Tag Archives: Silver Hills

The aftermath…

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Well hello folks. I hope you have had an enjoyable few days. If you celebrate Christmas, I trust your day was awesome, filled with family fun, good food and warmth.

Christmas Eve was a quiet one, with my commitments including bread-making (so that I had wholewheat and white bread for the Brazil Nut Roast the next day) and pastry making (again for the nut roast). I did a quick search online for rough puff pastry as the commercial frozen pastry has crappy ingredients, and I found this one which turned out brilliantly. Making it a day early and refrigerating overnight probably helped it to be flaky and delicious.

Christmas Eve dinner for the five of us was a very basic nut roast made from almonds, cashews and pecans, plus scalloped potatoes from a recipe from the very wonderful Silver Hills vegetarian guest house recipe book, and salad. I got a bit carried away and made two desserts from the same book – a pear coconut pie and chocolatey pecan squares.

Day 1 – stuffed!

Entertainment involved watching The Nightmare Before Christmas (creepy, Jack Skellington reminds me of the pin men on an old British TV show that gave me nightmares) and Cards Against Humanity, played in front of a real fire for a change.

Christmas Day morning was relaxed as we decided to have dinner rather than lunch as we planned to go to the movies to see Rogue One in the evening. I crocheted most of these slippers that day, which I am very pleased with…

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They have non-slip fabric on the bottom which I bought from work. These took most of a skein of Red Heart With Love in Mallard, two strands held together, and a 7mm hook. The pattern is Slipper Boots by Erika Knight. It is an ingenious design, easy to understand and execute. I think it will be simple to adjust it for bigger feet too and I’m thinking of making another pair for Tai Chi Man’s uncle (he visited last year and absolutely loved and appreciated the slippers I made him).

So the prep for Christmas dinner was pushed back to the afternoon, and that involved assembling the Brazil nut roast (while watching Love Actually for the tenth time on my laptop), parboiling the potatoes for later roasting, cutting up the Brussels sprouts and carrots and broccoli. I roasted the sprouts along with the potatoes, steamed the carrots and broccoli, and made a simple gravy. Plus of course we had hot apple cider as always. Dessert was Bananas Foster without the rum, which basically means simmering them briefly in a sweet caramel sauce. The recipe is in my Betty Goes Vegan book, which is always over the top on sugar, and I cut the maple syrup quite drastically. We had it spooned over plain cashew So Delicious ice cream.

Day 2 – stuffed!

The movie, Rogue One (a Star Wars prequel to Episode 4)  was good, full of loud explosions and storm troopers and rebels of course.

We rounded off the day with hot chocolate and vegan marshmallows.

Tai Chi Man and I didn’t have to work today so it’s been another day of relaxed vegging on the couch, finishing off the slippers, checking out my new Twitter account (I am now on Twitter @nicolaknits) and eating leftovers. The kids are still in bed at 1.30 in the afternoon. We have horizontal snow blowing past the house which doesn’t exactly inspire me to get outside.

I am thankful.

 

Silver Hills

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I have just had the most relaxing and rejuvenating week. The blog was neglected, not because I didn’t take my iPad with me, but because I was out of town at a health spa right here in the province of British Columbia.

Silver Hills guest house has been operating as a health spa for over 30 years. It’s set in rural countryside surrounded by hiking trails and unpaved logging roads, with its own garden which produces much of what is later served in the kitchen.

The food is all vegan, except for the honey, abundant, and beautifully presented at three set times per day. Snacking between meals is discouraged (and really unnecessary)! There is very little caffeine available, only decaf coffee for the diehards, and a little cocoa powder in the zucchini muffins.

The schedule incorporates two walks per day, one after breakfast and one after lunch. Health lectures each night explain the importance of correct nutrition, water consumption, deep breathing, exercise etc. It’s run by Seventh Day Adventists and therefore there is a spiritual component, saying grace before meals, and a short gathering each morning, which you can embrace or not as you wish. The morning gatherings did include a lot of laughter as well as inspirational readings.

The spa is beautiful,  with a steam room, infrared saunas, hot tub, and treatment rooms where you can enjoy salt scrubs, massages with or without hot stones, detox wraps, reflexology etc. What a treat.

When I initially heard about Silver Hills I looked up their website and thought it sounded expensive but now I think otherwise. You get a beautiful room with en suite bathroom, three enormous meals a day, spa services, guided walks, cooking classes and health lectures. And at the end of the week, you leave with the feeling that you are part of a bigger family (the staff eat with the guests). It’s actually a non-profit organisation and the cost is worth every penny.

While there, there was some downtime, so I worked a little on my crochet blanket which attracted a lot of attention. So far, 122 squares out of a possible 180 have been added. So 67% unless I decide to do more or fewer. In the photos below, the newest squares are at the top.

I hope your week has been awesome too. If ever you feel the need to destress, I strongly recommend a visit to a place like this, even if it’s just for a day. But a week is better!