Wednesday, December 3, 2014

in the meantime, there was victoria

destination two of my whirlwind was victoria. having never been, i was pleasantly surprised by its distinguished identity - i anticipated it would be nearly identical to vancouver. what i was confronted with was a wonderful and unique community which embraced a small town mentality, while demonstrating characteristics of a large city.
it may have helped to spend time with a great friend while there, but in addition, i had a chance to just be - my favourite way to vacation. drink coffee, browse in shops, read books and wake up late in comfortable beds. THAT'S what vacation is about.
victoria stole my heart, and reminded me of the art of long and great conversation. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

"You were a number, you weren’t a name; I wasnt Jim Quillen. Hell, I was Number 586 and nobody wanted that."

most who know me know my strange fascination with prison, crime, and psychology.... so the moment i had an opportunity to visit the infamous alcatraz, i was in (my version of) heaven.  a bizarre home for history and crime, it was a haunting moment in history. and yet, so beautiful. plants growing amongst the architecture; concrete standing in stark contrast to the sky and water surrounding. it was truly beautiful, what memories it held.
a moment in history i hope the country never lets go. stories of hope and retraint.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

frozen things

freezing foods is my jam. or, should i saw, i let a lot of food go nearly rotten in my fridge. so, my favourite form of food rehabilitation is the frozen route.i spent a lot of time (and money. and food) in university, throwing things in a bag, and letting it sit in a giant lump in my freezer... before finally acknowledging i couldn't break it apart - and subsequently throwing my 8lb bag of frozen strawberries in the garbage. 
when i found this SUPER easy, and almost ridiculous tip (i can't believe it took internet research to find), my life was instantly changed. no more wasting money! no more $12 bags of fruit for smoothies! no more rushing out to buy veggies for stirfry! life = changed. 
i'd like to call this a recipe, but it's literally 3 steps:
1. wash fruit or veggies (this isn't even really a step, but let's just pretend - makes me sound like i'm more complex and needed). 
2. lay fruits/veggies on flat surface to put in freezer. I'm lucky - i have a freezer that has drawers. i say lucky, because you try chasing frozen blueberries all over a freezer that doesn't have drawers. essentially, you want to cut/break up the fruits/veggies into the size pieces you will want to use. for example, frozen peppers: cut into strips if you know you'll use in stir fry. leave strawberries whole if you think you'll blend them mostly. figure out what you'll use them for, and then prepare appropriately. 
3. freeze overnight. once frozen, scoop into a ziploc. remove air, and lock up until use. 
bam. you have dreamy frozen fruits and veggies to use in your beautiful recipes.
recently, while grocery shopping with my sister, i bought a bag of yellow and orange peppers for $1. i'm talking 12 peppers, so ripe it was dangerous, for A DOLLAR. i knew i couldn't eat them in time, so i sliced them lengthwise, and laid them out (in my usual way), and froze them before adding to a large ziploc. stirfry, beware. i got peppers galore. come over for dinner - you'll see my moves.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

napa came first.

for a week in november, i jumped on a plane and met my parents in napa. an adventure of wine, rolling hills, education on earthquakes and drought, and many many laughs over my lack of luggage, ensued (seriously - i have a terrible set of luggage, considering i never check bags). (i need carry on luggage).
california - and more specifically napa - has it figured out in some ways. the weather, their love of culture (and wine - OH THE WINE), and their appreciation of simple, wonderful, classic things.
and then, in other ways, i can't figure it out - housing prices, it's lack of available living spaces, and its separation between rich and those who live within millimeters of the poverty line. there's something within me that pains with acknowledgment of the disparity that exists in places so close to me. the visible and shocking way in which those who have, live directly alongside those who do not.
the plain reminder was sometimes a bit much. without the ability to help. do anything, really.
i should say, napa was beautiful - their landscape is unbelievable, and despite drought, it's golden hues were dream like.
and, of course, any small moments with my parents, are enough to calm a mind that is stressed.
that, i needed.

Monday, November 24, 2014

a strange tale from down by the river

"if there was something to worry about, it was that an important piece was missing from my life. even though i would literally throw myself into things, i was eternally skimming the surface, never truly hearing or seeing the substance. all along, i'd look for surface beauty to hide the emptiness. but perhaps that's what hobbies are for, in the final analysis."
lizard: a strange tale from down by the river, banana yoshimoto

Sunday, November 23, 2014

popped rice

after almost 2 years of dealing with my body revolting against anything and everything, i finally found a naturopath who fit my needs - and who would do food testing for me. turns out, one of my FAVE snacks in the world (stove top popcorn) was essentially torturing me from the inside out (lots of crying and whining insued).
after much reaching out, someone suggested popping rice. like, popcorn. like, i can have rice, in popcorn form. life - HEAVEN. though white rice was a no go, brown and wild are ok, so i did some searching and found that i could, indeed, pop rice. so, i gave it a whirl.
starting with this recipe, i used my own supplies, and lo and behold, i have a new, crunchy, salty snack. dream. world.

popped rice
1/2 teaspoon of butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup wild rice

saucepan with lid
stove (obvs)

heat up saucepan on high heat. when hot, add oil or butter. allow to melt, and then add the rice.  shake to coat rice in oil, and then cover the pot. when you hear the first piece of rice pop, turn heat down to medium, and shake pot vigorously. like popcorn, you will hear the rice begin to pop (much more quietly). as rice begins to slow, continue to shake until you hear only a few pops per second. after this point, rice will burn easily, so listen carefully. once finished, pour into a bowl, sprinkle some salt or seasoning (as desired), and enjoy!

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