Sunday, 11 February 2018

Cooking: Popcorn!

I learned how to pop popcorn this week! I'm sure this will be super obvious to a lot of people but I've always bought the pre-bagged stuff or used an air popper.

I used the recipe from the first website that popped up with I googled "stovetop popcorn" and it worked like a charm. Find it here. But it's pretty straightforward.

Add oil.
Add three tester kernels.
When they pop, remove from heat and add the rest of the kernels.
Return to heat and shake pot occasionally.
Take off heat when the popping has stopped.
Add butter and salt and enjoy.

I think our cast iron dutch oven helped keep everything from burning. I just kept shaking it all the time and took it off the heat when the popping slowed down/stopped. I kept opening the cover to check on it and then popcorn flew everywhere.

Generic popping corn.
Coated the bottom of the pan and added three tester kernels.
Magic is happening inside.
Popped! 
Tonight I tried the paper bag/microwave method. I looked up how to do it and the seriouseats.com article made me paranoid the bag was going to catch on fire.

I was paranoid it would burn so I stopped it quite early so there were a lot of kernels unpopped. But it was very quick and easy and just as tasty.

Cover kernels with a bit of oil and salt (I probably used too much oil).
Put in bag.
Microwave until right before the bag catches on fire (or the popping stops)
Add butter and salt and eat!

Popped and didn't catch on fire!
Yum! 

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Maui!

We had an amazing vacation but wow am I tired. Isaiah bounced back from the flights quickly but I'm still dragging 4 days later. I don't think I picked up anything on the flights, my recovery time is just slower. We had a night delay in Montreal on the way home (always pack extra medication!) but other than that, our flights were pretty smooth.

Maui was fantastic. I wanted to go to see the whales when they migrate there for the winter and we saw whales everywhere (well, in the ocean...). We camped at a private campground on the beach and could sit and watch the whales swim by and breach in the distance. We also went on a whale watching boat tour to get us a bit closer and rented out a kayak from our campground two different days to paddle around in the ocean.

Sunrise on our whale watching tour!
Whales! 
Kayaking out to find the whales! (We saw a few turtles on our way out)
The whales swam by us, I just didn't take any pictures of them.

We also did non-whale activities like snorkelling at various beaches (the resort beaches were always manicured so nice), driving up to see the Haleakala crater, and drove the Road to Hana. I did okay with the elevation jump from sea level to 3055m. Not awesome, I wasn't ready to run around, but okay. We went to a slightly lower elevation and did a little hike into see the crater closer and I found that hard. Isaiah was panting a bit on the hike too though so I didn't feel quite as bad (although he was carrying the book bag). I found I was more tired once we got back to our campground than I had been other days. I don't know if it was the effort my lungs made at the elevation, or hiking in the sun, or the intense switchback drive up and down the mountain but it tired me out. After a night of rest, I felt better the next day.
Haleakala Crater, the clouds pour into the crater as they build throughout the day. 
Kaanapali beach before everyone at the resorts woke up.
Greenery on the drive to Hana
I was paranoid I would get dehydrated like I did in Cuba because we were virtually outside for 10 days straight (I don't think I've ever consecutively tented that long before) but I managed to stay hydrated the entire time! Having Gatorade powder to put in my afternoon water made a difference. It jumped my sugars up a bit but I decided that having high sugars was better than being dehydrated.

I was also paranoid about burning but between sunscreen, wearing a spf shirt while snorkelling, and sitting in the shade at the beach, we both managed not to burn. We stayed off the beaches that didn't provide shade (although there was just one that we found with zero trees) and because we were there early, we were usually able to snag the best shade spot. We saw quite a few people who were quite lobster-y and I'm happy I didn't have to deal with that while sleeping in a tent.
Rainbow over the showers.
Our tent site (we bought the chairs at Target when we arrived)
One of the many Maui roosters (Not just a campground problem. We saw a hen crossing the road with her brood in Kahului)
One of the many beautiful sunrises at the campground.
One of the many beautiful sunsets.
Overall, it was marvelous vacation. Whales galore, turtles to find while snorkelling, beautiful sunsets, white sandy beaches down the road (the campground was at a black sand beach and I learned quickly that black sand is a finer grain of sand and gets in everything. We accidentally brought back half of the beach in our tent and on our sandals), and rainbows at every corner!

A great get away from what I heard was freezing rain most of the time we were gone!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

I'm on yet another vacation! Isaiah and I are off on a big vacation together for the first time in years. Hopefully after 20 hours travelling through airports, we still like each other enough to share a tent. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Cancer check up

My cancer has not returned! My appointment on Thursday was very speedy and the doctor seemed ready to push me to 6 months visits but decided on one more at 4 months just to round out the year. She agreed with a sigh to fill out the camp paperwork for me although it's hard to say when she'll actually get it done. 

I don't think I've talked about the cancer camp before, there are many camps designed for cancer survivors but this one, Camp Koru, is specifically for young adults who have had a cancer diagnosis and are in remission. They offer are surfing/paddle boarding camps in Maui and ski camps in Oregon. 

It's "a camp to help cancer survivors diagnosed between 18-39 to find healing and renewal through outdoor experiences in the ocean and mountains." - quote taken from their website. I've gone back and forth if I am the right person for this camp, I already spend a lot of time outside and I feel as though I've healed emotionally from whatever trauma the cancer caused. Although then I have one slightly lightheaded spell and immediately think the cancer is back and start picturing every possible scenario. So I do think it would be nice to meet some people my own age who have gone through a similar experience. Maybe they can tell me how to get over the fear of a recurrence. And if nothing else, it's a week in Maui learning how to surf! Finger's crossed to getting in!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

I remembered yesterday that I had 100% forgotten about blogging on Sunday. Oops. David and Cindy were here for the weekend and we played a lot of games and went skating a few times, at Springhill's indoor and outdoor arena. It was cold skating outside but I wore enough that by the end I was stripping off layers (like one of my three scarves and one of my two pairs of mittens).
Zooming down one side of the rink!
Mine and David's attempt at an artsy sunset pic.
I've been trying to get outside to enjoy the little bit of snow we have before it all disappears in the rain this weekend. I haven't made it downhill skiing yet but my cross country skis are being put to good use. Plus Isaiah has a bit of a cold so the more time I spend outside, the less chance I have getting sneezed on and catching the bug.

Following random four wheeler tracks to see where they lead!
I'm off to Halifax for a hemotology appointment. I predict everything will be fine based on the amount of energy I have but nothing is ever certain. I'm hoping the doctor will fill out my paperwork so I can try to go to a camp for "young adult cancer survivors" in April. I'm not sure if I'm still "young adult" at 31 but according to the rules, you just have to have had cancer before you hit 30. I may as well try!