nothing I love to do more than fight the system… the farmer never lets me know of protests going on for fear that I will get involved…  recently, a neighbour’s yard is being threatened by a road going through it and I went to town council to put a protest in about it… I was in a Cabelas store in Phoenix and I went to the ‘customer care’ counter to put a complaint in about the giant fish tank filled with fish trying to commit suicide…

basically, if you want someone to join you in a cause… contact me… I will… it’s exciting…

so recently when a police officer decided to pull me over to give me a speeding ticket I did what every law abiding, tax paying citizen should do…  I told him I would see him in court…  he informed me most likely I would not as it is a Crown attorney I will see… but it felt good to loudly say that to him…

the farmer told me this was a giant waste of time and I should just pay the ticket… it was only $162…  but it was the principle…  they – the cops that is – think they have all the power and can just hand tickets out ‘willy-nilly’…  if they are having a bad day, mad at their kids or spouse, they can just drive around and hand out a bunch of speeding tickets and feel better about themselves…  NOT TODAY…

so I went to court…  it was in the town of Rosetown and apparently they were in a ‘temporary courthouse’… it was in the basement of this old building beside a daycare… yes a daycare…  it seemed odd to me to have court going on with small children in the same area… using the same bathrooms… surely if we were all such terrible criminals breaking the law they would not want us to be near small children…

Lemon Coconut Cake with Berries

  • Servings: one 8 inch cake
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Ingredients:

Lemon Coconut Cake:

  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (mixed thoroughly before measuring)

Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Berries:

  • mixed berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, plums)
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • freshly grated lemon zest

I arrived early and dressed in attire fitting for an old Matlock show… when I walked into the makeshift courtroom, I realized I had perhaps over-dressed for occasion…

what you need to know about me is that my life long dream was to be a lawyer…  the farmer ruined this dream for me… and this was my chance to pretend for a few hours that I was a big city lawyer, driving my Jaguar (yes that is the car I wanted… in green) and arriving at the courtroom to fight the system…

but to my surprise, the courtroom was filled with people in their pyjamas… everyone apparently smokes (found this out during the first ‘court is adjourned’) and it seemed to me to be a place that showering before you come is not essential…

one police officer ushered in a few men in shackles, who shockingly resembled the cast of ‘Con Air’… again, they used the same bathrooms as daycare children…

from what I could gather the main show of the day was going to be the battle between the young gentleman behind me who had to cough and snort every 17 seconds and the family seated on the far wall that kept mouthing terrible words at the cougher behind me… I was praying my speeding ticket would come up before their argument over some stolen tires and rims…

summer tortellini salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 20 oz cheese tortellini (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ear sweet corn, kernels removed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shredded parmesan cheese and basil to garnish

Dressing:

  • basil vinaigrette or homemade greek salad dressing
    • 1 tsp dry mustard
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 2 tbsp parsley
    • 2 tbsp minced red onion
    • 1 tbsp minced red pepper
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic clove
    • 4 tsp lemon juice
    • 4 tsp red wine vinegar
    • 1/2 cup crisco oil

Directions:

  • cook the tortellini according to the package instructions
  • rinse with cold water and drain well
  • place the cooked tortellini in a big bowl
  • add the tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, cucumber, and green onions
  • drizzle with basil vinaigrette and stir until the ingredients are well coated
  • season with salt and pepper
  • finish the salad with parmesan cheese and fresh basil
  • salad will keep well in fridge for 3 days

the judge called court in session and requested that everyone there pertaining to a ticket would line up… when it got to my turn, my feet killing me from the heels I was saving to wear when I became a lawyer someday, the judge asked me ‘are you pleading guilty or not-guilty’…

seemed like an odd question to me… guilty would mean I pay the ticket… not-guilty means I am standing in my power suit ready to argue…

after establishing that I felt I wasn’t guilty, he continued on to tell me they could not see to my ticket today and I would be getting a letter in the mail letting me know when my court date would be…

at this I commented that I still wished to plead not-guilty but I would just like to pay my ticket so I didn’t have to come to court again…  he laughed, in tired way that let me know how awful it must be to be a judge in the basement of an old building in Rosetown beside a daycare…  and told me to expect a letter in the mail…

this was all pretty eye opening…  the farmer never told me ‘I told you so’… but I could see it in his eyes later that evening as I recounted the days activities… this is when I told him I payed for a single mom’s ticket because I was so overtaken with the story she told the judge…  instead of paying a $162, I am now paying $536 because it was not right what was being done to her…

and possibly still paying my ticket

I discovered that my life goal should never have been to be a real life lawyer…  what I truly wanted was to be a TV lawyer

drama school… not all that lawyer learning… is what I should have pursued…

perhaps it was best that I met a farmer in college that ruined all of my life goals… stuck me on a farm with kids and cooking and time to run…  perhaps I am right where I am supposed to be…

but I will never admit this to him… and I will keep fighting the system…

Instant Pot Stuffed Italian Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey (not beef)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1, 200 g package cocktail size (mini) Bocconcini cheese balls

Sauce:

  • 769 mL can crushed tomatoes (not diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Meatballs:

  • mix all of the meatball ingredients together in a bowl (except for the cheese)
  • form meatballs around cheese ball
  • set meatballs aside
  • place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet in freezer overnight or in fridge

Sauce:

  • add all of the sauce ingredients into the inner liner of the instant pot
  • stir to combine
  • place meatballs in the sauce (it is ok to stack them)
  • spoon sauce over the meatballs
  • if you are doing rice as well, pour the 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water into your oven proof bowl
  • place the trivet over the meatballs and bowl on top
  • put the Instant Pot lid on, set to sealing, and set on manual, high pressure for 10 minutes
  • do a quick release after the pressure cycle