Category Archives: Time in Nature

Taking a little time out at #TalusLodge

Talus Lodge - photo credit - Karen Anderson

Talus lodge – photo credit – Karen Anderson

It’s good to have life goals.

One of my favourites is to go to a different back country lodge in the Canadian Rockies every year. This year it was Talus Lodge.

To reach the lodge you take a helicopter from Canmore and fly about 100 kilometres due west. It takes about 15 minutes, goes by in a flash and when you land you find yourself in the high alpine deep in the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading

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Filed under Time in Nature, Travel

Happy Birthday David #Suzukiat80

I grew up with parents that told me “go outside”. I had teachers that were conservationists and who taught me the names of all the plants, flowers and trees where we lived. They mean as much to me as my neighbours and friends – for that is what they truly are.

My happy place is walking a trail and breathing with the trees.

Now that I’m older, when I travel to a new place, I have an inherent need to learn the names of the plants, flowers and trees. It’s quirky but otherwise, I feel rude. I just feel a basic need to acknowledge and care for them always.

This is why David Suzuki is a hero for me. He uses his life to inform and activate others to save nature and in doing so, ourselves. I support and pay attention to this man. After all, we need nature. Nature does not need us.

Want to learn more about him? Here’s a link to 80 things you didn’t know about David Suzuki.


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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 #13 – #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 surrounding Claude Monet’s home and garden – it was May. Iris were everywhere.

They were tall and sparkling with dew in shades of mauve, purple, yellow and white. They took the lead in a joyful song of spring with lilacs and wisteria as voluptuous back up singers. My mind grabbed that purple haze of flowers and sealed it away. Irises became synonymous with Giverny for me. I never thought of how it would be the rest of the year. My recent visit was an epiphany.

April means tulips at Giverny.

The iris were only thinking about their diva-ish debut. The wisteria were wistfully waking, the lilacs were racing the apple blossoms for heightening senses with their scents-ability.

I think I’ll need to go every month of the year to truly understand the beauty of Monet’s intricate masterpiece. This visit was the fulfillment of an innocent wish made at another time and another place – far from Paris or Giverny. I’ll tell you a bit about that before I share some of the photos I took of Monet’s true masterpiece.

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Filed under Art Installation, Joy, Time in Nature, Travel

#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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Filed under Joy, Time in Nature