Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Illustrations and a Lodge

While I was in Canada, I got to stay at wonderful lodge in Pemberton BC.  Pemberton is about half an hour from Whistler, where the winter Olympics were.  Some of the events, the other ones were in case you forgot.

This lodge I stayed in is called Lillooet River Lodge.

It is a wonderful place and I highly recommend that if you are interested in a little getaway over the boarder,  you book it now and leave tonight.

And no, I am not being paid to say this.

View from the back deck.

I took this picture while laying in bed one morning, maybe it was after a nap.  

Yes, I took naps on my Canadian Holiday.

What really blew my mind was that on the book shelf, I discovered this.

This is a book from my youth.  I am sure many of you had the same one, it was a popular publication.  Actually, I think it still is.

I used to look at this book for hours, taking in the illustrations.  
The art has always been what interested me, even when I was 4 years old.

No one ever read me the stories from this book, so I had to ascertain what was going on simply from images.  Turns out I wasn't right.  

 I think that it was for the best that I never associated the stories with the illustrations.  I let the illustrations tell their own stories to me.  Eventually I hooked them together with the right stories, but much later in life.

I think that we could all use fewer words, stories, dialogs, headlines, narratives accompanying our images these days.  Maybe if images could tell their own stories more often, our inner dialogue would be richer.  Maybe the images would mean more if we got a chance to process them first before someone told us what or how we should be enjoying or taking them in.

Maybe...maybe I would just like to see more picture books around.  More illustrations.  More art.

Definitely more picture books.

 DEFINITELY more art.

Because if there is anything that can make your life richer inside and is ART!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Magic Pot

If you read the title of the this blog post and are waiting for a long tirade about my high school will have to wait for another time.  Or buy me a drink.

This Magic Pot I speak of today makes my life bearable.

This Magic Pot really is "Mothers little helper".

This Magic Pot frees up time in a busy mothers day.

This Magic Pot I speak of comes in different varieties, you get to pick the one that suites you best.

Really this isn't that magic pot.

I am speaking of this Magic Pot.

I love my Magic Pot so much!

I used it yesterday to make a yummy meal that my family loves after a long day of work, school and chilly autumn practices.

I don't have a name for this dish...maybe you could post some ideas if the mood strikes you.

This is what I did.

I dumped all this stuff into the Magic Pot.  Olives are the key here.  I picked up lots of different kinds at my local olive bar.  Plus my favorite manzanillas.  Capers bring a tangy saltiness.  Crushed tomatoes bring it all together.  The dried Turkish apricots balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and everything else.  The garbanzos are a nice non-animal protein.

I do like animal protein though...sorry vegetarians!  I used thighs because they hold up much better in the Magic Pot than their white meat relatives.  I sliced an onion, a ton of whole garlic cloves and threw on some rosemary because that is what I had fresh. I have used basil and oregano too, both good.  Dried herbs work well too...think Mediterranean spices, Italy, Greece...that sort of thing.  I put plenty of salt and pepper and then drizzled with olive oil.

I broiled my chicken on the middle wrack of my oven and kept my eye on it until just the right moment to golden crispy color appeared.

In the mean time...all my other stuff hopped into the Magic Pot.  My secret ingredient?  See the little wedge with the numbers?  It's a parmesan rind!

You can pick one (or many) up at any good grocery store.  They really are simply the rind of the King of Cheeses.  It's cheap, it keeps forever and adds so much flavor and depth to soups, sauces and stews.

I always have some in my fridge and put it in everything saucey.

I think it is beautiful.

The chicken joins the party in the Magic Pot.  Don't forget the onions, garlic and rosemary.  

Let the juices join too.

Then I let the Magic pot go to work for about 6 hours.

I made a pot of white rice to go with my Magic Pot creation. ( I know...brown is soooo much better for you!  But I am chinese...we like our white rice, so get off my back man!)

Brown rice would be good, polenta, just a salad, a nice crusty bread...whatever floats your boat really.

And this will be floating my boat for lunch today!

Hope you get to make is a real treat at the end of a long day of work, apple picking, a day at the pumpkin patch, a chilly evening football game and it is really good as leftover lunch!

In Joy!  
(Get it ENJOY...In Joy...??)

Don't forget to shout out your name ideas for this Magic Pot wonder!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canadian Holiday

I arrived home safe and sound from my Canadian Holiday last Thursday evening.

I have been thinking about how to share my trip with those of you who couldn't be there with me.

Instead of trying to organize and narrate it logically, chronologically, or alphabetically...I have decided to go with my mood and just throw it all out there.

I am sure there will be more to come, but for now you just get a visual tour of my whirlwind foreign road trip.

Happy Monday!