Thursday, 18 November 2010

fresh fall soup

the cool rainy vancouver weather always inspires soul warming food for me.  last night i threw together a delicious fall soup by pulling together a few simple ingredients i had on hand.  it was one of those moments when i didn't decide to make soup, i just found myself in the flow of it.  my food always seems to taste best when there is that ease & organic flow to it.

this is a super seasonal & local creation.  i am especially in love with celeriac right now.  it has a texture of potato and a light celery flavour.  delicious!  the potato like texture is great for me, as i love potatoes!  it must be in my maritime blood.  i am trying to limit inflammatory causing foods as party of my healing process, as i recover from injuries sustained in a car accident.  limiting the night shade family (potatoes, tomato, egg plant, peppers) is especially helpful. 

:: fresh fall soup ::

organic olive oil
sapo bravo organic onions & garlic
glorious organics carrots & celeriac
glen valley organic cabbage
backyard collards
nova scotia dulse
organic barley
maison coté tuscan herbs & cowboy salt & black pepper
city farmer bay leaf
homemade soup stock
tomato water

i make my soup stock by saving my vegetable trimmings as i cook.  i have my stock bag of trimmings in the freezer that i add to with each meal i cook.  when the bag is full, i throw the trimmings into my slow cooker, add filtered water & pretty much ignore it for ~12 hours.  if my timing is on, i will use it straight away in a soup or stew.  if not, i'll freeze the stock to have on hand for those inspired spontaneous cooking moments.  the flavour of the stock varies with each batch, but it always has onion, garlic, carrots as the base, and sometimes mushrooms, celery, herb stems, etc...

the tomato water added a slight acid note to the soup.  delicious.  i had rehydrated some of my organic dried tomatoes i dried summer '09, and i saved the water.  i also had some tomato sauce from a community canning project i was involved with this year, the jamboree canning collective.  the sauce was a bit thinner that i wanted for a what i was using it for, so i stained it off a bit, and added that tomato water to the soup as well.  not necessary, but it rounded the flavour out well, and created a use for something that may have been tossed out otherwise.  the tomato water did add a tiny bit of night shade to the soup, but that is just the way it goes sometimes.

some of the soup was frozen, for a ready to go nourishing meal when i need it.  i always try to do a bit of extra cooking on the days when i am not receiving a treatment.  that ensures that i will have good, tasty & nutritious food on the days i come home spent from a treatment. 

i did manage to get a quick photo before i ate the last of the soup for lunch today.  the photo really doesn't do it justice.  think i'll be making this one again soon though.  i have another celeriac just waiting to be used...

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

a day of wise words

today i have come across several quotes, from random sources, that gave me pause for thought :: enjoy!

"Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others." ~Buddha
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are."Anais Nin
I caught the happy virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.
It is remarkably contagious --
So kiss me. ~Hafiz
"want what you have and give want you want"
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. - Jim Morrison

Monday, 15 November 2010

opening the soul

"That which oppresses me, is it my soul trying to come out in the open, or the soul of the world knocking at my heart for entrance?"  Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, 14 November 2010

joyful spititual growth

"What if your drive to experience pleasure isn't a barrier to your spiritual growth? Consider trying out the hypothesis that cultivating joy can make you a more ethical and compassionate person. Imagine that feeling good has something important to teach you on a regular basis."  Rob Brezsny

Saturday, 13 November 2010

trying to believe

We are not here to make believe... we are here to believe we can make it. - Guru Singh

Thursday, 11 November 2010

oh, to be alive!

"Because you are alive, everything is possible." 

                                                              Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

the cost of local food

chris bodnar of glen valley organic farm in abbotsford, bc explains the true cost of local small scale sustainable food production. [chris' original blog post is reprinted in today - resist temptation to run to mkt looking for watermelon...!].  you'll never look at a watermelon in the same way...

Melon season arrived on the farm today and melons make me think of money. Prices, more specifically. And I've been thinking about prices and money a lot this week, after a CBC radio host commented on the cost of local, organic food . . . but more on that in a moment. I'm also thinking about watermelons.

Is the Local Food Movement Elitist?

article by Sharon Astyk

Local food is elitist! This trumpets from one paper or another, revealing that despite the growing preoccupation with good food, ultimately, it is just another white soccer Mom phenomenon. Working class people (who strangely, the paper and the author rarely seem to care about otherwise) can't afford an organic chicken or a gallon of organic milk! Ordinary people don't have time to make soup. Regular folk don't care about that stuff - that's for brie-sniffing folks, just the next rich people's food fad.

I can think of a few hundred refutations of this claim, of course. There are all of my readers who are low income and struggling and still eat real food. There are the people who buy from me, mostly neighbors, mostly not affluent *at all* - they just want good food. There's us - we qualify for food stamps in our state most years. We don't need them - we are awash in good food, but we sure as heck aren't affluent. There's the composition of the farmer's market in my town and in the nearby cities - and of the coop and other local food resources. There's Red Hook Farm in Brooklyn and the local food movement in urban Detroit, and every other inner city food movement. There's the way local food infrastructure has burgeoned in a thousand low income rural areas, where the exchange of food is part of what keeps people alive. There are the immigrant community gardens and the fact that plenty of poor parents cook every night. There's plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Monday, 8 November 2010

2011 foodie wall calendar

hot off the press....

my 2011 wall calendar is now available for purchase. a tasty delight for the eyes :: full of my local foodie photography. it is available online @ etsy & i will have copies @ the upcoming vancouver farmers market holiday market (dec 11 @ croatian cultural centre)

 perfect for your favourite foodie! 

also available for purchase online ::

new items are being added regularly...!

how do you define success?

november to remember - day 8 :: feeling successful, in the John Robbins context

"It is by loving the people that you love with your whole heart that you become who you really are."  John Robbins

clip from John Robbins recent talk in Kelowna, BC:

Sunday, 7 November 2010

november to remember

this is going to be a november to remember.  i am going to make it a november to remember. 

this past year has been full of unique opportunities & lessons.  my life was turned on its head when i was rear ended in a car accident in the fall of 2009.  at first, i thought i'd be able to shake it off in a couple of days.  turns out, not so much.  i have been deeply humbled by this experience of recovery.

i know that i am very lucky.  my injuries could have been much worse.  i am so very lucky to be part of a beautiful community that has rallied behind me and supported me in so many ways.  i am so very grateful for the friends who've cooked for me, washed dishes, cleaned my home, changed the kitty litter, walked my dog, helped me laugh, lifted & carried & reached, driven me to appointments, market & beyond, and been so very patient with my nervous nelly passenger ways, gardened for me so i could taste the freshness of life when i needed it most.   i am incredibly grateful for everyone who has helped me with my fundraising events, to my dear farmer friends for offering me beautiful organic foods to nourish me.  i am thankful to my dear friends for listening to me, never taking my wonky memory personally, for understanding it all.  i am so very grateful for the love.

i have so much love & respect for the amazing team of healers i am working with.  for the healing touch, the great care, for listening to me, for always helping me to be gentle with myself, for holding the space for my healing.  and, of course, for the endless conversations with ICBC.

i am grateful to the universe for always offering the lessons i need to learn.  i strive to receive them.

and so my healing process continues.  days filled with massage, physio, kinesiology and finding that balance of challenging myself without over doing it.  it is an illusive balance for me, but i continue to try & find it.

an important part of the healing process has been my creative process.  remembering that life is a creative process puts everything in a different light.  it brings joy to my heart.  everything - from the rain glistening on a crisp fresh apple, to a postage stamp on a letter, to chalk drawing with wee friends, to music drifting & filling, to transforming ugly memories simply by giving them a voice, to the sound of laughter, to the socks i wear, to the garden decomposing under the fall rain - it is all a creative process.

as i move through the layers of my healing process & recovery, i explore & envision what health & vitality looks like for me.  and work at created it.  i will share some of my thoughts & inspirations here.  food will always be a deep source of inspiration for me, i am a foodie to the bone, after all.  but, you will find more of a personal perspective on food these days, interwoven with my artwork & crafty & quirky ways.

and so it continues, ever evolving.