As 2015 rolls in, 2014 still seems to be hanging on. The past year has been a rugged road. This road is dirt, it is gravel, it is bumpy, it is smooth pavement, it is soul searchingly beautiful, with hills and cliffs and darkness and fog and blips of the sun, the terrain has not stayed the same for more than a minute for my body, mind and soul to catch up to.
Which is why I say 2014 is hanging on…but not for long. With the days getting longer and brighter, and the smell of spring and new beginnings in the air getting stronger, I feel my old self returning, or maybe a new self. Either way, my thinking has shifted slightly…in a positive way. There are still days I feel like falling to pieces but there are more days I want to love the world like I should.
If I explained the stops made on this road, you would be reading for days, but as a side story that recently came to light through the delivery of a late present, there continues to be signs that things are looking up.
In the summer of 2014 I spent a lot of time at my aunts in Lake Cowichan. Going out there in the summer is like entering a different world, the pace slows down, the sun takes longer to set, the water is calm and I am able to feel more connected to the moment.
My aunt works on the Snuneymuxw reserve and her Elder friend Solomon is a truly incredible artist. He creates the most beautiful Native jewellery, my aunt has had a few pieces made from him…which I have wanted to steal. She must have remembered this because for Christmas (lost but now found present) I received Solomon original copper earrings, with hummingbirds etched into them. I took them as a sign, that the habits of my heart would be changing.
The Native Symbol or Totem Hummingbird teaches you to appreciate and love the miracle of living, and to help you focus on the positivity in your life. They are messengers of peace, they heal your body and soul and they guide you through life’s challenges. Hummingbirds are very independent and seem to have an unlimited energy supply. They symbolize wonder and beauty.
A legend from the Kwakwaka’wakw says that Dzunuk’wa (the mythic guardian of the mountains and Wild Women of the Woods) loved this little bird so much, she let him nest in her hair, in return the Humming bird looked like a jewel pinned in her hair. Of all the birds, they are the most talented flyers. They can hover in one place, fly sideways, backwards and forwards. They teach us to look back to our past, but not to dwell, instead to move forward. As well the Hummingbirds tell us to savour every sweet moment as they do when hovering over each flower. Native Americans believe that it brings luck to see a Hummingbird before major events such as long hunting trips or travelling to other villages.
With every little bit of happiness that presents itself in life, there is food to go along with it! Valentine’s Day is also coming up so the following recipe is a win win win.
Makes 12 large cupcakes.
¾ cup (398 ml) canned or fresh cooked peeled beets, pureed in food processor
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup buttermilk or almond milk
3 tbsp sour cream or applesauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 eggs (for vegan – 2 tbsp ground flax seed in 6 tbsp water)
¾ cup flour or rice flour
⅔ cup sugar or cane sugar
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Beat together beets, oil, buttermilk, sour cream, balsamic vinegar and eggs until well mixed.
Blend dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet and blend until well mixed, about 2-3 minutes.
Grease cupcake tin or line with baking cups.
Spoon batter into cupcake tin.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until skewer inserted comes out clean.
Ice when completely cooled.
Combine raspberries, cashews and maple syrup in food processor until smooth.
Add the melted coconut oil and blend again.
Pour into a shallow bowl and chill for a minimum of 2 hours.
Pipe or spread on cupcakes.
With that… my movie selection, to take my eyes off the road for a while, is Whiplash.
Miles Teller, enough said.
This movie has determination and guts.
What to drink? Red wine of course.
I had this at Therapy Vineyards during a wine tour in the summer and it was delicious.
“Nieman, you earned the part. Alternates, will you clean the blood off my drum set?” – Terence Fletcher (J.K Simmons)