March 30, 2011

Hugs for everyone

The world is currently in much pain, from Japan, to Libya, it is hard for us to know how we can deal with all of this.  A small group of people have decided that on April 1st this year, right at noon, wherever you are, turn to the nearest person to you, and give them a hug.  Sometimes, in tough times, these small acts of affection are enough to uplift our human spirit. 
Hugs are always a way to make people smile!

March 25, 2011

Candle time

Tomorrow Saturday, March 26th at 8:30 pm marks a special even: Earth Hour.  This is something that we will be taking part in, and hope you will too.  Earth Hour, is only 60 minutes of your day, month, year, but what a difference it makes if we all take part!  So turn off all your computer screens & TVs, lights, electronic gadgets, grab yourself a candle and spend time with your loved ones making wall shadows, telling spooky stories, or just cuddling in each others arms! 

March 21, 2011

Our London neighbour

What better new neighbour than a British lad to teach some fine dinning to us?  The London Chef is the latest addition to upper Fort Street, and I am thrilled to welcome them to the neighbourhood.  I too have been counting the days until their opening. I also suggest a stroll through their pantry of take away Stage's sausage, house prepared salts/oils/vinegars/condiments, and Vig's To-Go Indian dinners (they close at 6 daily so you can stop by on your way home). They are offering both delicious lunch options and well prepared coffee and espresso. Dan Hayes is the London Chef and together with his charming staff will be offering services such as: Cooking Instructions, Private Cheffing, Food Styling and Food Consulting and Catering. This new school for all of us self proclaimed "foodies" out there will ignite our inner talents. We can learn, prepare and then dine on our instructed creations amongst one of the most beautiful kitchen's in the capital city.
A true feast for both the eyes and of course your palette!   

March 14, 2011

Street level Espresso

In the spa Fort Street neighbourhood Street Level Espresso is one of my favourite places for a coffee.  Plus they have wonderful organic French candy, which I have become quite a fan of.
One of my favourites is the Oranger flavour, which is truly delightful.  

However, if you're in the mood for a traditional pastry I recommend the Dutch Bakery as they have wonderful treats too.

March 10, 2011

Garden tips

- Roses can be pruned this month. Severe pruning results in nicer long stemmed flowers and more compact bushes. Begin to spray roses for black spot.  Feed roses. 
- Plant tender bulbs and tubers (gladiola, lilies and dahlias). You may continue planting additional bulbs every two weeks until mid June to ensure a continuous source of bloom.
- Take a little time to prepare the vegetable garden soil for planting. The addition of well-rotted manure, processed manure, peat moss or compost are good additives for building compost humus in the soil.

- Peas and sweet peas may be planted right now as well as perennial vegetables like Asparagus, Rhubarb, Horseradish and artichokes.
- Eggplant, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, leeks, onions, early potatoes, and radish seeds may be planted in the garden about mid month.
- Spinach, Chard, Cabbage, Cauliflower, and other hardy vegetables can be seeded or set out late in the month.
- Plant Strawberries, Blueberries, Currants, Loganberries, Boysenberries, Grapes, and fruit trees.  Add some steer manure around your Rhubarb.
- Time to start tomatoes, lettuce, and many other vegetables from seed. 

- It's time to hang up your hummingbird feeders. Feed hummingbirds a solution of one cup of sugar to 3 or 4 cups of water. Make sure to boil the water first so the sugar dissolves. 

March 06, 2011

Noodle month

March is national "noodle month", which is a good reason to learn some fun facts about one of our favourites food types;
- The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
- Approximately 2.75 million tons of pasta is made in Italy each year.
- Most pasta is made using wheat products mixed with water.  Other types of pasta are made using ingredients such as rice, barley, corn, and beans.
- The average person in North America eats about 15-1/2 pounds of pasta per year.
- The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Even then, almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.
 - There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide.