Bonfire

Looking up, Jason Landry, 2011
Looking up, Jason Landry, 2011

My parents live on an acreage in Central Alberta and the back half consists of native bush and grasses. For this holiday we hatched a plan to build a bonfire and spend evenings outside eating, drinking and tobogganing.

The Woodpile, Jason Landry, 2011My Father building the fire, Jason Landry, 2011The start of something good, Jason Landry, 2011
Preparing the fire, Jason Landry, 2011

Yesterday we spent the afternoon building the fire, making some hot buttered rum mix and testing out the toboggan run. In the evening we brought down drinks, food, family and friends. There’s something special about watching your 58-year old mother screaming down the hill in the dark.

Bonfire in action, Jason Landry, 2011
Bonfire in action, Jason Landry, 2011

Tonight, we’ll do it all over again.

Prairie Bound

Southern Alberta, Mark Heard, 2010
Southern Alberta, Mark Heard, 2010

Today we’re headed to Alberta to spend the holidays with my family. I’ve been in Vancouver for over a decade now, but Alberta will always feel like home and I’m looking forward to returning. Friends, family, food & bonfires — all the wonderful things that make me happy.

To The Snow

Looking North, Jason Landry, 2011
Looking North, Mt. Seymour, 2011

This past weekend we joined our neighbours for an afternoon of fun in the snow. It was a glorious, sun-filled day so we headed to the top of Mt. Seymour with our tobaggans in tow.

Looking East, Jason Landry, 2011Looking South, Jason Landry, 2011
Looking East & South, Mt. Seymour, 2011

Mt. Seymour is a Provincial Park and for liability reasons, you’re only supposed to tobaggan in designated areas — and only after you’ve purchased your pass. This doesn’t sit well with my Albertan sensibilities, but we did it anyway. As I should have expected my kids weren’t keen to stand in line, so we wandered off and played on our own until the sun set. Pure magic1.

Looking West, Jason Landry, 2011
Looking West, Mt. Seymour, 2011

Vancouver sits on the edge of all the things I love and I’m lucky to be here.

  1. I really need to get a proper camera in 2012.

Bush Tucker Man

Major Les Hiddens, Bush Tucker Man
Major Les Hiddens, Bush Tucker Man

Back in the 90s I used to watch Bush Tucker Man, an Australian documentary television program that followed Les Hiddens as he roamed around Australia in a Land Rover looking for bush food. Here’s a great clip if you’ve never seen it.

I loved that show. Once I figure out how to get Region 4 discs to play on my computer, I’m going to order the complete collection.

Hot & Buttered

Hot buttered rum, 2011
Hot buttered rum, 2011

With the holidays quickly approaching and cabin trips on the horizon, I figured I’d get a jump start on the food and drink planning. I say planning, but I mean testing. First up was hot buttered rum. Using a slightly modified version of this recipe, I’ve made a first go and it’s going down nicely. Your move, Winter.

Morning Frost

Morning frost, Jason Landry, 2011
Morning frost, Jason Landry, 2011

So far, this winter has been cooler and drier than usual. Instead of waking up to grey clouds and rain, we’re seeing brilliant sunrises, snow on the mountains and frost on the ground. This is my kind of winter.