Cooking More

By , December 8, 2019 7:22 pm

I have always liked cooking; however, I haven’t always followed through on my passion. I come from a culinary family; my grandmother (Bubi Lil) was a baker, baking teacher and cooking and baking book author. That said, she wasn’t exactly the most experimental cook. I’m not sure what she would make of me being vegan. My mom is an amazing cook – she’s very willing to experiment and always trying to find new ways to feed her vegan daughter and step-daughter.

This year I vowed – as I always do – that I will cook more and rely on frozen and delivered meals less. So far I’m doing well, I’m happy to report! Val has even followed in my path. One thing I’ve stuck to very well is reducing my pasta consumption – I totally OD’d on pasta last year, truth be told, especially when I was stressed out.

A staple for me has become roasting vegetables on Sunday: carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potato, onion, and whatever else is on hand (if we happened to have grocery shopped appropriately). We’ve been having our roasted vegetables with quinoa and an occasional tahini/lemon/maple sauce. I’m a plain eater so I’ll eat the vegetables and quinoa by themselves. Val may not exactly be happy with that but he doesn’t say so directly.

Over the last few weeks I have gone back to an old standby: bulgur. Though I’m trying to reduce my wheat consumption (and bulgur is just little bits of wheat), I am magnetically attracted to the simple ease of cooking bulgur – it’s even easier than quinoa. One of my favourite recipes of all time is bulgur with carrots and cabbage. It couldn’t be easier – bulgur, chopped carrots, sliced cabbage (red is prettier than green in combination with the carrots), tamari or soy sauce and veg stock. It’s done in 15 minutes. I like soft food so I tend to over cook it. It’s supposed to be garnished with parsley and peanuts but I never plan ahead so I just eat it as is.

Another staple has been mushroom ginger soup. It’s from a recipe I picked up in one of those grocery-store magazines promoting their products. Well, Longo’s did a good job on this one.

Cook leeks and assorted mushrooms – cremini, shiitake, oyster – in a bit of canola oil for about 10 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, soy sauce and miso. Add vegetable stock and cook for about 10 minutes. Add spinach and remove from the heat. At the end garnish with enoki mushrooms and sliced green onions. Recently I’ve been adding black rice ramen noodles (which I found at the health food store in Peterborough). They thicken it up massively.

Makes a lot, easy to reheat. Yummy. Did I mention that I love mushrooms beyond words?

Note: good miso (AKA more expensive) is worth it. The brand I got from The Big Carrot has the most amazing nutty scent. I used to use a brand that came out of a and was relatively cheap. Needless to say, I won’t be going back to it.

Val uses the instant pot a lot. I am afraid of this appliance!!! Lately, he has been making his vegan pot roast (a stew with potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, parsnips, etc.) accompanied by vegan corn bread. OMG, so good. The secret ingredient is pomegranate molasses. Sweet yet tangy.

On a parting note, the best vegan snack is fennel. I love seeing people’s reaction to it when I bring it to school and eat it raw – they think I’m eating an onion.





While the Mushrooms Cook

By , November 24, 2019 2:26 pm

This Sunday morning I’ve been doing the following:

  1. mark remaining part of Rome test
  2. send invitations to presenters for February PD day conference in case this is not allowed during our job action
  3. create a Taoism and Confucianism PPT for Monday
  4. figure out who the new bird at the peanut feeder is: turns out to be a red-bellied woodpecker – his or her beak is so long it’s difficult to get a prize
  5. eat vegan pancakes made by Val (his were non-vegan and much lighter)
  6. catch up on the last Grand Prix figure skating event of the season – NHK in Japan
  7. email Toronto Star food writer Karon Liu about a book he discussed in a column last week
  8. finally, chop and roast the veggies for this week


And I was never a morning person! I don’t drink coffee.

Vegan Meal Prep

By , November 10, 2019 2:23 pm

Making roasted vegetables each weekend is my new thing. The process really shows off how much work vegans have to do to eat healthy, not including growing the food, of course.

Peel the carrots.

Chop the colourful carrots.

Mushrooms are easy. Just throw them in a bowl.

Don’t forgot to preheat the oven!

Play with your vegetables for some fun:)

Meanwhile, press the tofu with an improvised tofu teapot press.

“Finish” the press job.

More vegetables to go! Take the sweet potatoes for a mood-lighting photo because they’re so pretty.

Mix then salt and pepper the veggies.

Same for the tofu cubes.

Finally, ready for the oven.

Do the dishes while you wait for the veggies to cook.

Remove from the oven 40 minutes later.

Check if they’re done.

Behold the beauty the oven does and try not to eat them all this minute.

Make yourself a small bowl to eat now and of course take a pic before the light disappears.

Pack up the veggies for the week – can’t resist one more beauty shot.

Grand Prix Skating Under Way

By , October 27, 2019 8:48 am

In addition to giraffes, dogs, cats and horses, I also LOVE figure skating. Here are my favourites for this season, so far.

The Broadway theme in ice dance (my personal most loved discipline) is bringing out a lot of interesting routines. Though Papadakis and Cizeron (current world champions from France) don’t always have great rhythm dances, in my opinion, I absolutely love their 80s workout to ‘Fame.’ Their speed is incredible.

I like Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier’s ‘Mack and Mabel’. This part of the competition isn’t always as strong for them so I love their attack on it this year.

Anything by the new Canadian dance team of Laurence Fournier Beaudry and Nikolaj Sorensen! Their edges are beautiful and smooth.

Now, the judges seem to have a lot of messages for American champs Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue. In the past I have agreed with them – I quite disliked last year’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ free dance. However, I like their free dance choice for this year: ‘A Star Is Born.’ It really suits Zach’s skating. But once again their work is being picked apart. They were just defeated at Skate Canada by Gilles and Poirier.


Though ice dance is my thing, I do follow the other disciplines. My biggest complaint about pairs and singles is that so many skaters don’t seem to listen to their music. So I really like the skaters who do:

Everything Sataoko Miyahara does is a work of art.

Rika Kihira is effortlessly musical, in a floating sort of way.

Nathan Chen, men’s world champion, is showing his musical side in conjunction with those big quad jumps.

The new Canadian pair of Lubov Ilyushechkina and Charlie Bilodeau has a lovely lightness and musicality to their skating. They skate like they actually enjoy what they do.

American Jason Brown (who trains at the Cricket Club where I used to skate when I was young) has a heartfelt rendition of ‘Schindler’s List.’

Lastly, Piper and Paul have set themselves a really difficult task skating to Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now.’ The version they put together is incredibly difficult to skate to because it’s somewhat dissonant, but they have somehow made it a masterpiece.


By , October 14, 2019 12:37 pm

Fall is Creeping In = Red

By , September 29, 2019 2:27 pm

There are bits of red here and there at the cottage.


Unfortunately, this Economist cover for Sept. 21-27, has an unmistakably red section, too, representing how much we have worsened temperature creep since the 1990s. Even The Economist admits: “It [climate change] is not a problem that can be put off for a few decades. It is here and now. … Its losses are already there and often mourned – on drab landscapes where the glaciers have died and on reefs bleached of their coral colours. Delay means that mankind will suffer more harm and face a vastly more costly scramble to make up for lost time.”

Giraffe Time

By , September 24, 2019 9:03 pm

We all know I love giraffes. So does this woman: Dr. Anne Innis Dagg was the world’s first giraffe biologist. She studied giraffes in the wild before Jane Goodall studied chimps in the wild.

I just read an article about her in Canadian Geographic and found her to be an amazing person, scientist and conservationist. Val tried to get us tickets to see the movie about her, The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, but they were rightly sold out.

Our beloved giraffes are at-risk. We should all care.

And look who she has at her home!–the-woman-who-loves-giraffes-at-princess-cinema-nov-27-to-dec-2/


Welcome Back – Try This

By , September 2, 2019 2:58 pm

Hello new students. I’m Ms. Gluskin, your World History teacher.

Ms. G in Hagersville, Ontario on her recent bike trip.

I like history, horses (I am a wannabe dressage rider), cats (I have two), bike-riding (only in the summer), and reading (mostly non-fiction). I am married to a wonderful guy named Val. I do not have a smartphone. Yes, you read that correctly.

This is Shadow. There are plenty of pictures of my other cat, Richard, on this blog so I won’t put one here.

I usually try to think of something interesting for students to do to introduce themselves to me rather than the standard questionnaire.

This year I’m going to try a new activity. First, I’d like you to pick a website or YouTube video related to history (a time or place you’re interested in). Then, I’d like you to mull over why you think this site or video is (or is not) reliable.

Be prepared to discuss it tomorrow.

That’s it. See you in class tomorrow.

Ms. G





Bike Trip – Last Stop – Welland Canal

By , August 25, 2019 2:10 pm

Val arranged an amazing bike trip for us again this summer. We just got back after six days of riding, starting in Cambridge and ending in St. Catharines.

Since the last day is freshest in my mind, I’ll start with it: the Welland Canal. Both Val and I (but more Val) love large industrial things. For instance, we enjoy going to the lift lock in Peterborough. Well, it’s mini compared to the gigantic locks in the Welland Canal which I have never seen. Val, he’s an old hat at it. We spent at least an hour, maybe more, watching a ship – the Algoma Equinox – enter into¬† Lock 7 at Thorold, rise as the lock filled, and exit on its way to Thunder Bay to pick up grain. It was awesome to see.

All photos by Val Dodge, with permission.

Richard … a Different Kind of Green-Eyed Monster

By , August 18, 2019 2:33 pm

As summer whittles away, I try to appreciate the time I’ve had with Richard and Shadow. While Shadow is not photogenic and doesn’t actually like interference in her affairs, Richard is only too happy to look up at the camera with his big green eyes.


Panorama Theme by Themocracy