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.
Baby It’s Cold Outside!
Here’s the view from my kitchen window this morning at 9:30. You know, after it started to warm up. And that’s without any windchill factored in! On the other hand, it’s a brilliantly sunny morning, and I can forgive just about any temperature if the sun is shining (and it’s not humid). Apparently I’m quite picky about my meteorological preferences.
Still, sunshine or not, minus 28℃ is just a bit much. Or would that be a bit not much? Whatever, it’s cold! This is chillblain- and frostbite-inducing weather. Seriously, exposure can be very dangerous in such temperatures. I shovelled my side deck and in just a few minutes my fingers were red and painful beneath my gloves. Of course, I should have worn snowmobile-type gear for the job, instead of my everyday winter gloves. Um, yes, I do know better.
The Week That Was
Despite my good intentions, my poor blog had to limp along without me last week. My life has been more or less consumed with all things real estate. You see, I’m going to be moving house in the near future, which means Life Through the Kitchen Window will be operating out of its third location.
I’ll tell you more about it later, once things are settled, but for now life has been a blur of open houses, touring with my agent, constantly monitoring the real estate app on my phone, and the thrills and disappointments of making offers and having them fall through. If you’ve been there, you know what that’s like: you make a logical and emotional commitment to a potential new home, agonize over the details of the offer, and then … someone else’s offer was accepted. My past experience has taught me that each time I didn’t get the house I wanted, something even better was out there waiting for me, but still, in the moment, a failed offer is a bitter pill to swallow, if only because that means the all-consuming hunt continues.
The flip side of buying a new house is preparing your current home for sale. So tell me, why is it that we can live with minor imperfections until it’s time to sell a house, and then we bring out the paint, replace the weathered mailbox, toss the clutter and so forth? How many times have I said, “Damn, this place looks good now. Why are we leaving?” Showings won’t start here for another week, and then I’ll have to be vigilant at all times to ensure my house looks like no-one lives in it, not to mention keeping it show-ready so I can decamp at a moment’s notice for viewings.
And the hardest part of the whole exercise? Our stager tells me I can only have one small appliance on my kitchen counters. ONE! That’s like being asked to choose my favourite child. I do like my kitchen gadgets, and right now I have a restrained selection of six sitting out. I’ve whittled the list down to two contenders: my KitchenAid stand mixer and my new love, a ruby red Vitamix blender. After much debate, I’ve decided my top choice is the Vitamix because I like to make my own almond milk and I haven’t figured out how to milk almonds by hand. <groan>
But, I may just rebel and leave them both out. If I’m whining in six weeks that my house hasn’t sold, we’ll know who to blame, won’t we?
Toonies for Tummies Reminder
Children going to school hungry is a serious issue, and it happens in every community and for all sorts of reasons. Sadly, being hungry also adversely impacts a child’s performance in school. Did you know that a toonie is all it takes to fill a hungry tummy? You can donate at participating grocers in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, or online at www.tooniesfortummies.ca until February 19. You can see more information in my post from February 4, or on their website. Don’t forget to check out their engaging video, too — it just takes a minute!
Around the Web
Is it any wonder that kitchen organizing is on my mind? I know potential home buyers will be opening my cupboards. Eek! This tips from The Kitchn will help.
I know, I’m all about real food and avoiding processed ingredients as much as possible. But can we make an exception for peanut butter cups? (Okay, I can make my own, but that’s another story.) I’m a huge crème brûlée lover (ok, not huge in the sense of having eaten too much crème brûlée, but in the sense of I almost always order it for dessert). And crème brûlée with peanut butter cups? I found this stroke of mad genius on the Canadian blog Dinner with Julie and couldn’t resist sharing it with you!
Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, or what one of my friends calls Singles Awareness Day, let’s focus on showing the love to the special people in our lives because we want to, not because the calendar says today’s the day. Food Bloggers of Canada published several Valentine’s Day recipe roundups last week, and the collection of breakfast ideas caught my eye. Check it out!