• Dutch Oven Campfire Bread
    Baking,  Camping,  Recipes

    Dutch Oven Campfire Bread

    I like camping, and being out in the woods; it’s energizing to be surrounded by trees and water and far away from city life (which I also love, but need a break from sometimes).  When I was a kid, we used to go to Silent Lake Provincial Park to camp as a family, and we all love it there – particularly because the lake is closed to motorized vehicles, and it’s really peaceful with just canoes and kayaks exploring the lake. This year, my mom finally organized us into renting one of Silent Lake’s yurts for a few nights, and we headed up in early July. There are lots of…

  • NXNE Presents a sausage fest - Electric City Magazine


    From a piece I wrote for Electric City Magazine: “The Canadian music industry is a diverse, varied place, but you wouldn’t know it from the endless parade of white guys with guitars wanking across the festival stages and conference panels of the nation. Over the past month, NXNE have been releasing the lineup for their Portlands festival, and the list, while appearing more racially diverse with the most recent release, is still very dude-heavy. With three women-fronted bands and one genderqueer artist out of 16 total acts released so far, I have to ask: where the fuck are the women, NorthBy?”   Read the rest at Electric City Magazine.

  • Climbing in the Fairy Glen on Skye!
    Articles,  Travel,  Year-End Thoughts

    Sparkle and Shine, 2016

    The year opened stressfully but closed fairly peacefully.  Along the way, it was packed full with projects, music, friends, and good hard work. At the beginning of the year, I had no thought of joining the Board of Directors for the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, nevermind becoming the Chair, but as things unfolded, it was clear that if we didn’t all jump in and pull together, the festival was done.  So we did, and I couldn’t be more proud of the amazing people, both on the Board and in the community generally, who worked so hard and with such a good will to keep this beloved small festival running. Work…

  • Travel

    Solo in Morocco

    I spent a month Solo in Morocco in November, 2010, and prior to travelling, I did a fair amount of research on the country. So many people were so helpful in answering my questions; I owe a lot to the Thorn Tree Travel forum, my Rough Guide, and WikiTravel, as well as individual bloggers. Here I’ve brought together some of my experiences and observations, in the hope that they’ll be as helpful to other travellers. I wrote it right after I returned, to give back to the community on Thorntree that had been so helpful to me, but recently a lot of people have been talking to me about Morocco, so I thought…

  • Articles,  Year-End Thoughts

    Beauty On, 2012

    It’s become a tradition of sorts for me to write something here on December 31, a sort of summing-up and looking forward I would have scoffed at myself for doing a few years ago. But, as arbitrary as it is to do this on a particular date, it feels useful for me to say to myself ‘this is what I’ve accomplished, and this is what I hope to do now.’ This has easily been one of the busiest years of my life, and I’m thankful to have come through it with relative equanimity. A busy year at the museum meant that I’ve run more discrete events this year than I’ve…

  • Articles,  Travel

    My First Hammam

    My trip through Morocco has been terrific so far, with many serendipitous encounters and lots (and lots, and lots) of interesting, friendly new people. Last night at my Fez guest house, Pension Dar Bou Inania, I met an American woman who’s also traveling solo.  Melissa joined myself and some other Canucks for breakfast at Cafe Clock (my home-away-from-home in Fez), and asked me over pancakes and fresh-squeezed orange juice if I’d be interested in joining her at the Hammam this afternoon.  I’d tried to get to a hammam with some other travel friends in Meknes, but had missed the appointment, so I was happy to find a companion for our first…

  • Articles,  Travel

    Backpacking in the Maghreb: going to Morocco!

    In ten days, I’ll be travelling to Morocco via Air France. I’ve always wanted to travel, to be one of those people who somehow manages to pick up and leave, has the money and the leisure to go, doesn’t have a thousand pressing commitments back home keeping them tied down.  I’m not one of those people, but I’ve managed to make a space for myself somehow anyway.  I didn’t need to take any extraordinary measures; I just decided I was going, and everything worked out around it. For two years I’ve been idly watching Travelzoo for flights to Morocco, and finally in June, I saw a deal I couldn’t resist.…

  • Nana-Approved Turkey Pot Pie
    Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes,  Shaw Christmas Favourites

    Nana-Approved Turkey Pot Pie

    2017 Update: I posted this Turkey Pot Pie recipe in 2010, and two years later my lovely Nana died.  This recipe still reminds me of her; her approval meant a lot to me.   2010 Original post: This is essentially a basic turkey pot pie recipe, but I like to think that I’ve particularly made it mine by emphasizing the thyme, salt, and pepper.  This savoury pie could probably handle a little sage, too, but have a light hand – the thyme really makes it irresistible. And don’t be stingy with the salt and pepper. I find too that no matter how badly I think I’ve screwed up the homemade pastry,…