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Weekend links and photos

I couldn’t toggle my schedule this week enough to get a second post published, but I felt good about giving one of my most personal stories a bit more time in the spotlight.

Thank you all for the warm (and tender) response to my post on returning home and salmon spawning. Your comments were incredibly touching and showed me I’m not alone in feeling that tug of homesickness after so many years.

Many of you are prepping for Thanksgiving this week and you are in my thoughts. The questions are already rolling in, and I am delighted to answer them, so please don’t be shy. If it were me, I’d make the simplest turkey ever, perfect mashed potatoes, these brussels sprouts and this butternut squash gratin. Done!

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Apple & Fennel Stuffed Salmon with Cider Sauce | Simple Bites

On returning home {Apple & Fennel Stuffed Salmon with Cider Sauce}

I crammed my hands in the pockets of my jeans to keep them warm as I followed my brother along a narrow path that paralleled a creek.

It was mid-October and the chill in the air confirmed that fall was well advanced in Northern British Columbia. The woods were vibrant with reds and oranges, one last festival of colour before Winter would wave her wand and transform the scene into a world of white.

Josh and I walked over mossy logs and slippery leaves until the brambles of wild roses and clumps of willows parted to show the stream. The water tumbled white, then quieted into a narrow creek bed lined with small, smooth stones.

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apple chips

Weekend links and photos

This weekend I moving back and forth between my kitchen and my desk, trying to get ahead in both areas. Somehow a day can hold cake frosting, book writing, photo taking, potty training, dinner making and house cleaning, and the list goes on.

This was supposed to be a quiet month. So much for that. At least life is exciting. Busy, but exciting! Here’s what I loved reading this week:

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Why I mulch my garden in the fall.

Why I mulch my garden in the late fall

Clara and I have been making it a priority to get outside every day in the afternoons, even though it now requires a warm jacket and boots. That burst of fresh air is a necessary jolt after a busy morning and a reminder to slow down, breathe, and tune out the noise for a bit.

She skips around the yard, chasing the hens or petting the cats. Just yesterday I found her standing by the now-empty carrot patch, softly singing a little song. “I’m singing to the seeds.” she said, when I curiously asked her what she was doing. Somehow she remembered my suggestion from this past spring, when she was impatient for her carrots to grow.

While Clara plays (or sings), I prep the place for the coming winter. The garden has been my main focus this week as I know a freeze could happen any time.

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Secrets to the best mashed potatoes | Simple Bites #eatseasonalholiday

Secrets to the best mashed potatoes {Eat Seasonal Holiday Edition}

Mashed potatoes are premium comfort food, that is a given, but they don’t always get the right treatment to ensure they are fluffy and well seasoned. This post can help.

Back when I put myself through culinary school, money was tight. I frequently relied on samples from class to get me through a day; which was easily feasible. We had opportunity to eat most everything we prepared and you know how I dislike waste! I must have been particularly hungry the morning we were learning how to make the best mashed potatoes (yes, that was actually a topic covered in a class) because I can remember every little detail of the process.

It seemed a torturous wait before we could serve ourselves from the enormous pan of steaming spuds, but the wait was well worth it. Creamy potatoes, skillfully seasoned, without a lump to be seen. It was the dead of winter. I had been up since 5 am in order to make it to class on time. Yet the memory of spooning up mashed potatoes while perched on an overturned milk crate remains one of my happiest ones from culinary school.

Today I’ll share my teacher’s secret to fluffy mashed potatoes. Then stick around, because the #EatSeasonal group of girls are throwing a virtual potluck for the holidays.

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