Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Neighbours Day is coming!

Neighbours Day is coming up in around 6 weeks.  This is an excellent opportunity to get to know the people who live near you and help them to get to know each other.  If you're not already, could you consider doing something in your neighbourhood?


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Oakley Creek with Michaela

Yesterday we introduced our niece, Michaela, to Oakley Creek :-)

Checking out a spot I think would be great for an evening picnic.

Vegan ice cream and frozen desserts

I spent a lot of last winter devising vegan ice cream recipes: mostly to put together a recipe book for our niece for Christmas, but also for our own use.  Why?  Although we're not vegan, we've cut back a fair bit on dairy consumption in recent years for the sake of our neighbours who are most at risk from climate change.  Dairy products are nothing like as bad for the climate as meat, but they're a lot worse than eggs or plant-based protein so we try to restrict them a bit.  Also, I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable about all I'm hearing about the treatment of bobby calves in the dairy industry, and do wonder from time to time about giving up dairy entirely.

The internet is full of vegan ice cream recipes - however, I wasn't that satisfied with them.  Most are based on either bananas, coconut milk or cashew nuts.  Both bananas and coconut milk have quite strong flavours - that's fine if those are the flavours you're after, but they do limit your options.  And cashew nuts, as well as being quite expensive, are hard to work with.  If you want a smooth product, you have to soak the nuts, blend them to a paste, then force that paste through a cloth.  I've never actually tried it so I could be wrong, but that sounds like very hard work!

So I wondered, could you make ice cream using relatively-flavour-neutral soy milk?  It turns out you can, although I haven't found anyone on the internet publishing such recipes.  The trick is to add neutrally flavoured oils to bump up the fat content, then add soy lecithin (a natural emulsifier) to get the milk and oil to mix.  Turns out it works a charm!

rose geranium ice cream, chocolate ice cream and vanilla soy gelato - neapolitan ;-)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

On not being 'there' yet

For some years I have listened most Sundays to a sermon by Darrell Johnson.  I have appreciated his practical applications and the way he so explicitly draws his points from the text at hand; I also appreciate the rich background information he links me to.

He is now retired and I have finished his back catalogue on YouTube, but I found that his church, First Baptist in Vancouver, Canada, publishes all their sermons online.  Last year I appreciated their series on Colossians.  Today I had intended to go to my own church, but was too tired and ended up staying home.  I've listened to all the recent sermons on my own church's website so I turned back to First Baptist and listened to the first sermon in their series Why Jesus says He came.  It was called The Preteen Jesus.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Accessibility

Yesterday I had a GP check up followed by a blood test on the way home.  It's the first time in many years that I've been to the blood test place - since I got sick, all my blood tests have been home visits.

I was pretty shocked by what I saw.

Over these past years I've thought a lot about accessibility as I've more and more come to see myself as a person with a disability.  I think the blood test place was very 'accessible' if you limit that word to meaning 'wheelchair accessible'.  However, I live in an area with a high migrant population, and I was shocked by how inaccessible it was for someone not that fluent in written English.

Monday, January 14, 2019

A bit of an update

Life is a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment.  I'm doing way more than I used to and I'm so enjoying having so much more people contact and so much more independence.  So many things that I used to find hard are easy now.  For all that I do a lot of sewing, I've always hated cutting projects out - the concentration was really difficult and I was always battling through so much pain as I leaned on weird angles to do it.  But last Tuesday I had a project to cut out and it was so unexpectedly relaxing and kind-of meditative that I ended up cutting out my next project immediately after as well!  I'm also ever-so-much less sensitive to noise, light, sounds and smells, which is awfully convenient :-)

Hanging out with friends from high school near Oakley Creek

Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmas

The Sunday before Christmas, Sarah arranged for a couple of friends to come over for carol singing.  It was such a happy time - one of the nicest things we've done in ages :-)

Martin brought through our advent wreath for the occasion