Thursday, February 26, 2009

recent vegan creations

Two weeks ago I took a pen turning workshop and made these two pens. The woods are red and green dyed maple burl.
I've never really used a lathe before (okay once, but I had no idea what I was doing). The instructor was very good. He also teaches bowl turning as well. This was a nice introduction to the lathe.
The reddish pen is still a little fat for the pen kit, but it was my first try and I was a just learning how to apply the tools I was learning about. By the time I made the second pen, the green one, I had the hang of the tools and completed a better fit with the hardware so there's a smooth transition from hardware to wood.

I hope I get a chance to make some more.
Ah my socks. I finally finished them and can now wear them. It's nice to have woolly feeling socks without the wool. It's tough to find a good substitute, but I've been finding more and more lately.
I haven't worn socks that I've knit in a while. Now I know what they feel like and I think I could make some adjustments with this wool for a little snugger fit. I suppose it also depends on the pattern. I made db's socks in a ribbing pattern so they fit much snugger. This lace pattern is a little more loosely fitting.

I've had no complaints about the socks I made for my sister and she's been wearing them lots so they're holding up well.

Here's a side view for another angle on the pattern and with cat toys in the background of course since they are scattered everywhere. That's Prima's "hippy mouse."

Of course there's always food to be posted.

This is one of my favorite quick dishes to make. Chickpea and tofu curry with basmati rice. I put a little fresh chard on the top because I adore crunchy fresh greens with a warm curry or beans & rice dish. The chard was really delicious.

I'm about to do a detox again so there'll be no tofu for a month. Too bad, but I can still have all the legumes I want (except for soybeans of course) so I actually looking forward to coming up with some new veggie and bean creations.


It snowed yesterday! It snowed all over the crocuses and daffodil shoots. Big thick fluffy flakes filled the sky and it collected quickly on the houses, yards and cars.

The upside? This morning it is sunny and clear and the trees look beautiful draped in white again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday db and I went to Burke Mountain for a hike. db borrowed the car from work so we could go out for a hike on the weekend and it seemed that Golden Ears was inaccessible so we did a little research and found this gem of a park in our backyard.
We entered the park next to the Rifle Range. Hmm. Guess what? It's very noisy at the Rifle Range on a Sunday morning. I can't imagine wanting to head to the rifle range on a Sunday or ever really, but it seemed to be fairly busy. So anywho we headed onto a trail with the deafening sounds of popping gunfire following us for the first leg of our journey.

We headed up the Coquitlam view trail that was a bit of a climb, but the trail is fairly wide which is nice. Of course there were some pretty spectacular trees. I love how open the forest looks on the west coast because you see mostly tree trunks because the trees are so tall. Even though the forest floor was relatively dry looking there was quite a bit of snow on the trail. The snow was packed down so it wasn't too much of an issue (in my trail sneakers! I really need to get some hiking shoes). I could see tracks in the snow that I had followed from the park entrance: one set of human footprints and one set of dog prints. They weren't from that day, but it was kind of neat to keep encountering these footsteps every time we hit snow. Of course I started wondering about the person and dog and the trails they must hike together. It also occurred to me that the prints only went in one direction so that means the trail must hook up with one that leads out of the park. We didn't make it that far, but we went a good distance in.

The first clearing we came to was along the power line that is marked on the map by the black slashes cutting across the map. The view was pretty nice from there. We kept going until we eventually reached a creek that looked a little tricky to cross. The sound was wonderful though. We turned back from there.

It's nice to explore the parks in our area. I'm glad I didn't hear the report on the radio until this morning about the grizzly bears coming out of hibernation early this year. Okay that was hundreds of miles away from here, but know me I'm bear obsessed. Grizzlies aren't really spotted this far south, however, the park does list the Grizzly bear as one of the species that does pass through the park. Hard to imagine really, but I guess it's possible.

Anywho...I look forward to visiting other trails in the park. When my brother comes out this summer hopefully that's one of the parks we can check out, but away from the rifle range. We'll find a trail on the other side of the park.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Winnipeg Trailer

This is the first film we saw last night at the Port Moody film festival. Another wonderful film from Guy Maddin.

Examined Life - official US trailer

The Port Moody film festival screened this last night and I highly recommend it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

post race meal

After the race there was a food table as always and I fueled up there. I was really happy to see that Save-on-Foods was giving out full bananas (instead of the usual half) and Pete's tofu with fruit on the bottom. That was perfect. It was the first time I've seen tofu offered after a race. Usually there's yogurt, milk or something gross like that. I had peach tofu and it was delicious. We did go to a bistro in Fort Langley and have at a light lunch where we planned our dinner for that night.

db was in the mood for some Indian food and I'm always game for some curry so that's what we did after we got home.

On the plate:
Vegetable korma (made with coconut milk & soygurt instead of cream & yogurt)
db's unbelievably delicious red lentil dhal
basmati rice
chapati (db made the chapati gluten free and they were perfect.)

I also have some chutney and mango pickle on the plate, but we didn't make those. Oh no wait a minute, db did make the green tomato chutney last year. It was the last of the chutney since we didn't have any green tomatoes left over this year.

What a great way to end the day.

half marathon results

My time: 1:58
I placed 253 overall out of 695
Out of the women I placed 99th out of 413
In my age division 30-39, I placed 41 out of 132.

Not bad. Actually I'm really pleased that I ran the distance at all since I haven't run that far since my last race in October. Now I can start building on that for the next one in Vancouver in May.

After the race yesterday I ran into someone from my running room group who said they are training for the Marathon distance in Vancouver. I'll think it over this week. I know I could do it, but the question is: should I focus on my times for the half marathon and work on improving those?

I've got a week to think about that question since next Sunday the group is running 25k.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Run Vegan Run

Here are some photos from race day.

It was sunny and clear. Langley was a bit cooler than whoville, but I was dressed warmly enough and I knew once I got running I'd soon forget the cold.

The historic area of Langley (Fort Langley) is quite beautiful with big old homes and narrow tree lined streets. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly.

Here I am at the start line. I'm in the blue with the black touque (in front of the woman in the purple jacket). Woo hoo! It was chilly. My feet were frozen for about 15 minutes and then hurt as they thawed out.

The course is quite hilly. It rolls a lot and there are very few flat areas, but it is very picturesque and I loved the course in such beautiful weather. I put it up there after Tofino in terms of beauty. I had to keep stopping myself from looking at the scenery so I could focus on the run and not losing track of my pace. Other runners were stopping en route and taking photos of the views. Can't say I blame them.

Part of the course ran through a wildlife conservation area so I also got to see donkeys, a zebra and some llamas. The llamas were running which was pretty cool since I've never seen them do anything but stand there and chew. The enclosures for the animals were quite large so it didn't upset me to run through there (I hate seeing animals in pens). Of course being out in the country I also saw horses and even saw and eagle which was pretty cool.

Okay back to the photos...
db took this picture of the finish line before anyone arrived. The finish line was in the historic Fort which was pretty cool.
Runners take over the Fort! Each of the buildings were open to the public so you could read about the history of the area and the trading post.

I had to take some pictures of the chisels etc.

This is a view from the Fort's wall looking across at a church and those beautiful mountains.

Um...the drive home was fine, but oh the traffic! I don't see how building a 10 lane bridge is going to fix this problem, but what do I know.
Home sweet home in the distance here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

knit socks

I found this pattern via and tried it out with this wool (it's an acrylic/cotton blend). I made a pair of socks for my sister for Christmas and then made another pair for a friend of hers. I took a break and knit socks for db and now I'm back to this wool. I love it. It knits up so well. However, I didn't really want to do the same pattern (with variations) for a third time so I found another openwork pattern and have started more socks.

It's not as nice as the ribbon looking pattern (and the photo is a little fuzzy), but it's still a nice pattern.

I hope I get them done before summer.
Here's a post from Heathen Vegan that I follow that I thought I should share.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vegetable Love

Fat Free Vegan had a contest to create a Vegetable Love dish for Valentine's Day. The dish had to include at least one veg and be low fat vegan to go along with the blog hosting the contest. Readers get to vote for their favorite. I've been reading the blogs and recipes and am so inspired and in awe of the fabulous vegan cooks out there that are never afraid to try something new and unique or put a tasty spin on something traditional.

You really should check out the entries because they are so inspired. I really want to make the Spiked Sweet Potato Truffles and the Parsnip Dumplings. Oh yes, also the Eggplant Marsala and Vegetable Tian looks delicious etc etc. They all look good!

I wish I'd known about the contest earlier. Maybe next year if she holds the contest again I'll prepared something.

As for my cooking...

yesterday I did make
Double Chocolate Cookies from Veganomicon
They are delicious! Camino dark cocoa and camino chocolate chips make this recipe fair trade and organic as well.
I modified the recipe so it could be gluten-free. I'm starting to get the hang of mixing different flours (in this case I used: rice, sorghum and tapioca) for baking to acquire the right flavour. The All Purpose Gluten Free flour you can buy contains mostly Garbanzo flour which imparts a strong flavour so it's not the best for cookies.

Living Without magazine has guided me in the right direction for the best flour combos.

I've been snapping photos but not posting what I've been cooking.

These nut burgers were something I made a couple of weeks ago from the Nut Gourmet. Red Jane gave us this cookbook one year and it has some delicious recipes.

db and I were craving nut burgers and anything we've found on the supermarket shelves is not vegan. I said, "that's it. I'm making my own. How hard can it be?"
It's not hard. I did modify the recipe a little make it bind better, but that may have also made it too soft. I'm not sure. The burgers were a little soft even after cooking, but I think I can remedy that next time.

While I made the burgers, db made sweet potato fries. They were perfect.

I usually have my burger on a corn tortilla. I couldn't photograph that version of the burger though because you couldn't see the burger since the tortilla covered the whole thing so I snapped a photo of db's burger between some naan bread.

This recipe would probably make a nice non-meatball for some pasta as well.

Monday, February 09, 2009

support for a principal in small town N.B.

I just want to give my support to Erik Millet, the school principal, who chose to have his school sing the national anthem in assemblies as opposed to playing it over the intercom every morning.

If you don't know the story, you can watch the interview via the cbc website. The story is found here.

I think it's appalling that some people of Belleisle, New Brunswick have turned against him and even threatened him with physical violence. That to me is sickening and a very disturbing display of nationalism.

What is wrong with the picture? A school principal makes a change to school policy to try and accommodate more of its students and a few nasty people turn it into a near-lynching. Narrow-minded thinking is what it boils down to.

I feel sorry for the kids who are watching and learning from this ugly display. They too will be forced to take sides. Instead of learning about tolerance and inclusion they learn that the bullies win.


I have to admit that this story touches me personally and not just because I'm from N.B., but also because I know Erik Millet. I haven't spoken to him in several years, but I know if I called him up he would have the time for me. He's a generous and giving person and now this has happened to him. He chose a profession to work with children and now he's questioning if he can even go back to a job he loved. It's very upsetting.

What's most troubling is the threat of violence towards one person for something that is really quite a small incident. This is the problem with nationalism. It's nice to be patriotic towards your country and to be proud of where you are from, but it is disturbing when you turn that patriotism into something to be used to exclude people and judge them determining whether they are part of your nation.

On a related note: I'm tired of this bullshit that if we don't wave the flag at the right moment it's a sign that we "don't support the troops." That has nothing to do with anything! Of course I support men and women whose lives are on the line in a war (yes, it's a war -- not a mission -- it's a war), but I don't have to support the war.

BTW choosing to sing the national anthem or not does not ally you on one side or the other it just means you have the freedom to choose.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I was walking up the hill towards home thinking about how spring-like it feels today. As I approached the green belt area I wondered about the bears and when we'd be seeing them again. I also wondered why I even think about them since I never see any and all that I ever see around here are coyotes. Just as I thought that I hear a crack in the woods. I turned around and saw some greyish coloured legs moving. A coyote? More legs moving behind the first set. A whole row of coyotes? Then they came into view: four deer. They were walking down toward the road. Of course I stepped out into the road so the traffic would see me. I was afraid that the deer would dart out into the road and I wanted to slow the traffic. Fortunately, the area is also a school zone so the two cars coming up the hill were still going quite slow. The deer stopped on the sidewalk and waited for the car to pass. The second car turned into a driveway and then they went one after another. The last deer was the smallest and the most hesitant, but it followed the others into the wooded area next to the school. They were black tailed deer, but the small one made me think that maybe they were mule deer. I'm not sure. 

I don't know where they're going to go there's not much wooded area after that. I guess they might find something to eat closer to the creek. It was probably a tough winter for them because of all the snow we had. 

I did walk towards the school to see where they went. Of course I didn't have my camera on me, because I was just out for short stint and didn't think I'd need it. I could just glimpse them through the trees. One of them was watching me and I felt intrusive so I headed back up the hill. 

I do love living here. 

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I went to the Running Room group run tonight. There was a huge crowd of people when I arrived. The warmer drier weather sure brings people out. That's why I was there. I admit I'm a fair weather runner. I still know no one except H who I gave a nod to when I arrived. We were broken into our groups and I learned that we'd be running tempo run. There were two groups and I was shuffled into one of them, given directions and off we went.

I didn't know the streets that well and it was a pretty darkly lit area. A couple of people had headlights on. I stuck with the group, but wanted to keep near the front pacers. I followed not far behind one guy wearing a flashing bike-type light on his arm. There were two women further up ahead. I had to keep pace with them all just so I could make sure I was going the right way. The group had thinned out quite a bit by then. I couldn't hear anyone behind me anymore. Then suddenly we were stopped and one of the women was checking the directions. We started up again and then realized we were running the same loop we had just done. We stopped again to consult the directions and then we were relatively okay.

I kept pace with one woman who was at the front now. It felt good. I knew if I kept up with her I'd be okay. I also knew that if I was on my own I would have given up this pace by now.

In total I did just over 7 k with the partial run home as well.

The best part of a hard workout is the fabulous meal after, of course. db made a beautiful mix of roasted veggies, grilled tempeh, and steamed kale. It was a perfect meal after a great run.
In an earlier post I wrote about a paper doll book that my mom gave me when I was little. Well, thirty years later my mom read that post. Two days ago I received a package in the mail that contained three books, a sheet and a cardboard doll.

The books were: a reprint of the original I mentioned in my earlier post, this one on the left with stars from the forties, and a Bette Davis book of paper doll clothes.

The cardboard doll is also the same figure of Bette Davis with several outfits.
The Bette Davis book is a reprint from 1942 and the colours are true to the era. There's a page of her own clothing that comes complete with an Oscar you can attach to her. It's quite funny.

This final page is of cocktail dresses from different eras and different designers. There are more cocktail glass choices than dresses and I like that about this page. I can't imagine giving this to a little girl, but I suppose at a different time...

Of course I should have known that there was a world of paper doll collectors out there with everything under the sun reprinted and published.
The publisher included a paper doll catalogue that really has every celebrity covered (or I guess uncovered until you choose the outfit) from Betty Grable to Roy Rogers to Princess Diana to the Dionne Quintuplets. One book in particular stands out. It's called "Holy Habits" and is a set of paper dolls that includes "ten habits with descriptions of the religious habit and charism of each order." Ah yes, there is a paper doll for everyone out there somewhere.

Lullabies for Little Criminals

I wrote a brief review at the Bookworm Collective if you're interested.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Saturday was a fairly nice clear day. A good day for a run if I hadn't been working all day. I knew Sunday's weather forecast was rain, but I thought if it's not too bad and just drizzling a little then I'll go out in it. I had 15 k to run and I'd really rather run outside.

Sunday morning not only was it raining, but it had snowed a bit so there was a slushy mess out there and the rain was pelting down working on washing the snow away. So I called my mom, then had brunch and watched some tennis (we had taped the men's final) while I was knitting. The rain did not let up even a little. the gym.

Another 15 bucks, but I have to get my run in. The treadmills weren't very busy so I just kept going and got in 12 k before I ran out of time because the gym was closing at 5 pm. I didn't get the full distance in but I certainly felt like I could have run the full distance. I wanted to but the time factor prevented me.

I felt pretty good overall. My pace was good. I'm still quite a bit slower than last season, but I think I can still do the half in under 2 hours. I know once I get there on race day I'll be motivated and I'll pick out someone to keep pace with.

Wednesday (weather depending again) I'm hoping to go out with the running group even though it's in the evening. It's good motivation and I can try and keep pace with the front runners which is fun. I think a group run would be a good idea at this point.