Trevor Franklin Sellars

Dad passed away on Wednesday, after a month in the hospital.

We are a very close family and we have spent the last month together at the hospital, solidifying this closeness, saying all the things we might need to say, loving each other. We had a number of visitors, and, though I had suspected, I really got to see how much Dad meant to so many people. The love that surrounded our family throughout this very difficult time made the road we were traveling on so much easier to bare. Dad was comfortable and not really in pain. He was happy to see so many of his friends and family and stories were shared. My sister and I finally got to meet Ken, Dad’s best friend since childhood, which was great; his love for Dad and our family is beautiful. And we spent many hours listening to another of Dad’s best friends, Mike, regale us with the ridiculous stories of his and Dad’s mischief.

Truthfully, it all still seems a little surreal. We spent some time at the hospital after Dad passed and then came home, the first time in a month that the three of us were all in the house at the same time. There are little waves that crash over us from time to time, as we look at pictures, or tell stories. Those waves are tough but important. Dad is already so missed, but we know that he lives on in us.

We are going to be making some of Dad’s favourite food, ribs, curry chicken wings, carrot cake, etc. I will be sure to post the recipes as we make them. We will also be drinking Scotch in Dad’s honour, which is no hardship for me (thanks Caelin!). I encourage all of you to have a little Scotch (Caelin, you can have a number of drinks of Scotch) to celebrate a wonderful life.

Thanks to all the amazing Not Crocker readers who’ve stuck with the site, despite my lack of posts. I will be back to regular scheduled programming starting October 13th.

To Dad, we love you forever, we love you for always.

Ham and Cheese Scones, a Sunday brunch idea.


I had these on my mind all morning, thinking that they’d be the perfect thing for my sister, mom, and I to take to the hospital on our sleeping nights, so we could have a savoury treat for breakfast. I’ve never made savoury scones before… well I’ve made biscuits, and these turned out pretty great. They are pitch-perfect for cheesiness and haminess (that is totally a thing); they are crunchy and tender; they are flaky and portable. Hospital breakfast achievement unlocked!
In non-food related news, we are coasting along. It is strange to think that I’ve been up north for a month now. I am happy to be here, any time spent with Dad is good time. I miss Vancouver quite a bit and I certainly miss my husband who has been great about this whole situation. Getting to see him last week, for my brief stint in Vancouver, was wonderful. We brought the nurses some Cookie Dough Dip  and Cheese Straws to show our appreciation for how great they’ve been. As weird as it is, we really feel at home at the hospital, we’ve gotten to know everyone and are feeling comfortable. On a crazy note, the RCMP were called to the hospital to deal with a patient across the hall last night.
Early in the evening I heard him grumbling at a nurse who was bringing around night snacks. She told him to stop swearing at her and went on her way. Well, not long after, Dad’s nurse went into this guy’s room and caught him smoking… in his hospital room. Well she rightfully flipped her lid and was yelling at him, “What is wrong with you?! This is a hospital!” The guy tried to argue with the nurse and she left down the hall. They forcibly discharged him and when he refused to leave, they called the RCMP to get him out of there. Apparently he damaged the room, had been abusive to nurses, and smoking was the last straw. Madness!
Whitehorse General Hospital is no Seattle Grace but there are a couple of exciting moments (Mom and Kellie were coming up to relieve me from night stay and found a long blood trail in the elevator that went through the surgical ward).

Ham and Cheese Scones

Adapted from Emeril’s similar recipe.


  • 1 cup of diced ham (I cut two 1/4-1/3-inch thick slices off of a ham we had in the fridge and diced those. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch strips and then cut the strips into 1/4-inch dice)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup milk


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, cut in the butter until you have pea-sized pieces that are well combined with the flour mixture.
  4. Add the cheese, green onions, ham, and pepper and combine well.
  5. Add 1 cup of milk and work just until it becomes a sticky dough, adding more milk as needed, up to 1 1/2 cups. Stop once the dough has come together, do not overwork.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a flattened circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut into wedges and transfer to a greased or parchmented baking sheet., leaving some space between each wedge.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking for doneness by busting one open. They are done when they are golden and the inside is flaky.
  8. Move to a wire rack to cool briefly then eat away!

A text-free shot. Lovely.

Bonus photo of my parent’s yard in the vibrant fall colours!

Cheese Straws- an old family recipe

Picture will be updated when I make them again this week.

Cheese Straws, as mentioned in my previous post are a family favourite and a type of currency our family is encouraged to use outside of the home. Many of our friends and other family love these snacks, and requests are often made for us to bake up a batch. I’ve actually faced a lot of pressure to get these up on the blog but I just haven’t gotten around to baking any, fortunately that’s where my mom comes in. She baked up the pictured batch about a month ago and I’ve just gotten to posting about them. I am going to make some myself in the next few days and I will be sure to take some more pictures to share. They aren’t the prettiest treat, but they sure are tasty. In my opinion, the darker ones are the best, as they have that crispy cheese flavour. These are great for dipping and sharing, but they are also great to horde all to yourself.

This recipe was passed down to my mom from my Grandma Audrey and from her mother and possibly from her mother, etc. We are not sure how far these go back, but the love for them runs deep. My Grandma Aud is thrilled that the tradition of making these is being passed along, and I’ve included her note about rolling them in with my mom’s recipe. Mom took a ton of pictures, so there is a photo tutorial following the directions. You can tell it is an old family recipe because the measurements are not quite exact. Try it out with what I wrote and see how they turn out, adjust as necessary and bake these again and again!

What to eat with these? Anything! My mom especially likes equal parts salsa and sour cream mixed together as a dip. A good rule of thumbs is that your dip has to be on the lighter side, as these can be delicate. My Grandma eats them with dill pickles. I eat them plain mostly. My brother-in-law, husband, and father all like them sprinkled with some cayenne for a kick. They freeze really well too, so making a big batch is not usually a problem, if they even make it to the freezer.

Cheese Straws


  • 3/4 cup less one tbsp margarine (or butter. **Mom’s recipe reads 1 1/3 squares of marg. — 1 square is 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups old/sharp cheddar, grated (more if you want, more is always good)
  • 6 tbsp milk (you might need more to make a soft dough)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 rounded/heaping tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups flour


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers), cut in the margarine until you have small, pea-sized pieces throughout.
  4. Add grated cheese and mix well.
  5. Using a fork, combine egg with milk in the measuring cup.
  6. Add the milk and egg to the flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms, DON’T OVER MIX.
  7. Place on a lightly floured counter and roll out until quite thin, though not transparent (Grandma’s note: if you don’t have a giant counter, separate dough into three chunks and do it in batches).
  8. Cut into strips and carefully move them onto baking sheet.
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, until browned… or a minute or two long until really browned, if you are like me!

STEP-BY-STEP: Brought to you by Not Crocker’s Mom.

  1. Heat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, or lightly grease.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

    Cutting the margarine into the flour mixture.

  3. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers), cut in the margarine until you have small, pea-sized pieces throughout.


  4. Add grated cheese and mix well.
  5. Using a fork, combine egg with milk in the measuring cup.

    Stir in your milk.

  6. Add the milk and egg to the flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms, DON’T OVER MIX

    Lump of dough on my mom’s very long counter.

  7. Place on a lightly floured counter and roll out until quite thin, though not transparent (Grandma’s note: if you don’t have a giant counter, separate dough into three chunks and do it in batches).

    Cut long strips and cut across for perfectly sized

  8. Cut into strips and carefully move them onto baking sheet.

    Ready for browning. The dough is worth eating too…

  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, until browned… or a minute or two long until really browned, if you are like me!

Good Friends, Good Food

While I have not been able to a lot of cooking or baking while here in the Yukon, as we’ve been busily ferrying between the house and the hospital, I’ve still managed to eat well. We’ve had many wonderful meals provided to us by our good friends in and around the territory, one delicious meal of spaghetti coming all the way from Dawson City! We are so thankful for the delicious food.

* Thanks to Evi for her amazing soups, she also made us some delicious moussaka, which Gen went crazy for. Evi has also passed along her recipes, so I will be sure to whip them up in her name and make sure you all get a taste of the dinners we’ve been treated to.

* Thanks to Sharon for the spaghetti, bread, and wine.

* Thanks to Karen for the tasty curry chicken, many leftovers were enjoyed.

* Thanks to Ella for the fantastic ham dinner last night (picture below). The mashed potatoes were perfect, the ham delicious, the carrot au gratin a wonderful new dish, and the corn was the perfect final touch.

I am still without my camera, so my mom’s camera and my husband’s camera work will do. Enjoy the time-stamps for accurate archiving…

The women above, and many more, have also provided us with snacks, treats, and support that has helped to keep us going. Many wonderful folks who’ve come to visit have brought along the proper entrance fee, Scotch. Dad’s Scotch supply has grown so large that it needs its own bag. We are enjoying Ardbeg, Glenfiddich, Bushmills, Lagavulin (Dad’s own), and we just polished off the Johnnie Walker Blue Label last week.

We are so appreciative for all of the support, visitors, and love from our family and friends. We are still enjoying lots of laughs and have finally found a routine that works. I am going to put up our famous family recipe tomorrow for Cheese Straws. These Cheese Straws have become a currency of sorts, paying for movie rentals, chores, housesitting, and gift certificates for Cheese Straws are eagerly received as birthday presents. They are awesome. And they freeze well, dip well, and can be spiced up (as we only discovered the need to spice them when my spice-obsessed brother-in-law came into the picture).

Thanks for coming back time and again despite my infrequent updates lately. Things will be back in swing soon.


Not back yet, but here is some tasty filler. Coconut Cream Pie, by request from Not Crocker’s padre (recipe for Gingersnaps included)

Dad’s doing fairly well, as well as he can. He’s certainly got his sense of humour. He has a steady flow of visitors each day, and more importantly, a steady flow of scotch. Today, his son-in-law brought him a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and we all enjoyed the smooth delicious blend of ridiculously expensiveness. I am looking forward to another paper cup with a scotch rock (granite frozen to cool the scotch without watering it down) and a splash of the good stuff tomorrow.

Dad asked the other day, for some pie, specifically apple… and then pumpkin…and finally coconut cream. So coconut cream pie it is! Kel and I got to making it that night and we had it the next day, the longer the flavours mellow, the better. And wow, super delicious. I really can’t think of a time when I’ve had coconut cream pie, and I’ve stayed clear of banana cream pie for the most part because it seems like one too many smooth textures, I need some textural variation. Well, coconut cream pie has some chewy bits of toasted coconut, a nice gingersnap crust and two different layers of creamy goodness. The pictures aren’t great because I am still in the midst of the Great Camera Fiasco of 2012. I left my battery charger up here in the Yukon in July. Mom and Dad were supposed to head south mid-August, so I made-do with the cord. Then all of this madness happened and I had to come north, a month after I left it here. Well, I get off the plane and tell mom how excited I am to charge my camera battery (it’s the small things, clearly) and she tells me that she mailed it the day before. Curses! Anyway, the iPhone photos can’t take away from the scrumptious pie. Make it. Love it. Tell me all about it.

Coconut Cream Pie

Lightly adapted from Anna Ols0n. 


Gingersnap Crust

  • 3/4 cup + 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • sugar, for coating

Coconut Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted**

Cream Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp skim milk powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut, lightly toasted **


  1. The first step is to bake your gingersnaps.
  2. Heat oven to 350 °F.
  3. Cream 3/4 cup butter (reserve the 1/3 for later) and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in molasses and beat in egg.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and spices and stir just until blended.
  5. Roll spoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in a shallow dish of white sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and press flat with the palm of your hand, or a fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet to cool. If you just want gingersnaps, stop here. Eat cookies.
  6. To form the crust: grind cooled cookies in a food processor, or by hand (good luck!) and measure out 2 1/2 cups of crumbs (we used all but 6 cookies, which we munched on the next day). Melt the 1/3 cup butter and mix into crumbs. Press into a 9-inch pie pan (we also put some into a 4-inch tart pan so Dad could have his individual pie at the hospital) and chill until ready to fill.
  7. For filling: stir sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepot. Whisk in coconut milk, whole eggs, and egg yolks. Heat custard on low while whisking constantly for 5 minutes.
  8. **Turn oven to 400°F, spread coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, stir on pan and toast for another 3-5 minutes until light brown. Some darker toasted shreds are totally ok. Reserve 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top.
  9. Back to the custard! Increase heat to medium and continue whisking until custard thickens and becomes glossy, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Stir in vanilla, butter, and toasted coconut. Stir until butter has melted. Pour immediately into chilled pie shell, let cool on the counter for 15 minutes, then chill completely before topping with cream, at least 4 hours.
  10. For cream topping: whip cream to a medium peak, and whisk in sugar and skim milk powder. Top coconut custard with whipped cream, and sprinkle remaining toasted coconut on top as garnish.

Coconut custard.