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Make a birdhouse

There is definitely spring in the air in Toronto.Our new pets this winter has given us a lot of joy: cardinals, woodpeckers, blue jays, chickadees, morning doves and even a hawk has visited our small urban backyard. It is hard to believe that we live in the fifth largest city in North America when you look out our backyard windows. I’m so happy we finally found a birdfeeder that was squirrel proof and attracted so many different birds.

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Semlor and Fastelavns boller and Mardi Gras

Different foods are served all over the world, but this pre-lent treat have something in common as they are both very rich with cream and sweet buns like king cake in New Orleans with icing and different colors. Funny enough my husband is going to New Orleans and I’m going to ask him to bring some King cake home so I can taste how it taste compares to semlor and fastelavnbun.

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Go sugar bushing

maplesyrup

Maple syrup
By Russell Gienapp
In the world of food items there are few things that are more taken for granted than maple syrup. How do you explain to a young child the concept of taking 40 bottles of the sap of a tree to get the one bottle of syrup sitting on the breakfast table?

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Make Mardi Gras branch and force spring

February is carnival time in a lot of places in the world. It probably did start as a pagan celebration of spring, waking up nature after the winter.

Today most of the carnival celebration is part of the Christian celebration before Lent.

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Make boller (sweet buns)

One part of my childhood that I will never forget, is making “boller” with my grandmother. I loved making them as much as I loved eating them. It was always a hit on hikes and picnics.

Boller tastes similar to cross buns. In Norway and other Scandinavian countries it is enjoyed as a treat for young and adults and it can be served for breakfast, lunch, tea, snack and dessert.

Yesterday Irene and her friend made boller at our house. It is always fun to see how much fun kids have making them. I think the dough feels like play dough and they like to use their hands to make food. Of course it helps if it tastes good as well.

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Want to get kids outside to play? Make an ice rink

By Russell Gienapp
icerinkfrontIf somebody asks me what is the most “Canadian” thing I could think of, I would say ice hockey and free skating. In Toronto we have many ice rinks run by the city but we also have a number of natural rinks in city parks that are run by the local community. In our community we have tried to make an ice rinks for some time and last week it was finally cold enough to make it happen. This weekend it was such a joy to see all the kids and families skating and it sure is nice to have it so close.

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