A gift of time..
Nutmeg is happily jobless for the first time since the mid 1980s (you can do the math). Ginger as you already know has been working very hard on a Masters degree for the last 10 months – and he has done it! So what better way to celebrate by taking some well deserved time off than to travel? Nutmeg has been negotiating with Ginger for awhile and it is finally happening, they are going to France for six months!! The planning began back in June and the list was very long. The most important thing was the visa application to allow for an extended stay in the country (anything over 90 days requires a visa).
Several years ago, Nutmeg worked in France and she knows that if there is one thing the French love it is paperwork. What better way to emphasize the national love for bureaucracy than a lengthy visa application? The process is 15 steps long and not for the faint of heart. You need to commit to gathering all of the following (and more) in original and photocopy versions; police clearance, finger printing, photos, insurance, copies of your bank balance, promises not to work, seek unemployment insurance or get sick… It is no small feat to gather the documentation. Once you have all that together, you need to physically go to Vancouver for a face-to-face interview, and to hand over the documents.
Back in August, Nutmeg published a blog post on Nu-Roots Nutrition in Canmore. In the past few weeks, she has had the pleasure of getting to know the three ladies involved a little better; Sam, Tori and Joanne (Tasty Life). These three ladies offer a winning business combination of holistic nutrition (individual and corporate) and a storefront where they sell fresh small batch quantities of gluten free, raw food.
If that sounds strange or yucky, think again…. Nutmeg has tried the “Nutella” spread and it is too die for AND good for you. The granola comes in two varieties a buckwheat and a cacao version both delicious. There are all sorts of other great things including; decadent brownies. Want to learn more? The store is open Tuesday – Friday and they offer cooking classes about every two weeks. Below is an article from their most recent newsletter and a really easy recipe. BE TEMPTED!
The City of Calgary has spent $11.5 million and two years renovating Central Memorial Park, one of the oldest parks in the city it opened in 1912. This centrally located park had fallen from a prominent memorial dedicated to those who fought in the two world wars, to an inner-city eyesore full of drug dealers and home to some of Calgary’s unfortunate street dwellers. The park was officially reopened on May 14, 2010. The park construction and work on the new restaurant Boxwood Cafe is finally finished. The restaurant opened on September 15th. Nutmeg could hardly wait to check it out. So the best way is to go for lunch with a great friend!
Nutmeg is not really a brunch person. Here is why:
Nutmeg had the pleasure on a recent sunny Friday to convince restaurant owner Micheal Beamer, to leave his station behind the La Marzocco espresso machine (for serious baristas), for a few minutes and tell her his story about this small business success. Micheal Beamer headed out to Western Canada in the late 1980′s. He made his way to the Rockies for the skiing and the scenery. With a hotel management degree from Georgian College and a big smile he started work at the famed Chateau Lake Louise. Micheal’s focus on customer service allowed him to move to the position of Assistant Beverage Manager within five years. During that time, “coffee-culture” was growing south of the border in Seattle and heading North.
It is a funny thing, how Ginger and Nutmeg (both Virgos) have so many friends with the same birth sign. It could be some sort of natural selection occurring, as it is quite obvious that all the very cool, sporty, beautiful people are Virgos. Or maybe it is the fact that November is typically a cold, dark month and what else are you going to do…babies arrive about nine months later. In any case August and September are a great chance for Ginger and Nutmeg to celebrate birthdays with their buddies.
There is a restaurant in Canmore named Wild Orchid Asian Bistro and Lounge, it is located the Silver Creek Lodge. The lodge is located on “gasoline alley” just off the Trans-Canada. The restaurant is at the back of the lodge and once you arrive you quickly forget that you are so close to a busy thoroughfare. There is a small sushi bar and a fairly large dining area. The room is Asian-Zen in decor and quite attractive. However, the best thing about this establishment is the outstanding view from their deck. Other than one cell/radio tower there is an unobstructed view of the entire mountain range and the Three Sisters. The deck has about 6-8 tables, depending on the configuration and one highly coveted fire pit. Unfortunately, there are no heaters on the deck so the outdoor dining season is incredibly short.
Nutmeg has a very dear friend Sassafras. They have been friends for several decades and even though they live quite far apart, they usually manage, to get in a ski or bike or hike weekend here and there. So a bit about Sassafras (besides the great name). She is so smart she has two university degrees because engineering was not hard enough. She loves the open water, craves mountain vistas, has a great laugh and generally embraces live. Sassafras also loves to cook and has decided that she will help Nutmeg out and provide a few of her favorite recipes for all of you to try. So as Nutmeg is digging out her puffy down jacket, the rest of the country is still experiencing summer, so Sassafras’s first recipe is a cool summer soup: North African Spiced Tomato Soup.
As the kids head back to school and everyone gets back into the post summer routines, including work or work-outs you may need something for an extra energy boost. Do you workout in the morning? Do you have a mid-morning crash after dropping off the kids, doing groceries and cramming in a workout? Do you need a snooze after lunch? If any of these scenarios sound familiar you may need a healthy pick me up snack. Of course you should balance these little treats with adequate fruits, vegetables and fluids. These Nutty Energy Bars are delicious, easy to make, do not melt in a lunch box and last for a couple weeks in a sealed container (if you can restrain yourself).
Nutmeg has adapted this recipe slightly, you can play with the ingredients to use your favorites – so far almond, dried cherry is the winner. Check out the recipe for Nutty Energy Bars and enjoy. No more energy lows…
Nutmeg is a “greeniac” (just ask Ginger)… she turns out lights before she leaves a room, recycles everything, uses the rain barrel to water her plant pots, faithfully composts greens and browns, buys eco-friendly cleaning products – but she does NOT believe in global warming!! On August 29th, Ginger and Nutmeg awoke to slightly above freezing temperatures and a very clear view of snow a third of the way down the nearby mountain peaks. Yes it is true, the rest of the country, and possibly the world is suffering with heat stroke, water restrictions and cool blended drinks. Al Gore be damned according to Nutmeg, there is no global warming in Southern Alberta, it is soup time! So out comes the Corn and Crab Chowder (check out the recipe below).
Not too long ago Nutmeg was on a business trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. It was one of those trips where you could have been pretty much anywhere as the agenda was something like this:
The second morning of the trip, Nutmeg decided to go for a run at 06:00am and was stunned by the intense activity on the main drag. It turns out that day was the start of Charlotte’s BBQ and Blues and this is serious stuff. The vendor stands were set-up and the smoking had started big time at 6am!! These folks are not worried about half-caf-skim-milk-no-foam lattes…. they are preparing rubs, injections and getting the temperature on their smokers “just right” for Smokin’ Hot BBQ. This whole scene was quite overwhelming for Nutmeg who likes berries, yogurt and granola along with her fancy latte at that hour in the morning.