This weekend felt both like a dream of wild colours and new places & like the adventuring reality I have been longing for. On Saturday morning Sebastian and I took the bus from Montreal to Ottawa. Amid the hazy greyness and drizzling skies, we filled ourselves with hot drinks and headed across the river towards Gatineau.
The feeling of being somewhere completely new and unknown is something I love. Seeing everything for the first time is an experience that is so unique and really only happens once in each place. Your eyes drink everything in while simultaneously knowing you are missing so much. It almost isn't about that though; not about seeing everything and knowing it on a map, but about the feeling you get when you walk through the streets and immerse yourself as best you can.
We stayed at a beautiful airbnb that was a 5 minute walk from Gatineau Park. Our hosts were a lovely couple - both retired school teachers - who told us stories from their adventures and gave us maps and trails to follow into the park. On that first day, still damp from the rain and sleepily excited, we ventured out on foot into the very tip of the park. As we took our first few steps onto the trail, the clouds swept across the sky revealing steely blue overhead and a bright, warming sun.
Walking through the park that first day was the beginning of an adventure. We found a secluded lake and walked about an hour and a half in before turning around to get some sleep for the night.
The next day we took the free shuttle into the park and up to Pink Lake. It was breathtaking. We walked along the lake trail and then slowly made our way back through the park, opting for the long and meandering journey on foot, rather than take the shuttle back into town.
I always find it hard to capture natural beauty in photographs. Even though the trip was specifically for my photography project, I found myself constantly struggling to translate any of what I was experiencing into the images I was making. So often, I find my camera pointing down to the earth. Somehow, capturing the landscape view with the horizon line, lake, and trees doesn't do any of it justice. The solid earth underfoot and small details of the lake are what I tend to gravitate towards, and through the lens of my camera they are otherworldly.
Monday found me journeying into the park alone. Sebastian set out to Ottawa to get some work done in a cafe, so I packed up my bag with apples and energy bars and hit the trails. This time, I took the shuttle further into the park, heading towards the Mackenzie King Estate area. With my phone turned off and all music devices stored away in my bag, I just let my feet take me where they wanted to go.
Alone on the trails that day, I really registered the joy that these experiences bring to me. I am the happiest when I am out adventuring, exploring new places, and most importantly walking forever onwards among the trees and pathways. I've decided that in May 2017 I want to take a walking trip through Gatineau Park. I would start in Gatineau near Hull, and make my way through the park on foot until I reached Wakefield. There is so much more planning to come, and details to be worked out, but knowing that I have this adventure ahead of me can sustain my wandering heart for another few months.
Well. Thank you if you're still here reading this, you are a star <3
The photos to come were all taken on my iPhone. The quality isn't the best, but I really wanted to share something while I wait for my film to be developed at the lab. Hopefully I can share the finished project with you all here in the coming months. Lots of love and wild adventuring to you all! xo
Finally, this soup.
I won't keep you here long, but while I was away I kept dreaming of warm, filling soups and stews. This is a simple and nourishing recipe. The richness of the coconut milk mingles with the spices and substantial potato to bring a flavourful pot full of goodness.
I love full flavours in almost every dish, and this certainly brings its fair share to the table. The turmeric shines through the coconut milk and potatoes to give this soup an earthy and grounded feel to it. There is a slight heat from the chili powder balanced nicely by the creamy texture of the soup, and a burst of fruity pomegranate seeds for variance and light. It all comes together in about 30 minutes and is really perfect for the coming autumn chill.
I am so swept up in exploration right now! I want to hear all about what you are doing! Where have you been, what do you dream of doing? Let's all share our stories around this warming pot of spiced, creamy soup <3
turmeric spiced coconut milk soup w/ potato + spinach
- 2 large russet potatoes, diced
- 1 cup packed spinach
- 1 large onion, julienned
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp dried turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (400 ml)
- 4 cups water
- Optional: Pomegranate seeds and turmeric to serve
Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Once the pot is heated add in the onions and cook until wilted and translucent, about 10 minutes (I like to do this slowly so that the onions caramelize a bit).
Next, add in the garlic and spices (except the salt) and stir to form a dry paste. Cook this for another 2 minutes or so and then add in the coconut milk and salt and stir to combine.
Add in the 4 cups of water as well as the diced potatoes and spinach. Bring to a boil and then reduce to an active simmer and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and a little mushy.
Either using an immersion or upright blender, purée the soup until smooth. Serve hot dusted with additional turmeric powder and sprinkled with a generous handful of pomegranate seeds. Should keep in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for about a month.