Our day off ( 20 years, so far, so good)

Before that, I took Sprocket to the vet through the rain ….

and had an awesome early morning walkabout myself.

And then we went to Koven on Murray for an amazing lunch:

How was your Wednesday?


Stepping aside a little bit more…

I started teaching belly dance in January 1998.

There was an ice storm. Some folks might remember that.

The roads were slippery, but my classes began a few days after things were starting to recover, so while it was a small private class, it was fun and it happened.

Many classes, class parties, Bazaars and Dancers’ Newsletters later, and I’m ready to step aside.

As with everything, there is a season. There also should be a passion.  And it has been fun.

Bellydance For Fun has been a part of my world for 20 years.

And the passion has burnt down to a gentle ember that, while generating a gentle glow, no longer flames a strong energy that drives me to take self- improvement dance workshops, to push my students, to give huge amounts of time to a community that is deserving of new life and fresh energy to keep it alive.


So, as with all things, my teaching life is beginning to a transition to whatever I feel like doing next.

Bottom line: I’ll be phasing out of teaching community classes after this spring session < perhaps during the spring session, that is being determined and you’ll know as soon as I do.>


Random kitchen time on a Sunday afternoon

Well, it began in the morning with the sautéing of an onion in butter ( can you smell that?) and splitting it into two as my starters for first my lentils, tomatoes and corn in the slow cooker. Added some Garand masala, coriander, and chilli powder for fun-it’s pretty tasty!

Once it was cooked and transferred into jars, I used the remaining sautéed onions with the navy beans that had soaked all day and some brown sugar, mustard,soya sauce and water to get the baked beans going- oh, with some pre cooked bacon. No pics yet as it’s still cooking.

On to random ginger cookies -when you have been baking cookies since childhood-thanks Mom-you realize that once you get a basic foundation going for your dough – you can play.

And if you have seen any of my previous baking experiments, you know I do this all the time.

This wasn’t complicated playing but I did use coconut oil for the fat, and grated fresh ginger for the flavouring along with some cinnamon. They are whole wheat and have egg and brown sugar, so a pretty standard journey in the baking realm.

And they be crunchy-so hubby likes em!

Ok-back to your regular day!

(Vegan and Gluten-Free) Jamaican Sweet Potato Pone (or Pudding)

(Vegan and Gluten-Free) Jamaican Sweet Potato Pone (or Pudding)

I’m reflagging this so I can find it easily and while I have not tried authentic Pone, I think this looks like it will be amazing! Will try it soon and post any variations I do! Thanks Simone for sharing it!

Life After Oxtail

For the longest time, I had a hankering for some sweet potato pone — the kind my aunts used to make. According to Google, pone is an unleavened cornbread or flat cake.  Apparently it’s well known in the southern United States, but Jamaicans are known to end a good meal with some sweet potato pone or cassava pone for dessert.

I searched online and in my cookbooks for a recipe, but couldn’t find one that was to my liking (and was vegan).  So here’s my attempt at a Jamaican classic:

Note:  When I first made this recipe, I mistakenly used the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes which is why the pone didn’t set as firmly as it could.  The recipe still works if you use them; however, the authentic Jamaican recipe calls for the white-fleshed, purplish-skinned potatoes.

Juice from 2 small oranges or 1 large orange (or you can use a cup…

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Improv dancing with some lovely ladies!

So first – here’s the video – in case you don’t feel like reading my rambling thoughts!

Thanks to Sarah Leigh Anne and Yvonne for being willing to suddenly, unexpectedly, and totally spontaneously joining me on the stage!

Now the rambling…

As I get older – and maybe wiser, but I don’t want that kind of pressure, I am embracing those moments when my life is a full on spiral. Finding myself coming back to revisit experiences from my youth, but with new perspective and some joyful abandon, it’s very freeing, and enlightening.

People who have had actual children, please do not be offended by the following – it’s an analogy, a metaphor, a perspective…

I realized today that I have been having the wonderful experiences of my kids growing up, moving out, finding new relationships and moving on.  Without the loss, without the empty-nest feelings, without rancorous feelings about whoever they are choosing to hang out with/ get involved with/ move in with… it’s fine.  It’s great in fact!

Years back, I retired from hosting the Dancers’ Bazaar, and it went off into a polyamorous relationship with two lovely organizers, tried being monogamous with one of them and has moved on to another poly situation. It’s awesome.

Last December, I hosted my last Big End of Season Student party. I had already kicked that kid out in the spring  of 2016 and it also immediately sought out a couple of lovely young ladies with which to spend it’s time.  It had to come home for the holidays, though, and I announced that night that I was done – fly, be free, leave the nest!  And it has gone one to party with a new tribe  < see what I did there?>, but with many or it’s usual friends still coming out to play.

And it’s also awesome.

So, back to the point of the video and my spiralling back upon things I did in my “youth”. While I still get to engage audience members when we perform with Bollywood For Fun and have an interactive finale, I had stopped doing that spontaneous, “I want to get others up with me”, stuff years ago as I was trying to be a better technical dancers, challenge myself with new costumes, props, artistic approaches.

So, this past week, I went back. Did I know my music – yeah…sort of… I had listened to it a couple of times when I took it from my students’ potential songs, Thanks Veronique!. And I listened to it maybe 2-3 times on Wednesday before performing. Yeah, I’m busy, I’ve done a lot with pushing myself over the years, but I always had the most fun when I could just dance.

No pressure, no choreography, no stress – yeah – I don’t get nervous if I am improvising. I get nervous if I am doing a routine with other dancers where it will show when my brain leaves the stage.


That’s the rambling.

Super awesome time with SLA and Y – you ladies were so gracious to get up and join me! 


Naughty Baking day… yeah, that’s weird…

So, I care a lot about what foods I offer to my friends and family.  And I care what I offer to my husband too.

And so, I send a lot of time researching and trying out/ creating/ experimenting with a variety of recipes that are:

  • Nut free
  • Dairy free
  • Sugar free
  • Gluten free
  • Egg free
  • general vegan


And then sometimes I just need to pull out my old cookbook from before I met all of these amazing people who have food restrictions and bake.

I won’t bother with posting recipes because you can just do a search on standard recipes from Betty Crocker, Joy of Cooking, or one of those women’s Community group cook books that are full of crazy classic recipes!


And as soon as I’m done putting everything away, I’ll be doing a full cleaning of all surfaces and tools and utensils to make sure they are all cleaned up before I start my batches of Conscientious Baking for our annual gathering this coming weekend.

I’ll still label things as I cannot limit everything, but I can make things clear and safe!

Peanut butter cookies

Peanut butter cookies



Shortbread crescents


Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies