Monday, November 30, 2009

Food from this past week in whoville

Almond cookies. This is a Veganomicon recipe. I need to adjust it a little since I substituted the all purpose flour with some of my other flours (oat, rice, spelt). I'm still learning, and am determined to come up with a perfect cookie flour blend.

Two books arrived in the store this week, Flying Aprons Gluten-Free Vegan Baking Book & Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I've already mentioned the latter of these two, and I was certain that I would buy that book when it arrived, but then...the Flying Apron's book arrived. It looks like such a great book with so many delicious looking recipes.

The next time we go to Seattle, we're definitely going to the Flying Apron Bakery.

Another delicious item from our kitchen this week was a pumpkin risotto. I absolutely love risotto. I love making it, as well as eating it. This recipe is one of my favorites because the pumpkin makes the risotto so creamy. Now that we have daiya in our lives, we can also add a richer cheesey flavour, bringing it all together.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Toronto Humane Society President Speaks Out About Allegations - CityNews

Toronto Humane Society President Speaks Out About Allegations - CityNews

I am absolutely horrified by this news. This is exactly why we need strong animal cruelty laws so animals can be protected from such abusers.

I think it's a good time to remember this quote from Gandhi, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

We've got a long way to go, but I believe we're on the right road when we can recognize the acts taken by the Toronto Humane Society as criminal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

first volunteer days

Saturday I had my training day at Wildlife Rescue. We (there were 5 of us) were given a little more detailed tour of the buildings and what's what. Then we were shown some of the many duties that we get to perform while there.

We learned how to prepare meals for differnt birds following the "cookbook" I'd call it. There's no actual cooking, but just a detailed list of specific diets for each bird. We were each assigned a bird to prepare a meal for. I got a gull. Guess what? The gull does not get a seed mix like the other little birds. The gull gets chopped salmon & herring. Fortunately,  I didn't have to chop the fish...this time. That will be a learning experience since I've never cut up a fish before. An unlikely experience for a vegan, but it's all for the benefit of the birds.

Tuesday I started my first shift, working with a mentor. It was pretty exciting since it's all a big learning experience for me.

The walk from the main road into the park and to the sanctuary was nice. It's a beautiful park in the middle of Burnaby. The highway is on one side so there is some noise, but the deeper into the park you go, the less of that you hear. As I walked along the road I saw a great blue heron and (I'm pretty sure) a red-tailed hawk. I thought that was a good sign.

The first hour I spent stuffing envelopes since my mentor was out doing some releases. Then, when she returned we got to work cleaning out the pigeon aviary and getting them fresh food, grit & water. My first lesson was always wear rubber boots!  My old running shoes were great for comfort, but were pretty damp by the end of my shift.

My second lesson was bring disposable gloves for the aviaries since there's a lot of poop on everything! Gloves will also keep my hands dry while I hose everything down. Yup, it is glamourous work.

We also cleaned 2 other cages (a crow & a thrush), and prepared fresh meals & water for them as well.

Then it was more cleaning & tidying. As my shift is at the end of the day, we are expected to do all of the dishes, sweep up, and do the mopping for the next day's shifts. It is fairly busy even though this is considered a quiet time of year.

Just before we left, a woman was dropping off a heron with a broken leg (not the one I saw earlier that day). When we were leaving the attending vet was trying to work on a splint of some kind. Poor heron.

So far so good. I'm learning and loving it. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

David Perron Goal vs Islanders - November 21 2009

db and I really enjoyed this. The Blues with a win and this goal. I think my brother will enjoy this one too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wildlife Rescue.

I filled in a volunteer application with Wildlife Rescue (remember they were the organization that my last half marathon event supported). I was told that there aren't any positions open, but I could attend an info session that is necessary if I want to volunteer further down the road.

There were about 20 of us at the volunteer info session that lasted an hour. We got a tour of the buildings, and where the birds and mammals are housed until they can be released back into the wild. 

The volunteer coordinator said there was one volunteer position that just opened up on Tuesdays. I saw this as my chance. If I could get LV to give me Tuesdays off (thus slotting me into confirmed Mondays and Thursdays) then I could do this! Things were looking up. I could envision myself cleaning out cages, and doing laundry, mixing up diets for different birds and then doing the dishes. It's all very glamourous sounding I know. 
The coordinator suggested we sign up for the position if available, and she would draw names from the list. About half of the people there were signing up to be vehicle volunteers (i.e. they get a phone call to transport an injured animal to the center. I would do that if I had a vehicle. I can't really do that with a bike now can I?) The other half (the group I was in) were signing up for next week's 2 hour hands-on training session.  I signed that form and then flipped to the next sheet. No one had signed up for the volunteer position! I put my name at the top of the list. Sure I hadn't spoken to my boss yet, but I had to get my name in there.

When I got home, I had already received an email. It looks like I've got a volunteer position with Wildlife Rescue

I'm so excited. However, I wasn't excited about the required tetanus shot that I had to get yesterday.
Ouch! My arm still hurts. Fortunately, the doctor who gave me the shot is well practiced from giving so many H1N1 shots that her needle technique was excellent and I didn't even feel it (until later). Well, I'm covered for 10 years now. I think that should be sufficient for my stint at the Wildlife Rescue.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

vegan cookies

chocolate spice cookies fresh from the oven

Some dark cocoa, cayenne, and a cinnamon sugar topping make these the best cookies I've baked in a long time.
Where did I get the recipe? Where else? The PPK! Isa Chandra-Moskowitz even has a video of her making the Mexican hot chocolate snickerdoodle.

The rich chocolaty sweetness with the spicy was such a nice combination, and they had an excellent sugary crunch from the topping.  (Notice that I speak about these cookies in the past tense. Yup, they're gone).

I'm very excited about the new cookie book from Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero. As soon as our little store gets it in stock, I'm bringing it home, and will start baking asap.

It looks like a nice match for their Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World book, which appealed to me, but I knew if I bought it I wouldn't use it as much as it deserves. I like cupcakes occasionally, but cookies are what really appeal to me, so this is the book for me.

If you usually get cookies from me at Christmas, guess what's coming this year?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

whoville's backyard visitors

A Varied Thrush. Actually there were 3 of them flipping leaves over, looking for snacks. They seemed to be having some success. I have never seen them before, and had to look up their identity on this great bird ID site

A Northern Flicker flew into the yard amongst the Thrushes, causing them to scatter away. The Flicker then flew into the tree, leaving the Thrushes to continue flipping leaves over.
I was happy to see the Flicker because it's the second time I've seen them so close to the house. I hope it means they will return more.

Who's this little guy? He's pretty cute.

Prima disagrees. She pressed her head against the glass, keeping a close eye on the intruder.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Sesame Street: 12 And Pinball Animation

This is one of those songs that has always stayed with me. The power of Sesame Street. I couldn't remember the images until I watched it now, but the song always stayed with me.

Sesame Street 1-20 raga

Since it's the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street (Hey! We share the same anniversary year!) I thought I should post some of my favorites.
I must have learned to count from Sesame Street.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

There are always more mushrooms to be found.

We went for a short forest walk today. db wanted to check out a sort of cleared area not far from our house to see what we might turn up.

In the summer this whole area was so dry, I was skeptical that any mushroom would be able to thrive here.


However, after a few heavy rainfalls, and with the success we've had finding chanterelles, I realized how naive I really was. Mushrooms are everywhere.

Here's db finding some more Russulas. We seemed to be finding 3 types in this area of the forest and they were abundant.

It's now pretty late in the season, but we're still finding some reasons to stop and look at the forest floor.
What are these?

Honey mushrooms? We're not sure and we didn't bring one home for further identification (spore print). The "white stringy pith inside" (as it's described in my field guide) led me to believe it was a honey mushroom. And no we didn't take a bite out of one as the picture might suggest, but someone else did. Some little critter might have had a nibble.
I wonder if we would have found more if we checked the area more thoroughly?

I am really starting to love fall.

Wow! Fungi plant growth - The Private Life of Plants - David Attenborough - BBC wildlife

I just had to share this one. One day food for me...the next day food for...