Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thursday Love List: 2009 in Review

We're all friends here, so I won't lie to you. Parts of this year were rough. I ended a two-and-a-half year relationship with a wonderful person (don't fret, we're still very good friends). I moved twice. I wrote a cookbook manuscript with very poor time-management skills. I returned to university and have had to contend with student life, which I mostly do not love. I spent way (waaaay) more money than I made.

But things were also great: I moved into a beautiful Victorian house in a great part of town that I may live in for years and years to come - possibly the rest of my Toronto life. I got into midwifery school (again) and am so excited to be returning to the world of holistic pre- and post-natal care. I developed a good friendship with Lisa, though I hope we get organized/are able to diversify and spend a little more time together outside the kitchen in 2010. I had wonderful recipe testers for the upcoming cookbook, especially Kathryn. I got some of the kindest fan mail (always a wonderful surprise). I took a summer trip to Scotland and got to visit with old family friends and make some new friends. I became more physically fit and flexible than I've ever been. I created a budget for myself for the first time and mostly stuck to it. I helped Ryan find a dog from one of the city shelters and she is so smart and beautiful and full of love. My 1997 Ford Mercury Villager Mini Van is still alive (though it looks a little worse for wear after the small accident it got into the other day). Most of my plants lived, in spite of the house-moving, and many of them thrived.
All in all, I consider myself so lucky to be coming out of 2009 in the place I am in.

Now here's a summary of things I thought were especially super, including some recommendations, from the past year:

Favourite learning experience: Non-violent Communication intensive at Findhorn Community

Best health move: Taking up Bikram Yoga
Runner up: Trading regular talk therapy for regular massage therapy.

Favourite new health tool: crystals, like rose quartz, amethyst and citrine. (I know, kooky-sounding, right? But I'm into them - in my pocket, in the bath, in bed, while studying.)

Favourite new recipes: Buckwheat gRAWnola (to come in Ripe from Around Here)
Runners up: Sweet Potato Date Muffins, Slow-Baked Beans, Blueberry Lavender Ice Creem.

Favourite comfort food: baked sweet potato (just stab it a few times with a fork and stick it in the toaster oven).

Best meal out: It's still the Raw Combo Platter at Live. (It's always tasty, and I feel great after eating it.)

Favourite drink: Negroni
Runners up: home-mulled apple cider with a splash of rum, Campari and soda with lime, or Ciao organic Sangiovese wine (You'd think I'd be drinking a lot, but I swear I haven't! Just over the holidays, and with the watching of too much Mad Men....)

Favourite garment acquisition: the red polka-dotted dress from Girl Friday (I did not buy a lot of clothes this year.)

Favourite teevee show discovery: All Creatures Great and Small (So wonderfully wholesome and British)
Honourable mentions: Nurse Jackie (go Edie Falco!), United States of Tara (another something different from Diablo Cody), and Mad Men (so much smoking and drinking though!)

Favourite movie: Julie and Julia (And, I don't really feel like discussing the movie's many non-vegan moments, if you don't mind me saying so. I loved it for the personalities, the New York and French cultures depicted, the relationships, and parts about cookbook-writing.)
Honourable mention: Where the Wild Things Are

Favourite non-fiction: Baby Catcher by Peggy Vincent (I devoured it! if you're into memoirs and birth....)

Favourite novel: The Birth House by Ami McKay
Honourable mention: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Best Get It Ripe publicity experience: being interviewed by Karen Gordon on CBC Radio One on a Saturday morning last January.

Most memorable This Is My Life And It's Pretty Great moments: walking along the beach of the Moray Firth (in Scotland) with Gavin; lying in savasana looking out the skylight at the summer night sky at the end of a sweaty evening yoga class; driving to births; the view from my third floor window of the CN Tower all lit up each night.

I hope that 2009 was blessed for you all too, and I wish you a Happy New Year!



"Domestic affair... do you think it's a funny title?" I asked a friend.
"Funny ha-ha?" she responded, "well, no not really."
"But 'domestic affair', it's like what's going on in the nation, but it's also me, being drawn to all these domestic tasks - knitting, cooking, caring for small children..." I tried to explain.
"I like that it has the word affair in it," she concluded.

jae's first book!

Get It Ripe cover Have you seen my award-winning whole foods cookbook Get It Ripe: a fresh take on vegan living (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008)? Keep your eyes peeled for it!
To join the Facebook group for the book, go here.


about the blog:

about the cookbooks:

While I love hearing from you, and read each and every one of your e-mails, please understand that I just cannot respond to all of them due to the rate at which they're coming in these days!

If you have a question, I might have already answered it here.

in the press

live in person!

come see me:
* Vida Vegan Con in Portland, OR, August 26-28, 2011.

...but better yet, check the calendar for details!



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