Welcome to Life, Inspired — The Weekend Review, a weekly column where I take a step back from the recipes so you can have a wider look at what’s been inspiring me, moving me, or just catching my fancy out there in the life beyond my kitchen. This week there’s also something that scares me.
My Morning (Non) Walks
The snow and ice arrived at the beginning of the week. That, combined with a number of commitments (or you could call them excuses), conspired to thwart my usual outdoor exercise. In my own defence, there was also fear.
I have a history when it comes to walking on ice. Three times since the tender age of 35 I’ve fallen on black ice and broken bones. The first time was a mere crack of a wrist. Little did I know it would be the least of my orthopaedic misadventures. My next Olympic-quality backflip resulted in a shattered elbow and fractured arm, and surgical installation of a toolbox in my elbow. Finally (and I mean finally), two years ago a walk to the corner store on a sunny February morning was interrupted by another black ice ambush. For the squeamish among you, let me just say that my left wrist was shaped like the letter between R and T. I managed to avoid surgery, but looking at my somewhat warped wrist now, I’m not so sure of the wisdom of that decision. The good news is, everything works more or less as it should and doesn’t trouble me too much.
So, the arrival of snow is the signal that I need to get back to the gym instead of my regular outdoor walks. (Um, okay, I’ll get right on that.) But that doesn’t mean I can’t find outdoor beauty right outside my door. Like this.
Earlier this year I discovered the Gusto television network and their lineup of many Australian- and British-based cooking shows. One of my new favourites is Nigel Slater’s Simple Cooking. I’ve read a couple of his books already, including the memoir Toast: The Story of a Boy’s Hunger. I find his television shows the kind of comforting viewing that soothes me at the end of the day. Slater talks about and prepares food almost reverentially and the series is beautifully shot. Just the thing I like to watch when I want a new take on food, calmly and gently presented.
I was flipping through the December 2014 issue of Food and Wine magazine and found “A Slightly Self-Serving Guide to Buying Holiday Wine.” What can I say, it made me laugh (quite the feat for a flowchart). I tried to find a link online, but no luck. If you get a chance, check it out!
I dream of cooking. I dream of going to France. So, it’s not a surprise that the book Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah is on my wish list. (Oh dear, that sounds like a hint, but it’s really not. My wish list is for myself. 😊
Around the Web
Here are a few interesting posts that have caught my attention around the interwebs lately.
Aimée from Simple Bites shared this moving story of homecoming.
Here’s something new to me that I found on the Canadian blog Friday is Cake Night. I’m intrigued; what’s your reaction?
Do you have big-Hollywood-production cake paralysis? This simple but appealing cake on I Sugar Coat It (yet another Canadian blog, and why not, I ask?) proves that simple can be spectacular.
I like to educate myself about different types of diets and food restrictions, both to increase my own awareness and so I can feed my family and guests safely and respectfully. Now, by “diets” I don’t mean weight loss schemes, but what I think of as systems of eating which can be based on health needs, religious requirements or personal philosophy. (In case you’re wondering, I would categorize my own diet as omnivore/flexitarian and real foods-based.) I’m curious about what a raw foods diet comprises, and to learn more I’m turning to this stunning blog from Prince Edward Island:
In case you missed them, I posted two recipes on the blog this week. The first was the braised beef ribs with red wine cream sauce that I entered into the Great Cream Challenge in October, and the second was elfin brownie bites to get you in the make-ahead holiday spirit.