Posts filed under ‘Life’
Imagine picking your way across a sandy beach on a weekday afternoon – waves rolling in, cool water pulling at your feet, peachy clam shells catching your eye, the rest of the world somewhere far away – that’s what Southern California feels like to me. Slow, dreamy, quiet. Summer breezy. Can you tell it’s been too long since my last vacation?
Here are a few photos from Carpinteria, Los Olivos and Santa Barbara where much time is being whiled away.
17, 18, 19 degrees Celsius, with glorious sunshine: this is how long weekends should be. We spent three days on Vancouver Island in Sooke and Nanoose Bay, all of them peaceful, restful, and slow. I spent time in the garden, on the deck, the dock, the beach and I started an inspiring new book. We went to the My-Chosen Cafe on Happy Valley Road in Metchosin and then did a quick walk through the trails at Witty’s Lagoon. During our time in Nanoose we went cycling around Parksville and enjoyed Rathtrevor Beach at low tide, which is one of my favourite places to be, beach-wise. And, of course, we ate like kings and queens during family meals.
All in all a wonderful sojourn and a reminder of how refreshing a few days of Island time can be.
The inspiration for this quiche comes from an odd, quasi-French place called Las Vegas I visited a few years ago. Such a strange place, Las Vegas, an amusement park for grownups with something for everyone, from the drunken and licentious to the calmer breeds who like shopping, fountains, Cirque du Soleil, and quiet, pretty things.
One day, in search of lunch, I found a vegetarian quiche at the patisserie in my Parisian-themed hotel. I ate the quiche (delicious) while sitting in a white plastic lounger chair beside the pool, which had a perfect view of the fake Eiffel Tower. The taste of that cool, sunny November day has stayed with me, and I’ve tried to recreate it here as a crustless quiche, which is a great gluten-free thing to make. The missing pastry also saves calories that can be better directed into Santa-season cookies.
Asparagus & Chevre Crustless Quiche
1 leek, white and light green parts finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small bunch of asparagus
1/2 cup crumbled chevre
2 tablespoons chopped or dried dill
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
fresh ground pepper
Saute the leek in oil until softened, about five minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for just a minute or two until it turns bright green. Add vegetables to the bottom of a greased pie plate and sprinkle cheese on top along with dill and fresh ground pepper. Whisk together eggs and milk and pour over top of vegetables and cheese. Sprinkle the top with paprika and more pepper and bake in a 375F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the quiche has puffed up and started to brown in the centre.
It is pouring down rain today. Pouring! The rain is hitting the roof of our apartment hard enough that the plink plink plink sound is echoing in the hood fan of the stove. It’s beautiful to listen to, lovely to write about, and in a few minutes I’ll be walking downtown and getting soaked by it.
The other day, when I was out for a walk in the sun, I saw that holiday decorations are going up all over the place: lights, wreaths, acrylic snowflakes and oversized Christmas ornaments hung on the almost-bare branches of trees. Along with these vestiges of winter, I noticed that spring has already started. Furry buds on magnolia trees, green clusters holding spring’s rhododendrons, and even a few spring bulb tips peeking out of the ground just as the final leaves fall from the trees. This is the thing I missed when I lived in Calgary: the continuous cycle of plant life, the constancy of new beginnings, things forever growing and green. I will take the rain.