Beerfest 2017: Coriander Edition

This was the first festival I attended in the rain — the rain was very welcome after an extensive dry spell so I wasn’t about to complain and I came mostly prepared; next time I will wear boots if it is wet though as my feet ended up very wet and chilled. Last year, the secret ingredient was mango — this year, it seemed to be coriander in many of the brews on offer. I Continue Reading →

What is it about Mango?

Maybe I am showing my age, but when I hear whispers of “Mango…,” a part of my brain leaps to the SNL character played by Chris Kattan, the running gag being that the ambiguous character was irresistible to virtually everyone. The rest of my brain is simply saying “Eww,” because mango is not a fruit I enjoy. So when every other cask at this year’s Great Candadian Beer Festival turned out to be mango-something-or-other, I Continue Reading →

Where did June go?

I swear it was just May last week and yet my birthday is around the corner. Yesterday some asshat posted a “six months to Christmas!” cartoon. A year ago I was in San Francisco and filled with joy about that adventure. This year, I’ve yet to make any plans as it’s been Busy As Usual. (I swear, 2016 will be remembered as the year I had no choice but to schedule everything!) Of course it Continue Reading →

Back to the Beer Fest

I missed the Great Canadian Beer Fest last year — Shawn and I couldn’t justify the cost and didn’t want to volunteer — and this year I decided I would buy two tickets and worry about who to take later. That was a mistake; while I did eventually find a friend to come along, they were sick today. (Sadness!). I debated a long time what I should do. Eventually I decided to just go — Continue Reading →

Feliz Navidnachos

As a kid, Kentucky Fried Chicken was part of our Christmas tradition — a big bucket of greasy chicken was our lunchtime treat. It’s been a long time since KFC chicken seemed appealing to me; it always smells fantastic but I just can’t enjoy it anymore. Except for one item: popcorn chicken. Once in a while, if I crave KFC, that’s what I reach for. Today, we were debating lunch and we had settled on Continue Reading →

Sweet Treats

Today’s festive flotsam is all about making candies and chocolates. Some of these I have made and some I have yet to try but they all seem simple. The first one is my own “last minute candy making” design. Festive Sprinkle Candies were dreamed up out of desperation but now are a regular player in my holiday sweets creations. I’ve also swapped the colours of the sprinkles or the candy melts for other times of Continue Reading →

Small garden, small bounty

This year’s garden was pared back from past years; only what I thought could grow was planted. For the most part, this was a sound plan; the garden has been easy to manage. The tomatoes are growing well and carrots and beans are, too. However, for the second year running, I’ve put in multiple squash plants and got nothing. Plenty of flowers, no fruits. I changed the location within the beds where I planted them, Continue Reading →


When I was quite young (maybe 5 or 6 years old), my mother took me along with some of our extended family to pick strawberries in the u-pick fields on the Saanich Peninsula. I couldn’t tell you which farm it was, but I do remember being handed an empty 4L ice cream pail and shown which berries were ripe and ready to pick. When I started, they all went into the bucket but as the Continue Reading →

Rules We Eat By

Rarely a day goes by when there isn’t a study released about what we should and shouldn’t eat. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t think, “I should be more careful what I eat.” Truthfully though, I think we do OK in our family. Overall, we eat balanced meals, a variety of foods, plenty of vegetables, and most of what we eat is not processed. We accommodate one vegetarian and a gluten-reduced diet, and Continue Reading →

December 12th Royal Christmas Pudding

The Christmas pudding (or plum pudding) that we are familiar with today dates back to the Victorian era (and much earlier if you count all the variations) but there is one recipe, historically sourced, that purports to be the secret recipe of the British Royal Family. I’m very tempted to try it. If any of you give it a shot, will you let me know how it turns out?