Day 189 – July 8

    July 8 is National Chocolate Almond Day

No, you’re not having deja vu, you’re probably just confusing this holiday with  with regular Chocolate Covered Nut Day, or, perhaps,   Chocolate Covered Raisin Day.

Common mistake.

I scored some vegan dark chocolate covered almonds at the Safeway/Sobeys and fashioned my own little trail mix out of them

I combined:

  • almonds
  • cashews
  • walnuts
  • hazelnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • peanuts
  • coconut flakes
  • chocolate covered almonds

Put it all in a baggy and hit the old Highway 99 for another trip in The Pickle with Duncan

He made a useless copilot

We went to Joffre Lakes

This hike was pretty short and dusty and full of people – I saw so many young little families and thought of Sarah missing hers… or hers missing her rather, every step of the way. The view was stunning.

Had a beer with my DIY trail mix and then headed back down the mountain.

Once back on the road, we pulled over for a lovely little swim at One Mile Lake, drove a little further, then had another swim at Lost Lake with some wine and spent the night in Whistler

Not a bad Chocolate Covered Almond Day at all! Thank you almonds for your vitamin E and healthy fats and protein, and chocolate for your deliciousness!

 

Day 182 – HALF WAY DAY

July 1st is the half way point of the entire year – 182 spins around the sun of the allotted 365 spins we call a ‘year’.

It’s an official day too – called National Half Way Day

It was also Canada Day – Canada’s 150th to be exact.

Well not really, when you factor in that First Nations have lived here well beyond that and also Newfoundland didn’t join until 1949 so like,  not exact whatsoever.

Thirdly it was National Creative Ice Cream Flavour Day!

So I had a lot on the proverbial plate here.

It was a gorgeous day in Vancouver, as it has been for quite some time now- it’s the new default setting – sunshine and warmth. I was most excited about celebrating the half way point of this project!

Kathleen and I went to see a play near the UBC botanical gardens, “Th’owxiya: The Hungry Feast Dish” performed by Axis Theatre

The screen play author and cast were all First Nations, and because it was on “Canada Day”, we thought it was going to be a really politically charged theatre production going down and couldn’t wait.

It turned out to be more so a children’s story.  Quite off the mark there.

Still nice.

Then we went to Arbor and had lunch – deep fried artichoke sandwich with eggplant bacon and macadamia nut ‘cheese’. Divine.

THEN we went to a brand new ice cream place that serves vegan ice cream.

 

Their vegan selection were Strawberry Coconut, Toasted Marshmallow (which I’ve had before and LOOOOOVED), Lime Coconut and Coffee.

Besides Toasted Marshmallow, I felt coffee was the most creative flavour so I went for it.

 

Holy McMoly, it was incredible. I can’t get enough of this stuff.

Kathleen went for an Affogato – coffee ice cream with espresso. It too was amazing .

Then I had to go to work and it was dead for the entire time until midnight when I got completely rocked by myself and a patron had to jump on bar and help.

Happy Canada Day etc !

 

Day 175 – June 24

I’ve been to New Orleans more than once and have had my share of Pralines.
As much as I wish I could be ringing in National Praline Day with all the hilarious and charming characters I’ve met down there, I had to settle with buying some of these “Sweet Georgia Browns” from Purdy’s Chocolatier which isn’t even 25 metres away from my house and eating them alone.
These Sweet Georgia Browns were the closest thing, geographically as well as ingrediently, to pralines I could find in this neck of the woods.

They came in a two pack- which was more than enough.
The pecans were toasted and salted to perfection.
This saltiness and crunchiness created a delectable harmony with the sugary gooey, chewy toffee and the rich chocolate.

I give these 10/10 for a sugary treat. I give them a 0/10 for being vegan and also a 0/10 in the teeth kindness department.

Day 171 – June 20

I decided to add a little twist to National Ice Cream Soda Day, thanks to some random posting I saw on Pinterest or Instagram once upon a time.

I relished this opportunity to try out a Guinness Float instead. Same concept as an Ice Cream Soda, except you swap the root beer for real beer.
Genius, right?

So I picked up a four pack of Guinness cans and two tubs of President’s Choices dairy free coconut Ice cream in chocolate and coconut flavours and went to town!

The coconut flavour, although absolutely delightful on its own, was a bit ‘meh’ with the Guinness. But the chocolate? Look out. Guinness and vegan chocolate ice cream were made for each other, believe me.

 

Or rather, just go try it yourself sometime. This is definitely an cocktail (?)/ dessert (?) I will be keeping on the roster.

Day 169 – June 18

June 18 marked Vancouver’s Car Free Day on Main Street… one of their main streets.

The street was shut down to vehicular traffic, and then filled with pop up kiosks and tents of vendors from food to soap to t shirts to art.

I want with a gaggle of women – we were six in total.

I also kept in mind that it was also National Splurge Day, so all bets were off if I saw something expensive and unnecessary that I wanted.

Despite the endless array of tied dyed tank tops and crystal jewelry sellers, nothing really struck my fancy until…

…this little vegan ice cream truck was calling my name

Had. To. Have. Some.

ALL VEGAN. Look at the options. My mind was blown. I ‘splurged’ and got two scoops, Chocolate and Toasted Marshmallow

It was ridiculous it was so good. Everyone in the girl gang ended up getting some too, even though it was half cold out and rainy

I have since subscribed to their news letter so I can follow them around wherever the go- I NEED to try their London Fog next

Day 162 – June 11

NATIONAL GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY

My new friend Steph’s birthday is National German Cake Day
She threw a birthday party, so naturally I had to bust out my cake making skills on this one.

It should be known that it’s not actually a German invention. It’s American. The guy that invented it had the last name ‘German’.
How very misleading.

I’ve never made a German Chocolate Cake before and, quite frankly, don’t know if I’ve ever had a really good German chocolate cake before.
The idea is rich chocolate cake and coconut & pecan frosting more or less.

I deliberated on making a regular one, as I was bringing it to a party full of people who don’t give an f if there is chicken embryo or cow puss in it, but as I went through recipes, I realized I had more of the vegan necessities to make it so decided to stay true to moi and went vegan

I followed this recipe from Whisk & Shout more or less to a T (very rare for me, as we all know).
I used my own DIY Cashew Mylk instead of the almond milk called for. Probably why it was extra delicious

I walked the 25 minute walk to her house in the scorching sun with this fucker.
But it was totally worth it. Home made shit is just so damn touching.

I ended up having to leave before the ceremonial singing and serving, which was fine by me, that stuff half makes me cray, so I didn’t an official slice. However I did sample some of the crumbling ( it was a hard walk on the cake in the sun ) and icing and was  pretty pleased with myself.

 

 

Day 158 – June 7th

So, just FYI, this blogging project is a hassle.

Firstly, I have to figure out which day is what.
Then, I have to strategize how I’m going to get that food, activity or object incorporated into my day.
Once I do that, and act on it, documentation is integral. I photograph or film the event.
After that brouhaha, there’s the uploading and editing.
The final stage is the post itself, which means choosing what photographic material to go with and then writing a blurb about the whole experience.

A lot of the time, there aint a whole god damn lot to say about the matter.
Imagine writing an essay on an arbitrary topic, each and every day- it’s bananas.

So some days are, naturally, much harder than others.
But, I kid you not, EVERY single time I sit down to write a post, and contemplate just doing a photo journal of the event ( half assing it), I think of the parable of The Retiring Carpenter.

In case you’ve never heard it before, I’ll share my rendition of it

A carpenter decides to retire.
Her boss/friend insists she complete one last building project for her before she hangs up the proverbial hammer.
It’s a house.
The carpenter just wanted to get it over with so she could go sip pina coladas in Florida with her wife, so she slaps together the house. She cuts corners, uses subpar materials and performs shoddy workwomanship.
All in all a totally shitty build.
When the job was done, her boss/friend shows up, hands the keys to the carpenter and says, “This is your house, it’s my gift to you.”

Ugh. Right in the ovaries, amiright?

I may have modified the story to modernize it a smidge 😉

Anyway, for some reason, whenever I post, I think if I don’t put ‘enough’ effort into it, I will end up living in a crappy house with inconvenient light switch locations and a cracked foundation.

I don’t wanna live there ! I want all my cabinet doors to line up! I need all my low hanging light fixtures to be in no traffic areas! You don’t get Eat Pray Love successful from a few swift captions !

Today was National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

I used President’s Choice Vegan Coconut Milk Chocolate Ice Cream and garnished it with some dark chocolate shavings, chocolate covered coconut pieces, cocoa powder and a raspberry

100% vegan, 100% delicious

I don’t really have much else to say about it, that’s sorta what prompted me to go off the head earlier

 

 

Day 153 – June 2

N A T I O N A L  D O N U T  D A Y ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 

This was the day that started it all… sort of
Last year, on National Donut Day, James and I went out for a nice dinner at a nice place and had a nice time. But, when we left, $180 poorer, we were still hungry
Bullocks
We were driving home, disappointed, and I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw a few #nationaldonutday celebrations going down
I suggested to James, who was driving, going to the Tim Horton’s drive thru to get a few donuts, seeing how it was apparently National Donut Day
And so we did.
I took a picture of Herman indulging (Figure 1A), and then got to thinking about how many god damn national holidays seemed to be.

Figure 1 A – ‘Herman with Vanilla Dip’.  iPhone 5s. June 2, 2016.

I looked up ” national day calendar” and found several websites listing these random, nutty holidays.
I mentioned, aloud, how whack it would be to try and keep up with them all

Flash forward to now, my second time celebrating National Donut Day, 153 days deep into doing just that; celebrating everyday, literally.
None the richer or famouser, mind you.

As I was teeming with excitement about this one, because I fucking love donuts (Figure 1 B), I had made plans, well in advance, to go for donuts with Kathleen at Cartems, my favourite doughnuterie here in Vancouver

Figure 1 b Self Portrait professing donut love. Film. May 23, 2005

The old lady ahead of me poached the last “Strawberry Love” donut (yeast donut with strawberry glaze, balsamic drizzle and a strawberry chip on top) 🙄, so I opted for their regular chocolate dip vegan donut (featured centre Figure 2A) as well as their other seasonal vegan offering “Sweet Berry Wine Stuffie” (yeast donut stuffed with berry compote stewed lightly in wine with a meringue topping, forefront). Kathleen got their salted caramel (back)

Figure 2A. Donuts. Digital Photograph. June 3, 2017

Cartem’s is great because Duncan is allowed in there. We had a few coffees too and sat outside (Figure 2 B).

Figure 2 B. Donuts & Coffee. Digital Photograph. June 3, 2017

Duncan, as always, wanted in on the action

This stuffie was great, but nothing beats their London Fog stuffie, it must be said. 

Then celebrating donuts time drew to a close, so we packed up and headed off to work.
Bummer

 

Day 151 – May 31st

National Macaroon Day

Feels like I haven’t baked or cooked anything in a while for this project so although Whole Foods is not even a block away and you can get a pack of vegan, gluten free macaroons there for like $6, I went the old fashioned route and decided to make them myself, as I have never made them before.

I looked up recipes and came across this one by The Minimalist Baker and liked the sound of it:

  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate

Basically combine all the ingredients save the chocolate in a food processor. Scoop into macaroon like shapes and place on baking sheet. Bake briefly (they said 8-10 minutes, mine burnt in 5 so keep an eye… )

Allow to cool and then dip in melted chocolate

Expectation:

Reality: 

Yeah so total disaster all in all but sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you, amiright?

May 31st is also my big cousin Kory’s birthday 

He should have been turning 39 today
He died the year before Sarah
Testicular cancer.
I was aware he had been diagnosed and was undergoing treatment, but I was completely naive and thought he would be fine and just come out the other side- it was really shocking when I got the news it didn’t go down like that.

At this point in my life, what is more shocking is that I had been lucky to have never experienced losing a family member until then.
He, like Sarah, left three children behind.
Quite frankly, I usually push away thoughts about it as it’s just straight up eery

So I just wanted to take a moment to not just celebrate National Macaroon Day, but also to remember my cousin. Kory was a really happy person and just pursued ‘joy’ unlike anyone else I knew.
Gone but not forgotten. Hope he is at peace. Xo cuz.

Day 137 – May 17th

National Walnut Day!

I contemplated whipping up some Walnut Milk  but then thought the better of it. It looks and tastes like gruel- sticking with my Cashew Mlyk for life

Instead, I opted to jazz up these cough-inducing fruit seeds (yes, that’s apparently what the definition of a nut is) with some dark chocolate and sea salt

It was pretty straightforward

Melt some dark chocolate

Dip the finest walnuts you can rummage out of the Costco bag into aforementioned melted chocolate

Lay on wax paper after dipping, sprinkle with sea salt

Allow to cool …too cool