Generation A

I'm behind on pictures as usual.. this is Christmas dinner with Wilby at The Locus. We were originally going to go to Grub but I forgot to call to make reservations until a few hours before we left and they were full until 9pm!

The Locus turned out to be awesome though and just down the street from Grub. Amazing tasting food! I had the risotto cakes and a chocolate mint creme brulee. The risotto cakes were so good, omgash. I can't for the life of me figure out what their seasoning was - it made mushrooms taste like bacon. Weird! But I wasn't much of a fan of my dessert because A) I don't like mint and B) I discovered that I don't like creme brulee. Just wanted to try it, that's all! If you're interested or might come visit Vancouver anytime soon, you can check out my restaurant reviews on my yelp!







Books I've been reading lately:



Why yes, two of those are cookbooks. Doesn't everyone read cookbooks like novels? Generation A by Douglas Coupland is particularly interesting. I seriously just randomly picked it up off the shelf at the library because the cover looked nice (I judge books by their covers). I've only just started it but it's basically about:

1) our world in it's technologically advanced future where all the bees in the world have gone extinct
2) all the food crops in the world have died out as a result of lack of pollination
3) all the crops remaining are genetically modified with "patented genes"
4) everyone is obese
5) 5 people in different parts of the world are stung by a bee (they're supposed to be extinct) at the same time

It's such a coincidence that I picked up a satirical book about food. ESPECIALLY after watching Food, Inc. just a few days before. The book even name-dropped Monsanto and I practically yelled "I KNOW WHO THAT IS!!" upon reading it after learning about it from Food, Inc.



It's a really good documentary. I was disgusted. Disgusted at what happens in the industry and all the deceptive ways major food companies & the government pass pure garbage as food that people ignorantly consume. If you have an hour or so, I'd recommend watching it!

What are you reading?
What's a good documentary you've watched?

Animal Party

I want to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS! I've been dabbling in the holiday festivities this past week and I've been in such a food coma. And it's not even Christmas yet! I hope you're all having tons of fun because I am!

I had Christmas dinner with my friends at Mary's house two days ago and it was so nice hanging out together. I rarely see most of them during the school year.


They brought salad for me :)


My quinoa stir-fry from Veganomicon. I liked it! But most were cautious about eating the strange squiggly beady things that no one could remember the name of. It probably would been more appreciated had I been dining with people who eat like I do!




Saooo much food! I've eaten so much over the past few days that I feel like my digestion has just stopped! I'm never hungry anymore! AaaaaH!

I haven't built a gingerbread house for as long as I can remember and that's probably a good thing because I'm terrible at it! But Amanda & I still ended up with a pretty darn snazzy house. It was so much fun!




This one's ours! The giant red thing in the front is a doorbell, fyi. It even has gargoyles!


Emily & Megan's. Complete with support beams for the splitting roof.


Mandy & Julia's. There's a dude suntanning on the lawn.




Desiree & Amy's. I should point out that 1) Desiree is practically formally trained to decorate gingerbread houses (her & the culinary arts program in high school built this a few years ago - crazy right?!) and 2) Amy is an art student. When you put those two people together, you're pretty much going to get something crazy looking. They even cut hella fir trees out of Fuzzy Peaches!


And then there's Mary & (the other)Amy's teepee-turned-igloo-after-it-fell-apart. Hahaha, I love it.




Our little gingerbread village!

Which house is your favourite?



Anyways, I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!

Stillness







BAM! Snow. We had a bit of a snowstorm today. I don't know about you, but I love that stillness in the air whenever it's cold & snowy. Maybe it's the fact that everyone's taken refuge indoors and traffic slows down & stays on the main streets. Everything is just so still and quiet. All you can hear is the snow squishing under your shoes and the sound of your own breath. It's heavenly. But I probably won't be saying the same thing in a few days when this mess gets slushy.







Happy Thanksgiving, Americans. While you guys are all having long weekends and Thanksgiving feasts, I'm here freezing in my basement and hoping classes are still cancelled tomorrow so that maybe I can have a long weekend too. But I'm just kidding. :) Enjoy your day! Canadian Thanksgiving isn't nearly as a big of a deal here, it seems.

Deathly Hallows

I just watched Harry Potter.



That is all.
(IT WAS SO GOOD)

Coming Up With Titles Is The Hardest Part Of Blogging

Lunch today:









Hummus, mustard sprouts, avocado, black pepper, all on this neat little sunflower seed bread I found at Whole Foods. It's all compact and squished into a little package - totally looks like Jessica's pumpernickel with the awkward couple on the packaging. Mine has a photo on the label in the same spot too - but just not of a nuzzling couple haha. I've been kind of obsessed with avocado lately. Most days I'll just have a single mashed avocado on toast. So simple but SO GOOD. And yeah, I totally use my own clothing to lay down as "backdrops". Annnnd I picked up some wheat berries to try yesterday. Can't wait to try sprouting them! I'll share process photos.

Other news: I have been hating on school (WINTER BREAK PLEASE RIGHT NOW) and working on this baby. My photography site! Chchchcheck it out when it's finished. And I (badly) want Rihanna's hair:





OBSESSED.

Clouds? Pillows? Nope & Nope

Guys....



I think



I just found



the best



vegan pancake recipe



that I've ever made.





With my newest obsession: cranberry sauce. I've been making it to go with nearly every meal. My wooden spoon even turned perma-pink! And a confession: the pancakes in these pictures aren't the actual ones made from this recipe. I just didn't want to take the pictures all over again. I promise they look way better.

I used honey in both the pancakes and the sauce but if you're vegan, go ahead and use any other sweetener you like! The result shouldn't differ too much from the cloud-like fluffiness of these pancakes. Even the batter had a mousse-like texture.

Soft & Fluffy Pancakes
serves 1

1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 T honey (agave/date syrup/maple syrup/etc if vegan)
1 T baking powder
1/2 C almond milk
1 T extra virgin olive oil (I used cold-pressed)
tiny pinch of salt

You know the drill. Combine the dry. Combine the wet. Add wet to dry. Mix 'em up. Use a tablespoon to scoop the batter into a pan on medium heat. Two big, heaping tablespoons for each pancake gives you exactly 4 small pancakes. Flip when the edges aren't mushy anymore.

Basic Cranberry Sauce

1/4 - 1/2 C fresh cranberries
2 T honey
enough water to almost cover cranberries

Heat water & cranberries in a deep pan on medium heat until cranberries start popping. Lower heat to a simmer. Squish the cranberries with the back of a wooden spoon & stir occasionally. Add honey & more water if it becomes too jam-y. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

Real Food



I had a pancake phase sometime during the last month and I winged some pancakes on various weekends when I was able to have a leisurely morning to take as long as I wanted to make breakfast. These were some vegan coconut banana pancakes and they were so good I'm not ready to share any recipe yet because after I made them, I looked at some actual legit pancake recipes and I realized I didn't put any baking powder/soda in mine. They still seemed to work though! So I don't know. I should probably try it again the proper way before sharing.



I have also taken a huge interest in raw food. I had a week where I challenged myself to stay 100% raw but I failed. It was hard ONLY because of the large volume of food you need to have at hand. When you're eating raw, fruits & vegetables make up such a small part of your required caloric intake so you have to eat lots of it. I had a lot of trouble keeping enough fresh produce in the house for the week while restricted by my weekly grocery budget. Especially if you're buying mostly organic, it adds up to a lot of money, unfortunately.

That realization was infuriating. The fact that it's so much cheaper to eat unhealthy, processed, and packaged food than to eat a big salad where all its contents grow from a tree.



Another thing brought to my realization while learning about raw food was all the corporate bullcrap going on. The food pyramid is bogus, in my opinion. Wilby asked me if I ever noticed how grains are the largest group on the food pyramid released by the Canadian government (or the USDA in the states). Fruits and vegetables are second. Why are we supposed to consume more processed food than natural plant food? You always hear people telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables. Want to fight illness? Eat more veggies. Want to grow up to be big and strong? Eat more veggies. Want to lose weight? Eat more veggies. Your mother, your doctor, everyone says that. They don't tell you to eat more bread. Or sneak more pasta onto your plate at dinner. So why does the government tell you that? Simple reason: money.

The grain industry holds such a huge monopoly over our food. Chips, bread, pastries, pasta, noodles, rice, cookies, crackers, even oats. They've become such staples in our diets & the manufacturers are raking in the dough. The government doesn't make any money (maybe from land taxes or something but not nearly as much) when a local farmer grows up a crop of fresh fruit or veggies and sells it at the farmer's market. None of that food goes through the government or any kind of facility at all. They don't benefit = they don't endorse it.

Another thing about the food pyramid is the dairy & meat part of it. I'm not even going to start arguing about that one but many of you & me all know that vegans & raw foodists have been living fantastic lives without any of those. They're not necessities. They're big business products being pushed on us to buy. And it's even more angering that the food pyramid is something teachers are required to teach us in grade school! Sure, I guess it's not a terrible diet to live off of, many people do and that's great for them, but it's certainly not the only way to eat so I don't think we should be taught that like it's a set of rules that we must live by or else we'll contract some horrible disease and die.


You know you've made a good smoothie when it holds its peak!


Clearly, I'm still eating grains (re: pancakes). But some raw tricks & recipes I've learned have still stayed with me. I eat mostly raw when I'm at home now and avoid cooking my produce, nuts, and seeds as much as possible. Smoothies have been a huge part of my meals. They are amazing, 100% raw, fast, easy, taste soooo good, have pretty colours, and there's virtually no way you can mess them up! This beautiful yellow (I think I seriously squealed after it finished blending because of the colour that resulted) one had:

1 banana
1 apple
1 navel orange
meat of half a young coconut
& watahhhhh


It's probably the simplest one I've made and yet one of the tastiest. Simplify your life! Food shouldn't have to mean a 15-ingredient recipe followed meticulously. Real food is simple. And the most delicious when it is. When's the last time you ate an orange and I mean reaaally ate it? Like peel each segment apart, look at the brilliant colours nature gave it, observed each tiny dome of juice, held it up to the sun and tore it in half and watched the droplets catch the light, savoured each slice in your mouth like a piece of expensive chocolate, or noticed every single flavour it had - spicy, sweet, bitter, sour, all of them at once? Real food is amazing.

Summer?

Holy crow, where have I been. I feel like I fell off the face of the earth for a whole month. Ever since school started, I've been swamped in reading, reading, and more readings. Shortly after I replaced my camera, I fried my computer. I literally fried it - it involved a huge white electrical flash and the smell of burning. So I didn't have a computer all month and freaked out the whole time over the possibility of losing all my very important photos & files (they were saved!). So I've just been having the best luck ever, it seems... breaking my camera, frying my computer, passing out, knocking my teeth out.. yep, I've been reaaaal fortunate.

But besides my great luck, I have so much to talk about and I can't wait to show you what I've been eating, what I've been doing, and pictures I've taken but haven't even begun to edit.

I needed to post these pictures asap because they were all the way from the first week of September! Kind of unfitting now that it's way past summer and tomato season is winding down (or over?) but here they are anyway. Some beeeautiful heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market at Trout Lake. Choosing them was like being in a candy store! They looked amazing and tasted incredible.



You really don't know what a real tomato tastes like until you eat them organic & local. Supermarket ones just pale in comparison. I could've eaten them like apples.







This makes me wish it was still summer. I miss summer produce! But I can't wait to show ya'll the new in-season food I've been trying.

Sunny Days No More

It's funny that I post this now because just 2 days ago Vancouver had a record-breaking rainfall. We broke our record for the rainiest day in August in almost 6 years. Vancouver is known for it's rain but I don't think I've seen anything like Tuesday's rain before. The skies were literally just dousing us in a really consistent and heavy rain. Like someone up there left the tap running for far too long and it flooded the sink. What a way to end August.

But anyways, before all that, Wilson & I went swimming at the Kits Beach outdoor pool sometime last week. We've been trying to cram all the things we wanted to do this summer into the few days we have left before school. The pool is supposed to be a saltwater pool but it didn't actually taste salty. And I know that sounds really gross because I basically just confessed that I drank pool water with who-knows-what in it... but it happens to everyone, right?! The pool's also supposed to be the length of four Olympic pools. Not sure how accurate that is but it sure tired us out swimming just a single length of it. That's really sad..




Some booty fo you.



This was also the day I broke my camera. Yeah. I broke it. Which is why I haven't been posting. I dropped it while we were taking those silly pictures and it bounced once on my towel but that didn't stop it from making a second bounce on the pool deck ground next to it. ....It didn't bounce anymore after that. The damage: the bottom of the body cracked, the left side right next to lens popped out, the lens release button is jammed in, the shutter sticks when pressed and only releases when pressed again, and because of the shutter problem, it can't take any pictures. The lens that was on it at the time wasn't even mine! I borrowed it from Sam and I'm so damn lucky that it was fine after the fall.

We rushed it to Broadway Camera right afterwards for some damage control but they said it was too serious and just directed me straight to the Nikon office. We went to Nikon on Monday and I just received my estimate for repairs and they actually refused to repair it because it wouldn't be "economical". Instead, they offered to trade it in for a refurbished D90 for $640. Which is actually a great deal and the D90 is my dream camera. Buuuut the problem with that is that I don't have $640 right now.

Plan B: we scoured craigslist for another D50. Found one! We just went to pick it up tonight. I'm down $250 (well, Wilby is because he's lending me the money) but at least I've learned my lesson. Always strap in! :/ Especially important now that I have a sort of quasi-job as a photographer! But more on that next post.

Seawall

Last week, Wilby & I biked the Stanley Park seawall. I'm loving these long-ish bike rides. I feel so accomplished afterwards! We made lots of little photo stops to take pictures that I'm going to dump below.








There were A LOT of other bikers/rollerbladers/walkers/runners out too because it was such a gorgeous day.






This was not my idea.... But awwwww yeah. ;)


I even drew out our route for you! It was about 12km in total. We hadn't planned on biking the Coal Harbour part but after we came out of Stanley Park, we just happened to be at Coal Harbour so we thought we might as well just bike to Waterfront and get on the skytrain there instead of getting on a bus to go to Burrard THEN get on the train.


There were SOOO many beautiful views along the way.




And so many quirky momuments & structures I've never seen in Vancouver before. Like this random tree on a rock! I'm sure there's a proper name for it...




This is the Lost Lagoon. Spooky name but a gorgeous, totally not scary place. In the daytime, anyway.

About


Hi, I'm Gail. I'm a 20 year old student in Vancouver, BC. I dance and I take photographs. I have a wishbone where my backbone ought to be.

This is a place for experiments and mistakes and inconsistency and trying to find out who I am and what I want to do. This blog is a collection of bad pictures, great pictures, good luck, real food, run-on sentences, happiness, inspiration, beautiful things, and moments in time.

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