Urban Adventures and Apples

When I came back from PG it was at the end of one of the driest and sunniest summer’s in quite some time. For a week, I was living in a sort of strange alternate universe where October is sunny and hot. Then, the switch. It’s very much rainy, and wet, and…just so very Vancouver.

Canopy of leaves offers shelter from the rain.

I’ve adapted well in some ways. My gumboots which came up north with me, and lay dormant the entire time, have come back into daily use.

Some transitions have not been quite so smooth. I left my car window open a crack last night, so all day have struggled with plastic bag seat and patchy damp jeans. Lovely.

Equally silly, yesterday evening as the clouds parted, I saw a great opportunity to continue on my bike vs. fat quest. After eating homemade borscht (2.5 bowls of goodness) at a friend’s house, I worried out loud it had started raining again. She said that sometimes her apartment just sounds like rain. Odd, but I optimistically believed her. Unsurprisingly, it was real rain, making for a real rainy ride home. Thankfully after about 20 seconds of discomfort, I kind of just gave in to the wet. It ended up being a super fun bike ride. Blindingly wet, and slightly unsafe, but fun.

Rain. Lots of it.

The constant rain cannot dampen my love for HOME.

This morning I woke up to the continuing pitter patter…even in my unemployed state I can appreciate how pleasant that is on a Sunday morning. Equipped with gumboots, umbrella and warm tea, I stomped off to Apple Fest at UBC for an adventure.

I have sorely missed the urban adventure. Prince George has much in the way of outdoors adventures, and I did my best to take advantage. Before I moved, I kind of thought I might be moving more towards my element. I love the outdoors, especially the mountains, but…as a born and raised city girl, it just didn’t click. On visits home I would relish being able to open up the Georgia Straight and plan my social calendar around concerts, festivals, new restaurants etc.

So as I wandered around the botanical gardens, for the 89883 time since I returned, I felt very happy to be home.

And apple fest was wonderful!

Last time I was here two years ago, the apple tasting was sold out. Very uncool. Obviously they’ve adjusted to deal with the crowds, who made it out despite the wetness. It meant for $5 we got to sample 60 different varieties of apples and discuss them like faux-connaisseurs:

“Hmm…too perfumy.”

“This one has a nice texture, but slightly too tart.”

“I prefer the Jonagold mixed with the Northern Spy to the King of Tomkin’s County.”

Yes, apple names are the best. And they really are all so different tasting.

After apple tasting, followed by apple cider, we wandered off to look at apple trees and apple sales. That’s when we came across…a waft of sadness.

It’s very rare that I miss gluten. These $3 Pocket Pies were one of those moments.

To deal with the wave of negative emotion brought up by the pastry breeze, I quickly googled ‘gluten free apple’. I found the type of apple I’d need for a recipe, bought them, and that was that. Quick turnaround on bitterness.

So, as I sit here typing, I’ve had two pieces of apple cake.  And I really don’t want to go for another wet bike ride, so I probably won’t let myself have the third piece I desperately want. Probably. There’s something to be said for being warm, dry, and full of cake.

The cake born of my craving was made with a number of coconut elements, including flour, oil and milk. And of course, on top of the other ingredients, four peeled and cored juicy fresh Jonamac apples.

It was delicious and moist, and put my sweet tooth in it’s place. But…my pie tooth is still raging to some extent. More apples remain, so perhaps the gluten-free pie crust challenge will have to be tackled soon.

Coconut Flour Apple Cake

Thanks to Gluten-Free Goddess for the recipe, Vancouver for the urban adventure, the many variations of apple for the inspiration, and steamed broccoli for allowing me the flexibility to have 3-pieces-of-cake days.

(Yes, the final tally was three.)

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