Vegan Polish Xmas 2008

It has certainly been a while. I’m currently in Edmonton celebrating christmas with my family. Celebrating christmas in my family is more of a Polish tradition then necessarily anything to do with religion, but then again, Poland is generally quite Catholic. My family is primarily interested in spending quality time together and EATING!!! So, what does a vegan Polish Christmas Eve dinner at my house look like? There are only three people in my immediate family, so you might notice the extra empty place setting. That’s traditional in many families, and is for an unexpected guest, or a drifter, or anyone that might drop by in need of food. We started with a freshly made beet soup (Barscz), consisting of shredded beet root, sliced celery, leeks, green onion, salt and pepper, lemon juice and hazelnut oil. In the center of each plate is a brown sugar baked yam. After that we have homemade perogies. On Monday my mother and I made approximately 250 of them, and froze most of them. They have a slightly sour and salty cabbage and mushroom filling, the dough is absolutely simple: flour, water, and just a touch of salt. The most difficult part of making them is kneading the dough, which is both really physical, and really important to get the right consistency. Then we have a selection of salads. This year we had potato salad, a slightly sweet cabbage salad, and a vegetable salad. The vegetable salad (sałatka jarzynowa) is rather traditional Polish fare,…

Read more

…then She took a wrong turn at the cemetery and it all went uphill from there.

I think it is wonderful to be in a city that never seems to sleep. Because apparently, neither do I. Ha Ha. At first i thought the time zone change might be the problem… but the 2 hour difference between time zones is kind of minor really, I think it might be the 48 hour bus ride that has destroyed whatever sleep schedule I had developed for myself. Yesterday I went exploring within a 10km radius of the University Du Montreal, I decided to follow the large green dome I see outside my window every morning and go see what it was. It turned out to be L’Oratoire Saint-Joesph du Mont-Royal, an amazing church building atop of a hill. The distance from here to there was misleading, which I have to attribute to it’s absolutely massive size, I thought it would be much closer but it ended up being about 2km away (which, yes is rather close anyway.) It is 124m tall (408 feet) I spent about an hour there, wandering inside and outside of the church, and the surrounding parks. Really quite a beautiful place. There were so many people there, though I guess that is to be expected considering it was a beautiful day, and also a Sunday. As I was walking back to the residence, I saw a familiar sign, and I have to say I got excited to see it. Well it was not really familiar but I knew what it was, Pharmaprix (aka Shoppers Drug Mart).…

Read more

Planning a trip to Montreal

I’m a big fan of planning, planning and more planning, when I go anywhere. So since I’m off to Montreal in La Belle Provence for a month or so, that’s what I have been doing. Luckily there are an amazing amount of resources available to me, thank you internet! Once upon a time when I planned a trip to Vancouver, I used something as archaic as a… BOOK. But this time is no different; I still bought my trusty guidebook, complete with fold out map. Chances are, I will never take this map out in public, but I will likely put it on my wall and track where I’ve been and where I am going. I’ve been feeling stifled by the prairies lately, which frankly is not a feeling I admit to lightly. It is almost as if my romance with simplicity and quiet living has passed. But maybe it’s just my standard fickle fare. Who knows what two months will bring? One thing I know is that it brings music to my ears I haven’t heard live. I am going to go to the Osheaga Music Festival in August, primarily to see Cat Power (my favourite musician) but I’m sure there are others that will be good as well. There is a costume party at the end of July that I can’t wait to attend. The countless art galleries, museums, and historical sites are exactly what I feel I’ve been missing. The city itself is filled with a history…

Read more