Friday, January 15, 2016

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time, I didn't ride a bike.
Its not that long ago really.
My life, up until several years ago, revolved around horses. Three Day Event in particular...I was consumed by this passion from the time I was about 4 yrs old riding a pony named Star. It lasted into my thirties, and took me to many exciting places in the world. I now recognize how much I miss it. So many horses, so much time...
I have been going through some old photos lately, and the memories are hitting me head on. I am going to post them here as I dig them out, so they will be saved forever. Seems my time with the nags happened mostly pre digital era lol .
I think it's time I rekindle what I started as a child...
Anyone have a horse I can play with?? :

Dressage in Georgia with The Marshall

My ass at the Royal with Quantum Leap 
Marshall and I tearing it up in Bromont, Que.
Rupert Bear!
That time I showed Icelandic Horses at the Royal with Susan - for Henkell Trocken 
Samm,  flying high in North Carolina

Friday, December 11, 2015

Where the Buffalo roam...

Not just a groovy movie starring Bill Murray...


I made something the other day that I thought might be worth writing down for future reference. It comes with an explanation...

I am desperately anemic. I have been borderline for quite awhile, but have now dipped down into the not so great zone...It seems my body is not manufacturing blood cells productively enough - not red, not white, not absorbing iron, no neutrophils, basically, not holding oxygen very well at all, and who knows what kind of immune system I've got going on, but as my last post mentioned, I did get knocked out with something - and I never used to get sick...sigh...and woe is me... I always knew things were off, but just figured I was a busy, active female that burned through iron stores, and got tired sometimes due to overdoing it...ummmm, not totally the point I guess. The doctor is surprised that I manage to stay upright through the day. I have started to feel the effects during rides that last more than a couple hours - I am sore, and its not an "I'm just not fit enough" sore, it is a full blown exhausted, muscle aching, face rubbing, deep breathing kinda sore. I feel it on short, hard rides too - and even when walking the dog. I am concerned...



So, I have been working hard to at least get my digestion working well so that I can absorb whatever I may get into me. I am injecting Vit. B12, taking mega doses of both heme and non-heme iron, and trying so hard to eat really, really well. Most importantly in this healing process as well, is reducing stress. I try, I really do. In the big picture, I laugh at myself and think, what on earth do I have to stress about? Apparently there is stuff. Enough stuff to need my attention. And then there's sleep. I am really good about at least 6-7 hrs but more is harder, and a constant quest. I am not a napper... maybe I should learn...Long and short of it is, things aint so perfect right now, but I've caught it, and now will do all I can to reverse it.

I don't eat much meat really. Not sure if this is financial, or because I just can't bring myself to support the commercial meat industry, but I imagine it's a bit of both. I want to eat clean, quality meat, and not being a hunter, this means I have to purchase the good stuff...and it's pricey...so I limit my consumption. However, in light of my recent downfall in the functioning human being department, I am consuming a little more. I really bombed at being totally plant-based. And this is how I stumbled upon my latest dish, and I suppose the long-winded reason for this post.

I have been red meat shopping - and I found a really great buffalo steak the other day. So I brought it home and thought about what to do with it. I have been blending up a fairly new product at the Woolwich Dairy recently, and if you ever see it, please give it a try - it's the Smokehouse Peppercorn (smoked pepper) Chevrai - creamy, smokey, a little bitey, and really delicious. Basically just good fresh chevre mixed with a smoked pepper blend - yum. So I had some in the fridge and wanted to make it work with the buffalo. Mama needs her iron!! And this is what I came up with...

(For one) I took a few handfuls (maybe 200gm) of cremini mushrooms - if I had shiitakes it would have been more awesome - I rough chopped them and sauteed them in a cast iron skillet with a little butter and coconut oil until they browned. I tossed in some fresh rosemary also. Then set it aside. In a separate small pot I simmer a half cup of good balsamic vinegar until it reduced to a nice glaze - mere minutes. I added my mushrooms, and then off the heat, stirred in about 1 ounce of the Smokehouse Peppercorn Chevrai - it melted into heavenly goodness.


A quick sear of the buffalo steak - 2-3 mins. per side in a little coconut oil. Then let it hang out off the heat for 5 mins. as you prepare the above sauce, cuz it really only took 5 mins...Then, top the steak with the shrooms and you will surprise yourself with how delicious the combination is!! Steak, tangy, sweet balsamic made creamy, smokey, earthy, with the chevre and the shrooms and the rosemary - sooooooo effin' good. Knocked the vegetarian right outta me...almost. I fixed a side of sauteed kale with garlic, and a quick roast sweet potato half, and I ate like a queen. I may have even felt some blood pump back into my system ;)
God I hope so...

So there ya go - please try it - you may just love it like I did!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Let's not be judgy, and let's not talk about it; just read...


I find writing cathartic...the fact that I don't do it very often may be a sign that things are going well, or maybe it is just that life get's so busy, that the words just can't come out. Well, today, I acknowledge the latter...
Though I need the catharsis...
For reasons I won't get into today, I am returning to writing for awhile, just because, it makes me feel good. Seems I have had a lot of time on my hands in the past days , to think about heavy stuff, and to be stuck on the sidelines with a nasty bug, forcing me to reflect just a little too much on the goods, and the bads, and the mistakes, and the successes of the past year...sigh...when will I get over it...
But that's not the point of this blog - I felt the urge to tell a little story.

About 20 yrs. ago...yes, ermahgohd, 20 yrs...ago, I had the good fortune of befriending a man who opened my eyes to the idea of "Adventure". (spoiler alert - this is neither romantic, nor xxx adventure - not that kinda blog...) I was working in the kitchen of a local pub, and would go down to the bar for a pint most nights, after my shift ended, to unwind and talk to friends. He was a patron of the bar, a regular really, and he would stand and chat with anyone who would indulge him, telling stories of excursions to wild places, and talking politics, or weather, or anything...I would stand next to him often and listen to his stories. I learned that he had recently returned from a through-hike of the PCT; something I knew nothing of back then; my adventure story had not yet begun, really, not from a wilderness perspective anyway...
I would listen intently as he told me about the post office drops of supplies, the wilderness encounters, the lonliness...and then laugh at the stories of the people he met along the trail, trail-angels that helped him when in need, the beauty of solitude, and the genuine connection one gains from being so self reliant in the wild, counting only on yourself to make through the next leg of your journey. When he described how a trail like the PCT could change you, and how much it made him appreciate all the small blessings in his life, that was when I decided that I wanted to have that Adventure as my own. I wanted someday to hike the PCT also. He tried to show me maps, or guidebooks, but had burned most of them along the way as fuel to keep warm at night. I think it may be time that I order up a set of those maps for myself. I am not saying I have a leaving date planned, I'm just saying, that ever since those fascinating conversations, I have desired the great big outside experiences. I have had the lucky chance to experience a couple great Adventures, but there are so many more, and the PCT is one that has burned brightly since those nights at the pub 20 yrs. ago...I think it's soon approaching...I have since lost touch with my friend at the pub, but I hope that maybe someday he'll read this and get in touch, so we can meet for a pint and discuss both of our past Adventures. I have lots to tell, and still have so many questions...

So I read 'Wild' for about the forth time...as I was sick on the couch, while getting cabin fever, which is just about the best impetus I needed to get my feet moving, so yesterday, I decided to start tackling Nicola Ross' new book, "Caledon Hikes : Loops and Lattes" - Skye and I...well, she was a willing accomplice...picked Route 28 - The Oak Ridges Moraine Loop. It was a 10 km loop through some very familiar territory, but on trails I had never been on. In all my years living in the area, and riding my bike in and around these trails, I have always felt so lucky. I always believed that by riding a mountain bike, we have the ability to really get into the landscape, and explore areas that most people won't ever see if they are stuck on the couch, in a gym, or behind the wheel of a vehicle.I have seen some pretty special stuff out there. Hiking an area takes this ability one step further even. There are places I can't go on my bike, and trails I can't be on. Being passionate about both modalities is the way to go. I got to see parts of my area I never knew were in there! This hike passed through old, old pine growths, along wetlands, along rail trail, a little gravel, some awesome hardwood forest, and across beautiful farmlands - highly recommended, and a really fun mini-adventure in my own back yard. Next up I think I'll head Inglewood way...looking forward to more exploring.

Some pictures from our hike...







And then we woke up this morning and things looked a little different! After a good snowy run, I mounted some Sworks 2.3 Purgatories to my bike, and had a good little spin in the icy white stuff. Guess winter really is here! ( PS - the tires are pretty awesome on the present combo of snow, ice, and mud - total sticktoitness... Happy happy happy :)
Skye seems happy too ;)




Now, to purchase those maps, start plotting, and plan my escape! Although I had also planned on a possible TD again this year, and a Trans America next year, and...oh shit...I need more time!!!!!


Sunday, February 22, 2015

call ins

I am linking to my call ins from 2014 Tour Divide - wanted to make sure I kept them in my memory!!
Cheers to MTBcast.com and Joe Polk :)

http://mtbcast.com/site2/?s=sarah+caylor&x=0&y=0


Friday, December 12, 2014

Just the facts...


TD 2014:Route Mileage:

Day 1: Banff to Sparwood (goal #1 accomplished) - 142 miles
Day 2: Sparwood to Eureka (hypo #1) - 120 miles
Day 3: Eureka to Columbia Falls (weak...cold) - 104 miles
Day 4: Columbia Falls to Seeley Lake (over Richmond Peak in the nick of time) - 132 miles
Day 5: Seeley Lake to Ovando (hypo #2) -  30 miles :(
Day 6: Ovando to Helena (pouring...cold)- 98 miles
Day 7: Helena to B4 Fleecer Ridge (Ryan - beauty freezing camp) - 111 miles
Day 8: B4 Fleecer to Lima (Fleecer woohoo! Goal#2 accomplished - wine:) - 154 mile
Day 9: Lima to Targhee forest (couldn't stop - scary camp) - 137 miles
Day 10: Forest to Togwotee (really low...) - 83 miles
Day 11: Togwotee to Boulder ( mountain fun! great ride) - 129 miles
Day 12: Boulder to GD Basin ( Goal#3 24 hr. day thwarted - road block - desert storm) - 136 miles
Day 13: GD Basin to B4 Aspen Alley (tough, headwinds,beauty views,coyotes,antelope) - 119 miles
Day 14: B4 Aspens to Steamboat ( new saddle!!) - 95 miles
Day 15: Steamboat to Silverthorne ( tunes a-rockin...) - 123 miles
Day 16: Silverthorne to Salida ( I heart Salida!) - 112 miles
Day 17: Salida to Storm King ( 4 hr. Marshall pass OMG...)- 121 miles
Day 18: Storm King to Plutaro ( that damn Union pass on a long weekend - jeeps!!) - 81 miles
Day 19: Plutaro to Abiquiu ( pedal to the metal - Brazos crash) - 142 miles
Day 20: Abiquiu to Cuba (not a cheery day at all - reflection) - 75 miles
Day 21: Cuba to NM desert ( met Kent - good haul) - 165 miles
Day 22 Desert to Beaverhead ( met Paul feeling loowww) - 131 miles
Day 23 Beaverhead to Antelope Wells - Border (Kent and I said WTF and made a run for it)
- 203 miles

Finished in 22 days and 21 hrs.
Whew ... this recall has made me tired...;)



Monday, October 20, 2014

I guess I could start at the beginning...


I have been procrastinating, or wait...more like avoiding...or blocking; maybe just not remembering as I still...yes, still...feel a little PTSD after this summers major effort. However, I have been on an overwhelmingly epic, and unbelievable journey, and I need to write down whatever I can pull out of my memory for fear that it may be lost. I thought I would start from day one of the race, but my memories all roll together in no particular order, so I am afraid they may come out in a jumbled mess; but I will attempt to piece together this epic, 2,745 mile ride into a semblance of order, just for posterity's sake. Maybe the jumbled mess would be more fun though? ;)
I will start on day one eventually, and hopefully, through the course of the next month, manage to get down all 22 days of my ride. Here's hoping. As I try to recall the chain of events, I am continually rerouted by funny anecdotes, or particularly difficult moments, and somehow I lose track of what day it was, or where I was, but please bear with me - someday I will look back on these posts and smile to myself - probably shed a tear or two, as I am as I write this, due to the fact that such a big ride required  a huge gathering of emotions and strengths just to get through...

There is one memory that I have an increasingly hard time forgetting, so I thought I may start here..it actually took place on the last night of my ride, about 22 days in, and 70 miles from the Mexican border - my finish line. I want to forget it, but by some strange phenomenon, situations like mine have become frequent social media fodder - just today I received the following...

Moth Man...click to enjoy and apologies for the profanity.

My situation was much like this - except I screamed a whole lot more and an awful lot louder.
I had been riding already for about 17 hours, and 140 miles, and had decided to make a run for the border alongside a fellow racer, Kent MacDonald. It was pitch black out and a monsoon was raging, but we just wanted to get done...we were on a very sandy, deep and washboarded New Mexican roadway, as the rain came at me horizontally with winds ready to pick me up and carry me back to Banff. Through my headlight, off to the right, I saw a moth flying at me, hitting me at the temple, clinging to my harness. I swatted him away, but to no avail; he kept flapping on my cheek. I tried a couple more times, but he had moved to my ear, and wouldn't leave. I stopped the bike, and dropped it; whipped off my helmet, and kept swatting at him, and then I realised he was no longer on my cheek, but had crawled into my ear - he was not small...
Kent had been riding a bit behind me, and he saw my headlight go flying, and sped up to reach me thinking I had gone down in the sand. By the time he got to me, I was screaming bloody murder and silence of the lambs type moaning ensued. The moth was flapping away inside my head, and with every flutter, I screamed louder as I could feel it working its way down towards what I was sure, was my brain. I went fetal and whimpered as Kent tried to figure some way to help. I shone my light in my ear and he could see absolutely nothing - it was too far in. In a leap of faith, and thank you to Leatherman, good fortune, Kent reached into his frame bag, and pulled out a multitool with little pliers - as I screamed "getitoutgetitoutgetitout!!!" he deftly stuck the pliers in my ear, held his breath, said a few hail Mary's, and pulled out a moth the size of Manhattan, I swear it was...and it flew away with nary a thank you...
Kent is a military psychologist...he knew to ride away at this point to let me collect my thoughts, and good thing he did, because I started an all out, top of my lungs, rant at the sky and whomsoever may reside therein whether I believed or not...I had endured so many unbelievable hurdles during this race, and I will get into those later, but why the hell a moth in my ear at the end of my very last day????What kind of a test was this? What kind of a message was I to take from this, and could I not have just received a note, or a vision in a dream instead????? WTF???? (apparently I am still questioning..) I am working on the answer, but until I get it, I am wearing earmuffs...seriously.


and without further adieu....

The Tour Divide 2014: and my take on what went down, day by day, mile by mile...
The Beginning -



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tour interview!

I had the chance recently to do a little interview for the Caledon Cycling Club, about my experience this year on the Tour Divide - have a read, starting on Page 6 ...thanks Leigh!

See page six :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tour Divide 2014





I swear I am slowly trying to compile my story of this epic race!! I have almost finished day #1 :) but, until then, I thank Tanner Morgan for this awesome account, in pictures, of his journey!! Brought back sooooooooo many memories ...;)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Just over a month to go..!



I guess you could say I am once again all consumed with preparations...fear, trepidation, excitement,and constant what-ifs that go along with a second attempt at something you only thought you might do once in your life if the stars aligned correctly...the above video is a nice snap shot of some of the things the Tour Divide will offer, but it also misses a lot of the real dirt - literally and metaphorically...It was not too long ago for me to remember what I am signing up for, and I am excited for sure, but I do also have a healthy dose of nervousness. What if I don't get there a second time around? I can tell you that in the last almost two years, not a day has gone by where I haven't thought about this race and what went wrong, and the need to finish it finally. It's a pretty big, hairy monkey on my back, and it's time he hopped off...
So, on we go, once again into the great beyond on a bike.
I hope you'll follow me on this journey...right down to the god-damned border damnit...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

You gotta try this...

Last night, after my posting of mediocre thoughts, I got a craving...
No sugar in the house on purpose does not mean that I have died inside...just that I am continually trying to clean it up - so thank god I had been at a friends earlier that afternoon, and she let me have the recipe for her favourite whole food chocolates - these things take 3 mins. to make 15 to cool, and are out of this world...so, I made some...and ate some...and today I at a couple more...oh my god, you gotta try this -

COCONUT OIL CHOCOLATES:
1/2 cup melted raw coconut oil
1/4 cup raw cocoa
2 Tb. raw honey
2 Tb. maca powder (opt.)
1/4 cup raw coconut (opt.)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
( the original recipe also called for 1/2 cup nut butter - I avoided this in favour of the coconut ...I think toasted nuts, or ginger, or mint would be great here too...)

So, mix it all up, and spoon into Tbsp. sized drops - I used an ice cube tray...not so pretty - she uses a silicone mini muffin cup - perfect.

Cool 15-20 mins. in da freezer, then mange...wicked, and so good for you!! Antioxidants, adrenal adaptogens, minerals and enzymes, great fats...you know it...


Monday, March 31, 2014

Photo dump and loose ends...

Not a lot on the books tonight, but thought I might do a little dump of some recent photo-goings-ons, and a blerb or two...bear with me , this will be a little dry -


 Winter continues to hold it's grip on us - despite the last couple of gorgeous days where I have been allowed the chance to get out on the bike in beautiful sunshine!! The photo above is from my cousin, up at the cottage on the ice last Friday night - amazing fire, and good friends - awesome...



 The trails around here are slowly clearing up, but for the most part, things are still pretty deep. Not bad for running, but riding is pretty sketchy...unless you can get in there at the crack of dawn before the melt...skiing is done...(good news is I finally get to say 'melt' without anger...)

Somehow, in the magical way that the Interwebs work, my Uncle stumbled upon this blog not so long ago. He had some comments, but mostly just the observation that I don't write at all about wine these days. True, it is something I have neglected for lack of a solid enough bank account to taste all of the things I need to taste and keep up to date on, and it has been so long since I was in the biz, but I suppose in honour of family, I could rekindle my passion for purple prose. I wish I had a good bottle to write about, but that will have to wait. I have been toying around in the 10-19 buck range, and while there are some good bargains available, not a lot knocks my socks off, so I will hunt around for a new fun something to write about this week. The bottle pictured below was one I had high hopes for a couple weeks back, but it disappointed. Maybe it was a lack of proper accompaniment, but since my dinners these days more often than not consist of a bowl of popcorn, or just not dinner, the bottle failed to stand on it's own.

Some shots of cheese, as I am happily plodding away at GBC in the Cheese program, and still loving it - now if I had had some Curado Manchego with the above bottle, maybe I would have thought more of it...hmmm...better rethink...
My favorite school times are when we all get together to 'study' and end up eating too much amazing cheese, and drinking just a bit of wine to cut the fat :) I hope this part doesn't stop ... We have just completed the second course of New World Cheese, and I look forward to the Affinage and Cave Aged courses coming up soon...word to the wise - if you EVER, read EVER come across a Jasper Hill Harbison wheel, do not hesitate, just put down your money , grab it, and run like a kid with a new scooter at Xmas - your welcome...and please invite me :)




Riding, running and spinning as much as I can, and feel pretty good, but I can tell the very early season quivers of a breaking point still in my legs on the longer tougher climbs. I have a lot of work to do still - hopefully I can keep the momentum going...
Below is a photo of the Hilton Falls Currie Tract entrance map - I borrowed a fat bike one Friday and had an awesome ride in there, so good in fact that I told all my friends, fat and skinnies alike, to join for the next morning - of course we all got there, it got warm, and skinny tires were impossible to use - the fatties still had a great time for the rest of us, it was a three hour hike a bike...still exercise I suppose :)



 And finally, I said goodbye to my car...errr, rather it said goodbye to me, and died on the way to the dealership to get a new one - just didn't want to go without a fight...you will be missed old friend...many memories; many roadtrips...bon voyage:)


 That's all really...totally dry like I said. So there...

And just a couple weeks until H2I - who's in??

Saturday, February 22, 2014

follow up or some such nonsense...

Winter 2013/14...wow
It has been said, by more than myself, that this winter is knocking the stuffing out of us...
And it is,
But it also has it's beauty, and as it drags on and on, I am choosing to find this beauty anywhere I can get it. This winter of all winters, I have decided that I really hate the indoor trainer. Full stop. In years past, I have been able to happily churn out the miles while watching something or another on the tube, or by joining friends for group sweatfests...but this year is different. Do I still spin? Yes. Do I do it as much? No. Do I enjoy it? Barely. Soooo...I have decided, that running, outdoor riding, snowshoeing, and skiing are where it's at this year.
Back to the "beauty"...it really is amazing out in the woods these days with the incredible amount of snow and ice - true winter some say. The beauty is that I am really loving running again. So, I'll go with it...setting my sights on a few spring races just to see how much...I blame, or is that thank, a friend at work for this new motivation...
The other "beauty" about this winter has been the Olympics. People have mixed feelings about the Games, and I can see both sides,but I also cannot deny the incredible talent we have here in our country, and the need for us to get behind our athletes, and support them in their pursuits, regardless of how we feel politically about the places the events are stationed.

I rarely, if ever, talk about my time in Barcelona, but every couple years, when the Olympics, summer or winter,roll in to town (or TV set), I become a melty pot of weeping Patriotic goo as I recall the pride and emotion that goes along with being a part of representing your country on the Olympic stage. For me to deny supporting athletes that have dreamed about that moment for all of their athletic lives would be a shame. It is an incredible moment in time.

Most Games come rife with Sociopolitical upheaval. At least that we, in other parts of the World, finally become aware of. I recall riding through the woods in the mountains around our venue, and finding soldiers with machine guns drawn hiding in make-shift, leaf covered dug outs, simply "keeping guard" of the perimeter of the area. My friends who were in Seoul recall handing their Canadian uniforms to another nation's team, just so that team could go into town for some sight seeing without being shot at...
When the Olympics come to town, all of a sudden, the World's eyes are on the host nation, and we see, where we may have turned a blind eye before, all the dirty under garments that hang on the lines of said nation. Some folks , those that keep a finger on all of the ills in the world, may have been aware of the many issues and violations surrounding this year's host nation, but I would be willing to wager that 90% of our population was unaware to the depth of the problems. To the severity of the actions of the Governments involved, and to the violations carried out, not only on behalf of hosting the games, but more importantly, as simply day to day business. This is what the Olympics bring to the table - suddenly issues that we may never have felt a hair of a care for, are issues that we are hearing about, feeling something about, and, oh my god, doing something about.
Yes, I agree that the Olympics have become a money machine. Many violations occur simply as a byproduct of their execution. And so the World now gets a glimpse and a clue....
It's what we choose to do with our new eyes that counts. Time will tell...I can only hope for the best, but at least now, I see a little deeper, and have the ability to respond.

I will now say with pride, Go Canada Go!!! To all the athletes that have trained so hard, and put all that they are, into these past years of preparation, past couple of weeks of competition,, and continuing on in to this weekend - you are Amazing and hold my highest admiration and support - keep on killing it out there!!!!

And now I'm going for a run...

Oh...and here's a cute picture of my dog...
Cuz why not...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jumping back in the fray...

No excuses for my absence, just a recipe...
After tiring of spending too much coin on trail snacks lately, I came up with this - now they come to work with me, on the trail with me, and into ma belly anytime I need a little  pick me up...
I call them Trail Balls...

6-9 dates
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw almonds
!/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cu shaved raw coconut meat
1/4 cup cocoa powder (the good kind...)
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (or your choice; or omit...)
2 big spoons of natural peanut or almond or cashew or pumpkin seed butter
2 generous tablespoons of raw honey
a little almond milk just to help bring it all together

Place all but the milk in a processor and whirl around until finely choped and doughy...adding milk as needed to bring it together...
Roll into tablespoon sized balls and keep airtight for snacking as needed....mmmmmmmmmmmmm.



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Class Three: The Cheesery Continues...

Reblochon de Savoie AOC, La Sauvagine, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Zacharie Cloutier, Bouq' Emissaire...



Enough with the cryptic cheesery I say...I apologize for the last two posts if anyone was reading...and wondering -
I am back at college once again! To explain, I have started the course to becoming a Professional Fromager. I am at George Brown College, once again, back at the old alma mater, the place where I learned to cook so many, many, years ago. The place has changed so much, yet much has remained the same, and I love being back there again, feeling the excitement and potential that I used to feel when I first decided I wanted to be a Chef...wait, and then again...a Sommelier...and then now, a Fromager...I seem to just love the school really...

The previous posts, and the start of this one are the cheeses we have been tasting and analyzing - I need to jot them down here just so I don't forget when the dog eats my homework. Purely for my own log...not blog...but still permanent.
They have all, for the most part, been amazing, and it's pretty cool to approach cheese tasting as I would wine tasting - analyzing textures, colours, aroma, and taste - a true sensory exploration of something so simple, but complex in it's variety, depth, preparation, development, and evolution of character.

*Ahem*...yes, right, enough with the cheesery again; got lost in the moment...
So, what has been going on besides le fromage??
Well, the skiis have come out. Ya...just now...and the snowshoes...yup. I have woken to a winter's barf of snow upon the forest. Ick...but, I will embrace it! Sadly, the trainer has also come out, and yes, I have begrudgingly used it - helloooo Coach Troy...you are looking pretty fly in those large, high waisted shorts - where have you been all summer?? So very good to see you again...

Tomorrow marks the beginning of training for this late winter's races, and I fear much time will be spent with Coaches Troy, Carmichael, Wallenfells, and the ilk...with a good dose of outdoor fun just to keep sane. I have mounted the studded tires and am ready to go...bring it.

I have had a really good little break from structured training lately - not that I ever really structure anything really, but it has been good to just cruise around, run around, and play with no particular thought in mind other than just playing - I have increased my run time, and love it - I have ridden a lot, and a little, and all over the place - and sometimes not at all. Things at work have been soooo busy that my body has been kinda trashed, so it has been good to be able to ignore movement sometimes and not feel like someone who ignores their bike. Thank god for the dog, or I might just become a part of my couch....I do look forward to getting back into a routine though, but I am going to be sure to listen to the little voice in my head that tells me sometimes to just relax - this is not rocket science, it's just life and fitness, and balance - so love it!!

I got the chance to really play recently, as my friend Sian held her annual Fall 50 - a yearly tradition to mark her birthday, and the birthday's of several friends in the month, and it entails covering 50Km, for 50 yrs. on the planet, using several modes of transportation, with tomfoolery thrown in as necessary.


This year,we started in Caledon East on MTBs, and took road, trail, and some rail-trail, into Inglewood, through trail to Belfountain for the singing of our National Anthem at the cable trail, and a stop at the Higher Ground in Belfountain for a warm up. (It was very cold out - beverages most welcome - thank you Goose!!)


Birthday Girl Coach LD and Goose at the Higher Ground



Putting the 16 tooth cog on for the Grange climb was a baaaaad choice ... ouch.


Heading down the Cable Trail...we lost our bikes somewhere??

Then, back on the bikes, we bombed Forks of the Credit road (my eyeballs froze open...) before turning south and back to Inglewood to ditch the bikes, and pick up the canoes. A quick portage to the bridge, we put in and paddled down the Credit River to Cheltenham General Store. By now it was perfect, calm sunshine, and the paddling was beauty - a real treat for me in late fall :) We pulled up at the store, stashed the canoes behind, had a quick visit, and then we set off on foot to run trail back to Inglewood. I think we stopped at least four, maybe five times, at different apple trees on the way, each one offering unique and delicious fruit - I have no idea the names of the apples, but a couple of them blew me away - so sweet, and real, and free!!! But, on the flip side, running and eating a plethora of apples make for a very sore tummy...note to self...burp.
Arriving in Inglewood (again), we got back on the bikes, and hit the trails back to Caledon East, and a great birthday celebration, complete with a hot tub, tonnes of good food and wine, songs, poems, and cheers! A really, really great day - I am lucky to have such fun friends, and I hope we keep doing this until we are 90! or so....;)


Gearing up for the paddle- thanks to Knobless for the use of his place as a TA...


Oh Captain, my Captain...


Goose out front scouting...


I need selfie lessons apparently...Bent leading me down river...


A much deserved soak at the end...Big finale!

I am sad to see fall disappear so quickly...but, I am looking forward to some winter, and to some winter escapes to south-lands, and to the planning of the new year ahead...what will I tackle first?? hmmmm...much much planning to do :)
And, just in case you were thinking that I have stopped cooking all together in favour of just eating cheese, well, let me assure you it is not so! The cool thing about not cooking for a living, is that I now can experiment and cook for myself with a renewed passion. Finally, I am getting to a point where I actually make dinner. Not just popcorn, but actual dinner. Crazy, I know....

Henceforth and therewith, a recipe...slainte!...
This one is great for today's winter deluge, and I think I'll put it on before I set out for a ski...ya, I said it, in November...a ski...

Spicy Slow Cooker Pumpkin and Wild Mushrooms with Brown Rice:

In a skillet - add some olive oil, and sautee diced onion, carrot and celery. Add some crushed garlic and dried thyme leaves. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Throw in some torn up shiitakes, and sliced cremini mushrooms; and 2 cups of long grain brown rice.
Cook a little, then add 28 oz. tomatoes, diced with juice, and 2 cups of veggie stock.
Throw it all in a slow cooker on low, and add 4 cups of peeled, cubed pumpkin (or butternut squash).
Cook on low for 7 hrs., or on high for 4.
Then, stir in a couple chipotle peppers...one if you are shy...and a pinch of generic chile powder. and a pinch of oregano and cumin. Cook 20 mins. more on high.

Serve in a big bowl with chopped cilantro, avocado, and shredded or crumbled cheese like monterey jack, or queso fresco...yum :)





Saturday, November 16, 2013

Class Two

Langres AOC, Meunster Gerome AOC, Beaufort AOC, Jarlesberg, Gouda Brokkelkaas (5yr.), Overjarigekaas...