Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A perfect winter day

Here's McVicar creek at its finest.
It's wonderful to have sun and winter weather warm enough to walk. Just to walk for walking's sake. For the enjoyment of the fresh air. 

Gong report.: 
Barely made it yesterday. Every day I vow not to leave my practice until the end of the day. I start really eagerly and then think that there's lots of time in the afternoon. Well, you know the best laid plans....what happens to them. 
However, it's day 20, and I am enormously pleased with myself. 1/5th done!
Hang in there!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Popcorn for the road

I am going to Marathon, 3 1/2 hour drive away to teach meditation this weekend. Yahoo! A road trip. I'm not driving so I can sit back, chat, or knit, and have a snack. I made us this flavoured popcorn.

It's from the book Homemade - Winter by Yvette van Boven

1 scant cup (100g) popping corn (I used much less because I like it stickier)
Oil for popping corn
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp pancake syrup ( I used maple syrup, but it worked well)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp sesame seeds (I had black ones on hand)

Pop the corn with your method of choice. You might have to do it in 2 batches.

Heat the syrup with the spices in a small saucepan bring to a boil, boil softly for about 2 minutes, then stir in the butter. Be careful, it's hot.

Pour about half of the caramel over the popcorn in a big bowl, swiftly stirring the popcorn around so it's all coated. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Continue turning the popcorn, and pour the rest of the caramel over it.

You can eat as is, or spoon heaps of popcorn onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Gong report

I think day 4 and 5 of a gong (the 100 day personal practice) are the most difficult.
Yesterday I finished my gong just before bedtime. Huiyh! I had to forgo sitting with a cup of tea and watching something on netflix. Ah, such a sad statement. And today I am super busy getting things ready for a weekend trip to nearby Marathon. I can find poor excuses and really good excuses but they are all excuses. I was in a sane state of mind when I set up what to do for my gong. At least I like to think so. Okay, I'll go right now and do it. Wish me luck.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Marinated beets

These are great beets for the winter season. Marinated rather than pickled. This recipe is from my new cookbook: At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. By Amy Chaplin.

3 medium trimmed beets (about 1 pound)
1 tbsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt

Place beets in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes until tender. Drain beets and slip off the skins under cold running water. Cut in half and cut each half into wedges.

Place beets in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Toss well to combine and season to taste and serve immediately. Can be stored in fridge for up to five days. If you use golden beets use rice wine vinegar instead of balsamic so beets don't discolour.

Sunday, 4 January 2015


Christmas holidays are pretty much over.
On holidays 
I tend to read during the day and watch television later in the evening. Yesterday I was feeling so sluggish. Today is a new day. Isn't it a wonderful thing that we can always begin again? I decided to do a gong. A gong is a 100 day personal practice. Something you do everyday no matter what. I always make sure mine is do-able even on super busy days or days when not feeling well physically. I like to succeed. I pretty much always am doing a gong. It's fun to change it up sometimes, add something or delete something. I added dancing very day. At least for 5 minutes. It's not very much out of a whole day but I feel I have a hefty practice already and if super tired or cranky or busy I can dance for 5 minutes. I danced today to a Turkish groove and it felt so good I put on a Latin tune and went as wild as I could with my Christmas belly. Well, at least I have a belly to move. I went for 15 minutes. It was really fun. I danced like no one was watching and no one was. Okay, day one I am a success. Yahoo!

Oh, and if I miss a day I plan to start from day one. Motivation. And a gold star at the end.