Having interests or hobbies that take our minds off of work or personal issues can help provide diversions and relaxation and reduce stress. The planning and goal setting in a hobby or sport can also stimulate the mind while physical activity exercises the body.
Crafts, woodworking and musical hobbies help to develop new skills, talents and creativity.
Collecting may provide opportunities for travel and meeting new people. Working on something that you are passionate about can also bring family members together to share the interest.
If all the kids have left home or retirement is approaching, this is a perfect time to develop a hobby or pursue a long held hope to pursue a particular interest such as writing or dancing.
The first weekend in February, the Rosetown Museum held its annual hobby show for local artisans and hobbyists. I discovered a variety of collections, including old toys, carnival glass, Hot Wheel cars, teddy bears and skidoos.
Some displayed their photography, painting, needlework, sewing, stain glass and woodworking projects.
Retired couple Darlene and Albert Dubois have developed a passion for their hobbies.
Darlene’s son gave her a gift certificate for a stained glass making class that introduced her to the craft. She then encouraged Albert to take a class in intarsia, a woodworking technique that creates pictures and objects using different types and colours of wood.
Albert has now expanded his interests to include making intricate designs in wood using a scroll saw.
Shirley Helgason developed her interest in collecting teddy bears after she received a bear as a get-well gift. She looks for bears that have a personality or particular outfit, such as a pink raincoat.
Glen Sitter has spent hours building detailed wood models of Spanish galleons and modern equipment. He enjoys the creative challenge of carving and cutting models from wood blocks.
Winter warm up foods
During the cold days of winter, I like to try a variety of soups and warm breads. They are filling and nutritious, whether served for lunch or an easy supper meal. With the addition of cheese and milk, this soup is also a good way to increase you calcium intake.
BROCCOLI AND CHEDDAR CHEESE SOUP
1 1/2 c. low sodium chicken broth[375 mL c2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
c. broccoli, chopped 1.5L
(about 2 average-sized bunches)
1 14 oz. fat free evaporated milk385 mL e1 c. shredded aged 2 cheddar cheese50 mL ch/2 tsp. freshly ground 2 black peppermL bla2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 mL pinc
dd the chicken broth, onions, garlic and broccoli. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the broccoli sitting on top is tender.
Add the evaporated milk, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne. Purée the soup.
Stir the cheddar cheese into the hot blended mixture. Mix until the cheese is melted. Divide equally between four bowls and serve.
Makes 6 1/2 cups (1.6L) or four large 1 1/2 cup 375 mL servings.
1 serving 1 1/2 cup (375 mL)
Calories 190 Total fat 2 g Sat f
at 1 g Trans f
at 0 g Sodiu
m 350 mg Carbo
hydrates 28 g
Fibre 4 g
Source: Ultimate Foods For Ultimate Health and Don’t Forget the Chocolate by Liz Pearson and Mairlyn Smith
QUINOA IRISH SODA BREAD
Try this quick and versatile bread that has an added nutritional punch with the use of quinoa flour, a complete protein. It is a great meal addition when served with salad or soup.
1 c. milk 250 L
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15 mL
1 c. quinoa flour 250 mL
1 c. whole wheat flour 250 mL
3/4 tsp. baking soda 4 mL
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. butter
1 2 mL/2 tsp. milk
2 45 mLmL
2 mL 2 mL
o 375 F (190 C). Grease a large baking sheet, spray with cooking oil or line with parchment paper.
Combine one cup (250 mL) milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and whole wheat flours, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, making small pea-sized crumbs. Form a well with the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture. Starting from the centre, use a fork to blend the ingredients slowly until the mixture forms soft dough.
With floured hands, remove the dough from the bowl to the centre of the baking sheet. Form it into a large, round ball. Gently flatten the ball to about two inches (5 cm) in thickness and brush the surface with the 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of milk. Cut a large shallow X across the top of the bread using a sharp knife.
Bake on the centre oven rack for 30 or 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly on the baking sheet before cutting into wedges. Serve warm.
Try the following variations.
CHEDDAR CHEESE SODA BREAD
1 c. aged cheddar 250 mL cheese, shrecheese, shredded dded
1ar 60 mL cheese, shre cheese, shreddeddded
50 mL) of cheese to the flour and butter mixture. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup (60 mL) of cheese over the bread just prior to baking.
ROSEMARY PARMESAN BREAD
1 tsp. rosemary
1/2 c. Parmesan c 5 mLheese, grated
Add 125 mL nd cheese to the flour mixture.
For herb bread, add one teaspoon (5 mL) of your favourite herb.
Source: Quinoa 365, The Everyday Super Food by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming.