Posts Tagged ‘Anmore’

Two years ago my dear friend Ally made a poppy seed cake that made it to my BLOG. She and I are great poppy seed fans and even have a deli we have designated “The Poppy Seed Store”. Our eastern European tastebuds must have been similarly trained as this store is filled with meats, buns, cans, teas but most important of all – POPPY SEED EVERYTHING! (Other people call the store International Sausage House.)

I have been living gluten-free for over seven months and have experienced a huge improvement in health. Ally, kind as she is, developed a new recipe for poppy seed cake and it’s gluten-free. Hard to believe but it is the best poppy seed treat I have ever eaten. It may or may not be true but she and I (over time of course) may have consumed the entire cake ourselves. GFpoppyseedMAIN Here’s the recipe.

Cake:

1 cup butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

32 ounces (900 grams) ground poppy seed filling ( 1 can)

(Ally prefers the can pictured on the right as it seems to have citrus peel in)

POPPY SEED FILLING

POPPY SEED FILLING

2 egg yolks and 6 egg whites (4 eggs would probably work fine)

1 Tablespoon grated lemon rind

1/2 cup sour. Cream and 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup almond meal and 1 cup brown rice flour

1 t soda

1 t salt

Glaze:

1 cup icing sugar

2 to 3 Tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F Carefully grease and flour 12 cup Bundt or 10 inch tube pan and set aside

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy Add poppy seed filling and beat until blended Beat in egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition Add sour cream mixture and beat just until blended In a small bowl, blend flour, almond meal, baking soda and salt Add flour mixture to poppy seed mixture gradually beating well after each addition

In a separate bowl, beat whites with electric mixer until stiff peaks form Fold whites into batter and spread in prepared pans

Bake 60 minutes to 75 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan Cool 20 minutes on rack. Slowly drizzle glaze over cake allowing it to soak in a bit before adding more.

 Gluten Free Poppy Seed Cake

Gluten Free Poppy Seed Cake

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I brought this rice salad down to Mossom Creek Hatchery for the hungry volunteers to eatsaladuseit last week. Patty and her kids, Miranda and Griff, have been volunteering at Mossom Creek Hatchery for many, many years. Miranda’s initial film inspiration came from her work at Mossom so I was happy to provide a dish that appealed to her vegetarian palate. I actually decided to make the Rice Salad as an alternative to the Quinoa Salad that has become my standard for potluck gatherings.

Many years ago my friend, Lynn Hardy, made a rice salad that was delicious and economical. Since then, I think this version emerged as a fusion of a memory of Lynn’s delicious salad, a tribute to my friend Gevin who introduced me to Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, and of course all the Korean ingredients in my kitchen.

Voilà.

Cook:

2 CUPS Korean RICE (sometimes called YELLOW or SWEET RICE)salad4ingred

In 3 CUPS unsalted WATER (I use a rice cooker)

Let cool in large glass bowl

Combine cooled rice with:

2 bunches chopped green onions (finely chopped)

1 ½ or 1 very large long English Cucumber chopped bite size

1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped fine) we use kitchen shears

1 drained can chick peas or grated cheddar cheese (optional – for protein)

1/3 cup olive oil oil

1/4 cup brown rice vinegar heated w. 1 T. sugar until dissolved (or use sushi vinegar )

1 T sesame oil

(optional: chopped red/yellow peppers, grape tomatoes – be creative)

Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning and pepper to taste

MIX gently

Sprinkle with smoked paprika & garnish with basil leaves as shown

Serve promptly

Store tightly covered and eat soon after preparation. This rice, like sticky rice, dries out quickly. To serve next day add a little more oil and vinegar and stir well.

I delight in the fact that I am able to involve myself deeply in community work. Elsewhere in MY BLOG or in the film made about me by Glenn terBorg, you will see that there was a time in my life when this kind of community participation was just not possible. DOING is a privilege! Not everyone gets the opportunity in life to know that. I am lucky. I know that each breath, each small thing I can do, is a pleasure to be savoured.

Washing dishes – no longer a chore, I enjoy the fact that it is something I CAN DO. So imagine the delight when I managed to convince the gang at TEDxSFU that I had skills they needed. It took a few tries, but eventually, with my positive persistence, I managed to convince Jason Wong that I am a good networker and a fine “community animator” for social networking. They didn’t really need someone for these jobs, but eventually some holes emerged, and here I am, part of a dynamic YOUNG team. The event is only two weeks away. I think it will be amazing.

I have met none of these people in the flesh, but with telephones, SKYPE, email and lots of effort and imagination, I can feel the energy that exudes. TEDxSFU is going to be one of those don’t miss events. And not to worry if you are not in the live audience… It will be webcast. The talks will be filmed. Our dream is that TED will pick up a few and share them with the world. We KNOW we have the calibre of speakers that will WOW TEDsters, TEDophiles, TED-lovers everywhere.

Meanwhile, I am looking for the ultimate red chair, black table and matching decorator lamp as a loaner for the stage. The stage measures about 10 feet by 4 feet (it’s small). Sophistication and simplicity would be the dream combination. Acknowledgment in the program would be the reward. Any takers?

Contact me!  info@elainewillis.ca Time is SHORT!

Hello, neighbours…

It is a privilege to have an opportunity to stand before you this evening, once again to offer to serve you as a Councillor in the Village of Anmore. Many of you have come to know that I am a passionate advocate…for individuals, for the environment, for sustainability, for the ARTS, for this Village and for the Tri-City region.

There is no us and them. That is an illusion. There are only people – some with a more generous spirit than others. This can be observed in small, every-day behaviours. You can see it in how they interact with a child or with nature. You can see it in the things they choose to do with their time. When you choose someone to lead your country or your province or your village, what do you want? A kind person? An honest person? A person who does not just promise to do her best but shows it every day? A person who demonstrates true kindness of spirit? A person with a strong work ethic? A person who can suspend judgment?  A person who can truly listen and does so? A person who will not be bullied? I offer you these, my good qualities – and more because I KNOW…

Such a person will bring to the COUNCIL table your interests, always. You can trust that selfishness, greed and power will not be on MY agenda.

It is certainly helpful if your leader can understand easily the workings of government, and I have studied hard over the years. Yet I put it to you: it is equally important to bring questions to the table.

The candidates here before you this evening have worked hard – to promise you the same promises I have seen on campaign literature over the last three elections. If you peruse my handouts, mail-outs and websites, you will see that financial accountability, environmental protection and community planning are important to me as well. The difference I can offer you – is my community record of committee work, consensus-building and advocacy.

I am here for you –  and I am here for Anmore. On election day, vote for ELAINE WILLIS.

 

It is not an easy decision to run for Council in Anmore. It is a tiny municipality. There are currently about 1400 voters. Three years ago there were approximately 1200 voters which actually demonstrates the growth we are experiencing, and one of the reasons I decided I must, once again, offer to serve. From 2001 to 2006 there was a 32.8% population increase, and this upward population pressure continues. With a “Rural” designation from Metro Vancouver and an outdated, incomplete Official Community Plan with a firm one acre minimum lot size, the village is evolving via the drift rather than plan mechanism that is created by development pressures. Land values continue to soar and conflict between development and sustainability have come to the fore.

What to do about it? Clearly deflecting attention from it with conflict will not solve the problem. Communication, consensus-building and judicious planning are required to create sustainable development. The Official Community Plan must be revised and adhered to. We must also work effectively with our neighbours. Anmore does not exist in a vacuum. The region of the Tri-Cities shares air and watersheds, we share roadways, transportation and infrastructure. We share services. Working within this small region is as important as working with the greater region of Metro Vancouver in planning and decision making and I pledge to keep communication key for shared resources and services. Already I have inserted myself into committees relating to hospital services, watershed management, social services and the arts in the Tri-Cities as I believe so strongly in their importance.

So, a vote for me is a vote for communication, for dialogue, and for advocacy for our village and our region. I promise to stand for and maintain open government, to be responsive to the voices of individuals and to groups. Sustainable development is not rampant development; we need careful planning to keep Anmore beautiful, green and livable.  I have no hidden agenda. My life for the past several years has been devoted to advocacy. I offer that now in service as your Anmore Councillor. Vote for Elaine Willis on November 19th.

I very much enjoyed the experience of presenting. I realize, after the fact, just how much my left brain dominates.  Although I have a good understanding of how the artistic, right-brained individuals function, I am less tolerant of their function than I would like to be when it comes to what I perceive to be  “professional” events and functions. I am not sure if that is something I learned or if it is innate.

I wanted to (and was) on time for the meeting for the presenters. Part of me knew it would be foolish to worry about being on time for an “artsy event”  but that’s who I am (remember the left-brain dominance). The meeting did not occur and the person who called it did not arrive until forty-five minutes later. In fact the level of organization was just not the tight, structured,  Japanese, haiku-like form that is PechaKucha. So as I waited and watched for the show to begin, safely inhaling oxygen at 4 litres per minute (one of the presenters wore a LOT of fragrance), I experienced some cognitive dissonance. I so firmly believe that the production should be organized, should start on time, should be coordinated  professionally – after all people are paying to see the show. On the other hand the audience is happy, largely unaware that the media is not present, the photographer and film crew are absent, the meeting did not take place – they are more than happy.

Dissonance…tells more about me than the situation… “dissonance is reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying”.  I realize I have done all three. So while other people turn inward with nervousness, do I look outward…settling upon justification for the situation by noting that all went well despite the disorganization which I perceived?  The arts community pitched in and did what was needed. The audience was inspired. The focus was on the positive. The networking was amazing….and the feedback I received was great.

It seems that people were, on the whole,  inspired and motivated.

And when I reread “What makes a good PechaKucha” (it means chitchat in Japanese…) from the originator’s website, I know this whole thought process is something I need to continually work through…

“Good PechaKucha presentation are the ones that uncover the unexpected, unexpected talent, unexpected ideas. Some PechaKuchas tell great stories about a project or a trip. Some are incredibly personal, some are incredibly funny, but all are very different making each PechaKucha Night like ‘a box of chocolates’.”

It was a box of chocolates – there was something for everyone at PKN Coquitlam.

Jay Peachy

Sometimes you get the tenant you need and sometimes you get the tenant who needs you. Life is like that, full of give and take. I am grateful for both.

Jay came to me after a difficult time. My new suite had been vacated by me very dear tenant (who had been so helpful – he’s family now but that’s another story) when the developer of the adjacent lands cut off access to my property.

The most important criterion for becoming my tenant is being scent and chemical free. A long round of emails confirmed that Jay  was a good communicator, willing to completely give up the use of all scent and chemical products and delighted to find a space that would allow his dog. I agreed to meet him.

There were a number of applicants but something drew me to this man with no references, a strange affect, no job and clearly no money for the deposit …and our relationship began: landlord- tenant; advocate-client; employer-attendant; patron-artist; neighbour-neighbour; friend-friend. There were and are many more aspects to our relationship. I know that this was the place where he was meant to heal and evolve more fully into Jay Peachy, the artist. And clearly, although he is not the tenant I anticipated, one who could be the helper I needed for my physical challenges – do not get the idea it is a one way street.

Jay is an amazing attendant when I go to medical appointments and need someone to guard me against reactions to chemical exposure. He has twice administered the epipen and numerous times supplied oxygen when required. He’s amazing and was once asked in a medical setting if he was a nurse when he deftly saved my life.

But here in Anmore, “Nature’s Home” as Dr. Lynn Burton and I are determined to label this beautiful community, Jay has healed and blossomed. Yes, he still has bipolar disorder. But now he has safety nets in place, a home community, the courage to stand up and face the world fighting the stigma, LABEL clearly pasted on his forehead, and help others tirelessly through his artistic genius.

He has become a volunteer at Mossom Creek Hatchery just below our home, connected with salmon enhancement and conservation and swallowed that into his art and essence. He hosts a radio show, Sound Therapy Radio on CJSF and has now won awards for his efforts. His standup comedy is just another of his artistic endeavours.  Jay Peachy brought Art in the Garden to Anmore with a group of enthusiastic volunteers inviting the support and promotional assistance of the Tri-City Arts Connect Umbrella.

Twenty-four months ago, this young man could not get himself out of bed. He was defeated by a disease and a system. One hand up, a lot of nature and living with his faithful dog companion, Star, and he didn’t just come back, he’s bringing others with him and showing them the way.