Official Members

View from Symphony Bowl on Whistler Mountain
View from Symphony Bowl on Whistler Mountain
Trudy and I with our Edge Cards.
Trudy and I with our Edge Cards.

Saturday was my first day of skiing without an instructor and it went so well.  I’m happy to report I didn’t fall once, which is incredible as I fell dozens of times the last time I skied.  It really goes to show that there is a big difference in skiing back to back days when you are learning.  That second day I was so frustrated, I had such a hard time concentrating and my legs were tired and didn’t want to co-operate.  But this past Saturday, Trudy (who I have been learning with) and I had a perfectly clear day of good snow and not-too-crowded mountains.  We found our way around both Whistler and Blackcomb, got to the top of both mountains for some stunning views and did 12 runs before our legs just about gave out on us.  We followed it up with $4.95 food at El’s Furniture Warehouse and a beer before driving back to VanCity.  Such a great day.

Finally, we are official members of the elite club of Whistler skiers/snowboarders and have Edge Cards to prove it!  We are so lucky to have one of the best ski destinations in the world as our playground to learn on and I am really excited that next year Dave and I can still share a winter sport after my epic fail at snowboarding two years ago.  Dave is pretty excited about this too.  Can’t wait for next winter! (Okay, I can.  Bring on summer!)

PS – Bre, you better learn to ski so we can hit up the Alps the next time I come to Germany!

Looking out on Whistler Village and the Coastal Mountains beyond.
Looking out on Whistler Village and the Coastal Mountains beyond.

My Faux Leather Jacket

I have been wanting a leather jacket for, well, a long time.  However, I have never found a good enough deal or one that looks right.  Then I found this, the Nyx Cardigan by Hilary Smith Callis, a.k.a. The Yarnaid, and it’s as close to a style of leather jacket I would want, but it’s KNIT!  It almost looks a little bit like a motorcycle jacket.  Ooh, I’ll look so tough!  Lookout hipsters…I’m about to fit in!

I think with all the wedding planning, if I started this in the next month it might be done by the Fall.  I’m heading down to Portland with some friends on Easter weekend and I’m really excited to visit Happy Knits.  It is supposed to be a fantastic yarn store and from the pictures I’ve seen, I’m sure I will find the perfect colour for this cardigan.  Maybe gray, or a dark red or brown.  What do you think?

Support Local

One thing Dave and I have been conscious of while planning our wedding is trying  to keep things local.  We aren’t big box store fans and rarely shop at them.  We figure there are so many great independent business owners that have such amazing quality items, there isn’t any need to go anywhere else but down the street…literally down Main Street.

My dress is from Frocks, which used to be 2 blocks from my house on Main Street until a couple months ago when they moved over to the next major street, Fraser.  Our florist is Flower Factory which is five blocks from my house on Main Street.  The last two years in a row they have won the award for Best Wedding Florist in BC.  They are amazing and will be worth every penny.  Here is a sample of a bridal bouquet they did that is gorgeous.  Mine will be something similar and I just can’t wait to see it.

Our photographers, The Nickersons, are also located pretty close by.  I know you usually get a photographer who lives in your city, but I feel like we got a team that are just as excited about our wedding as we are and I can’t wait to see the results.  If you want to see some beautiful photography check them out.  Amazballs!

Really?  How can our wedding still be 5 months away!  Hurray up year, let’s go!

Yes, No, Done, Let’s Go!

On the topic of wedding planning, let’s just say Dave and I have been knocking it out of the park.  The pastor is booked, the photographers confirmed, dress chosen, flowers decided on, colours picked, hairdresser talked to and the location settled.  

Amazingly, I have never felt so decisive in my life.  I really assumed that I would be hemming and hawing over so many things and that final decisions would be a bit gut wrenching and regretted later, but that hasn’t been the case.  The only thing I have felt a little strange about was getting my wedding dress.  I went to two stores and had a dress chosen and paid for in 3.5hrs.  I think my hesitancy is more the fact that there are SO many options out there, that I could have been searching for months for the right dress, but I decided that I didn’t want to waste every free evening or weekend I had trying on dresses.  

Here is a sneak peak of the accessories for my dress and hair, created by Bloom Bazaar.  PS - My dress is much, much prettier than this one.
Here is a sneak peak of the accessories for my dress and hair, created by Bloom Bazaar.  PS – My dress is much, much prettier than this one.

I don’t really like shopping, so I was so thankful to have two great friends, Trudy and Megan, come along and hand me dress after dress.  They were the ones that found the dress for me and confirmed my feelings that it was the right one.  Without giving too much away, it is a fun, flowing dress that I can get my dance-on in and add some beautiful accessories to make it pop with the colours we are using.  And with a couple accessories and very little tailoring, it comes in under budget.  Perfect!

I must say though, the wedding world is ready to empty your wallet when it comes to purchases.  My wedding dress was a bridesmaids dress that cost $500 more to get in white.  Can you believe that?  Maybe you can.  I was also surprised at the cost of wedding bouquets, but amazingly we are still staying within our budget, so we are doing okay.

Mr.Crab Cakes

Continuing in my Saturday cooking class routine, I learned about alternative seafood yesterday.  Now, let me just say up front that I don’t really like seafood a whole lot.  Every now and then I will eat it, but generally I find some of it to taste just too fishy.  Especially Salmon, which, living on the West Coast is almost considered blasphemy.  Salmon is what BC is known for and almost everyone out here loves it…but me.  Thankfully the class wasn’t focused on fish, but on other seafood options like crabs, oysters, muscles, clams, lobster and sea urchin.

I did a couple firsts in this class; I got to shuck my first oysters, which can be pretty difficult, and I made crab cakes.  Now when I say I made crab cakes, I mean that I made them from start to finish, including killing the crab.  When Chef Julian showed us how to do it at first, I didn’t know if I would be able to go through with it, thankfully my crab was resigned to his death and didn’t put up a stink, unlike the girl’s crab across from me who did a number with his claw on her finger.  He wasn’t going down easy.  Mine wiggled a little, then pretty much just laid there.  I must admit that tearing the body and legs off of a crab took a lot of strength, so I give credit to people in restaurants who have to do this, and other things like deboning pork, a lot of credit.  It is a tiring job.

It was actually quite easy to make the crab cakes.  After Mr. Crab and I parted ways, me to more food prep, him to the pot of boiling water, things were really easy.  Once he was cooked I pulled out all the meat and mixed it with homemade mayonnaise, basil, cilantro, green onions, panko (Japanese break crumbs) and an egg yolk.  We formed them into patties which we grilled a little on each side before sticking them in the oven for 5mins.  Voila!  Done!  As you can see above, the finished product was pretty nice.  We rested it on a bed of salad with champagne vinaigrette and put a dab of lemon jelly on top.  Delish!  It was a perfect lunch.

I have two more classes left in my Basics in 8 course and they are the ones that I have been looking forward to the most: Dough Making and Pastries.  I should have some delicious pictures to show you soon.

*As a side note, BC fish is very good and fresh, a huge difference from Ontario fish growing up that often had a fishy taste.  One of the most important things I learned was that you should always buy frozen fish.  If it isn’t frozen it means that the grocery store unfroze it for you and it may have been sitting out for days before being sold.  Buying it frozen means that from the time it was caught and quickly frozen on board the boat, to the time you unthawed it in your home, you are getting a very fresh fish.  Almost like it was just caught.