For “sweet things have a definite place in our lives. They’re fun. They belong. We love them. Whether it’s the dense, sweet experience of a single, perfect banana, the complex subtlety of a well-made fruit cake, the utter perfection of a lovely orange, or the satisfaction of a warm and delicious blueberry pie, Canadian women – and men for that matter – aren’t about to follow any eating regime that means no such sweetness in their lives.” – Living Slim: A Canadian Woman’s Way
Not content with merely cultivating apples, residents of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley have long cultivated an apple culture that includes an Apple Blossom Festival each May with princesses, parades, and widespread celebrations. Postponed by pandemic again this year, it will return in 2022. And cheers to that, because few such events are more joyful and “few sights can top the loveliness of the valley’s delicate, frothy, flowering apple orchards every spring”.” – Living Slim: A Canadian Woman’s Way.
Believe it of not, this was the fantastic, always-long-lineups Brazilian steakhouse in the Farmer’s Market at The Grove in Los Angeles. Can’t see too much steak here can you? But trust me, the grilled meat was uber delicious. Fall off the bone. It’s just, I can never resist the gorgeous vegies. As for the plantains… oh my. Real food absolutely is good food.
Cod cakes or fish cakes. With beans, without beans. In the heart of St. John’s, or out around the bay. Whatever you call them, however have them, these treats of Newfoundland and Labrador are just plain delicious.
Who else needs a break from pandemic news? On this damp, grey Monday and every day, “it is definitely my early morning walks, my thirty minutes with myself and the amazing world around me, that give me the quiet and the peace I need.” – Living Slim: A Canadian Woman’s Way
Exactly one year ago, this orchid bloomed, and exactly one year later – to the day – it blooms again. Some kind of deep, visceral comfort that, despite everything, “the universe is unfolding as it should.”
On International Women’s Day, celebrating the achievements of women everywhere, including my mother, who “knew that making a contribution to society – however big, however small – constituted the essence of personal fulfillment.” – Living Slim: A Canadian Woman’s Way.
It was a cool, fresh spring day with an overcast sky. The Bow River flowed briskly. The Rockies were magnificent. Downtown Banff was uncrowded. And here, to complete perfection: this food, this place, this view.
To all the Lebanese restaurants I’ve loved before: a million thanks. Tabouli recipes can vary a bit from person to person and place to place. Which is how good cooking must always be. This one is made with quinoa not bulgur. And I think of it, at least in part, as a winter salad. Because sometimes, in the dead of our Canadian winters, we may not feel like making salads the way we would in the summer. And yet, we yearn for that sparkle. The sparkle of tabouli lasts for a week in the fridge.
¼ cup quinoa
½ cup water (or tiny bit more)
About 1/8 tsp salt
Bring all to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
1 big, beautiful bunch of fresh curly parsley
1 whole English cucumber
About ¼ to 1/3 medium-sized red onion
3 green onions
8-10 cherry tomatoes or other tomato
¼ cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 tablespoon mild oil (sunflower, safflower, or olive oil)
1 teaspoon salt
Wash the parsley making sure there are no bits of sand hiding anywhere. Discard at least half of the stems and chop everything else fairly fine. Slice the cucumber into manageable slices and then chop into small pieces. Chop all other vegetables. It is not strictly necessary to have both red onion and green onion, but I like both.
Add cooled quinoa and toss well with the oil, lemon juice and salt. Taste for seasoning.
That’s it. If you like, add ground black pepper. Store in a good, sealed container in the fridge, and you have a sparkling taste of summer that is good for a week. Unless, of course, you are cooking for a crowd, in which case it’s done in a day. I like the flavour, the crunch, and the nutrition of quinoa. But bulgur (cracked, parboiled wheat) is traditional and also excellent of course. Either way, the grain should be cooked (or steamed in boiling water for the bulgur) but not to sogginess as it serves to keep the salad from becoming too wet.