Monday, April 30, 2007


Frontal nudity
Masked only by a blossom
Delicate petal.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Quite a number of months ago I promised Cheryl I would post something Norwegian, food wise that is, as she was exploring her ethnic heritage through food. Now Norwegians aren't world renowned for their fine cuisine, but what they do extremely well is pastries. Krumkake is no exception. Okay, I admit this isn't the most practical recipe because unless you have a Krumkake iron, you are pretty much hooped.

For those of you who have never heard of Krumkake, it is a delicate, thin, crispy cookie made from an egg-based batter. I love them, particularily because they look fancy but are extremely easy to make. They are peeled hot off the iron and while still pliable, rolled either around a cone-shaped tube or a wooden spoon. If you've ever had the crispy Italian Pizzelle, then you've had something very similar, although the Norwegian version is much thinner and traditionnally flavoured with cardamom. They are either eaten plain, or sometimes, for special treats, filled with whipped cream and lingonberry sauce.


2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
*beat for about 5 minutes (until very thick)
1 1/4 C flour
1/2 tsp cardamon
3/4 C heavy cream

Add flour mixture alternately with cream to the sugar mixture. Heat Krumkake iron to moderately hot. Drop about 1 Tbsp of batter on iron, cook about 30 seconds on each side. Peel cookie from aron and roll with a wooden spoon. Let cool. (They harden in a couple of minutes.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Newest Project

Anyone who knows me knows how crazy I am about antiques. The trouble is, one can only collect so many before running out of space or before they amount to not much more than clutter. Lately I've been trying to avoid that problem through incorporation. My latest in this strategy are two stained glass windows that were rescued out of an old house before it was demolished. They initially were in pretty tough shape. As they had originally been outside windows, putty had been used between the lead to help compensate for expansion due to temperature changes, particularly in the winter. This resulted in the lead barely holding some of the joints together once I had popped them out of their frames. They also had old paint on them from the original frames. But my father helped me carefully clean them up. We tried to resolder in some areas, but not with very much success (nothing sticks to putty and as it was underneath the lead...well, I'm sure you can see the difficulty). The final part of my project was completed by a professional. He created new boxes and installed two brand new transoms. Although you can't quite tell from this photo, they do look very nice when the light streams through.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

When I am Dead

When I am dead and nervous hands have thrust
My body downward into careless dust;
I think the grave cannot suffice to hold
My spirit 'prisoned in the sunless mold!
Some subtle memory of you shall be
A resurrection of the life of me.
Yea, I shall be, because I love you so,
The speechless spirit of all things that grow.
You shall not touch a flower but it shall be
Like a caress upon the cheek of me.
I shall be patient in the common grass,
That I may feel your foot fall when you pass.
I shall be kind as rain and pure as dew,
A loving spirit 'round the life of you.
When your soft cheeks by perfumed winds
are fanned,
'Twill be my kiss ~ and you will understand.
But when some sultry, storm bleared sun has set,
I will be lightning if you dare forget.

~John G Neihandt

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dreams of Tuscany

As I sit here waiting for spring to truly settle in (spring is here, but extremely temperamental this year), I have to admit that all truly looks more golden under the Tuscan sun...even the December Tuscan sun.

As much of Italy seems to move at a frenetic pace, once arriving in Tuscany, movement almost ceases entirely. Existence begins. Life flows seamlessly and effortlessly. It is a place to forget and just be.

Above is the view I had from my hotel room, a fifteenth century well preserved monastery. Inside frescoes enrich the ceiling and the stone steps are uneven and worn, I presume from many a year of monks passing through. At five every evening the bell in the neighbouring chapel would clang wildly as if life itself depended on it, sending the doves roosting in the bell tower off on a mad frenzy over the village. But even in the midst of this predictable sudden chaos, there was an undeniable calmness and beauty. It is so easy to loose oneself here, melt into the surroundings and simply exist.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Good Old Lear

Then they for sudden joy did weep,
And I for sorrow sung,
That such a king should play bo-peep,
And go the fools among.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Today I Am...

Mint Green

Balanced and calm, you have mastered the philosophy of living well.
Your friends seek you out for support, and you are able to bring stability to chaotic situations.
You're very open and cheerful - and you feel like you have a lot of freedom in life.
Your future may hold any number of exciting things, and you're ready for all of them!

Thanks JBelle for directing me to this site. I will get back to more regular posts soon (hopefully). I've been frightfully busy (or, as I'd rather say, creatively preoccupied).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Boy with the Incredible Brain

I found this facinating video over at Fede's site Strayed, Uncorrelated Thoughts. If you have the time, I highly recommend watching it. It's about an extremely high functioning savant, Daniel Tammet. He first came to worldwide attention in March 2004 on International Pi Day when he recited, from memory, Pi to 22,514 decimal places. The event took over five hours and he set a new European record. He used this event to raise funds for the National Society for Epilepsy because it was after a series of childhood seizures that he developed his extrodinary number and memory abilities.

Daniel is highly articulate which is unusual as most savants also exhibit severe disabilities. Thus he is invaluable to science as he is able to describe what is going on in his head while he is making massive caculations. In addition to his number and massive memory skills, he also has exceptional language skills. He speaks over seven languages fluently and at the end of this documentary he is put to the ultimate test as he attempts to learn Icelandic in just 7 days and then appear on national television. Watch to find out what happens.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Things I Love about Nelson # 4: Unbridled Creativity

As I was driving down the street today, I passed a rather unkempt hippy flowing, almost dreads, but not quite; several years worth of beard growth; four bottles of what could only be moonshine creatively strung together and slung over his shoulders. The out of town guest who was with me commented, "I must remember to always have my camera on me when I'm in Nelson. They all seem to come out in the spring, don't they?" Honestly, why wouldn't they? ...whoever that they refers too. The weather has been fabulous and it certainly has brought me out.

Anyways, less than a block later, we passed a couple, a very different sort of appearance than the first fellow. They were carrying a bottle of wine and some sort of casserole dish. They were obviously on their way to a potluck...another very popular activity in these parts. All this to say that's part of what I love about this area...we actually do have ALL types and we all seem to be comfortable enough in our own skin to be open to interaction with those who may be quite different than ourselves.

This openness to exchange of ideas and cultures is probably what has made this area a mecca for artsy types. Nelson is known for their potters (and I'm not talking the marijuana type, although there's that too), painters, theatre types, creative street entertainers, musicians, you name it. To humour you all, one of these days I will venture out with my camera to document "a day in the life of..."

Speaking of all the artsy types that come from this area, I was recently introduced to the music of a musician who hails from the area that might be worth a listen: Shawn Hlookoff. He's young, and that does show through in his music. However, what I particularly like is his acknowledgement that music has a powerful influence on society and his desire to use it as a medium for positive change. In his own words, "My goal is to write songs that have some sort of positive message or meaning that gets ingrained in a persons psyche. I want to tap into the mind of someone who's struggling through life and change their pessimistic view into optimism."

Very lofty goal, indeed. He also says that he wants to "use music as a voice for people who don't have the power to get their voice heard, or to help all those unromantic bastards get some action. " Okay, so I guess we can't be deep all the time, and he is, afterall, only 22. If you are interested in checking out some of his music, you can have a listen to quite a number of his songs on his official website. Happy listening.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Things I Love about Nelson # 3 - Whitewater Ski Resort and Whitewater Cooks

Burdockboy over at False Sense of Security has recently been so kind as to bring the following article from the New York Times on a little gem of the Kootenays to my attention. Thus I thought I too would take the time to highlight a relatively new, little known cookbook that has quickly become one of my all time favorites. The cookbook is "Whitewater Cooks."

Whitewater, for those of you unfamiliar with the area, is a tiny local ski resort tucked up tight in the Selkirk mountains about a fifteen minute drive from Nelson. It is not large, but boasts some of the best powder skiing in all of BC. But aside from the skiing, its little cafeteria, the Fresh Tracks Cafe, serves probably the best food of any ski resort in North America. For years I have wondered how other ski resorts could get away with charging outrageous prices for nothing more than a greasy burger and fries when I could purchase a delicious, healthy meal at Whitewater for much less. If you don't believe me, just ask the locals. So good is the food here, that often locals who don't ski will make a trip up to the hill just for lunch. Who wouldn't. Even their burgers beyond the ordinary. One of their best sellers, the Fancy Pants Burger, is piled with chèvre, caramelized onions, roasted garlic aioli, tomatoes, bacon and spring greens. Or if burgers aren't your thing, try one of their fabulous bowls or Whiskey Smoked Salmon Chowder, Lemony Lentil Soup or Pad Thai, Rumour has it that their 'Famous Burger Sauce' is worth the price of the book alone.

For more information on this cookbook, check out the following link by Amazon. By clicking on the "search inside" icon in the top left hand corner, you can see a few pages inside the cookbook as well as a few of their soup recipes. Bon Appetit!