Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One Year

Today marks our one year anniversary of moving to Nunavut. Actually, it marks our one year anniversary of leaving to move to Nunavut, but we didn't actually make it to the territory until August 1 due to a plane delay. I thought it would be fun to do a his/her post on to mark the monumental occasion, so we're both going to share some of our reflections of the past year with you today. Thanks for sticking it out with us as we figured our way out in our new surroundings and following us on our adventure! We hope you continue on our journey with us as we keep chillin' in Nunavut!

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Graveyard

I don't normally go exploring in graveyards - mainly because I'm afraid of *everything* under the sun. However, the graveyards in Nunavut are different from the ones at home and I thought it'd be interesting to show you. See what a dedicated blogger I am? ;)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chillin' in the Kitchen: Homemade Focaccia Bread

We are bread-lovers in this house. Actually, anything from the carbohydrates category is going to fly over incredibly well here. Unfortunately, there are no real bakeries in town, so if we want fresh bread I'm going to have to make it at home. Thankfully, I've found a couple of fool-proof recipes to add to my repertoire and we can enjoy a nice piece of bread anytime we want. As a side note, I scored a really amazing deal on a bread maker a couple of months ago but it's still sitting forlornly in its box because all the recipes I've used in the past didn't need a bread maker and we like them so much that I haven't tried new recipes using our machine yet. Jeff says it's another gadget gathering dust, but I swear I'll use it one day! :)

I recently stumbled across a recipe for Focaccia and it is *so* easy to make, that I've made it a few times now - each time doing something differently - and it still turns out perfectly every time. I even let a friend try it and she said it reminded her of the bread she used to get from an Italian restaurant. Talk about ego booster! :)

This is the perfect recipe if you've never made bread, or are afraid to try making bread. It really is fool-proof and comes out delicious no matter what you do. I've tried it mixing herbs inside the dough as well as just on top, and you can't go wrong either way. Super light and airy on the inside with a crisp outside, this bread is perfect for anything from sandwiches to soaking up stew. It really is our new favourite bread!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Going Buggy

It's been cool and windy for the past while here (65 km/h winds! If there was snow on the ground, some of those days would have been blizzard days for sure!), but we weren't complaining. For the most part, that meant that the bugs stayed away and you could actually walk outside without looking like you were doing an interpretive hand-dance in front of your face the whole time. We also tend not to take Pepper for a walk when the bugs are bad because I haven't been able to find a dog-friendly bug spray that doesn't harm him/make him react, etc. and the poor guy gets bitten about as much as I do.

I know we've mentioned it numerous times that these are bugs that travel in packs and swarm you at every opportunity, but I thought I'd show you a little of what we've been talking about. Here's how our window looks on any given day.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Barge Season

The past week or two have been exciting since it's barge season and we've had a couple of ships visit us already. It's always fun to wake up and see a new ship floating nearby, waiting to dock. The first boat of the season was the gas ship that came and filled up the big tankers by the gas station. It still amazes me that a boat can carry as much gas that our whole hamlet needs until next summer.

Later on in the week, there were actually 3 ships in the lake at once. It looked like a real-life version of a game of Battleship. They sat idling in the lake for a while and waited until the dock was ready for them, and then a smaller tug boat brings them to the dock. 2 of the ships were barges holding different containers and the last one was another gas ship, probably filling the gas tankers for the mine. 

It's fun to be around for "sealift" season since everyone in town gets a little more excited - it's like Christmas with people waiting for their goods. It's also neat to be down by the docks and see what sorts of things are brought in - the other day I saw a long row of brand new trucks with the mine's logo on them. It's definitely summer when all the boats start coming!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Nunavut Essentials - Part Two

Today, while walking Pepper, I saw something that left me momentarily stunned - here's why.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Beach

Last year, a few co-workers stumbled upon a "beach" that they kept talking about, so a couple of weekends ago, we packed up the car, leashed up the dog, packed a picnic, and headed out to find it again. After some bumpy terrain, we found it...and it was amazing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lily's Top 10 Must-Haves for Living in Nunavut

If you do any search for tips on living in Nunavut/the arctic, etc. you'll find any number of lists of essentials that you'll need. We've talked about them here, and I'm sure there's nothing on that list that is going to be a surprise. Everyone knows they need to buy a good parka and stock up on all the food they can possibly pack...but what about the other things? What about the things that you don't necessarily realize how awesome it is to have until you've already shipped off your belongings?

Well, I was thinking about this the other day as I was using some of my top items that make my life better here, and decided I'd share with you my list of the top 10 things I didn't think would be important, but have turned into items I use almost on a daily basis.

Hopefully it helps you to think of what your list would entail if you were to move to the north! :)

Lily's Top 10 Must-Haves for Life in Nunavut

Friday, July 12, 2013

Our Secret Spot

One of my favourite things about being in Baker Lake is the ability to go a short distance from town and you feel like you're in your own private world. Just a 15 minute walk from our house, Pepper and I stumbled upon our own "private" beach...we've stopped by a few times now and no one ever seems to be there. It's peaceful and quiet and it's simply lovely. Jeff even taught me (not very successfully) how to skip rocks one afternoon. It's our secret spot and it's been perfect spending time there as a family.

Who needs cottage country when this is practically in our own backyard? :)


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trying New Things...A Tasting Experiment!

I was browsing through the store recently on our weekly grocery trip and found a couple of interesting-looking items for us to taste test. I was pretty excited - new things are hard to find when you shop the same store/same aisles day in/day out. It's the little things in life that make me smile every day. :)

Both items I found were prepared Arctic Char, so I was looking forward to it. Neither were too expensive either, which was an added bonus. (Given that you can buy a whole frozen Char for about $70). Since we're in-land, we don't get any Arctic Char in our water. You have to leave town and head towards the area where the river meets the bay, and you can find Char there - about a 70km trip, I understand. Still, people go out there to fish all the time and you can sometimes find local sellers who will sell you fresh fish from their day's catch - for far less than $70 each!

If you've never had Char, it's very comparable in taste/texture to salmon. I think it tastes a bit fattier than salmon, but it's delicious every time I've had it. Hence why I was extra excited to try my new discoveries!

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 9: Happy Nunavut Day!

A day early, but Happy Nunavut Day!

From wikipedia:

Nunavut Day is a public holiday for the public service, as per the 2001 Nunavut Day Holiday Order. Despite being a declared public holiday in the territory, many organizations and stores remain open throughout the day. Employees of the federal government of Canada must still work on this day, as it is not treated as a public holiday for federal public servants (despite being deemed as such for territorial public servants). Several cultural activities and events are organized throughout the day, including community-wide breakfasts, traditional dancing, games, Nunavut history competitions, policy announcements by the Government of Nunavut or related bodies and speeches by leaders of local communities.

To celebrate Nunavut Day, we are sharing pictures from a recent walk we took one evening. It's a lovely time of year and we're taking full advantage!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Chillin' in the Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins (Fat Free!)

Eating healthy doesn't mean that you have to give up your desserts - and this recipe is the perfect example of how being mindful of what you put into your body doesn't mean you have to miss out on tasty treats. I love when a recipe comes together and this is probably one of my favourite recipes in my arsenal! It's a perfect way to use up bananas (which we always have an abundance of in this house), and you'll likely have the majority of the ingredients sitting in your pantry.

Super moist and fluffy, not only are these Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins fat free and low calorie, but they also happen to be vegan. Not that I try to live a vegan lifestyle by any means, but they're extra bonuses if you need more incentive for a delicious snack. This recipe also yields the best rising muffins of all recipes I've tried - so they look exactly like muffins from a bakery! One of my biggest eye-rollers is complicated healthy recipes. I find in baking, things can get really complex with hard-to-find ingredients or specialty items that I don't typically have around the house. The fact that these muffins use regular ingredients I always have on hand means I can have a tasty treat in my belly in under 30 minutes flat.

Indvidually wrapped, you can freeze these for later or they should keep for a few days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They're so good though, they hardly last that long in our house. I've been known to eat them fresh from the oven and slathered in butter right from the muffin tin.

If you want to add more goodness to it - try adding ground flax, hemp hearts, wheat germ and/or chia for a healthy punch.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Country Food: Nipku

One of my lovely co-workers recently brought in some home-made nipku for us to try after her family made a big batch. What is nipku you ask? It's caribou that has been sun-dried and naturally preserved. The only ingredients are caribou meat, sunshine and time - healthy and natural!

It's quite a treat for people when they can get it; and it's eaten as a snack the way one would eat beef jerky. I've seen people auctioning off portions of it, or asking if anyone has's a hot commodity for sure! I was lucky that I got to try some, and I saved some for Jeff as well.

Lovely Ami also took pictures of the process and I shamelessly stole them to show you here. If you're not good at handling pictures of raw meat, you may want to not click through.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! Today we thought we'd share some pretty pictures of all the beauty that is blooming around us, as well as some wildlife that are joining us now that it's warmer. With so much loveliness around us, we're thankful to call Canada our home. :)