Day 192- July 11

Fast and dirty National Blueberry Muffin Day !

I took this holiday as an opportunity to celebrate one of the little everyday things. Blueberry muffins are pretty much in any cafe or bakery you pass.
I rarely pick them up but I like them. Being able to grab a muffin quickly has saved me from many hanger attacks in the past

I picked up a mixed berry kamut vegan muffin and brought it home. My friends had dropped off some fresh blueberries earlier this week and they really enhanced the photo shoot

I thought the muffin photographed beautifully but Kamut is a hard grain to get behind when you’re trying to muffin- it was pretty dry and cough-inciting, not gonna lie.

 

Day 146 – May 26th

It was National Blueberry Cheesecake Day according to my calendar, but then I saw a bunch of people on Instagram celebration National Blueberry Pie Day instead,  so I decided to follow their lead.
I knew exactly where to get some vegan Blueberry Pie, but vegan Blueberry Cheesecake ? Good luck.

Kathleen, Duncan and I headed to our nearest and dearest pie monger, Aphrodite’s, for a slice.

It was ok.

There we saw truck driver donning (still) a “Hilary for Prison 2016” shirt.
Totes adorbs.

I posted a Boomerang on Instagram of the pie eating and, as you’ll note in the comments, got called out for celebrating the ‘wrong’ day.

Would you believe this isn’t the first time this has happened?
By people who haven’t commented before, first nor last?
Reaching out only to criticize and point out flaws?
I suppose you would believe it, if you’re remotely familiar with the internet.

I would like to say I take it with a grain of salt but can’t help but think about how damaged an ego one must have to feel compelled to comment on someone’s celebration, in honour of their deceased sister, to tell them they are doing it wrong.

I’ll just leave that there.

Then Kathleen kindly escorted me to NAPA autoparts in North Van to return a deep cell car battery that we use in The Pickle because it was dead but still under warranty. This gave me extreme anxiety because I hate returning things and know nothing about the battery.

Turned out all my worry and stress was for naught. It was a great experience with no questions asked and lots of hooting and hollering and swearing. I almost can’t wait for the next one to die so I can go back. Thanks NAPA for making National Blueberry Pie Day special and being easier to get along with than my Insta followers!

Day 133 – May 13

A junior high substitute teacher,  Mr. Menell (sic), once said something that stuck with me forever…

“An apple pie without the cheese is like a hug without the squeeze”

It was the grossest thing I ever heard and his words still haunt me

I recalled Mr Menell’s (sic) old chestnut today, National Apple Pie Day, as I enthusiastically (and interuptedly) said ‘YES!!!’ to my waitress’s offer of vegan coconut vanilla ice cream with my apple pie, in case she was going to finish her sentence with “…or some cheese”

It was delicious but the ice cream far outweighed the pie in flavour and texture. Two thumbs up on that, Aphrodite’s!

Happy Apple Pie Day everyone – hope it’s full of cheese less slices !

 

Day 88- March 29

The 88th day of my celebratory journey was yet another rainy one.

Like fucking downpour. Like I had to turn back to get an umbrella and still was soaked when I got to school kinda rain.

So over it.

It was National Lemon Chiffon Day, which was quite the mission.

I searched high and low. I went all through Granville Island Farmers Market, I popped into the vegan gluten free bakery by my gym, and tried Whole Foods. There were no Lemon Chiffon cakes to be had, or any lemon anything, really.

I refused to make a whole cake on this day because
a) I don’t even like lemon cakes
b) I still have god damn chocolate covered raisin oatmeal cookies left from last baking episode
c) time was of the essence

So I bought a small piece of junky cheapy vanilla cake from Safeway that had putrid lemon frosting splurged on top of it and cheated.

I sliced up a real lemon to try and make amends with myself for failing on this plight.

It was a really shitty cake. The icing was definitely made of lard and the stuff that could turn a few unassuming little pet shop turtles into Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, & Raphael.

Dreadful.

And I ‘hate ate’ it too.

 

Day 34 – February 3rd

Well today was a shocker
It snowed! A lot ! In Vancouver ! In February!
Apparently it’s supposed to be spring by the end of January. Schools were closed, flights delayed, busses off the road, total pandemonium !

I didn’t have school or work but plenty of school work.
But I decided to err on the side of complete negligence and not do anything productive in that realm.

I put everything into National Women Physician Day ! National Carrot Cake Day! National Wear Red Day!

I trudged through the snow (barely ankle high but still warranting everything in the city to shut down more or less) to my chiropractor appointment. I supposed she is a doctor and may count, but she is the snobbiest person I ever met- I kinda love it it’s a riot, but the last thing I want to do is inflate her ego any further. It would be dangerous.

I chose, rather,  to celebrate my ‘Woman Physician’ back home in NL – Dr. M. I often think if Sarah had had Dr. M as a doctor instead of all the incompetent, unconcerned, criminally negligent, lazy practitioners and specialists that over saw her health, she would still be alive. Dr. M leaves no stone unturned whenever I have had the slightest of ailments. She even humoured me with a follow up ultrasound on a benign breast lump I have after Sarah died just to give me additional peace of mind about the matter.  She listens, doesn’t speak condescendingly, and doesn’t dismiss, all the while being super fast, as her waiting room is always blocked

Dr. M also came though big time with the note that allowed Duncan on the plane with me. I can never thank her enough for that – without it there was no way to get him here (Air Canada doesn’t allow bulldogs of any sort in cargo or baggage because they are high risk of dying while in air apparently).

I got this photo of Duncan in this quintessential Vancouver location printed:

And a thank you card

and wrote a little note and put it in the mail. Hope it doesn’t weird her out!

As I said earlier it was snowy af out and the city was all out of whack. I took it as a great opportunity to stay indoors and celebrate National Carrot Cake Day by baking one from scratch – is there any other way to bake?

So Carrot Cakes are my maternal grandmother Nana Byrne’s claim to fame. She makes the best carrot cake and even baked one for Terry Fox (my absolute hero) when he ran through her town. Now I have never made one with her or even overseen the operation. But I do know she used a jar or two of carrot baby food in her recipe. It was the ‘secret’ element. I could’t find any baby food that was carrot only so I got a mango apple carrot one.

I scoured the web to find one that had that but couldn’t see any so I just sort of made up my own recipe through an amalgamation of other recipes and my own guesses about what would work – I am really good as far as I’m concerned.

To make a carrot cake the way I did, you will need:

  • 3 eggs
  • three carrots grated
  • 1 pack mango apple carrot baby pureed food
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla

I combined these well using brute strength and a whisk. I didn’t have a cake pan so I made cupcakes. I baked at 350 for just shy of 30 minutes. Our oven is very hot here so I checked on them obsessively.

When cooled I iced them with frosting I made by combining :

  • 1  8oz brick of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar

Again I used my whisk to mix this. I didn’t get the thick ‘whipped’ consistency I am sure I could have gotten with my $400 Kitchenaid stand mixer back in my beautifully equipped kitchen in Newfoundland that’s now being used by a high end call girl who doesn’t know how thermostats work.

The yield of my labour was 12 super moist, deliciously carroty cupcakes with thing but delicious cream cheese icing

It’s true – they were delicious – these guys thought so!

After writing cards and baking cakes I realized I had almost missed the easiest thing to celebrate- Wear Red Day!

I felt so dumb ! It was almost too easy

I pulled my favourite sweater out of the closet and hauled it on. Took a few selfies from the front…

 

…and the back

I met the man that would become my husband in this sweater. He told me he had a dog that looked just like it growing up – Jim Jim. The rest is history.

Next up is National Homemade Soup Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: January 3rd

Happy  Drinking Straw, Chocolate Covered Cherry & Fruit Cake Toss Day everyone!!

Boy was it eventful… and is that drinking straw ever effective at getting fluid to your mouth. I was provided a drinking straw when I dined at a sushi restaurant when I ordered a glass of water. I felt this was not quite sufficient in ‘celebrating’ the drinking straw so I chewed on it for a while like a tooth pick and did some bare bones internet research. Most of what I learned was extracted from here:

http://www.bonappetit.com/entertaining-style/trends-news/article/history-of-the-straw

Some fun quick facts:

  • The oldest drinking straw in existence was found in a Sumerian tomb dated 3,000 B.C.E
  • Modern day drinking straw was patented by Marvin Stone in 1888
  • Americans go through 500 MILLION drinking straws a day

…that last tidbit is pretty horrifying actually. I do usually go without, as marvellous as the drinking straw is, and I guess you should too! Save the planet one straw at a time?

Next up Chocolate Covered Cherry Day!

My special recipe is as follows:

  • chocolate
  • cherries

My Christmas stash made great sacrifices to help with this particular ‘celebration’. I peeled all these little white, male elves (not much diversity in Santa’s workshop) tinfoil skins off and microwaved the white privilege out of them.

Once melted it was just a matter of dipping and laying on wax paper to cool

I ate a few of these, spit out the pits and then took the afternoon off of ‘celebrating by the book’ and instead celebrated off the beaten path by celebrating my love of punk rock by watching the rockumentary on The Descendents, one of my favourite bands of all time, called “Filmage”. I recommend it only if you really like them because it was pretty lacklustre. Man, ‘Milo goes to College’ still gets me pumped up!

Once evening fell, I called upon the help of two very dear friends, Hillary & Jill to toss a fruit cake.

Hillary was given one by her office mate well before Christmas and it had remained untouched throughout the entire holiday season. We decided to toss it out her bedroom window and it was graciously captured in video form : Tossing the Cake

That’s it for January 3rd folks

Onwards to January 4th – National Trivia & National Spaghetti Day