Thursday, 11 October 2007


Well winter has well and truly arrived in the Arctic! Yesterday we were surprised with early snowfall. It has not stopped falling since and we are a blanket of white! It's really beautiful up here at this time of year. I've not seen the northern lights yet but I'm sure they'll make an appearance soon. Its such a shame however when such beauty is marred. I was admiring the scenery the other day only to see a sign in a cafe saying 'closed this week due to the Elk hunt'. Nice. Wonder if they'll be serving it up next week. I was listening to a podcast by Bob Lindon in San Fransisco the other day and it made me want to move! He was discussing all the good vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the area. I'd just be happy to get a vegan sandwich somewhere! Not a chance here. The sandwich spreads I ordered are not here yet and the shop is out of soya milk. It doesn't help that both of our cars are old and a bit useless which makes it tough to get out to work let alone thinking of where we need to travel to get ingredients! Thankfully the Sunday cooking day is really helping. I am at my studio and have just had the last of my mushroom and almond pate which was yummy, I was asked to add the recipe so here it is - note I don't measure things so apologies, you have to do a bit of guesswork!

Mushroom Pate:
2 handfulls of chopped or ripped mushrooms
1 handfull of sliced almonds (I guess you could use whole ones too)
1 clove of garlic
half chopped onion
Oregano or basil
Olive or rapeseed oil

Sautee onion and garlic in a little oil until soft. Add mushrooms and cook on a low heat for a few minutes. Throw in some herbs, mix and take off heat when mushrooms are cooked. Meanwhile toast the almonds for a few minutes in a hot oven, just until a little browned. Mix the two together and put in a blender (if a lot of liquid still in the mushroom pot then use a slotted spoon or mixture will be too thin). Blend to desired consistency and chill in the fridge before serving.

I usually make a batch and put in saved pots to take out when I go to the studio. Tastes great on flour tortillas with salad or on toast. Enjoy!

We also had homemade tofu burgers last night and they were good, good, good...much better than the substitute frozen burgers we've had before - that's another recipe for later and I can't take the credit, it was from a new cookbook!

I'm still without net access at home but we are due to get broadband in the next few weeks so really looking forward to that. I bet some of you are wondering why I live up here, especially now we are a vegan family with many frustrations, so I guess I'll tell you. This place is our sanctuary. We are lucky with our work and can survive working much less than we did in England with more time for our family. I am a theatre and yoga teacher mainly, working freelance with many projects. Right now I'm writing a children's television series. I trained for many years in the UK for little reward, not financial I might add but to feel like you are doing something useful and here I feel truly valued for what I do. I do wish that we lived in a more animal friendly place but then again maybe if I can use some influence here I may just change some minds.

Til next time x


Marina said...

Thank you for posting the recipe. It sounds wonderful, so, I'm going to try it this weekend.

There are a lot of English people in the Toronto area who say the same thing about working in England. I live in an area that has a pretty high proportion of English(wo)men.

We moved to Canada last year from the US and I must say, that the Toronto area is very veggie friendly, more so than I had imagined. Another advantage is the large number of co-op farms and farmers' markets that run most of the summer and autumn. We were very pleasantly surprised by the abundance of products and restaurants aimed at the veggie population.

You can effect change, however, no matter where you are, in various measures. You just have to be careful to do it in a gentle, non-pushy way, lest you want to be shunned by the very people you try to influence. Just tell yourself you have time on your side. :o)

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