Chocolate Bark

My husband shopped for and made the dinner that we had to celebrate Chinese New Year. I do not mind making our family meals for occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, and Easter. However, I always insist he cooks at the start of the lunar calendar as he stir fries vegetables so much better than I do.

As always when my husband cooks celebration dinners, I think of the sweet treat we will have with our tea after the meal. On Saturday afternoon when I moved into the kitchen, I realised that I had not bought more milk to make my intended dessert. So I fell back on a family favourite knowing that I had enough ingredients i. The cupboard: Chocolate Bark.

I gathered all the ingredients together: semi-sweet baking chocolate, sliced almonds, walnuts, and cranberries. I prepared my pots to melt the chocolate: I insert a stainless steel bowl into one of my smaller pots that has boiling water in it. I prefer melting my chocolate this way to using the microwave as it ensures that I will not burn the chocolate. Once the chocolate is all melted, I add the nuts and cranberries. Once the ingredients have been covered in the melted chocolate, I spread the mixture into a baking tray lined with baking paper. The chocolate hardens in the fridge and, once it has been broken into pieces and placed on a plate, is ready to be enjoyed.

This sweet treat is simple to make and is always enjoyed by my family. The few remaining pieces never last long in the fridge.

Do you make your own chocolate bark?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is linked to the WordPress weekly photo challenge. The prompt this week is Sweet.)

A Quiet Day

Today was a PA in elementary schools across Ontario – that is, it was a day set aside in which teachers could work on their report cards. This morning when I stepped into the school at 8am, the halls were quiet. My classroom was silent without the chatter of young children.

An Empty classroom. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

I sat at my desk determined to make use of the day. I did not want to have to work on reporting at home over the weekend. I am trying my best to keep the work at school and not spend time at home on classroom projects. It is not always feasible to do, but I am managing to spend more time on other activities at home besides work.

Working on report cards. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

It is extremely difficult for me to sit for hours at a time in front of the computer. Like many of my students, my body wants to move! But I force myself to sit still and focus on the task at hand. My efforts were rewarded this afternoon when I finished all of my students” report cards after 5 hours.

A well-deserved treat. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

My treat when I got home was to have a cup of coffee and put my feet up while spending time with my current read. Our home was quiet. My children were still at school, and my husband at work. The perfect way to end a working day.

Are you able to focus in silence?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

(This post is a response to the WordPress photo challenge. This week’s prompt is silence.)

A Biscuit Treat

South African biscuits. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

Yesterday was a difficult day dealing with many flare ups occurring in the classroom. Why do all the issues happen at once and on the same day? At the end of the day I took a deep breath and decided to leave for home straight after school (which is unusual for me).

When I reached home yesterday, I was happy to see that no-one had arrived home yet as that meant some quiet time alone. I made some tea and raided my stash of South African biscuits. When I was living in my birth country, I enjoyed these sweet additions to my tea break often. So often, they seemed pedestrian. Now they are a treat to be savoured.

I really need to learn how to make Romany Creams!

What is your favourite biscuit (cookie) treat?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2017

(This post is a response to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. This week the prompt is: pedestrian)

Natural Chaos

I enjoy the colours of Fall: the oranges, reds, and browns. I look on the trees with their brilliant foliage in delight, absorbing the colours and the textures that Nature puts on display. I take pleasure, as well, in the colours strewn over the ground. The leaves fall where they will, and are pushed around by gusts of wind.

Scattered Fall Leaves. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

At the park, the natural chaos of the Fall leaves are interspersed with the ordered chaos of a child’s play.

A Park Construction. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

In the city, the display of Fall leaves on the ground is often raked up and bagged. But until they are ordered, I enjoy the sight of the scattered colours on the ground.

Do you enjoy the sight of scattered Fall leaves?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the WordPress Photo Challenge. This week’s prompt is: chaos.)

Interview Time

Report cards have been handed out and it is now time to meet with the parents to discuss their child’s progress. My interview schedule is full and it is important to stay as close as I can within the allotted fifteen minutes. At times I need to use a timer (it alerts the parents to the fact that their time has passed); and I keep an eye on the clock (I have positioned myself so that I can see the one on the wall).

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
An interview schedule. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

This afternoon and evening I shall be talking until late. Afterwards meeting with all parents will be over until the next round.

Do you find meeting with your child’s teacher is useful?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to the WordPress Photo Challenge. This week the prompt is Time.)

A New Day

As I passed by my windows this morning, I saw a beautiful sunrise. The sky had pinkish tones which spread across the pale blue. I quickly snapped a picture – though the photo does not do justice to the beauty I saw with my eyes.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
The rising sun. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

The view that brought me outside to my balcony had lost a little of its colour while I grabbed my iPad and pulled on a sweater:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Sunrise. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

As the new day dawned, I thought of the people all over the world who see a similar view. One could hope that they all view the new day with optimism.

wordpress photo challenge -2014Did you see the sun rise this morning?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to the weekly WordPress photo challenge. The prompt this week is optimistic)

A Friendly Balloon

Last year my daughter received a balloon for her birthday from her brother that epitomises her and her outlook on life.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
A Happy Balloon. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

The smiley face floated around our living room for weeks, making me smile everytime I entered the room. Eventually all the helium escaped and we placed the balloon in the bin. My daughter was not smiling when we did this!

Do you enjoy receiving balloons for your birthday?

(This post is linked to the Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge. The prompt this week is weight(less).)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

A New Streetcar

Yesterday I had the opportunity to board one of the new streetcars that are being rolled out in Toronto by the TTC (the public transit system). The sleek lines of the new vechile look bright, shiny and impressive.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Toronto’s new streetcar. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The inside looks elegant and clean – and offers more space for travellers than the old streetcar. We grabbed a seat and enjoyed the smooth ride to our destination.

One hopes that the longer streetcars will help ease the pressure to get many Torontonians to their destination. Time will tell whether the expense was worth it.

Do you have the opportunity to travel by streetcar?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post was inspired by the weekly photo challenge run by WordPress. This week’s prompt is From Every Angle.)

Beneath My Feet

At the end of the day I am ready to relax, put my feet up and watch a little TV. This I do in my bedroom on the beautiful quilt my mom made for me. It is always a pleasure for me to have a bit of Africa underneath my feet.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Relaxing on my quilt. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

What is under your feet when you relax?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post is a response to the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt presented by Cheri Lucas Rowlands: Beneath your feet)

Express Ourselves

As we live our lives, we find ways in which to express ourselves. We begin when young using paint, markers, crayons, scissors and glue to show our creativity.

A simple treasure. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
My children’s Art wall. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As we get older, we refine the way in which we express ourselves. One of the ways in which I do this is through crochet. I choose the colours, the patterns, the stitches – and put them all together to make something that is unique.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A crochet project. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

In her retirement, my mother expresses herself through her quilting.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A quilted runner. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Many express themselves through the food that they prepare. Often the meals are not gourmet but in the preparation of the tastes, the cook expresses the food of his/her culture and preference.

Our lunch. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Our lunch on a boat trip. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Some people make their living from art and the expression of themselves is shared with many.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
A Korean face mask. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Even artisans express their inner self through their craft.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A carver. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Many express themselves through the physical: through sport or even dance.

Moving with hoops. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
Moving with hoops. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

Costume and drama is another way to show to others who we are.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Mime at the Buskerfest. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

And then there are writers who express themselves with words and the through images that they create in the readers’ minds.

There are so many ways in which to show the world who we are. And, as we develop as a human being, we find that there is more than one way in which to do this.

wordpress photo challenge -2014How do you express yourself?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post is linked to the WordPress Photo Challenge. The prompt this week is Express Yourself)