Top Posts of 2016

I can’t believe another year is drawing to a close.

It is true what they say: As you get older, the years seem to go faster.

Feels like I just blinked and we are ready to ring in the New Year.

Before 2017 is fully upon us, here is a look back at the 10 most popular Summertime Melissa posts of the past year.

Enjoy!

10. Gluten Free Multi Grain Bread

Thank you Bulk Barn for your simple bread mix that makes a relatively good loaf (if not small and compact) of (gluten-free) bread.

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread

9. Moorea

This was quite possibly the most incredible place I have ever been. I look forward to a day when I can return and maybe never come back…

Moorea

8. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dump Cake

Who doesn’t love a great, easy pumpkin recipe?

Pumpkin cream cheese dump cake

7. Heavenly Salmon Salad

This is quite possibly one of my favorite recipes of the year! So delicious, very healthy and so easy to make.

Heavenly Salmon Salad

6. Kauai

This was the start of our big 3 week holiday and not like many other places we had been. Kauai is laid back and lush…a great combination.

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5. Klosse

Childhood nostalgia (and a mild heart attack) on a plate!

Klosse

4. How To Successfully Shop at Goodwill

This post evolved over a long period of time. We were first going to do a video post, but we filmed it and were instantly embarrassed…so luckily my dear husband is a whiz with computers and made us all the cool gifs to create a great post. Thanks Viv for the fun…not only on that particular shopping trip, but just generally in life.

Yes. No.

3. Chicken, Brie and Fig Jam Sandwiches

This is a post from back in 2014, but it is one of the most read pages on my blog. I forgot how good these sandwiches are…maybe we will be having some next week…

Chicken, Brie and Fig Jam Sandwich

2. Noorish

I had so much fun with my friend Sarah at this restaurant. She has introduced me to the world of all-things-vegan. And though I won’t be giving up meat any time soon, I do love a good vegetarian recipe from one of the Oh She Glows cookbooks she has gifted me. I’m not sure that Andrew is as happy…but he will get used to it.

Bodhi Burger

1. Braided Nutella Bread

This was the most popular page on my blog over the last year…and when I looked at the site, the pictures didn’t even work! This was a delicious little treat. Good thing it is rather time consuming, or I might attempt this more often.

Braided Nutella Bread

Klosse

This fall has been absolutely crazy! The weeks are flying by and I can’t believe that it is already the middle of November.

With 29 students this year, a lot of my time has been focused on school and all the needs in my classroom. It’s hard to feel like a good teacher when you don’t feel like you can get to every student every day…but I power through and try to at least talk to every kid each day.

Luckily the kids love to talk to me…which makes for great stories.

One day after recess, one of my little boys came in and headed straight for me. Now this little boy is new to Canada, his English is broken, but we do our best to understand each other and communicate as clearly as possible.

“Mrs. Skinner” he said, “Someone pooped in the field!”

As a teacher, it would not surprise me if some ACTUALLY pooped in the field, but I was pretty sure that was not the case.

“I think it may have been a dog.” I said matter-of-factly, praying that he really hadn’t seen someone poop in the field.

He considered this theory for a moment and gave me this look.

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He promptly went up to my student teacher and said

“Miss. Koopmans, did you know A DOG pooped in the field?”

Never a dull moment.

Last weekend my sister was in town and we decided to make a meal that my Oma used to make us often when we were growing up. It is not a particularly healthy or even visually appealing meal, but we love it and it is a meal full of memories…even if it is not full of many nutrients!

Klosse

I remember going to my Oma’s on a Saturday to have Klosse- boiled potato dumplings filled with dry, sweetened cottage cheese and smothered in bacon and onions. As children, my sister and I didn’t like the cheese filling, so my Oma used to just make the plain dumplings for us to eat. It was a treat we always enjoyed, but I had no idea how much time and effort went in to making them for us.

Now when my sister makes Klosse, she MAKES KLOSSE. Not 5 or 6 dumplings…but 40. Yes, you read that right…40. Forty-five pounds of potatoes…

You start by washing, peeling and cooking half of your potatoes.

With the cooked half, you rice them so that they have a very soft, pliable, lump-free texture.

Klosse

With the uncooked potatoes we use a food processor to grate them finely.

Klosse

Once that is done, you need to squeeze out every last bit of water from the potatoes.

Klosse

Now this was enough work using the food processor and having two of us working on it, but my Oma used to grate all the potatoes BY HAND using a box grater. I can’t imagine how many hours she spent making these things.

Once the raw potatoes are ready, you mix it together with the cooked, riced potatoes and make a dough of sorts.

Klosse

Then you move on to the cheesy filling. We use a meat grinder to grind up the cottage cheese to a nice texture and add to it some sugar and eggs.

Klosse

Now you are ready to make the Klosse! (potato cannonballs as I like to refer to them)

You form a hand size round patty of potato in your hand and fill it with a dollup of the cheese mixture. Then you top it with another potato patty and seal the seams and smooth it out to make a ball. You need to make sure there are no cracks, or that you have not filled it too full of cheese or they will break apart in the water, spilling out all the delicious cheese filling.

Klosse

As you can see, my sister and I have different sized hands, so our Klosse came out a little differently.

Klosse

Next step it to boil these bad boys. 45 minutes in boiling water until they a nice grey color and kind of the consistency of wall paper paste (yummy!)

Klosse

My sister uses a very sophisticated way of keeping track of the time.

Klosse

During that 45 minutes, you have just enough time to cut up 3 packages of bacon and some onions and fry it up to serve over top!

Klosse

The verdict- I know it looks weird, and for someone who did not grow up eating this, I am sure it tastes a bit weird…but this is my childhood on a plate.

Klosse

I can only eat one because they sit like a cannonball in your stomach, but that is what they were meant to do. Fill you up when you didn’t have a lot of money or resources to do so. This was war-time food that my Oma and Opa used to eat, and that they brought here with them when they moved to Canada. When I eat it I think of them, and that makes me happy.