Happy 40th Birthday Jamie!

iced over_0008 Happy Birthday to you…
Happy BIRTHDAY to YOU!
HaPpY BiRtHdAy Dear JAMIE…
Happy Birthday to you!!!!

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Life is a book and your forties are the chapters when it all starts making sense. Be happy that you are still 3,650 days away from turning fifty. And maybe can be a way that you can console yourself about turning forty.

The Birthday Boy...

Hope your day is extra special it was really nice celebrating with you early this past weekend! Sending you heaps of love…. Your ‘little’ sister, Sarah 🙂

Making Artisan Bread- Dough for $$$Dough$$$

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Today I ended up doing something I wanted to do for over 4 years!!! My friend Pat started doing Artisan Bread workshops in order to raise awareness and money for Seva Canada.   This was way back in 2012.  I was up in Pangnirtung seeing all Pat’s Facebook posts about making awesome bread in Winnipeg—even though I couldn’t smell it drove me crazy!

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Pat decided to combine her love of baking and teaching by giving something back to people that need the gift of sight. Seva has been working to do this…and a $50 donation can help change someone’s life! It blows my mind that something so simple can totally change a life… anyways.

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In the fall of 2014 Pat put out a Facebook message to her friends to see if they wanted to donate to help her reach a fundraising goal at that time.  I decided after researching a bit more about Seva it was something I wanted to support so did an online donation.  Pat so far has raised $18, 290  for SEVA by offering workshops! She promised me a bread making workshop the next time I was in WInnipeg… fixed (1 of 1)

I was so excited to join 3 other friends to learn how to make bread.  Pat did not disappoint!! We were Pat’s 58th bread workshop and numbers 211, 212, 213 and 214 that have baked in Pat’s kitchen.

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Pat had pre-made dough to make a seeded oat bread.  She started off with the teaching… how to slash bread, why we need to do that (to let steam escape) and then how to ‘throw’ a loaf into the oven onto the stone… (3 different ways)! At times I felt so overwhelmed with the information…but Pat was there step by step to reassure and help us out!
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Cloaking the dough was another new term I learned—basically it’s getting handling your dough ball to get all the gluten lines in a row. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0006 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0007 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0008

Perfect dough… now to flatten it out to make Focaccia.  So yummy… or as Pat said, “Pizza dough without the cheese and sauce!” Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0009

Throughout the workshop we all took turns doing different steps of the process.  When it was my turn to ‘cloak’ the dough it was quite the experience.  I was nervous—because you shouldn’t handle the dough too much… and it was too sticky…(I didn’t put enough flour on it). But I got through it…with Pat’s calm help and guidance and ended up with a perfect dough ball. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0010

It was fun when we moved onto the tasting portion of the day!!! OMG-this bread is so yummy… I can’t wait to get back to my own kitchen to make some more bread. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0011

It was an awesome 4 hours of talking and learning… something that was well worth the wait! Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0012

 

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UPDATED (July 12th):

I thought that the workshop might be the end of my baking journey…but as luck would have it one of my assignments in my classes was to “learn something new”. I talked with Pat and went over to her house to bake in her kitchen again. She was gracious enough to take these photos of me baking a 1lb loaf and an orange-cranberry swirl from the master dough recipe!

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It was so awesome to see that I had remembered a lot of the steps. If I had a question Pat was quick to help out…but for the most part I proved to myself that I could do it!

Making the master bread recipe… 4 ingredients…so easy!

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…this danish dough whisk is awesome… I need to get me one of these bad guys! Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0019

After it’s all mixed up it had to rise for 2 hours in the bucket…then you can bake with it….OR keep it in your fridge…the older the dough is the more ‘sour-dough’ taste it gets!

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…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… when you have an excellent Bread Mentor and teacher! Once you have the master bread made…you can do so many things with it!
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The Cranberry-Orange Swirl is such an amazing bread…Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0016

…you just have to add the extra stuff.. then roll it all up, then let it rise for an hour! Then pop it into the oven.
Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0017 Thanks again Pat for your help and opening up your kitchen for me.  You have such a huge heart and I’m so glad I can call you my friend. If you are in Winnipeg and interested in a workshop let me know…I can see if Pat’s available!

Happy Canada Day

Canada Day

Hope all my fellow Canadians are having a safe and fun day… I’m having fun celebrating here in Winnipeg, Manitoba!  I’m excited to see fireworks—since it’s dark enough at night to have them! (Something this gal hasn’t gotten to see for awhile!)

Remember to enjoy yourself…but stay safe, don’t drink & drive and wear sunscreen!

The American Rockies Meets The Canadian Rockies…

This past weekend I also got to meet my blogging friend– Keenan in person.  Just over 4 years ago we first started exchanging emails…I was living in Pangnirtung and he had recently moved to Colorado.  He totally had switched up his life and had taken on a 52 hike challenge for the year!

We became friends over the years as we exchanged info on the how to’s of blogging and just random stuff happening in our lives. At the time we started talking Keenan was just setting up his blog. I think we exchanged emails for almost two years before becoming Facebook friends.  He’s even done a guest post here on Sarah on the Road when my mum and I went to El Salvador.

Back up to the middle of May, we had a random FB chat about him coming to Ontario to do a marathon… but he had committed to one in Banff and one in New Brunswick this year. (He just has completed running marathons in the 50 states (in just under 3 years!) and now is working on the 10 Canadian Provinces…plus some other international destinations…) So Ontario wasn’t in his plans for 2016.

I asked him when he was going to Banff for the marathon…and luck would have it that it happened to be the SAME weekend I was in Canmore for Meghan and Todd’s Wedding so we decided to meet in real life!

Friday night when he got into Canmore we met up over his dinner to discuss our plan of attack for the next day.  Our mission was to explore and have fun in Banff National Park—see as much as we could! (I had to duck out around 12ish to get ready for the wedding…and he had to pick up his marathon bib for the following day…but he met up with me later for the reception!)
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We got on the road extremely early—anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a morning person.  But here I was Saturday morning of my holidays getting out of bed at 5:30am–quick shower then drove over to Keenan’s hotel to head out onto the road leaving by 6am.

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As much as I grumble about early morning starts…I totally learned something Saturday morning… early mornings are awesome, because the lakes were less crowded and the sunlight was FANTASTIC!

We headed towards Lake Louise…with a stop a Moraine Lake before getting there… it was so peaceful and gorgeous.  A few hikers in the parking lot getting ready for a serious day’s hike… and a few photographers catching the morning calmness of the lake.
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A much different scene from when I was there with my mum the day before around 11! Alberta_0035

Look at that view  the perfect reward for an early start to the day. Alberta_0036

Our next stop was Lake Louise…such a calm & wind free day (not like the day before!) No clouds on the mountains… reflections perfectly clear… and the colour of that water– breath taking!  Alberta_0037 Alberta_0038

So when I was there with my mum I heard about the Lake Agnes Tea House. It’s been serving tea since 1905…at an altitude of 2,135 m… and about a 3 1/2 km hike from Lake Louise.  I was like…I’d love to go there, but knew mum wasn’t up for that kind of hike.  So I put that idea in the background.  Fast forward to Saturday morning–I suggested to Keenan we head there.  Alberta_0039

Almost immediately as I started sucking air heavily I regretted the choice.  But I continued on… laughing and chatting all the way up that bloody mountain to the tea house.  Sometimes just rambling nonsense—and wondering in my head —are we there yet?  Actually this might have been out loud and not always in my head!

It’s a really well maintained path–and only the last little bit is shared with horses (so have to watch out for the horse poop!) A perfect hiking trail. Alberta_0040

I’m so glad we started hiking early…because there wasn’t many people on the path.  By the time we were coming down—the path was full of groups! Honestly, it was so much nicer of a climb because at times it was just Keenan and I on the path, rather than a HUGE group of people in front and behind us! Alberta_0041

We finally arrived at Lake Agnes…and saw the tea house! I was so shocked I actually made it up that bloody mountain but then again, sometimes it’s the company you are with that makes the time fly! Alberta_0042

My view from the tea house… gorgeous lake and mountains and SNOW!
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So many tea choices… I had the Lady Agnes *something* berry… and honestly, I can’t remember what Keenan had–Though it was the first on the list! LOL We also had soup to warm us up. Alberta_0066

The view toward Lake Louise—it’s in the clearing around my elbow! Alberta_0068

Isn’t Lake Agnes pretty? Alberta_0069Here’s a view towards Lake Louise. (—the Chateau Lake Louise can be seen just to the left below my water mark on the photo!)

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Then we were heading back down the mountain… that was a fun it was all downhill! The first groups of people that came up via horseback had arrived—so it was fun to see the horses!
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Some of the people that were hiking had all the gear—I prefer to hike in the Rockies with my jean jacket and black pashmina scarf… gotta have a bit of style! Alberta_0046

It was a perfect idea–thanks Keenan for joining me on that adventure…and sorry if I did grumble a wee bit on the way up!  We left the day for hiking at this point…with me rushing back to Canmore to get ready for the wedding–and Keenan picking up his race bib for the race the next day!

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Sunday morning I headed up to Banff to see Keenan start his 56th Marathon…and his FIRST in CANADA! You can read about the run from his perspective on his blog!
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While Keenan was running… I headed back to Canmore to pack up & get mum so we could come and do some exploring around Banff! It’s so touristy–and so many fun shops to window shop in.
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Keenan was so focused on the end…didn’t even see me waiting at the finish line! (The plan was he was going to text me when he was done….and I’d come pick him up and take him back to his hotel for a shower before he headed to the airport!)

However, there’s something so fun about a race and watching the runners come in… I had to wait to and cheer on everyone! Alberta_0061 Alberta_0062

…Congrats on your first Canadian Marathon!!! It was fun to be able to see you cross the finish line.
Alberta_0064 Keenan it was so nice to finally meet you in person! Keep on having your amazing adventures–you inspire me to have my own.
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The rest of the day was spent driving…first back to Canmore to drop off Keenan at his hotel. Then onto Calgary to the airport….where I joined my Gramma & Bart, Aunt Anne & Uncle Andrew, Aunt Marie & Uncle Chris and Clayton, Cody, Charlotte and Caroline for the flight back to Toronto…. I got the middle seat between mum and Clayton!
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It was the end to the perfect weekend away…looking forward to my summer and new adventures!

Happily Ever After…

Even though Saturday morning started out bright blue skies and sunny… at 2pm it was a wee bit cloudy! However, a little cloudy skies and threat of rain did not put a damper on the celebrations.   Meghan and Todd choose an amazing venue to get married- Canmore is gorgeous. Alberta_0054It was a truly awesome day… Meghan you were a stunning bride!

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“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~Dr. Seuss

Alberta_0049 Alberta_0050 Alberta_0055Alberta_0056Alberta_0057Alberta_0051 I ended up catching the bouquet…it’s actually the 2nd one I’ve caught at a family wedding! The first one was at my mum’s 1st cousin’s wedding (Marnie and Hugh) the summer I was 17. This time I’ve caught one at my 1st cousin’s wedding… so I suppose my relationship to the bride and groom is getting closer—but I wouldn’t hold your breathe for me getting married any time soon! Alberta_0052 Thanks for inviting me and letting me share in the celebration of your special day.

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Meghan and Todd I send my wishes for a life time of happiness and love and once more I’d like to offer my Congrats!  See you at the Lake next time you are in Ontario!

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