Vacation is often a time for learning something new! When I’m in class I’m focusing on preparing for each day and shopping for those days on the weekend, so time off, when I feel rested, is perfect for treating what I do for a living as an enjoyable hobby again. That’s the way I started in the baking and pastry field, so it feels great to dig into that relaxed enthusiastic energy.
A couple of years ago my husband and I went to Costa Rica and while there we went on a coffee plantation tour where they were also growing cocoa trees!! So exciting! I had wanted to see one in real life for so long, a dream come true. We also saw banana trees, papaya trees and pineapples growing. We took a one day tour into Nicaragua as well and saw fields of sugar cane. It was great to see how these ingredients grow. Last year was another dream come true vacation to Paris and London, one week in each place… not nearly enough! I took a couple of baking classes while in Paris, croissants and baguettes. I wanted to see what their techniques were.
This world of baking is so full of many different techniques that can be used to achieve the same results, it is always helpful to keep learning in this ever changing world and see how others do things. It’s fun too!! This year is staycation time! I started growing some herbs and edible flowers on my deck. Edible flowers seem to be all the rage right now, so I wanted to learn more about which flowers can be eaten and how they taste. I’m growing brocade marigolds, calendula, nasturtiums and pansies. Be cautious and make sure the pack of seeds you buy says that flower is edible because some flowers are toxic. For herbs I’m growing Apple mint and peppermint, lemon balm, Rosemary, lavender and basil. They have all sprouted!!! Yay!!! It’s my first time container gardening, so it’s a thrill when you know it’s working! I will post more pictures once everybody has bloomed. I get up in the morning and go and check on them and say hi, give them a drink while I have my tea. It’s a relaxing way to start the day.
I went to Victoria to visit my mom and we went to a couple of bread bakeries that were highly recommended, Fol Epi and Wildfire. Bought a loaf at each place too! Spectacular! It’s a great world of bread out there, whole wheat sourdough, rye, sourdough baguettes ….These places were milling their own flour and baking in brick ovens. My next week off I will be a tourist in downtown Vancouver. Stay tuned! Time to go back to work!