Welcome to Life, Inspired — The Weekend Review. This is the 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.
Merry, Happy Holidays to You!
Whatever you believe, and however you celebrate the holiday season, I hope this has been a time of relaxation and enjoyment for you. And, looking ahead, best wishes for 2015!
It’s been quiet in my little corner of the interwebs this past week, and that’s just as it should be. Tuesday night was my family Christmas dinner here, just a simple, traditional meal with the people I love most, followed by the opening of presents. Spending this time with a four-year-old and a three-year-old added just the perfect sprinkle of magic to the occasion. Is there anything better than watching little children open and savour their gifts?
On Christmas morning, my daughter Jenn delighted me by making a recipe from the blog, Breakfast Bread Pudding. How thoughtful was that? I have to say, my food tastes even better when someone else makes it for me!
I’ve spent little time on the computer the past week, so there’s no ‘around the web’ feature here today, and I only published one post. Instead I’ve been reading, walking, working on this 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle (and visiting Paris vicariously) and generally just enjoying some downtime.
Over the past few days traffic has been low on the blog, which tells me that many of you have been focused on things more important than catching up on the latest news on your screen. Perhaps, like me, you’ve appreciated a lull away from the computer and the usual pace of life (or perhaps you’ve been out exhausting yourself at the post-holiday sales?).
My Morning Walks
We had a green Christmas this year in London (that’s Canada’s London, by the way) with highly unseasonal warm temperatures. This is in stark contrast to last year when we were hit by streamers off the lake that dumped two to three feet of snow on us in late November, and it lingered until April. In fact, yesterday the high was 7℃, so I’ve been able to get some good walks in. Here is just one photo of the winter beauty that I’ve come across in the past week, a gold and red stand of sumac on the edge of a ravine. It seems fitting for the holiday season, wouldn’t you agree?
I’m an enthusiastic participant in the National Post’s Gastropost section. They invite readers to submit photos on the theme of weekly missions (often based on puns, which I adore), and then publish a double-page spread of them every Saturday. I’ve been one of their Early Mission participants for some time now, having an opportunity for my photos to be used in the announcement of upcoming missions. It was a thrill on Christmas Eve to see that they used my ginger and sour cherry puffs photo to announce the upcoming “Now That’s Entertainment” mission. I was even more jazzed to see that the photo, along with my ever-so-fetching Gastrosketch, was the cover of their Facebook page!
Next week I’ll be back to business as usual, and you’ve probably already guessed there will be more idulgence in healthy food than there has been lately. To me, that’s just part of the natural cycle of getting back on track after a time of more rich food than usual, a.k.a. holiday eating. There’s no guilt or shame about that — I enjoyed every bite.
Did you notice that I said “indulgence in healthy food”? How’s that for a paradigm shift? When you really think about it, what could be more indulgent that enjoying tasty food that also happens to be good for you? (With maybe one of those chocolate mint smoothies that I found in my stocking for dessert, oh yeah.) Anyway, in keeping with this line of thought, this morning I dusted off (literally) the juicer, and I’m writing this post while sipping on a glass of fennel-celery-cucumber-carrot-lemon-ginger juice. And you know what? It’s really good! Even my four-year-old Little Miss, who told me she doesn’t like vegetable juice, conceded that it smells good.
This week’s post proved to be popular. It was a review of The Messy Baker Cookbook by Charmian Christie. Charmian is a fellow Canadian food blogger, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times. This is a great cookbook, and I know I’ll use it many times (I made the scones below from her recipe). Check out my post to see why I think you should buy a few copies!