Tart

Source: marthastewart.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Just made this. It’s a favourite holiday loaf. I like loafs because they require two bowls, no electric mixing devices and little patience. Just measure, mix and pour. This particular recipe requires that you like a bit of tartness (or a lot of tartness, depending on your tart-tolerance). My two year-old eats around the cranberries and makes the most adorable sour-face when she misses. Hours of family fun.

I always add about 1/4 cup more milk to make the batter a bit looser. Not sure it’s necessary but it helps when pouring into the loaf pan and makes me feel like everything’s ok in the world.

Now for the Charlie Brown Christmas tunes and David’s Peppermint tea…

Nearly Four

I’ve been having thoughts about re-kindling the Champagne Wednesdays blog.

Perhaps it was last nights glass of Blue Mountain at Hawksworth? Something about the near-but-not empty lounge at 4pm on a weekday, the handsome husband sitting across from me, the lack of complimentary nuts (someone needs to report these deficiencies!), the snow-umbrella weather?

We have a new bubble-baby working her way to the surface. She is expected to make her grand arrival in the next couple of weeks.

We also have a big move on the horizon. I like to keep things busy when I’m expecting.

I shall see what comes of my attempted revival…until then, drink up!

After all, ’tis the season.

 

And the cupcakes were…

Last week, Ash and I went to our halfway ultrasound to meet our little…girl! To celebrate, we hosted a small dinner party with two pre-purchased boxes of pink and blue cupcakes to unveil at dessert. It was a moment I will always remember when we flipped the lid open, revealing 4 frosted pink cupcakes, and everyone screamed. I am so glad we did it that way.

The ultrasound photos showed us a healthy, upside down, thumb sucker (who happens to be kicking me as I type this). She may or not have the exact same profile as Ash (I think she does).  I have to admit, the day after our ultrasound, as exhilerated and breathless as I was with the idea of having a daughter,  I was a little sad too for the little boy who almost was - we spent so much time imagining both a girl and a boy. 

But now my thoughts are full of girl – and all the wonders that entails. There are so many things I want to do, show, give, experience with our little girl,  including the Saturday night we spent walking the seawall at English Bay and our beautiful Sundays on the patio and how much I love her father.  

Photos from Etsy Sellers OneLifeJewelry and SeaUnicorn.

This week (18)

Off to Saskatchewan this week. The edge of the Canadian shield. To see the lines laid out where Jaimie and Al will build a house. To put my feet in cool lake water. To see what half a bison in a freezer looks like, finally.  

On Saturday, Ash felt his first kick, strong as a buffalo butting its head into a gate.   Thankfully, baby was not poisoned by all the sour milk we were drinking. An important lesson learned: switching brands does not mean milk should taste that funny. It’s like we don’t know what anything should taste like anymore…except for vegetables.  Crisp and clear in my mind have returned all those carrots, cucumbers and peas picked from my parent’s concrete backyard in East Vancouver. Now more than ever, those childhood memories returning, as if the best parts of me are being chosen and stitched into this life inside.      

Just over two weeks until our midway ultrasound. Are you a boy or a girl? I want to know but I love the mystery of you all at the same time.

J

Photo from Bliss.

Champagne in the belly…

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Tiny bubbles bursting in slow motion against my muscles. A light percussion under my skin. There you are. And here I am. At 15 weeks, I finally have the urge to post again. An urge nearly as strong as the fatigue that pushed against my every step like a strong wind for weeks. I wake this morning to a  clearer understanding of the lifespan of fruit, clinging with all its might to the fingertip of a tree, growing heavier every second with the fullness of its own perfection.   

Then,  a card in the mail from a perfect friend. She is right. The glowing comes slowly, but all that orange fire on the horizon has me sitting as still as a child in a boat. Morning moves into place, and suddenly I am somewhere near the afternoon of this pregnancy.  I welcome myself back with words while I have them. So much of this perfection is unwritten amazement.

I hope and plan to get back to posting. I have missed this little place.  

Card from Curly Girl Design (http://www.curlygirldesign.com/)

Signs of Spring at the Wilson’s

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Buds on the trees and a different coloured poppy everyday. It’s true. I planted. I bought some $2.00 plants at home depot, dug a few holes, carefully opened the roots, plopped them in the holes and ta-da. Then it rained, and instead of being grumpy, I thought about how convenient it was to have a built in watering system.  These days, however, the city is unabashedly sunny. The orange of this particular poppy can be seen all the way down the block. I am pretty sure my neighbours are jealous of my obviously advanced horticultural skills. Even the neighbour with her own gardening blog. OK, not quite.

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Another sign of spring? Popsicles.

Favourite green places in Vancouver

Earth day…like as opposed to Seceratary’s Day or Mother’s Day? I have to admit, I am not the biggest fan of  ”days.” Holidays are one thing but random days that hardly anybody knows about until it’s all over CNN as you sit there with your morning coffee feeling like crap because it’s not fair trade just seems a little easy. Especially for a topic like the earth, which is of paramount importance every day (and indicative in every choice you make from that second latte in the to-go cup at the coffee stand to the time you get in your car and drive yourself home). I could go on, but I won’t. All I know for sure (to steal a line from Oprah, who is curiously silent on subject of green) is that I have started making shifts in my day-to-day life that not only make me worthy of an Earth day button but actually feel very right. Looking to see where my produce was grown (Chile? too far! BC? I’ll take it!).  Buying organic pillows so that my husband can sleep through the night without severe allergies. The simple act of bringing reusable bags to the grocery store.  I like all of it. I know there is so much more my family can do and we are definitely growing in that direction – not just for one day, but one day at a time.

M Smart Designhttp://www.m-smartdesign.com/ Not only is this store dedicated to carrying organic products, but the owner is passionately knowledgable about everything she sells. Watch for this stores’ upcoming move from Park Royal to the edge of the newly fashioned design row on Beatty Street (also home to Chambar and Provide). Re-opens May 31st at 163 W.Hastings St.

Trout Lake Farmer’s Market http://www.eatlocal.org/markets.html      All I can say is – is it May yet???? If you’re not in the East end, click through to find a farmer’s market near your neighbourhood, though by July, I don;t think there is a more festive or busy market than the one at Trout Lake.

Little Nest http://www.littlenest.ca  Though this place is best known for its “parent friendly” atmosphere, do not be scared away if you’re looking for somewhere to read the paper over organic fare. The free-range eggs are pumpkin organge and the organic multigrain bread is always fresh. Fair trade coffee makes it all go down nicely (friendly little visitors or not!). 1716 Charles Street on Commercial Drive

Be happy. Be Green.

Jen

How to Mac a Chick Pea

Hope you all had a nice weekend! Ever since Friday, when Ash and I served homemade Coq au Vin to our wonderful friends, I have been on a recipe rampage. Tonight I’m making Chana Punjabi with the spice kit my mother bought Ash from Vij’s Rangoli. I found the recipe on the blog,  The Wednesday Chef, who writes: “I have been rendered mute by a chick pea.” What a great sell.

Also, I read this post recently on the blog of food writer, Dorie Greenspan. Very Champagne Wednesdays, don’t you think? This weekend, for the first time in so long, we pulled our little grey, wicker loveseat out to our front patio to enjoy the spring weather with home-fried pot stickers and edamame. The sun, much like a good bottle, should never be saved. We find Stella Artois in our fridge hard to save as well.

MacBook
MacBook

Lastly, much excitement in our home about the recent purchase of one of these babies! I am hoping it means big things to come for Champagne Wednesdays and a few other projects we have in the works. That’s one of the things I love most about life with Ash – we have so many great ideas together, the best of which happened one year ago this week.