secretgarden

My very own secret garden in Saskatoon! Or a public conservatory at the Mendel… Regardless, the end result is the same!

Hi friends! Today is going to be a musing post, but I will reward you at the bottom with a quick and easy recipe for a tummy-taming, flu-battling soup. Anyhoo, sorry I’ve been MIA that last week and a half, but I’ve been getting prepared for some exciting life changes and spending time with some pretty wonderful people to ensure my soul stays as healthy and happy as my body. As many of my wonderful readers may know, I have been working in a kitchen at a senior’s home for the last couple of months. It started off great, but as time wore on it started taking a toll on my body (I would have to taste things prepared with dairy and gluten, which makes my tummy an angry panda) and my soul. I came to the realization that cooking sub-optimally healthy food does not a happy Cait make, so I went in search of alternatives and last week my search came to a delightful close! ! I applied for and was hired with a health food store that is somewhat of an institution in Saskatoon as it has been around for over 30 years and been run by the same amazing woman. It is where I had been doing most of my shopping and so when I saw that they were hiring I immediately went home, printed off a resume, wrote up a cover letter, and dropped that bad boy off.

Tegan and Sara in Regina. So amazing.

Tegan and Sara in Regina. So amazing.

After a lovely interview I started working there last Friday and I am incredibly excited about this new adventure and opportunity. Not only do I get to talk health and nutrition to clients and customers, but I also get paid to attend seminars where I’ll get to try out new products and experiment on myself, which as you may know, I wholeheartedly enjoy. Another bonus? I no longer have to wear sex-less kitchen shoes, chef’s caps, or outfits and can bust out all the pretty things in my closet. Superficial? Slightly, yes. But I always feel a little bit better when my outside appearance reflects how vibrant and excited I am on the inside. This may be why my black and grey clothing-loving sister can never find anything to borrow in my closet. My favourite new piece? A baggy, bright fuschia sweater with a gold zip going up the back. I dare you to put that on and not have a bright, sunshiny day.

My old roomie and I before our lives were forever changed by a pickled beet salad. Wils is the photog with the mad skills behind this pic.

My old roomie and I before our lives were forever changed by a pickled beet salad. Wils is the photog with the mad skills behind this pic.

Anyhoo, that’s my new work adventure coming up quickly here. The hours are better and I won’t be nearly as physically drained when I get off as I was after working in the kitchen all day, so I’m optimistic that my posts will be much more frequent. I also have the internet at my new place, which I will be fully moving into this week, so that should definitely help as well.

Another adventure I’ve had in the last little bit include an amazing overnight road trip to Regina with some of my favourite ladies to take in an unreal Tegan and Sara concert. Their new album is currently rocking my world and even though most of the concert was seated, I don’t think I have ever rocked so hard in a sitting position in my life. My old roomie and one of my oldest and loveliest friends and I went out for dinner before the show to this restaurant called Crave where we had the most unbelievably delicious roasted beet salad with candied nuts, various radishes, arugula, and goat’s cheese. It was one of the best salads I have ever had and has inspired Wils and I to start pickling our own beets. Stay tuned for that upcoming adventure!

The two other lovely human beings who joined us on our Tegan and Sara adventure. This pic is post concert, pre hilarious karaoke. Thanks Wils for documenting our adventures!

The two other lovely human beings who joined us on our Tegan and Sara adventure. This pic is post concert, pre hilarious karaoke. Thanks Wils for documenting our adventures!

I have also discovered an amazing conservatory at the Mendel Art Gallery that I’m slightly ashamed to admit, I never visited in the two years I lived in the city beforehand. It’s an amazingly beautiful space to sit and read and listen to the water fountain and smell all the delicious, planty smells. It’s like your very own little tropical secret garden in the middle of a blustery prairie winter. Definitely a great remedy for any possible winter blues you may be experiencing. Grab a book, find a bench, and away you go! The exhibits they currently have going on at the Mendel are also pretty amazing. My favourite was Landscapes for the End of Time which had the most beautiful and haunting landscapes painted on some of the largest canvasses I’ve ever seen. There was one called The Grove that I wanted to walk right into. Unfortunately, I guess I’m mildly outdated as I just checked the Mendel site to get the artist’s name and they are currently setting up for the Spring exhibits so I don’t think they’re there anymore. Sorry team!

Alrighty, as promised here’s a quick and easy flu-remedy soup if you find yourself feeling slightly under the weather or just want a little bit of insurance in order to stay well. I made it last night and my tummy still feels warm and fuzzy!

Delicious Tummy-Taming, Flu-Busting Soup

Delicious Tummy-Taming, Flu-Busting Soup

Ingredients:

1.5 C homemade bone broth@

¼-½ C coconut milk

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. cayenne (optional)

juice of ¼ lemon*

1 kefir lime leaf (optional)

1 tsp. gluten-free tamari~

1 tsp. sesame oil

splash of rice wine vinegar

sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a slow boil on medium heat.
  3. Reduce to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove lime leaf and serve. Can be drunk from a mug or slurped out of a bowl.

@ see here for a recipe: https://caitliniles.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/souper-bowl-sunday-soupstock-2012-and-homemade-bone-stock/

* I use extra because I really love acid in my food, so feel free to experiment!

~ I use low-sodium as the regular tamari is too salty even for my salt-loving tastes.

Here's some pretty flowers  from the conservatory to brighten up your day since it's snowing and gross here.

Here’s some pretty flowers from the conservatory to brighten up your day since it’s snowing and gross here.

There ya go folks! A little bit of an update, a quick and easy recipe, and some of my amateur photography to round it all out. What more could you ask for? 😉 Now I’m going to settle in with the final two episodes of season one of Game of Thrones and a nice warm mug of tea and enjoy the rest of my morning. Warning, season 3 of GOT starts on March 31st, so I highly recommend you commence your rewatching of seasons 1 and 2 in preparation ASAP. This round is somewhere around the 8th time I’ve watched season 1 and it’s even better than I remember. Ask my brother. The lucky guy is getting constant updates on my reactions to pretty much every scene. For those of you who have yet to experience the visual and dramatic poetry (description courtesy of Patness) that is GOT, what are you waiting for? It’s got it all. Sex, violence, nudity, intrigue, drama, amazing writing and storylines, and the most incredibly complex characters of any fantasy series I’ve ever watched/read. Go watch the first episode and try to tell me you have no interest in continuing the series. I triple dog dare ya.

Well that’s all for today friends. Back to Westeros with me! I’m on one of the most intense and shocking episodes of season 1 at the moment and have to prepare myself for what is about to come. Have a whimsical week!

Cait

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