Thursday, 14 June 2012

News of the Day

I don't much like weeks where I feel like I'm slogging along toward the finish line.
And this has definitely been one of those weeks.
 Still, although I'm cranky, I'm well aware that I'm a fortunate woman.
I have a comfortable home, a loving family, and a good job.
I live in a beautiful place, where on any given day, a person can be blessed with a sight as wonderful as this.

This swan family - mother, father, and five cygnets - live in a small pond near a larger lake only a couple of kilometers from my home.  Most of our swans fly north during the summer months but this little family have decided to stay in our area year-round.  I guess plentiful food, absence of hunters, and warmer temperatures are all strong enticements to remain. I sometimes wonder if they feel they're spending summer at a resort!

It's good to look for blessings when you're feeling under the weather.  I know it always cheers me up.

We live in the middle of some incredibly productive farmland, with ocean around us, and have access to wide variety of locally produced foods.

Every spring, we enjoy the spot prawn fishery.  These prawns, among the most sustainably fished in the world, used to be caught almost exclusively for export.  Now about 10% of the catch is purchased fresh, by local residents.
Taste Buds' Spot Prawns on Toast is a near-perfect way to enjoy them.

We can buy wonderful goats milk cheese here, from Hilary's Cheese.  Their chevre would work very well in these stuffed portabello mushrooms with roasted tomatoes and goat cheese from A Food Centric Life.

Vancouver Island Salt Company gathers salt water from nearby Cherry Point and reduces it in cauldrons purpose built by the company's owner, Andrew Shepherd.
I'm dying to try using this wonderful, local product to make these homemade sea salt caramels from Judicial Peach

Every spring we see an abundance of stinging nettles along our local trails.  They're too mature now for me to gather the tender green tips for cooking but while they were at their prime the Cowichan Pasta Company used them to make stinging nettle rotini, which is still available frozen.  Made entirely from locally sourced ingredients, this dark green pasta would pair very well with a creamy sauce.  Maybe a light alfredo sauce like this one from Science of Eating?

And tea, beautiful tea:  TeaFarm grows herbs and blends them with imported, organically grown, black teas.  Any one of those black tea blends could be used to infuse the fruit in my Welsh Tea Cake.  I'll be heading out that way before I bake the next one.
Imagine raisins and currants infused with black lavender tea!

Now, see?
All this happy imagining has cheered me right up!
I'm off to bed now, to dream pleasant, foodie dreams.
Good night all.  


CameraCruise said...

Wonderful post.
Beautiful swans and lots of delicious food.
I have to try prawns on toast next time I buy prawns.
Hope you're feeling better.
Take care.
Wish you a wonderful weekend.

Aunt B said...

Thanks Mette. I really do need to get a longer lens. Those swans tend to stay at the far edge of the pond and it's at the far edge of my lens' focal range. Still, the setting is pretty I think. :) I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I think I'm on the mend. Have a lovely weekend.

CameraCruise said...

I'm glad you are on the mend.
I'm thinking of a longer lens to. I bought a Sigma 70-300, but I'm not satisfied with it. Now I've borrowed a Canon 18-200 mm, it's a much better lens, but I should get closer than that.
Maybe it's an idea to buy an extender to the lens.

Aunt B said...

That's an interesting thought Mette.

I'm actually thinking about going in an entirely different direction and buying a non-SLR camera for long shots. My health/physical limitations are making it a challenge to deal with large heavy lenses, tripods, etc. and there is a lot of weight in a telephoto lens or lens and extensions. Because of the difference in size of the image target area inside a non-DSL camera, you can get larger magnification in a non-SLR camera with a smaller lens. I'm going to research it further, but it may be a way to go.

CameraCruise said...

I don't know about non-SLR cameras for long shots.
I think I have to check that, it may be a way to go for me too. I have problems too if the lens is to heavy and changing lenses is sometimes quite a challenge.

Aunt B said...

I don't know a lot about it either Mette, but I've read some articles about it recently in photo magazines and think it bears looking into. :)