Monday, October 31, 2011

Calling All Plus Size Ladies

Dear friends,

I've finally decided I will try to sell some of my little used clothing. I have a lot of clothing I used for work and also some clothing I've never worn for summer.  I want to make room in my closets and also make some funds to send to the mission field. I hope you will tell your family and friends so that when I have finished taking photos of the inventory, you will be ready to take advantage of the sales.

All clothes are of excellent quality and mostly from the high end stores. I want to upload these items soon so that the sweaters I have can be in someone's hand during the cooler weather.  I also have some dresses for summer wear in case you are taking a cruise this winter or going to a warmer climate for the coming Christmas holiday.

Gently used boiled wool jacket sweater. Perfect for Fall and Winter.
I know of two places on line that specialize in clothing sales (not ebay or Craigslist). When I post  for sale, I will put a notice here on my blog.  Sizing and brand information as well as price and shipping information will available wherever I post the clothing. All sales will be done through Pay Pal.

If you know of any websites that you like to deal with and that specialize in sales of plus size clothing please let me know.

Stay tuned!

A Unexpectedly Beautiful Day

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. 
Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, 
certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. 
Robert Louis Stevenson 

I was surprised to see there was a seagull sitting at the top of the cross on the church spire.

The wispy clouds are dark grey. It was supposed to rain. Unexpectedly the sun was out and it was a glorious day.

Here you can see the snow blankets much of the mountain.  

Thank you for your visit. Please visit again soon!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I Do Love Antiques

I am not sure why but I have always loved antiques and I have a few pieces that I cherish. I wrote before about one such piece which I will sell due to it being too large for my condo.  That didn't stop me from buying another treasure.  This one I purchased more for practicality than anything.

My latest acquisition is a Chinese Elm wood blanket chest. It is about 150 years old so not terribly old but I like the character it has. I immediately wiped out the inside and filled it with some of my craft supplies which are overflowing in the living room.  I covered the stop with some of my African craft finds and my Aloe Vera plant which really does need to be re-potted into a larger container.

I have been wanting a Chinese antique for years.  Initially, I was thinking of an altar table to be used in my front entry.  But really I have no room in that area because it isn't a hallway and that is where I have bookshelves housing many of my books.  The altar tables don't have the kind of practicality I need since they don't have doors and drawers to hide things.  I think this piece is more suitable for my needs.

I got it for a wonderful bargain and paid almost one quarter of the original price. These days, antique shopping is a luxury for most people and the store owner is branching out in many ways to try and save her business. She can no longer afford to just sell antiques. She understood the value of off loading her inventory by giving me a fabulous deal.  It also helped that I had my eye on other pieces in a different shop and so knew my prices as well as the market right now.  Learning how to establish bottom lines and haggling in Kenyan market places has helped me here at home. At least with stores that aren't big box stores.

I'm very pleased with this piece. I see that I  need to give it a good cleaning on the outside as well but that can wait until I re-organize things a bit more.

What about you dear reader? Do you prefer antiques that have the character and vibe of days gone by or do you prefer the modern look?

Creamy and Tangy

Saturday's juice was a little creamy and a little tart.  It was made in my blender rather than in a juicer.

I wanted to make a juice featured by my friend Brenda at Hearts Touching Hearts here,  but I didn't have the ingredients on hand so I had to modify the recipe substantially. I still need to try Brenda's avocado drink. Next time I get to the produce store I will make certain to buy spinach and English cucumbers.

My juice consisted of:

- 4 stalks of kale, chopped finely
- 1 small lime. chopped fine
- a small piece of zucchini squash, chopped
- a few stalks of parsley springs, no need for chopping
- 1 small avocado, peeled, no need for chopping but discard the nut inside
- 1 half of a small banana, peeled

Throw all this into a blender along with a cup and half or two of water and some spices as you like. I used some Mexican chili powder but would have added some cayenne or garlic powder if I had some on hand. Yet another few items for my grocery list.

Blend until you can no longer see any specks of kale and drink.

I found this blend of produce made a creamy if somewhat tart and tangy juice due to the use of a whole lime. Perhaps next time I will try it with only half a lime.  My blender is just a regular household blender and I could taste little pieces of the vegetables in the mix.  This didn't bother me. It probably all works as good fiber. This is good news for my reader Kay, at an Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel, who wants to try blender juicing.

Creamy rich avocado is considered the world's healthiest fruit, because of its nutrient contents such as vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and it has reasonable calories in it. Potassium can help you guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.  Avocados contain many good things for our bodies but I will end my little educational bit here and encourage you to eat an avocado now and then. It contains good fat.

Where I live avocados are quite expensive as they are imported from warmer climates. I make an effort to always have them on hand and try to eat them once or twice a week in simple salads, a sandwich and now, juice.

Not bad and I think it is probably quite healthy with avocados and kale as it's main ingredients.

What about you dear reader? Do you have avocados as a crop where you live or is it too cold?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Macro Flowers ~ October 28, 2011

I captured these at the beginning of the Fall season. 

The colour was starting to fade and the petals were a little wilted but I found the faded beauty enchanting. 

Join Maia and Tina for more beautiful macro flowers. Just click on the badges below.
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Sky

First snow on the North Shore mountains this year.  It is a nice, sunny day even though we were expecting rain.  There is no snow at street level here in the city but the air has a definite chill. Time to start wearing and carrying gloves.

Enjoy your weekend and please check out beautiful sky photos from around the world by clicking on the badge below.

Pear Tart

Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 

Leviticus 26:4

One of the fruits of the tree that I love is pears.
One of the unripened left over pears.

 We had some pears this week that quickly started to ripen.  They got used in an easy to make tart.

Pie crust rolled and put into tart pan.


  • 1 (unbaked) pie crust
  • 3-4 pears, quartered, cored, peeled, and sliced
  • 1/2  cup sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp.lemon juice
Pears sliced and arranged in the pan and excess dough taken off the edges.


  1. Line a 10-inch tart pan  pr pie pan with an unbaked pie crust and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl toss pear slices with 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice. Arrange pear slices on crust in a pattern of your choice.
  3. Bake at 350ยบ until crust is brown on the edges and pears are tender which will take about 40 minutes depending on your oven.
  4. While the pear tart is baking put the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a small saucepan along with 1/4 cup of water and the remaining pear slices.  Once it boils, reduce heat, simmer and cook for about about 10 minutes until the syrup thickens.
  5. While tart cools, brush generously with syrup. 
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Finished tart!
This is a simple recipe to make and is the first time I've made it. I had pie crust on hand in the freezer from the last time I made a pie so all I had to do was thaw it out first. If you don't make pie crust you can use a store bought one.

Notes: The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of sugar (1/3 for mixing with the sliced pears and the other 1/3 to make the syrup but I used less because of my diabetes. If you like a sweeter tart, you can use the original amount of sugar and add 1/3 cup of water when making the syrup. If you have a tart pan with a removable bottom like mine, I recommend putting it on top of a cookie tray when you put it in the oven. Otherwise the juices will be running into your oven and possibly catch fire. Putting the tart pan on top of a baking sheet will likely increase the time you need to bake the tart.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Some Things End and New Things Begin

We were made to enjoy music, to enjoy beautiful sunsets, to enjoy looking at the billows of the sea and to be thrilled with a rose that is bedecked with dew… Human beings are actually created for the transcendent, for the sublime, for the beautiful, for the truthful... and all of us are given the task of trying to make this world a little more hospitable to these beautiful things.

Bishop Desmond Tutu

I so love this quote by Bishop Tutu.  It is these beautiful things in life as well as my faith in the Creator who made them, that keep me sane and help me endure whatever I may face in life. The beauty in the colours of Fall are what spoke to me of the sublime today amidst learning of the tragedy that has hit the country of Kenya.  The country of my heart and spirit. Please say a little prayer for the people as they endure yet more tragedy in the form of bomb attacks on the City of Nairobi.

A month or so ago, I started pneumatic compression therapy. It was to help eliminate some water from my legs and take some of the stress off of the right knee and leg which has troubled me for months. I think it helped me by giving me that added boost I needed in conjunction with everything else I'm doing to lose weight and get more mobility in the leg.

This is a photo of pneumatic compression therapy. I only get my legs and hips covered.

Given the high cost of this therapy, even at reduced (for me) rates, I've decided not to continue with another round. Instead I'm going to start physiotherapy on the leg and deep massage to supplement the acupuncture treatments I am still getting.

Today I managed to heed my TCM doctor's advice and walk very slowly.  Distance covered was 18 city blocks or approximately 1 mile or 1.6 kilometres. Not too bad, considering there are some days I can't walk more than 3 blocks. The new cross trainers really helped provide the stability and support I needed.

Along the way I stopped at a few shops to buy some small items and to replenish my supply of vegetables.  For a treat and for juicing, I was able to pick up a basket of strawberries on a great buy.

I stopped by my doctor's office to pick up the referral for the new therapies as they will be paid for in large part by medical insurance.  The paper wasn't ready.  Or at least the front desk staff couldn't find it.  My trip wasn't wasted as the doctor asked me to get about 4 blood pressure readings at different intervals over the next several weeks. I got the first one today.

I was relieved to find my blood pressure reading was much better than it was last Wednesday (136/76).  Today it was 126/85. I'm not sure why the bottom number is so high but I'm working on getting the numbers down to normal (120/70). I'm hopeful my next reading will be similarly good,  or even better.

Tomorrow we are supposed to have more  rain after a few days of beautiful, sunny Fall days. Today it was just nice to stroll along the street and snap a few photos of the Fall foliage without worrying about rain drops getting in the camera lens.

This is what I love about the Fall; all the glorious colour.
I want to let my regular readers know that I may not be as active for a few days while I deal with some personal errands and begin new therapies. I have one or possibly two pre-scheduled posts but I may not be up to reading blogs and commenting as prolifically as I usually do for the immediate future.

Chicken & Sausage Casserole

Yesterday I posted a recipe for the chili I made on Saturday. Today I'm posting the dinner  made on Sunday. It was delicious and very filling. I feel like making some nice pumpkin or cranberry muffins but I'll probably wait until Monday as there is movie I want to catch right now while I enjoy a cup of tea.


  • 6-8 Italian sausages (sliced) *
  • 4 pieces of chicken thighs/legs
  • 3 c. brown rice
  • 6 c. water
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 chopped white onion
  • 1 chopped green and red bell peppers
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes or chop about 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 3 tsp. of chopped/minced garlic
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • salt (to taste  - not to much if you have high blood pressure)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 3-4 drops soy sauce for colouring (can be omitted if you have high blood sugar)
  • a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce

In a large pot over medium/high heat "brown" your sliced sausage in the vegetable oil for approximately 5-7 minutes.  You want it brown. Repeat sausage step with the chicken and remove from the heat when done.

Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Sautee in the same pot until transparent.  Put the chicken and sausage back in the pot and add the water. You can also add the seasonings, worchestershire, and soy sauce (optional).  Bring to a full boil and add rice, boullion cubes and hot sauce.  Stir occasionally and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to simmer, and cover for 1 hour taking care not to remove the lid during this time.
Remove lid, turn off heat, serve up and enjoy.

* A package of Grimm's All-Beef Smokies were used and they were very lean.
If you have no dietary or cholesterol concerns you could use a sausage with more fat (and flavour).  Personally I found these sausages to be hard and they didn't soften with cooking. They were okay in the casserole but next time I would choose a more traditional pork sausage.

I think this will be new favourite during our cold months of winter.
What is your favourite cold weather dish?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Organizing, Cold Weather Eating & Chillaxin'

Despite the fact I can't move around normally (yet), or perhaps because of it, it has been an incredibly busy few months. Barely a day goes by when I am home and when I can attend to the day to day running of the household, relaxing, paying the bills (ha!) or catching up with friends. This past week, I cancelled and rearranged several appointments so that I could have a few days to myself to get things done like shop for my mother (see post here) and myself, look after some administrative issues for the Missions of Hope, shop for some books (more about that in another post), cook, clean, plan ahead for new appointments (massage and physiotherapy) to continue the leg treatments, a bit of mending, and a lot of washing dishes (not something I really enjoy). Next week will be another busy one so I had to make the best of the last few days.

I'm madly trying to catch up to my goal of reading two books a month. I'm sadly far behind but I've read some good books.  Some of them were rather long, like Anna Karenina which is over a 1000 pages. It probably qualifies as 3 average length books, lol. I've got numerous books in various stages of reading so before the year is out I will have made good progress toward my goal even if I haven't fully achieved it.

One of the things I managed to buy for myself was a good pair of cross trainers so I can walk properly.  I also had to pick up a new bottom for my swim suit.  Mine seems to have disintegrated since my last swim lesson at the Bontana Hotel in Nakuru in June. Hopefully I will have some time this winter to continue with the lessons.

When I am too busy I also don't get a chance to cook and eat from scratch and it is important I keep on track with the dietary changes to help my blood sugar levels. This weekend I was at least able to cook and use kidney beans and cook a few cups of pinto beans for use later this week in soups or salads.

On a coolish day, I tend to want some "stick to my ribs" kind of food like a good hearty soup, stew or chili. Yesterday was such a day. It was also my first full day home all week and a time to get caught up on laundry and other things before the week starts again.

I don't have a standard recipe for chili. I use whatever I have on hand.

Today's version consisted of:

- 1 or 2 pounds of lean ground beef, pre-cooked
- several cups of not quite cooked kidney beans
- 2 large celery stalks, cleaned and chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup of diced carrots
- 3 medium tomatos, washed and diced
- chili flakes to taste
- hot sauce to taste
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- half can of tomato paste (approx. 1/3 cup or 75 mL)
- few splashes/dashes of soy sauce
- few splashes/dashes of vinegar
- bit of salt (not too much if you have high blood pressure or diabetes)

I browned the meat and put it in an electric rice cooker to cook on the counter top. I added the celery, onions, carrots and kidney beans to this along with about 4-5 cups of water. If you like a thinner broth you can put more water or reduce water if you prefer a chunkier chili.

I added the tomatoes and all the seasonings after this was all boiling together for a while.  Cook and simmer everything together until you are happy with the consistency and the taste of the vegetables and beans. I like my beans a little on the crunchy side but some people prefer their beans very soft. The chili was good but it made me realize I was out of chili powder so I made a point of getting some for next time.  It is a gorgeous, deep red mexican chili powder and will add just the right amount of zing for the next chili dish.

If you are vegetarian you could of course omit the beef and perhaps add some zucchini instead. You could also add another type of bean to the dish if you like beans.

Notes:  I soaked the kidney beans for about 1 hour and pre-cooked them in the rice cooker before using them. I left them a bit on the firm side so that they wouldn't get too soft and mushy as my chili was cooking.  The beans were not of a high quality. I noticed that a good many of them were already split open.  I used them anyway but they tend to cook more quickly than the beans that are intact.

I am really loving my rice cooker which I've had now for a few weeks. It is much quicker to cook beans from scratch. It literally saves me hours of waiting for beans to soak or boiling on the stove for hours.  It also cooks my brown rice to perfection in about one third the time. I've owned a rice cooker several times before (we've worn them out) but never used it for more than cooking white rice.  I know a lot of people who like slow cookers for chili and stew.  I don't like slow cookers.  They take too long and I am usually hungry long before the slow cooker has finished it's process.  I think this little appliance is not only going to save me a lot of time in the kitchen but also save me money by reducing the electricity consumption.

I didn't finish all of my errands and realize it doesn't sound like I've relaxed much.  But in truth I've found that just being at home for a stretch of time helps me to feel like I'm not dashing around all the time.  It helps me to pace myself too so I don't get overly tired.  When my hands aren't busy with something else, I can also read a few pages of a good book.

What about you dear reader? How do you relax and chill out when you are super busy?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hearts Touching Hearts: “Chocolate Chip Cookie Lovers”

Hello friends,

I have a blogging buddy in California who started a blog not so long ago. Her name is Brenda Green and her blog is called Hearts Touching Hearts. Brenda writes about what is on her heart and what the Lord is teaching her. She really has a heart to have a testimony for God. I  met Brenda on line through our mutual love of Africa. She really has a missionary heart.

Photo Credit: Brenda - Isn't she beautiful? Better than that, she has a beautiful heart.

Brenda writes about other things too.  Check out her blog and let her know how you found out about her. Let's spread a little blog love. Blessings and Happy Sunday!

Hearts Touching Hearts: “Chocolate Chip Cookie Lovers”: My dear readers, To all of you who like chocolate chip cookies. I was encouraged to put a little food on my site. so here goes. I just...

Preparing Mom for Winter

Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.

Dr. Robert Goddard


Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD. 

(Leviticus 19:32) 


Last winter I bought her a beautiful red car coat in lightweight wool. However, it is supposed to be a very cold winter this year and the little red coat, though pretty, won't keep her warm.  Especially if she has to go anywhere on a cold and windy day.  Mom and I chatted a bit the other day about her needs.  In the end I think I was able to find things that were a good compromise between her wants and what I thought would match better with the clothing she currently wears. She doesn't have a lot of space to put too many clothes so we have to be able to coordinate multiple outfits with fewer items of clothing. Not as easy as it sounds when we have limited purchasing options.

First up was a warmer jacket. I bought her this beige coloured jacket which has a warm, but not too thick, inner lining.  It also has a detachable hood which she likely won't wear. I paired it with this beautiful chocolate and camel coloured shawl for added warmth on a blustery day. I am thinking of taking off the garment tag at the neckline.  This will give an added colour option because it will then be reversible.  The compromise is that mom wanted a purple jacket (same style). I felt the beige one would coordinate better with all the bottoms she is likely to wear on excursions. I got the nice cape to give her a bit of a colour lift while still coordinating with her bottoms.
Here is what the cape looks like on the inside if she chooses to have more of the tan colour showing.

Next up was a nice woolen sweater. This will enable her to wear the summer dresses over the winter months.  She really enjoys wearing the dresses because they are so comfortable and have big pockets.  This nice purple sweater and a soft camisole underneath will keep her nice and toasty. She wanted purple. The compromise is I would have preferred a slightly heavier knit for her and a shorter length so she doesn't have to sit on it. I think in the end, the care workers will probably tuck the length in at the back of her,  rather than have her sit on it. I would have selected a gray sweater but I know that colour isn't to her taste.

  In the photo below, I've paired the sweater with one of the summer dresses.

In the next photo, I've paired the sweater with a beautiful tank top I bought.  It will coordinate well with two of the skirts she wears in winter. I hope she likes it. It is a stretchy comfortable fabric. I don't normally buy her tank tops to wear especially for winter but this one is so pretty.  She doesn't have to wear it over the Winter but can wait until Spring.

I also bought this lightweight and long, striped t-shirt. It will coordinate well with the sweater and a navy velvet skirt she likes to wear.  I really like this t-shirt and I think she will too! It still coordinates well with the purple sweater.

Here, I've put a stretch navy blue camisole underneath the top. It isn't as see through as it looks. It looks very see through because of the back light coming through the window.


It seems a never ending job to buy things for my mom. I am happy to do it most times but my longstanding leg and heel issues make this a somewhat more difficult task than it used to be. However, with the exception of one or two skirts, a heavier weight dress and coordinating sweater, some warm socks, two or three nightgowns (I've been looking for long cotton jersey nightgowns) and a proper pair of shearling booties (to be ordered on line from New Zealand as my Christmas gift to her), I think I have finally got enough clothing for her. In retrospect, that list of outstanding items sounds rather long! LOL.  Sadly, there are many outfits (jacket and pants which mom can no longer wear and didn't wear at all) and which I probably need to bring home from the residence to make room for what she does wear.

What about you my dear readers? 
Do you also shop for your elderly parents? Do you have difficulty finding what you need? Do you have to buy adaptive clothing or can you get by with regular clothing? If you do shop for your parents, I pray the good Lord would bless you for your caring heart.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Macro Flowers ~ October 21, 2011

This yellow flower reminds me of a "happy" flower. 

The Dahlia.
Just the perfect thing to gaze upon on a rainy Vancouver day!

Please be sure to check out more beautiful flowers by clicking on the badges below.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Wee Bit of Good News

Every third month I go to a diabetes workshop run by my doctor and the medical clinic's nurse. I missed the last workshop and so it has been six months already since I was there last.

At the workshop we get a little education and each member of the group is provided with their updated cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and weight numbers. We are also given any shots we might need.

I was a bit anxious over my numbers as the last time I went my blood sugar was a little higher, again. My blood pressure was also a wee bit elevated. I had also gained weight since the last workshop I attended.

I was happy to find that my blood sugar levels have in fact improved and I am nearing normal. My weight has returned to where it was, however my blood pressure has gone up a bit more. I'm not sure if it was hidden salt in the breakfast I ate and the coffee I had within half an hour of being tested, the white coat syndrome or just rushing to get to the clinic on time.  They let me rest awhile when I told them I felt my blood pressure was high and that it didn't usually get that way. Sure enough my blood pressure was elevated. I guess this is what they call prehypertension.  My blood pressure is not yet at the level considered high but it has been elevated more than not, on my last several visits to the clinic and something I need to get a grip on.   Now.

I think if I continue with my new dietary habits, get more fibre and get a bit more exercise and practise deep breathing, my blood pressure should come down.  I guess my real challenge is that I continue to have leg and mobility issues and that affects my ability to exercise or even get around as well as I need.  But assuming I can do some light exercise and all the other "right things", my blood sugars should also continue to improve in addition to the blood pressure.

I also asked my doctor to reduce the cholesterol medication I have been on. I asked for it to be halved since I feel it is too high.  The medication is causing cramping in the legs and the problem seems to be getting worse after months of no side effects.  She agreed to reduce my dosage.  I guess we will see how this affects my cholesterol levels the next time I get a full blood work up next year.  I am really hoping by then that I can go off this medication altogether.

This bit of good news made my day.


Monday, October 17, 2011

A Delightfully Refreshing Juice

I experimented today and it led me down an interesting path.

While I was out at the supermarket buying mushrooms for my stir-fry veggies, I decided to pick up some watercress, guava and small, fuji apples

Tonight's juice consisted of all of the above, plus some spinach, parsley and two small green pepper.

Watercress and other cabbage greens are among the most highly nutritious vegetables. They provide an excellent source of vitamins B6, C, manganese, and carotenes.  Greens in the cabbage family also provide a very good source of fiber, iron, copper, and calcium. The greens are also a very good source of vitamins B1, B2, and E. Greens like these provide almost three times as much calcium as phosphorous.  Great news because high intake of phosphorous is linked to osteoporosis. As a member of the cabbage family, watercress also has anticancer properties.  Caution.  If you have hyperthyroidism you should avoid eating watercress because of its high iodine content.

I bought the guava today because it's ripe scent was wafting under my nose as I stopped near it to pick up some bananas. Watercress has a bit of a sharp taste so I thought guava would be just the thing to tame it down. Guava is a tropical fruit that has a green rind, white or pinkish flesh and small seeds. It is preferred by many people over oranges because it has more Vitamin C. The nutritional content of guava includes calcium, potassium, iron, folic acid, nicotinic acid, Vitamin A and B, Vitamin C and fiber. All these minerals and nutrients are great for the body.

Guava can help with many health issues, including: constipation, colds and coughs, controlling high blood pressure, weight loss, improve appearance of the skin, improve poor circulation, and battle type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose. Not to mention, it's taste is so tantalizingly different from all other fruits I've eaten.
The result, a light green, creamy and refreshing drink.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Good Eating Continues

I made some awesome veggie soup today. I put a cup or so of pearl barley in a pot with about 8 cups of water. While I waited for this to boil I cut up one pork loin chop and fast fried the chunks. Then I cleaned, sliced and chopped the following vegetables:

- 2 small onions
- a few stalks of celery (the last of them from the middle part)
- 2 skinny carrots
- about 1/4 of a small head of cauliflower
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 medium russet potato
- a few broccoli florets
- 6 radishes cut into thick slices
- small amount of chick peas left over from my hummus 

After the water began to boil I put in the onions, celery, carrots and pork cubes and boiled them all until tender. I added some light soy sauce and Himalayan crystal salt sparingly as flavouring.  I didn't add too much because I wanted the taste to come from the vegetables.

Once this mixture boiled and the barley began to soften, I added all the other vegetables and cooked them just until they began to soften. Then the soup was done.  This is perfect soup for the cooler weather we are now experiencing. The days are either filled with wind and rain, or they are a bit mixed with sunshine and cloud and a hint of chill. We are gearing up for winter and if advance reports are to be believed, it is supposed to be a cold one!

This soup was very delicious and the whole wheat fried bread was tasty too!

While the soup was cooking,  I whipped up some batter for some fried bannock bread. This was made with 2 and  half cups of whole wheat flour and about 1 and a half cups of white flour. Add a bit of salt and a few tablespoons of baking powder. After mixing these dry ingredients together add just enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough.  When the water is all mixed in you can determine whether you need more water, or more flour, to make a nice soft dough.  You will have the right consistency when the dough does not stick to your fingers or the counter top when you pull it apart.

Next, roll the dough on the countertop and cut off some pieces off to flatten. After you cut off a piece, flatten it between your hands or press it against the countertop.  Then make a few cuts through each piece so that it will cook evenly when fried.  Heat some oil in the frying pan and let it get hot, then lay a few pieces of the dough into the frying pan. When the dough begins to rise, which will only take a short while, turn it over carefully so you don't splash oil on yourself or onto the burners.  Once the dough is cooked on both sides, place each piece of cooked bread on a paper towel to blot out excess oil.

Tips:  Too much loose flour on your dough pieces will burn in your oil and begin to smell so do watch carefully.  Also, I find that the mixture with the whole wheat will burn easier than using white flour alone, so don't leave each piece to cook too long on one side. You will know when it is done by seeing the golden brown colour. In my case, you will see the dough is a little more than medium brown. It is not burned, nor does it taste burned. If you like your bread lighter, the oil must be very hot when you put the dough into it or it will take too long too cook or it will not be cooked through when you take it out. Finally, your dough will rise quite a bit due to the baking powder. If you want a bread that is less high, then be sure to roll it out or pat it out more thinly before frying. If you are diabetic like me, limit yourself to one bannock bread at your meal or as a snack.  Traditionally this bread is eaten with butter on it or jam, or sometimes both. Enjoy!

I thought I would end this post with something different. It captures in a short video why I am changing my diet and why I'm finally getting serious about finding more and more ways to reduce bad fats, increase good fats, eliminate junk and artificial sweeteners and add more good nutrition through fresh and wholesome foods.

More of Seton Lake

The other day I featured a few sky photos, taken on the drive from Vancouver to Seton Lake, near Lillooet.  I thought it would be good to post more photos of this spectacular area as my submission to this week's Scenic Sunday Meme. I do hope you enjoy them.

 I think these photos will give you a sense of the driving conditions and the mountainous terrain.

 You can see that there are some extreme switchbacks in the road.

If you look in the far distance, you can see the blue plastic shelters (around the middle of the photo). Those are Aboriginal fishermen of the St'a'imc (pronounced Statleum) First Nation, who have set up camps to do their annual food fishing for salmon.

Here is a closer view...

and here are the fishermen right on the water (below). It can be dangerous as the river is very powerful.

Fishing for salmon may be the most important part of the First Nation's culture in in this area.  The  people used different styles of harvesting the fish including spears, dip netting, and net fishingThis annual fishery is called "food fishing" and is distinct from fishing as a commercial venture, and distinct also from the sport fishery.  The annual food fishery is protected by the country's law and is a much fought for right of the First Nation's people.  

Much of the salmon harvested in the summer months is preserved for the winter months.  Aboriginal people preserve the salmon through wind drying and also through smoking it. Of course, the people also have the option today of freezing it and canning it. 

Whatever way you eat it, it is delicious. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post for Scenic Sunday. I encourage you to click on the badge below and join in all the fabulous posts from around the world.

Photo credits: my brother

Library Tour

Hello friends and fellow bloggers, The weather was inclement but I decided to go for a walk to the library.  Before I did that I met up with...