I recently had a pro-d event catered by Salishan Catering and everyone really enjoyed the amazing bannock. I knew I wanted to make bannock this spring with several groups of students so I thought I should give it a go at home first. There are several sources online with good information about the history of bannock (both aboriginal and Scottish origins) and the slightly different ways of making it. I researched it HERE and HERE. I also found a great little video from a cafe in the Okanagan HERE and hope to visit there this summer when we make our trip up there.
Last summer when we went camping, I prepared a bannock mix to take with us and we made bannock on sticks over our campfire. I wanted a stove top version and in the end, I used the recipe from a children's book.
3 cups flour
dash of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons lard or bacon drippings (I used vegetable shortening)
1/2 - 3/4 cup water (enough to make a stiff dough)
1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, cutting in shortening.
2. Make a little well and pour the water in (I used 3/4 cup).
3. Mix into a dough and turn out onto counter and knead well.
Instead of flattening it out and putting it into the pan whole, I cut it into small pieces and then flattened each piece out to about the size of my palm.
4. Heat a small amount of oil in the bottom of a frying pan and place pieces of bannock in te hot oil, turning when first side is golden brown and then cook until both sides are golden. Alternatevely, cook over a campfire in a frying pan or bake in the oven at 350 degrees.
5. Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.
For one batch, as I took it out of the pan, I tapped each piece of bannock to let any excess oil drip off and then placed it a bowl with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, tossing to coat. I had bannock this way for the first time at an event at the UBC Longhouse and knew the boys would like it this way!
The bannock can be served plain, with jam or maple syrup or cut open and filled with savoury fillings or topped with smoked salmon and a bit of sour cream and herbs.
Next time I make this recipe, I think I will add more water and maybe some milk instead and a bit more salt. I was really happy with how the bannock turned out though!
The weather is amazing and it definitely feels like spring around here. I loved being able to walk out into the backyard in flipflops and cut some daffodils to bring inside for Easter. Everything in the garden is either bursting or about to burst into bloom!
We had a quiet Easter around here but the boys still wanted to dye a few eggs and we got them a few sweet treats to enjoy. And I just had to make some bunny cookies!
I went for a long walk with friends and the boys longboarded into Steveston, coming across a vintage car gathering which they loved. We had a birthday and Easter dinner out at Blue Canoe with Neil's dad and brother which was a lovely way to cap a gorgeous day in Steveston!
After disembarking from our cruise on Sunday, we picked up our rental car and drove north to Orlando. What we didn't expect was flashing signs indicating "severe weather ahead - take shelter" which we later found out was a tornado warning. The rain and wind was absolutely crazy.
After getting checked into our resort in Kissimmee and waiting for the weather to clear, we met up with the Loats and drove into Orlando to visit Downtown Disney and have dinner. It was so crowded but we had a fun night.
Monday morning we got up early to get to Universal's Islands of Adventure for opening. We headed straight for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I am still in disbelief that I was there - this has been on my bucket list of places to go. Many times throughout the morning I gasped and squealed. It was so amazing (and SO crowded!!). The rides were amazing and we drank butterbeer, ate Hagrid's rock cakes and ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks as well as bought some treats at Honeydukes.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the other parts of the park and enjoying some rides (and getting a little wet).
On Tuesday we had a sleep-in and then did some outlet shopping before enjoying the pool and lounge area at the resort. On Wednesday we drove back down to Miami, stopping in Lake Worth for lunch at Havana Hideout, a Triple D location, for lunch.
After checking in at our hotel, we drove towards the Florida Everglades and stopped to do an airboat tour. It was an amazing experience. We learned so much about the ecosystem and its plants and animals and saw a few alligators and some alligator babies along the way. Adam even held a baby alligator at the end of the tour.
We drove into Miami Beach to have dinner at the 11 Street Diner, another Triple D location.
We have a list of places in Florida we would still like to explore, so I guess we'll have to plan another trip!
We had a great trip, very full of new places and experiences and lots of fun and new things learned along the way. It was one of those trips that you need a few days to recover from ;)
For our spring break this year, we flew to Miami and took a Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean. With all the disasters Carnival has faced recently, we were a little worried but it was an amazing trip. I can't say enough about how wonderful all the staff was on the cruise and the amazing events and opportunities that were provided. We travelled with the Loat family. We have done a small trip with them before to Great Wolf Lodge and spent some days together in Waikiki but this was our first major trip together. We commented several times during the trip how great our kids got along the whole time and for me, it was nice having some female travel companions for a change! We saw the best and worst of each other (there were some moments...) and there will be many stories to tell and special memories to hold on to.
We flew all day Saturday (through San Francisco and Houston) and stayed in Miami Saturday night before heading to the Carnival Glory on Sunday afternoon. We sailed off as the sun set over Miami.
Monday on the ship was a "day at sea" and the boys tried out the waterslide, the arcade and Colin played volleyball. We had our first formal dinner in the dining room.
On Tuesday, we had our first day in port at Cozumel. We walked around the town doing some shopping and got a great recommendation for an authentic Mexican lunch. We took a taxi to Paradise Beach for the afternoon and the kids all had fun on the apparatus and the pool available there.
On Wednesday, we arrived in Costa Maya, which is a little town created for cruise ships. We took an excursion to the Chacchoban Ruins which was one of the highlights of the trip for me. These are recently discovered Mayan ruins (1973) which are not fully excavated and have only been open to the public since 2002. Our guide was amazing and we all learned so much about Mayan culture and history.
On Thursday, we sailed into the Island of Roatan in Honduras. This was my favourite port of the trip. We booked an excursion to Tabyana beach which was really family friendly (unlike the Mexican beaches we experienced). The bus ride there took us along the coast of the island and through towns and residential areas. We got a real sense of what life was like there. The beach was quiet and stunningly beautiful. The snorkelling was the best I have ever experienced. The variety of coral and sea fans as well as the fish was outstanding. There were even baby sting rays swimming in the sandy areas of the beach. It was very very hot but there was lots of shade under the palms trees and lemonade to keep us cool. I didn't want to leave and this is somewhere I would go back to.
On Friday we had our last stop in a port at Grand Cayman. For this port, we had to "tender" in (take little shuttle boats) to the dock. The Loats went off to a stingray excursion and we headed to Royal Palms beach (which is part of the famous Seven-Mile Beach) where we swam and snorkelled and enjoyed the quiet and sun. We walked back along the beach and took a detour through an empty lot where we encountered several iguanas! We had lunch in Georgetown and did a little shopping before heading back to the ship and getting ready for another formal dinner.
Saturday was another "day at sea" and was a pretty low key day. We did attend a magic seminar and learned three tricks from the ship's magician, Elton. He was so great with our kids throughout the whole trip. We got up early Sunday to disembark and say good-bye to the Carnival Glory!
On the ship, we really enjoyed the nightly family-friendly comedy shows, music and dance shows, the magic shows (often at our table in the dining room), the many buffets and dining experiences and the towel animals left in our room each evening.
Lots of stories, lots of memories. Such a great, full trip - but that was just part one!
One of the things I do once I choose my one little word for the year is to do a search on Etsy for word-related items. It gives me some crafty inspiration and often some new insight into my word. This year, I saw this piece of wood art and although I could have whipped one up for myself, I am trying to restrain myself from craftiness until my major project is done. So I ordered it and was happy to see that it was from a Canadian artist. I have it near my workspace at home and it is a good reminder to me that we can choose our attitudes and choose how we view the word.
So sometimes when there is a lot of drama going on or I am feeling overwhelmed or down on myself, I have to train my brain to make a choice. To find the joy around me or from within and choose that instead.