Day 9 – January 9th

I was up super early today thanks to jet lag from the four and half hour time zone difference I am adjusting to. I took some pictures of the terrible state of affairs that my desk was in because it is National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

I am presently sitting at my freshly cleaned table that is used as a desk with Duncan on my lap, sipping my Apricot cocktail and listening to soothing forest sounds  ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdIJ2x3nxzQ ) trying to unwind from the stressful day that I had.

It was my first day back at school. I had missed the first session back due to flight drama so here I was, a day ‘behind’ in Art Therapy class. I struggle with the group art therapy sessions that we have to do because I really don’t feel comfortable with the other people in the program. Quite frankly, the others all seem to have very basic, non tomultuous lives that are intangible to mine. But today, I was prompted by my instructor and I ended up disclosing Sarah’s death for the first time to these people. And it went exactly as I had anticipated; no one could knew what to do or say, so no one made eye contact and spoke to me thereafter.

Immediately after that, my husband calls saying our crazy tenant is moving out because she is convinced the house is going to get broken into again despite the elaborate alarm system that has been installed. Her dog sets it off regularly and she is convinced this is never the case, but rather the same guy who originally broke in, back to get her laptop. Right.

This is very stressful financially because Vancouver is outrageous to rent in. It’s not like the blog money is rolling in. Without the rental income we are completely screwed. James was livid but had to end the phone call abruptly because he had just arrived at the hospital and was about to get an update about Melvin’s condition.

So I spent the whole afternoon class going out of my skin about what the news could be about his treatment options and about our financial ruination…

HAPPY NATIONAL STATIC ELECTRICITY DAY, NATIONAL CLEAN OFF YOUR DESK DAY & NATIONAL APRICOT DAY!

I came home and called two of my best fellow landlord friends. I put them on speaker phone while I methodically cleaned off the desk. They assured me tenants always do this, two months notice is plenty of time to get a new tenant, they are willing to help with photos and showings, etc etc. With each favour and piece of sage wisdom they offered, a piece of desk debris was put away somewhere it belonged. As the ideas of how to solve the problem poured in, the accumulated layer of dust and glitter was wiped away. The metaphor was strong in this one.

I decided, based on sound advice, to take a load off of James plate by contacting the tenant myself. I wanted to let her know what James is going through and to ask her to deal with me from here on out regarding the matter. That went relatively well. She’s still quite crazy and still moving out but I am honestly glad to be rid of her because she was a nuisance.

After this I went to Whole Foods on an Apricot hunt. They are not in season nor genetically modified to be around despite that. So I managed to find Apricot juice by Ceres.

 

 

I came home, mowed down on the macaroni and cheese I picked up as well, and then whipped up this elaborate National Apricot Day Cocktail:

  • 1ish oz vodka
  • 2 oz apricot juice
  • top with Perrier
  • frozen mixed berries

 

Could I have added a sprig of rosemary or some elderflower extract? Probably.  Maybe lemon or used brandy instead? Sure could’ve. Shaken it? Garnished it? Rimmed it? You bethca.

At this stage in the day, however, I just really needed a drink and National Apricot Day offered me that opportunity. So thank you, National Apricot Day! I’m on my second one now and feeling no pain!

It’s really hard to celebrate when things are so god damn awful but vodka totally helps. As for National Static Electricity Day, it can go fuck itself, I’m going night riding at Cypress!

(photo by Meg Robichaud)

 

 

Day 8 – January 8th

Well today was a whole lot of things!

I started the day by bringing little Duncan for a trot around Kits Beach so he could learn the lay of the land. We met our first other white French Bulldog…bonus, her tongue permanently hangs out. Totes adorbs.

So being National English Toffee day  I decide to have a go at making it myself.

It was my understanding toffee is just butter and sugar boiled to holy hell then cooled and boy was I on point with that assumption.

All you need to make this legendary treat is

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • chocolate
  • almond slivers
  • CANDY THERMOMETER

I just typed out those ingredients from pure memory because I know it by heart now having had to do it twice… and not getting it right either time.

You really need a candy thermometer. Do not think you are ‘above’ a candy thermometer. Eyeballing and timing are not going to fly here. Buy a candy thermometer. Trust me.

You boil the first four ingredients until 300F … or if you are me for 15 minutes because somewhere on the internet that was stated. This could be too long, depending on your stove, pot, stirring skills, etc etc.

It was too long.

Burnt English Toffee Round 1

I attempted again, this time having watched a few youtube videos showing what it should look like when its ready to come off the heat and set. A couple videos revealed the ice-cube-water-glass trick: you put a droplet of the mixture in ice water and if it hardens immediately then it’s ready to come off the heat.  The other advice was to have a jar of Jif peanut butter handy and once it’s the same colour it’s ready to go.

The latter was completely useless guide seeing as how it is almost immediately that colour.

The former…well, didn’t pan out either. That’s a pun, by the way. Because you pour it in a pan.

So once the ice-cube-water-glass trick deemed my toffee ready, I stirred in the baking soda and put it on the pan with the already dispersed almonds.

I put it in the fridge to cool a little then added chocolate chips to the top to melt. Once melted, I spread the chocolate over the top.

The toffee came out a little soft. Not the hard as rock, stick in your teeth, cavity forming texture we all know and love.

However it still tasted great and everyone ate it all up at National Sunday Supper Day celebrations!

Distant cousin-in-law Carmel & her husband Bill slaved away on supper ….

…while everyone else sat around having a laugh

Bill made me vegetarian vegetables but I brought my own Vegan Meatloaf

Recipe can be found here : http://www.connoisseurusveg.com/almost-classic-chickpea-vegan-meatloaf

I didn’t have a food processor so I used a Vitamin blender so it was a bloody mess and not quite a ‘loaf’ but it tasted really good… sensing a pattern here ….

It was a marvelous time and everyone was SO supportive of my blog which felt great. Duncan was also very popular.

Prior to heading the Ian & Kelly’s (& Carmel & Bill’s) I had to have my obligatory Bubble bath for National Bubble Bath Day.

Not going to lie, it too was a bit of a disaster because our apartment buildings hot water tank must be smaller than Donald Trump’s hands. I just let it fill up, water turned all the way on hot (which is usually warm enough). When I immersed myself in it was tepid to say the least

I hope there are no uber talented photoshop wizards out there than can extract a nude from that overflow drain thing

I followed my bath by celebrating National Winter Skin Relief Day  by slathering on some of Lush’s hand and body lotion called “Sleepy”

I didn’t bother with National Argyle Day...it’s too plaid out … 😉

 

 

 

Day 7 – January 7th

National Bobblehead & Tempura Day!

This day started at 3AM. An early rise to catch my 5AM flight out of St. John’s back to Vancouver. This was my first time flying with Duncan, my newly rendered Emotional Support Animal. I was a little apprehensive of how he would behave on the plane and in the airports. I arranged the flight to have a close to 3 hour layover in Toronto so I could take him in and out through security to have a pee. However we ended up stuck on the tarmac for over 2 hours deicing the plane. This was followed by being stuck on the tarmac in Toronto waiting for a gate. By the time we were able to disembark I had just shy of 40 minutes. No outdoor excretion for Duncan 🙁

He had a pooh in the middle of the airport. I was completely prepared with baggies and wipes so I was actually relieved that he relieved then and there. WAAAAAY better less embarrassing then on the plane.

Flying with Duncan was great ! It was a celebration in and of itself. He was so good and made everybody so happy. I could have smuggled all the drugs and weapons in the world on the flight because security was so delighted by his cuteness. Everyone petted him as they boarded the plane. People took pictures with him. The flight attendants checked on him repeatedly. T’was an absolute joy.. and relief ! I know he is flyable now which means I can take him all the time!

With regards to Bobblehead Day, I tried to take advantage of my brief layover in Toronto to check out their Bobblehead collection at their souvenir stores. I assumed, being home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and the Toronto Blue Jays, they would have some sort of sport star bobble head to buy or at the very least take a Boomerang of.

None! The Blue Jays have Bobblehead day for their fans http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-announce-bobblehead-giveaways-for-2016/

I couldn’t believe my luck!

When I arrived back in Vancouver I laid down for a nap that took me down for the count – I woke up at 8pm, having missed the majority of the day!

My room mate Christina, who is taking this Celebrate Everyday…Literally initiative very seriously tried to find some bobbleheads while I was unconscious to no avail.

So I decided to take this day to recognize Frankie MacDonald, my favourite weatherman, and his Bobble head work.

Frankie MacDonald Bobblehead – 2016 Edition

Frankie is a Youtube sensation who is great at predicting the weather and giving advice about how to deal with it.  A portion of the proceeds go to Autism Canada.

Once I got my act together from my coma nap, Christina and I went to the sushi place about 20 metres from our apartment for tempura.

They make you take off your shoes there – real authentic like. Apparently in Japan shoes are a no go in homes and lots of public places

 

We ordered the vegetable tempura which involved two pieces of potato tempura, two pieces of sweet potato tempura and one piece of mystery root vegetable tempura.

Boy was it delish.

This post was a bit arduous for me due to the jet lag and also having to celebrate two things I don’t care about one way or the other instead of celebrating two things I was really happy about : Duncan being with me from here on out and doing do well on the plane and seeing my buddy Christina again and getting Christmas presents from her.

Oh well, onward ho I suppose

January 8th has a lengthly list of things to celebrate : Argyle, Winter Skin Relief, Bubble Baths, English Toffee, & Sunday Supper !

 

 

 

Day 6 – January 6th

Today was a pretty good day all in all. I decided to put a ‘pause’ on celebrating the day in my meticulous-according-to-the-national-day-calendar ways and thought I would celebrate the sunshine that was pouring down.

The weather has been snowy and stormy all holiday season so I relished the opportunity to take the dogs outside for a true, un-rushed walk.

We walked all the way from the house we are staying in to the top of Signal Hill and all the way back. We even stopped in to deliver a cappuccino to Hillary as a surprise on the way.

After the rejuvenating walk, I received some good-ish news: Melvin received radiation therapy on several cancer sites this afternoon. We have been waiting for weeks for some form of treatment to commence has been absolutely maddening. I spent the afternoon and a portion of the evening with him and the in-law fam. He was in great spirits so it is much less heart wrenching to leave  than it was yesterday. He is going to be admitted into the hospital tonight but his appetite was up and he really seemed as well as one can be.

So I came home to continue my National Day celebrations starting with National Bean Day!

Would you believe these are the same two bowls of beans in both pictures, just taken from slightly different angles? My BFA is really paying off.

I love beans. I am a vegetarian and I incorporate them into all kinds of recipes. If I were to pick a favourite it would be the Black Bean.

I decided to create some sort of burrito concept seeing as how my husband bought an 8 kg bag of rice and there are two things of Kraft shredded Mexican cheese in the fridge.

The recipe is more or less as follows:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 roasted sweet potato
  • 1 red onion
  • mixed pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 bottle of Salsa – I used President’s Choice Texas Caviar Mild Bean Salsa*
  • Tortillas
  • Sour Cream
  • Avocado

*Bonus Bean points

Roasted the sweet potato & put the rice in the rice cooker.

When they were ready I sautéed the vegetables, threw in the beans, the potatoes, the salsa and the spices.

Add sour cream & avocado and eat

National Cuddle Up Day. This one was almost too easy – it’s literally how we spend the most of our time; cuddled up with the bulldogs.

Shortbread Day sort of went on the back burner. I made some amazing Earl Grey Shortbread cookies as a final project of school so have all the supplies in Vancouver and  didn’t have the heart or the finances to reinvest in the project but promise to revisit it at some point.

These are the shortbread my husband bought in haste at the grocery store. They were terrible but the gesture is what should be ‘celebrated’ . I actually spit it out.

National Tech Day! 

This I  celebrated by actually squeezing in this post today!! I have a VERY early morning flight tomorrow. I  also sought the help I need with web building/ blogging from my tech expert friend Hillary. She has agreed to help me with the list of things I have yet to figure out – like embedding a contact field, linking to my Instagram and other social media, embedding links better and videos well.

So hopefully this will be classy enough to take off!

Thanks for reading

Tomorrow is National Tempura Day & National Bobble Head Day! I will be in transit from one side of Canada to the other but I will make it work!!

XO !

 

 

Day 5 – January 5th

Daaaaaay 5

Today started with a lot of calamity. I was on the phone with Air Canada Reservations, Expedia.com hotline, Expedia.ca hotline, and Air Canada Medical Desk for virtually hours trying to sort out my flight back to Vancouver using a credit and getting Duncan, my deaf French Bulldog Emotional Support Animal on board.

During the long holds and many ‘pardon -me’s?’ (why people with poor English skills are manning these call centres is beyond me – I would be so anxiety ridden if I had to answer phones in Spanish or French, I feel for these people ) the alarm at our rental property was going off.

Our marvellous tenant (who I will definitely have to do a full post on someday) had her father pop by to check on her dog while she was out but didn’t tell him about the alarm. So it went off to holy hell his solution was to shut the door, walk away, and notify no one. Fuck sakes.

ANYWAY HAPPY WHIPPED CREAM DAY,  NATIONAL BIRD DAY,  AND SCREENWRITERS DAY!!!

Whipped cream. What a delight.

As simple as:

  • 1 carton of Whipping Cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup + of confectioner’s sugar

Whip with a mixer but don’t over mix – it can curdle. Just wait for strong peaks

Share with all the dogs in your life

 

Then put in a piping bag… or fashion one with out of a ziplock bag by nipping a corner off. Squeeze in circular-spiral motion onto a mug of hot chocolate until you have a fancy looking mound before you.

 

When you’re done staging the photos, share with whichever nearby dog matches your mug best.

That wraps up National Whipped Cream Day for me. Sometimes I put maple syrup in it too instead of the icing sugar, just FYI.

Now for National Bird Day

I chose to celebrate by watching a documentary on one of my favourite birds:  Big Bird

The documentary is called “I Am Big Bird” and it follows the life and times of Carroll Spinney, the puppeteer

Things I learned:

  • ‘Carroll’ can be a man’s name
  • Puppeteering is hard fucking work- Carroll would have to walk around with the costume on with his arm extended upwards manning the head and a monitor strapped in there so he could see where he was going
  • Carroll also manned Oscar the Grouch
  • Big Bird was supposed to be on the space shuttle The Challenger that blew up. Thankfully for Carroll Spinney and children everywhere, the logistics were just too preposterous so they didn’t go forth with the plan.
  • A woman was raped and murdered by the mason worker he hired on his property. Holy fuck, right?

I recommend this documentary – it was great to observe tidbits of episodes from my youth, now,  as an adult. It was also neat to learn about the whole puppeteering process.

 

National Screenwriters Day

screen·writ·er
ˈskrēnˌrīdər/
noun
a person who writes a screenplay.
screen·play
ˈskrēnˌplā/
noun
 the script of a movie, including acting instructions and scene directions

Apparently Screenwriters are the most under appreciated people in Hollywood, which seems weird to me because it sounds like they literally make the movie.

While my heart isn’t exactly bleeding for Quentin Tarantino or Ben Affleck …I will still take this time to celebrate the work of my favourite screen writer : Wes Anderson.

If you’ve never seen The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, The Life Aquatic,  or The Fantastic Mr. Fox, hop to it

XO Jennah

Tomorrow is National Bean Day, National Cuddle Up Day, National Shortbread Day & National Technology Day!!!

 

 

 

 

Day 4 : January 4

This Christmas season was arguably the worst one I have experienced.

The first Christmas without Sarah, my family was still partially in shock and also partially relieved – her twins had been hospitalized, intubated and in grave danger leading up to Christmas, so when they came out alive and, relatively, well, we were overjoyed. This time period of my life is pretty deeply repressed in my memories. It was just too hard- Sarah wasn’t dead two months. All the doctors and nurses thinking I was their mother and having to explain the situation to their shocked faces.

I remember getting a call from their father saying Grant’s lungs had locked and it looks like he is going to die and I drove like a maniac to get to the hospital. I was at a set of red lights and contemplated just finding the nearest cliff and driving off it. Truly. But when the light turned green, I made the left turn to continue to the hospital.

I think about that moment every time I find myself at that set of lights. It was such a painful and trying time, I’m getting emotional just reflecting on it.

So, as I was saying, this Christmas was, if you can believe it, even harder. It’s my third one without my big sister here. The fact that Sarah is never going to be there Christmas morning, to see the glee on her children’s faces, or to open the annual Christmas pyjamas our mother gets us every year really set in. She is just not going to walk through the door.

On top of this emotional revelation, my husbands step father, Melvin, was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. My husbands father died of cancer ten years ago, his mother was devastated, but eventually found joy and happiness again with Melvin. He is such a wonderful person and so sweet I just can’t believe it. Cancer stole the father in law I was supposed to have and is now taking the other.

My husband and I spent the holidays commuting between my emotionally traumatized family and his emotionally traumatized-en-route-to-be-even -more-traumatized family.

Today Melvin finally saw the oncologist and the diagnosis was even worse than anticipated. The cancer is pretty much everywhere. They are going to try intense radiation next week but the overall sentiment is it will be futile at this stage.

My husband came home with the news of the severity as I was making the spaghetti. I just wanted to collapse – I am heading back to Vancouver on Saturday so the next time I see Melvin may very well be the last time I ever see him.

I had spent the day prepping trivia questions and running around town buying ingredients for the spaghetti supper. I had friends coming over and wine uncorked but I felt exactly like I did at those stop lights three years ago.

I decided to “turn left” again. I let the commitment to this blog and the cause to trump the emotion that was overwhelming me and went ahead to try and ‘celebrate’ this particularly painful day… which was National Spaghetti Day & National Trivia Day

I didn’t follow a recipe for the sauce, I just free styled as I am apt to do. This sauce consisted of:

  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 purple carrot
  • 1 orange carrot
  • 3 peppers – red orange and yellow
  • 1 package of Veggie Ground Brown
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • tsp of paprika
  • fresh oregano
  • jar of tomato sauce
  • salt & pepper

To prep for the spaghetti I roasted some garlic by slicing off the tops and laying some sprigs of oregano artfully about to set the mood

I then pour extra virgin olive oil down into all the crevices and wrapped them in tinfoil. I placed them in the oven at 400 F for about 30 minutes.

I sautéed the red onion,  purple carrots, orange carrots, celery, and mixed peppers till soft. Then I added the roasted garlic, a jar of tomato sauce, the veggie ground brown,  cinnamon sticks, salt, pepper and the fresh oregano.

I brought a large pot to boil with well salted water. Once it was going  I added the fresh pasta and let cook for about 8 minutes.

The fresh pasta looked like this when posed gingerly next to some carefully curated props :

When it was done, everyone helped themselves with the autonomy to determine their own noodle : sauce ratio,  and sat down family style around the kitchen table

Paired with some Italian wines and Parmesan cheese, dinner was a success.

Everyone said they enjoyed it very much and I believe them for the most part.

Especially Duncan

Next was the celebration of National Trivia Day. Hosting my own trivia night turned out to be a great experience. When you go out to pubs for public trivia you are roped into the entire night and the chance of being surrounded by douchebags.

At home you can pick who you let in! And limit the questions so you don’t have to play for hours and hours! Win Win!

I decided to go with a strong “Italy – Spaghetti” category to re-celebrate National Spaghetti Day. I did my research on various websites then got bored with trying to stick to other category concepts so the rest was just “Micellaneous”

Prizes are key to keep the enthusiasm high. There was an Italian bottle of wine at stake but it accidentally was consumed before we even started…oops.

Everyone was given a piece of paper, pen and asked to number it 1 – 21

I was the quiz master and everyone played as individuals

My questions & answers were as follows:

JENNAH’S BIG BAD DIY TRIVIA QUIZ

1. Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning what? (String or twine)

2. How many different shaped pastas are there in the world? (600 approximately)

3. As you’d expect, Italy is the country that eats the greatest amount of pasta worldwide. What are number 2 and 3? ( Venezuela and Tunisia)

4. Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? (Fruit)

5. Does Italy have any active volcanos? (Yes, 3 – Vesuvius, Etna, and Stromboli)

6. As a result of it’s 1866 victory over Austria, Italy first gained control of an important city that had formerly belonged to Austria but today is very much a part of Italy. Which city?  (Venice)

7. Which was not an italian invention : piano, cello, thermometre, espresso machine, or eyeglasses ? (Eyeglasses – Spanish invention)

8. Which of these things found in the Olympics moves the fastest? Ice hockey puck, bobsled, luge, or speed skier? (Skier – 140 mph)

9. What does ISO stand for? (International Standard Organization – determines cameras sensitivity to light)

10. What medieval unit of time equates a minute and a half now a days? (Moment)

11. What do M & M stand for in M&M’s?  (Mars & Murrie)

12. What is the capital of Estonia? (Tallinn)

13. What are Jerry Seinfeld’s character’s parents names? (Helen & Morty)

14. What is a zeedonk? (The offspring of a zebra and a donkey)

15. True or false Anne Frank, Dr. Martin luther king and Barbara walters were all born in the same year? (True – 1929)

16. When did the canadian flag first make it’s appearance: 1867, 1921, 1965, 1980? (1965)

17. Feb. 25, 1964, young boxing phenomenon Cassius Clay first gained the heavyweight title when he knocked out which champion? (Sonny Liston) +Bonus what was Cassius later named? (Mohammud Ali)

18. What astrological  sign would someone born July 1st be? (Cancer)

19. How do you spell ‘inexcusable’ ?

20. When was the first iPhone released? (2007)

21.  Portugal is bordered by which other country? (Spain)

 

Tim & Hillary were the winner – tied at  11 so I guess they were kind of hard questions.

If I did it again I would make sure there was more questions with ‘option’ answers and probably movie and music questions.

And so ended another celebrated day. It really did beat lying on the couch weeping which is probably what I would have done that night if I hadn’t previously arranged Spaghetti & Trivia night so there is that !

Up next : National Bird Day, National Screenwriters Day & National Whipped Cream 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 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: January 2nd

January 2nd marks several things to celebrate. It is National Thank God It’s Monday Day, National Cream Puff Day, National Science Fiction Day, National Personal Trainer Awareness Day & National Buffet Day.

This Monday was a beautiful wintery Monday that turned ugly pretty quick. It started with a lovely brunch with a great friend in a snowy winter wonderland but by the end of the day the weather turned to rain and I ended up overcommitting to family and running low on time for my second attempt to Celebrate the Day!

So other than celebrating Thank God It’s Monday by having a pleasant meal with friends, I got very little celebrating done.

To counteract this ‘failure’ I got up extra early today (the 3rd) to try and accomplish my Monday celebrations in the AM with plans to pull off my January 3rd celebrations in the PM.

Easy Peasy

National Cream Puff Day!!

Whipped cream and pastry are totally things I can get behind- much more alluring than Blood Mary Day!

I can’t say these are a treat I have had often, maybe four times ever before. I have never made a ‘pastry’ before so this was something brand to me – 2017 has been like whoa so far.  I loosely followed the recipe provided on http://www.dulanotes.com/cream-puffs/

Nicole’s were much more beautiful – but I forgive myself- I was working with bare minimum of equipment (including a camera- the iPad had to do the job while my camera is in Vancouver)

For the pastry part I used

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs

I brought the water, salt & butter to a boil, then removed from heat and stirred in the flour.

I allowed this mixture to cool down for a brief period then added the eggs individually using a lousy hand mixer (my beautiful Kitchenaid standing mixer is elsewhere 🙁 )

It looked like this

Then I greased a baking sheet and made arbitrary sized blobs, 8 in total, on the pan.

Put it in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes precisely

While that was happening, I made the whipped cream. I diverged from the recipe here and just made regular whipped cream using

  • 1 carton of whipping cream
  • 1 free pour of real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar

Once these puppies were cooled down I stuffed them with whipped cream & strawberries and ate!

Pretty damn good, I must admit.

However I bought a calendar yesterday in order to get a visual on all the celebrating I have to do this year and damn, there are a lot of National unhealthy food days. I don’t know how I will eat it all….and I only got as far as March with my ‘planning’ . Lord help me.

While baking & mixing, I chose to double task by listening to the Welcome To Nightvale podcast to celebrate National Science Fiction Day.

You can too – http://www.welcometonightvale.com

I started listening to this podcast maybe three years ago, but stopped around when my sister died more or less. I always wonder what she would have thought of it or if she ever listened to it. I never asked her and will never get the chance now.

It’s not for everyone although it has a huge cult following.

The premise is a radio host situated in a surreal town in a possibly futuristic or post apocalyptic setting… potentially on a different planet or alternate universe. The host, Cecil, makes general announcements about the goings ons of this town. There are public service announcements, advertising, town gossip and the ‘weather report’ which is actually a showcase of a song from an independent artist or band (which is pretty much always great).

It’s a little creepy, very mysterious and sometimes comical.

They are coming to Vancouver in the new year so perhaps I will take National Science Fiction day one step further and lock down some tickets!

I’d also like to take the time to make a shout out to Jurassic Park for one of the greatest Sci-Fi movies of all time.  Sarah and I were able to go see it as adults when it was re-released in 3D in 2013. It was our favourite.

I dressed as Dr. Alan Grant and she went as Dr. Ian Malcolm.. and Elliot went as a velociraptor. We had planned to go to Ireland to see Jurassic World when it came out  in 2015 with our Irish childhood friends, the O’Beirns, who were just as  obsessed with this movie growing up as we were. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it without her. If she can’t see it, I don’t want to either.

So 3 out of 5 elements were celebrated. Family really can suck the time out of your day (and the life out of your soul ) so I am working on forgiving  and letting go to work harder on actually ‘celebrating’ rather than making chores of my days!

Up next January 3rd –  National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, National Drinking Straw Day & National Fruit Cake Toss Day!

 

Day 1: January 1st

Today is National Hangover Day!

I knocked that one out of the park! Last night (New Years Eve) my husband, James, and I polished off three bottles of wine, including one that was 15 years old. It was silty af and it was horrid to drink so I knocked it back as quickly as possible…. which had incredible results in the hangover department!

Awoke this morning, on National Hangover Day; mission accomplished.

The next phase of Celebrating Everyday …Literally was to drink  a Bloody Mary for today was National Bloody Mary Day too. I think it’s more of an American drink, in Canada people tend to drink Ceasers. I can’t decide which is more putrid… just plain tomato juice or tomato juice with clam brine in it.

I have never consumed either before. Whenever people around me do, which is quite often, I’m known to gag.
Composed of Tomato Juice, fresh squeezed lemon, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, Vodka, Salt & Pepper and garnished with a salted rim, lemon and celery stalk. This concoction is inexplicably, to me, quite popular.

The tomato and the lemon are supposedly cleansing and the vodka helps take the edge off from the night before.  The classic “Hair of the Dog” drink (this theory is based on the legend that if you put the hair of the dog that bit you in your wound, it would heal quicker and now hipsters and fratboys apply this rabies infested logic to boozing).

This doozy of a libation has been around since the 1920’s and I think whoever invented it was sick in the head but definitely never got scurvy.

If 2017 is going to be  about ‘facing your fears’ or doing something everyday that ‘scares you’, I can tick those boxes if nothing else.

Tomatos are the grossest,  let along all juiced up with booze thrown on top.

So I rimmed the glass with a lemon then seasoning salt, loaded it with ice and then generously poured in some lovely organic vodka. So far so good in the wanna-puke department.

I proceeded to crack the mini Heinz Tomato juice can and watch the thick,  blood-like liquid with the viscosity of sludge ooze out of the can into the glass.  I added some splashes of the required sauces and seasoning as well as an extra squeeze of lemon then bombs away!

Well not quite. I definitely deliberated and procrastinated for a while. I ransacked the house for a straw in hopes it would soften the blow of drinking such a putrid mixture. That was to no avail.

I bit the bullet and placed my lips on that salty rim and took my first sip.

It tasted exactly as I expected. Which was awful. But I could kinda see how it could be good if you really like sewage… I mean tomato juice. I’m sure its wonderful.

I proposed the drinks to both my dogs, Herman the English bulldog, and Duncan the deaf French Bulldog. The turned up their turned up noses. Herman having none of it

I drank as much as I could which involved adding a lot more vodka up until the point that I was unnecessarily buzzed for 11 am by myself (do dogs count tho?) and then called it quits about 2/3rds through.

Any way hope your New Years Day was as productive as mine – would love for others to partake in this project with me !!!
Tomorrow January 2nd is National Buffet Day, National Cream Puff Day, National Science Fiction Day, & National Thank God It’s Monday Day!

I would also like to know if there are any tricks to making Bloody Marys/Caesars more palatable or a tomato juice free alternative???

XO

Jennah