How many boxes of waxy chocolate covered almonds and flimsy wrapping paper have you bought over the years…to support somebody’s school? Finally…a school fundraiser that’s tasty, healthy and supports local farmers.
This is the second year I’ve bought Fresh from the Farm – the yummiest way to support the whole community. There is a box of apples, and bags of sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes and carrots. And perfect timing for some hearty winter stew. A definite Friday favourite.
Food tastes better when it’s shared – making it and eating it. And when it’s something like tourtiere, it spreads out the workload. I spent a great couple of hours with my friend Jo recently – filling our freezers with tourtiere for two. She made the delicious pork filling for the traditional Christmas meat pie. And I provided the butter pastry. Of course we had to sacrifice one of the 10 mini meat pies for a taste test. And I am savouring the little round disks of deliciousness waiting in the freezer for a snowy night.
I saw a preview for the movie A United Kingdom months ago and made a mental note to watch it sometime since it was about Africa. Then I forgot about it. While on my recent safari trip someone mentioned the movie and the fact that it was about Botswana. I had browsed Netflix for movies about Botswana before the trip but somehow this didn’t pop up. I watched it this week. It’s slow but it’s based on a true story and explains the beginning of independence for Botswana from Britain. Prince Seretse Khama of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) was studying law in Britain in the 1940s when he met Ruth Williams, a white British clerk. They married and received disapproval from all sides but persevered. (You can read more in the book A Marriage of Inconvenience by Michael Dutfield.)
Seretse Khama went on to become the first democratically elected President of the independent Botswana in 1966 and his son is the current President. It’s not gripping drama but it’s interesting history and would make for great viewing on some cold December night on the couch. It’s my friday favourite.
It’s not for everyone…but I love grocery shopping. Probably helps that I just have one to cook for, and I always agrees with my choices! So when a friend got me a one week trial for a meal kit with three dinners, delivered to my door, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be for me.
And then I unwrapped the delivered to my door goodness from Good Food and started to cook. The food is expertly packaged with step by step recipes, and is as fresh as anything I would buy at my local independent food market. They are based in Montreal and say they try to source local food sources whenever possible, and they contribute to a nutritious meal for a child in need at school for every Good Food box delivered.
I’ve had butter chicken, pork skewers and a steak dinner. I might be hooked. You can choose from 3-6 original meals each week – or skip a week or two or three.
Here’s a little of what last week looked like!
A few years ago my not-quite daughter-in-law gave my son a personalized note pad with a picture of our dog at the top. It was the right size for short lists of things and the photo was the perfect touch. She ordered it from pinhole press.
I ordered a bunch of notepads that year from pinhole press but then forgot about the company until an email arrived this week with a 25% off coupon. I started browsing my photos and found tons that I think would make great gifts. Don’t be surprised if you receive one this year!
When she became my daughter-in-law for real she had personalized photos made of their wedding to view in a View Master! It’s a really fun way to look at photos and it makes people smile when they pick it up and look in it.
My other son and my next soon-to-be daughter-in-law gave us a beautiful calendar from Artifact Uprising. The photos were heavy card stock and displayed on a wooden clipboard with a magnet. Another cool gift idea.
So there you go. Easy gift ideas for the holidays. Find some favourite photos and order some stuff that will make your recipient smile!
A sundowner (when you are on safari) means stop what you are doing, set up a bar with the best view of the sunset and have a cocktail! Having just returned from the most amazing trip on safari in Botswana, sundowners are my new friday favourite!
This first G&T was on a boat on the Zambezi River, near Victoria Falls, watching hippos.
The next one was on the Boteti River watching elephants splash.
This ‘bush’ bar magically appeared after a canoe ride in the Okavango Delta!
And this one was overlooking the Chobe River, at Chobe Game Lodge!
If I could walk outside every day in the woods, I would. But when you throw in the seasons and eliminate days of driving snow and sweltering heat…sometimes we need somewhere else to walk.
I’ve rediscovered an indoor track in my area and have made it two times in the last two weeks. I know that doesn’t exactly constitute a habit (yet) but I’m working on it. And there’s lots of winter on the way.
As I lapped around the astroturf track without a podcast or music track in my head – just my own thoughts – I briefly wondered if this was perhaps a boring, repetitive way to keep fit. But I quickly pushed that thought aside when I realized how much great thinking is accomplished walking around and around.
I’ve been waking up lately with those nasty middle of the night to-do lists in my head. You know the ones that are mostly fictional? But as I lapped around in lane 1 everything was so much clearer. The to-do list was gone. I could think about anything or nothing. Head – cleared. Body – moved.
When the weather fits, I’ll walk it off outdoors, but I’m also reenergized about keeping it up whatever the weather.