I received a parcel from my mom earlier this week that included an assortment of old family photos. Here’s one of my brother and me. I sent a snapshot of it to him today and he said “This must have been from your ‘I want to be a cooker’ stage.” Apparently I used to tell people that I wanted to be a cooker when I grew up.
I love how much of this picture is still the same. The haircut? Pretty much identical to the one I have today. The apron? Yep, I still like to wear a good apron. The huge smile when I’m baking something? It’s the time that I feel the most at home.
Happy to be baking
I discovered today that Marc Boivin will be dancing in the Vancouver International Dance Festival in March. I’ve written about Marc and some of the things he taught me during my time at dance school. At first I was so excited to go watch him perform, but as I looked at some pictures of him dancing I realized a part of me was hesitant. The pictures reminded me of what it was like to dance his choreography. Maybe it was his teaching, his choreography, the style of dance or just the point in the year of dance school, but something seemed to click for me. There was a sense of physicality, expansiveness and freedom that I don’t think I’ve experienced since. I’ve only done a handful of modern dance classes since then. Seeing those pictures left me feeling empty and aching.
I watched a few videos of him dancing and tears streamed down my face while I watched. I feel like I’m only now mourning the loss of that part of my life. The loss of the dream of dancing everyday. I’m only now acknowledging the decision I made in 2006 to not go back to dance school that fall.
The last conversation I had with my grannie before she passed away was about dance. She told me to always follow my passion and that it seemed like dance was my passion. She said to always, no matter what, make sure that dance was a part of my life. My reaction today has just reaffirmed that Grannie really did know what she was talking about. Dance does seem to be something that gets an emotional, physical response out of me. My weekly flamenco class keeps me dancing and I love it, but modern dance also has a special place in my heart. I think that part of me has been neglected lately.
And with that, I’m off to buy my ticket.
A few weeks ago I made a common senior citizen mistake. I bought a bag of apples during my usual trip to the store, only to get home and discover that I already had a week’s worth of apples in the fridge. Of course, this was the perfect opportunity to bake something. I got a new springform pan at Christmas, so I decided to find an apple cake recipe to try.
One of my favourite cookbooks to look through is Bonnie Stern’s Friday Night Dinners and I’ve been happy with every recipe I’ve tried from it. I made a variation of Ruthie’s Apple Cake. It was so good that I made it the next weekend too!
It calls for orange juice, but I never seem to have juice sitting around at my place. I do, however, have bourbon, so I swapped the orange juice for bourbon and it worked well.
Ruthie’s Apple Cake
(from Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern)
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice (or bourbon!)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 apples peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
2 tbsp coarse sugar
- Beat eggs and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until very light. Beat in the oil and then the orange juice and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg mixture and combine.
- In another bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, apples and walnuts.
- Prepare the springform pan (9″) by lining the bottom with parchment paper and spraying the sides with oil. Spread half of the batter in the pan. Add the apple mixture and top with the remaining batter. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
- Bake at 350° F for about 50 minutes.
I’m oddly fascinated by taxidermy and I was able to indulge this fascination during a visit to the home of my parents’ friends. An entire wing of their house is dedicated to these animals. Their eyes follow you as walk through the room. It’s creepy yet captivating at the same time.
Remember this? Well, it happened again. Only this time it was worse. I got home after a long day at work, was in the middle of doing some mundane task when I thought to myself, “I wonder what that dripping noise is?” For some reason my instinct was to open the hall closet and sure enough, there it was. A waterfall. I enjoy a nice water feature on occasion; however, not when it’s using my personal effects to cascade over and ends in a giant puddle around my feet.
The leak itself has stopped, but I still have a giant hole in the ceiling. Hopefully I won’t have to wait two months to have the hole patched like last time this problem was “fixed”.
I now have all the items from the closet spread out and drying around my apartment. It’s an odd assortment of things that make me question my lifestyle.
- two pairs of cleats
- ice skates
- 2 five-pound dumbbells
- a bike
- a therm-a-rest
- steel toed shoes (Come on, doesn’t everyone own steel toed shoes?! And mine are of the dressy variety!)
- jazz sneakers
- a bike helmet
- box full of charcoal, powdered graphite, conte and pencils that thankfully did not get wet inside.
- a portfolio full of art paper, again thankfully dry on the inside
- 2 handmade wooden yoga blocks
- a crazy carpet
- a tool kit
That night I was madly searching Craigslist for a new apartment. I wanted out of here, NOW!! As I looked, I realized all of the buildings I was considering were very similar to this one. Moving didn’t mean that I wouldn’t be in the same situation again. Sure, I could be in a different neighbourhood. Somewhere closer to friends and with a little more happening. I’d probably be trading these crazy neighbours for a new set of crazy neighbours. It would mean being farther from work and probably paying a bit more rent. Plus there’s the added hassle of moving. Oh how I hate moving!!
I’ve decided to give it a few months. I’ll let work settle down a bit and hopefully find some time between semesters at school. It will give me time to collect cardboard boxes and weed out all the things I don’t really need. I’ll be keeping those steel toed shoes though. Safety first people!!