As a way to share some of the better aspects of living here, here are some pictures from BC, most of which are from the last few days and some socially isolating long drives and fishing trips.
There is something quintessentially evocative of a Polish home, at least to me, about a big pot of stock simmering on the stove. Growing up, we would make stock at least once a week, and sometimes even more than that. We would have ingredients for stock prepped and frozen in the freezer so we could put together soup whenever we ran out of the bits already made.
Store bought, just can’t compare to the taste I grew up with.
If you have any kind of meat bones lying around, chicken, pork, beef, cuts of freezer burned meat, they can all be tossed together into a pot and simmered into the kind of soup that’s perfect for when you are under the weather, outright sick, or just craving something homey.
With everything going on, I thought I would share the family recipe for stock. If you are feeling adventurous and want to give it a kick, when roasting the bones, smoke them instead. It will add a smoky flavour to your broth.
Chicken Stock Continue reading “Delicious Homemade Broth”
I grew up on liverwurst sandwiches. I love a slice of rye or sourdough, spread with some liverwurst, some tomato, and a slice of pickle. It’s my favourite sandwich, for all that I was mocked at school for eating them let alone liking them.
I am kinda picky about the kind I like though. I hate it when it’s coarse, or in any way gritty. I don’t even add THAT much to my sandwich, preferring a thin layer. When it comes to other forms of liver, I’m not a fan. The smell, taste, and texture are not really things that appeal to me.
When the opportunity came up to get my hands on a whole pig, one of the first things I thought of was getting a chance to try my hand at making my own. NOT for the faint of heart, let me tell you.
To start with, there are MANY different schools of though around ingredients, fillers, and so on. Different techniques, spice mixes, and so on. It can get overwhelming trying to figure out what and how to try. So those of you who know me won’t be surprised to hear that my decision was to sort of try it all at once. xD Luckily this porker had a BIG LIVER (easily 2 KG).
What do I need to get at the Store?
The base recipe that I finally settled on includes the following.
- 500 g Liver
- 500 g Pork Fat
- ½ Onion pureed
- 1-2 large cloves of Garlic, crushed
- ¼ tsp Cure 1
- 35g salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 slices sourdough
- 2 slices buttermilk potato
- 3-4 roasted chestnuts
- 1 cup of water
Your choice of assorted spices
I then added different ingredient variations to see what worked and what didn’t.
I find the flavor to be pretty versatile, so that a lot of different interesting additions work surprisingly well. Just think of what you like on your sandwich and what you like with pork and have at it!
CN: Description of mild medical procedure and wound care, mention of needles.
So much has happened in the last month.
I made it to BC with remarkably little trouble. My birds came through ok, CJ was a darling quiet girl on the plane, and my stuff arrived just a few days after I did. The move itself went remarkably smoothly. The guys who came to load up the truck were nice and very professional. They loaded everything up in under an hour. When the truck arrived here, everything was unloaded nice and quick too. All my stuff arrived in one piece and all of it arrived. Continue reading “Greetings From BC”
Things have been intense.
As I mentioned, I was accepted to UFV to study Agricultural Technology.
It’s a really exciting move for a lot of different reasons.
The program itself seems amazing. Part of it includes a certification in Livestock production with many of the classes involving actually working hands on with different animals. So far everyone I’ve met in the department is really nice and helpful. When I was visiting my boyfriend, they even showed us around the school barn building where they had piglets and chickens, and a whole greenhouse full of student grown projects.
It would mean a chance not just to learn about farming both from the technical side and business side, but also means a chance to make connections with the agricultural community itself which could mean opportunities to fulfill my dream of a little piece of land to farm and live on. Continue reading “SO MUCH TO DO!”
Do you feel like your body belongs to you? Like the bits and pieces that make it up, the various fluids, viscera, muscle, skin, and so forth are a part of you and who you are?
Do you feel like your body and you are the same thing?
I don’t know what that’s like.
Back in 2016, a friend and former professor of mine was faced with housing related discrimination because of her disabilities. Threatened with eviction, she was forced to go into debt in order to avoid homelessness.
A complaint was filed with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal over their refusal to accommodate her medical disabilities.
Unfortunately, the cost of justice is high. She’s raising some money to cover just the legal fees to date. Her situation is already difficult because of the cost of saving her home, but to add to it, she is one of the many who saw a massive cut to their pay thanks to the actions of Doug Ford.
The sad reality is that while the courts seem like an option for confronting obvious acts of discrimination, for many of us with disabilities, the cost is too high. Many of us have stories of illegal acts with regards to employment, or housing, or even just existing, and yet for too many of us, our only option is to swallow it. Justice is for sale.
If she is unable to raise the funds to cover the costs incurred to date, the case will be dropped which means she will have no recourse for getting justice. What’s more, the particular people involved in the acts of discrimination have other disabled people under their purview, people who will be directly impacted by the results of this court case which would send a negative message over whether disabled people have a right to have shelter.
If you are able and willing, consider helping out. For those of us who want to help but can’t afford to, a big help is making sure the fundraiser gets seen through lots of sharing to various social media. This is a great person who honestly deserves all the help she can get.
There are some big exciting changes coming my way.
As you might know, circumstances beyond my control forced me into a situation where my best option was at least temporarily, moving back in with my family. I’ve also been seeing a really great guy for coming on two years, who also happens to live clear across the country. And it’s a pretty big country.
Moving out there, or him moving out here, were made difficult by both of us being on disability. We can’t easily leave either province without losing financial support or worse, coverage for medication. What’s worse, is you can’t even leave the province for ore than 30 days without losing your coverage, so even when we can make a point to visit, we are restricted in the amount of time we can spend together.
Both of us have long dreamt of having a little piece of land where we could have our own little farm and do our various arts.
Well, recently I managed to take a big step towards that dream and towards the possibility of being together in one place for a bit longer.
I’ve just been accepted to the University of the Fraser Valley to study Agriculture Technology!
It’s a really interesting program that gives students a good introduction to farming. Students can choose either a horticulture or livestock certification track, and learn all about things like how to use farming equipment, how to recognize and treat different livestock diseases, pest management, and so on. There is a component where you do a practicum working on a farm itself.
They know about my disabilities and are willing to work with me to accommodate them.
The best part is that as long as I’m in school, I can be down in BC and still receive disability. I just have to come back during any time periods when I’m not enrolled in classes.
I’m really excited about all this. It means I get to spend a lot more time exploring this amazing area with my wonderful guy. We get to see what it’s like to be together when we also have our own stuff to do, which is an adventure all in itself.
It’s also a little scary.
I moved for university the first time, but while it wasn’t close to where my family lives, it was still within a day’s drive away. While out in BC, my family will actually be closer to London England than to me. It’s moving to a whole new province. A different time zone. Heck, a different coast.
Trying to figure out the logistics is a little frightening as well. I can’t move all my things, since I am coming back for some months, but I still need to bring a fair amount with me. At the very least my office things, my clothing, and some of my art supplies. Not to mention my birds!
I’m going to be trying hard to sell of as much of my art as I can to help fund the move, not to mention getting a fair bit of writing done.
I look forward to getting to write about my adventures on the West Coast and in my studies.
It is quite a bit different from how it was the first time. For one thing, while I still intend to do as well as possible, there is a lot less pressure about grades. If I don’t get the top GPA, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I complete the courses and learn as much as possible.
I am also enrolled as a disabled student, meaning this time I actually get to see about getting accessibility for my conditions on an official basis. It’s also the first time I am going to school with my ADHD medicated.
I’m also 32, as opposed to the young 18 I was when I first started.
This time, school is covered by OSAP, a student loan, which with this and disability, means a lot more paperwork being involved.
The school is also quiet a bit different. Unlike the University of Ottawa which has some longer history behind it, UFV has only been an official university since 2008. Not only that, but the actual number of students is much much smaller, which means so will the class sizes. Despite that, the campus is spread out across a few different cities, although the majority of my classes will be in the same one I will be living in.
I am so excited that starting in January, I get to be a Sasquach!
If you’re the member of any sort of minority, chances are you’ve run across this. Some friend, family member, or vague acquaintance ends up in a situation where they are confronted with their own inherent biases in some way, and they feel the need to run to you as the Representative of Minority Co. to explain the situation.
For example, imagine you have a friend name Betty who is the owner of a small business who is hiring someone to work as a part of that business. She has narrowed her choice down to two ideal candidates, who are identical in terms of qualifications. Both have the right amount of experience, the same great attitude and personality that fits into the team dynamic, in terms of “reasons to hire” the two are completely interchangeable. Except that Candidate A is abled while Candidate B is disabled.
Now Betty is not a Capital A Ableist. She knows that disabled people are just as capable as abled people, she truly believes that the world should be accessible, and has all the empathy for disabled people having a difficult time being able to find gainful employment. Betty has signed countless petitions to make accessibility more prevalent, her own brother even has a disability. Betty is an ALLY!
But Betty’s business is small, and even with the added help, she is hopelessly overworked. Candidate B’s disability will require the company to undergo some work to make it completely accessible. Maybe, it would even cost her some money to get some needed program or service, or to make some changes to the physical location of the business. She was already putting pressure on her budget by hiring a new person, the added finances would be just too much. She would have to close up shop, and it’s not really fair to her or to any of her other employees, or to her family, to jeopardize her business for the sake of one person. If they had been better qualified and the best option than of course, it would be no question, but the two candidates are completely identical and really it’s a coin toss one way or the other. Wouldn’t it be just as unfair to Candidate A to only not hire them because they’re not disabled? She makes her choice and then next time at dinner with her brother’s she lays the whole story out and asks:
“Can you understand where I’m coming from?” Continue reading “But Can You Understand Where I’m Coming From?”