Category Archives: Time in Nature

#Paris – a #daytrip to #Giverny and another visit to Monet’s true masterpiece


The first time I went to Giverny and inside the high walls of Claude Monet’s home it was May and the garden was all about the irises. They were tall and sparkling with dew in shades of mauve, purple, yellow and white. They took the lead with tulips, lilacs and wisteria as voluptuous back up singers in a “dew-op” garden song.

It’s funny. Irises became synonymous with Giverny for me. My mind grabbed that purple haze of flowers and sealed it away. My recent visit was an epiphany.

April means tulip time at Giverny. The iris were only thinking about their diva-ish debut. The wisteria was wistfully waking, the lilacs were racing the apple blossoms for heightening senses with their scents-ability.

I’ve now started to think I’ll need to go every month of the year to truly understand the beauty of Monet’s intricate masterpiece. Here’s how I came to the joyous occasion of making my second visit.

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#Foraging and the morel of the story – my latest @CityPalate feature article

morel mushrooms - photo - Karen Anderson

morel mushrooms – photo – Karen Anderson

I love the chance to spend time in nature and living in Alberta, Canada gives me great opportunities to do so. I love hiking in The Rocky Mountains, cycling, skiing or sometimes just getting in a raft and floating down the big wide Bow River.

Eventually, all that time in nature makes me hungry though and that’s when it’s good to spend a little of my time in the great outdoors with a cadre of culinary instructors from SAIT Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality and Tourism. Once a year we go on a hike that turns into an episode of Bounty Hunter. The bounty in this case is food and the hunting is part of the gathering we do on their annual foraging day in the foothills of The Rocky Mountains.

You might be a confirmed “urban forager” but in case you’d like to take a walk on the wild side of food read on…
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Filed under Cooks I know, Heritage cooking skills, Time in Nature

My @AlbertaatNoon podcast on Classic French Gastronomy and the fun food fad – #MugCakes

Mug Cakes are included in this VIP - Very Important Pots cookbook - photo - Karen Anderson

Mug Cakes are included in this VIP – Very Important Pots cookbook – photo – Karen Anderson

I made eight mini Mug Cakes this morning to take to my friends at CBC Radio One’s Alberta at Noon.

If you’re wondering how I worked Classic French Gastronomy and Mug Cakes into the same segment, you can listen to the podcast here.

If you master the Mug Cake try making this beautiful French menu with recipes from my friends at Succulent Paris.

Today’s CBC column proved that whether you go classic or faddist – you can still savour it all.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Recipes, Time in Nature

Why I’ll always have a crabapple tree – #birding – #TimeInNature

why all always have a crabapple tree - photo - Karen Anderson

why all always have a crabapple tree – photo – Karen Anderson

Last week Tyee Bridge wrote The Wisdom of Birds in Swerve magazine. It’s an in-depth look at the joys of bird-watching in Calgary and how to get started.

Like Tyee, I’m an amateur bird-watcher and an even more amateur photographer of wildlife. Still, I’m amazed at the joy these feathered friends bring me on days when I can get out in nature and walk amongst them.

There are many days I can’t go to them. Blissfully, they still come to see me. What follows are a few photos of feathered friends that stop by to visit.

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Mr. Abraham’s Spice Garden – cooking with coconut in the Cardamom Hills of Kerala

Mr. Abraham's cheery home - photo - Karen Anderson

Mr. Abraham’s cheery home – photo – Karen Anderson

Coconut is a great ingredient and though I love coconut, I think spices are perhaps the greatest ingredient ever given to a cook.

This post allows me to share another savoury coconut recipe but it also satisfies my longing to share my journey to a very special place in Kerala, South India.

When I planned my first trip to India, I planned it around two equally passionate quests; I wanted to meet India’s people and I wanted to go to where the spices grow.

Both of these desires were fulfilled when I found myself at Mr. Abraham’s Spice Garden in a quiet, lush corner in the Cardamom Hills near Periyar. I fell in love with the garden and of course with the garden’s caretakers.

Mr. Abraham’s garden was included in a BBC TV show and book by Monty Don called Around the World in 80 Gardens. I think it’s as close to the Garden of Eden as I’ll ever get. Read on, for the recipe and a virtual tour of the garden and you’ll see why I’ve been back and will keep going back as long as I’m able.

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Filed under Farm Tours, food tours, Great ingredients, India, Recipes, Time in Nature, Travel

Springtime in #Paris – Art Installation #6 -Giverny – Monet’s true masterpiece

Monet's Garden - viewed from his home photo - Karen Anderson

Monet’s Garden – viewed from his home
photo – Karen Anderson

Are you are gardener like me? Are your green thumb’s itching to scratch the earth each spring as winter thaws and the earth sends its hidden shoots skyward with the melt and thaw?

Well, it’s been an especially long winter where I live and so in this week where I’m sharing memories of my trips to Paris, I find special joy in sharing photos of an excursion I made to one of the most beautiful garden’s on earth: Claude Monet’s home and garden at Giverny.

Giverny is easily reached from Gare Nord in Paris. It’s only a little over an hour’s train ride into Normandie and I spent a magical day there on my own several years ago while my husband was busy attending a conference. The pictures that follow will show just how soft and gentle a land I wondered into when I got off that train. I hope this virtual home and garden tour helps you savour it all and dream of when your own garden comes to life this spring.

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Savour Food – real back country cooking with my friend Bryce Jones

The Jones Anderson crew Ready to go into the wild for a few days photo - Karen Anderson

The Jones Anderson crew
Ready to go into the wild for a few days
photo – Karen Anderson

We all have heroes in our lives and my friend Bryce Jones is one of mine. You can bet if I’ve been wondering into the back country I’ve been most confident doing so the times Jones has been at my side. He is super human fit, strong like a gondola cable and he knows more about Alberta’s back country terrain (in any season) than anyone I know. Here’s a little story and recipe from my family’s most recent adventures with our dear “Jonesy”.

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Filed under Recipes, Savour food, Time in Nature, Travel