I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Friday, 29 October 2010

so close, so much

I can see the Rockies. When we drove around the city yesterday en route to an event, I literally squealed, "mountains! mountains!" to which D replied, "I think they're clouds". They were indeed the mountains, but pretty far away. So close yet so far away; our schedule won't let us get to see lovely and much-hyped-but-apparently-very-worth-it Banff. Another time.

We've been meeting musicians, networking (schmoozing? sounds too smarmy. These are really nice people to talk to), and yesterday took in a panel critique of songs. One of mine ('Only You') got played and got good feedback. Very encouraging. Interesting that one of the songwriters on the panel picked up that I liked Evanescence from the song. Perceptive of him.

Last night's showcase was fun, nine artists sharing music. Got to chat with some more musicians and - oh, happyness (yes, spelled wrong but looks cuter that way and just 'fits' better) - finally got to meet dear EP and her wonderful hubby, after forging an online new/old friendship that began months ago when EP wrote an article about me. We slipped into talking and laughing like old friends so easily, and went out after for more time together. A lovely end to a day that was certainly a 'so much' day.

Today is a taking-in and connecting day. Tomorrow I perform for the performance competition. But today I can breathe easily, eat without fear of food affecting my singing, and tonight dress up and go to the Covenant Awards with D.

Maybe I'll get another glimpse of those snowy, rocky mountains today.

(ps to E and R, I can't thank you enough for being there last night. I think of it as the first of many meetings. We really must get these provinces to move closer together.)

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

gma canada

Every year, GMA (Gospel Music Association) Canada hosts the Covenant awards, celebrating Christian music in Canada. In conjunction with that, they are putting on GMA Canada Week, including a songwriting competition and a performance competition.

I'm entered in both.

(insert deep breath here)

I alternate between "what a great opportunity!" and "what have I gotten myself into?".

Three weeks ago I emailed mp3s and lyrics for five songs for the songwriting competition. That part's done. Next Saturday in Calgary, I go on stage for my 10-minute slot for the performance competition. That part's got me pretty intimidated. One criteria to be in this competition is that you not be a signed artist - but there are some very professional, experienced performers among the indie artists out there.

I'm praying my little 'firefly' can take wing and shine.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

daring cook, october

Another month, another something new in the kitchen. I've never even eaten them before, but this month (tonight, in fact) I made stuffed grape leaves.
Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
It took a trip to the local Italian food store and some hunting there to find the leaves, but the rest of the ingredients were readily found. Leaves were rinsed of their brine, rice soaked and stuffing mixed.

The stuffing was ground beef, short-grain rice, and spices including allspice and cinnamon. These spices used to surprise me when I saw them anywhere outside of an apple or pumpkin pie, but now I've gotten accustomed to tasting them with different meats.

Rolling the leaves around the stuffing was fun and again involved my three sous chefs (aka daughters) who were again keen to try a new food.
Rinsed and dried grape leaf

Stuffing, ready to roll!

Into the pan they went, lined up neatly and with dried apricots wedged between them for more flavour. Water and lemon juice was added and them simmered for 40 minutes. Beef kebabs I'd marinated in red wine went on the grill toward the end, to fill out the meal along with a cucumber/yogurt salad I'd made earlier.
Cooked and ready for tasting.

The result: delicious! The rolled leaves held up well to the cooking time, though I had to be careful when I lifted them from the pan. A nice flavour, accented by some tamarind-chutney sauce I'd found. The girls liked the taste as well. Another new discovery for our kitchen!

Check out music from Barb Glennie

This is cool. I'm now listed on, and they have this nifty little widget setup. Lots of artist links and such, I'm still finding my way around it.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


I'm typically a neutrals sort of girl. But this ... oooh, I couldn't help it. It's so cute! Want want want!

Friday, 1 October 2010


Spices, I'm thinking, have a bit of a season about them (no pun intended).

Spring is a time of herbs: parsley, thyme, oregano. Fresh and new. Summer wants basil and rosemary, their heady flavors adding punch to sun-sweet tomatoes and light omelets. Fall is all about the brown spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice all jostle for their place in my baking. Winter likes the brown spices but also welcomes some of the herbs as sage and summer savory find their place in roasts and stews.

Today in the kitchen many apples met a saucy end as they boiled into mush and moved through the food mill to make a lovely pink applesauce. The garden yielded its last of the season, with eight pie pumpkins now sitting primly on the walkway, waiting their turn. Over the weekend they will be cooked, mashed, and put into pies. The seeds will be roasted for snacks. Pastry for the pies was made today and now waits in neat packets in the fridge. The house smells like, well, fall.

What other spices have a seasonal feel? Hmm...