Monday, September 26, 2011

Halfway through and feeling inspired

            Half way through and things are looking up, partly because I have been able to see all of my work mates as a reflection of myself and a  way to learn about the things I hide from myself and partly because I have made a new friend. His name is Fernando and he is a squirrel. I had noticed him before in passing but it wasn’t until yesterday that I realized he was following me around. First I found him down at the beach, where he nearly scared me to death thinking it was a bear, then I found him inside the kitchen and then at the back door trying to get in again. I now see him everywhere and with a bold stare as he walks up to greet me.

Well I feel it is time to tell you about the camp that Fernando and I share throughout our quiet days. It is literally a young boy’s wet dream, super camp extraordinaire. It was originally a junior ranger camp in the 70s-90s where no doubt many boys and a few girls (judging from the pictures) had an amazing time. But if they had of has Grant Brodeur as their camp manager they would have had the best time of there lives. Grant, our esteemed host has truly made his dream camp come to life.

There are 5 main cabins, with standard double rooms and lovely wooden decks, there is a rec hall and classroom with a 50”+ flat screen, vcr, dvd and satellite TV, a heated wash house with smoking hot showers and full laundry, the kitchen with everything I could possibly want including internet access and a supreme stereo system with speakers on the deck which over looks the lake and above the bbq (now I have never seen a bbq like this it has 8 burners and an electronic spit and will hit 800c in 10 mins). There is the lake with a pontoon boat, catamaran, speed boat, dock slide and my favourite a wood burning sauna. Nothing like a hot sauna and a jump in the lake before bed!! We also have a trampoline, various sporting thins, and a gas pump and it is all run on solar energy. I have turn Jenny on for a few hours in the morning and sometimes night but that is it. Amazing!! When the apocalypse comes I would like to be at a place like this.

So those are our digs and I am sure you would like to know what else I have been creating in the kitchen. Well lets see last night I treated everyone to a tasty little Korean meal with chamchi chijae (tuna kimchi soup), bulgogi (beef) and sam gap sal (three layered fatty pork), veggies tossed with vermicelli and some sesame beans with homemade kimchi. Tonight is wing night with hot, jerk and sesame buffalo wings, chicken soup with some partridge the guys hunted, salad, fries, homemade bread and blueberry pie and of course beer ;)

On another note I have also been cooking up some ideas in the kitchen like what am I going to do when I leave this glorious place with my pockets full of money well I have decided. I am going back to Africa. I have signed up for wwoofing independent and have sent off a few messages to farms in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, South Africa and Morocco. We will see which ones works out best but if everything goes as planned I will be off some time mid to late- October and return sometime in late February or early march. What better way to start the beginning of my thirtieth year and complete my first Saturn return than in the continent that I love most.

Much love, light and laughter to you all

Thursday, September 22, 2011

In the bush of North Western Ontario, week one

Week one is over and this woman in the woods is seriously wondering if she really signed up for taking care of four of her brothers. The calm, cool and collected soul inside of me knows, they are merely a reflection of myself, but my vengeful ego would like to see some heads roll. No it is not that bad, I am feeling emotional and perhaps have a little more wrath than normal at this moment in time.

My days are usually actually quite nice usually. I begin my day at 5am, before the world has risen I get up throw on some warm clothes and skip out the door of our cabin to greet Jenny (the Generator) and start her up. She charges up the batteries which are usually run by solar, but alas we all know the sun does not shine at night. After I have power I do a little meditation and try and remember that all the people I am working with are just people and I ask that all the food I make for them may fill them with love and nourishment. Then it is time to get set up. I prepare the lunch table with breads and buns, meats and cheese, veggies and snacks. Lunch has been by far my hardest meal to figure out, for someone who does not really eat sandwiches or meat or junk, I just haven’t been able to work it out. Alas my ego is often kicking me in the butt over not knowing what to do for lunches but I tell it to shut up and tell the boys if they want something they better tell. Once the lunch table is already I start up with breakie, I try and switch it up but there is always fruit salad and yogurt, toast with all the fixings, cereal, eggs and bacon and if I am feeling inspired I may make some strata or pancakes or oatmeal.

After all this and cleaning it is usually about 9am and I take a few well deserved hours to relax. Depending on the weather which has been all over the place from glorious and sunny to -3 and frosty to torrential rain with truck shaking winds, I have been enjoying watching movies and knitting (have finished a toque and almost done a cowl), reading (two books at once) , jumping on the trampoline or taking a walk to the lake. These are my favourite times, when there is no one about and I can talk to the eagles and run around singing or just being quiet as a mouse.

My afternoons vary based on what I am making, usually I do lunch prep and baking in the early afternoon. So far I have made spelt and roasted garlic; honey oatmeal and olive breads, peach pecan spices muffins and oatmeal pecan chocolate cookies. I am totally loving making bread which is something I have never done before but will definitely be doing in the future now that I know how easy it is (granted I do have all day). I also use this time to plan my recipes and check out what I am needing for groceries. I had planned on going to town just on Saturdays for the farmers market but at the rate these guys eat shit snacks I have been going twice a week. I am running out of things I figured I never would run out of and am hardly using other things. It has definitely been an interesting learning experience. Though also the hardest part. I feel a bit like a beck and call girl granting the whims of big boys planning in the woods. I find it hard not being appreciated for this as when  I do go to town it means I get no break at all during the day.

However town is quite amusing. It is about a 40 min drive along a beautiful road with magnificent red, gold, orange and green trees. The town is small about 8000 people and main street is only about four blocks. But the people are so friendly and helpful, even to a big city tattooed woman. There is a little organic store with an owner who loves to talk and talk and talk. There is also a super quaint farmers market with amazing produce, elk and bison meat, Mennonites, seniors and high school girls with awesome painted nails. I managed to buy almost all of my produce, meat, cheese and bread there!! Other than that there is a Canadian tire, where a sweet old man named Elmer helped me cut the thickest chain they had with a hacksaw because we busted the cutter J There is also a walmart, yuck (all the towns here have walmart and that is virtually it), safeway, lots of fast food, truck dealerships, little local stores full of tacky clothes and furniture and a few local food stores. I still haven’t managed to find Rocky and Bullwinkle and Dudley do-right, but I am on the look out. One of my most and least favourite parts of town is driving around in my half ton chevy, who knew I would love driving a big ass truck so much, if only I had brought my cowboy hat.

After all that is said and done and I have had another break if I didn’t go to town, I start up dinner. Dinner of course is my favourite meal and as I am theme queen I constantly have regional or country based menus; Jamaican, Italian, American, Thai……. Some of my favourites have been Mexican with Fish tacos, Yam quesadillas, rice and beans and guac and salsa with chips; Indian with Butter chicken, baijan Bharta (aka eggplant curry), quinoa dal and chutney with peach, cardamom, rosewater lassis. Tonight I am making Italian with a Pesto torte, chicken cacciatore with potatoes, salad and pears baked in wine. This usually takes me from 4 to 6 to prepare and then 6:30 to 7:30 or 8 to clean and then I rest until I fall asleep at 9pm, in order to start all over again.

Welcome to my life!! Keeping my eye on the prize, loving nature and meditating as much as possible.
 Love and miss you all! Xoxoxoxo M