Out of Country

I know it’s a bit (well, more than a bit) late, but I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! Almost a month ago my Dad took my family on a sudden vacation. I took more pictures than I could share here, I got sunburned and it didn’t sting, I learned I prefer traditional sushi instead of cooked, and my family and I had a great time and lots of fun. Where did we go? We went on a road trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

On the Road – Destination: California

Although at first the differences between Canada and America were barely perceptible, the first thing to become apparent was the roads. Four to six-lane highways, everything going at incredible speeds – so fast that it was sometimes hard to capture photos of anything, particularly the farm animals on the sides of the highway: mostly cows, but we also saw a fair amount of horses (my sister counting every one she saw) and, later on, sheep and goats, and some llama. We even saw deer – most of the time fleetingly so, as we sped by on the highway or missed them entirely if looking the other way. What decent photos I did manage to get of farm animals – other than rendered blurs and streaks across countryside – was done on the sports mode of my camera. At great velocity, cityscapes become blurred and hazy; a peaceful sunset becomes a raging fire.

We had a little detour through San Francisco and it was while we were there that my Dad and I walked down to the Fisherman’s Wharf, to find clam chowder and sourdough bread with my grandmother’s recommendation, and me taking pictures along the way and stopping in at a Starbucks on our way back to the hotel, treating myself to a salted caramel hot chocolate: something that I really want to make a healthier version of to share here. (An aside – that was the best salted caramel hot chocolate I’ve had anywhere. It was just perfect.) We took the chowder and sourdough back to the hotel and that was our breakfast.

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The Best Homemade Marshmallows, Sugar and Corn Syrup Free! (GFCF) Plus, the Great Outdoors

This past week you’ve seen new recipes posted, your comments appearing sooner or later – but, where’s Zoe? Normally she replies in a timely – almost immediate – manner to my comments, you’re saying. (Rest assured, folks, all your comments, questions, have been replied to and answered.)

We went camping! That’s right, my family and I were in the great outdoors last week (if you count today, Sunday, as the first day of the week), with no Internet connection! I made the appropriate arrangements to whip up some stuff ahead of time and schedule the posts so that, while we were away, Z’s Cup of Tea could continue running and, more or less, take care of itself till yours truly came back.

While camping, I took out my camera (yes! a new camera, from my dear grandma, thank you! I’ve secretly named the camera Cherry, after its burgundy red colour.) and just clicked away, resulting in hundreds of photos – most taken by me, but there were some by other family members. I took some food shots, too, but not many – it was a holiday after all, and I was more interested in eating the food this time than focusing a lense on it.

I also had fun using the portable propane stove, boiling water for tea and rice noodles (which we had with tomato sauce), and scrambling eggs with mushroom and green onions, and making cinnamon apples on our last day for breakfast.

We had a campfire, too, though in all the busyness – and despite preparing posts in advance for while I was away – I didn’t get to making marshmallows before we went, which I was a little disappointed about as I’d really been wanting to test them over the fire and also get a few cool photos of a homemade marshmallow being toasted, plus the possibilities of s’mores and all that marshmallow-y good stuff.

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