Friday, 30 September 2011

Century houses & churches in Ile D’Orléans (Province of Québec)

More images on Century houses & churches in Ile D’Orléans:

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Century houses in Ile D’Orléans (Province of Québec)

I went to Ile D’Orléans for leisure last week and while driving I noticed that almost every second house was for sale. I became curious of what was going on, so when I stopped for lunch in that area I started talking with the local and asked the question: "Why are there so many houses for sale?". It was with great sadness that I figured out that most of the sellers are elderly people who own this properties form generation to generation and now their kids are grown up and not interested in continuing the family business. They went and got educated somewhere else and built their lives away from their home town. Because these elderly owners physically can't take care of their farming any more and as the government wants people who live there to continue farming, now they are not allowed to sell only their house or only their land; it has to be a package deal. So, it makes it even more difficult for them to sell it and it's sad to see that there's not much of a demand for it as people want to live in a city nowadays. We all want the leisurely life and not willing to commit to such a big venture. We have just become very lazy people and we'd rather prefer to go and buy our food in the huge supermarket instead of growing it and putting all the hard work and patience into it.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

My daily walk

These pictures were taken beginning of September, 2011 during my daily walk. It's the Ottawa River.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

My daily walk

Look what I found during one of my daily walks! It's alkekengi, which is commonly called Chinese Lantern, or Bladder Cherry.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Another Exotic Fruit - Jackfruit

The Jackfruit is the biggest fruit in the world. It was brought from India and often confused with Dorian (the smelly one), but it's not. Though it does have slightly unpleasant smell, the taste outweighs the drawback. The yellowish soft and flaky sweet pulp is eaten raw, boiled or fried. The large white seeds are also good roasted tasting something like chestnuts.
The tree grows to a height of 50 ft. Its fruits are very unusual and they weight up to 70 pounds each and are up to 3 ft long. They are borne all along the trunk of the tree.

Friday, 23 September 2011

How to deal with drastic changes?

January this year I had a ski accident and it completely changed my life. Now, that all those months I had time to reflect on myself and my life, I learnt that the biggest thing to deal with in life is a drastic change – when life puts you in a situation that screws all your plans and all your so-called routine and you have to start from scratch.
It is so difficult mentally and physically. It’s almost like learning to walk all again – you have to find a way to reinvent your life and learn everything anew.
For me it was literally learning to walk all again as I had my injury on my leg. So as before I would never think of how I would walk, it would just happen naturally, subconsciously; now I had to really think and figure out which muscle I use for which movement and which one goes first.
For those who experience it now, I would advice to

  • Just stay calm and wait for the diagnosis of the problem before jumping to conclusions.
  • You really have to go and ask help from all your family members, relatives and friends. Tell everyone what happened and never be afraid of asking for assistance.
  • Also, do not expect your close friends and family to be there for you. You will never know who will show up. You think your best friend will do, perhaps he/she won’t. Nevertheless somebody will for sure.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Another Exotic Fruit - Breadnut

In my last post I was talking about breadfruit and I compared it to breadnut as they look very similar. Now I will elaborate more on the breadnut.
Breadnut fruit is slightly different from the breadfruit. It has seeds inside and they are the size of a cherry. The fresh seeds can be cooked and eaten or can be set out to dry in the sun to roast and eaten later.

Stewed nut tastes like mashed potato, roasted it tastes like chocolate or coffee and can be prepared in numerous other dishes. The meat itself is very similar to the breadfruit, but it cannot be easily mashed because of the seeds inside.
So, this fruit is not for the flesh, rather it's for the seeds. I will be posting more on this in future because it's a fruit that is not known much and its nutrient value is still a mystery and being researched by scientists.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Another Exotic Fruit - Breadfruit

It took me awhile to really spot breadfruit tree and differentiate it from the breadnut tree. And the only way to see the difference is by picking the fruit or looking at the tree closely.
This is how the breadfruit fruit looks like:

So, as you can see the breadfruit is quite smooth, though still a bit bumpy and it doesn't have spikes. It's also seedless and that's another big difference between the breadfruit and the breadnut.
Eaten fried, roasted, or boiled the fruit is high in carbohydrates and a source of Vitamins A, B, C. This fruit was brought over from Africa to feed the slaves in the sugar cane plantations. As for how it came to the Caribbean - it was Captain Bligh. It was introduced into the West Indies in 1793 from Tahiti. Captain Bligh in the ship Providence, brought plans to St-Vincent and Jamaica after an early attempt failed aboard the mutiny ship Bounty in 1789. It spread very quickly all over the Caribbean because of the high carbohydrates contents as well as its cheap price and high nutrition.
The taste of this fruit is similar to sweet white mashed potatoes, but it's sweeter and has a consistency of pudding.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What?!.. Another torn ligament?! Revisited

This morning was my second visit to my shoulder specialist. We finally got the result of an x-ray and shoulder ultra sound. My doctor told me: “The good news is: You do not have any torn ligament or broken bone in your shoulder. Every muscle and ligaments are intact”. I asked her why it hurts so much, so she said: “Most likely you had a muscle strain when you had your ski accident and because of your severe leg injury the doctor and physiotherapist omit your other pains. Also, the crutches you were using to help you walk were injuring your shoulder on a daily basis by putting pressure on it.” She added that I don’t need to see her anymore; I just need a bit more of physiotherapy and I will be just fine. Happy ending for this one!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Another Exotic Fruit - Coconut

Coconut is one of the most economically valuable fruits because of various ways of making products out of it. It can be used to make coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut cream, even the bark can be used as lumber, etc.
For myself one of the most fascinating things is the fact that coconut is a seed. It's the biggest seed there is. And the tree is reproduced inside the coconut itself, so this is one of the reasons that coconut trees are growing all over the world.
A coconut shell would just fall off the tree into the ocean and then would be spread through the water to other places on earth, where it would germinate and grow itself to a new environments as long as the weather is warm.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Another Exotic Fruit - Star fruit or Carambola

The Star Fruit is more suitable for presentation, rather than eating. It looks very fresh and I always use to decorate salads with it. Its shape makes it look like stars, which is unconventional and appealing.
Although the fruit is completely edible with its waxy skin, the flesh is quite crunchy and very juicy, which makes it suitable for pressing it to make fresh juice. The texture is similar in consistency to grapes when ripe and feels like pepper when still green.
Carambolas are best eaten when ripe - when they are yellow with a light shade of green. They will also have brown ridges at the five edges and feel firm.
As I mentioned earlier I used it mostly for decoration. Sometimes I would just put them in a crystal bowl by themselves.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Another Exotic Fruit - Mamey

I used to grow Mamey trees when I lived in Puerto Rico. I bought the seed and planted it outside my house. I started from the pot and then switched it to the ground. It took it 3-4 month to grow in the pot first. It's easier to transplant it to the ground when the root system is already strong enough and a bit bigger than the pot itself.

It took the tree around 2-3 years to grow into a big tree and give fruits. The fruit itself takes around 6 month to become ripe and ready to pick. To know that it's ripe you have to scratch the skin of the fruit with ease and it has to be soft and orangy.
The pulp of the fruits tastes like papaya. It's tender and has very nice aroma. Normally we'd eat the fruit fresh just spooning the pulp out.