This was a big month! I made posting here a priority, got a new job, moved across the province, quarantined and then got out of quarantine (getting out of quarantine is one of the best moments).
I baked this pretty cake. I’m really wanting to master some of my family’s traditional recipes. I don’t know her very well because she is still in Northern Ireland and we have lived in North America, but my Auntie Irene is supposedly a legendary maker of Victoria Sponge Cakes. She does a chocolate and orange one, but I wanted to start with a classic one. This recipe was from the Ireland edition of Bake from Scratch magazine and it turned out so fantastic. It is also a super easy cake to make. 10/10.
My mom also made these spicy soda bread buns out of the same magazine and they were also super delicious. I photocopied a lot of recipes out of the magazine and am super excited to try them all.
This is what soda bread is supposed to look like. This is the last time my mom made it when I was at home. My attempt last week did NOT turn out like this. Turns out baking SODA is an essential ingredient to SODA bread. I used baking powder by mistake. It made a cracker and made it super slow to cook.
Also, in case anyone comes at me, my family is from Northern Ireland. This is gridle soda bread which is how we make it. The puffy oven soda bread that you may be more familiar with is characteristic of the South.
I was really proud of the way this looked. I have not figured out how to have this set up in my new place because this tower is now back with my desk and not as my vanity. But I really want to recreate this.
I had to go to Ottawa to return something before I moved. I adore Oh-el-la Café in Calabogie. It is so cute on the inside and then they have the most adorable weekend outdoor tent set up. The food is always delicious, the family is so nice, and the interior is adorable. Also that peanut butter tart was so delicious.
I was also really impressed with the screening protocol at Bayshore Mall. I saw a lot of people just walk by it, but it was a good plan.
I also was super excited to see Ottawa Valley Coffee in Renfrew open and I had to stop before I moved away. I have seen the storefront start to come together the past few times I was home and Renfrew has needed a coffee shop that isn’t Tim Hortons for so long. It is so exciting to see it. And I love that they are open late Friday and Saturday night and have their liquor license so you could grab a drink and chill with friends post-pandemic. It would be such a chill spot to hang.
I figured out that using thick hiking socks to pack alcohol bottles was a brilliant idea. And it was, none of them broke and I like to pack using things that I need or paper (i.e. not using bubble wrap or plastic) because if you can wrap all your breakables in clothes/textiles then you don’t need a lot of other things to pack and spend a lot of money on packing materials and you don’t have to get rid of all that stuff when you arrive. So socks.
I vacuumed out my car before I packed it up. It was very satisfying.
This is how my cat looked while I was running up and down the stairs to pack up my car.
Meanwhile how I looked.
I only took pictures on day 1 of the drive, but the skies up here still impress me.
I made bangers, champ, and cabbage for St. Paddy’s Day dinner. Yes, Americans, I promise you it is Paddy not Patty. Bangers are sausages, champ is mashed potatoes with lots of butter and milk, green onions, salt, and pepper, cabbage is cabbage. If anyone has any leftover cabbage suggestions I’m open.
My quarantine outing was going to the car wash. I think I got drive thru Tim Hortons after just to not have to cook a meal.
I got started on hanging things. I almost always use command velcro hanging strips and the portrait hanging hooks, so when I didn’t have enough I had to stop. I know they aren’t reusable like nails, but it is nice to not have a whole bunch of holes to fill in when you move out or repaint. They aren’t perfect, sometimes they peel off paint, but they are pretty good!
I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine! I’m super excited! Also, I wouldn’t have been eligible without my new job so I am super grateful for that. My arm was very sore for a couple days but other than that I had no side-effects. Thank you science!
I put on eyeliner and earrings for virtual initiation on Saturday and I was feeling myself. I also adore these earrings from Kiel James Patrick.
Jugged milk, if you don’t live in Ontario this probably doesn’t mean anything to you. But in the rest of the province the milk comes in a big bag with 3 smaller bags inside. Each of the smaller bags is a little over a litre of milk. But I grew up in Tennessee where if we bought milk (we normally took it straight from the bulk tank) it came in a gallon jug. This is Manitoba milk and it comes in these jugs. Which shouldn’t have been exciting to see but kind of was?
So far it has still be quite cold up here, but the Canadian Shield is definitely much more obvious up here than it is down south and sometimes just pops up to remind you where you are.
How was your month?