Category Archives: whirl-wind weekends

Hip Hop, Bingo, Sushi and Roasted Chicken…OH MY!

What do Hip Hop, Bingo, Sushi and Roasted Chicken and good friends have in common?  At first glance, you might say that’s a random list of things that don’t relate at all…but this weekend they all played a role in helping me have a really FUN WEEKEND!  After last weekend of my 2 day self inflicted-pj-hibernation that had activities of tv watching, sleeping, knitting and reading…this weekend I was ready to get out and have some fun with friends.  It was a jammed packed day  and was packed with lots of fun social stuff.

Hip Hop: 

Blue Print for Life was in Pang last week doing workshops with the kids ages 10-13.  The really cool thing was that the older teens were young leaders for the week…and helped mentor the younger teens in the various activities.

“Blue Print For Life believes that people make changes in their lives based on the relationships they have with others and how they see themselves fitting into the world. We are dedicated to working creatively with youth around the world to empower them with a sense of control and hope in their lives.”

On Friday night, there was a hip-hop showcase to show the community their moves.  It was really an awesome show!  Here’s a shot of the dancers at the end of the performance.

It started off with a little bit of throat singing, and then beat-boxing… It was so cool-it made me wonder, how do people realize that they can make sounds like that? How does one discover that they are a talented beat-boxer? I suppose they just try. After they pulled up the Mayor and someone else to try their hand at DJing…which was pretty funny… (they were using a drum box thing, and ‘scratching’ records? (is that what it is called?)  There were 5 group performances where the youth leaders created routines for their groups to dance… pretty neat to see the kids dancing and having fun.  Then the 4 leaders from Blue Print for life danced to introduce themselves…which turned into a big hip-hop circle of random teens challenging each other in dance…and taking a turn showing off moves!  I took a few photos, but mainly watched below are some of the ones I took!

Clockwise starting at the top left photo: Making a pryamid in a group's dance, the Mayor tries his hand at 'scratching' records and then laughs at himself, and two beat-box performers...

Dancing up a storm at any age! Stephen (Buddha) Leafloor shows he still has moves...and can keep up with the teens on the floor!

My thanks to the youth of Pangnirtung for an awesome show… can’t wait to see their next performance!

Bingo:

After the show I headed over to Nic,Shannon and Baby S’s house..to get ready to play RADIO Bingo!  Radio Bingo is played at home, you pick up your game cards, head home…turn on the radio and play!  When you get a Bingo you call the radio…and then head down later to collect your prize. One of the daycares in town was having a ‘super’ bingo…as a fundraiser.  It cost $100 for 10 games of Bingo…there were prizes of $200, $300, $750 and the grand prize was $10,000!  It was super fun, but intense.  Radio Bingo is very SERIOUS business…. the pace was a bit faster than I’m use to.  Nic and I were madly crossing off numbers, Shannon was helping point out numbers we missed.  Baby S was laughing like a manaic- clearly already a Bingo Fan (or was it just because he was way over tired?) It was such a fun night! Especially with some of the random ‘bingo’ number jokes… “B9…yes, the tumour was B9.”

Sushi:

Saturday night brought more fun at my house.  I invited over a few friends to make sushi.  Making sushi was Number 7 on my List of 32 Things to do when I’m 32.  It was such a fun night, and making sushi was so much easier than I thought.

Some of the supplies… Markus and Delia lent me their sushi cookbook, “Perfect Sushi”.  I’m totally putting it on a list of things to get myself…such good sushi recipes AND pictures.

Markus was fishing for the day…and brought back FRESH Arctic Char for us to use in our rolls.

Mmmm fresh Arctic Char…. 

Mary and I cut up veggies… cucumber, red and orange peppers, shaved some carrot and cooked some egg (Sadly there were no avocados at the Northern or Coop!). I had cooked the rice-using the Sushi Cookbook instructions…(no photos of those parts!). Then it was time to start rolling… it took a little bit to get knack of making it happen.  But basically you add rice (leaving a strip at the top and bottom)…then layer up as much ‘insides’ as you want…make your own combos of veggies…and you can sprinkle some sesame seeds inside the roll before you roll it up!

It took me a bit to figure out how to use the matt to roll it all up… but after a few instructions, and watching the other ‘seasoned’ sushi rollers sitting around my table… I was off.  A photo of my FIRST sushi ROLL!

The sushi rolls started piling up…. then we cut them… and ended up with TWO plates stacked FULL of SUSHI!  Markus brought Miso Soup mix… which was an awesome addition to the meal.

I didn’t take a photo of dessert–but I made baked apples that Tara made for me when I was in Kug.  They were as good as I remembered! As for more sushi parties, I just need to get a few more ‘supplies’ so I can make some more.  Which might be an issue of trying to figure out how to get some more sushi rice, nori, miso soup mix up here in Nunavut.  I think I need to get a set of chop sticks, and small bowls to mix wasabi and soya sauce. Thanks Mary and Markus for teaching me how to make sushi… I hope you both had as much fun as I did! Number 7 on the list is DONE!

Roasted Chicken: 

If that wasn’t already a perfect evening… tonight I had cooked my first EVER roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and canned corn.  Nic, Shannon and Baby S came over to help me eat it!  I didn’t take any photos..but it was incredibly yummy. Thanks for joining me for dinner–it’s nice to eat with someone once and awhile!

I suppose this is where I make a wee bit of confession…as much as I protest about being a ‘bad’ cook, and total disaster in the kitchen, soon I’m not going to be able to say these things about myself–I’m actually gaining some mad cooking skills.  But sometimes I don’t follow the instructions, and decide to walk on the wild side…and wing it!  This weekend that worked for me, but I must admit sometimes it doesn’t!

Dance Parties in the Kitchen…

A lot of people know I hate to cook…but well baking is a total different matter!  It’s something I LOVE to do!!!  I have a lot of memories of baking with my gramma and mum when I was young…My gramma makes the best Choc-Chip Cookies (until her cookie factory closed-she still has the sign at the cottage but rarely makes them!).  I remember helping bake birthday cakes, cookies and other goodies…then there were a few years I helped iced special cakes for my cousins!  (don’t look too closely at the cake I iced today, because I think my skills at 12years old are better than they are now at 31!)…Baking always interested me more than the cooking thing in the kitchen…but I have learned to cook a few dishes, because sadly you can’t just live on baked goodies!

When I talked about living in the north and returning…a lot of people’s first question is what do you do way up there for fun? Well… one fun way of getting through the cold and dark nights of the winter is to have dinner parties, potlucks, game nights etc!  I’m off to a friend’s dinner party…and am brining dessert!   So this morning I woke up fairly early for me on a Saturday morning (around 10:30am)…I made some breakfast.  Turned on my iPod…and started to prepare to bake…cookies and a cake!

The Christmas after moving into my first apartment in Toronto my God-daughter gave me for Christmas one year the “Better Homes and Gardens- special edition cookbook”.  That September I had walked in Toronto’s “Weekend to End Breast Cancer” (they have changed the name now) it was a 60km walk in 2 days!  This cookbook supported Breast Cancer research, so I think that’s why I ended up with it!  Honestly it’s been one of the BEST gifts I’ve ever gotten…it’s the BEST cookbook I’ve ever had!  Has the best recipes…for a lot of my cakes, cookies.  If I want to venture into cooking main courses it has anything you’d need to know about cooking meats and veggies!  I’d so recommend getting this cookbook to ANYONE starting out in their own house!

That’s was on of the first things I pulled out of the cupboards…I found the recipes for today….got my Kitchen Aid mixer set up… then I started on the mixing and baking….

Then I looked over to my kitchen sink… if you know me you know I HATE doing dishes!  I think the root of this dislike comes from the eczema I had as a kid (and still prone to outbreaks) added to the fact that my hands don’t really like the dish gloves either(and often would react to them, still do)… makes me NOT really wanting to do dishes EVER!  But when you live alone… it has to be done, well at least once and awhile!  So I headed over to the sink and did my dishes*…

* not all of the dishes were from today… most were from earlier this past week!

As I was doing the dishes I was putting cookies in and out of the oven… I must say my house now smells YUMMY!

I had so many cookies… I was even able to share with my neighbours and their kids!

As I was writing the last of the daylight has come…it got dark about 2:30pm today!  I’m glad I got up early and had my dance party in the kitchen with some baking on the side…just so I could enjoy the light!  Hope you are having a fantastic Saturday… I can’t wait to join friends tonight and have some cake!

Climbing Mt. Duval…

When I lived in Pang in 2009 I climbed Mt. Duval three times…(you can read/see photos from those times  HERE, HERE and HERE!) Yesterday, I climbed it again with Nick, Morena and her dad.  It was a great climb, glad I did it in the end because the view from the top is worth it!   I’m glad that Morena’s dad came this week and not any later in the season, because there’s definitely snow at the top of Duval right now and it’s just going to get deeper!

My feet near the top of Mt. Duval… and a view of Mt. Duval from the bottom!

Starting on our way up… because of the temperature…the tundra was pretty solid…which made it a bit easier to walk on!

Shots from along the way… yesterday was Day 1 of my photography challenge–so took a few ‘self’ portraits on the way up the mountain…(I’ll blog about those on Monday!) Now I just need to decide which one I like the best…

And then we hit the snow… at this point it wasn’t that deep, later in patches it was up to our knees! Close to the top..we started to see patches of BLUE skies coming through the clouds! One of the things I realized that if you need a break in climbing up–you can always ‘stop’ to take a photo… but then again, because I hung back at the back of our group… I did manage to get some fun shots of everyone as they climbed up! It took us 3 hours..but we all finally reached the top!  The view was SO WORTH it!! A bit cloudy, but you there was still an awesome view–of Pang to the left and the Pass to the right!  We warmed up with some Hot Chocolate, snacks–took a few photos and then decided to hightail it down again–because it was darn cold up there!
Morena took the next photo of me, thanks!   (the one below was another ‘self-portrait’…) …some frosty, snow bits on the side of a rock… We made it down the mountain in an hour and half…it always quicker on the way down eh? We did head down a different way… and got to navigate through some rocks… that was fun!

Morena thanks for inviting me to climb.. I had a blast!

Journey to the Other Side…

It’s been a bit of a crazy week and I have been meaning to blog about my amazing Sunday–but dealing with my “personal effects” shipment that arrived on Monday from Winnipeg–and the huge mess it was… put blogging to the back burner for the week!  I am still sorting stuff out–but I’m ok. I’m not really wanting to talk about it publicly here–if you want to know more details just send me an email!

Last Sunday I had a fantastic evening…I was invited by a friend to join her on a bit of an adventure.  I travelled across the fiord by boat and then hiked up to the base of the rocks.  We were picking Qungulik.  The english equivalent is mountain sorrel.   I made it to the TOP and back down—walking down was harder than walking up!

This spot is known as “seagull mountain”…because there are TONS of seagulls at the top of the rock! We were going to hike to where the dark green is just at the base of the rock face…

Hiking, one of those things that you can do at your own pace… I like to take my time, and take some photos on the way up!

It was fun to see Pang from on the other side of the fiord…it was the first time I was over here… (and YES, Jen–those SPOTS are still there no matter WHAT I do..can’t get rid of them… I think you WILL have to come up HERE to help me get rid of them! so just ignore them in the next few photos!) 

I’m always thankful when I can pass my camera to friends..and then can capture moments like this for me!  Thanks Susan… 🙂 

Looking at Mt. Duval… 

Once we reached the top–we started to pick… and eat!

Mmmmm Qungulik–it’s so tasty.. it’s a sour taste..but it’s yummy.  I’ve been having it in salads and last night put it in my tacos–instead of lettuce–it was good! 

…we were all picking down the hill a bit.. and then came some excitement the kids who had moved further up the hill–found HUGE plants… so we quickly went up and got some of those!  

As well as ‘picking’…we also had fun–laughing, telling stories, just enjoying the day–and EVEN hiding amongst the plants!

Thanks to Susan for taking the photos of me! 🙂 She has a great photo eye!

These girls picked a lot–but then just were hanging out on the rock… 

Just before we headed down to the bottom of the hill and back to the boat–we stopped to take a ‘group’ shot… it was a bit hard to figure out–think about a slant of a hill–setting up my camera with the timer… and balancing it on a backpack–then rushing down to the group–without tripping!  for the most part it worked pretty darn good! 🙂 

Getting organized to jump back in the boat!  (this was the one time I got nervous–getting INTO it off the rocks…I kept seeing myself slipping and then ending up going in for a swim!) 

Once on the boat…we started to drift away from the shore.. and shared some dinner together… of Muktuk(whale skin and blubber), bannock, qungulik and tea! It was the perfect end to a fantastic night… 

I’m so glad I had such an awesome Sunday…looking back, it made the craziness of Monday a bit more bearable.  I think one of the things I’ve learned the most from living up here is you have to take the GOOD with the BAD and continue on.  Things never go as you expect them to go, and you just have to roll with it.  You just deal with what you have to deal with, and move on. Doing that might take a few phone calls to loved ones in the south, and I’m thankful for my mum who spent most of Monday night on and off the phone with me.  So here’s to more amazing Sundays…

Workout, Northern Style!

Today I spent some time with my friend Rosemary and two of her girls! We went to church together, and then had lunch at her house.  I’m always amazed at how fast children grow, part of me I guess in denial about my own aging.  No matter what I do to stop it I am faced with the reality that kids DO grow up… and Joyce and Arlene are no exception to that rule… and have grown tons in the last 18months!  (Especially since the day I baked cookies with them… you can read about that HERE.)

After lunch Rosemary asked me if I’d like to have some exercise.  I said, “Sure, are we going for a walk…?” and she said, “Nope, wait and see…” Joyce went to get our shoes… and then Rosemary grabbed a sheet and put it on the floor and pulled out some seal skins she is preparing for kamik making. (Kamiks are seal skin boots…) Here is a picture of Rosemary’s Kamiks… the one on the Left is made from Seal and the one on the right is made from Caribou.  Her Grandma made them for her.  They are GORGEOUS!!

 

There are many steps in preparing skins…Rosemary told me that first you have to scrape all the blubber and fat off… then stretch the skins and dry them..  Then you have to work the skins so that they become more flexible and less stiff…that’s when the workout began…Rosemary asked me to step on the skin, turning it under my feet… in doing so it was making the skin less stiff, and ready for the next step in the process.

 Disclaimer: (I am no expert in the process of preparing seal skins. Within my descriptions… I might be missing or have mixed up steps. I’m just telling you the story of MY experience!)

Arlene…is such a cutie…and loves to ‘ham’ it up for the camera! But also is a great seal skin stomper too…

Once and awhile, you need to stop your ‘stomping’ and then shake out the skins… and put them back down so you can begin the process again!  (I’m not sure why my face looks so upset in the photo on the right–this was really fun…but also started a good ‘sweat’ happening!)

Two sets of feet, are better than one! 

Rosemary…checked out her two furs to see if they were ready for the next step… she had started the ‘stomping’ earlier on in the week.  They were done!  So she unstitched them and set them aside for the next step, which I think is to wash them–then the skins have to go through a few more steps.. I think they have to be stretched/scraped more and something else!  You can see the difference in the way Rosemary’s bundle looks on the left, and the bundle I was working with on the right—Thanks for sharing with me how to prepare skins, I can’t wait to learn more!   It was a great ‘workout’ and wonderful visit… we will have to do this again soon!!