…that makes it May 16th.
We had a lovely gathering at Lake Laberge, as is our tradition. The girls charmed everyone with their chatterbox ways and their “pretend” games. I marvelled at how much easier this Easter was, with Halia aged four and much more independent of me. Fire-roasted lamb and salmon, ham from the woodstove, and potluck side dishes made quite the feast indeed. I tried shooting a bow and arrow for the first time and have the proof in the form of a bruise on my arm.
It was a good time to recuperate from the marathon leading up to the release of my first album, to enjoy the company of my little family, and the the friends who make up our extended family, to soak up the sunshine.
In a word, delightful.
My dad recently had a birthday and happened to be in China for it. Check out this story he told me when I asked him about his birthday.
Some friends brought a birthday cake with a typical Chinese gizmo — a flower-shaped candle holder, where you light one candle in the middle, which then results in the entire gizmo opening up like a lotus flower, auto-lighting more candles and squeaking an electronic Happy Birthday tune in a continuous loop sequence. Trouble is, it does not come with instructions on how to turn that tune off. We could not figure it out and ended up throwing it in the public garbage pail on the floor, where it merrily continued squeaking loud enough that I could hear it around one corner in the aisle and the thick metal door of the apartment. So, I am sure, could the neighbours. This device was obviously inexhaustible, as it was still squeaking happily away this morning, but by now from a garbage bag all tied up and waiting to be collected.
Most likely, the garbage truck driver or the staff at the dump are still enjoying the merry tune this very moment. If this were not happy, noisy China but Germany, the police would likely have come in the middle of the night on a noise complaint.
(Reblogged from http://fawnfritzen.com/a-landmark-day)
I’m exhausted, but I can’t go to bed yet. I’m ensconced in my home-away-from-home, Easter Seal House in Vancouver. In the morning, I’ll be taking my daughter for her regular neurology appointment. She hasn’t had a seizure in almost three years, but the fight against her epilepsy isn’t entirely over yet. In preparation for her EEG, she has to be sleep-deprived… which means Mama has to be sleep-deprived, too.
Ah well, no different from any other night, really.
And it was such a wonderful day. The sun was shining in a blue sky in Whitehorse. Jade was a delightful travel companion on our flight down to Vancouver; she charmed everyone around her with her happy chatter and questions.
And some other exciting things happened, too.
I got a message first thing this morning from a local woman who does a show on the local French CBC radio station; she wanted to play a song from my upcoming album and promote the release concert. I got another e-mail from a producer who broadcasts for CBC North out of Montreal and I will be doing an interview with her early next week.
So that was fun.
Then, while I was downtown running some super-quick errands in preparation for the trip, I decided to pick up a copy of our local entertainment magazine, What’s Up, Yukon. Turns out, this issue contains a review of my album. And I’m thrilled with the review. (I’ll put a link up here once it’s available.)
THEN! When Jade and I boarded our Air North flight, I pulled out the in-flight magazine, Yukon North of Ordinary. I’ve been so busy, I hadn’t had time to see if the Spring issue was out yet. So it was pretty thrilling to open up the magazine to page 79 and find this:
The article was written by local journalist / blogger / amazing mother of three (soon to be four!) Sarah Niman, and I can’t believe how much information she packed into two pages. (I’ll put an electronic copy of that up sometimes soon, too.)
I arrived at Easter Seal House and found that the four boxes I was expecting here had indeed been delivered. Here’s what’s inside those boxes:
Hot off the presses!
Just over a week left before the album release, and I have a gigantic to-do list to wrestle into submission. But it will happen. And, you know, that will be an amazing day, too.
I wish I had the patience for food photography. There are so many wonderful blogs out there that make your mouth water just to read them because of the gorgeousness of the photography. And food should be beautiful, in my opinion, if it’s at all possible. When food is beautiful and then the taste is scrumptious, then you don’t have to wait to see if there’s a heaven after this life on earth.
I made an amazing carrot soup tonight. I know it’s bragging, and it was kind of accidental, but everyone who tasted it agreed.
So, I’d loved to have photographed it properly and presented it to you like this:
Instead, this is what I’ve got for you:
The problem with carrot soup is that the flavour depends so much on the quality of the carrots. And let’s face it, in the middle of winter, a lot of carrots have become kind of bitter, bland, or otherwise uninspiring, when what you really want is sweetness, with just a hint of zing.
That, my friends, is what this soup delivered. Pure, sweet, carroty goodness. My method was the taste-test-add-taste-again method, but I’ll try to estimate quantities for you.
Heavenly Carrot Soup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 5 or 6 large carrots, washed, unpeeled (so easy)
- 1.5 – 2 L water
- 1 tbsp savoury
- 1 tsp celery seed
- 1 – 2 tbsp salt
- 2 – 3 tbsp creamed honey
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- fresh mint for garnish
- In a large pot, melt the coconut oil. Add chopped onions and cook until softened. Some slight browning is okay. Just let them cook while you chop the carrots.
- Discard the tops of the carrots and chop into 3-5mm circles. Probably you could chop into any size you want, but I wanted these to cook quickly. Add the chopped carrots to the pot.
- At this point I also added three peeled and chopped broccoli stems that I happened to have hanging about. I don’t think they did a thing to the flavour, but you know, in the spirit of full disclosure here…
- Add 1.5 to 2 L of water and bring that baby to a boil. Turn down to a slow boil or hot simmer. Whatever you feel like. I was impatient. Dinner was late as it was.
- Add the savoury, celery seed, and salt. I used coarse sea salt because I ran out of the fine stuff. I figured it would dissolve anyway and it wouldn’t matter. I like to be kind of generous with salt, I admit it. Salt to your own taste.
- Add enough honey to make the soup as sweet as summer carrots.
- Lemon juice adds just a slight puckery zing to the soup that is otherwise just too sweet. Don’t add too much or it’ll just taste like lemons. Fresh-squeezed is SOOOO much better than the bottled kind. I happened to have some leftover from last night’s dinner (but truly fresh-squeezed would have been even better, as I find it starts getting bitter when it sits out). But, hey, even bottled is better than none at all.
- After the carrots are cooked soft, get out your handy-dandy immersion blender (or transfer in batches to the other kind of blender) and whirl it all up until smooth(ish).
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh mint. Ooooh, yeah. Mint and sweet carrots are a match made in heaven, baby.
- Michael had his soup as-is. Halia’s got the ice cube treatment. I added a splash of almond milk to the middle of mine. It was aaaaaalll good.
Here’s a PDF version of the recipe if you want it to be easier to print: Heavenly Carrot Soup
Well, I meant to at least write a New Year’s post here in January because 2012 was an amazing year for me. But I didn’t do it.
I also meant to write a blog post about Jade turning 7, because she is a truly amazing kid. But I didn’t do that either.
But since the last post I wrote over here, I’ve written seven posts over on my other blog. (Sorry, guys. Not sure how that happened. Lots of them are just really status updates.)
And guess what else? I finished recording my very first album. This project I’ve been breathing and dreaming forever is actually wrapped up, and the actual honest-to-goodness CDs are being manufactured right now. The album is going to be released in less than a month.
Anyone else feel like squealing with me???
Back in real life, the laundry is overflowing (and I just discovered that the cat’s litter box has been tipped over, onto some of that there laundry on the laundry room floor…ugh) and the dirty dishes are propagating at an alarming rate. And my blog reader is into the hundreds of posts I haven’t read, too.
But, dammit, life is good right now.
How are you doing?
This Saturday, I’m going to be part of a fantastic concert!
I don’t think I mentioned it before — whoops! — but my original song I’m a Fool for You was chosen by a jury to be part of Yukon Women in Music‘s newest CD.
(Just look at the artwork! Isn’t it gorgeous? The painting in the background was donated by local artist Emma Barr.)
The gorgeousness keeps going inside the album, too. Fourteen songs are on it, in all sorts of styles, and I can’t stop listening to it.
And you can hear them all live at the Yukon Arts Centre this Saturday evening. I’m so excited, I could bust!
There’ll also be a reception afterward, so you can have your CD signed by your favourite artists and view the original painting by Emma Barr. (Which, by the way, will be going up for auction in a month or two.)
You can get your tickets on the Arts Centre website or by phoning the box office at 667-8574.
(Our last CD release concert sold out, so do get your tickets!)
Now, should I go with the long red gown… or the crazy colour-shifting shoes…?