Food

Bruno and I went to Seattle for a few days, a few weeks ago so that I could get a blood test panel for this specialist in the US I'm going to see, and we decided to turn it into a mini-vacation before he started at his new job! It was a really wonderful few days, and despite being such a short trip, it was so relaxing - it was really the best and most relaxed I'd felt since I started my "sabbatical".

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Hand dryer faces at one of the rest stops on the way down to Seattle

But before we get to that...the West End and Kits farmers markets start this weekend! (Trout Lake's been on for a couple weeks already) Details on the www.eatlocal.org site.

New Nuba

A bunch of things have inspired me and lifted my spirit this past week, so I wanted to share:

An awesome A Softer World ... this one's pretty great too (remember to read the hover text!)

An awesome photo/paste-up by Basco5 (don't look if you're scared of barfing)

An awesome video by Oren Lavie (just watch it, it's amazing)

Ridiculously awesome beatboxing and flute-beatboxing (c/o @adrian_ng)

More random goodness:

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The weekend started off pleasantly, with dinner with a friend (from university) who's down here visiting for a week and a half.  We went out to Central on Denman, which I always forget is actually a pretty great place.  Not to mention, they were playing awesome music: MIA, old Erykah Badu, and local boys, DNA6 (whose cd I bought when I saw them play the Capers fair last year, and it's become one of my favorites, and turns out that they're friends of my boss, small world).  Great evening catching up.

I like marshmallows, let's just start with that. I had seen packages of gourmet marshmallows at Urban Fare, but I thought them much too indulgent a purchase and hadn't dared consider actually buying them... Until the day the fall Capers Community Fair was on a few weeks back. Butter Baked Goods, the makers of these marshmallows had a booth set up, and were selling their marshmallows for about 3/4 their usual price, and I decided it was time to give them a try. I scanned the flavours and narrowed it down to peppermint or pumpkin spice. I pointed at the pumpkin spice bag and asked the woman at the stand whether they had any dairy in them (I'm allergic), and you know what she did? She picked the bag up and handed it to me, and said, "Nope, no dairy, here have a bag!" I don't think she had any idea what a bad couple days I'd had or how much it cheered me up, but it was greatly appreciated, in one of those renewing-my-faith-in-humanity sort of ways...

Gourmet marshmallows from Butter Baked Goods

Just when I started getting excited about everything that was going on, life gave me one more hurdle to jump--I thought I was on the upswing from the flu that I caught a couple weeks ago, but then Thursday night when I walked to the Safeway, I realized something just wasn't right.  It's only six blocks or so, but by the time I got there I was exhausted and felt kind of like I had asthma, but it just wouldn't really go away.  I went into work the next morning, but was still having the same feeling, and knew I had no choice but go to the doctor's.  I headed over there on my lunch break, only to find out that I'd actually developed both a respiratory and sinus infection.  Fun!  I guess sometimes I shouldn't be so tough on myself thinking I'm a wuss for being tired and not getting better fast enough, sometimes it really IS just that I'm not better yet!

So the doctor prescribed me some antibiotics and I called work telling them I wasn't going to make it back in, and headed over to the pharmacy.  Friends will know how much of a fan of swallowing pills I am, so I was not to thrilled to begin with, but sucked it up and choked down the first dose.  The pamphlet about the antibiotics warned that it tended to irritate people's stomachs, but the pharmacist had said that there weren't really many options, so I just toughed out the bit of discomfort.

Awesome inhaler and evil, evil pills.

This was by far one of the most fun weekends I've had in a long time. It was largely because I'm finally feeling a fair bit better, probably back to 80% or so after a few weeks of all my health crap flaring up. I forget how nice it is to actually have the energy to actually do all the stuff I want! Friday was pretty low key, but highlights involved going swimming for the first time in a couple years. The funny part was there was a couple triathletes there (World Triathlon Championships were in town this weekend), just to contrast the two ends of the human swimming ability spectrum. Things I forgot about swimming: 1) how psyched I get when I throw on my jeans and a hoody over my swimsuit before heading out, 2) how fun it is, and how relaxing swimming under the water can be, and 3) how much I totally suck at it!

Good times none the less, and I will definitely have to go more often now that I broke the seal! Friday night, headed over to Snootytown...I mean Yaletown, and watched House of Flying Daggers with some friends, which was actually an okay movie, very visually stunning even though the story line was a little iffy. Much goofiness and fun was had over the course of the evening.

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You know what I love? I LOVE me some fine tasty desserts! But people are always filling their tasty sweets full of dairy and gluten and things that are on the ick list, and so I have a long standing dessert deficit... I mean, if it weren't for soy ice cream and gelato, I don't know what I would have done this long! But some days a frozen desert just isn't what you're looking for. What's a girl to do? Two words: Chi Cake.

Chi Cake

Salt Spring Gelato is a small artesian gelato and sorbet company on Salt Spring Island--their claim to fame: being (as far as I know) the only Canadian company wholesaling organic gelato and sorbetto. Pretty cool stuff! They also use the most high quality ingredients they can get their hands on, local and organic whenever possible, including using certified organic milk from the island and from Avalon dairy in their gelato. Some of their flavourings like their chai gelato and black currant gelato come from other small businesses on the island, as it's one of their priorities to help support the other farmers and producers in their community. Their sorbettos are dairy-free, which makes them great for vegans and those with food allergies. They are even a carbon-neutral [Wikipedia] company, and work with Lifecycles' Fruit Tree Project--how cool is that?!

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When I started working on the edge of Gastown in the early spring, I had noticed Nuba across the street--kinda hard to tell what was going on there from the outside, but my workmates insisted it was a good place. But you see, I can hardly eat ANYWHERE. I've got a shwack (yes, a schwack) of food allergies, and it is incredibly difficult for me to find any restaurants where I can eat more than just salad.

So I saw it there across the street on a daily basis, but thought surely it can't be any more accomodating than the usual places. In May, Beyond Robson featured an article on Nuba, and a great article at that, full of praise. And still, I thought, surely I will just be disappointed if I go in...

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