Category Archives: Savour life

Happy #Thanksgiving – Our Canadian version makes The New York Times

It’s pumpkin time – photo credit – Karen Anderson

It’s Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. It’s time to savour food, savour life and savour it all.

In most of the country the narrow daylight that Diana Krall so achingly croons about shines softly on trees glowing with amber, scarlet, magenta and gold leaves. Farmers’ markets bulge with pumpkins ready to line walkways and front porch steps. People take long walks and come home rosy-cheeked and ready to sip a little cider. The transition from summer to winter is long and lingering – languid even.

That’s most of the country. Meanwhile here in Calgary, we woke up to our first blizzard this morning and a blanket of white snow now covers my lawn. That’s life in this land where Rocky mountain steeples tower over these wind-swept and often parches and brittle Prairies below. Still we’ve cause for excitement as we huddle around the fireplace this weekend.

Earlier in the week, local cookbook author extraordinaire Julie Van Rosendaal asked her friends and followers what would be a uniquely Albertan Thanksgiving food? The New York Times had called and wanted her to contribute.


I hoped Julie would be able to write about Winter’s Turkeys because of their humane animal husbandry practices and the taste that results from all the TLC they bestow on their bountiful birds but alas, turkey was already taken. Julie came up with the perfect solution. She wrote about infusing turkey leftovers into something all Albertans love – pirogies

Here’s the article: Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes from Across Canada. Too bad they didn’t spell favourite the Canadian way, eh? Just kidding. The research is thorough. All 10 provinces and three territories are covered and I learned a lot about my own country.

What are your favourite recipes for Canadian Thanksgiving?

I’ll be brining my Winter’s Turkey in a soy and oh so Canadian maple solution before roasting it to bronzed perfection. I’ll make brussel sprouts with bacon, rutabaga puff, sesame coleslaw, Yukon Gold mashes spuds, golden beets with pistachio dressing, herb and mushroom stuffing, tomato aspic and softly spiced orange cranberry sauce. There will be a butternut squash soup to start and a golden apple Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

I’ve so much to be thankful for. I hope you and your family and friends enjoy a bounty as rich as Canada’s wherever you may live. It was nice that The New York Times described our food and favourite recipes but just between you and me, I think they missed the thing all Canadians are most grateful for. It’s the fact that we are Canadians.

Happy Thanksgiving indeed.


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#IDY2016 – the gift of a guru – @SadhguruJV and @Ishafoundation

I met a great teacher last year in India. I met Sadhguru.

Sadh means knowledge that comes from within. Guru is a Sanskrit: गुरु noun that connotes “teacher”. When I met Sadhguru, I met an enlightened human being who is able to access knowledge from within. This is the knowledge of all existence from the beginning of existence.

Attaining enlightenment comes with certain perks.

Today is the second annual International Day of Yoga. One of Sadhguru’s goals is to share the science of yoga. The video above was made last year so that anyone anywhere can access the benefits of yoga. This year Sadhguru and legions of volunteers taught hundreds of thousands of people the simple UPA yoga described in the video. Today Sadhguru taught people from 135 nations live at the United Nations in New York City that same yoga.

I’ve been blessed by my guru. Sharing this video here is a tiny offering of love, gratitude and respect for him and his work. I’ll share more about my experience of meeting Sadhguru at Isha foundation in India in the rest of the post. Continue reading


Filed under Health, India, Savour life, Travel

How to Enjoy Family Food Time This Christmas


Skip perfection and opt for proper planning and simplicity to focus on what really matters — being with family and friends.

Here’s a fun article I wrote for Calgary’s Avenue Magazine. You might be feeling a little panicked with Christmas right around the corner but take a deep breath and do what I always do – start making lists!

Here’s the article:

Source: How to Enjoy Family Food Time This Christmas

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Filed under Joy, Savour life, Writing

W5 – a series of questions about @cookitraw #rawAlberta @albertaculinary – Let’s start with “WHAT” is Cook it Raw?

If you have no idea WHAT Cook it Raw is, this blog post is for you.

Watching the video above is a great place to start learning about Cook it Raw. Check it out and see if, while you’re learning about WHAT Cook it Raw is, you can also find seven Alberta food products that you might be quite familiar with but that the rest of the world might know very little about. That’s a pretty big hint about the answer to WHAT this is all about, by the way.

Don’t have time to watch the gorgeous video by Edmonton cinematographer Kevin Kossowan? Nah – go back and watch it. It’ll make you want to get on a plane to Lac LaBiche, Alberta – even if you have no idea where in the world that is. Hey, wait, that’s another clue to WHAT Cook it Raw is all about! Let’s cut to the chase.

Cook it Raw is a group of local and internationally-renowned chefs who gather to discover and articulate the essence of diverse and emerging culinary locations throughout the world. They are just winding up six months of intensive work in Alberta this very week. This is only the ninth time there’s been such a gathering since the inception of the program in 2009.

To learn more, read on and as an incentive to do so, I’ll give you the answer to exactly WHAT the seven truly Albertan ingredients are at the end of this post.

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Filed under Alberta at Noon, Great ingredients, Heritage cooking skills, Savour food, Savour life, Time in Nature, Travel

Art Installation #14 – @BlueRodeo #StealingDreams – #art speaks #politics – VOTE

After almost a decade of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of Canada, I’m tired of secrets so I’ll not keep it a secret that I won’t be voting for his party in the October 19 election.

Why? Watch the video by Blue Rodeo above.

Muzzling scientists? Getting rid of research institutions that were self-financed by the industries they researched? Destroying freedom of speech? Lying and cheating and insulting Canada’s collective intelligence by thinking we don’t care or NOTICE politicians who lie and cheat? Denying that 1200 aboriginal women being abducted and murdered is not a massive human rights and societal issue? Dismantling a national public radio service and news broadcaster to the point where reporters are capturing content on their iPhones? Not spending the allotted money for social programs that could prevent poverty while watching food bank use rise by 30%?

I rest my case and I hope Stephen Harper will be resting his briefcase somewhere else October 20th.

Please Vote and let the world know this is not our CANADA! If he wins, I’m going to need grief counselling for I will have suffered the loss of my country as I’ve always known and loved it.


Filed under Art Installation, Grief, Savour life

A note from @jamieoliver regarding a #FoodRevolution for #ChildrensHealth

A Letter from Jamie Oliver (reprinted with his permission)

Sign the petition

As you may know, recently I launched a global petition to fight for compulsory, practical food education for all children in schools across the world. Within a month, we had well over 700,000 signatures but now I really need your help to get more.

I profoundly believe that it is every child’s human right to have access to food education from a young age. It’s only with this knowledge and understanding of food, where it comes from, how it affects their bodies, and how to grow, cook and enjoy it, that we will be able to fix the terrible state of global health as it stands today.

To give you just one stat, according to the World Health Organization, 42 million children under the age of five were overweight or obese around the world in 2013. Under the age of five. Something is seriously wrong with our relationship with food and we need to act now before our health services around the world become overwhelmed by the effects of preventable diet-related disease.

I really need as many people as possible in every country to sign this petition and share it with their friends all over the world. With enough support, we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to force governments everywhere – including yours – to take action in the fight against diet-related diseases, and I really believe this is possible.

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XYZ – an alphabet for what I hope is my mid-life in the year 2015

I'm happy with who I am at this point in my life - photo by my friend  Pauli-Ann Carriere

I’m happy with who I am at this point in my life –
photo by my friend Pauli-Ann Carriere

I’ve never believed in New Year’s resolutions but I do like to think about how I live my life each day.

I’m 53. I hope to live till I’m 100 so I’ve accepted that I am now in the middle of my life should I get my wish to live to be a centenarian.

When I was about three years old I learned my ABC’s. That’s been useful – especially as a writer – but as I toddle my way into mid-life I’ve been thinking about another use for those 26 letters. I think their convenient format can be borrowed to lend structure to this new time in my life – life beyond A is for apple, B is for boy and C for cat.

This alphabet starts at X because…

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Filed under Health, Joy, Savour life