Recipes

“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you….”

Do you have a family secret recipe that’s been passed down for generations? Or, a family recipe that only goes to one person and it gets shared on the death bed? Fortunately, this article isn’t so much about the recipe, as this particular one is not mine to share, but of the experience of the gathering of friends and family to help not only bring in the harvest, but to preserve it. When I think about fall, I always think about spending time in the kitchen with friends and family. From the time I was old enough to peel an apple, I was set up in the kitchen with the apple peeler and would ‘get to’ peel gallons and gallons of apples for pie and sauce. When I got a little older, my mom and auntie B showed me how to make jelly, jam and the time consuming salsa. Now, as an adult, I get to spend afternoons with fabulous friends who take pity on me and my terrible chopping ability. Family secrets are shared with promises that they will never be repeated “as long as we both shall live,” and our families get to reap the benefits all winter long.

One of my favourite recipes is bucket pickles. Variations on the good old ‘Bucket Pickle’ are abundant and varied. Everyone has their favourite version, but they all have one thing in common. They are super easy to make and they make the best tuna sandwiches. Or as my husband calls them, mercury on toast. And, unfortuately, you can’t have ‘my’ recipe because it happens to fall into the never to be repeated “as long as we both shall live” category.

No matter what your recipe is, it’s always important to make them at a friends house and tell your husband that you’ll be gone for HOURS. Then sit on the deck in the sun, relax and have some much deserved bevies. 

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have a food processor. I picked this little baby up for about $30 at Canadian Tire and it slices like a dream. If you’ve ever seen me chop anything, you know how much this means to my sanity!

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Tuesday Ramblings

WTF Matrix?

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I have brassy hair. I do. Love getting my hair highlighted, but as we all know, red tones wash out super fast and you’re left with brassy orange, which is not cool. Last week, my hairdresser recommended that I try a bluing shampoo to help with the brassiness. All I was told was, “Make sure you leave it in for 3-5 minutes to allow it to penetrate.”

Sure thing! As much as I might be grossing out the masses, I am a bath girl. Yes, I know, I’m bathing in a cesspool of my own filth. Let me assure you – my filth is like fairy dust that anyone would be thrilled to be coated with. But, I digress…. Let me shift the scene back to my nice relaxing bath. Wine in hand, music pumping, bubbles bubbling and the water so hot it would melt the skin off of a man’s testicles.

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love anytime I get to try new shampoo, make up, skin care products or frankly anything that promises to make me pretty (prettier). I crack the bottle with anticipation and pour the inky goo into my hand. It’s pretty fucking blue. Still, doesn’t register that this could be a concern, so I proceed to lather it all up in my hair and wait the allotted time. As I’m waiting, I notice that my hands are a little bluish in colour. Not papa smurf blue, but more of an indigo haze – like gargamel took a bath in blueberry juice to make himself a bit more smufalicious. I decided that I should do a quick rinse at which point the water turned a dark blue and my skin started to burn. I jumped out of the bath and decided that reading the label was of paramount importance at the moment. First of all, let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with my eyesight. I have perfect vision, but I was squinting to make out the label on theis bottle. The first thing that caught my eye was the little hazard sign on the front. Pictured below. See if that’s one of the first things you notice…. I’ll give you a minute to find it. 

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By now I’m sure you’ve found it top right. It simply says safety instructions. Now here’s what the ‘safety instructions’ look like. Keep in mind, the photo below is enlarged.

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Breaking it down for you, apparently I should wear gloves, preform an allergy test prior to every use, wash hands thoroughly after any accidental contact and that if I use it around my eyes, I could go blind. And here I thought I was just washing my hair. On the plus side, my hair did lose the brass and I should have been smart enough to realize that some things that promise to make me pretty (prettier) come at a very caustic price. I will be paying way better attention in the future.  – C.U.NextTuesday (or whenever I can actually remember what day it is!) – R.Dolly

Tuesday Ramblings

The 12 Steps of Crowlife Anonymous

 

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Because Crowlife recovery is a lifelong process, there’s no wrong way to approach the 12 Steps as the participant tries to figure out what works best for their individual needs. In fact, most participants find that they will need to revisit some steps or even tackle more than one of the steps at a time.

Crows are NOT hoarders, no matter what my husband and children say. For example: I have a Tupperware cake taker. Do I use it all the time? No. Does that mean that my girls are going to pry it out of my midget-like grasp without giving me their first born child in exchange for it? Hell No! Honestly, I shouldn’t have to explain why touching my shit will end badly for them. Hoarders collect and surround themselves with useless items like rotting pumpkins (“It was a niiiice pumpkin!”), human and animal feces, dirty dishes and baby clothing when there’s not a baby in their life. Although, maybe there is a baby, but it’s been lost amongst the pumpkins and dishes. Crows surround themselves with fresh air, a nice comfortable high-rise nest and the shinies that they’ve collected. Crows also kick ungrateful, decluttering babies out of the nest with no fucks given.

 

Here are the 12 Steps of Crowlife Anonymous as defined by The Dollies:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over the ‘Oh, Shiny!’ – that our lives had become unmanageable without crafting bins to hold The Shinies – Acceptance is the key to happiness.
  2. Came to realize that a High Priestess, with power greater than our own, couldn’t restore us to sanity – Let’s be honest, there’s nothing that can restore our sanity. We’re quite simply fucked. I’m not complaining because I enjoy having people wonder if that little piece of insanity they glimpse once in awhile has escaped from the much larger meteor of insanity that is caught in my gravitational field.  
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the call of the wild – Crows are wild. And free. They’re also scavengers. Anyone watching us go through sale bins in a craft store would totally see the resemblance.
  4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our gems and shiny bits – As I stated in my article Crowlife, you can often find us going through our containers to familiarize ourselves with The Shinies we’ve collected long ago, but never found the perfect use for. Yet.
  5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs – R. Dolly and I freely admit the nature of our wrongs to each other all the time. Sometimes we even temporarily trade shiny things so that we feel like we could get rid of them if we really needed to.
  6. Were entirely ready to have each other remove any shiny defects – Defects are not acceptable, unless they can be hidden or camouflaged in some way. If we show each other a damaged shiny and can’t figure out a way to hide or camouflage it, we have no problem letting the other person dispose of it.
  7. Humbly ask for help to remove our shortcomings – Nobody wants to run out of supplies halfway through a crafting project. We have no problem asking for help to alleviate the burden of under-stocked supplies.  
  8. Made a list of persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all – On occasion we may have trampled some poor unaware crafter or random loiterer as we rushed towards the sale bins. We need to let go of our impure thoughts that they shouldn’t have been just standing in the way talking on their cell phones or texting and ultimately caused their own injuries.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would cause injuries to yourself – Crafters are a vicious breed. We Dollies have no problem making amends, but some of those bitches just can’t let shit go.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it – If one of us mistakenly thinks we have enough supplies for a craft and run out before we finish, we have no problem admitting we fucked up.
  11. Sought through Google and Pinterest to improve our knowledge when something isn’t turning out as planned and gained the power to carry on – Dollies never give up. Ever. I just purchased a new glue in the hopes of finally securing my solo cup to it’s candle holder base from the May White Trash Party.
  12. Having had a Crowlife awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Crowlifers (and non-Crowlifers) and to practice these principles in our daily lives – We’ve accepted who we are and realize that there’s nothing wrong with living the Crowlife way. Find inspiration in everything that surrounds you and be creative. And as long as those annoying bitches stay out of our way at the craft sale bins, life will continue on for them as per usual and we’ll stay out of jail. Nobody wants to see me do this:

Attack Cat Bush~C. Dolly~


Tuesday Ramblings

Tell Me What You REALLY Think…

Can you guess what the following characters have in common?

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According to my kids, they’re all just like me. I don’t take insult to it, and they didn’t mean it that way, because even though some people may feel like they have less than desirable character traits for a mother, I find them all hilarious. And more importantly, I find them all honest and caring in their own weird way.

Long and the short of it is, it doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks of you as long as you’re happy with you. And, more importantly, my kids love me and turned into well adjusted adults. According to more than just me 🙂 – C.U.Next Tuesday, R.Dolly

 

Monthly Articles

Kelowna Wine Tour 2017

Let’s start off with a little history about the 2016 drunkfest…I mean, the 2016 highly-sophisticated, high-class Naramata wine tour. This was the first wine tour experience for my husband and I. We had so much fucking fun that this is now an annual “thing” for us. My cousin and her friends invited us to join them for their yearly Okanagan wine tour and plans were made. We arrived Friday afternoon, went on a self-led walking wine/distillery tour and the drinking began. Saturday morning arrived and it was beautiful, sunny and absurdly hot. My cousin’s boyfriend purchased a box of wine at the first winery and when we got back on the tour van he asked if we wanted to play a little game called Slap the Bag. It sounded dirty so we were in! He took the bag of wine out of the box and held the spout above his mouth and kept the spout open until someone slapped the bag. That slapper then took the bag and this continued until it was empty. It was almost like musical chairs for adults. After visiting the third vineyard and stopping for lunch, which included enjoying more bottles of chilled wine at Therapy Vineyards, the driver was helping us out of the van. Liability-wise it was probably a smart move on his part because when we arrived back at the hotel to lay down for a couple of hours before meeting for dinner, the room was actually spinning. Plans of a quickie before dinner changed because being puked on just before the Big-O would’ve halted that shit Mid-O and nobody’s going to be smiling after that. Unless that’s a fetish of yours then I totally recommend going for it.

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This year we chose the Canada 150 Wine Tour offered through Distinctly Kelowna Tours. They offer winery tours, agri-tours, culinary tours and adventure tours. If you’ve never been on a wine tour, it’s fantabuous! They pick you up in a van at your hotel. No need for a designated driver so EVERYONE can get white girl wasted. The tasting fees are included and they safely store your bottles (or cases) of wine until you return to your hotel. Berne was our tour guide and he was awesome! In some cases, he was more knowledgeable than the tasting guides. He’s highly recommended by The Dollies.

The Canada 150 wine tour is offered until October 2017 and includes wineries, an art gallery and lunch at the Red Fox Club.

Our wine weekend began a day earlier than everyone else. R.Dolly purchased tickets for Paint Nite at Summerhill Winery in Kelowna, BC. Not just for her and I, but also for our husbands. I loved, loved, loved it. My husband wasn’t excited because he’s never painted and he probably won’t admit it, but he had fun and was smiling a lot. I told him if he painted the canvas he could paint on me later. Summerhill Winery was beautiful, classy and well set up. The view was gorgeous. I purchased a bottle of their Syrah Malbec Rose.

 

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The next day we shopped until everyone else arrived and then got ready for the walking wine/distillery tour. We went to BC Growers, Sandhill (where my husband purchased two bottles of icewine and I picked up their viognier. We moved on to Red Bird Brewing Inc. where we started drinking at the bar. R. Dolly and her husband broke off to pick up some items on our list from Urban Distilleries. We had an amazing dinner at The Train Station.

Saturday morning we were picked up at 9:30 am. We were so giddy and had waited for a whole damn year and it was about to begin! Our monthly articles describe the locations we toured and each Dollies impression of said locations: Off The Grid Winery, New Moon Gallery, Indigenous World Winery and Red Fox Club, Grizzli Winery and Quails’ Gate Estate Winery.

The only disappointment we encountered was that none of the wineries sold wine in a box. Sadly, that meant that Slap the Bag was out and, because of that, I was able to determine that the whole ‘needing help out of the bus thing’ from last year was in fact due to the bag of wine. I was still pretty fucking drunk, but I totally rocked the steps on the bus this year. I’m a big girl now! The whole day was fun and filled with laughter, wine, dinner at JOEY Restaurants Kelowna and then headed back to the hotel. 

Sunday morning, before we drove home, we went to The Jammery, which was also featured on The Food Network show You Gotta Eat Here. My husband and I once again had the same thing we ordered last year. The Breakfast Paella and the Big, Big, Big Breakfast. I loved the gift shop and it’s the only time I’ve ever been excited about a 45 minute wait for a table. It seriously takes that long to look through all the cool shit plus the food is completely worth the wait!

Check out our Top 10 Tips for a Successful Wine Tour if you’re thinking of getting all wined up for a weekend and don’t forget to play Slap the Bag.

You know how you are so excited for something and then it’s over quicker than you thought possible? That was our wine tour weekend and we loved all of it. 

Recipes:

Crispy Mashed Potatoes

 

 

 

 

Monthly Articles

Off the Grid Organic Winery

 

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“Off the Grid Winery takes pride not only in their history, but in their future. The winery owners are from a long line of farmers who have lived and worked their land for over a hundred years. As BC’s first “off the grid” winery, they have an exclusive experience to offer. From solar panels to their straw-bale wine shop, they are organically minimizing their footprint with each bottle of delicious wine.”

Like many wineries in the Okanagan, Off the Grid Winery was originally a fruit orchard. They decided to move in a more environmentally friendly direction and get away from the use of pesticides and herbicides. The first vines were planted in 2007. Sheep graze on the weeds in the vineyard to eliminate the use of herbicides and the wine shop was built using straw bale construction with the sloped half of the roof covered with solar panels and the flat half of the roof green space with a ramp to allow the goats to roam the rooftop and enjoy their dinner with a view. 

The grapes were sold to other local organic wine makers until 2012 when they decided to make their own wine and the first vintage was released in 2015.

It truly is a family run business. Two Paynter brothers, their wives and many family members all help run different aspects of the business. They have a beautiful wedding venue, photography, yoga in the winery, a picnic area and various events.

~C. Dolly~

 

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C. Dolly – I have to say that Off The Grid’s website doesn’t do their winery justice. It was set up more like a little farm with the weeding sheep, the Thanksgiving turkey hanging out with his friends, rabbits, pigs, and chickens all occupying large pens that were visible as we approached the winery tasting area. It was very unique and as we pulled into the driveway, Berne notified us that we were going to be the last tour of the season as they were sold out of most of their wines. A positive consequence of the wildfires was that, because of lower tourism numbers this year, some restaurants had just returned unsold wines they’d purchased.  This allowed my husband and I to purchase two bottles of our favorite wine that we had the pleasure of tasting. Yoga with goats would’ve been so much fun if I were coordinated enough not to land on my face or land on a pair of super hairy goat balls. Seriously, everyone in our group was infatuated and surprised by the goat’s balls. We purchased 2 bottles of their Gewurztraminer.

R. Dolly – I had the least expectations for this winery due to the website which I found confusing and lacking in information. Maybe because of this, I was pleasantly surprised. The staff and owners were down to earth and extremely knowledgeable about their wines. Since they are a small winery, they were sold out of quite a few of their wines and would be closing their tasting room in a few days. My husband and I enjoyed the goats on the roof and the relaxed vibe. We purchased a bottle of the 2016 riesling-gewürztraminer. As you’ll notice, we tend to only purchase white – not because we’re wine nazis, but because my feet swell up like a pregnant lady in July when I drink anything but.

Monthly Articles

Indigenous World Winery

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Robert Louie and his wife Bernice are Okanagan Syilx descendants. Louie was Chief for the Westbank First Nation Council from 1986 through 1996 and from 2002 through 2016. Robert and Bernice are passionate about Indigenous culture, history and lands while creating high quality wines. Indigenous World Winery opened it’s doors May 29, 2016. According to Robert Louie’s Linkedin profile, expansion plans are already in process for a craft distillery, microbrewery, native culture centre, amphitheatre, boutique shops and recreational orientated ventures.

Jason Parkes is the winemaker for ‘Indigenous World Winery’ as well as ‘The Hatch’ and the ‘Terrabella Group’. He has won over a hundred local and international awards for his wines including a double gold in California for premium Bordeaux blend. Jason Parkes also operates his own custom crush company, and when he isn’t busy crafting award winning wines, he spends his time making music. He is an accomplished artist who has written songs for Disney and television and in 2003 Parkes won CBC’s Galaxie Rising Star award for Canada’s independent song of the year. He is currently the frontman for Properman (check it out – it’s pretty good). He has been described as uncompromising when it comes to the creation of both his music and his wines.

2017 Awards for Indigenous World Winery include:

San Francisco Internation Wine Competition

  • 2016 Red Fox Pinot Noir Rosé (Gold)
  • 2016 Hee-Hee-Tel-Kin White Blend (Silver)
  • 2016 Estate Muscat (Bronze)

National Wine Awards of Canada

  • 2016 Red Fox Pinot Noir Rosé (Gold)
  • 2016 Viognier (Bronze)
  • 2016 Estate Muscat (Bronze)

The Red Fox Club Restaurant is located onsite and has an indigenous inspired menu created by chef de cuisine Andrea Callan. Prior to coming to The Red Fox Club, Callan worked at Quails Gate Estate Winery, Old Vines Restaurant and BNA Brewery to name a few. The menu is constantly evolving with fresh, locally sourced ingredients while maintaining respect for Aboriginal history. All in all, I would have to say that all the players have been put in place to create a winning combination. – R.Dolly

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R.Dolly – This was the winery that I was most excited to visit, and I was not disappointed with the experience. Lunch was included with our tour and consisted of a fried bannock base and your choice of salmon, tenderloin or a vegetarian option with ricotta and tomatoes. I happen to LOVE bannock. I love baked bannock, fried bannock, bannock with butter, bannock with strawberry jam, bannock with mashed potatoes smeared on top and dripping with gravy….. So I was easy to please with this one. I loved my lunch.

Our tasting was also fantastic, not necessarily because of the wine, but because of the knowledgeable and genuinely happy to be there staff. Their excitement in the product shows and was contagious enough to make me buy a bottle that we didn’t get to taste. A rosé that someone at our table ordered with their lunch. I was pretty much wined out by that time and took everyone’s word that it was good. Instead, I sipped my rye and water to cleanse my palate for the next stop.

To sum it up, the view was gorgeous, the property immaculate, food was fantabulous, and bonus of all bonuses, if you happen to fancy a rousing game of paintball before continuing on your way, there is a course right next door. 

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C. Dolly – I was really excited to visit this winery. The website and menu were appealing and it was the one restaurant that I would’ve chosen for lunch. Thankfully, it was the lunch stop on our tour. The little paintball village that we passed going down the driveway was really cool. The pure white tipi, the building and the view were all gorgeous.

We were seated and the presentation began. The woman was happy, excited and fun. Her vibe transferred to everyone at the table. Once the tasting finished, we ordered more wine and lunch. 

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Bannock topped with tenderloin, tomatoes, peppers, blue cheese and spices served with a salad was my choice for lunch. It was so delicious and I can’t wait to try to make this at home for the girls. Oh, and we ordered a bottle of the Ehrenfelser to accompany our lunch because it was my favorite during the tasting. The wine, food and overall experience were wonderful. We purchased a bottle of the Ehrenfelser and a bottle of the Red Fox Rose.