The Colours of an Afternoon Stroll

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

After a fairly productive morning attending to the usual necessities of daily life, I felt the urge to pick up my camera and fill my creative juices with the beauty around me. I began my walk on this warm, unclouded summer afternoon with the thought that I would only find a handful of photos. I ended my walk with 118. Cleary, my eye had not been previously aware of the bevy of wonderful flora and fauna that was abounding on my usual walk.

I found it quite pleasing to group the photos according their colour, as somehow I can assimilate the beauty of nature’s true colours more accurately this way.

I was also pompous in the thought that I was fully educated in my knowledge of all the flora that I encounter on my daily strolls. I am now of the realization that I should perhaps make a jaunt to the library and read Plants of Coastal British Columbia in order to identify what I am photographing. This ignorance of flora was embarrassingly evident when I launched my hand into a patch of stinging nettle whilst groping for my croquette ball during a Saturday match in the park. That was 4 days ago, and it is just beginning to feel slightly more normal after numbness had been radiating throughout my palm. Best make the trip to the library a priority. 



Moroccan Mint Tea

Saturday, June 14, 2014

I blame it on The Mummy. Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz transfixed my teenage eyes with a wanderlust for Arabia and the Middle East. Although I'm sure this was not the first time that I had seen the offerings of the Middle East, I could not help but be completely entranced. 


Fast forward many years, and my love of all things Middle Eastern has not wavered. My dear sister, Sidney, is also under the spell of the Middle East and kindly gave me a set of Moroccan tea glasses this past Christmas, under the guise that we could both enjoy them together. These glasses lead me on a hunt for an authentic Moroccan mint tea recipe. 


As daily as the call to prayer in Morocco, mint tea is a staple of most households. With the stifling hot heat and dusty surroundings that many inhabitants of Morocco must face daily, I can understand why this tea is synonymous with Moroccan culture. 

It is warm, yet refreshing, with just a touch of exoticness. Although my authentic Moroccan tea glasses allow me to be transported to the sights and sounds of the Middle East whilst I sip, any regular tea glass will suffice.

Mint Tea Recipe (from The Food of Morocco By Paula Wolfert)

1 Tablespoon Gunpowder green tea
Handful of mint leaves
Honey to taste

Bring enough water to boil for a 3-cup pot. Meanwhile place the tea, mint leaves and honey in the teapot. Cover with the boiling water and let steep for 3 minutes. Stir at the end gently and pour into the glasses.


What's In My Garden: Early June

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

After being away for a week in Boston, I was greeted in my garden by many flowers that had succumbed to the daily blast of sun, and bloomed! The most noticeable were my gorgeous peonies. I have about 5 bushes in my wee garden in soft pinks and whites. 


Peonies remind me of such a sleepy flower in my garden, their floppy heads wanting to gently tip to the ground unless I stake them up. I have found that a circular tomato stake is the best for holding up their heavy heads.

Hidden away behind my peonies I noticed a flicker of soft blue and saw my delphiniums were garnering my attention. The soft blue, almost violet hued petals, somehow transports me to thoughts of afternoon tea in a quaint English village. These delphiniums will have to satiate my lust for a proper English high tea as my fear of flying will squelch any such desires.


As I moved to my front garden I noticed that my sage had flowered. I usually try and pick it before it flowers, but as I was away nature continued on without my gentle guidance. I decided to let it continue its natural growth as I quite enjoyed sitting on my front porch and admiring the small blue flowers yielding to the breeze. I also sneaked in a picture of my lovely lavender.


I will continue to post about what new flowers or bushes have burst forth throughout the summer. Although a small plot, I have planted it in such a way as to be reminiscent of an English country garden. I think I may have done this in an unconscious effort knowing that I could not undertake the 9 hour flight to merry old England.

Sunday Funday

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

White Rock Farmer's Market

  I'm lucky enough to live a short distance away from the White Rock Farmer’s Market, which occurs every Sunday during the growing season.  On a whim I went to the opening day last year, and have since been to every one. You could say I'm a tad hooked. In B.C., I find we are lucky enough to have a burgeoning lust for all things local and organic. Thankfully, we have the climate and entrepreneurial spirit to be offered a bevy of local and organic selections in our grocery store and farmer’s markets. 

 Aside from the bounty of fruit, vegetables, and local wares that make the markets so popular, I often find myself drawn to them for another reason. I can only relate the feeling that the markets provide to that of when it snows. In B.C., we are lucky if we get one, or rarely two, proper snow days a year. Believe me I'm not complaining, but there is something to be said of the feeling that a snow day has. The snow provides a common denominator with my neighbours and imparts a sense of a smaller, more connected community. This narrowing of the lens within one’s community it something that is hard to find it such a growing city as Vancouver. Therefore, I turn to the farmer’s market for my weekly dose of that "snowed in" feeling.  

 I find myself abuzz with excitement that Maureen, from Hello Friends Bakery, has remembered to set aside any leftover cookies from last week’s market, or that Karen from Wyndson Farms has my 4 dozen eggs ready for me. (Yes, I do use 4 dozen eggs a week!)  With inevitable growth in most worldwide cities, I find at least in my own city that much of the population is demonstrating a desire to harken back to the days of a smaller community, one that doesn't beat to that of a global drum.    

Be sure to check out the BC Association of Farmer's Market website to find a market near you!