Life is short. Sometimes we need to fight, and sometimes we need to run. So what does that all have to do with #BCwildfires, How to Watch Game of Thrones, & GoT Pork Pie Recipe? Read on…
My Family and the #BCwildfires
Last week a large forest fire began which is threatening my hometown. After a few days of erratic and violent winds to help the fire pick up and spread, the community in the Interior of BC was evacuated. Thankfully my parents are fine, and they were already prepared for evacuation, which is good because with it came time to evacuate the town, residents were given under 30 minutes to pack and go!
It was a stressful weekend, and while that was going on my sister (Devi), bro-in-law (Sam), and nephews were visiting. They too needed to navigate their way around multiple closed highways in order to return to their home, north of the fires. Devi, Sam, and myself enjoy apocalyptic/natural disaster stories and movies, and like to play the “What would you do if…?” game. Most often this is in the form of a zombie apocalypse scenario, but you get the idea.
In fact, recently I listened to a couple podcasts that had me re-evaluating the places that I would want to be during different events. Fault Lines is about survival during an earthquake, “the Big One” which is supposed to destroy the West Coast, not just during the quake, but hours, days, weeks, and months after the quake. 2050: Degrees of Change is about what life could look like in 2050 due to climate change. Both podcasts delve into aspects that other similar features do not. They make you realize how ill prepared you are, and force you to look at aspects of life that you might just chalk up to “future-me's problems”.
So it goes without saying that there was a lot of discussion about strategies, where to go, when to go, what to bring, what dangers or frustrations may popup (such as power outages, vehicle gas-shortages, grocery shortages, and other drivers making scary decisions or putting other people in danger around them during the evacuation), how to get help, how long will people be affected, what happens if the roads to the east are closed as well (now that fire has closed the highways to the north and south of them), the flow of information and those who rely on social media for their “facts” (“Why isn't the news saying anything about the road closure at Little Fort?”), and everything else. You get the picture.
Days leading up to the evacuation we were trying to convince Mom & Dad to head to friends in Vancouver, well out of the fire areas. I still don't know why they didn't go there, or why they waited so long to leave.
Well, they are all safe at my sister's place at the moment. But it makes me wonder, do you have an escape plan? Do you know what you would take? What would you take?? Would you be ready to go within 20-30 minutes of being told that you have to leave, maybe never to see your stuff again? Obviously some of these answers are going to be different if you're facing a zombie apocalypse vs. a British Columbia wildfire, where you are when things go south, what season you're in, etc. But have you prepared at all? Camping supplies in your car with an emergency kit? Solar battery for your phone/light/radio? Food and water?
***UPDATE – July 23, 2017 – After 2 weeks, my hometown's evacuation order is over. Mom says that the house is fine, no smoke damage, and even the garden is doing well!
Game of Thrones – Season 7
The seventh season of the TV series Game of Thrones is set to premiere on HBO on July 16, 2017, and conclude six weeks later. This is one of the few series that I like to watch as it airs. Remember? Like when we were kids, waiting each week for the next episode. Not like most of my marathon sessions of shows where I knock out a season in a day or two. The other series, of course, is the Walking Dead (I told you I like apocalyptic shows!).
The problem is of course that not everyone has HBO! Grrrrrrrr!!!!
How to Watch Game of Thrones – 5 Ways
1) You find someone who has HBO and is a fan, befriend them, and get the all-important invitation to come over for dinner and a show for the next 7 Sundays (thanks for the last few years Andrew!).
2) You avoid everyone who has watched the show long enough to download some pirated version, watch it as soon as possible, and then return to circulation now that you're safe from spoilers.
3) You spend the money to upgrade your cable package for the next couple months. This option allows you to then find some poor sap who will then suck up to you and cook you dinner every Sunday for the next couple months (you're welcome Andrew!).
4) Pretend that you have better things to do with your life and that you can wait a few years for the series to come out in box sets of some technology that you hopefully have. There are obvious problems with this solution: everyone knows that you actually didn't have better things to do, nobody will be around to share in the moments with you, and, depending on the social circle you're in, you are now culturally irrelevant (don't worry, it's not the worst thing to not know some cultural references. Unless you're one of those people who have never seen the original Star Wars movies. Seriously. You can't trust those people. It's like they're not even part of the same reality as the rest of us…).
5) This may actually be the best option. And strangely, I just discovered it. You can watch the new season of Game of Thrones with HBO on Amazon Channels!!! (Bad news: This is not available in Canada, so please look at the previous options.)
The opening to the Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer makes me think of the forest fires surrounding my parents….
GoT Pork Pie Recipe
Since it starts this weekend, and since I have a Night King mask, it seemed only fitting to make a GoT Pork Pie recipe. There are a number of websites about Game of Thrones food, btw. A lot of which is quite paleo/primal (check out the Basic Foodstuffs on this GoT Wiki).
The Inn at the Crossroads has a number of recipes based on George RR Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice books (GoT). They even have a recipe book (print and ebook). My GoT Pork Pie recipe is inspired by their “Lord Manderly's Pie”, though with the crust of our own Beef Thai Pie, and our own seasoning.
I can't wait for Game of Thrones season 7 this Sunday! It's gonna be epic! I'll be honest: while preparing the GoT Pork Pie recipe I got through all of season 6 again (yeah, writing this one took a while!).
- 2.5 – 3 lbs pork (cut into bite-sized pieces) – use a mix of cured and uncured pork (I used pork chops and pork hock, but feel free to add bacon and leftover ham)
- 1 Tbsp ghee
- 1/2 cup of sweet onion (chopped) or pearl onions
- medium turnip (peeled and cubed small)
- 1/2 cup parsnip (peeled and cubed small)
- 1 cup mushrooms (cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1/2 cup carrots (chopped coarsely)
- 2 cups of broth (lamb, pork, beef, chicken, vegetable, etc). If you have a dark gluten-free beer that you like, use 1 cup broth and 1 cup beer)
- 3.5 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp (~4 sprigs) fresh sage
- 1 Tbsp (~4 sprigs) fresh thyme
- salt and pepper generously to taste
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1.5 Tbsp ghee
- 2 eggs
- Pulse almond flour and salt together in a food processor.
- Add remaining ingredients and process until a doughy ball is formed.
- Roll out between to sheets of parchment paper to the size of the baking dish to be used.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Heat a large frying pan, over medium heat, melt ghee and saute onions, mushrooms, turnips and parsnips until turnips and parsnips start to soften.
- Add carrots, pork, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage and thyme.
- In a medium bowl, mix arrowroot with stock (and beer is using).
- Add this mixture into the frying pan.
- Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to baking dish and then cover with the crust. Using the parchment paper will aid in topping the pie with the crust. Stab crust so that steam is able to vent.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is crispy brown.
Serve with roasted vegetables (I used onions, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, carrots, beets and mushrooms tossed in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and a lemon – juiced and roasted with everything else).
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 15-20 min
- Method: Oven