Bountiful Farmer’s Market

Edmonton just got a brand new farmer’s market. At my count the new arrival makes 14! Wow! We sure do like our markets …

Bountiful Farmer’s Market is located at 3696 97 Street, ( Edmonton, Alberta. obviously) in a large building with lots of parking. That didn’t help us because this is a popular place! The streets were lined with cars and there were people everywhere trying to find a spot. We found ours on the street and it was an easy 3 min walk to the market. Arrival time…noonish on a Saturday.

The place was bustling and full of people but not crowded and claustophic like The Old Strathcona Market. I don’t think I felt the need to keep my eye on the exits once, woot woot!

The vendors are laid out in rows and there are food vendors and a place to sit under the coolest art treatment:

We had ourselves a wander and found the selection to be varied, unique and interesting. There was food – premade and in it’s raw form- art, sweets, booze, flowers…all sorts of stuff. Full Vendor List HERE. The Hubs and I found everyone to be friendly and engaging. I almost don’t want to talk to people because then I’m compelled to buy ALL their stuff, ha ha! Somehow I was able to be discerning and we only made a few purchases:

YUM! I bought these based on a generous sample. They are a cross between a dumpling and a perogy I was told. What they are is DELICIOUS! I’d never heard of them before and I’m glad to be so enlightened. I’ll be having this in a soup some time in the future. You can also have them plain along side accompaniments of your choosing, with sauce to dip. Very flavourful, moist and savoury. Check out Siberian Meat Dumplings.

Hubs also bought himself from craft beer from …

He chose their Day Drifting Pale Ale, a seasonal offering, and has been enjoying it. Ribstone Creek Brewery is located in Edgerton, Alberta. I am not a beer person but I had a wee taste and was struck by how clean it tasted. A quality product, right there.

Then we stopped in to chat with a very nice gent, brought over by the smell of his product: Twiggy Sticks Biltong!

In addition to the Twiggy Sticks he was cooking up this beautiful coiled sausage. It was SO flavourful and not at all greasy! Like surprisingly, not greasy. It’s in my freezer and I cant wait to cook it up. I love sausage but you know…the fat content makes it a treat as opposed to a regular option. Not anymore!

Not only does this product have the COOLEST name, these caramels are truly otherworldly. I should know, I make a highly acclaimed caramel myself:

Kick Ass Caramels are a force to be reckoned with. Big chunks of buttery, creamy flavour bombs these lovelies are indeed! There was a full range of interesting options to choose from and loads and LOADS of samples. As you can see we bought Sambuca and Chai Latte. Some of the other options were Coconut Rum, Salted Caramel and a whole lot more. The vendor was a hoot, super down to earth and authentic. She stole my heart forever when she referred to me as a “broad” and now I want her as my BFF X 11ty! โค Ha ha. The Hubs and I are fighting over who “owns” these boxes and that man is not into sweets so….yeah. Do yourself a favour and buy yourself a treat.

And do yourself a favour and head on down to this market. We enjoyed it. It’s well thought out and we felt comfortable there. It’s open year round, three days a week!

A Mother’s Reckoning.

Book:

A Mother’s Reckoning. Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Sue Klebold

Wow. Just Wow. First of all fair warning. If you have any kind of trauma injury this book may trigger you. There is absolutely nothing graphic in it but I found myself having to read it in bits and spurts because I was getting amped up. I bit off all my fingernails…I ate out half my pantry, ha ha! ( I still read it in 7 hours though! ) Also, I found myself with racing thoughts at bedtime and the anxiety brought up some well buried events from my childhood. So, take care. I regret nothing and think it was well worth it though because this book…oh this book!

I found great comfort in this book. I’m the mother of a child who has made some bad choices and I have felt all kinds of turbulant, complicated, gut wrenching emotions during the course of that experience. As Sue Kelbold struggles to make sense of why her child did what he did and what her own part was, she takes the reader along with her and imparts great wisdom derived both from her experience AND from experts she meets along the way. It all felt like a balm for my soul.

I was left feeling like there is no easy answer. Good, bad or indifferent. I was left feeling nothing but compassion for every human being who struggles, with anything. I just wanted to give the world a great big hug. We are all just babies really. Vulnerable to the scary and the unknown. And yet we keep trying! How amazing is that!? I felt like if this woman can live her life the way she did and have this happen in her family, then shitty things can happen to any of us regardless of our best intentions, knowledge, beliefs and actions. We can try our best, and our best might not be good enough. The perfectionist in me struggles with this but it is a stone cold fact! I find it comforting. I don’t want to stop trying my best but I think it gives me room to let myself off the hook for all the things I cant control, yet blame myself for!

There is a lot of grace and kindness amongst these a pages too. Sue Klebold is unflinching and sincere. She makes zero excuses and only seeks to understand. The bits of kindness she was shown in the wake of this tragedy and the kindness she showed others astounded me, and filled my heart to bursting.

We all like to think we’re impervious to things like this and when it happens to people boy oh boy do we like to play arm chair expert don’t we? ” Well, she mustn’t have been a good parent if her kid did something like!” we expound sitting on top of our very high -and very wobbly- horses. Until something like that does happens to US and then suddenly, we’re not so sure anymore. Of anything.

I relate to this deeply as the mother of a child with an addiction problem.

I relate to this deeply as the wife of a person with a brain illness.

I even relate to this deeply as the mother of a young mother!

Us humans love to judge and think we know better. It makes us feel safe in a world that is nothing but chaotic.

This was an excellent read. Very well written and put together. Sue Klebold is very human and very likable. There is great wisdom in this one. Well done! I highly recommend.

Monday Ramble, Mermaids, Spiders & Rad Snails.

I love me some Monday! Especially after a great weekend.

I’ve lived in Edmonton for 9 years and not once have I been to Terwilliger Park. I know right?

We went yesterday and had a time. Terwilliger Park is a multi use park with an off leash dog area and there are trails and dogs EVERYWHERE. If you don’t like dogs, don’t go to this park. For me, a dog lover extradorinare, I was in HEAVEN.

There is none of this “Oh no Fido, don’t jump up” nonsense. One minute you’re strolling down the trail and the next a very young and exicted Golden Retriever puppy is barreling into you with LOVE. I also met some sort of Poodle cross who ran straight at me for a very muddy hug/ taste and countless other less exuberant hounds, of all variety. A dog lover’s dream, come true!

There a ton of good trails to explore too, some wide and flat, some narrow and twisty. We did a lot of exploring and as usual I ended up barefoot at one point because my Birkenstocks are not so great in the mud. There are wide open fields and cozy little nooks. There spots to get down to the river- which was moving fast. Be careful!-and there is a bridge that takes you into the rest of the river valley, which we’ll be exploring soon. This is a great park and I cant wait to go back!

Check out my Instagram for flower pics!

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I don’t know who owns this image-not me- but it’s awesome! Isn’t it cute?? A wee wizard! I had a tarantula growing up. They are interesting creatures. Not scary most of the time…until they get out and then that’s another story! Can those things move!! I shiver still, at the memory…

I hope you had a great weekend! Get up to anything fun? Tell me all about it!

Rhubarb In Soup? Rhubarb. Mushroom & Sausage Soup!

I’m over run with rhubarb but not really a sweets person so when I saw this recipe I was most curious!

And a wee bit afraid. Rhubarb in soup? Whaaaat? It’s a normal thing in parts of Europe but here in North AMerica, rhubarb is most definitely something you douse liberally with sugar and bake into desserts.

The author of said recipe wrote a compelling case for it though so I gave it a try and WOW oh WOW!

Rich and savoury with just enough tang to tickle your taste buds. The rhubarb kind of melts into these little silky bits that feel luxurious. And the fresh dill is EXACTLY the right complimentary flavour. I’m imagining this dish as the star attaraction at my Samhain celebration in October and I cant wait to try all the other savoury rhubard dishes I’ve got saved on my phone.

This is the original recipe HERE. Please check it out! I’m ever grateful to be introduced to such a thing. The author has a lot of great recipes on her site too.

I can’t leave well enough alone and just had to add sausage to mine. That is the version I bring you here.

Mushroom, Sausage and Rhubarb Soup

a good glug of oil. Use Whatevs. I used olive.

1 large onion, diced

4 medium potatoes, chopped.

1 lb roughly chopped mushrooms. I used a mix of button and cremini. The earthier the mushroom here the better, me thinks!

1/2 pound chopped rhubarb. Mine was from frozen.

4 sausages. Baked separately and sliced. I used spicy Italian because that’s what I had. I’d love to try a good Bratwurst or something similar to that. To simplify things you could fry these with the onions and drain out the fat. I did not because these sausages are really fatty.

4.5 cups of good stock. I used my homemade chicken stock. Use whatever you have on hand. Veggie stock, beef would be nice too…(note to self- make your own beef stock one of these days )

Fresh dill to taste. Chopped. I used about 1/4 cup.

A good glug or two of cream. I used coffee cream. Yes. Really.

Salt & Pepper.

Putting It All Together:

Heat your oil and sautรฉ your onions for a bit over medium heat.

Crank it up-the heat!- and add your mushrooms, get some colour on them and then add the potatoes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the whole lot in your stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins or until potatoes are soft enough to squish.

Bring up some potatoes on a spoon and give them a squish with a fork. Do this ’til you’ve got a texture you like. Or not. It’s up to you! The point is to thicken things up a bit and create a mixed texture. Again, or not.

Add the rhubarb and cooked sausage. and cook a further 10 mins. Take off the heat, add your dill and the cream.

Check for seasonings and then prepared to be blown away by how delicious these simple ingredients taste together!

Best Of Lune.

Best Book:

I’ve read 9 books this month. Not my best month but I’ve been playing outside every chance I can get so it’s ALL good! I do intend to do MORE reading OUTSIDE from here on out because that’s a special pleasure that comes and goes through a short time frame ๐Ÿ™‚

My favourit book this month was:

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

A descriptive, interesting, engaging tale about life during the Black Death. I found it a little long about 3/4 of the way through but then when it ended I was left craving more! Good thing there’s a second one!

I also enjoyed these two:

Aprons and Silver Spoons by Mollie Moran was fast paced and fun to read. Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird really got me thinking good.

Best Movie:

That;s easy. It’s also the only movie I watched this month, ha.

Always Be My Maybe !It was smart and funny and sweet without being saccharine. It held my attention the whole way through and left me feeling happy. You can find it on Netflix, I believe. Go watch!

Kindest human interaction:

It’s a toss up between the lady who asked me ” Are you OK? Do you need a ride? ” when OV and I were playing in the pouring rain OR when Hubs gently rubbed cream on my roasted sunburnt back, without me asking…

Coolest thing I got in the mail:

My first box of Universal Yums! A monthly subscription box of snacks from around the world. This month the country was Colombia. Colombia? I am enjoying your snacks! You make the BEST queso tortilla chips! And I love your coconut toffee.

Best Lune moments:

I bought myself 30 small and medium gifts as tangible reminders to celebrate everything but the best and most valuable things were moments engaging with loved ones. Even in sadness.

1. Learning about the new developments in my friend’s health, the sorrow and the conversation and the love and wisdom that followed. 2. Having my entire family over for dinner! All the kids, blood and otherwise, all the spouses, former and current. 3. Seeing my mum in law and enjoying her feierce love for me. 4. Spending the week with my Hubs doing nothing much but having fun nonetheless. 5. Chatting with my daughter every day. She calls me and says ” What’s more annoying? Me as a kid or me as an adult? as way of apology but you know, I am grateful and appreciate that she WANTS to talk to me. I’ll take her daily phone calls, joyfully. ( The answer is always ” You as a kid!” ha ha. She was a tornado, that one! )

I’m happy for July because I’m hoping the weather sort of evens out a bit…but I’m enjoying the ever changing nature of the way things are now. We get rain every day and we get sun every day so if you plan it right you can enjoy it all and life never gets boring! The days are flying past so I’m making a few intentions to keep my butt on track:

  1. Read my books outside when it’s not raining.
  2. Get my ass on my bike!
  3. Eat my meals outside when I can…
  4. Check out a new part of the city every week.

What are your best June memories? What are your intentions for July?

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Monday! Happy Canada Day! Happy 9 year anniversary of Alberta living to meeee! Happy Day of Living to YOU!

I’ve been in long weekend mode since Friday AND my brain doesn’t seem to want to do anything other than play in the garden. It looks like rain for now, so hopefully the weather inspires me to stay put so I can get caught up here!

This is from this morning:

In honour of Canada Day I bring you photos from my trip a few weeks ago. The Hubs and I drove a circle route from Edmonton through The Icefields Parkway and had a great old time.

I climbed up to the glacier in my Birkenstocks and walked back down in my bare feet. Thank you dragon feet! โค There are benefits to being a low maintenance human! Sure I could have worn “proper” shoes but I just can’t bring myself to put on the foot prisons. Nope. I can not. We’ve only got 84 days of Summer left. Why spend them in shoes?

What’s one thing you refuse to do in Summer?

F*ck Up Friday – Pea Shoot Smoothie.

Happy Friday!

Here’s a short but gross tip for you today…

A person might think pea shoots would taste AWESOME in a smoothie.

That person would be wrong. Pea shoots in a smoothie would be a mistake!

Why?

Well, pea shoots in a smoothie taste exactly like opening up a can of the cheapest store brand peas, cooking them in their can liquor for an hour and then whizzing them up with a banana and yogurt.

DIS-GUST-ING!

As gross in looks as it is in taste. Baby food is thy name.

So yeah…maybe don’t do that.

Love and squishy hugs!