A Taste Of The High Country – Jan 2021

2021: Reinventing Ourselves

January 2021 is not for the faint of heart. COVID-19 has forced us to keep Christmas small, a feat that would have made the Grinch proud. Cold days are here, and the winter blues may soon set in, exacerbated by the lockdown requirements. And although the vaccines are coming, it will be months still before we can resume our lives as we left them back in early March of 2020. Even still, I can’t help but think that there is a silver lining under all this doom and gloom. Perhaps understanding what that may be is what January 2021 is all about.

Maybe our New Year’s resolution this year is to embrace the extra time we have. For most of us, having enough time was elusive, often unattainable. Before the start of the pandemic, we kept running from one thing to the next. Sure, some of us are quite busy still, and working parents of small children have my heartfelt sympathy. But for many others, we have less pressure. We may have to make do with diminishing revenue but, then again, we have less to spend it on. And so, what might be the silver lining January is bringing?

Simpler times? I believe the holiday season, and now January, give us the meaning of what simpler times used to be and can still be if we choose it. Forced to slow down and limit our contact with a selected few individuals, usually from the same household, we now have a chance to get to know each other a bit better.

Early on in the pandemic, Netflix was an easy go-to for distraction. But, it is now getting old. January 2021 may just be this idle time necessary for the pursuit of creative endeavours. Much has been said about the relationship between idleness and heightened brain function resulting in increased creative power. Wasn’t it Albert Einstein, who once cheekily said, “Creativity is the residue of time wasted.” And so, what will be your creative pursuit this year?

Take the time to cook and eat together. Perhaps learn a new hobby, learn to read a whole book all over again, relearn old card games, chess, or indulge your family in a paint night, creating masterpieces around the kitchen table that only your family will appreciate.

Perhaps January 2021 is about discovering a new lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle that makes room for fresh air, exercise and healthy eating. A lifestyle that includes time for self-care – perhaps integrating some meditation, yoga or other mind/body and spirit disciplines.

For my part, and amongst other things, I intend to dive deeper into where our local food and drinks come from. The cultural and technical aspects that transformed them into what they are today. I suspect there will be many surprises and interconnectedness amongst the local cultures – especially the Indigenous cultures. A case in point is Bannock. I will elaborate on this in a future article. For now, I am happy to share the recipe on the next page.

Above all, January 2021 will be a time to learn patience. Patience for the vaccines that will slowly be rolled out and the restrictions that will ever so slowly be lifted. Patience for loved ones who may not do so well under the current conditions.

I see January 2021 as a time during which we will make choices. Rich of these experiences, we now have to decide how we will live our lives after it is all over. Do we really want to go back to where we were, or do we want to tweak it and bring some balance? I am confident we will find the answers. 2021 is truly going to be a time of renewal. I foresee some exciting times ahead.

Happy New Year!

Renée Delorme, Sommelier - - 403.200.9961 - - Indulge in the pleasures of private tastings

Invitation to food artisans, growers, producers and restaurateurs:

Do you produce, make or serve quality local food that best exemplifies our terroir? Interested in being profiled? Please email me at


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