Magic Cottage Creations

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July 27, 2013

Play Your Heart Out

By Maryanna Gabriel

Suddenly there is music in the streets here with summer in full swing. People are sitting and playing in the sunshine. At least four pianos have made their way in front of banks, businesses, ferry terminals on Salt Spring Island. They are hand painted pianos with the words  "Play Your Heart Out". What fun. Can't think of a better way to enjoy summer. Rumours are rife as to who is behind it but it is said that an artist, Luke Jerram, has brought hundreds of pianos to cities in varying parts of the world. If it is him, it has brought such a smile.

July 20, 2013

Cookery As Passion

By Maryanna Gabriel

When I dine, a cook seems to me a divine being
who, from deep within his kitchen, rules the human race.
Those below consider him a minister of heaven,
because his kitchen is a church in which the ovens are his alter.
Marc- Antoine Desaugiers (1772-1827) Gastronomic poet


In the completing of the new edition of Memento, my cookbook, dealing with the printer has taken almost two months. Patience is the hallmark of this work and I am taxed. I have recently heard a radio show about studies indicating that food prepared in anger had negative physiological affect and food prepared with caring had positive affect. It makes perfect sense. In my own travels in life I have understood that plain food served with a sense of fun and joy is easily ingested. I have certainly literally thrown away food prepared with resentment. Intuitively we sense these things. I am often asked when I entertain, do I always eat this way? Somehow it seems important to conjure  food with love for it is how I nurture myself and how I nurture others. Cookery as a passion seems logical. It eases me to be reading now about French cookery. "The Year I Lived In Provence" by Peter Mayle teems with observations of a region, possibly a nation, where this holds true and where kindred spirits may be found. A wonderful meal can be transcendent relegating all of the pettiness that life sometimes offers as minor in the greater scheme.

July 13, 2013

Lost Wealth

Last week whilst walking in Lighthouse Park near Horseshoe Bay, I saw a sign that named all of the species of flora and fauna that had disappeared from the park. Broom was one of them. The sign was entitled "Lost
Wealth". I happen to really enjoy the bright yellow cheer of broom every spring and I have a huge bush growing on the road. It makes me feel happy. Very well meaning people however, have populated our semi-rural roads with signs decrying its very presence and every year folks hack away at it, leaving huge brown piles. Between the signs and the piles of dead shrubberies littering the roadsides, I am at a loss as to how this is environmental conscientiousness. In our parks also, a certain weed is tagged with 3 feet high poles and tape, making not the weed the problem, but the people's interpretation and solution. A perfectly amazing natural landscape is populated with annoying human detritus. I don't get it. It's a mess here. Even going shopping, we can't use plastic bags, vorboten, I come home at times with huge thick paper bags, which to my mind makes matters even worse. People are very militant here about all of this, so clear they are so very correct. Yet in another historical time and context, these issues may be viewed quite differently. It hasn't quite come to me having to guard my shrubbery but sometimes I wonder. It could be the last stand.