The World’s Best Most Dangerous Rum Balls Ever

I don’t want to be too crazy with the superlatives but these really are the best and most dangerous rum balls ever. Why? Because if you double the batch then you use close to 26 ounces of rum for the recipe and that’s just crazy. But they’re worth the expense and the effort. In the old days I used to make people beg and plead for the recipe but the new kinder gentler me is open to sharing. Now is the time to start making these – they get better with age. Keep them in the freezer once you’re done rolling.

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (don’t cheap out on the chocolate. Get the good stuff)
1/2 cup almond paste
1 cup sour cream
A pinch of salt
8 cups (or three boxes) Nilla Crackers or vanilla wafers (finely crushed)
1 1/2 cups melted butter
2/3 cup cocoa (again no cheaping out on this)
1 1/2 cups rum (any old kind but I use amber rum)
2 cups pecans crushed
5 cups REAL CHOCOLATE SPRINKLES NOT THE PLASTIC STUFF Continue reading

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Textiles and Landfills | How to Change the Equation

landfill

The holidays are around the corner and this is the time when families gear up for the big Christmas spend. A large part of our budget will go towards buying new on-trend clothes for our loved ones.

Before rushing off to the mall to do that there are a few things to consider for the eco-conscious consumer.

  • 85 per cent of our apparel ends up in landfill.
  • In one single year, Canada produces enough textile waste – clothing and upholstery to create a mountain three times the size of Rogers Stadium.
  • Consumers are buying five times as much clothing as they did 25 years ago and keeping them half as long.

So what happens to clothing once we’re done with it?

Most of it ends up in landfill where it is the second largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions right behind oil and gas industry emissions.

Increasingly people are donating their used clothing to charity which helps fund important community and social development work.

But be careful where you send your donations. Many clothing boxes found in front of stores support for-profit enterprises which sells and sends its clothing overseas which often impacts local retailers and producers.

The easiest solution… wear your old clothes proudly, donate to charity, and if your clothes are just to darn old to upcycle there are numerous organizations who are now creating new fabrics from old materials and are willing to take  your well worn clothing.

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Tessa’s GoFundMe Polar Elephant Swim

Hey everyone,

On New Year’s Day at 2:30 pm I’m taking a dive into the freezing cold waters of English Bay, (Vancouver, BC) lemon drop martini in hand, and wearing a crazy elephant costume to raise money for the rescue of a working elephant in Thailand. I’m going to get cold, (oh yes I am), apparently I might float away, body parts might separate themselves from me and most likely I will be hungover because the night before is New Years Eve, so ya there’s that. It’s going to be messy and I’m going to freeze my bum off but we’re going to have some fun. My friend Leanne will be joining me.

If you’re in Vancouver, please come down and maybe we’ll sing a song and have a sip of the lemon drop and then you can scream and yell in anticipation as I run toward the gentle ocean waves!

If you love elephants as I do and want to be a part of this rescue effort, please consider donating to a great cause.  Small amounts welcome. Larger amounts welcome too!

Thanks so much!

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Poem of the Week: Injustice by Piyassili via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Injustice, by Piyassili, Assyria, 1218 BC

The people who are made to feel ashamed every day
are not the people who should feel ashamed.
The people who should feel ashamed
are the people unable to feel ashamed
yet heap shame by the bundle every day
on the troubled, the poor and despised.

For more information on Piyassili, please click here.

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Canada Must Do More to Stop the Trophy Hunting of Elephants — elephanatics

There was a strong world-wide reaction when President Trump threatened to reverse a 2014 ban on importing elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Few Canadians realized, however, that Canada never had such a ban in place to begin with. Recently a reporter approached Elephanatics President Fran Duthie regarding an Elephantatics petition to the Canadian government […]

via Canada Must Do More to Stop the Trophy Hunting of Elephants — elephanatics

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Canada and the Ivory Trade

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Many people, understandably, don’t get the connection between global markets and the killing of elephants for their tusks. But with poaching continuing to present the gravest threat to their very existence  (one every fifteen minutes is killed |70% total decline in population in less than 40 years due to poaching, and only 415,000 remaining), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has called for all countries to close their domestic markets.

Canadians are often surprised to learn that the Canadian domestic “legal” ivory trade is still open. The legal trade is one in which the product is dated prior to 1975. The issue with the legal trade is that it is difficult to date ivory and as a result illegal ivory flows through legal domestic markets.

Canada also allows the importation of legal trophies. Under its obligation to CITES (The Convention on the International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) those trophies can only come from countries regulated by CITES, and thus it is legal under those circumstances.

Below are the instances in which ivory can enter the country:

In order to legally possess ivory in Canada, the following criteria must be met, in accordance to the Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations (13 (1)):

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-96-263/page-2.html#docCont

    (a) the person who possesses it establishes a reasonable probability that it or, in the case of a part or derivative, the animal or plant from which it comes, was taken from its habitat before July 3, 1975;

    (b) the person who possesses it establishes a reasonable probability that it was legally imported into Canada; or

    (c) the person who possesses it establishes a reasonable probability that the distributing of it or the offering to distribute it would be in accordance with any applicable federal and provincial laws that relate to the conservation and protection of the animal or plant.

 However, these criteria are not applicable to elephant ivory from appendix II. Appendix II ivory is only required to be legally imported into Canada.

 Appendix I items must have import and export permits, while appendix II items are only required to have export permits.

Canada’s position on ivory at international conferences:

  • IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii  in 2016 results in an international commitment to close domestic ivory markets. Four countries object – Canada, Namibia, South Africa & Japan
  • At the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, Canada voted against moving all African elephants to Appendix I to provide them the highest level of protection.

In recent years there has been some movement from large ivory markets such as the US and China to close their domestic markets which has the potential to have a significant impact on decreasing the ivory trade and giving  elephants the chance to survive the war being waged on their existence.

  • 2015     China and US announce an agreement to a “nearly complete ban” on ivory import/export and commercial domestic ivory trade7 in both countries (no completion date given).
  • 2016     January: Hong Kong pledges to a complete ban on commercial domestic ivory trade by 2021.
  • June: US passes new regulations that ban almost all domestic ivory trade. August: IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii results in international commitment to close domestic ivory markets. Four countries object – Canada, Namibia, South Africa & Japan.
  • October: CITES conference in Johannesburg fails to put all elephant populations in Appendix I by only 9 votes – Canada, US, UK & EU vote against it. However, Botswana, with the most elephants, reverses their pro-ivory trade policy and supports a total ban.
  • 2017      January: Price of raw ivory in China falls to US$730 per kilogram (65% drop in less 3 years) due to Chinese economic slowdown, anti-poaching team success and crackdown on corruption.
  • February: Draft EU guidance document indicates possible ban on raw ivory exports by July 1, to make sure that illegal tusks are not laundered with legal tusks.
  • March: China closes the first of its 67 licensed ivory carving factories and retailers, and promises to close its domestic ivory market by end of 2017.
  •  March: Hong Kong says a bill on ivory trade will be introduced by end June. Hong Kong also convicts 2 people for illegal ivory possession, using radiocarbon dating to prove post-1990 ban.

It would be great to see Canada take pro-active steps to save one of the world’s most iconic, intelligent, keystone species by closing the domestic trade, banning the importation of trophies into Canada and vote to have all elephants moved to Appendix 1 of the CITES convention. I want Canada to be the country who does everything it can to save these magnificent animals from extinction  not only because it can but because it should.

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Vegetable Korma via The Endless Meal

My sister and niece came for dinner the other day and I wanted something vegan AND delicious. I know they both love curry so this was a great find. I’ve checked out numerous recipes but picked this one mainly because it’s chock-a-block full of veggies, and it was simple. I loved that you could add yogurt to the recipe as well which I did for the vegetarians in the group. I’m not a picture taker but trust me this was fantastic. I’m a fan and would easily make this again. I got this via The Endless Meal which just so happens to based out of Vancouver which is where I’m located.

{Photo Credit: Endless Meal}

Vegetarian-Korma-NEW

Prep the VEG

2 medium potatoes, cut into small, bite-sized pieces (I didn’t use this)
4 cups mixed chopped vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, beans, bell peppers, corn, and peas all work well) (I left out the corn and bell peppers and added spinach instead)
FOR THE VEGETARIAN KORMA SAUCE:

1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 – 2″ piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife
1 – 5.5-ounce can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon each: curry powder and garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons each: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom
1/2 teaspoon each: ground cloves, fennel, fenugreek and chili flakes
1 – 400ml can of coconut milk
1/2 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup yogurt (omit or use vegan yogurt for vegan)
1 tablespoon brown sugar (sub coconut sugar or honey for paleo)
Top with any or all: cashews, cilantro, lemon, and raisins

INSTRUCTIONS

Add the potatoes to a medium-sized pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil for 5 minutes then add the rest of the veggies to the pot. Let them boil for another 5 minutes then drain the pot and set it aside.
While the veggies are cooking, start preparing the vegetarian korma sauce. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the tomato paste and all of the spices. Stir well then return the pot to the heat. When the spices are fragrant and the tomato paste caramelized, after about 1 minute, add the coconut milk, cashews, lemon juice and 1 1/4 cups of water. Let the pot boil for 5 minutes to soften the cashews.
Working in batches, blend the curry until it is smooth then add it back to the pot. Stir through the yogurt and brown sugar and add more sea salt, if needed. Stir the veggies into the curry and serve immediately topped with any or all of the toppings.

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Poem of the Week: Goldenrod, by Maggie Smith via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Goldenrod, by Maggie Smith
I’m no botanist. If you’re the color of sulfur
and growing at the roadside, you’re goldenrod.

You don’t care what I call you, whatever
you were born as. You don’t know your own name.

But driving near Peoria, the sky pink-orange,
the sun bobbing at the horizon, I see everything

is what it is, exactly, in spite of the words I use:
black cows, barns falling in on themselves, you.

Dear flowers born with a highway view,
forgive me if I’ve mistaken you. Goldenrod,

whatever your name is, you are with your own kind.
Look—the meadow is a mirror, full of you,

your reflection repeating. Whatever you are,
I see you, wild yellow, and I would let you name me.

 

Thanks to Alison for finding and sharing these beautiful poems.

​For more information on Maggie Smith, please click here​.

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