Les Macarons

I was working away in the yard the other day when a truck pulled up and a twenty-something young gal got out.  She said there was a dead tree on my property which was a hazard to the Fortis power lines and hence would have to be taken down.

I looked at the tree, which is a giant old Ponderosa pine, likely a couple of hundred years old, and it doesn’t look dead to me.  It’s been here watching the area grow all these years.  A few decades ago it must’ve been surprised to see a power line strung a few feet away from it.

The Okanagan has had some pine beetle damage, and the woman alleged the tree was a victim of them.  I said I was surprised, given the thousands I’ve spent over the years on pheromone traps which are visible on the trees.  As well, I said I had the City’s urban forester out not too many years ago to inspect my trees and he reported they were all in good shape.

I told the woman I have a responsibility to the great horned owls who use these tall old trees and said I have to call the urban forester for a second opinion.  It turns out the woman works for a tree removal company that contracts to Fortis.  If I were her, I’d find a lot of “dead” trees, too.

She handed me a sheet of paper explaining Fortis’ contractor will take down the tree, then it’s up to the home owner to get rid of the wood.  I said there’s no way for me to deal with the amount of wood that would come from a tree that size.  My God, it’s not like I planted it there on purpose.

The urban forester’s coming on Tuesday, and if he says the tree’s good, then I look forward to seeing Fortis in court.  If he says it’s damaged, then I guess I have to see that majestic old friemd go.  I nearly weep at the thought.

But on a happier note, I attended a three-hour workshop on how to make macarons at Sandrine Pastry.  It was tremendous fun, and the time flew.  First we started with making two kinds of macaron cookies, chocolate and plain.

Then we made three kinds of ganache, and filled our baked cookies.  Once done, we divvied it all up, and each person went home with two dozen macarons!  I said I can’t believe I’m the owner of 24 macarons, when they’re like gold to buy in the bakery.

I can see why they’re so expensive, though, and it’s not from the ingredients, it’s just the amount of finicky work that goes into them.  It’s a very precise business, and I’m very glad I have a digital scale as Sandrine said it has to be measured to the gram.

I need to buy a sieve, as the almond flour and icing sugar are sifted.  I also need a few piping bags and tips, as both the cookie and the ganache filling are piped.  We were able to learn all kinds of great techniques and now I want to pipe every stinking food I can get my hands on.

Last month I attended the workshop at London Drugs on how to make photo albums, and now the workshop on macarons.  I have gardening and sewing projects I allege I want to do.  I have all of these gradiose ideas for creative hobbies, and now my goal will be to actually do them.