Really Quite Paradise


Hey! Im back! Havent been very bloggy this summer, but as wordpress reminded me a bit ago, its been almost 10 years of me writing dumb crap on the internet so I’m able to forgive myself for the odd temporary absence. Absence makes ones farts grow fonder anyway. However, I know that the internet demands sacrifices in the form of pictures of dogs and flowers in order for the Web Gods to continue smiling upon us so I will suck it up and do my part.

So here is a dog:


Here are some flowers:



Here is a dog with flowers:


That would be Sweetpea, a big beautiful wild rose, an ant crawling on a peony for some unknown purpose, and finally Sweetpea again. She is posing artistically with Foxgloves and looking a bit nervous about a spider.

Im sorry if these pictures have been blogged about before, I had them uploaded in old drafts and I cant be bothered to check up and see if Ive ever actually shown them to you before.

I may as well post the rest of the pictures from the old drafts, they sum up our summer in Gabarus pretty nicely!


This summer I finally got my motorcycle licence! This was taken on our first ride together to the beach, which has been a one of our shared life goals for ages now. Romance! I took a two day course, and flipped the bike twice, but got right back on. By the end of the two days I could barely move my legs and my knees were held together mostly with Band-Aids but I was very proud of myself. Mine is the old BMW and its so sexy and her name is Zerhilde. It means warrior goddess in German, whatever…



I spent almost every day after work this summer swimming in the ocean. It was absolutely, balls-clenchingly cold, but it felt so fresh and nice. A couple of nights a seal swam with me, but pretty far away. It was still magical as fuck.

This summer we ate some amazing meals together. Lobster, mackerel and cod fish suppers at the churches and community galls around the area.  A sushi place opened up here and made me so happy. I crave me some fish eggs and eel on rice so bad. We also cooked a lot of nice meals for each other, lovely big leisurely breakfast, lots of curries, Chinese pork dumplings & salty cucumber, thai dishes, etc.


Midnight ice cream snacks in bed..

Gorged on fresh strawberries and blueberries.


I made an absolute buttload of blueberry jam and experimented with making rose sugar and angelica liqueurs.


We took a week and drove to Newfoundland to make desserts at an amazing Food Festival there called Roots, Rants & Roars which I should probably do a post about.CB got a rep at the event for being the worlds most patient cook, spending hours standing slowly stirring scrunchions so they didnt burn and frying 700 doughnuts. We made blueberry doughnuts, screech n’ scrunchion doughnuts, and apple fritters with apples from our apple trees.

We got to see some of our old friends from Fogo which was so nice. I miss my Fogo people every day. We got to have a couple of meals with Murray & Judy, and buy a some of Paddy Barry’s photographs which are now on our wall.

We cooked beside Duff Goldman. We had breakfast with CB’s food-crush Zane Caplansky and his super cool wife Willa.


We ate this!


I made this cool cake! Most proud of this one.

I chopped off my hair. Buzzed one side and dyed it purple.

We went for numerous long drives and talked about life and the world and everything in it.

We went for hikes through the woods, taking pictures of mushrooms and frogs.

Hung out with Sweetpea, who is quite possibly The Best.

Oh yeah, and we started a business! More on that to come…

Anyway Im tired and this is so many pictures so, so long for now!


The End of June Month

IMG_0832   I know it’s July now. I just noticed people say that here when they talk about some goings on in June. Not just “june” but “june month.” Unnecessarily specific, but has a nice sound to it.

Im just having a sit on the couch. It’s nice outside and inside. The window is open, and I can hear all the warblers warbling and the tits tittering. The wind shaking the leaves all crazy, flipping them like a million green coins, the sound is like a shimmer. It smells like pollen and plants and I cant fill my lungs full enough of this warm air. I count 16 mosquitos now, pressing their little fiendish faces up against the window screen, thirsty for my blood. The one and only downside of summer. It’s turned me into a pretty paranoid predator. Slapping little buzzing bodies anywhere, anytime, remorseless. Im getting good at it too. Like a ninja. There’s limited collateral damage now, mostly in the form of upsot cups of tea. CBs disapproving eye at my frantic flailing and slapping while he is trying to play Fallout. I’ll keep my blood thank you, it is not in me to give.


Green green green all around me. The urge to climb these trees surges up so strongly in me sometimes. I have to remind myself that it’s just whimsical nonsense and in reality I’m old and fat and slow and will just hook my ass on a branch and get stuck forever and they will call me Mongo The Tree Girl and throw apples at me to eat. Or a spider will run on my hand and I’ll scream and fall out and break all my hips. Broken Hip Hospital Vacation! NOT A BAD IDEA!


The worlds slowest growing nasturtium. I like to yell at it every time I walk by its sad little cement pot of saddy sadness. OH GAWWWWD why do you still only have 6 leaves?! You should be full of flowers! What am I feeding you all that delicious hot bacon grease for if you’re not using it to GROW GOD DAMN IT! *green thumb*


Found these weird things. Wonder what they will be? They look like they are from another planet. Theres all kinds of uncanny ass plants popping up all over now. All around the house are all these little ferns with bumpy blue stems. Upon further investigation–grabbing them–I realized it was in fact a regular green stem but covered in millions of tiny beetle babies and my hand came up covered in bug guts.  YAY!

Today I was thinking that Newfoundland probably must have the most beautiful ditches in the world. Riding around on the motorcycle today with CB I saw ditches brimming with alien stalks of pink & blue lupins, palm sized dandelions, fiery orange hawkweed, fluffy white snowballs of labrador tea flowers, fuschia lamb laurel bushes, wispy white beards of bog cotton, wild blue flag irises, pretty pink seathrift…  its overwhelmingly gorgeous. Its such a stark contrast to the endless bleak whiteness of winter. Everything wakes up in a rainbow! Theres a million different sorts of birds and a billion more sorts of bugs. This island literally buzzes with alive things. Anyway, its pretty nice. Here’s a link to someone elses blog about newfoundland flowers.


Put on a record. Clean the house. Wash the dishes. Wash the clothes. Wash our dirty stank butts.

I took these pictures in early June, but never got to write about it. We had a nice lobster dinner, just knives and meat and butter. I never liked lobster before I met CB. He invited me to one of his family lobster “feeds” and I was so shy and scared and just tentatively nibbled a claw soaked in butter. But now I am A BEAST! Well, not really. CB breaks them down, but I eat everything until I cant eat anymore. CB’s mum is still the lobster champion of all time. She is small but she can take down 4 of those buggers in a sitting. What a woman. IMG_0732_2   Fresh from the fish plant! Watching CB come out of the building with a bag full of lobsters looking so proud.


This is the smallest and feistiest one. I named him Hank. He was delicious.


CB demonstrates his east coast party trick of lobster hypnosis. Make him do a handstand, tickle his forehead with your forefinger.. STOP PLAYING WITH YOUR FOOD!


IMG_0775_2   Sorry Hank, you salty little sea spider. You were just born too damn ugly and too damn tasty to live, man. IMG_0771

Notice this one. The Big Guy. Is. The. Size. of my baking pan! His claw was the size of CBs hand! He could barely lift it! What a hero.


What a beautiful sight.  Knife, board, beers, towels, pile of lobbies. Yeah thats what I call them now, I think it’s going to catch on.

IMG_0816   And now the massacre begins. Look away if you’re squeemish, or you might get lobster juice in your eye.

_MG_0808 That’ll do Hank, that’ll do.

Patty Madness!!!!!



This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Nikki at Everyday Life Mother And Wife.

Well, it’s still winter. It does end, right? Right? RIGHT!? GIVE ME HOPE!

I feel like I remember it ending, in the past…. It seemed to get sunnier, the snow wasnt here, I dont think.. and had to buy short pants and a hat that’s not so wooly… I’ll just keep being patient. But I’m so pale I can see the floral pattern of the armrests on this chair through my forearms. Like a cool tattoo. Im not depressed about it or anything. Everything is cool. Cold, actually. And bleak..


WAHHHHH! Look at it outside!!

Okay! I’ll calm down. I am getting a bit buggy lately though, I have to admit. There is one sure fire way to combat the relentless winter blues. IGNORING IT! Wrapping yourself in beautiful, spicy, Caribbean flavoured delusions. We got a copy of Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen in the mail 4 days ago, and have just been cooking and cooking. So far I have made her home made ginger beer, pumpkin curry, pineapple jam, pineapple-aid, and baked bananas. Oh, and patties.


After living in Toronto for a few years, Jamaican patties became very important to us. Like, overly. There’s just something about walking around the city on a cold winter day, clutching a steaming hot curry beef patty in your mitts to keep you warm. Or grabbing a veggie patty on that first kinda-just-barely-warm-enough-for-a-t-shirt-day and a pineapple pop. Maybe $5 jerk pork and a festival, covered in oxtail gravy, big scoop of rice n peas and a helping of sweet fried plantains.. big old slab of black cake covered in creamy white icing. Oh .. gawd… Anyway, CB got addicted to them and the patty madness would strike at any moment– we would have to stop whatever we were doing (sitting around without pants on watching Family Guy most likely) and go get some patties and pop. Its one of our best Toronto memories.

We have been looking to make patties just like Patty King’s for years, but it’s never been right. This is it! We have finally found it! I feel like I want to write a love letter to Lucinda Scala Quinn.

The thing I love best about this cookbook so far, is that you follow the recipes and you get what you are promised. The patty recipe alone was worth buying the book. It is exactly what we were dreaming of and expecting. We have been craving patties for years and every so often we come across a recipe and try it, and are disappointed. This made CB and I so so so so so happy, and brought spicy sunshine into our souls.


Thyme is a very important flavour in Jamaican cooking; something I did not know previously to this book!

IMG_0379We didnt have fresh scotch bonnets available, so we used some of our scotch bonnet sauce from summer. I just blitzed whole scotch bonnet peppers with a little vinegar. 

Perfect thin, flakey, yellow curry coloured crust and spicy beef curry inside. Dead on. We have eaten 14 of them since yesterday…….. Someone needs to come help us. Having frozen homemade patties at our disposal is really dangerous. It smells amazing in here though!!


Jamaican Beef Patties

From Lucinda’s Jamaican Kitchen


  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup ice-cold water


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 whole green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
  • 1/4 cup veg oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

    To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and curry powder in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Working quickly and using your fingertips, squeeze together the flour mixture and butter and toss it together by scooping under the mixture with both hands. When the mixture resembles a very coarse meal, add the water to the bowl.

    With floured hands, mix and squeeze the dough just until it forms a ball. Knead it once or twice to combine it fully (the less kneading, the better). Spread the dough into 2 pieces, flattening each into a thick pancake. Wrap in plastic and set them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes. (The dough will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Remove it from the refrigerator a few minutes before using it.)

    For filling, mix together the beef, onion, scallions, garlic, peppers, and thyme in a large bowl. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it is very hot, and add the beef mixture. Fry until the meat is brown and the moisture is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, and black pepper, stirring occasionally over high heat, allowing a crust to form on the bottom of the pan.

    Add the water and stir the mixture, scraping the bottom to incorporate the browned crust. Add the breadcrumbs and stir. The consistency should be like a thick stew. Add more water as needed. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 15 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each piece of the dough into 9 pieces. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out each piece of pastry into a rectangle shape with rounded edges. Spread a large spoonful of the cooled meat mixture over one side of the dough, leaving at least 1/2- to 3/4-inch border on the outside edge. Using your finger, paint water around the border. Fold the other side of the dough over, and roll and crimp the edges. Lightly press a floured fork around the edge of the patty.

    Place the patty onto a cookie sheet and repeat the procedure with the remaining dough. The patties may be covered in plastic and frozen at this point for later use. Brush each patty with the egg wash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the patties begin to turn a golden color.

Anyway, this book was worth the patty recipe just by itself, but so far everything else has been delicious as well. You don’t need a ton of special ingredients, just a few basics to attain that Jamaican flavour. If you ran out and grabbed some allspice, curry, thyme, a handful of scotch bonnets and a few limes you could get through most of the recipes in the book.

The ginger beer is dead easy, and the next day you get a very gentle, slightly bubbly tonic that is amazing with a bit of lime and rum. It’s something Im definitely going to be making on a regular basis. Because I have already drank all of it… with rum.. YAY!

The pineapple jam is sticky sweet & sour deliciousness. Its perfect, and would be so good on coconut bread like she suggests. Or smeared on top of a cheese cake. I ate it mixed with some Fussel’s Cream and covered in blueberries. Another thing I love about the book is that it’s very thoughtful. She recommends that when you make the jam, to save the peelings and steep them overnight in hot water, a little sugar and lime juice to make pineapple-ade. No waste!

The pumpkin curry is actually very light considering it’s mainly root veg. Would be a great veggie main. It’s packed with good stuff and I froze it all in little bags to take to work with me for lunch.

And the baked bananas are just a nice light dessert idea, but without this book I probably would never have thought to make them. A little brown sugar and butter, squirt of lime and a dash of rum, broiled in the oven. We ate them with some whipped cream, and it was a perfect light dessert for our patties.

Tonight we are rubbing down a pork shoulder with jerk spice and trying our hand at some jerk pork tomorrow. This is all in preparation for a big jamaican feast we want to make for our coworkers in the summer.

I’ve included a link there to amazon to buy the book. That’s something I thought I may as well do, if I get a really, properly good cookbook and want to share it with everyone. With anything I do happen to earn Im getting as gift cards which I’ll use to buy more cook books!

Buy Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen from Amazon

Dirty Little Monkey



Days off are the best. CB have been very much enjoying them. Sleeping in, breakfast out, daytime naps, cleaning, and cooking nice foods! On sunday night I had a few of the girls from work over for a fancy dinner party; mac’n’cheese and donair egg rolls, with a Dunkaroo’s for an amuse bouche. Shannon brought this addictive dessert. And everyone showed up with so much wine and pop and chips and mozza sticks it was awesome! We laughed, we farted, we ate too much, we almost fought each other, I accidentally shot off the bb gun into the cupboards at some point.. yeah it was fun!

At one point we were outside visiting Amanda’s tomato plant, Humphrey, and I HAD to show them this creepy fucking thing I found in the shed here:



This damn dirty ape sitting in the corner wearing a pair of iridescent women’s underpants, looking like he has Seen Some Shit. Holy god, the first time I opened the door to the shed I yelped when I saw this. So there we all are, standing on my lawn at dusk, drinking our drinks, and I show them this monkey. Someone dares Shannon to see what’s under the panties.. and Im thinking.. this is how the horror movie starts. Group of friends having a good time, find this creepy monkey in the shed, and disturb the slumber of this freaky murder monkey. One by one it kills us all in various horrifying and ironic ways. BAHHHH!

Seriously though.. what the fuck.


CB found this cool shell in the other shed. Im pretty sure there’s a giant spider in it.


Pretty butterfly.


Humphrey’s got bright red babies!!


The ocean is SUPER blue today!


Sunshine on siding is nice.


Quilty quilts.


Oh I forgot to show you! When Arlene and Carol were here, Carol gave me this little doll! She said she reminded her of me, and I like to think shes a little detective.


Made a salad with the watermelon rind pickles I made a few weeks ago. It is pretty sweet, but cronchy and nice.


CB just hollered for me to come see these little fatties having a dust bath by our car. Oh little cutie birds, how I love you!

Okay goodbye now!

Gone Troutin’


Yesterday I went fishing for the first time in my life! It has been just.. a total fistfuck lately at work.. pardon my strange phrasing, I have a cold and have been trying to sterilize myself with whiskey. It makes me say things like that and then apologize but not really care enough to change it. Sorry, internet! I know you have delicate sensibilities… LOL Kidding, I have seen what you people google when no one is around.

ANYWAY, it was all sleep work sleep work sleep work and was getting to the point where if I didnt do something interesting and summery like a real person I was probably going to go on a shooting spree with my bb gun… One of the awesome amazing best ever girls I work with mentioned trouting and damn it, WE MADE IT HAPPEN! I left work after 9 hours, giddy at the thrill of not being in my small stainless steel box! I thought briefly about hanging a “Gone Fishin'” sign on our kitchen door. CB and I picked Nicole and her nan Phyllis up, and they brought some spare rods. Phyllis is a rabid trouter.  They took us out to a pond near here, called Kelly’s Pit. It’s where all the kids go to have bonfires and skinny dip and do young people stuff like that. Everyone got right down to skewering poor wriggling worms onto their hooks and trying to catch some trout while I fucked around making a fire and making sure everyone had adequate snacks. I may or may not have set fire to my pants, however briefly. It’s pretty possible that I am not very outdoorsy.

I discovered that the ONE MUST HAVE outdoor survival tool any good adventurer must pack is Cheetos. First, under CB’s advisement I used their starchy little cheesey puff bodies as kindling and the fire LOVED IT! Started a fire no probs. Second reason is obvious, for snacking purposes. Third, they are brightly coloured and you can use them to mark your path through the woods in case you get lost– we didnt have to use them for that though, luckily.

Fourthly, they can be used instead of worms on your fishing hook in the case of squeemishness.. I did a couple of cheeto-based casts out onto the beautiful placid pong but to my shock and chagrin, got no bites. Fish are idiots.


This is Nicole being a total badass while hooking a worm, TOTALLY not going “ew ew ew Im going to barf” the whole time. IMG_8226


Logs that I was sizing up for my bonfire, and some nice fireweed. I decided that they were too big and also probably full of spiders.



Phyllis’s tackle box. It be full-o wormies!



They have no idea they are about to get hooked and then thrown through the air into a body of water.



So nice. Everyone was fishing all quiet and fishing away, looking very zen. I sat on a stump and ate a hotdog because I was afraid of hooking myself in the face.



Finally Nicole forced me to do it, because she is TOTALLY not super bossy! Haha sorry Nicole if you are reading this right now, I know you are going to frown at me later for that. Anyway Im glad she did, because I really loved it. CB and I are going to buy a rod for our next morning off together.


Sleepy little buttercups



Cheeto lure! How could it NOT work! Mudder drove over and joined us for a bit. We could hear her coming from miles away, bass booming in her little car. She is a maniac. She hates trouting so she just watched. We left having caught very little– Phyllis managed to catch one wee trout. Sun setting like an angry red fireballs down behind the hills around us, the areas mosquitos happy and full of our blood. Pale, soggy cheetos bobbing around the edge of the lake… poetry man, poetry.

Slow Mo Splish Splash

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Without further ado might I present to you, our first gopro beach video! This is CB’s first foray into video editing, and I think it came out rather well. There is drama, suspense, splashing, sunshine, slow motion pale boobies, fast motion wave action, maybe a fish, some far away surfers, that kind of thing. Tadaaaaa!


Butt Buttler

Hello my little spicy beef fajitas!

These last 3 glorious days off were full of adventures! Not so much really, but we did get out to do a few things.. we took a drive up to a place called Kaukapapa, about an hour north of here. Not much to report on really. Got a nice picture of some chickens! Had a severely disappointing meal at an otherwise really promising restaurant we drove passed and actually reversed back to get to called Black Petes. And I am still having trouble reversing in my manual Honda, so that was kind of a feat. I ordered the garlic mussels before I realized the place didn’t have a cook, and then we watched the waitress prepare them at the bar……. BUT here we are, still alive! Try again, Black Pete!

Oh another highlight was using the robot bathrooms in Hellensville! Just outside the pharmacy on the way to the train station are these 3 silver rooms. You press a button and the door opens, and says “Welcome to Execon Bathrooms, please make yourself comfortable, your maximum occupancy time is ten minutes…” and then right away I feel intense pressure that this robot butler is sitting there waiting, timing my 1’s and/or 2’s, and I clench all up– but then the sound of some smooth, smooth Burt Bacharach starts playing all around me and all my troubles are flushed away..

It was a nice drive, blasting the O.D.B and handling the ol’ stick like fucking speed racer. It was nice to get the driving practice in and get comfortable with it. I spent the last three days convinced every cop siren I heard was the popo coming to finish what they started after my Driving Incident the other day. At one point two cop cars blew by us on the highway, parked beside me on the off ramp and then a police helicopter was circling over head and I thought for sure they had me. I was about to pop it into 5th and floor it it (instantly stall out an roll into the police cars more like..) but it turns out there was actually some jackass evading arrest or something.

A completely useless but nonetheless special skill I’ve always been secretly proud of is my ability to find four leaf clovers. When you’re a kid who is about as interested in hanging out with other kids about as much as they want to hang out with you, you get really well acquainted with the landscape. I spent a lot of my time mindlessly pacing the school fields, eyes like lasers scanning each blade and leaf for anomalies and subsequently ending up with pockets full of rocks with a high cool factor, four leaf clovers and probably a lot of squished bugs. For a couple of grades I was also convinced that I could control the level of wind around the school yard with my mind… but that’s another psychological can-o-worms. When really I can’t even control my own wind ha-HAH!

ANYWAY! I found a four leaf clover and went to add it to my little clay hippo-dog thing and found it COVERED IN ANTTTTSS! I mean covered, in hundreds or maybe thousands of hundreds of ants with little wings. John told me that they are the boy ants who are looking around for lady ants with big booties with which to start new colonies or something. Naturally. So I left my four leaf clover to bring them luck. It’s started to look like some creepy pagan effigy of an insect god… so now I probably have the power to summon legions of winged horny man ants, in addition to wind control and finding fortuitous herbage.

It’s been gorgeous the last few days though. So sunny, with a nice breeze. The air smells like flowers and a couple million people’s fresh laundry. It actually smells like a billion pollens, and CB has had the worst allergies. He’s read an article and has convinced himself that it’s actually brain fluid draining constantly from his puffy red nose.. blech.. if his brain is that damn soggy it’s better he drain a little off anyway I think.

Mostly we’ve been hanging out, drinking shandy’s. Lemonade and cheap chinese beer, mmmmm…

Spending a lot of our time here, on Rosie’s giant brown couch that feels like you’re laying on a giant teddy bears belly. Oh so comf.

Rosie is obsessed with these garlic stuffed olives, and now I am too. Mmmmm.. salty fatty garlicy goodnessss

I bought a pretty dress! And a pair of shorts, finally! And we got outfit for the company christmas party that consists of a red cardigan with black polka dots and a black skirt with a red stripe, and gold sparkly tights.. class.

This is the dress. And totally me modelling the dress 100% for sure. *supermodel*


Got to skype with my family for an hour or two this afternoon. My gram is having some surgery on her eye so is staying with my parents, and my sister is at home so I got to talk to EVERYBODY! And next week my brother is home for christmas, so I’ll get to chat to him too. I keep forgetting it’s christmas here, it’s just so warm and sunny. I have a sunburn, and it’s christmas, what the hell.

Oh baby I like it raw. CB made us a lovely dinner of juicy red lamb steaks, potato & bacon hash and cauliflower with nutmeg.

Sizzle, Sizzle, little lamb!

Immediately after dinner we set off on an adventure! Down the street to the dairy to get a chocolate bar! What flavour shall we pick? Only fate will decide!

This is CB’s favourite dairy. It’s run by an Indian family who are all very nice, and is my important source of chocolate bars in the neighborhood. Also, eggs, milk, and CELEBRITY SURGERY SECRETS!

They sell some nice flowers

And a cool door!

Thumbs up, roses!

This is my favourite house on our street. It’s right at the corner, and has huge arches, crazy brickwork, a working windmill and a bunch of other cool junk too. I think, they may be some kind of Dutch.