CO2 detectors are now mandatory in Ontario. End the silent killer.


So here is a story of not practising what you preach.


Wet nose and dog breath. Just the way you want to wake up!

At 4:50 a.m. this morning, I was awoken by a “chirp” followed by our 100 pound dog jumping up on the bed.  I wasn’t sure whether I had actually heard anything or not so I told the dog to go lie down and settled back hoping to get at least a few more minutes of sleep.

No such luck.  Less than a minute later, another chirp.  The dog immediately left the room taking refuge on the far side of the house in one of the spare bedrooms.

Turns out the battery in our bedroom CO2 alarm was low.  The chirping sound was similar to the tone that the dog’s electric fence collar makes so he wasn’t sticking around to see what might happen next.


A note here:  early in our dog’s training with the in-ground fencing (we live on a very busy highway) we switched the reminder of the boundary to “tone only”.  He trained quickly and there was no need for a stronger correction.  Just didn’t want you to think our dog was being “shocked” on a regular basis.


I know, I know.  We just passed the time of year when we are advised to check all the batteries in our CO2 and smoke detectors–the return to Standard Time when we set the clocks back.  Add to that the fact that my family has been in the business of Fire Prevention (the agency tasked with the issue of CO2 emergencies prevention, education and rescue) for decades.  I am so embarrassed.

Anyway, I figured I am probably not the only one who didn’t do this.  I also know that there are likely many of you who don’t even have CO2 detectors in your home.

This odourless, colourless gas kills about 50 Canadians, including 11 Ontarians, every year.  The Ontario Building Code has required detectors in residential construction since 2011.

Effective October 15 of this year a new bill was passed relating to these detectors.   Bill 77 updates the Ontario Fire Code to mandate the use of carbon monoxide warning devices in houses, condos, apartments, hotels and university residences that have a fuel-burning device such as a fireplace, gas stove, water heater or furnace — or if the home is attached to a garage.


The law is named the Hawkins-Gignac Act after Ontario Provincial Police Constable Laurie Hawkins (née Gignac) and her family. Ms. Hawkins, her husband Richard, daughter Cassandra and son Jordan died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas fireplace in their Woodstock, Ont., home in November, 2008. 1

While there will be an emphasis on public education for the next few months, failure to install a carbon monoxide detector carries a fine of $235 in Ontario.

Even if you live in an area where there are no regulations making these devices mandatory, for your family’s safety, consider spending the $30.00 or so for at least one of these unit for the sleeping area of your home.

It really is a case of “What you don’t know CAN hurt you”.

There is a link on the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation website to donate to a fund which will be used to provide detectors to families that can’t afford to buy them.

Photo Credit:  1, 2




“How Zoodles And Spirals Will Change The Way You Eat Veggies.”


Zucchini-Pasta aka zoodles

This post’s title is from a Huffington Post article a friend shared on Facebook.  It claims that “your vegetable lifestyle is about to transform.”


It is about a kitchen gadget known as a spiralizer or spiral vegetable slicer.  I have seen the spiral slicers that make radish and carrot flowers but hadn’t seen ones like this, that turned your veggies into tasty pasta substitutes.

The article features two types:  One large appliance type and the other, a more compact handheld version.

I have no doubt the larger version is easier to work with, especially if you were making a dish for a large number of people but I opted to try the smaller type.

zest kitchen shop

I found my spiral cutter at my favourite specialty kitchen store, Zest Kitchen Shop right here in Prince Edward County.  Great place.  The store owner was very helpful in pointing out the differences in the two styles of sprializers.  The smaller one has its limitations but it is also a third of the price of the larger ones.

GEFU you! I purchased the smaller tool, the GEFU spirelli which is made in Germany.  She said that the softer veggies, like zucchini and summer squash worked well but that harder ones, like carrots, took a little more muscle.

The cutter didn’t come with any instructions but the website for the product does have a video, albeit in German, I think, but the visual was good.  I also checked out a video on YouTube.  It showed a woman use it without much success.  I then went to (that was where she said she bought the item) and read some of the reviews.

Many of the reviewers advised that you had to insert the vegetable into the slicer straight up, not tilted to the side toward the blade as the woman did in the video.  This tip was key to successfully creating the “noodles”.


I didn’t have a zucchini to use so I tried a sweet potato.

Keep 'er straight Holy Bat Noodles, Robin


Corkscrew leftover

When I finished spiraling as much of the sweet potato as I felt I could without getting my fingers near the blades, I was left with a core and about 1 inch of uncut vegetable.

Raw sweet potato

So as not to waste this bit, I took out my mandolin slicer and thinly sliced what was left and added it to the spirals.  I tossed it with a bit of olive oil and dried rosemary and roasted it in the oven.

Finished product

It made a lovely side dish.  Check out the Huffington Post article.  It provides links to several really good looking recipes.  (I think I am going to have to try the Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese!)

Have you tried one of these gadgets?  Which one do you prefer?

Photo Credit:  1, 2, 3

Low-sugar blueberry jam with Pomoma’s Pectin.

So we are all about the fruit this week! So much so that we needed to post one extra day.


We were so pleased to receive a comment from Mary Lou Sumberg on our post about low-sugar jam. We included information about her company’s citrus based pectin, Pomona’s Universal Pectin.  Mary Lou, her husband and her sister Connie are partner’s in this business.

Mary Lou also included a link to a recipe for blueberry jam that I wanted to share with you. It is from a YouTube channel how-to video series called the Crafty Gemini.

Last year's "heavy on  the sugar" version.  I will lighten up this year.

Last year’s “heavy on the sugar” version. I will lighten up this year.

I am definitely going to have to pick some blueberries and give this a try.