, thrown together display. Not because it looked beautiful but because I problem solved and let go of my own perfection narrative and it all worked out just fine. Better than fine even. Sometimes done is good enough. And that is something I shall be repeating to myself over and over and over again.Oh PS! I recently had the opportunity to chat with comedian and Alliston gal Stacey McGunnigle on her podcast about life, family, business and embracing the village that supports you day in and day out. Have a listen here or watch the interview video! It was much too much fun! Want these delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newletter!
Get into the Holiday spirit with these Molasses Crinkle Cookies! The mix of cinnamon and ginger makes for the perfect Christmas cookie. 1 cup of sugar3/4 cup shortening1/4 cup of molasses1 egg2 cups of flour1 tbsp baking soda1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp ginger1/2 tsp cloves1/4 tsp nutmeg1/4 tsp salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and self in bowl, whisk and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine sugar, shortening, molasses and eggs until well blended (approximately 3 minutes) Add the flour mixture and beat on low until a soft dough forms. Scoop 1 tablespoon size balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray lightly pat down balls and sprinkle with sugar if desired Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes
If I were to ask you what you were afraid of, what would you say? Spiders, heights, your children’s safety….all things I would say that I fear as well. Making sure toddlers don’t run towards the road, ensuring they don’t choke on their snack, hoping they don’t feel alone and left out at school…the fears are endless and I am trying to accept that they won’t ever stop. Once one is “over” (they are old enough to understand the danger of the busy street) a new one emerges. Such is life. The thing about fears is that while some are very legitimate and emotional, some are so ingrained in us without any actual sound reasoning whatsoever. We don’t often question our fears and merely accept them as truth. We’ve just felt the fear or unease and so avoided whatever it is that feels daunting. I have recently recognized a few things that I have been afraid of fall into the category of unfounded fears. The first was a fear of selling online. Do I know that millions of online businesses exist around the world? Of course. My rational brain was telling me it was ‘figureoutable’ but there existed a fear in me anyways. How do you know how much to charge for shipping? What if it’s so expensive no one buys anything? What if things break en route? How do you know what size of boxes we should buy for so many products? Phew. I am just exhausted typing this. Thankfully for me, I have practical and pragmatic staff who look over the facts, fill in the blanks and voila, we have an online store that ships! Imagine that. One hurdle crossed. Secondly, I am recognizing feelings of fear about trying something completely new and questioning what I am capable of. Our online courses were born out of our want to connect with others during the pandemic and have grown into something I am so proud of and yet still feel nervous about. I think the fears come from self-doubt and not always being confident in my own abilities. Am I a good enough teacher? Will anyone see value in it? Have I shared enough about it or too much? What if no one wants to join? Gahhh. The voices in your head can really be loud sometimes. I can’t pretend that the fears are now magically gone. But I think just recognizing them for what they are and asking yourself if there is any truth to them is a good first step to moving through the fear and onto excitement. Our Home for the Holidays online experience is live and my excitement for it is real. We’re going to spend the next 5 weeks together online sharing in the holiday joys and learning to craft the most delicious Christmas dinner. We have it all mapped out for you and will walk you through the whole experience. We all have fears. Some real and some worth questioning. If you’re fearful that the holidays won’t be the same and you won’t know where to begin, I want you to know you are absolutely capable of making an amazing Christmas dinner from scratch and creating magic for your family. Let us help. We can do it together. Your kids can make along with you and what is more wonderful than that.
Ask anyone in our family and they will tell you, everything is better with Cheese Sauce! Broccoli… cheese sauce. Pasta… cheese sauce. Cheese… cheese sauce! Today we are sharing our famous, family cheese sauce recipe! Whip up this quick and easy cheese sauce in only 10 minutes. Ingredients: – 1/4 cup butter – 1/4 cup flour – 2 cups milk – 1 tsp salt – 2 cups grated cheese – a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce Directions: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter Once the butter is melted and bubbling whisk in the flour. Continue whisking to cook the flour until the mixture becomes smooth, silky and thick in texture. Slowly add the milk and continue to wisk. Once the milk is lightly bubbling, add the cheese and continue to whisk. If you like your cheese sauce runny, add a bit more milk and continue to whisk. Note: Cheese sauce will thicken when in the fridge. You can add more milk when you are ready to use it.
It’s no secret that I am a fan of Christmas. If you know me even a little, I suspect I have mentioned a time or three that I am Team Christmas all the way. And so without any adieu whatsoever, I decorated full on for Christmas this past weekend. And it felt GOOD. Was it 20 plus degrees out? Perhaps. Was there a toddler throwing ornaments and pulling over the tree, but of course. But if I am holding out for the perfection conditions, well, I will just be waiting forever so we’re just going to roll with it. And I don’t want to wait, I just want to feel the joy now. I don’t want YOU to wait either, for perfect conditions and things to be ‘just so’. Time is never handed to you on a platter, you just have to take it. This is your permission slip to go full steam ahead for what makes you feel good, even if its too early, not perfect and neighbours think you’re a little eager. If it brings a smile to you, or your children (remember the poo hat?) then my vote is an unwavering YES. Evidence of our joy can be spotted here. The thing is, Christmas is going to be different this year. There is no question. With limited gatherings and a pandemic looming, it just is. But that doesn’t have to mean bad. It really doesn’t. There have been so many joyful things come out of all of this and Christmas is going to be no exception. Out of these changes comes growth and new traditions. And while that may be true (even through it feels sappy and little bit like BS), no one actually *likes* to be changed and the discomfort that comes with it. If you have to face changes, doing it with along with others that are in the same boat makes it a little better. If you have to create a new path, having someone help guide you through it is even better. Let’s grow and make new traditions together. Sound good!? In our newest online experience aptly titled Home for the Holidays (cause we all know where we’ll be!) we are sharing with you our roadmap to Christmas success. Pulling off a delicious Christmas meal (since we’ll be celebrating in smaller groups) is one of the concerns we have received most from you. I know you’re feeling pressure to make it picture perfect and to capture the Christmas feeling for your family. You maybe haven’t a clue where to begin. Or maybe you do have a clue, but aren’t feeling uber confident about it. In any case, we are here for you! Home for the Holidays is launching on Thursday and I am so excited to share with you how we Murphy’s do our Christmas meal. And the best part, it can all be prepped in the weeks and days ahead so that come Christmas Day you are not glued to the oven, you’re actually enjoying the day and being present. Imagine that! Wanna see our official trailer for it?! I thought so! It will give you ALL THE CHRISTMAS FEELS! Check it out here! But don’t blame me if you want to immediately start decorating…
Hey Hollis, I know you have those chores that you dread every week. I mean, probably all of them, but there are some that just urk you more than others. I will do laundry loads and fold them but the putting away is painfullllllll. It has no appeal to me. It just doesn’t get done if I am being honest and then my baskets sit there getting rifled through on the daily until everything is an upside down mess. Blah. And as much as putting away laundry isn’t my jam, there is yet another task that I just seem to avoid all the time….meal planning and its sister task, grocery shopping. I will say I used to enjoy grocery shopping pre-pandemic. I genuinely liked wandering the aisles and just rolling along with my cart. But since March’s lockdown and our subsequent reduction in outings, it has just lost its appeal. No longer does wandering feel fun and relaxing. It feels stressful and almost careless as I roam about in my mask trying to steer clear of people. So to save time and keep me sane, I’ve taken my shopping online instead. And it has proved to be a huge win and change for me. On Sunday nights I take my recipe binder out and decide what I’ll be making for supper that week. I only do Monday to Friday as weekends are a little more spontaneous. Also, lets be honest, there is at least one weeknight of leftovers so I am looking at coming up with just 4 meals. It is doable, even for me. My recipe binder is nothing glamorous but damn is it helpful. Its literally a binder with colourful tabs for each category (Beef, Chicken, Quick Ideas, Vegetarian etc) and I have printed out or photocopied my recipes into the right sections. I own a tonnnnn of cookbooks and I love flipping through them, but in the name of efficiency I photocopy my favourite ones and put them in the binder so its all in one place. Once I have picked my meals, and scanned the fridge for the usual kids lunch staples, I place my grocery order for click and collect for bright and early Monday morning. And do you want to know what? From start to finish, meal planning and online grocery shopping takes me under 15 minutes. 12 last week to be precise. 12 minutes. I can’t even get in my car and get to the grocery store in that amount of time. Even with the dramatic increase in time saving, it’s still not my favourite task. But I had read a post from The Birds Papaya on Instagram awhile ago that was talking about her least favourite chores (emptying the dishwasher) and how she decided to time herself to actually see how much time it took to do the task she was avoiding. I think it was only like 4 minutes. How crazy is it that we dread things that take so little time? I am certain we spend double or triple the amount of time dreading doing the task then the task itself takes. Phew. It is exhausting! Anyways, all of this to say, I feel your dread of the mundane house chores. I highly recommend timing yourself and you may be surprised how little time it takes, and *maybe* it will be more motivating to do!? Just maybe…..
We are still in the heart of delicious squash recipe season! So we’ve decided to share another recipe created by Mikayla at Groundwork Health and Wellness Ingredients 1 Spaghetti Squash, sliced lengthwise1 Bell Pepper, sliced1 Cup Artichoke Hearts1 Large Carrot, quartered and sliced1 Zucchini, quartered and sliced1 cup Mushrooms 1/4 Cup Black, Green or Kalamata Olives1 Cup Chickpeas1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes2 Cups Baby Spinach1 Cup Fresh Basil3 Cloves of Garlic, minced1/2 Lemon, juiced salt, pepper, dried parsley, dried oregeno Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise and place face down on a baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the skin Scrape insides our with a fork but leave the “noodles” in the skin. Heat skillet with some olive oil over medium heat and add peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, carrot, garlic, basil and baby spinach. Stir until tender. Add spices, artichoke hearts, chickpeas and olives. Cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and divide amongst the two squash halves. Squeeze the lemon over top & enjoy!
Are you in the mood for something sweet, but not feeling overly ambitious? Funnel Cakes are the way to go – trust us! The best part is, we are just using our basic pancake recipe so if you’re tired of Funnel Cakes you can just whip up a couple pancakes instead. PANCAKE/FUNNEL CAKE BATTER INGREDIENTS 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 large egg 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp milk 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled Vegetable oil, for cooking Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well. Beat the egg and milk together in a bowl. In a different bowl, add the milk mixture to the melted butter, stirring constantly with a whisk to blend. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir just enough to moisten the flour mixture. It should look a little lumpy. This is a thick batter but if it seems too thick, add a bit more milk (you’ll need it to pour nicely from the funnel) Now to turn your pancake batter into delicious funnel cakes. In a deep-fryer, or heavy skillet, heat oil to 375 degrees F (enough oil so your funnel cakes don’t touch the bottom) Using a funnel pour about 1 cup of batter into the top (make sure you’re blocking the hole!) Start in the centre in a swirling motion to create your funnel cake Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar or cinnamon sugar & enjoy warm!
I am a huge fan of Terry O’Reilly and his podcast & CBC Radio Show Under the Influence. It is one of my absolute favourites and I have been known on more than one occasion to sit in my driveway in the car to finish an episode before heading into the house. I remember one episode from awhile back that was all about constraint and how being constrained to certain limitations can actually make you more creative. Terry talked about Mick Jagger and how in the early days of the Stones career they played a ton of tiny dive bars with stages that were non existent. He had to perform in only a couple feet of space and so had to work hard to craft moves that would wow and capture the crowd while remaining in a teeny footprint. Those constraints early on in his career, actually created his signature moves and what he is known for. All from 4 square feet of space. And while we don’t have moves like Jagger, we were definitely faced with constraints this Thanksgiving that we never had encountered before. Limited capacities in both our Fun Farm Yard and in the farm market store forced us to re-think how we can serve our customers efficiently while not diminishing the exceptional experiences we strive to create on the farm. With only 4 customers allowed in the store at a time, we created waiting areas in the parking lot for those who wanted to wait to shop and also offered an express checkout for those that just wanted to pop in for a quick pie or bag of farm fresh apples. While I was uncertain has to how it would all go, I cannot tell you how incredible it felt to see those constraints turn into something positive that I never expected. The express checkout was a runaway success and reduced the wait times significantly. The limit in the store allowed customers to move more freely and actually see all that we have to offer (as opposed to be jammed shoulder to shoulder). We were able to keep the shelves stocked more easily for everyone. I got to personally welcome almost every guest to the farm as I acted as the greeter/bouncer at the door (something I miss a lot being at my desk most days!). The Bouncing Pillow in the Fun Farm Yard was spacious. It was just….nice. A lot less stressful, a lot more enjoyable and a lot more connecting with customers. I never expected our busiest Thanksgiving weekend ever to feel so good. And I never want to go back to the way it was, the Wild West of years gone by. In future, though we may not be required to limit capacity at the farm, we will take what we’ve learned this year and channel it into all we do going forward. I am thankful for our incredible team that with every late night and early morning helped to make this weekend the success it was. I am thankful to you our amazing customers for your support in our small family business. And, I am thankful for constraints that force us to think of new ideas that create goodness we never saw coming. You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you might find, you get what you need. Amen Mick. Amen.
We are officially in the lead up to the busiest weekend of the year at the farm! It has been a beautiful Fall so far and we hope the sun stays for several more weeks! Fingers crossed! Our bakery team is now operating from sun up to sun down to make all of our delicious pies and tarts for Thanksgiving! We have seen some gorgeous sunsets in the bakery lately, as we have started an afternoon bakery shift dedicated just to pastry making! We are so grateful that you love what we make and the girls have been thrilled to have extra after school shifts! I do love this week, each year, no matter how sleep deprived I get. It is the culmination of months of work and its just such a buzzing high energy place! 5am in the farm market is a happening’ place to be. Give us some music (and coffee) and we are good to go! I am always in awe of how it comes together year after year. So much happens behind the scenes before the oven even gets turned on! Everything from making our menu, graphic design, setting up our online store, creating excel charts, building boxes, ordering labels… Goodness. Not to mention all the making and baking every single item by hand. We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing team. I can barely remember when there was only a few of us to both bake, pack and cash out our customers. It was a whirlwind few years and we have grown so much since then. Our very first Thanksgiving in 2010 we sold 120 pies! It was incredible. We were shocked and delighted. 10 years later we are doing 10 times that amount and we are so darn grateful for your support in all we do! We are grateful for you! Yes, YOU! Looking forward to seeing you this coming weekend picking up a pie or a pumpkin in the patch. Thank you in advance for all of your patience when you visit us this weekend. There will be lines and some waiting but we hope each bite of deliciousness is worth it! We will have a separate pick up window for orders and will be welcoming you as you drive in to help direct you where you need to go! Sending loads of love and appreciation to you for believing in all we do here at Murphy’s. Can’t wait to see your smizing faces! Hollis xo