Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What's for Dinner Wednesdays? Simply Indian

I LOVE Indian food!  Tonight's dinner is aloo gobi, curried chicken, dahl, store bought naan bread and couscous.  I know couscous isn't Indian but I forgot to start the basmati rice first, and it takes too long to cook.  Indian Fusion it is.  The aloo gobi is from a an excellent cookbook my sister gave me, called Simply Indian, though there are a lot of good recipes on line you can use.  It's basically tomatoes, onions, lemon juice, potatoes and cauliflower with Indian spices. 

My dahl recipe is based on one from a dear friend from Mauritius who's lived in Kelowna longer than I have (and I must admit I haven't seen her in ages!).  I don't usually measure anything and over the years I've added a few extra spices.  I start by melting some butter in the bottom of a small pot and adding about 1/2 tsp each of  cumin seed and corriander seed.  

Once the coriander starts to pop I add the chopped stems off a bunch of fresh cilantro along with about 1/3 cup chopped onion and a clove or two of minced garlic.   Once everything begins to soften I add about 2 tsp of curry powder and saute one minute.  Then I drain a 19 oz can of red lentils, add it to the pot and mix well.  If it seems dry I add a little (less than 1/4 cup) of chicken or vegetable broth, put the lid on and let it simmer on low until the lentils are very soft.  Chop a little onion and fresh coriander leaves to use as garnish later. 

For the curried chicken I cut an onion in half crossways and then cut it in slices (so you have half moons). I saute it on medium to low heat in butter until the onions are soft.   Add 3 cloves of garlic and a tsp shredded ginger, saute until onions are golden.   Then I add a bunch of spices that I don't really measure... I would say about 1/2 a tsp each of tumeric, coriander powder, asefetida, cumin powder and 1 tsp of curry powder.  Mix and cook for about a minute.  Add 2 cups of canned chopped tomato and 6 to 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped into bite sized pieces.  Bring it to a low simmer, but don't boil, it will make the meat tough.  Add about 1/4 of a 7 oz block of creamed coconut and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves.  Heat until the chicken is cooked through and serve over rice or equivalent.

P.S.  For those of you worried about the high carb content for me, the diabetic, not to worry. I don't eat the Naan or the couscous and try to get more cauliflower than potato in the aloo gobi...moderation in all things. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Book Club, Baby!

I had such a great time at book club I wanted to add it to my pocketful of memories here.

At the dinner table last night when my daughter asked "What do you guys talk about at your book club?  Do you talk about the themes of the book?"  I had to laugh.   Our book club is no where near that academic.  Yes, we are intelligent and educated women who could easily read a book and write an essay on theme, characterization and symbolism, but that's not what our book club is about.    Last evening was a good example of a typical meeting.

We did talk about The Postmistress, discussing character, believability, things that surprised us and things that we learned.  But we also talked about The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Annabel, Infidel, the Qu'ran, the Baha'i faith, how adorable the hostess's daughter is, family members who lived in London during The Blitz, and the merits of starting a specialized daycare for babies 4-6 months old (with exceptions for older babies who aren't crawling yet and will submit to constant cuddling). We covered hockey practice, drug bowl parties, Sunday night's episode of Dexter, how our kids behave when they're excited, and I tried to teach them how to whistle between their fingers.  Sometimes it's not so much about the book.  Sometimes it's not even about the food and wine.  It's always about sharing, laughter and the strong bond between women of like minds....and sometimes it's about the baby.
*Note: Once again I apologize for poor quality iPhone photos.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Many Thanks Monday

Time has flown through the month of November and another Gratitude Monday is here already.  Also of note, is the fact that this is post number 200!  Today  I am grateful for:

One of my favourite works by emerging artist Nicole Young
34.    Artists.  They make the world even more beautiful while they inspire, engage and call to action.

35.    Love.  It too makes the world more beautiful.  The more you give, the more it grows.

36.    Furnaces.  We had some cold nights this past week and I'm grateful it's so easy to warm things up with the press of a button.

37.   MG Vassanji.  I say it grudgingly, 'cause he's making me work very hard....but that's a good thing.

38.   Music.  The world's greatest discovery/invention.  It amazes me when I consider how such a small number of notes can be rearranged in a seemly infinite number of ways using a myriad of instruments and voices to create such a soothing, exciting, invigorating, aggravating, arousing, sorrowful,  (insert your adjective here), powerful art.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Potter

As you can see by his infectious smile and twinkling eyes, potter Stephen Plant has a joy for life that makes it a real pleasure to be in his company.  During the short time we spent together at the Okanagan Potters' Show this morning, we covered a wide variety of topics from 1930's German film scores, to elder care and astrology.  We also dabbled in music therapy, Oliver Sachs, opera, and engineering.  Stephen was inspiring, enlightening and encouraging.  (And those of you who know my dad will surely see a slight resemblance).  It was an unexpected gift to meet  him today.

Another of my favourite artisans at the Mission Hall show was Naramata potter James Hibbert, whose work I have admired and purchased since I  began attending this yearly sale ten years ago.  James will be at the Naramata Heritage Inn next Sunday for another pre-Christmas sale so if you missed this weekend, you can catch him there.
The third potter to round out my trio of favourites is Lynda Jones.  I noticed her work a couple of years ago.  It was the first smoke fired pottery that I'd seen and she has some really stunning pieces.    
I couldn't leave without purchasing something and I was drawn back to the rich blues and greens of Stephen's Heaven In Earth Pottery.  I treated myself to a Celtic patterned mug that I'm sure will soon become a favourite for coffee, tea or soup.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Peachy Crafts

Drove to Peachland this morning with some friends to go to the craft sale at the Community Centre.  Bought a few neat things and had a delicious and filling bowl of goulash for lunch at the Gasthaus.  Came home with some stocking stuffers and a present or two, including one for myself.   It's a twist on the Christmas glass blocks that I've seen.  I have some beautiful ones made by my Aunts.  Thought I'd share this photo and give you some ideas for decorating glass bottles.  

It makes a cute little night light and you can decorate them in Christmas mode or to match your room decor. They look pretty easy to make.  For directions check out this link.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rising With The Sun

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope. - Bern Williams

Sunrise bathed the deck in a warm pink glow this morning and I scrambled for my camera to capture it.  Here on the east side of the lake, it's often hard to catch the break of day.  I live down in the flats surrounded by hills, houses and trees, so there's not much horizon.  I'm often up before the dawn and it seems like the conditions necessary for a colourful sunrise aren't present very often.  Yet there are rare occasions, such as this morning, when for a brief moment you are treated to something quite lovely. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Olga's Chili

In a recent post that included things I love about winter I mentioned my mom's chili.  The recipe card that she typed out neatly says "Olga's Chili" at the top.  Olga King was my mother's friend and wife to my Dad's boss when we lived in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, many moons ago.  Though I hardly remember her, I do remember her chili - the chili that is the standard against which all others are measured (and her lasagna recipe remains the best I've ever had).  

I'm thinking there's an inverse correlation between the cleanliness of recipe card and how good the recipe is.   

When I was an inexperienced cook, it always surprised me that there was cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in it.  Now that I'm older and wiser, it makes sense and I'm going to add some cocoa powder next time.  Not today thought, today I'm trying some Chorizo flavoured beef.  I'm thinking one change at a time.  OK, two - I decided to put it in the slow cooker this morning, even though Olga's is a stove top recipe.  I want to be hit by that spicy, savory fragrance this afternoon when I return from walking the dogs.

Olga's Chili

Slice 3 onions and cook in 3 Tbsp fat or shortening (I used 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil) and cook over medium heat until tender but not brown.  Remove and set aside. Saute 1 lb. of ground beef and brown evenly.  Into a medium sized saucepan pour 1 15 oz can of tomatoes, 1 6oz can of tomato paste, add meat and onions.  Blend 2 Tbsp of chili powder, 1tsp dry mustard 1 tsp minced garlic (I crushed 2 cloves of garlic in a press) 2 tsp salt, 1tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves, 2 small bay leaves with 1/4 cup of cold water.    Add to the meat mixture and stir until all ingredients are well mixed.  (I should note that I didn't add the chili powder today because of the chorizo flavoured beef.)

Cover tightly and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cans of kidney beans (one drained, one undrained) and simmer 15 minutes longer.  Remove the bay leaves before serving.

P.S.  YUM!  

The Way I Are

When I walk the dogs on the lower trail in Mission Ridge Park, I often end the walk along Hubbard and Raymer Road. Near the end of Hubbard, a bungalow that's been having some exterior renos done has this charming retro patio set under a massive tree on the front lawn.  The rich red upholstery and the curly black wrought iron put me in mind of the The Queen of Hearts from Disney's Alice In Wonderland.  I walked past the house a few weeks ago and it made a perfect picture, with leaves dangling from the branches above and seats and table scattered with fallen leaves below.  Of course I didn't have my camera.  

I've deliberately walked passed it three times now, with my camera, but I think you can see that the way it looks now doesn't create the charming photo I'd hope for.  It's kind of messy with the fan rake leaning against the table top and the chair resting precariously on it's front legs.  On Monday I considered walking right in and moving the rake, righting the chair, and perhaps moving the other three chairs as well, but I'm very sensitive to boundaries.

Today when I walked past for the third time, I took a picture to share with you anyway.  I thought about knocking on the door and asking if they'd mind if I moved the rake and took a photo, but I decided today might not be the best day.  There was a car parked at an odd angle on the street in front of the house, pointed in the wrong direction.  Heavy metal music blasted out the front door and I just didn't get a welcoming vibe.  I know, I know, I hear you telling me to just dooo it but I'm going to wait until it's a bit quieter.  That's just the way I am. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Part Deux

I didn't want to miss Gratitude Monday but I wanted to post the photos I took of the Bevoulin horses this morning so here is post number two for today, where I am grateful for:

29.  Benvoulin Road.  What a lot of photos I've taken on this short cut as I drive from Springfield to Gordon.  It's a little bit of country right here in the city.

30.  the fact that nobody was hurt when the retaining wall collapsed on the overpass at the new Westside Road interchange.

31.  our mostly new city council.  Those who aren't new have a great deal of experience to guide the recently elected. Here's hoping for sustainable growth and balance.

32.  living in a place where snow and ice are no more than minor inconveniences and often a welcome addition.

33.  self-control.  So far today I've been able to resist the call of the cookie jar.  Nicole filled it with her homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies yesterday.

All the Pretty Little Horses

Two paddocks stand beside each other on Benvoulin Road.  One holds the sweetest little herd of miniature horse and the other contains a couple of gorgeous standard sized ones. I visited with the minis this morning, rubbing their thick winter coats when they wandered close enough for me to reach a bare hand between the fence rails. I was as sorry as they were that I didn't have any food to share.

I was a little more leery of "Black Beauty", a tall, slender ebony steed who stood like a Buckingham Palace guard, unblinking and motionless while I snapped my way back and forth in front of him.  His only  movement was to lower his head to chew on a yellow sign on the fence with the word "slow" written in black letters.  I think he may have been a bit insulted by the implication.

Just out of shouting range, two people were scooping up what I'm pretty sure was horse manure.  I didn't know if I was trespassing or if they might get upset if I gave into  temptation and they saw me smooth my hand down the horse's bony forehead to his soft muzzle.  As I write this I regret that I decided not to risk it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting into the Spirits

I just spent a lovely afternoon with my friend Joyce.  She invited me to join her at Women and Wine,  Cedar Creek's Open House to benefit the Kelowna Women's Shelter.  It's something they've been doing for eight years now, at the beginning of the Christmas season. This was my third visit to the event and it's a nice way to kick off the holidays with a girlfriend or two.  I'd love to write more about it but I'm on a deadline today so you'll have to use your imagination.

Make sure you include the sounds of women's laughter, and the murmur of conversation, warmed fingers around a cup of cinnamon mulled wine, the sight of stacked oak barrels and wine bottles on their sides, green fir branches and red candles, the taste of bitter sweet chocolate, tangy rosé sauce over tender meatballs, and the strawberry notes of a 2010 rosé.  Don't forget the fragrance of expensive powders and perfumes, cold fresh air that sneaks in each time the heavy wooden door is opened, and spruce scented candles laden with memories of childhood Christmas trees.  Now you've got it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Let It Snow!

Today brought this year's first real snowfall to the valley.  There's even a snowfall warning and we're expecting up to 10 cm of the fluffy stuff.  I'm really hoping to break out the snowshoes this weekend - tomorrow is calling for sunshine and -5 C. Hello Winter, I welcome you with open arms, but for now I'll take a photo from the safety of my deck and stay inside with a cup of tea while I order take-out dinner from Dawett Indian Cuisine.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

At Last!

The last room in our renovation that was begun in November 2009 is almost complete! Dan and Stacey from Okanagan Closet Concepts showed up just after nine a.m. this morning to install the fittings for our walk-in closet.  I am thrilled with the results.

The door needs to be installed on the cupboard where the laundry basket is but other than that, it's done!  (The door will be hinged on the bottom and tilt outward with a handle that matches the drawer above it.)

Can you guess what's in the drawer above the laundry basket?  Have a look below....

Still not sure?  Look down a little further....

Tah dah!  Pretty neat eh? 

There's six of these hanging units, which might sound like a lot, but my husband's shirts will take up at least two of them. 

If you're looking for someone to do a closet, laundry room or garage organization system for you, I  can't say enough about the husband and wife team at Okanagan Closet  Concepts.  Dan was so helpful and patient with my questions and concerns, they did a great job at what I felt was a really reasonable price.  They say most renovations cost you twice the estimated price and take twice the time.  This cost exactly what they quoted (and we lucked out because there's a 25% off promotion on their website until the end of December) and it took half the time they estimated to do it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's For Dinner Wednesdays

Writing a blog post every day is more challenging than you might think, so I've been scouring the web to see what other people are up to. What's for Dinner Wednesdays seems to be a common food blog title so I don't think anyone will mind me borrowing this one.

I love trying new recipes and I've come to use Google as my new recipe file.  It is nice to have an actually book in front of you sometimes and that's where the library comes in.  On a recent trip to the Mission Branch I returned with "Mediterranean Cooking" and a great vegetarian paella recipe I thought I'd share it with you.

Heat 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium low-heat.  Add 2 chopped onions and 3 garlic cloves minced (I like to add a couple more, unless the three you have are really big).   Saute 3 to 4 minutes until softened.  Add 2 chopped and seeded bell pepper and 6 tomatoes cut in wedges, cooking until softened.  Add 2 cups of medium grain risotto rice, 5 ounces green beans chopped, one medium zucchini sliced,  1 tsp saffron mixed with 3 Tbsp hot water.  Add 1 Tbsp smoked paprika.  Pour in 5 cups hot vegetable broth, decrease the heat to low and gently simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the rice cooks evenly.  

Stir in 1/2 cup of frozen peas (I used edamame here since I had some and it would up the protein content of the meal) and 1 cup of baby spinach leaves.  (I used 2 cups cause that 's what I had and it needed to be used).  Remove from the heat and cover.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Add 1/4 chopped parsley (has excellent cancer preventing properties) and season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 least he didn't eat my homework

As seen on Facebook:

Suzan Wood-Young  Here's a new one:  My dog ate my glasses.

Gisele Babahani likes this

Kristen Bell  wha???

Suzan Wood-Young well, he didn't actually eat them, but he decided to chew on them, breaking one lens and chewing the end of one arm.

Kristen Bell  well close enough then...does that qualify under house insurance or pet insurance?  ack

Suzan Wood-Young  I think it's under "Stupidly leaving things out where your dog can eat them insurance", which I forgot to renew. :(

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grateful for World Diabetes Day.

In the Fall of 1975 at the age of 13, I was not a healthy person.  Every night after a full dinner I would get up from the table and make myself a sandwich, yet I was losing weight at an alarming rate. I was horribly thirsty all the time and it was agony to sit through the last ten minutes of a class at school because I had to go to the bathroom so badly.  I knew that something was not right, but for some reason no one in my family, including myself, thought I should see a doctor. Then one evening a voice on the television announced "These are the symptoms of diabetes: increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, fatigue and blurred vision."  I saw a doctor the next day. 

He did a urine test and discovered there was sugar in my urine, but it was a Friday so he decided to wait until Monday to send me for a glucose tolerance test, thinking, in the ignorance of a 1970's doctor in a town of 3,500 people that might have had one other Type 1 Diabetic, that maybe I was spilling glucose in my urine because of some sugar on my cereal that morning.   

In those days a glucose tolerance test meant you went to the lab, drank a Big Gulp of what had to be cola syrup (disgustingly sweet) and then sat, bored to death for four hours in the waiting room, because nobody had bothered to tell me anything about the procedure. You couldn't leave because your urine and blood was tested every hour to see how long it would take your pancreas to bring you back to normal.  This seems counter intuitive to me, in fact I think it could induce a coma in some undiagnosed patients and I'm hoping they do something else now a days.

By the end of four hours, I had read every pamphlet in the waiting room - except for the ones on VD even though as a 13 year old I reeeeally wanted to read them, but as I said it was a small town.  My Mom was a high school teacher and my Dad a police officer.  I figured there'd be talk. 

At lunch my doctor called and my Dad told me I had to go to the hospital just as I was smoothing some butter on a piece of homemade pumpkin walnut loaf. I put it back on my plate without having even one little bite.  Turns out my blood glucose level was 30 - normal being about 5.5.  Later I heard my doctor had apologized profusely to my parents for not getting me into the hospital sooner.

We've come so far in 36 years.  No one relies on urine tests for glucose monitoring - it never really told you much to begin with.  I've gone from a bulky home glucose unit that cost $300.00 (1970 dollars) that I had to get from the States.  They weren't available in Canada yet, but my dad had a friend in Michigan who was a pharmacist.  Now I have one I can fit in my pocket.  You can get one from any pharmacist for free as long as you buy your first set of test strips at their pharmacy.  I've gone from one injection a day, to two, to several and finally to a more "normal" continuous delivery of insulin (basal) from a pump that's smaller than your average cell phone and that also calculates my glucose carb ratio allowing me a very simple way to figure out how much extra insulin (bolus) I need before each meal.

I can't say I'm grateful to have Type 1 Diabetes, but I can say I'm grateful for how manageable it has become.  Many thanks to all the scientists, philanthropists, nurses and doctors, dieticians, diabetes educators and everyone who gives even a little bit of time or money to help find better ways to manage this challenging disease and haven't given up trying for a cure.

I'm grateful for Wold Diabetes Day that celebrates one of the discoverers of Insulin 90 [now 94] years ago.  Today is Dr. Frederick Banting's Birthday.  He and his student Charles H. Best saved my life.  Without insulin, I would not have seen my 15th birthday.  Before insulin the average life expectancy after diagnosis was 1.6 years.  It was a death sentence where you slowly died of starvation because your body needs glucose to function. Your muscles need it, your brain needs it, your heart needs it, everything needs it.  It's like the gasoline in your car.  And when you don't have it, your body in it's search for fuel, begins to consume itself.  First the fat, then the muscle, then the organs.  So if you suspect you have diabetes, get thee to a hospital!

I'm grateful for my parents and everything they did to help me accept and manage this disease.  I'm sure they spent many a sleepless night on my behalf.

I'm grateful for my husband's extended medical plan that gives me 100% coverage on my pump and supplies as well as BC Pharmacare that covers a percentage for those who aren't as lucky as I.

I'm grateful that so far, after 36 [now 40] years of management, good and bad, I'm not exhibiting any signs of  complications.

I'm grateful that my children are healthy and in all likelihood will never have to deal with this condition themselves.

I'm grateful for my husband who today when I said "It's World Diabetes Day."  Said "Oh Yeah, the day when diabetics wish everyone in the world would get diabetes so they wouldn't have to explain it anymore."  Besides insulin, a sense of humour is also a great help.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Puppies!

Today marks a special day for two of our beasties.  It's Pitou's second birthday and Max has reached his five month milestone.  Our boys seem to get along well for the most part, unless Max tries to get up on our bed, which is Pitou's territory.  Then Pitou makes some frightening noises that make you think he's gargling himself to death.  Max ducks his head in embarrassment, looking to one side. trying to see Pitou out of the corner of his eye.  The thing is, Pitou sleeps with us every night (despite my protests from the start) but I put my foot down when it came to an animal that had the potential to be a 100 pounds and take up my half of the bed.  Some nights there's a cat or two in there as well. Max sleeps on a dog bed nearby, which he appears to have gotten used to.  But hope springs eternal, so every morning he comes over to the bed and tries to get on and Pitou gives him what for.

They play well together out in the back yard often running inside to chase each other through the kitchen, living room, dining room and back into the kitchen again around and around the wall that supports the ceiling in the open-concept main floor.  I'll have to get it on video some time and post it here.  You can't help laugh at the energized Max with his flailing legs and giant feet that he can't control, scrabbling to get traction on the hardwood floor, body undulating like a deer through the snow, big ears flapping like sails. 

I've often caught the two of them snuggling together on the couch.  It doesn't last long, and soon it turns into a bout of mouth wrestling.  I have seen Pitou with his head between Max's open jaws, looking like one of those plovers that cleans the food from between the crocodile's teeth...and I'm pretty sure that's what he's doing. If you want to have a look at Max's growth this month, check the link.

Pitou is top dog, and though Max has his dominant moments I think he's willing to give in to the wisdom of his older and wiser sibling.  You just can't deny the loving look on his face....or maybe he's smiling to himself, thinking "Don't worry, you'll get yours..." 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

There's Snow In Them Thar Hills!

All evidence points to the fact that winter is well on it's way to the valley, and the rest of BC.  Yesterday my daughter spent most of the day on a Greyhound Bus bound for the coast.  A drive that usually takes us four or five hours,  took eight and she was stranded on the Coquihalla Highway for two hours held up by a couple of jack-knifed tractor trailers.  Across Georgia Straight, power is still out on parts of Vancouver Island with downed trees and hydro lines.  Even over the phone I could hear the wind whipping violently through the trees as I talked to my sister in the lower mainland yesterday afternoon.  

Today, the temperature made a sudden drop mid morning and we received our first dump of snow in the hills, putting smiles on the faces of skiers and snowboarders all over the valley.  The wind was bitter at the dog park and I hunched my face into my coat collar stuffing my frigid hands into my pockets, mentally kicking myself for forgetting my mittens.  On the way home I held my icy fingers up to the vents in the front dash, blasting them with glorious heat.  I fantasized about staying home this evening with my hubby, in front of a cozy fire instead of visiting friends across town.  Yup, I love winter. 

Friday, November 11, 2011


None so Beautiful - Gino Vannelli

Well there's a cross, on a hill where the ragweed has grown
Where a mother's young son sleeps all alone
All for the land that he dreamed he could save,
Yeah, there's none so beautiful as the brave

Oh, there's a stone in the meadow with all the weight of the world
Where the flowers are watered by the brown eyes of a girl
She cries for the life that her one true love gave
Yeah, there's none so beautiful as the brave

None so beautiful as the boy who cries freedom
None so beautiful as the voice that carries far
None so strong as love beyond all reason that fears no evil
Undaunted by the dark or any wicked man's heart

Oh there's a cross on a hill where no steeple
bells ring
A shrine with no name where the little children sing
To the rhythm that rocks us
From the cradle to the grave
Yeah, there's none so beautiful as the brave...

Oh there's none so beautiful as the brave.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Such A Crock!

While I've been beavering away on my novel I decided to free up some time and use my crock-pot a little more often.  There's lots of slow cooker recipe books out there, probably more than necessary, and some recipes I've made - particularly two that I made last week make me wonder "What's the point?"  

Last Tuesday I made ratatouille that I must say was delicious, but it took more than two hours of prep and clean-up, dirtying almost every pot in the place before I deposited the ingredients in the crock-pot to basically re-heat all day. It would have been easier to just throw it in a pan at the end,  stick it in the fridge until 5:00, then cook it for half an hour.

This morning I selected a recipe from  Canada's Best Slow Cooker Recipes, by Donna-Marie Pye.   This is the best kind of slow cooker recipe.  Chop everything up, throw into the pot with some stock and spices, turn it on low and fuhgedaboudit. 

Donna's Spicy Vegetable-Lentil Soup calls for chicken broth, but I wanted to keep it vegetarian so I used a box of vegetable broth.  I added an extra clove of garlic...cause that's just how I roll.  No matter how many garlic cloves a recipe calls for I add another clove or two.  I also couldn't bear to peel the Granny Smith Apple, partly for  aesthetic  reasons, but also for the vitamins and minerals in the peel.  Since it's going to cook for so long I'm sure the peel will be soft enough to blend without too much difficulty.  

 If the smell of the curry powder (that I spilled down the front of my sweater while trying to take a one handed photo of my favourite magnetic measuring spoons) is any indication, it's going to be a tasty dinner, complete with another loaf of that fresh artisan bread from Okanagan Grocery.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back In The Day...(which I believe was a Wednesday)

My daughter is an old soul.  If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I like to think that she was my grandmother in a previous life.  I've a few reasons for this thought, one being that our family has pet names for each other, all starting with then letter "B" and I called my daughter "Bubbie" when she was little, without knowing it was Yiddish word for Grandma.  I often wonder if she might have been on the Titanic.  She's always been interested in it, and is afraid to travel by boat.

My daughter just seems to be drawn to the past.   She loves to wear vintage clothing and I think her favourite boutique is Value Village.  I was recently drawn down the hall towards her bedroom  by a vaguely familiar tune, which turned out to be the sound of 1920's big band jazz.  You know, the really old stuff with the wah wah of muted trumpets and a string section that's missing from the post 1935 stuff.  (You might think that having a jazz singer for a mom would be the influence here, but I really don't like 1920's jazz.) She told me what she likes about it is the scratchy sound of the needle on the record.   

My daughter is a young woman in her 20's but she doesn't "Tweet" or follow anyone on Twitter,  and she rarely changes her Facebook status.  This past week she presented an an art installation for her sculpture class looking at differences between communication now vs. the olden-days and how our technological advances in the communication field are damaging us.

I walked into her room this morning and discovered evidence of her latest foray into the past.  (Though it wasn't as far back as she  usually goes).  She discovered this electric typewriter at V.V. on the weekend, for a mere 5.99.  That brings some memories back for me.  It looks very much like the Smith Cornona electric typewriter that I took to university with me in 1981.  I gave it a try and I was surprised I was able to type without making any mistakes.

Unfortunately the "l" and the "a" are broken. This inspired me.  I thought about trying to write today's post without using either key, just for fun.  But since the word daughter has an "a" in it, I figured it would be too difficult.  I haven't a clue what my daughter plans to do with this typewriter and if she can get it repaired, I wonder if you can even buy ribbon for it any more.  In the meantime, I'll look forward to seeing what the she plans to do with this creative item from the past, in the future.