Letters – Our Readers Write: Spring 2023

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March 20, 2023 | | Letters, Our Readers Write

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Cultural exchange

I am so grateful my daughters Malini and Hemani were recognized for their hard work within our community [Local Heroes: Sister Act, winter ’22]. We agree that this is a tremendous highlight of our lives. Our family and friends and community have shared so much joy.

Sisters Hemani and Malini Singh

Working closely with writer Emily Dickson, photographer Rosemary Hasner and editor Dyanne Rivers was such a positive experience. With your article, I hope our message gets out there to share one’s culture. We all have it within us – use of our culture to bring one another together.   

– Vishal Singh, Mono

Metric conversion

Loved your article “Metric Resistance” by Gail Grant [Over the Next Hill, winter ’22]. I can totally relate to this as a Brit who moved here as a well-established homemaker in my 40s.

I had already embraced some metric changes – the currency changed during my high school exams in the ’70s, fabric measurements were totally metric, and some items in the grocery store had changed over, but there were still a few in pounds and ounces. To this day I weigh myself in stones and pounds.

On arrival at the fabric store in Orangeville I was traumatized to have to convert my measurements back to yards! For items at the deli or meat counter, I simply requested by number – four chops or six slices, and vegetables are handpicked as I need. So, no real worries.

Cooking, however, was a nightmare. I still import British Pyrex glass measuring jugs, to keep me straight. Brits tend to dry measure in ounces, here most things are liquid measure. 

There is further confusion: I already owned a set of U.K. cups, and my Australian BBQ book offers a chart outlining the difference between an Australian and U.S. cup. Most of my items are made by Pyrex, but in which country? They certainly vary!

In the main I turn to a single trusted spoon! One heaped tablespoon of flour is 1 ounce, a rounded tablespoon of sugar is 2 ounces – then I’m good to go.

I always marvel at how difficult it was for us kids to add columns of money – pounds, shillings and pence (12 pence = 1 shilling, 20 shillings = 1 pound, 240 pennies in a pound) – but perhaps that is for another day! 

– Alison Hird, Caledon

Ruffed grouse

Regarding the cover photo by Robert McCaw on your winter edition: First, I admit to being very biased. The eastern ruffed grouse or Bonasa umbellus (what lovely Latin) is one of my most favourite of birds. From the brrrrrr as they launch themselves into the air, to their drumming in the springtime, to the primary feather marks they leave in the snow and the surprise they give you as they explode out from under the powder as you walk through a winter woodland. At our lodge on the French River, the hen birds bravely challenge us when their chicks are running about the place.

The ruffled grouse that graced our Winter 2022 cover garnered a lot of attention. Photo by Robert McCaw.

Your winter cover is magnificent in both its design and beauty. I remember well the first copies of In The Hills, which arrived at our farm in Albion in the mid ’90s. All your covers were and are beautiful. This one stands out though, in my mind, as one of your finest. 

– Alex Strachan, Alton

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