Davis at the St. Albert Outdoor Market

Davis did a great job at the St. Albert market this summer!

Our Souptacular Christmas message each year is about the friends we have met, soup and family stories that we share, and the support we receive each year from YOU which allows us to grow and improve.

With all of those wonderful things in mind, we also wanted to share that we have a wonderful large NEW shop location, and new fundraising opportunities for Alberta schools! We also have a real need to brag about our three boys who have helped us so much this year through the markets, shows, deliveries, packaging, and more.  And to Liz (website manager), Jenni and Dixie (Strathcona Market/Store Demo ladies) – a wonderful group to work with – you always go the extra mile, and we are so thankful you are a part of our team! We couldn’t do it without you all!

Riley and Vaughn, helping out!

Ryley and Vaughn, helping out!

But then, it suddenly occurred to me, due to recent events, that an avocado seed had a much more important message, which I am compelled to share.

I would much rather sweep this story under the carpet and not tell a soul, as it reveals my own poor judgement, carelessness, and stupidity. However, the more I dwell on these circumstances, while wrapped in a blanket of self pity on my couch, where I sit on one of busiest business days of the entire year, I realize that I am only human. This could be the universe sending a message that something worse could come. This was a Christmas warning to smarten up, slow down, and take a slow, deep breath!

Here is my story:

Al hard at work at the St. Albert Farmer's Market this summer.

Al hard at work at the St. Albert Farmer’s Market this summer.

We had a very busy day with Christmas orders and Edmonton-area deliveries last week. I returned home at about 3:00pm, and quickly started making turkey tacos. This early dinner was strategically planned so that when Vaughn arrived home from school at 3:10pm, we could all eat and then drive together back to the shop to continue work until 9:00pm. This has been our routine over the last four weeks.

Ground turkey was frying in the pan with a quick dash of diced onion. Then, I placed tacos onto a tray and into the oven to warm. Al grated the cheese and ran downstairs to vacuum. I had five avocados on the counter needing to be used up, so decided to make guacamole to garnish the tacos.


Lifting lentils is part of Maureen’s job!

I start cutting avocados in half and scooping the avocado into the blender. As always, one half of the avocado holds a firmly stuck avocado seed. Usually, you can smack the seed with a sharp knife, cutting into the seed, and then twist the knife to release the seed. I have done this hundreds of times! Easy peasy!

But on this day, my knife was a bit dull: it wasn’t catching the seed. Therefore – this is where stupidity, carelessness, and a few other words I cannot repeat, enter the story – holding the avocado in my hand, I placed the point of the knife in the dull cut in the seed (hoping to penetrate the seed), and pressed down with all my might.

In a fraction (of a fraction) of a second, I realized I was in serious trouble.

Our dog, Samson, looking festive, yet concerned.

Our dog, Samson, looking festive, yet concerned.

The sharp serrated knife slipped out of the groove and slid along the side of the slippery seed, continuing downwards through the avocado and straight through my middle finger. My palm up, I could feel it enter my middle finger, pass under my knuckle joint, and continue through and out, to the other side of the finger. I quickly pulled it out and grabbed my finger. Blood was everywhere! Al dropped the vacuum and came running. Vaughn was scared with all the blood on the floor, and grabbed an ice pack. Realizing it was a serious cut, to the hospital we went!

Amazingly, we walked into a very quiet emergency room in St. Albert, so we got in quickly. The doctor was concerned that I may have severed the main tendons, but after a few painful movement tests, everything was moving just fine. I received an X-ray, tetanus shot, lots of needles with freezing and five stitches. Then, home to the couch I went.

Incapable of sealing soups and hauling orders, I now had to leave a lot of work for the boys. I was sooo angry with myself! Besides wrapping up this busy season, I had anticipated a LOT of cooking and baking – my true love! Anyway the moral of the story is:

With everything on the go this season, slow down and keep yourself in check!


Homemade pirogies will be on the back burner this year!

We all have busy moments when we find our mind wandering while cruising down the highway, not even noticing our speed, road conditions, the turn-off. Mistakes big and small CAN be prevented if we just take a step back, breathe and slow down. Nothing is ever THAT urgent, is it?

If I send a positive message based on my own lack of attention, then yahoo! Something great may come from this after all!

In my case, learning this lesson will not help make my traditional homemade pirogies this Christmas.

Oh well, I am happy to have slowed down to enjoy the season with a different perspective. It is also a Christmas memory to share with my wonderful husband, who denies that he almost fainted at the hospital when they started giving me stitches, and my three beautiful boys, who ran to my aid while texting all the neighbourhood that “my mom got stitches”! Who knew, that that was so cool?

However disappointed I am of my actions that day, I am happy for the valuable life lesson that I can share.

I still haven’t figured out how to break it to the boys that it’s going to be Cheemos this year! Jeesh! It never ends! 🙂

Wishing you all a SOUP-er safe holiday season and 2016! Thank you so very much for your support of our local St. Albert Family business!

Warmest regards,
Maureen, Al, Vaughn, Ryley, Davis, and Samson