Category for Canada

How It’s Made: Yogurt

I looooove How It’s Made and Making Stuff (♫ makin’ stuff makin’ stuff MAKIN’ STUFF♫) so when I was invited on a media trip to see how yogurt is made I accepted pretty much immediately.

We went to Brandsema organic dairy farm in Abbotsford first. We got a tour of the farm to look at the cows, feed baby cows, watch the cows being milked, and see the milk being loaded on to the truck. Then we went to the Olympic Dairy factory in Delta, saw the milk coming into the factory, being pasteurized, poured into tubs, packaged, incubated, refrigerated and then loaded up onto trucks. It was pretty cool to see the whole process from cow to supermarket. And then we got to do a tasting session and try like 20 different types of yogurt. NOM.

The cows get to spend a lot of time in the fields, eating grass. They do get feed as well though (mostly corn and flax, plus soy, barley, peas) because apparently 100% grass-fed cows do not produce very much milk. They do not use hormones, and when antibiotics must be used the milk from those cows is dumped for a month.

Milking machines! They get milked twice a day and produce about 34 litres of milk per day per cow. It takes about 10 minutes to milk a cow.

1 day old newborn cow in the maternity ward.

We got to feed the baby cows. These ones were only a couple days old. D’awwwww. They were very thirsty. My cow yanked the bottle right out of my hands, haha.

All suited up for our tour of the yogurt factory.

Every truck of milk is tested for hormones and contamination before being accepted into the factory. Once approved, the milk comes into the factory into this room and these pasteurizing machines and mixing tanks.

The milk powder and cultures are added and then the mixture is poured into the yogurt tubs. Because they (mostly) make Balkan style yogurt the yogurt sets directly in the tubs.

Plastic seals and lids.

This room was 110°F. The tubs sit in here for 5 hours while the milk turns into yogurt.

And then it’s moved to refrigerated rooms for storage until the orders are picked and loaded onto trucks for the supermarkets! That’s a lot of yogurt!!

All together it takes about 12 hours to make a tub of yogurt (3 hours for pasteurizing, then packaged, 5 hours for ripening, then several hours for cooling). A sealed tub of Olympic yogurt lasts for 49 days, so if you look at the dates on the tubs at the store you should be able to tell how fresh it is. Once opened they can only guarantee the quality for a few days, since they only use natural ingredients. I can tell you that a tub of Krema is not going to last me for more than a few days anyway because it is ULTRA DELICIOUS. Seriously you could put Honeylicious Krema yogurt in a cone and eat it like soft serve ice cream.

We got to try a whole bunch of their line, the fruit yogurt, Krema (10% MF deliciousness omg), chia yogurt (tasty and very convenient!), kefir, and more. At the very end of the session we got to try a new flavour that hasn’t even come out yet… pumpkin spice. A lot of the bloggers lost their minds about this, haha. It will come out in time for back to school.

Anyway, a very informative and interesting day. And now I’m going to go make myself a bowl of Krema with raspberries…

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Soft Peaks Ice Cream

Ever since the first time I tried honeycomb (on a cracker, with cheese) I’ve been a big fan. So when I heard that there was a new ice cream place serving it on soft serve I had to try it. Soft Peaks is in Gastown, Vancouver.

We ordered the Honeycomb Peak, and a Salty Himalayan with chocolate syrup.

The Honeycomb Peak came with a chunk of honeycomb on top, and super duper crunchy cereal at the bottom. The honeycomb was ultra sweet, and slightly waxy, as you would expect. The cereal provided a great textural crunch to contrast the soft serve ice cream. Very delicious to get a little bit of both elements on each spoonful.

The Salty Himalayan was nice too. It has fancy pink salt swirled through it along with the chocolate sauce. Can’t beat that salty-sweet combination.

The ice cream itself is plain, not too sweet, definitely milk flavoured.

All in all, we enjoyed it, but it’s very expensive so I won’t be going there very often. Worth a try if you haven’t tried honeycomb yet.

Soft Peaks Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

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About To Leave

I originally planned to do separate posts on all of these topics but now I’m sitting here in YVR airport about to leave for 2.5 weeks thinking I’d better just write a big post to catch up instead.

Scott and I are on our way to Melbourne for #jornapalooza via Guangzhou, China. Apparently we are allowed to leave the airport in China (thanks 72 hour transit visa) so we may explore a bit there too which I am pretty excited about. The subway goes right to the airport so it should be pretty easy. Unfortunately they speak mainly Cantonese there so I won’t be able to dazzle everyone with my sweet Mandarin skills though. But it would be fun to get some street food and look around a bit.

Australia is going to be fun too. The whole family has rented a big house on Phillip Island for the first few days, then Jessie comes to Melbourne for Easter and a baby shower, and then I go to Adelaide for a few days to visit Cassia! I am iksidid.

Anyway that’s pretty much all the updates about what’s coming up. And now to catch up on the last month…

Calgary was super good this year. We spent a week at COP training in the icehouse and on the skeleton track and then competed in an Alberta Cup race on the last day. I had a lot more success sliding there compared to last year. I have learned SO MUCH this season and understood the track and sliding so much more. My starts were very very slow compared to everyone else and I would start each run in last place, but I must be ok at driving because I ended up gaining spots every run. I ended up coming 4th in the race (out of 7 competitors). My goal was not to come in last place and I definitely succeeded in that so I was happy.

This year I stayed at Ally’s house the whole time and that was awesome. It’s always great to catch up with old friends and her and Scott are very fun. I was busy a lot of the time I was there but we still squeezed in going to a nice oyster restaurant, going out to the barn for a ride on her horse, and going to watch some of the Brier curling. BTW curling is really fun to watch live!

Sliding in Whistler was going pretty well too. Sliding from the top was getting less and less scary every day. Every session I would try and push just a tiny bit faster. We ended up having quite a big turnout for our last race of the season, BC Champs, including OTHER GIRL SKELETON SLIDERS!! I came in 4th, aka last place, but I was competing against World Cup/ICC level sliders so that was to be expected. I was still pretty happy because I got a huge PB time on the first day of the race, and then another PB on the second day.

BCBSA ended up giving out medals to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, and then a separate medal for the #1 BC slider. Originally they gave the BC medal to Jane, because she is from North Van (although she hadn’t even been in Whistler all season). But after the awards she came over and put the medal around my neck. She said I should have it because of my two PBs. :’) It meant a lot to me, that was really nice of her. So I now have my first skeleton medal.

I took a pretty big hit on my last run of the race so I decided that was a pretty good time to end the season. It has been nice to have spare time again, tbh. It was such a good season, with our new coach and new friends and new teammates. I learned SO MUCH. And now I have 6ish months to try and get stronger and faster on land before next season and tryouts. My goal for next year: an international race… which should be possible because I should be able to at least do the Whistler NAC race. Fingers crossed.

What else?..

We’ve been going to trivia every couple of weeks. Our team is called Patty O’Lanterns and we rule. We plan on doing a lot of trivia over the summer so let me know if you want to come sometime. We also plan on doing a lot of patio time at our house too.

Once I get back from Australia I am starting weightlifting lessons two times a week (instead of once a week) so next time you see me I’m going to be ripped.

All joking aside, this was actually a really tough week. Wednesday morning at work we all found out that our boss had unexpectedly passed away the day before. It was a huge shock and a huge loss for us all. He and some of my coworkers had worked together for more than 20 years, and his partner also works in our department. So so so sad. He was such a great guy and definitely a lot more than just a boss to us. Our work family lost a good friend. I will miss him.

Well we are getting pretty close to boarding time so I’m going to post this and get ready to go. Until next time (hopefully not for so long).

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Oops

Poor poor neglected blog.

Life has been crazy lately and blogging hasn’t been a priority. But I did just renew this domain for another 3 years, so I will be back… Soon.

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Pre-Calgary Skeleton Update

The past month of skeleton has been really fun and exciting for me. While many people are really hurting from the unseasonably warm temperatures in Whistler, it has been great for me because I finally moved up to the top of the track a few weeks ago! (My goal for the year!) The warmer weather means the track has been a little soft, and soft and frosty equals slow. Bad for PBs, but excellent for scaredy cats like me. (BTW we are still going 115-120 km/hr on slow days.)

We had our BC Cup races #3 and #4 a couple weeks ago (when I had only done 6 runs from the top before race day). The ice in our OT session was soooooooooooooooooo slow, then the next day the track crew worked their butts off and made the ice 15 km/hr FASTER than the night before. I was TERRIFIED. I dragged my toes (to slow down) so hard. I ended up coming something like +16 seconds behind the leader in a two heat race, which is quite ridiculous in a sport that usually comes down to hundredths of a second, but I figured it was better to challenge myself and get more experience from the top than go back down to corner 3 and have an easy race.

BUT, I’m getting more and more comfortable every day. I’ve even started doing little jogging starts this week, and this weekend it actually was quite fast, and I was nervous, but I forced myself to not drag my toes… and I was fine! 128.6 km/hr!  So I think from here on I can pretty much run as fast as I can.

Tomorrow I am driving to Calgary with a few teammates for a week of training. Similar to last year, but this time for an Alberta Cup race and not for Can-Am week (there was no Can-Am week this year). We will do 3 days of Official Training, 2+ Icehouse sessions, and 2 days of racing. Exciting!! I’m hoping to improve my pushing skills x92398723937823. It will be very interesting to see how I do compared to last year because I understand SO MUCH MORE now. Plus my new sled works way better than my old one. I am very much looking forward to it.

All for now, I have to finish packing.

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