Monday, November 29, 2010

Did we mention we like the snow?

OK, my turn for once....

So it's my day off, and it's snowing again outside. I'll be heading out to enjoy it shortly, but thought I'd put up a couple photos first.

Out the front window.

Our intersection.

This guy hangs out in the window with the cat.

Okay, that's it for now, I've gotta go outside and enjoy the weather for a bit then take a bread machine apart.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

bread machine on the fritz & a saturday at market

local farm's fingerlings (banana & red)

so i've been on a bread blitz lately. really good bread is kind of hard to find here in our small town...or it costs a whole lot.
and jon eats a lot of bread. i swear that guy could live on pb sandwiches.

there is a good artisan bread lady (Meg Hobson of Rustica), but it gets kind of pricey (although quite tasty) to buy artisan wood fired stone oven bread all the time. plus i can only ever find her at market, which now that winter is here, is occasional at best.
then there is Schimmel's bakery and since we've moved here, their seed loaf is what i've been buying for jon to eat his sandwiches...but like all other stores, they are closed by 5 and on sundays and mondays.
as for gluten free bread? well, they have one of my favourite brands (Kinnikinnick) at the Safeway, but for 7-8 bucks a loaf...well, we got that awesome bread maker from Zia Lisa for our shower gift and so it began...

and 5 loaves later the machine suddenly stopped kneading.
i searched the trouble shooting guide and did everything it told me and still, just clicks and no kneading...and so i called the Wolfgang Puck helpline in the states and they told me that there was nothing they could do for my machine since the 12 months of its warranty were up (by 1 month! of course)...
i should probably have taken this as a sign seeing as with all the awesome fresh bread we've been eating my pants are getting a bit tighter...but i digress.

today at market, W. Diamond Ranch had 1 bag left of freshly milled Red Fife flour. it was there, just calling my name, and i couldn't resist.

i've been wanting to try a loaf with Red Fife since my bread making addiction started.
even if my machine is on the fritz, i figured i would fix it eventually and then i would need this bag of Red Fife flour...but as i was leaving i got this kernel of advice: "I just milled it yesterday, so if you don't plan on using it right away, make sure you freeze it or it'll go rancid on you".
on my walk home i was thinking of all the ways i could try and fix my bread maker...i called the help line back, to no avail. and they wouldn't let me speak to Wolfgang directly. one bread maker to another, i'm sure he would have understood.
but i just couldn't bear to put the flour in the freezer...and so out came my kitchen aid stand mixer and so began my first hand made loaf with Red Fife hard wheat flour.
and there was a certain satisfaction to it that made the bread taste that much better.
it almost made me start to reconsider the bread machine...i could do this. knead and bake my bread by hand.
but ask me what i've been doing for my whole Saturday?
going to market and then baking bread...ALL DAY. it really does take that long.
and one loaf is actually set to rise overnight, so i still have another loaf to finish tomorrow.

close up of the Red Fife dough (look at the lovely hard wheat)

after i punched the dough down and split it into two, i got inspired by a bread that my Zio Fred brings to family gatherings from St Phillips i added olives, hot chili flakes, rosemary and sundried tomatoes to one of the loaves

the shorter loaf is plain, the longish rolled one is the olive bread
(the red fife flour yields an extremely nutty and tasty doesn't rise much when baking and appears dense but has great texture and hold up really well for toast)

this olive bread was deliciously tasty with fresh carrot soup

carrots from local farm...made a tasty soup

fridays are fun...with a capital F

it was the opening day at Hudson Bay Mountain on friday...
jon had to shoot opening day for the paper and me, well, i just had to tag along. woe is me!

from the top of the panorama t-bar
(ps - t-bars suck)

from the first aid booth at the peak

jon is working...really.

me, on the other hand, am not working
(did i mention t-bars suck?)

later on that night we went downtown for a friday night community lighting thing...the stores all stayed open until 11 pm to kick off christmas shopping (which may not sound like a big deal, but it is for Smithers where everything is closed on Sunday and sometimes Monday, and shops usually aren't open past 6pm)...

friday night, foggy night

looking down Main St

Smithereens do a lot of stuff. people just DO things here. all the time.
there is always an event to be had, and what jon and i mused on the way home is that everybody goes to everything...regardless of age, social circle, sport of's amazing.
last week we went to see a local musician (Raghu Loganathan who was awesomely quirky) on tour through Canada with 2 other Canadian musicians...folky type stuff, but every demographic in town was there.
Saturday night we're off to the Ski Boot Ball at the Alpenhorn...the official kick off the ski season party...'80s style.

Friday, November 26, 2010

and so the renos begin...

who wallpapers a bathroom anyhow?
so annoying....and yet so satisfying, like peeling a sunburn.

this is Jon saying how much he loves stripping wallpaper

the me, you'd take that wallpaper off pretty quick too if you had to look at it every night

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

it's snowing again

it seems i will never get sick of the view from Malkow

there has been a bit of a deep freeze here for the last week or so with temps plunging to -20 (unusual for this time of year...honestly!)
but as Jon and I have come to realize: nobody complains! it's amazing. everyone states their surprise, many are even apologetic to us newcomers, muttering how sorry they are that we have to endure this freak weather system for our first winter here.
of course i've been working a set for the last 4 days and it has been wonderfully sunny...and now, my first day off of 5, and it is grey as can be...but the better news is that the temp is rising, it's snowing again (!!) and i can still see the mountain out my window as i type.

unfortunately no new pics from the last couple of days but i'll leave you with a couple from yet another quick hike up to the Malkow of our last warm-ish days a week or so ago, before the snow really fell.

Sarah & John

Sarah, John & I

Thursday, November 18, 2010

today in Smithers

the evil kitty, finding the ray of sunshine in our living room

our house (is a very, very, very fine house)

the view from the end of our drive (1/2 of Hudson Bay Mtn ski hill on the left)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the first snow

the evil kitty is loving her new home and was just as excited as we were to see this scene outside of our window this morning...our first snow! and it's only mid-november...although jon would like you all to know that he actually felt and saw his first snowflake of the year while he was visiting toronto on halloween. so there.

we can usually see the mountain and ski hill from this window, but it was completely in cloud cover this morning ...if you look behind thespa's head you can barely make out the ridge line...

we had a ton of house stuff to do today but our next logical decision seemed like the most obvious one...

Sarah & I (in the cloud that was covering the mountain behind Thespa's head in the previous pic)

we drove up to the base of the ski hill with Sarah and hiked up the t-bar line to ride fresh pow!
holy crap there was a TON of snow! seeing as we hiked straight up the mountain (the ski hill actually doesn't open until the 25th), we only made the hike twice, but both rides down were worth every minute of huffing up.

Sarah & Jon hiking up under the Prairie T-Bar, Hudson Bay Mtn

so Ontarians, what is powder you ask? it's fluffy and light and crazy deep and doesn't require super sharp edges to ride...i could learn to love this powder stuff. oh wait, i think i'm already in love. it didn't take long.

cabin covered in fresh powder mid-way up Hudson Bay Mtn

the road from the mountain back into town (proof that those studded tires we just got were the best investment ever)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

moose tracks

so...woke up this morning, made our coffee, enjoying it as we were looking out our front window, gazing at the mountain (snow is coming!)...and found, imprinted in the frost, on our front lawn these tracks...

which led to this nice present...

so to all of you who have been making jokes about Northern really is like that (except Jon doesn't have a job at the radio station)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

birthday wishes

To Jon

bork bork

enjoy your day with family...see you in a couple.
-your wife.xo.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

lyon creek trail

my first hike to timberline!
sarah says it was my "first alpine experience"
(i'm sorry Jon missed it but there will be more...hope most of you got to make it to his opening tonight!)

of all the hikes so far, this one felt the most like what i imagined a west coast hike to be
lush greenery and big pines, fallen leaves to start...ankle high snow half way up until about mid-calf at summit--and cold at the top!
2.5 hrs up, 45mins down
of course i forgot my camera (duh) are some random phone pics (sorry if the quality isn't exceptional)

Sarah & Amy

Amy, me, Casey

Sarah & Casey

Monday, November 1, 2010

a couple of hikes

the area is filled with good hikes within a 10-15 minute drive...most of them are on the longer, day hike many will be waiting until spring. but there are a couple within that 5km range.

Twin Falls is Smithers' big hike attraction...there are two trails here.
one very short but very steep hike to the base of the falls (which we did--in prime bear-getting-ready-to-hibernate season, haha)
and the other is Glacier Gulch which takes about 5hrs return...goes up past the timber line to the mouth of the glacier--we are saving this one for next spring/summer...if anyone wants to join us?

jon and i with one of the falls

jon with the twins

we also hit up Call Lake for probably one of the easier hikes around here on a random late afternoon just before jon left for T.O.
i got home from an 8 hr overtime shift and jon had picked out this 5k hike and was ready to go with apples and water bottles.

on the ridge

call mountain

the promise for pics

i'm adding photos...finally! you say.
i'm just editing the previous posts, so check them out periodically over the next couple of days

and go check out jon's art show too, while he's in town.

ps - Mel, the bon voyage bean made it (and it's growing crazy in the new house)!

a going away present from our nephew Jacks...