Welcome to the weekend at the cottage! Here are a few things that have been happening around here lately, including some of what’s caught my eye out there on the internet. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some reading and browsing.
Clearly I’ve been challenged sticking to a weekly schedule for the Urban Cottage Weekend. I’m hoping to get back to more regular publication, especially since I’ve received positive feedback from readers who enjoy this feature. On the bright side, the fact that it’s been over two months since the last UCW means I have a lot of goodies to share here today.
Out & About: A Photo Journal
Close to Home
Here are a few of my favourite ‘out and about’ photographs over the past couple of months.
At the Lake
I spent a few days at the cottage in early September, and the weather ran the gamut from sunny and bright to dark and stormy. The dramatic changes to the sky and water are part of the attraction of the beach, but so are the unexpected things I find on my morning walks along the shore. I also had the chance to visit the farm market I so enjoy.
In the Okanagan Valley
In September I was able to fulfill a longtime dream and travel to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia for the first time. The purpose of my trip was to attend the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers Workshop, which was one of the most worthwhile conferences I’ve participated in. In addition to everything I learned about writing from some of the top editors and writers in Canada, the event was also a celebration of Okanagan food and wine.
After the workshop I stayed with an old friend who toured me around Kelowna, and also met up with someone I’ve come to know through the blog who was kind enough to take me to Peachland, a lovely town south of Kelowna. I ended my trip by renting a car and striking out on my own for a couple of days, travelling to Osoyoos, through the Similkameen Valley and along the Naramata Bench. All in all, it was one of my best and most memorable trips ever.
It was hard to select only a handful of photos for this post, but others will likely show up here and there from time to time.
Back at Home
I don’t need to be away to find interesting things to photograph. I’m still walking and finding eye-catching things right here at home. Sometimes, those scenes even present themselves right at my door.
I’ve adopted another cat! A kitten in fact, another boy orange tabby. He was 13 weeks old when I picked him up after my trip. His name is Chili Pepper, although I mostly call him Chili, and sometimes Chili P. He and Kalonji getting along well, although Kalonji’s behaviour has deteriorated since the pipsqueak came onto the scene. Hoping that will all smooth out one of these days. In the meantime, it’s fun (mostly, lol) having a kitten in the house.
Photography Presentation: Drab to Fab
As I’ve mentioned before, I volunteer for the London Community Resource Centre, an organization that administers community gardens in London and also does community work related to food security issues. I’m on their social media team, and photograph and live-report their cooking classes. LCRC invited me to present tips for food and nature photography for their volunteers, community gardeners and any interested community members. That presentation led to another invitation, this time a few weeks later for the London Creative Age Network.
Basically, my presentation covers how I improved my photography from the poor quality evident in the early posts on this blog to the point that I’m at now, using a point-and-shoot camera or smart phone and free editing tools.
Around the Web
If you’re a fan of Ina Garten, you’ll enjoy this article
Because we all should know how to make a cookie basket from a paper plate
Need to find some inspiration?
My blog posts since the last issue of Urban Cottage Weekend capture the transition from summer to fall. And that’s as it should be, since real food follows the seasons. The recipes include: Scrambled Eggs with Corn Salsa; Three Versions of Nice Cream; Lentil, Corn & Cauliflower Salad; a corn recipe roundup; Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies; Lentil & Broccoli Salad; Pumpkin Spice Blend; and Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding with Pumpkin Butter Sauce (wish I had some right now!).
In addition, special posts included a weekly meal plan for the summer to fall transition, a tour of the Urban Cottage kitchen, and a post about my make ahead Thanksgiving dinner.